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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  September 4, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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charges. we are going to be covering all of it. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. nervous breakdown. let's play "hardball." good evening, i am chris matthews in washington. for a year and a half this american presidency has been accused of nepotism, lying, vulgarity, corruption. and trading with the enemy. in the midst of the nervous breakdown. explosive new details uncovered by bob woodward in his up coming new book entitled "fear." and it portrays a white house
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consumed by the mueller probe. woodward depicts trump's anger and paranoia. former trump lawyer quote was convinced that president trump would commit perjury if he even talked to special counsel mueller. so he quote staged a practice session. peppered trump with questions about the russian investigation provoking stumbling tricks and lies until the president eventually lost his cool. starting a 30-minute rant that finished with him saying i don't really want to testify. client's testimony was a bad idea because it would make the president look like an idiot. that was their defense. reported told mueller quote i'm
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not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot and you publish that transcript because everything leaks in washington, and the guys overseas are going to say i told you he was an idiot. you believe this stuff? revealing, in fact responding. talk about credibility problems, trump added i probably would have preferred to speak to him, but maybe not, i think it probably wouldn't have made a difference in the book. woodward's book, a news poll shows the democrats have a big lead. if the election were held today
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they would favor a democratic candidate. 38% say they would favor a republican. joining me now is robert costa. jennifer rubin. robert, tell me about this book. and you are a trump whisperer, you know this guy. what did you make of what woodward was able to get about trump. this idea of a nervous breakdown? >> working with my colleague, we went page by page throughout this book and you see so many advisors around this president pulling him back on different decisions on trade, national
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security, foreign policy, expressing alarm to each other if not publicly, but privately on how they think the president is going in the wrong direction. >> crazy stuff. the common sense notion that a seven second warning rather than a 15-minute warning, the idea that we want to know immediately. this guy not seeming to understand the acute importance of time. >> there are jarring scenes in the beginning of the book where the president is arguing against the south korea trade agreements and then paging later, secretary of defense mattis warning if you disrupt the relationship, you could risk world war iii. if you try to unwrap some of those alliances that have been pre served for so long. you see mattis, gary cohn,
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trying to pull documents off of the president's desk so he forgets about them and moved on. >> this reminds me of the twilight episode where the little kid had powers. that is what it is. >> this is all well and good that these guys are trying to leap around him. but no one elected them president. we have a president who was elected and who is incapable of serving in the role. >> according to the washington post, the book reveals those close to the president are constantly under trump's behavior. preventing new disasters, rob porter who left amid allegations of domestic violence, sayi.
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and chief of staff john kelly called the president unhinged. he's an idiot. it's pointless to try to convince him of anything. he's gone off the rails. we're in crazy town. i don't even know why we are here. okay, here we go, this is coverup time. i go back to my previous -- is this actionable. can you take away somebody's car. >> i don't think you can do that. i wish you can take away the presidency. let's go big picture here. you have the white house chief of staff and two of the four
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people in line for the presidency thinking the president is an idiot. and who is in charge there? there seems like there is no faith in the head of the organization. no way to run a small business and no way to run the executive branch. >> robert, let's talk about this. when the first word got out that sa sara payl -- she doesn't know anything. that was a profound statement. in fact it was funny that somebody could reach that level and not know anything about american government, what is your view and the question of idiocy, how is the word used here?
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is it used hyperbolically, or in anger or in dismay after a bad incident. what do you make of it? idiot? crazy town. >> you see this throughout woodward's book, trying to teach him about world order, importance of institutions and regardless of what you think about the president's intelligence, woodward shows the president who does not regard these relationships as important. that comes through throughout the book. >> well woodward said he requested an interview with the president through six different people in the white house and was unsuccessful. however, in a conversation last
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month after the book was finished, the president said he did not receive any request. here is some audio excerpts from that call between bob woodward and the president of the united states which were released today by the washington post. let's listen to that conversation. >> sorry, we missed the opportunity to talk for the book. >> well, i just spoke with kellyanne and i never got a call, i never got a message. who did you ask about speaking to me? >> well, about six people. >> they don't tell me. >> senator, i talked to kellyanne months ago. i would have liked to have done that and i maximized my effort. >> it's too bad. because nobody told me about it and i would have loved to have spoken to you.
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you have always been fair. we will see what happens. >> it is a tough look at the world and your administration and you. >> well, i assume that means it is going to be a negative book. i am 50 used to that. >> senator, what do you make of that? this calls for analysis, why would the president call if he knows he has ignored to meet with bob woodward. >> the fact that he taped this conversation tells you that. you played just a small portion of that. you couldn't possibly play the whole thing, it is long, it is rambling, at times he seems to contradict himself. he gets kellyanne on the phone.
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>> and kellyanne blames it hope hicks. >> this is called the run around. trump is giving woodward the run around. you talked to who? you talked to him? you didn't talk to me. why did you go to him? why didn't you call me personally and talk to my secretaries, that is not how you get through to the white house these days. you never call the president, you call the press office and say can i have time with him. >> the most revealing part of the conversation is it is clear that the president acknowledges that senator lindsey graham did bring up the topic with him. it was the president's choice to not sit with bob woodward and
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now you are sitting there with a book that doesn't have the president's voice in it, but a lot of people with first hand accounts. >> if you think the book is going to be negative, don't do the interview. you will look like you are part of your own dissembling. the president told an aide attorney general jeff sessions. trump has criticized wray as another figure in the justice department who is not protecting his interests. elliott, he thinks his number
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one goal is how come he went after those two crooked. >> this whole southern accent. >> his votes come from the white south. why is he making fun of southern accents. >> he has criticized jeff sessions for not having a degree. >> it shows you -- >> it shows you the contempt he has for his own voters. they will buy anything. they are all morons. >> making fun of accents, i mean you are head of state of this country. >> he makes fun of everybody. >> making fun of the very people who are the core of his support. >> "the new york times" was
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first to report late tonight that trump told lawyers he will accept some written answers. according to the times mr. mueller did not say he was giving up on an interview all together, interview takes place, it's scope will be more limited than mr. trump's legal team. excuse me, why is trump, i know why trump is playing this game, he doesn't want to sit down with mueller. >> it doesn't matter -- >> can i get this other lawyer over here. >> i don't think it is buckling though. >> trump will say he participated now. >> he can say all kinds of things. they might not even need it. the discipline of mueller and
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his team. >> they have been disciplined. >> you are wincing. you think it is okay. >> trump is going to say all kinds of goofy things. >> that's why he is doing this. he is establishing a pattern. we tried to be reasonable with the president. >> one thing that came out of this book, let me ask you this robert, trump will never sit down for a live interview. they don't trust him to do it. >> remember what we reported back in the spring, mueller always has the subpoena sitting on the shelf. mueller is exploring all options. and saying we are working with you on all levels here. if you are not going to cooperate, remember, mueller told him about the subpoena then and he can bring it up now. >> he is learning all the questions as well as giving the written answers. like most prisoners, you don't
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want to give them a lot of time, grab them as fast as they can. and mirandize them and don't give them a lot of chance to figure out the lies. >> thank you. coming up, fire works today at the confirmation of brett kavanaugh. let's watch. >> interpretation of presidential power so expansive. it could result in a dangerously unaccountable president at the very time when we are most in need of checks and balances. >> a lot more noise than that. in about a minute live. "hardball" ten, the top senate seats to watch this november to determine whether democrats or republicans control the senate come december. explosive new book about the trump's presidency. what does the president think about the cabinet and staff?
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not much. what do they think about him? not much. let me finish, i saw an under ground politics that looked very good. this is "hardball" where the action is. good this is "hardball" where the action is. matt: whoo! whoo! jen: but that all changed when we bought a house. matt: voilà! jen: matt started turning into his dad. matt: mm. that's some good mulch. ♪ i'm awake. but it was pretty nifty when jen showed me how easy it was to protect our home and auto with progressive. [ wrapper crinkling ] get this butterscotch out of here. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents. there's quite a bit of work, 'cause this was all -- this was all stapled. but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient
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civilians in april 2017. measures response in the form of the conventional missile strike that trump eventually ordered. we'll be right back. y ordered. we'll be right back. it really- it rocked our world. i had no idea the amount of damage that water could do. we called usaa. and they greeted me as they always do. sergeant baker, how are you? they were on it. it was unbelievable. having insurance is something everyone needs, but having usaa- now that's a privilege. we're the baker's and we're usaa members for life. usaa. get your insurance quote today.
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welcome back to "hardball." fire works today at that confirmation today for judge brett kavanaugh. the nominee has spent hours in mock hearings. the focus was of strong objections by the democrats on the committee accusing the republicans of rushing the hearings after 42,000 pages of documents. let's watch that. >> brett kavanaugh to serve as -- >> mr. chairman -- >> mr. chairman, i would like to
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be recognized to ask a question before we proceed. the committee received late last night 42,000 pages of documents that we have not have an opportunity to review or analyze. >> you are out of order, i will proceed. >> mr. chairman, we have been denied real access to the documents. we need to advise -- >> regular order calls for. >> -- which turns the hearing to a mockery. i move to adjourn this hearing. >> what are we hiding by not letting these documents come out. this is a violation of the values that we have strifen for. transparency. we are rushing through this
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process that is unnecessary. >> if confirmed, kavanaugh would solidify a hard right majority and would rule on pivotal issues. and another unexpected moment, this image of fred guttenberg reaching out to shake the judge's hand as he turned away. that doesn't look good. he looks at the guy and then walks away from him. >> the white house issued this response. as judge kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. what did you make of that incident? is it important or not. >> he came over and spoke with
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me and a number of other senators, he was disappointed that he wouldn't shake his hand. he wanted to convey the heart break and the loss. watching this hearing, this confirmation process eager to know what his views are on important issues including gun control, the second amendment and whether or not he should give up all hope of responsible legislation. >> do you think kavanaugh is one of those people who would go along with the right to bear arms. it is an absolute right. do you think he is one of those? >> yes, i do. >> what do you think of that in terms of a nominee.
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>> my concern across a lot of different topics that judge kavanaugh has written about, spoken about and issued decisions is that he is significantly outside the mainstream of american judicial thinking. views on a whole bunch of issues. the one that concerns me is his views on presidential power. if judge kavanaugh's views end up dominating the supreme court. he doesn't think a president should be subject to subpoena. >> do you think he is another robert borke? >> yes. holding a view of the law outside the mainstream of
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outside american thinking. >> what i am getting at is he is the one that went along with the saturday night massacre. to get what he wanted to protect from prosecution. >> a view of the president's power, it is called the unitary executive theory, it is rooted in a dissent by scalia. just this year, judge kavanaugh differing with the supreme court majority. keep citing this scalia dissent. he said of all the decisions, all the decisions that he thinks should be overturned, it is that decision where a majority of the supreme court said it was
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constitutional for their to be an independent counsel investigating the president. >> chief law enforcement official. >> that's right. >> you say it so quietly, but to most americans hearing that today, it means he is in charge of his own prosecution. >> and that makes no sense in my view. that is exactly why this is so concerning to me. days after president trump has once again launched a twitter attack on the attorney general, on the special counsel. and is demanding that his own political allies not be prosecuted. we have got a president i am afraid who is looking for a justice who will give him a pass. >> thank you so much. united states senator from the
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state of delaware. up next, the senate races. i am going to inaugural the "hardball" ten. including democrats and the seats they got to ahold. this is it. the "hardball" ten. and this is "hardball" where the action is. this is "hardball" whe action is. him? i have no clue. we're just tv doctors. if this was a real emergency, i'd be freaking out. but thanks to cigna, we can do more than just look heroic. we can help save lives by getting you to a real doctor for a check-up. nurse, this thing's defective. please don't touch that. we are the tv doctors of america. together with cigna reminding you... to go, know, and take control of your health. doctor poses! cigna. together, all the way.
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welcome back to "hardball." 62 days from now, the country will repopulate the united states house of representatives, all 435 seats will be emptied and refilled by the voters. all evidence suggest the voters will elect the majority of democrats. i say that based on the national polls which shows them at a double digit advantage. add to this, the large number of seats held by republicans that are vulnerable by a take over by the democrats. flip of the entire house to the democrats. so bet on the democratic house come next january with democrats controlling the schedule of legislation, each of those chairs armed with the power of subpoena able to call any
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witness, any measure. it is the senate side which i expect to be the arena. they have got 51 senators and the democrats have 49. if the dems pick up two seats, they win control. which means they can stop any trump nominee to the supreme court. they can use this narrow majority to force the selection of the nominee for the court that would end, perhaps reverse the high court current lunch to the right. let's start with the seats the democrats have to hold on to. bill nelson in florida, john -- so now the pick up opportunities.
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representative kristin cinema in arizona. representative jackie rosen out in nevada. and congressman beto o'rourke challenging ted cruz. all but one of these races are in red states. states president trump won rather convincingly in 2016. the i believe 2018 is going to be driven by geography. a blue wave is going to roll through. this time are going to be unrestrained in voting democrat. they will throw control house in the representatives. out in the red states, the results of november lies in question. there in the country's wider
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geography, the blue wave will be checked by continued support of president trump. beyond the coastal suburbs will be fought. the big ten battles for the u.s. senate. stay with us, and you will be ahead of the crowd. up next, what if any impact will bob woodward's new book have. nervous breakdown of the trump presidency, fuel the vote. or fire up defenders. you're watching "hardball." rs you're watching "hardball. (vo hand) can we talk?
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and accessoriesphones for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program call or visit welcome back it "hardball." new polls out tonight. showing the candidates locked in dead heat.
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in missouri look at this number. claire mccaskill tied with josh hawley. in florida bill nelson tied with the governor down there. this is the alfred hitchcock of this season. republicans holding a one seat majority, each of these races could determine controlling of the senate. in the house of representative, two new polls out. showing democrats and republicans by double digits. let's bring in tonight's round table. analyst strategist and whatever. i think on this question, of the senate race, it is personality, it is not the british labor
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party, you don't vote party, you look at the person you like, mccaskill, she seems local enough, that kind of thing. >> the democrats have to pull an inside straight. and everything needs to go their way even though the margin is razer thin. it is going to be hard to pull it off. >> all but nevada, red states. >> and nevada, if you look at the map, this is supposed to be a good republican year for the senate race. and a lot of these states that they are supposed to be doing well in, it is a toss up. >> showing that tonight. >> and a lot of that has to do with quite frankly it is a national referendum on trump. a majority of the americans want to put a check on trump and
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congress. there is an opportunity in tennessee where republicans have to spend money. >> i think geography counts and if you are surrounded by a lot of pro trump people, you will vote trump. if you are in the suburbs and you are the odd woman out, you are not going to vote for them. >> the suburbs are on fire and that is the fire. >> here is where senate races are different. senate races are more like governor races they are choice elections. this person versus that person. number two, is when you put a poll up there showing incumbent and a challenger both at 47, it goes towards the challenger. incumbents pick up few undecided. in some of the races where republicans are tied at this point, that is good. >> by the way, you are right. let's move on.
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meanwhile -- >> wow. >> could you repeat that? >> you are right. they know you pretty well, anyway, book -- unless you are o one of the rape candidates. >> that's not true. go to harry reid, he always pulled it out. >> how many organizations -- >> claire mccaskill -- >> admit they have an advantage. >> this is a good year. >> who is going to win the senate? >> i think democrats will edge out one seat. i think there is going to -- >> they are going to pick up two. >> do they lose any? >> of course they are going to lose -- >> bob woodward -- the book by
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woodwa woodward states -- like a little rat. he often mocked h.r mcmaster behind his back. told wilbur ross, you are past your prime. his defense secretary told him, we are doing this to prevent world war iii. after trump left the meeting, mattist was particularly exasperated and alarmed. he questioned whether woodwards are a dem operative. i have never detected ever since that he was a liberal democrat even slightly.
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>> i will let bob discuss his political views whatever they are for himself. it is fair to say if you look at the array of his work, dem operatives are not the first words that come to mind. american foremost investigative reporter, a little more of an accurate description. >> i keep thinking -- look, i think saturday was a spiritual moment. this country recovered something of their soul. this knowledge that the president of the united states is surrounded by people who think he is an idiot, they think he is ignorant. he doesn't have the knowledge of a twelfth grader. >> sixth grader. >> all kinds of stuff to prevent nuclear war, is that going to affect any voter? >> i think it is already baked in. >> baked in. >> baked in.
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i think all the voters who are up in arms right now, they never thought that trump was the sharpest tool anyway. you have seen the drip, drip. >> when sara pallin, that hurt. >> this isn't news for trump. americans never thought he was great on foreign policy, or never thought he was the sharpest tool. they did think he was a tribal warrior. >> what do you think of this book? >> you have to remember how trump got here. the left voted for hillary, the right voted for trump. they are not surprised by all of this that his actions are counter culture to the washington scene as we would know it. the thing about this particularly book, first of all, i agree with you.
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woodward, the republican shouldn't be out here saying let's destroy him. it is still unnamed sources, the people who he claims comes out saying wait a minute, i never said these things. if you like the president, you are going to think the book doesn't matter. >> what do you think the president is going to think about it? because no matter what he says publicly, he suspects that kelly did say it. >> of course he does. >> there is a silence creation. >> what are the suburban moms going to say? >> the same ones that hillary ran her whole campaign for and didn't win. >> last thought, cornel. >> the left will split.
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>> i'm just saying it is an easier effect. roundtable sticking with us. to the junior prom with. he was a cutie! and if you go down, that's me, above him. you won best looking in your senior year of high school? somebody had to win it. my best high school moment was the day i walked across the stage. my dad...couldn't read real good, so, it was a milestone for me. ancestry now has over 300,000 yearbooks from all across the country. so go back to school with your family, and discover more of their stories. start searching for free at
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as i contemplated who could best serve our state in the u.s. senate, i kept coming back to one name, and one person, john kyle with nearly two decades of experience serving alongside john mccain. >> that was arizona senator doug ducey. kyle has been on the hill in the recent months acting as the sherpa by guiding him through the process. kyle will be a dependable vote. let's watch kyle on trump. >> i don't like his style. much of it, is boarish, i think
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he's his own worst enemy, he could be much more effective if he were more politic, more diplomatic, of course that's one of the things that people like about him. senator kyle, impact on life on this planet? >> place holder. status quo. >> for a senator to beat ducey. i'm sorry, call me a cynic. >> you are a cynic. >> he said he was going to pick somebody who was going to run for election in two years, he picked someone who promised he won't run. >> opportunity, right? and kyle is a safe pick. i think arizona is a changing state. the more interesting is the dead heat that the arizona senate race is right now. demographic shifts are changing that place. >> there is some significance with kyle. number one, he not only checks
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the box, he is not mccain and going to put his finger in the eye of the president. he agrees with the president on things like health care. >> you are not going to see him go like that. >> he was a stupid war guy. he was all for the hawkish wars. >> his style is contrary to the president's. he is respected on both sides of the aisle. his tone and tenor are not the same way the president is. for the senate, for mitch mcconnell, he is probably dancing. he is a wonderful guy. first person to tweet out, great pick, is cindy mccain. >> i disagree with her. >> you are not going to get another mccain, so from cindy mccain's point of view, this is
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probably as good as you are going to get towards the status quo. >> what do you think of our new ally in the middle east? the son. the guy the president says -- >> he is running for the senate. >> kill him. how do you get away with that? mr. president, mr. assad, it sounds like -- i think we have laws against assassination. thank you. and when we return, let me finish with so many of us witnessed on saturday at senator john mccain's funeral. i thought it was a rare spiritual in this community. ra spiritual in this community. need a change of scenery?
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let me finish tonight with so many of us felt and witnessed on saturday. i was honored when i received the call to anchor john mccain's funeral. inspired by him, and wanted to be part of it. i did. i did it for the reason i loved being at the brandenburg gate, i loved being in south africa, in rome when john paul ii laid there.
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i am a romantic in my politics and senator mccain made fun of that once. i can do maverick he told a big room when i was there, i can't do messiah. great political novels, the kind john f kennedy. i wished we had a progressive like him. fortunately his spirit isn't gone. i saw that spirit in the voice of his daughter megan. there was a pride in that voice. she reminded me of the movie heroine billion dollar baby. i have a feeling of what happened saturday, it was the feeling i had in east germany
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before the wall came down. it was a religious service but something more of an underground movement. this darkness we are going through right now is going to pass. that american will return again to the values of truth and courage and individual spirit that the lying and the gutlessness and the bullying will have seen their day. and that is "hardball." thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" will start right now. tonight on "all in." i'm talking about woodward, you never told me. >> bob woodward's bombshell. democrats stage a rebellion. >> what is the rush? >> tonight, senator's cory booker and kama