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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 19, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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that does it for me. i'll see you back here on the beat at 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. the trial of donald trump. let's play hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. here's where we are right now on the upcoming trial of president trump in the u.s. senate. senate minority leader chuck schumer today held a meeting with his republican counterpart mitch mcconnell to discuss how impeachment will proceed in the senate, which will hold the president's trial, of course. according to a statement from senator schumer's office the senator, quote, made clear to
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mcconnell that the witnesses and documents are necessary to ensure a fair trial in the senate. so he wants witnesses, he wants documents to make it fair, and late today senator mcconnell said the two sides were at an impasse. >> we remain at an impasse. because my friend the democratic leader continues to demand a new and different set of rules for president trump. my colleague wants a special pretrial guarantee of certain witnesses whom the house democrats themselves did not baug bother to pursue as they assemble their case. i'm not sure what leverage there is in refraining to sending us something we do not want. we'll see whether house democrats ever want to work up the courage to actually take their accusations to trial. >> well, mcconnell's position is that the senate will or should decide on witnesses during the course of the trial itself.
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that would of course under parliamentary rules leave it up to his majority of 53 republicans to decide during the course of the senate trial whether or not to have witnesses at all, whether or not to demand documents at all. it'll all be up to mitch mcconnell if he gets his way. last night rendered of course the gravest constitutional check on any president a president can face with two historic votes they passed articles of impeachment against donald trump. and the record now shows and history will always remember that this president was the third chief of executive to ever earn this rare dishonor. now in the wake of that vote yesterday house democrats are weighing whether they would delay sending that impeachment resolution over to the senate citing the need for a fair trial over there. at the very least nancy pelosi made clear last night she won't name impeachment managers to make the case against trump who will serve as prosecutors of course in the trial until she
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knows how the senate plans to conduct itself. here she is. >> so far we haven't seen anything that looks fair to us, so hopefully it'll be fair. >> so you'd wait to send the articles until you know what the senate is going to do? >> we'll make the decision as a group as we always have. >> mcconnell effectively he would allow the defends and his lawyers the defendants in this case to set the terms of his own trial. >> everything i do during this i'm coordinating with white house counsel. there will be no difference between the president's position and our position. total coordination with the white house counsel's office. i'm going to take my cues from
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the president's lawyers. the counsel may or may not decide. >> step back and you realize there's a juror, a member of the hundred person jury in the senate saying i'm going to take my orders from the defendant. and mcconnell and pulosely the speaker engaged in rhetorical showdown over the next steps in trump's impeachment. mcconnell said any delay reflects badly on the democrats case. well, pelosi held firm. speaker pelosi suggested house democrats may be too afraid, too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the senate. >> we would hope there'd be a fair process just as we hoped they would honor the constitution. our founders when they wrote the constitution they suspected
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there could be a rogue president. i don't think they suspected we'd have a rogue president and a rogue leader in the senate at the same time. >> i'm joined now by congressman eric swalwell, member of the house intelligence committee and also the judiciary committee. thank you for being on all the time when we needed you. help me out here the united states constitution under article 1 gives all the power over the trial of a president in an impeachment matter to the senate. so how does the speaker set the terms which is what's going on right now? >> the speaker like any prosecutor doesn't want to walk into a courtroom where the fore person of the jury is working with the defendant. she wants to make sure it's going to be a fair trial. and after all don't we owe that to the courageous witnesses who came forward and risked their careers, their livelihood and even their lives to tell the truth about what happened, and don't we owe that to the president but more importantly
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the american people, 70% of whom said earlier this week that they want the president to send his witnesses forward, which means that they want mitch mcconnell to have a trial that includes witnesses. >> well, congressman even if you ask most republicans in the country they want a fair trial, too. so the principle she's after is clearly established and clearly admirable. the question is how many days can she hold out? the house did not name managers before you recessed for it year. you can't do it again apparently according to the rules until the tuesday after new year's, which is the 7th, okay. so the house comes back and you've named managers. if you don't name managers how long can you put it off and say -- because mitch mcconnell looks like he's not giving in right now. i'll decide somewhere during the trial itself if we're going to have witnesses or not, and of course that would leave his 53 republicans on his side of the aisle in complete charge in probably going along with him as
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the foreman of the jury as you just said, and they won't have any witnesses, and it'll be too late to stop. pelosi says we're not sending the managers over to the senate. he's saying live with it, we're not going to have any witnesses in this trial, basically. >> and you know, chris, it hasn't even been 24 hours since the president has been twice impeached by the congress. however, i think the speaker is trying to get assurances from the majority leader and she's hoping that the mitch mcconnell of 1999 during the clinton impeachment trial who said that trials have witnesses is going to be the mitch mcconnell of this impeachment trial. and i don't think it's unreasonable to ask that, and i don't think it means it's going to be a delay that goes on and on, but she should have assurances that the american people and the president will have witnesses at this trial. >> yeah, i don't know. i don't know. i'm thinking of something to say but i'm not going to say it
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about frogs and kisses. but let me tell you nothing is going to change mcconnell, nothing. >> well, mcconnell cares about mcconnell, chris. and when 70% of americans are saying the president should send witnesses, i don't think mitch mcconnell cares about the president at all. i think he cares about holding his majority and being re-elected. and if kentuckians and every day americans want to hear from these individuals about the president's abuse of power, i think that's going to mean something. >> well, here he is, the president's now fund-raising off his impeachment. a trump campaign e-mail to supporters today, today the day after he's been impeached on two articles contains the subject line "make them pay" and refers to democrats who voted against the president last night, calls them traitors. so anybody who votes against the president in an impeachment matter in a due process of congress is a traitor to him. what do you make of that,
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congressman, he now implicitly refers to him as the public. if you vote against him, you vote against the country. >> and that's exactly why he was also impeached on the second article for obstructing congress that he believes he has the same powers as vladimir putin or kim jong-un, two dictators right now. he doesn't believe he has to answer to anyone else. but, chris, he also cannot imagine why anyone would do the right thing even if it meant risking their job. he has never surrounded himself around courage like that. he's never shown courage like that. and it is quite, i would say dizzying and bewildering to him because it's something he doesn't recognize in himself or anyone that he knows. >> you know, he did say something which is objectively totally dishonest. he said, you people, democrats, are trying to get witnesses in the senate you never called yourself. when everybody knows people on your side of the aisle people
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say you tried like hell to get through subpoena in the house side during the impeachment process itself. >> chris, if those witnesses could have helped the president, he would have sent them to us. and the best evidence that the president does not care about executive privilege, he's no constitutional scholar who's being principled in this even if it means he's impeached. he sent the call record because he thought the call record was perfect. if he believed that john bolton and mick mulvaney violated executive privilege he would have applied the same principle to the call record. the call record was not perfect. he realized he'd gotten caught and that's why he put the brakes on anyone else coming forward. >> if it's better than it looks, they'll show you. he doesn't want to show you. thank you, congressman. have a merry christmas. happy holidays. u.s. congressman eric swalwell of california. senator schumer told nbc news earlier today he's onboard with
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speaker pelosi if she decides to delay in sending those articles of impeachment to the senate. he said if the speaker wants to hold onto them, it's fine with us. and he blasted mitch mcconnell on the senate floor for daring to block witnesses with knowledge of the president's conduct from even testifying in the trial. >> is the president's case so weak that none of the president's men can defend him under oath. if the house case is so weak, why is leader mcconnell so afraid of witnesses and documents? i have yet to hear one good argument why less evidence is better than more evidence. >> i'm joined right now by senator chris coons of delaware. thank you, senator, for joining us. what do you make of this back and forth tonight between the speaker of the house and the senate majority leader over whether there will be a senate trial even of the president. it seems like the senate republican leader is saying we
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really don't want the articles. this is strange conversation so far. >> well, chris, it's been a striking week here in the senate. obviously the house has impeached president trump on two articles. we've also passed a whole bunch of other bills that are i think well worth talking about, but we are leaving for the holiday break without clarity about when the impeachment articles will come over and when the senate trial will begin. majority leader mcconnell, senator schumer need to negotiate what are going to be the rules around evidence and witnesses. and it's my hope they'll get that done before we return on january 6th. >> but mitch mcconnell's position is you don't negotiate any of that until the trial begin. you don't even talk about witnesses until you've gotten the trial under way. >> well, i think this is majority leader mcconnell's effort to block witnesses and block evidence. frankly, one of the striking things to me last night was that
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after president trump was impeached, vladimir putin gave remarks in moskow that, frankly, very closely followed president trump's denunciation of the whole impeachment process. it should concern my republican colleagues that their talking points and putins seem to be so familiar. president trump blocked any presentation of real evidence in his defense in the house. that's the grounds for the second article, the obstruction of congress which prevents the american people from gauging whether the president has a defense or not. if he believes he's innocent, republicans should want him to have evidence and witnesses presented in the senate. >> do you think putin's a member of trump's party or trump's a member of putin's party? really, this is weird. you brought it up. it's weird to have a foreign leader especially an adversarial leader talking of presidents being impeached and trying to defend the president against his impeachment. >> it is really striking, chris, we've got this long history now over several years of president
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trump choosing to believe putin over his own intelligence community or his own security advisers and president putin coming to trump's defense on this sensitive political matter. one positive note from this week the senate foreign relations committee on a very strong bipartisan vote passed the defending against kremlin -- defending america's security against kremlin attacks or daska bill, the challenge is we believe neither majority leader mcconnell nor president trump will support it even though there were seven republicans who voted for it. we're clear that russia's our adversary. i wish president trump were as clear. >> last question, i want to give you some time on this. you probably watched it as much as you could yesterday. i watched it all day, listened all day, heard from many, many dozens and dozens of republican members of it house and not one spoke up for the president's character. not one said the president was a good man, an honest man, who is patriotic. did that surprise you that lack
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of any moral support for this president by people who say they're politically aligned with him but not morally in bed with him at all? they don't seem to really like his morality? >> that is really noteworthy that his defenders really don't defend him. they attack the process. they make a lot of different attacks so they didn't seem to have a coordinated message or theme other than to attack or denigrate and chairman schiff i think did an excellent job leading the intelligence process or chairman nadler or speaker pelosi. an important development this week, the fifth circuit case, which means the republican led litigation against the affordable care act continues, and 130 million americans are at risk of losing their protections against pre-existing conditions, discrimination, all of this going on in the capitol matters deeply, but that matters to more than a hundred million americans. >> what a good fight to make. i hope they can save aca.
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thank you so much senator chris coons of delaware. coming up the stain on trump's presidency. years ago he called impeachment an absolute embarrassment. well, now it's happened to him and he wants revenge. plus in his first public appearance as an impeached president which is what he is, trump goes off the rails in michigan attacking deceased congressman john dingle, a beloved figure in that state and then attacking his widow as well. >> he calls me up, it's the nicest thing that's ever happened, thank you so much. john would be so thrilled. he's looking down he'd be so -- thank you so much, sir. i said that's okay, don't worry about it. >> how low do you go? we've got much more to get to tonight. stay with us. more to get to tonight. ayst with us before we talk about tax-smart investing, what's new?
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welcome back to "hardball." many questions remain, of course, about the path ahead for a senate impeachment trial. but one thing's no longer in question president trump is now and will forever be an impeached president. that's in the record books forever. president trump's own actions led us to this decision to pressure a foreign government to investigate his political rival for his own personal benefit while holding up military aid for leverage. his actions provided in that july 25th phone call with president zelensky when he stated i would like you to do us a favor, though. as "the new york times" writes president trump's own conduct in office clears the bar for impeachment set by the founders by his own public statements to investigate the bidens he's shown not only is he willing to cheat to win the 2020 election but he's continuing to do so. the republicans in congress
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spoke less in defense of the president's actions and more in complaining about the process. do you notice? here they go. >> the truth is in the 243 years of this republic there has never been a single party fraudulent impeachment process like the one being used today. >> i believe this is the most unfair, politically biased, rigged process that i have seen in my entire life. >> this has been a secretive misdirected process from the very beginning. and the american people see right through it. >> for more i'm joined by susan page, washington bureau chief for usa today and ben rhodes, former national security advisor to president obama. he's always going to be impeached. >> it's going to be in the first paragraph of any account of his presidency. his unexpected election made him historic. his historic impeachment did the same. >> he goes down in two ways,
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45th president or impeached. >> i think it's important how much he earned this impeachment. you'll remember nancy pelosi was very reluctant to pursue impeachment. she was bucking some in her party throughout the mueller investigation, throughout the revelation that trump was individual one and a potential felony in the southern district with payments to stormy daniels. it's only when this shocking emerged of him pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political opponent, that's what forced his hand. not only was he impeached but this was a clear-cut a case as you could get and one that really did i think compel the democrats to follow their constitutional duty. >> back in 2014 not a million years ago talking to fox news about his obama impeachment fantasy. >> do you think obama seriously wants to be impeached and go
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through what bill clinton did? he would be a mess. he would be thinking about nothing but. it would be a horror show for him. it would be an absolute embarrassment. it would go down on his record permanently. >> well, you know you never see him in those fox and friends interviews because he's in his bubble bath. he is, he's in a bubble bath doing this. but every morning he gets up now for the rest of his life especially for the next couple of weeks, he wakes up and first thing he remembers is i'm president and i've been impeached. my question to you is how wild will he get to get re-elected, which is the only way he can expunge it in his heart, to get re-elected by the american people. will he do anything? >> i think it's pretty clear what he was describing as the effect on president obama is the effect it's had on him because you see that in his fury on twitter. the number of tweets he sends out in increasing anger, it
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two-hour campaign rally we saw last night and some of the language he used in that. so the contrast is so clear with the clinton impeachment, which i covered where clinton was pretty disciplined about pretending that it was not consuming him although we know now behind the scenes it was front and center on his mind. there's been no attempt really by president trump to pretend this is not the first thing he's thinking about and the thing consuming him. and of course what is the best way for him to counter being impeached, it is being re-elected. >> how far will he go? i really think this is big question because we have seen he's ruthless, but maybe we haven't seen the real ruthless trump yet, the one who says i want michigan, i'll get it at any cost. i want pennsylvania, i'll get it at any cost. he's already gone to russia for help, he's gone to ukraine. this guy will go anywhere in the world to get some dirt. >> this is what worries me, chris. i mean, we know from our
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intelligence community, unanimous view in 2016 russia interfered to help him, and we also know there were trump contacts and associates and we know he's already asked both china and ukraine to help him in this election. he will go to any length, and we also know there are things we don't have information about which is what is he talking to vladimir putin about? what lengths will he go because clearly he does not feel constrained. it does not feel donald trump learns from these episodes and decides to restrain himself. and part of what is so concerning in this impeachment process is the republican party has shown they will go through any lengths and defend anything donald trump does. they didn't even say the conduct was troubling, but they just attack the process, attack the process, defend trump. and that sends a message if he is re-elected, he can count on the uniform support of a major political party, which makes it very difficult to enforce
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accountability in our system. so i think this election really comes down to whether we think we live in a democracy in which the rules of accountability should apply to a president or whether we're aokokay with a president who will do anything. >> i want to ask you is trump's in putin's party or is putin in trump's party? i've never seen such collaboration as of today. here he is, "the washington post" reporting tonight that multiple former white house officials say they fear that russian president vladimir putin directly influenced president trump's views about ukraine and the 2016 election. they say his views may have been shaped when the two leaders met privately on the g-20 summit in the summer of '17. "the washington post" writes one former senior official states that trump even stated so saying he knew ukraine was the real culprit because putin told me. that's how he gets his information. meanwhile putin is coming to trump's defense on impeachment saying the party that lost the 2016 election, the democratic party is trying to achieve results by other means.
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they are working together in tandem. >> yeah, that's right, chris. and it's very much trump and putin's party because putin is the one writing the music and trump is just the one singing the tune here. this whole idea that ukraine was behind the 2016 interference in the election, that's a russian disinformation cam bane trump is repeating. what we don't know is why and there's only two reasons. one is corruption and financial interests and the other is trump feels an affinity for this autocratic leader of russia who jails his opponents. either one of those answers is very alarming. and frankly, i think the republican party that used to stand up against russia has fundamentally transformed itself to defend this conduct. >> susan, maybe this calls for too much interpretation but why would trump buy soviet propaganda, russian propaganda because it is still the kgb, it is still the sove iet union.
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>> why has president trump from the time he was a candidate had such a friendly attitude towards russia unlike anything we've ever seen in modern times. and i don't think we know the answer to that. i think the day will come when we do and history will judge on those things, but it is the conundrum and what has led president trump to this sad state of being impeached? it is because at least in part because of his faith in russia and his willingness to attack ukraine. >> i think maybe that's more independent of putin than he is. anyway thank you, susan page. ben, thank you so much. happy holidays to everybody out there. still ahead if trump was banking on cult-like loyalty carrying him through this impeachment process it looks hike he called it correctly, cult-like behavior from some of the republicans. some of it's actually messy about this guy. actually messy about this guy i've always loved seeing what's next.
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welcome back to "hardball." last night president trump boasted about the fact that zero republicans voted for the articles of impeachment in the house. republicans spent the day yesterday going overboard in their condemnation of impeachment itself with some comparing the president's plight to pearl harbor and what the lord went through. >> on december 7, 1941, a
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horrific act happened in the united states, and it's one that president roosevelt said this a date that will live in infamy. today december 18, 2019, is another date that will live in infamy. >> the impeachment of a legitimately elected president of it united states. >> it's tantamount to a coup. >> they hate this president. >> when jesus was falsely accused of treason they gave jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. >> i thought i heard everything. anyway, republicans may have been good to stay in lock step with trump to avoid attacks like the one he made on the campaign trail last night when he mocked a deceased former u.s. congressman suggesting he was in hell. that's what you get when you break with trump. you're watching "hardball." trup you're watching "hardball. (children playing)
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welcome back to "hardball." at his rally last night in michigan, two hours of talking, president trump went after the late democratic congressman from that state of michigan, john dingle. trump insinuated dingell was looking up from hell. >> so she calls me up like eight months ago, her husband was ill a long time. but i didn't give him the b treatment, the c or d, i could have. i gave the a plus treatment. she calls me up, it's the nicest thing that ever happened, thank you so much. john would be so thrilled. he's looking down he'd be so thrilled. i said that's okay don't worry about it. maybe he's looking up on us.
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>> well, michael steele, thank you. that's your party. former rnc chair -- >> the president's the satire now and we just record what he does. 7 minutes before he did, he received a note you could see him looking offstage that voting occurred and he'd been impeached on the second article. so probably in his head he's in something of a rage now and you see where he goes into the most vicious possible direction. you know, to pick on the widow or whatever, but to pick on john dingell, the dean of the house there for six years and everybody loved him. >> he was the number one defender of it auto industry. >> but his whole stick was you can fight, you can fight bitterly but with a modicum of respect. he dictated those words. you need a modicum of respect on the day he died, and debby
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dingell published in "the post." and trump is the very polar opposite of that. >> he really was one of the beloved figures and he was old school in the way he looked out for his district, he looked out for his industry. but everyone liked him. >> but note the reaction of the crowd. it was not -- >> the people behind then when they got the cue though because this is how he talks about john mccain. >> but, you know, some of this is wearing thin on folks out there. we know that's been reported. the question becomes i think at some point does it grow into something where trump feels he has to check? now, i don't think it does and i don't think he does, but it does say something ability where we are right now as a country that the president of the united states can go up on a stage like that and say that and feel he could get away with it. i think you're right, though. i think that was the only way he could release the anger he was feeling once he realized he was
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impeached. >> he's not alone in this cult behavior. we just watched him from georgia, a member of congress comparing it to jesus in his trial and i've never heard anybody compared to jesus. what's going on here? it's crazy talk. >> it's the insult culture. i think it's happening to all of us. i catch myself in a column that's name-calling, stop doing it but we all get caught up -- >> is this grievance culture, that he's being treated like a century first christian, he's being fed to the lions kind of thing? who are the people who buy into this? >> he said four times words last night that we can't say on the airways that he's saying, and he's tweeting now other words we can't say on the air waves to 65 million people. >> again, is that the grievance
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of the anti-pc crowd? because they know we can't say it. they're not supposed to say it. they root for a guy that says the awful. >> well, who says the awful that they think and have been told generation after generation they can't express openly. so now you have a leader like trump coming out and saying what people around their bars and neighborhoods, at the dinner table say when they pick up the newspaper or turn on the television and react to things. >> van drew from south jersey, we always went to south jersey and i've got to tell you something this guy van drew was a democrat yesterday, today is a republican, but not only is he a republican, he's offering undying support. he just switched parties, but this is undying. he can switch parties every three days, but not with the president. he has onan undying support wit the president. >> in for a dime, in for a dollar. >> i just won $900 at a
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wedding -- >> there you go. i was watching the impeachment debate and look over, there he was in this policeman buoyant suit and yucking it up with steve king his buddy. >> i'm more of a convert. i'm all the way with this one. >> because in typical fashion what would happen is he would be primaried in a republican primary as an interloper what he's doing right now is going no, no, i'm a full on trumper. >> i'm a full maga guy. if you're really in with this guy trump you go all the way. >> he voted against trump 93% of the time. i mean how stupid are republicans going to be to say oh, suddenly this guy is -- >> that's what he's hedging a bet against because the republican party in new jersey right now has a problem and he's it, and so they want the seat,
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but they don't want him necessarily in it. >> the great michael -- said the best flattery was total phony flattery because it really shows you're kissing the guy's butt. you will say anything to get this guy -- in other words if you don't like trump but you say you like him, he likes it even better. thank you, michael steele. you are a great writer. up next presidential candidate senator cory booker joins us to talk about impeachment and there he is. great guy. he's waiting for us. we're going to talk about the debate tonight in which he will not be taking part unfortunately. you're watching "hardball." takt unfortunately. you're watching "hardball. mike bloomberg's never been afraid of tough fights,
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the ones that make a true difference in people's lives. and mike's won them, which is important right this minute, because if he could beat america's biggest gun lobby, helping pass background check laws and defeat nra backed politicians across this country, beat big coal, helping shut down hundreds of polluting plants and beat big tobacco, helping pass laws to save the next generation from addiction.
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all against big odds you can beat him. i'm mike bloomberg and i approve this message. i'and i approve this message. approve this message. climate is the number one priority. i would declare a state of emergency on day one. congress has never passed an important climate bill, ever. this is a problem which continues to get worse. i've spent a decade fighting and beating oil companies, stopping pipelines, stopping fossil fuel plants, ensuring clean energy across the country. how are we going to pull this country together? we take on the biggest challenge in history, we save the world and we do it together. ♪ ♪ after a night like this, crest has you covered. crest, the official toothpaste of santa. my gums are irritated. i don't have to worry about that, do i? harmful bacteria lurk just below the gum line. crest gum detoxify, voted product of the year.
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welcome back to "hardball." as donald trump became the third president in history to be tarnished as he would call it the ugly blemish of impeachment that's his word on this, seven democrats are getting ready to make their case to the american people to replace him in the big debate tonight in los angeles. it's a paired down debate. it's at the dnc, because the dnc democratic national committee has tightened the rules by demanding higher polling numbers and thresholds for those people. one of the people not able to make tonight's debate because of those rules is senator cory booker. every time i met with you i like
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you, you're a very likable guy. you're a charismatic guy. i'm not blowing smoke here. it must be driving you crazy. you're a road scholar, a former jock, you've got some game footage to show, a great passing receiver -- i'm just kidding -- but what is this game about? >> the older i get the better i was and i appreciate that. but we are surging right now. our campaign has had the best six weeks. it's so funny because the polls they had to qualify it was like the desert, the fewest amount of polls between the last debate which we did really well and this, there was very few polls. now there are. we hit 4%. we hit the qualifying numbers before they started closing this but even more than that we're seeing a surge online because americans don't want to see me off that stage. so people are going to cory and helping out.
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here in iowa where i am right now, we are now raising up in the top three or so in net favorabilities. so just a popular candidate, and we are one of the leaders in iowa and new hampshire for endorsements from local elected leaders, so we're having a great moment. it's a shame we're not on that stage tonight, and i think there's a lot of things this says that billionaires using the criteria can buy their way onto the stage but others can't. i'm very confident about our run into iowa to win. and the last thing i want to say is polls have never been predictive. we've never seen someone leading in the polls going to the white house. john carrie, john edwards polling sixth and seventh go onto finish one and two in the iowa caucuses a month later. so this is wide open, and i'm excited about our pathway to win and i hope more people will support me.
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>> ratings are volualid. talk about impeachment. do you think we could have a fair trial in the u.s. senate without witnesses? >> i think we're going to be cheated out of all the evidence that is there. there are first-hand witness, people like the acting chief of staff, mulvaney -- there were people in the room when it happened that can speak to the damning evidence that we have already. and it's a shame they're not coming before the united states senate. >> do you think pelosi is right to play hardball here? >> she has been a light worker in this very dark time for our republic. this is very sad sobering time, and she's dealt with this with the kind of gravity and deft it deserves. she's almost flawless in the way she's dealing with this. it's going to come to the senate eventually and i think she's right to try to use whatever leverage she can to make sure there's fairness on the senate side. and it's a shame mcconnell now even though we will literally
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swear an oath to be impartial jurors he's already saying to the american public this is about politics and my fealty to donald trump and not to what the constitution dictates. it's unbelievable. >> more to that point, senator, mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader who has 53 votes is now saying he's going to do what they tell him to do from the white house, the president's lawyers to defend him in the senate trial for the continuation or not continuation of this presidency. he's going to take his orders from the president, the defendant's lawyers. he said it. >> i mean, it is shameful, and history, you know, is going to look back on this as for what it is. for a person that's in the united states senate that has an obligation to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules that were spelled out by our founders to say i'm sorry this was going to be a coordination between him and the white house to make sure donald trump is not convicted, that is ridiculous.
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what are republicans afraid of? let there be folks that come before senate and they're afraid of the truth. >> let's talk about what we believed when we were raised as kids. don't make fun of people's physical handicaps if you will, challenges. don't make funs of peoples appearance. don't make fun of the dead. the president honors none of these rules. what's that doing to the country? he's doing it in public. making fun of john dingell saying he's in hell. telling his wife your late husband is in hell, saying that to her on national television. what do you make of that and what it does to our decency levels for our country? >> so i think there's moment coming in this country, and i know many of us have passed it already where enough is enough. i think that this election that we have right now is not a referendum on him, it's a referendum on us and who we are and we're going to be to each
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other. my whole campaign has been about this idea we need to show a more courageous empathy for each other because these rifts and fissures it's becoming tribalism. these were always things did with new american majorities. give a president that is whipping up hate, divisive and we need to revive those elements of decency and grace. we are a great nation because we are a great people. and we need our politics to reflect that. i think the next president of the united states has got to be someone who can heal and bring out the best of american character. >> i do root for you, sir. and i want to ask you this about this crazy alliance you had with van drew, the congressman from south jersey. he switched today, he switched parties. i'm sorry, he'd endorsed you.
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he also said having switched parties he said i may switch parties he's implied, but i'm going to be with donald trump until i die. what kind of comment is that in this weird world -- a congressman yesterday compared himself to jesus face and now this guy says i'm with you until i die. it's a strange world. what do you think of it, a jersey guy? >> again, this speaks to that tribalism. this is becoming a politics more about the cultive personality than about the ideals of our nation. i think this is sad day for my state and i think what we're seeing right now, this should not be a gleeful time what we saw yesterday. this should be a sad time for our country. >> well, merry christmas, god be with you, sir. you're on the trail. get back in these debates. >> you'll see me in january. >> thank you, sir. up next, what i did not hear yesterday from those opposed to impeachment. the big dog that didn't bark
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yesterday. anything good about the president's morality. you're watching "hardball." e president's morality you're watching "hardball.
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as i said last night during our live coverage i spent the day yesterday listening gav to gavel to those members of the house opposed to president trump's impeachment but i didn't hear what you would expect to hear on such a day. it was a statement all of us would expect from allies of
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someone having traded public trust for personal gain, in this case of abusing the country's highest office. it was a single solitary defense of the man's character. i didn't hear a single republican man or woman from any region of the country stand in the well of the house of representatives and say that donald trump is a good man. and he's an honest man, that he isn't the kind of man that would exploit his power for something for himself. i think this is important, a fact of the case that belongs in the history books that opposing impeachment down the line, that the entire political party would not say a line in defense of this president's character. i believe hisgregious moral deficiency, this lack of basic human speaking about debby dingell and her late husband will be his downfall, a question
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when their leaders tell them to vote for trump even as they refuse to vouch for his basic character. think about it. trump can say the republican party is united behind him, but not one republican member truly defended him morally. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> on this vote the yeas are 230. article i is adopted. >> a distressed president faces the reality of impeachment. >> what does it feel like to be the third president in u.s. history to be impeached? >> as democrats plot their next move. >> seem like people have a spring in their step because the president was held accountable for his reckless behavior. >> tonight the mounting pressure to prevent a mcconnell cover-up of trump crime. >> we must get the truth, and leader mcconnell is hiding the truth.