tv Deadline White House MSNBC November 10, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
up next, "deadline: white house," hosted this time by john heilemann. >> aloha and namaste. it's 4:00 in new york city. i'm john heilemann in for nicolle wallace on this friday, when we saw the latest installment of donald trump's latest rhetorical trope. i hardly know the guy. in this case, the guy is the newly appointed attorney general matt whitaker from whom trump already seems to be distancing himself. >> well, matt whitaker, i don't know matt whitaker. he worked for jeff sessions, and he was always extremely highly thought of and he still is, but i didn't know matt whitaker. he worked for attorney general sessions. he was very, very highly thought of. now in all fairness to matt whitaker, who again, i didn't know, okay, other than through reputation. matt whitaker is a highly respected man but i didn't know
matt whisker but he's a highly -- matt whisker, but he's a highly respected man. >> he's the greatest guy, the most wonderful, most amazing guy, but i barely know the guy, i've never heard of him. that sudden trumpian skittishness comes amid an outcry from trump's critics over whitaker's past comments on the mueller probe including a cascade of newly surfaced audio that demonstrates his vehement opposition to that probe suggesting whitaker long ago decided that there was no collusion, no obstruction and that whitaker is resolved to limit the investigation. >> there is no case for obstruction of justice because the president had all the power of the executive and delegates that to people like the fbi director and the attorney general. this hyperventalation of, you know, what we see here is, i just don't think it's sustainable based on these facts. >> the truth is, there was no collusion with the russians and
the trump campaign. there was interference by the russians into the election, but that is not the collusion with the campaign. that's where the left seems to be just combining those two issues. the effort by jim comey to get this, you know, put in place and have somebody that he's very familiar with in bob mueller conducting the investigation. so i think it smells a little fishy, but i just hope it doesn't turn into a fishing expedition, because i will be one of the ones jumping up and down making sure that the limitations on this investigation continue because that's the way it's supposed to be. >> those sound bites and several just like them have come to light in the last 24 hours raising pointed questions about whether whitaker's antagonism toward the mueller probe was a feature and not a bug and may be a prerequisite for whitaker's appointment which under normal circumstances could have gone to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. the other question, whether whitaker may have been promised
trump some action against the mueller probe in exchange for being elevated. trump responded to those questions this morning with another of his favorite tactics, an ad hominem attack on a reporter. >> do you want to rein in robert mueller? >> what a stupid question that is. what a stupid question, but i watch you a lot. you ask a lot of stupid questions. >> man, all right. former u.s. attorney general joyce vance, jeremy bash, former chief of staff and the cia and pentagon, jennifer rubin and the great mia whiley. senior vice president for social justice at the new school. every one of them, thank god, are msnbc analysts. joyce, my friend, alabaman, you look at the things this man, mr. whitaker, has said before taking this job. mostly on cnn. how problematic are those things in a normal universe and maybe in the universe we live in for this appointment?
>> it's a conflict of interest, and he should be required to recuse from overseeing the russia investigation. in fact, i suspect that the ethics professionals that attorneys in the justice department go to for advice on ethical matters will advise him he must recuse. he has if not an actual conflict, certainly the appearance of a conflict, which is the standard that people in doj use. and, john, it's really important to note that the doj conflict standards require lawyers to recuse if they have a personal or political relationship with someone who is interested in the outcome of a case or someone who is involved in a case. and whitaker has got both. he has a personal relationship, a political relationship with sam clovis whose campaign he ran. certainly he appears to have a political relationship with the president who has an interest in the outcome of this investigation. so in no way, shape or form should he remain in the case, but it's clear he's going to. in fact, it's increasingly clear that's why he was brought on board. >> so jeremy, i want to ask you.
the way in which, or the recusal thing works at the doj, there's no law or even regulation that compels you to go to the ethics folks at justice and say what should i do here? but both legal ethics and political probity normally means if you think you have a conflict you go and say -- ask for recommendation. it appears whitaker is not going to do that. in fact, as joyce just said, the reason he was chosen is precisely because he has these conflicts. how does that recusal question play out as a matter just practically speaking over the days ahead? >> i think you're right. i think the proper thing would be as the chief legal officer of the united states of america for him to ask the professional
ethics attorneys within the department of justice for an opinion. and if they were to come back with an opinion, i think the substance of the opinion of the opinion would be exactly what joyce just referenced. but there's no way in heck that he's going to do that because the terms of his employment with donald trump was that he would not recuse himself because, of course, that was the origin of trump's concern about jeff sessions. so the proper thing here, john, would be for rod rosenstein to retain authority over the bob mueller probe for there to be no interference in the bob mueller probe. i think this may be heading, the democrats take control of any of the committees in congress come january. they'll put mark whitaker under oath. he may try to assert presidential privilege or executive privilege but the press then has to assert that. we're heading for some legal sparky times here. >> i want to play another piece of sound before i come to the table where we get to hear whitaker talking about a subject that, obviously, has been really important over the course of the investigation into trump which is the question of his finances, his business, his family, where the red line supposedly exists. let's listen to what whitaker had to say about that previously. >> if they are looking at unrelated to the 2016 election trump finances, they have crossed the red line and they are outside of the scope of their investigation, and essentially they are on a
fishing expedition, which is very dangerous to the republic. >> jeremy, come back to you for this. that is basically like not just -- not trump friendly. doesn't echo trump. almost as if scripted by trump. talking points, things that trump has said to "the new york times" and others. does that not make it feel very much like those comments were an audition for this job? >> yeah, they were job qualifications exactly right. and of course, the reason they're concerned about it is because those finances could show russian leverage over the trump organization. and trump himself which, of course, is at the heart of the national security investigation that bob mueller is undertaking. >> jennifer, let me ask you. you see the way this has all unfolded. at this moment we don't know what precise conversations took place before whitaker got this job. but the prima facie case is pretty strong. what do you think, if you look at everything he said as a cnn correspondent and look at his positions and how much they echo trump, what conclusions do you
draw? >> first of all, i start with the constitution which says he shouldn't be there to begin with. there's a fundamental issue that goes beyond the russia probe to simply his appointment. we have a constitution that provides for advice and consent by the senate. he picked a guy out. you, in the blue shirt, come on. be my attorney general. you're not allowed to do that. when you remove someone you can have someone in an acting position who is in the line of succession. that would be mr. rosenstein. but he doesn't have the right without senate approval to stick his crony in there. and if he does, virtually everything he would do is a legal nullity. he would be suspect. so people who are being prosecuted, any documents he is signing, any appointments he makes. all of that is invalid in essence. so you have to start there. and what's interesting now is you have seen republican, conservative lawyers, including george conway and kellyanne's husband, come forward to make this case.
a pretty good case. and, frankly, a lot of people who could litigate this. anyone who has been prosecuted by the justice department. anyone getting a subpoena from the justice department. lots of people can litigate this. as far as the russia probe goes, it's another of the outrageous steps, and you're now hearing rumbling from the justice department itself. you're beginning to hear leaks, beginning to hear criticism from the building and that will build if he's allowed to stay. >> we saw this op-ed piece. kellyanne's husband, a forceful trump critic, making the case, this is an unconstitutional appointment because you have to be senate confirmed, not necessarily for this job but for some job you have to have been senate confirmed to be in this job. what's interesting is not just
the george conway but erick erickson, even on fox news some of the legal analysts coming out and saying, yeah, this is pretty open and shut. and how could they not have -- how could they have missed this? >> well, i think what's open and shut is that there's no question that matt whitaker must be recused from the investigation. from overseeing the bob mueller's investigation. actually, lawyers and steve laddick has a very good editorial piece about this. i disagree with the analysis that it's unconstitutional. and the reason for that is, first of all, there's an 1898 supreme court opinion directly on point that says actually the president can appoint someone in an interim capacity. and secondly, government actually needs it to be able to function in the event that there is a -- the need for continuity. so there are three very strong categories of reasons why matt whitaker should not be in this
position that go to qualification, that go to the fact that this is a credibly important position as being the chief law enforcement officer for the nation, not for the president. that he should recuse himself at a minimum from this investigation and, i think their argument goes more directly to the fact that he should not be confirmed if he does come. but i actually think it's important to pay attention to the legal arguments that say that it is actually constitutional. >> it's interesting that justice thomas of all people has taken the contrary view and since he is the favorite justice of the president of the united states, perhaps he should listen to him. it's not come up in exactly this context but it's come up in the context involving the national labor relations board. the difference being if someone is a senior official, reports directly to the president, you do need confirmation. >> i want to play one more -- another piece of sound just because it goes back to the beginning talking about the notion that, hardly knew the guy. it turns out that although trump says i hardly knew the guy, not that long ago, he had a slightly different perspective on his identify with mr. whitaker. let's play that. >> i never talk about that, but matt whitaker is a great guy.
i know matt whitaker. but i never talk about conversations that i had. but, you know, "the washington post" gets it wrong a lot. that's the only thing. >> but the conversation is that you are in active talks to replace the attorney general of the united states. >> i'm not doing anything. i want to get the elections over with. we'll see what happens. >> so, joyce, amazing, breaking news. donald trump contradicts himself and has been caught in yet another lie. it does seem relevant to me to ask the question, is the fact that trump is back pedaling and distancing himself in this way, which we've seen him do on countless occasions in the past, does it suggest to you that he is attuned, perhaps, to this maybe not unanimous, but this bipartisan sense of concern at a minimum in some cases outrage over the fact this guy who does not really seem qualified for the job has been put in this important a job. >> i'm not sure that he's concerned. i think he just wants to get away with it. he's been very facile on a number of occasions with people being close to him suddenly becoming people that he's never
known before. he's gotten away with it. so maybe he thinks he can get away with it again here. but what's very clear is that whether it was an explicit agreement or whether whitaker was just sort of winking at trump in these television appearances and trump plucked him out of the wilds of iowa to come be the staff for the attorney general which made him eligible for this appointment, there's been a meeting of the minds about why he's there and trump wants him there. >> jeremy, in addition to being a person of good substance you have good political antenna. do you think that donald trump is, at least at a very minimum, hedging his bets here so he can go scurrying away from matt whitaker if it turns out his position or appointment here turns out to be politically untenable? >> yeah, i think he's very thin skinned and senses the criticism. he thought he could sneak this one by in the day after the election. he's not able to do that.
he's reacting to the fact that matt whitaker is not long for the world in terms of this job and donald trump has to go to plan "b." >> the other thing that i want to raise before we have to end this block is the way in which ways because i'm a dork has upset me the most about this entire thing is this q&a that whitaker did when running for public office back in iowa, trying to win the iowa senate seat that ultimately went to joni ernst. he said the following things about the role of the courts and about one particular decision. the courts are supposed to be the inferior branch of our three branches of government. we have unfortunately offloaded many tough public policy issues onto the court and they've decided them. unelected judges are deciding many of the issues of the day. there are so many bad rulings, i would start with the idea of marbury versus madison. for those who are unfamiliar with that, i'd like you to just give a brief explanation of why it is the central fundamental, seminal decision as it relates to the supreme court of the united states. >> supreme court is exactly a check and balance on the executive branch. violating the u.s. constitution, if you essentially take away
that power and say that the courts do not have an independent role, subject them to elections by the way and we have states that have elected judges, where we politicize the interpretation of the law rather than keep it neutral and focused on the structure of our government, of our democracy. we essentially erode having a functional democracy that is not subject to authoritarianism. >> joyce vance, marbury versus madison, the thing that created judicial review. is it not the case that if a person who is going to be the acting attorney general of the united states says that marbury versus madison is wrongly decided that you can only come up with two possible options? either he's a clown or a stooge? >> i'll just say that whitaker is clearly outside the mainstream of american jurisprudence.
i could not agree with mia more. this is the man who is now overseeing all of the criminal and civil litigation and the appellate litigation, including in front of the supreme court on behalf of the united states. he's said that he believes judges need to be good christians, that they shouldn't be outside of that mainstream. he's indicated that he's not a proponent of judicial review of the law. we are in treacherous waters. >> joyce vance always proving she's a more nuanced and subtle figure than i am. when we come back, the suspicious timing of matt whitaker's appointment. could it have anything to do with what bob mueller may be planning to do next? plus, stop me if you've seen this headline before. a recount in florida with the results of tuesday's election still up in the air. the president is lashing out, pulling every claim in his grab bag of grievances from conspiracy theorys to the clintons. and, days after trump's election, dave chappelle delivered that memorable monologue about the results.
>> i'm wishing donald trump luck, and i'm going to give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised demand that he give us one, too. >> so how does the great dave chappelle feel about that two years later? i caught up with him this week, and we'll show you what he said coming up shortly. i just got my cashback match,
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i haven't ruled out anything. i haven't even thought about it. i'm thinking about the world. >> yeah, that's donald trump there doing his best jack handy thinking deep, deep thoughts about the world. i'm sure. we have new reporting from "the washington post" talking about the timeline of firing jeff sessions, and to replace him with matt whitaker. according to aaron blake, it raises suspicions that mueller was very much on the president's mind when he shook up things in the justice department. doing this the day after the midterm elections pretty much erased any doubt this was delayed for political reasons and then done as quickly as possible. sessions reportedly wanted to stay on until friday but white house chief of staff john f. kelly told him no. friday is usually the day that indictments are revealed so it's not illogical to think trump wanted whitaker to take oversight of the russia probe before potential indictments of roger stone and even donald trump jr. were handed down or something else. joining us at the table, mike murphy, republican strategist and former campaign adviser for george w. bush, mitt romney,
john mccain, and everybody else in the world. jeremy bash still with us. guys, we've sat here in america land as the kavanaugh hearings played out, midterm elections played out. mueller not stopping his work but in the background doing whatever he's doing. the one thing prediction, jeff sessions going, has happened. the other thing we're waiting for is the possibility that bob mueller, that the indictments, he doesn't do indictments but as a result of the investigation we'd see indictments. mia, is there -- if whitaker is a trump stooge designed to knee-cap mueller -- >> if? >> if that's the case. if there are sealed indictments that exist already out of the grand jury teed up of any of these people -- stone, donald trump jr., anyone, is there anything whitaker could do to stop the indictments? >> he can. the short answer it depends if they'd already been approved and moved forward through rod
rosenstein before matt whitaker takes over. so if that's the case if they were pipelined if they've already been, the word some would use socialized within the department of justice, which just means gone through and given the green light because bob mueller is not king of the hill. he's not ken starr. he has to report up. >> he has a boss. >> then, sure, those can come forward, but he could, if they have not been socialized in that way, meaning if they have not been approved already by rod rosenstein, essentially what matt whitaker can do is start asking question after question after question to slow the process down, if not actually say, i think this is unwarranted. so under the department of justice rules, essentially his boss, bob mueller's boss can say i think this is unwarranted under the investigation so i'm going to say no. >> jeremy bash, let me ask you, the -- that's one example of a way in which whitaker could try to kneecap mueller.
name a couple other ways in which he could try to kneecap mueller and also, and this will open up a larger discussion of this, talk a little about how bob mueller, given that none of the things that have happened here were not readily anticipatable. what he can do to circumvent efforts to kneecap mueller. >> one thing whitaker could do is fail to defend the legal decisions by the special counsel. if the special counsel goes to try to get a judge to issue a subpoena for the grand jury, i should say issue a subpoena to the president for testimony, and that's litigated. the president's lawyers try to quash that subpoena in court and it goes before a district court judge in washington, it's up to the department of justice to defend those decisions by the special counsel. whitaker could refuse to have doj lawyers support that decision. and ultimately if bob mueller comes forward with a report that might form the factual basis for congressional hearings on, say,
impeachment, whitaker could refuse to allow that report to go forward to the hill or to the public. so bob mueller, his basic recourse is to take this directly to congress or ultimately directly to the public. >> so jennifer, here's a thing that people have talked about, speculated about for the last year or so, as mueller has known that his position was not secure and might be tenuous that he's taken various actions to try to make sure that his work sees the light of day, even if he ends up getting fired or knee capped. one is that he's farmed out, outsourced some things, including to the southern district of new york. we have reporting on one of those cases, fresh reporting from "the wall street journal," about the stormy daniels case that headline is that trump played a central role in hush money payments to stormy daniels and karen mcdougal. we kind of already know that. the journal says that trump was involved in or briefed on nearly every step of the agreements. he directed deals in phone calls and meetings with the self-described fixer michael cohen and others.
u.s. attorney's office in manhattan has gathered evidence of mr. trump's participation in the actions. that is one of the things michael cohen in his plea agreement, when he pleaded, he stated this was true. so talk about how effective a maneuver on mueller's part it could be to keep this thing alive in the southern district and what the implications are of this reporting. >> i think it's very effect pitch he can't go around firing every u.s. attorney and every assistant u.s. attorney and taking cases that are already ripe for prosecution away from them. i suppose you can try but then we're really into never-never land. and one thing and it's potent because it involves his finances, his business operations, how he shifted money around to pay off women. that is with the southern district. so they could fire mueller tomorrow or today and that would
have a life of its own and go on. you also don't know whether there are other cases that have been seated out there and we just don't know about them. they're either sealed indictments or other prosecutorial teams working on these things that could spring into action. so there's lots of ways in which mueller could have protected himself. but, frankly, the biggest protection he has is he will go to the now-democratic congress and testify in public under oath. and that's really the big -- i would say that he has to get it back. >> the appointment of whitaker, mike, we now have a new discussion of the potential for legislation to protect bob mueller. chris coons and jeff flake. jeff flake is obviously out the door. he's really the ultimate lame duck right now. they have now raised this legislation again that they have been for a while. they want to put through the united states senate. trump, naturally, the president, has sent a tweet already
attacking jeff flake-y, flaky flake for his opposition to the mueller probe. he doesn't want to protect the non-senate confirmed special counsel. he wants to protect his future after being unelectable in arizona for the crime of doing a terrible job. a weak and uneffective guy. don't even comment about the tweet. >> oh, come on. it's too much fun not to. the old dog barks the loudest. >> are there enough republicans to make this -- are the republicans going to be there to make this happen? >> i don't think the leadership is necessarily on board. lindsey graham was for this. this will be a good test of will the real lindsey please stand up. >> susan collins came out. >> but i am all for it and morally, it's a no-brainer. they have to. but there is no way to put about 40 metric tons of legal toothpaste back in the tube. he can appoint a yes man. i believe unconstitutionally. i'm not a lawyer. i just fake it on cable tv, but smart lawyers i know think it's
unconstitutional. an intern at doj can figure out it violates the conflict rules they've established there. so this is like trump trying to do a lease deal where he takes a small something on page 411 of the lease and blows it up. it's a trick. you can see him backing off a little. even if they succeed in slowing down the official machinery, it can leak. the democrats can haul it in. they have a lot more power today than they had a week ago. this doesn't go away. rust never sleeps. >> i'll be interested where people like bob cork come down on the question of legislation to protect bob mueller. jeremy bash, thank you for spending time with us. good to see you. up next, fusion gps, the clintons, the dossier, donald trump's pulled out all his favorite buzz words to rail against the florida recount which begs the question -- why so angry, mr. president? hello mom. amanda's mom's appointment just got rescheduled - for today. amanda needs right at home. our customized care plans provide as much
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and rick scott, who won by, you know, it was close, but he won by a comfortable margin. every couple of hours it goes down a little bit. and then you see the people, and they were involved with that fraud of the fake dossier, the phony dossier. and i guess i hear they were somehow involved or work with the gps fusion people. but you notice the votes never go the other way? they hire lawyers and the votes don't ever seem to go the republican way. >> do you have evidence -- >> i don't know. you tell me. it's always the democrats. it's always gps fusion. it's always crooked stuff. >> many of us went to sleep on tuesday night, i say many of us. i don't really mean me because i didn't go to sleep tuesday night but the senate and gubernatorial races seem like they were well in hand. rick scott had been declared the
apparent winner over bill nelson and gillum conceded defeat to desantis. neither race is officially over. state officials are still countering votes in two of the largest and more democratic leaning counties. the margins in those races are getting smaller and smaller. rick scott's lead is just 0.2 percentage points. and ron desantis is up only 0.4. and the gap if that gap stays that small as they are right now, that would trigger a recount. that brings us back to donald trump. there are legitimate questions about what is going on in florida right now, none of the legitimate potential answers involve fusion gps or the phony dossier or what rudy giuliani suggests here with this quote. hillary's lawyers trying to steal florida election.
they are still counting or creating ballots just in democratic broward and palm beach. all other votes counted in the state. court should disqualify votes counted only after all the counties are finished. joining us at the table, reverend al sharpton. i'm going to start with you, rev. i find this all kind of extraordinary and historical and a million things but tell me, what do you think you hear when you hear what rick scott is saying, what president trump is saying, what all these people are saying about the situation in florida and what it means about andrew gillum? >> i think it would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. i was in florida last sunday leading the polls -- souls to the polls. the local ministers organized hundreds of people. andrew gillum came and marched even though it wasn't a gillum rally. and i had been there throughout the summer around amendment 4 which did win. >> right. >> the irony of this is that you're talking about the same people that counted the votes tuesday that said rick scott won and now all of a sudden they become democratic operatives in the recount. there's not been a new hiring
practice of election counters and election officials in florida. so how are these people great civil servants tuesday night when they won but now scott wants to sue them? i remember 18 years ago marching in the same florida, broward county, around hanging chads. so here we have these people now. i think it's a question of, they want to beat all of us into protesting. it's like a guy breaks in your house and then he calls 911 and reports a robbery. >> it's another great shocker, donald trump not familiar with history, even recent history when he says only democrats steal votes in florida. i've never heard of anything happening. >> one of the things i was most worried about is that trump would attack the legitimacy of the process anywhere he was unhappy. and presidents don't do that. they shouldn't do that. every election director has a secret prayer which is, i pray it's not a close election because there are always some
problems with provisional ballots, a machine doesn't work. one challenge in florida is the most powerful democratic county, broward, has a massively incompetent machine there. the people have elected brenda snipe. she runs it. but they've had a long pattern of trouble. jeb appointed her once upon a time but she's been re-elected. i don't believe there's fraud but massive incompetence. it's going to take a while to get to the numbers. nothing wrong with a hand recount. it's expensive and time painstaking and you will find out all kinds of other little things, and you are ready for more. >> here's what i find is striking is that you have, in florida, a situation where there are legitimate concerns but immediately republicans from rick scott are, it's a conspiracy on the part of the left and democrats, right? in georgia, where we have another unresolved race, where there has been ample evidence of actual chicanery in terms of -- >> and flat-out conflict of
interest. >> no one stands up and says, hey, there's a problem here. the republicans there are like nothing to see here where down in florida it's like, there's some kind of conspiracy going on. what explains that double standard? >> race. i mean, look. race in america. because at -- what we've seen particularly aggressively since 2010 is intentional efforts to make it significantly more difficult for certain segments of the population to vote. those segments are traditional democratic voters. it doesn't only harm traditional democratic voters. we should be very clear. but we've had twice the rate of voter purging since 2010 than we had in the previous decade. twice the rate. we've had voter i.d. laws in the absence of any evidence that, in fact, there's any voter fraud. most fraud that exists in elections are perpetrated by parties, both parties.
so it's not to say that we don't want to pay attention to electoral integrity, but, by and large, it is not the individual voter. and what we saw in georgia, by the way, we've had litigation for the past five years. as stacey abrams has literally in a non-profit organization, just tried to register 800,000 people to vote, and has had to fight in court every step of the way to enable those citizens to vote. >> and keep polling sites open. >> jennifer is about to jump out of her seat. but i have to go to break. as the massive impact of tuesday's election sets in, the president is leaning into his worst impulses.
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nature of tuesday's results. democrats have won at least 33 seats in the house. but they look poised to win closer to 40 and there are 13 races either not called or too close to call and democrats have a solid chance of winning 7 of those. look at the latest national numbers. sorted by party. the popular vote. democrats earned some 6.2 million more votes than republicans. more than double hillary clinton's popular vote margin in 2016. the party is still here. jennifer, i'm going to start with you. on election night, it's a split decision. trump the next day saying, we basically won everything. and for at least a moment, and maybe even still now, some people actually think that it was a split decision. i know you don't think that because you're tethered to reality. >> yes, exactly. we didn't even mention all the governors races.
at least seven and if stacey abrams pulls it out it will be another one that's flipped. there are seven legislatures that have flipped or they've diminished the republican supermajoritio the governor can do some business there. up and down the ballot from coast to coast, i think this is the exact result of donald trump's theory that all he had to do was throw one batch of red meat after another to a very narrow base. that saves you a few senate seats in really, really red america but it screws you everywhere else. >> when the history of this campaign is written, the only thing people will care about is the fact that -- not that republicans gained maybe a net one seat in the senate but that democrats retook control of the house of representatives ending unitary rule and providing the first effective break on donald trump. but jennifer mentioned. talk about whatever you want to talk about. jennifer mentioned the governorships. it seems really important to me, in particular states that democrats are back in charge. >> that's extremely important. but here's the problem with election night. i'm a card-carrying anti-republican trump. when jennifer and i go to the secret meetings, it's a very small room in the republican party. part of the idea was, this guy
is political anthrax. he's going to wipe us out in the midterms. that will give us something to work with in the party going into 2020. trump won the tv show of election night. a double reality. the tv show is what we now do. cover it like sports. sirens, blinking lights, the florida prize in the mega election, bang, turns read. the psychology is that trump rallies equal wins. in reality you take the x-ray, do the math, it was a disaster. we got destroyed in the suburbs, lost a bunch of state legislatures, lost a lot of bunches. all them midwestern states that made him president turned on him 180 with fangs bared, and so it is one of these things where the psychology war trump won has overshadowed the political reality which is really bad for them with the democrats having the house and all that power. >> i'm going to go to just the topic that's connected but not exactly right on election results but it's super interesting because it relates to how donald trump has reacted to the blue wave we've been talking about.
it's been curious. take a look at these three reporters. all of them asked trump legitimate, straightforward questions and here has been his response to each. >> you called yourself a nationalist. some saw that as emboldening white nationalists. >> i don't know why you'd say that. that's such a racist question. >> you want them to rein in robert mueller? >> what a stupid question that is. what a stupid question. but i watch you a lot. you ask a lot of stupid questions. the same thing with april ryan. i watch her get up. i mean, you talk about somebody that's a loser. she doesn't know what the hell she's doing. she gets publicity and then she gets a pay raise or gets a contract with, i think, cnn. but she's very nasty. >> racist, stupid, loser, nasty about these three reporters in question. they have african-american ancestry in common. what does that say? >> trump is a racist sexist. that's all there is to it.
and he's a bully and he doesn't like anyone who disagrees with him or makes him feel small. which is a very easy thing to do. and the reality is he likes it least when it's black women. >> racist, clearly, and playing to a racist crowd that enjoys watching him do this to blacks, particularly black women. and the reason he gets that way is he knows he's stage acting. if anyone knows there was a blue wave on tuesday, other than the republicans that drowned, that's the reason you didn't hear from them because of the wave that drowned them. it was trump. that's why he went after the media and started pacing. those who have fought him for years knows that when he's out of his own kind of rhythm of being in charge and is rattled, what people thought was arrogant was a rattled donald trump who saw elijah cummings handing a subpoena to robert mueller and who saw other things that a democratic house can do. that's why he went so crazy on tuesday. and that's why he said i'm going
to beat up on these black women. >> elijah cummings also african-american, if i remember right. just to clarify for anybody who doesn't know. >> and he wasn't born in kenya. >> it was ironic, i thought, that in an election in which the republicans got killed by woman he has, of course, doubled down. and pretty soon there will be no women in america who are voting for republicans after donald trump is through with this. and if there was one message from this election it was that all of that bullying, misogyny, kavanaugh, all of this stuff, it actually hit home with american women, and they turned on him. they turned on him in suburbs. he lost white women, college educated women, white women he's always had, nonwhite women. >> you left one woman out. he attacked mia love, a republican, saying she never gave me any love.
he went out of his way to take a shot at her. >> omarosa manigault newman has said he's dropped the "n." word. oh, he's just mean and abusive to everyone. the question is how he's differently abusive. >> very poignant. >> republicans look at trump the way in which this race is. he ran a racist campaign in the last week. did they learn the lesson it was bad or look at it and say like they embrace it more going forward? very quick. >> because of the win on election night, he's getting more leash than he should have. because they think he's still a winner in some ways. still ahead -- dave chappelle famously said he was willing to give donald trump a chance days after his election in 2016. so how does mr. chappelle feel about that now? his answer to me, coming up next.
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wishing donald trump luck, and i'm going to give him a chance, and we the historic disenfranchised demand that he give us one, too. >> that was the great dave chappelle on saturday night live two years ago, the saturday after the election giving donald trump a chance. i caught up with chappelle this week, and i asked mr. chappelle two years later how that's working out. >> are we watching the same television? how do you think it's working out? i don't think -- i don't think he's living up to his part of the bargain and i'm troubled by politicians that only speak to people that they believe will vote for them, and it's sad because, you know, he's got the
bully pulpit. it's the highest office in our land, so hopefully we can either hold him to task or get someone in there who will think about all of us. >> look, i want the country to survive this guy, and i'm sure it will, you know, but i think that there's going to be a hangover after this presidency unlike anything that i've ever lived there. i think we've gone very far rhetorically, and i think that we've just got a little mending to do, and i don't think that he's the kind of person that is culturally astute enough to really lead the charge. but he sure did tear it up. didn't he? >> i ask you this question, dave chappelle is like we've got a little mending to do. there's so much heat and polarization and tribalism and anger. i was surprised just how the kind of ek anymoqinimity and ch
of his reaction. >> a lot of people need to understand with all of the emotions and passions that trump has played to in terms of race and divisiveness, he is stacking the courts. this is not going to be over in two years. he's putting on the federal benches and the supreme court people that will be there a lot longer than two years and that will change laws and that will uproot laws that people fought and died to get. this is serious. this is not about when he's going to leave the stage. it's about he's reconstructing the whole american judicial theater. >> do you think -- whoa, i just threw that pen across the table. i didn't mean to do that. do you think it's better to have a tone of -- for someone like chappelle, obviously a huge cultural figure, better to have a tone that's temperate or would you rather see him furious, angry, like a lot of people in america on the left are? >> i am one of those who believe that we have to counter the cynicism, the anti-democratic
practices, the hatred that is spewing from the beltway right now with compassion, with unity, with recognizing that what we care about in this country is still our democratic norms, the fact that we are a nation of people who are very different from one another, that it's been a strength of our country, that we can get back there. i think we do not do that by mimicking donald trump. we do that by recognizing that our strength is not being donald trump. >> the season finale of the circus air this is sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on show time. please watch it. we would appreciate it. we'll be right back. ppreciate it we'll be right back. this food truck
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my thanks to jennifer and mike murphy and reverend al sharpton. you guys are awesome for doing this. thank you for being here. have a great weekend. that does it for this hour. catching the wave, let's play hardball. good friday evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. it's been three days since tuesday's referendum on the president, and the blue wave keeps growing, swamping more and more republicans. house democrats needed only 23 new seats, and are now looking to win almost twice as many. meanwhile, they may be in on their way to another seat in the u.s. senate. there's surprising hope for senates in four contests where votes are still being counted. in arizona, kyrsten sinema, who was behind when we signed off tuesday night has ta
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