Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript, 8/10/2016
Date: August 10, 2016
Guest: Willie Brown, Al Cardenas, Peter Mansoor, Rudy Giuliani, Ken Vogel,
Victoria McGrane, Jason Johnson
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Second Amendment people.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
We`ve been watching this scene in New York at the Trump Tower, where a
climber climbed the glass side of that building that serves as the
headquarters, of course, of the Trump campaign. It`s also where the Trumps
live. Anyway, just moments ago, police, grabbed that guy, pulled him into
that open window there. See it? That`s how they stopped him (INAUDIBLE)
at the 21st floor.
We`re going to get all the day`s news and the political news in just a
second, including the continuing fallout from Donald Trump`s remarks
yesterday that “2nd Amendment people” might be able to stop Hillary Clinton
and her judicial nominees.
Anyway, but first, MSNBC`s Adam Reiss is outside Trump Tower with more on
that climber, if there can be more. Adam, what is the story here, or is it
just some guy seeking publicity, and that`s the end of the story?
ADAM REISS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): We`re not clear (ph) for
that right now, Chris. Good evening. He didn`t make it to the penthouse,
but he`s about to walk out of the front door of Trump Tower. We don`t know
what he was trying to accomplish, what his message was.
For about three hours, he was able to climb almost a third of the way up
Trump Tower. He made it to the 21st floor, as you just mentioned. When he
made it to the 16th floor, EF (ph) (INAUDIBLE) – it`s also called the Navy
SEALs of the NYPD – they blew out a window so they could grab him.
But they said he was being uncooperative. He moved towards the south of
the building, and he continued his climb north with his suction cups. All
afternoon, hundreds of people gathered here on 5th Avenue, on Madison
Avenue, at times, cheering him, and at other times cheering the police.
And when he finally made it into the window on the 21st floor, it was a bit
of a scuffle as they tried to grab him, haul him in.
The police here just wanted to make sure everyone was safe. They were able
to accomplish that, and right now, we`re waiting for him to come out of the
front door. Police say he will be taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment
and for observation – Chris.
MATTHEWS: Taken to Bellevue. That`s an old phrase. Anyway,
congratulations to the NYPD, the New York finest, for doing what they did
and ending this without a tragedy. Thank you so much, Adam Reiss.
Anyway, Donald Trump is not in Trump Tower tonight. He`s in Sunrise,
Florida, where he`s holding a rally set to begin any minute now. There the
people are getting read for it.
Once again today, the Trump campaign and its allies are defending the
candidate`s call yesterday to, quote, “2nd Amendment people” to stop a
President Hillary Clinton from appointing judges. Many people heard him
say that 2nd Amendment people might be able to stop her after she`d won.
Well, today, Trump said he was obviously referring to their votes before
she won. Here`s what Trump said, by the way, so we can watch it again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Hillary wants to abolish –
essentially, abolish the 2nd Amendment. By the way – and if she gets the
TRUMP: If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.
Although the 2nd Amendment people, maybe there is. I don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Anyway, “The New York Times” lead editorial today called on
Republicans to repudiate their nominee. “The Washington Post” editorial
said Trump`s comments belongs on a list of “disqualifiers.” That was their
word. And “New York Times” columnist Thomas Friedman likened it to the
right-wing rhetoric in Israel that led up to the assassination of Yitzhak
Well, today, Hillary Clinton said Trump was casually inciting violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Words matter, my friends.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: Yesterday, we witnessed the latest in a long line of casual
comments from Donald Trump that cross the line. His casual cruelty to a
Gold Star family, his casual suggestion that more countries should have
nuclear weapons, and now his casual inciting of violence – every single
one of these incidents shows us that Donald Trump simply does not have the
temperament to be president and commander-in-chief of the United States!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, for his part, Donald Trump seemed to reference the
controversy in his remarks today when he accused the media of turning small
stories into big things. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: A big part of the rigged system is the press itself because they
can take a little story that isn`t a story and make it into a big story.
It happens so much. Happens so much. And speaking of that, remember this.
We have so many things that we have to protect in this country. We have to
protect our 2nd Amendment, which is under siege.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Remember that. It`s under siege.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: In a minute, I`m going to talk to one of Donald Trump`s biggest
defenders, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Btu we begin with Katy Tur, who`s in Sunrise, Florida, where Trump is
expected to take the stage at a rally this hour.
You know, I have a hard time figuring out Trump sometimes. Do you think –
well, this is an interpretive question and a tough one for you. But do you
think Trump knows what he was doing, or he does this sot of automatically
and then skips away from it as if it didn`t happen?
KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: You know, you`re going to have to ask Donald
Trump that. I`m not sure…
MATTHEWS: Thank you. I don`t think he`ll answer the question, but…
TUR: Well, I mean, listen, I think he`s gone off script a number of times
over this campaign season and said a number of things that a number of
other candidates would never have said or would have lost their candidacy
over. And this is another example of that. The campaign, as you`ve laid
out, is pushing back on this a lot, and I`m sure Rudy Giuliani will do
that, as well, in a moment, saying that he was inciting voters to act, to
use their influence, not to incite violence.
The issue, though, with the Trump campaign and why so few are giving him
the benefit of the doubt today is that violence has been a predominant
issue throughout his campaign now for 14 months, violence at rallies,
Donald Trump talking about how he wants to punch a protester in the face,
joking about how he can shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and not lose votes,
saying, Get him out of here, protesters should be roughed up, maybe they
should deserve to be roughed up, is a quote he said about one protester.
There`s a protester in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Donald Trump was
yesterday, but months ago, who sucker-punched a protester in the face.
So violence has followed this campaign throughout, and Donald Trump has
done very little to push back on it. And while he hasn`t condoned
violence, he hasn`t expressly condemned it, either.
MATTHEWS: Well, we`re going to keep trying to bore through this and figure
out we get some resolution by the end of the week, but we will spend some
time on it. Thank you, Katy Turn, down there in Sunrise, Florida, where
Trump`s about to talk.
Well, was Donald Trump`s comment about 2nd Amendment people just a joke?
Here was Mayor Rudy Giuliani yesterday explaining those comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: So the Clinton people – so
the Clinton people – this is how corrupt they are! From their days back
in Arkansas, they were corrupt! This is how corrupt they are! They spin
out that what he meant by that was – that was a joke and that what he
meant by that was that they would kill her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, former Trump campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski has this
to say this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COREY LEWANDOWSI, FMR. TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: This was a joke that he
made during a rally. This wasn`t something serious. He wasn`t inciting
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: And last night, Speaker Paul Ryan offered this explanation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It sounds like just a joke
gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke
about something like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, joining me right now himself, former New York City mayor
Rudy Giuliani. You`re laughing, but this is not – to people like you –
your usual set of normal people that would (ph) think like you, Mr. Mayor,
like the Speaker of the House and Lewandowski, although he has been removed
from his position running the campaign, is still very close in heart (ph),
apparently, with the candidate.
Is it a bad joke? What is it? What was he saying when he said…
GIULIANI: No. No, I`ll tell you exactly…
MATTHEWS: … once she`s elected – no, once she`s elected, there`s
nothing we can do about it. Of course, the 2nd Amendment people may be
able to do something about it. What did he mean by that?
GIULIANI: Chris, I can tell you exactly what he meant because I was with
him throughout the entire thing. He meant that they should vote against
I`ll tell you how I know that. When the speech was over, absolutely no one
thought anything wrong was said. We went to the airplane. We got a call
on the airplane from the Trump campaign. And they said the Clinton people,
the Clinton spin machine, which we all know exists, was trying to sell to
the press the idea that what he meant was that they should somehow kill
Donald Trump said that that – I`ll use better language, but he said,
That`s not true. I didn`t mean that at all. I never said that.
And then he went back over his comments, and he said, Oh, what I meant by
that was they should vote against her. This is a made-up story, Chris. It
MATTHEWS: Well, why did he say so clearly, Mr. Mayor, that once she`s in
office, there`s nothing we can do about it, except, of course, the 2nd
Amendment people could do something?
GIULIANI: Then he went back and made a further comment on it, suggesting
that maybe because of the power of the NRA and the 2nd Amendment people,
particularly in some of the swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio –
maybe they can stop her from being president. That`s what he meant.
MATTHEWS: I`m not working for the Clintons. I can tell you that.
GIULIANI: Hillary – Hillary Clinton…
MATTHEWS: There`s no history of me – Mr. Mayor, there is no history of me
ever working for the Clintons. So I don`t know what that means. You`re
saying that a person watching that speech yesterday couldn`t get the idea
that maybe he meant, Put your guns to work here?
GIULIANI: And if they got the idea and he tells you, That isn`t what I
meant – look, Hillary Clinton during the campaign against Barack Obama
said she was going to remain in the campaign because, well, let`s remember
Robert Kennedy was assassinated.
MATTHEWS: I know. I know.
GIULIANI: So tell me that wasn`t more insensitive…
MATTHEWS: Well, all you have – the Speaker of the House…
GIULIANI: … and that didn`t disqualify her…
GIULIANI: … from being president of the United States.
MATTHEWS: OK, OK.
GIULIANI: Today – - today…
MATTHEWS: You`re turning the attention on Hillary.
GIULIANI: Today, she proved that she ran a State Department that was pay-
MATTHEWS: OK, OK. We`re over…
GIULIANI: I could indict her…
MATTHEWS: Give me a minute…
GIULIANI: I could indict in about three weeks…
GIULIANI: … for what she did with the Clinton Foundation and the State
Department. We`re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars this
GIULIANI: … was getting, and what you`re playing is a remark that wasn`t
meant in the way it is being interpreted.
MATTHEWS: Speaker of the House, the Republican speaker of the House, takes
it as a bad joke. He shouldn`t have done it. He shouldn`t have joked
GIULIANI: Well, it wasn`t.
MATTHEWS: … using the 2nd Amendment. He made a mistake. So – so
(INAUDIBLE) is the speaker of the House. Another person still (INAUDIBLE)
in interpreting the candidate is Corey Lewandowski, who has been working
with the guy for over a year. That guy`s got it wrong. So all the people
that are reasonable, middle of the road – I mean, people that are at
GIULIANI: What I`m telling you…
MATTHEWS: … leaning in the direction of Donald Trump don`t read it the
way you do.
GIULIANI: What I`m telling you…
MATTHEWS: … interpretation.
GIULIANI: … the Clinton campaign is deflecting…
GIULIANI: … all of you away from the fact that the biggest story of the
GIULIANI: … is what has happened with the Clinton Foundation…
GIULIANI: … and the State Department. The Clinton Foundation is a
GIULIANI: … to enrich the Clintons, and the State Department has become
a pay-for-play operation under Hillary Clinton. That is outrageous!
MATTHEWS: OK, let`s…
GIULIANI: Totally outrageous!
MATTHEWS: Mr. Mayor, let`s put the time of two minutes more on Trump`s
problems, then we got three minutes on Hillary. I`ll give you more time on
Hillary. But first of all (INAUDIBLE) Trump`s defenders conceded – have
conceded his words were poorly chosen yesterday about this 2nd Amendment
crack. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was awkwardly phrased, though.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, well, it may have been awkwardly phrased. But he
talks aggressively to the people, and I think that`s healthy, instead of
hiding like Hillary Clinton does.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re treating Mr. Trump`s words like he is the most
articulate person who`s ever graced our ears with his words. And that is
not true. He is not a politician. He is not a person like – like you,
who`s very articulate, very well spoken. I mean, he is a business person.
And he misspeaks a lot because he doesn`t speak for a living.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I interpreted it as something a guy says over the
shoulder was wrong. He shouldn`t have said it. I don`t think he even
fully appreciated what he was saying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean by an “over the shoulder” comment?
What was he referring to when he said that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t even know. And I don`t know if Donald Trump
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the incident, Mayor, reminds me of something. I have a
long political memory, and you do, too. Remember the speech in 1964 at the
Democratic convention at Atlantic City? It was given by a great man, John
Pastore, the senator from Rhode Island.
Here`s what he said to the crowd. We can`t get the movie. It`s too hard
to get. But here`s what he said. I never forgot this line. What does the
Republican candidate” – that was Goldwater at the time – “choose to have
anything mean at any given moment? This world cannot wait until Saturday
to learn what he meant when he spoke on Monday. The man in the White House
doesn`t have the luxury of a second choice. He has to be right the first
What is this problem over and over again, people like yourself, loyal
people, have to go back and explain Trump over and over again when he makes
these comments? Is it – you think it`s all the Clinton campaign. That`s
GIULIANI: I believe you – I believe you attack him mercilessly, and you
leave Hillary Clinton alone.
GIULIANI: The much bigger story today…
GIULIANI: … is how she sold out the State Department…
MATTHEWS: How so? Explain it.
GIULIANI: … to the Clinton Foundation.
MATTHEWS: Explain how she did it.
GIULIANI: How so? By taking money into the Clinton Foundation in the
millions, in some cases, the hundreds of millions of dollars, $1.2 million
speaking fees to Bill Clinton and then her and her acolytes, Huma Abedin
and the rest of them, doing favors for the people who were paying large
sums of money in order to get access to the Lebanese ambassador…
GIULIANI: … in order to get uranium for Russia – uranium for Russia! –
in order to get UBS off the hook from a case in which the IRS was trying to
get UBS`s secret bank accounts, and Hillary Clinton, the secretary of
state, called them and said, Go easy on them. That`s right after, or right
before Bill Clinton got a $1.2 million speaking fee. By the way, they`re
joint filers, joint taxpayers.
I could indict them…
GIULIANI: … if I were the U.S. attorney, under 18 USC section 701…
GIULIANI: … which is the conflict of interest section, if I have it
right, in a minute. And I believe, you give me enough time, I could
develop a racketeering enterprise case…
GIULIANI: … on the Clinton Foundation. It is a foundation that has been
found to be a completely useless charitable organization, about 10 percent
going to charity…
GIULIANI: … and about 90 percent going to the Clinton people,
MATTHEWS: All right…
GIULIANI: … the Clintons.
MATTHEWS: OK, let me ask you this…
GIULIANI: That is a much bigger story…
MATTHEWS: Can I ask you a professional question? What is more
professionally satisfying, defending Rudy – defending Donald Trump…
MATTHEWS: … Donald Trump, or attacking Hillary Clinton? What`s more
GIULIANI: What`s professionally satisfying is defending Donald Trump
because I know…
MATTHEWS: No, I don`t think so.
GIULIANI: … because I know he`s a good man, and I believe Hillary
Clinton from the day…
GIULIANI: … she was a bag man for Bill Clinton…
MATTHEWS: Oh, you`re-…
GIULIANI: … (INAUDIBLE) at the Rose lawfirm is crooked…
MATTHEWS: Bag man, OK.
GIULIANI: I believe she is dishonest and she is someone, as a U.S.
attorney, I am outraged is running for president of the United States!
MATTHEWS: You never said any of this back during the days of 9/11 and
everything. You guys were working together arm in arm, and you were
working together quite well. You said a lot of good things about each
other. Now, all of a sudden, since it`s a partisan arena right now, she`s
no damn good. Where`d that come from? When did you come up with this
verdict on Hillary Clinton?
GIULIANI: I have been – I have been pointing out the crimes she`s
committed for the last two years, if you paid attention, Chris, because
became – I had no idea she broke her promise that she wouldn`t be involved
with the Clinton Foundation when she became secretary of state.
GIULIANI: I had no idea of that back then when she was senator from New
And by the way, she wasn`t a heck of a good senator. I never relied on her
for anything. I always went to Chuck Schumer. All she was doing was
running for president. When I was mayor of New York, the senators I relied
were Moynihan, D`Amato and Schumer. They got stuff done for New York. She
went around making speeches, promising jobs in upstate New York…
GIULIANI: … which are now falling apart because of her ridiculous energy
MATTHEWS: OK. She did get reelected. How`d that happen?
GIULIANI: Because this is a Democratic state, and they`d reelect a
Democrat that`s in jail in some cases. I think we actually in our history
have done that. This is the…
MATTHEWS: I want to ask you a question. Do you wish you`d ran against
GIULIANI: Hey, you can`t redo history, right? I got prostate…
MATTHEWS: Well, do you wish now that you`d ran against her? I mean, if
she`s so terrible…
GIULIANI: I got – I got – maybe I…
MATTHEWS: … for New York…
GIULIANI: The only – the only way…
MATTHEWS: … don`t you wish you ran against her?
GIULIANI: The only way I will feel guilty about this is if this woman, who
should be prosecuted because nobody…
GIULIANI: … is above the law – if this woman becomes president of the
United States, I will probably feel like maybe God gave me prostate cancer
at the wrong time.
MATTHEWS: OK, because you did have a shot at her. But anyway, thank you,
MATTHEWS: … a hell of a race against you…
MATTHEWS: Would have been a hell of a race between you and Hillary.
Anyway – maybe you can still get in this race. We`re going to have some
more reporting by – Mr. Mayor, thank you. We`re going to have some more
about newly released Clinton e-mails coming up in the show.
But up next, reaction to Trump`s comments and what the mayor said here
tonight in his defense. This is only get worse for Trump and his party, I
believe. And already, one in five Republicans wants Trump to get out of
the race – 1 in 5, it`s about 19 percent now, openly telling pollsters,
Also, another round of high-profile Republicans have endorsed Hillary
Clinton. They`re going directly across the aisle. As Trump struggles,
members of his party continue to jump ship, and there`s no signs it`s
letting up any time soon.
And from mocking a disabled reporter to telling me women should be punished
for having abortions – the HARDBALL roundtable is here with five other
times Donald Trump has had to clarify something controversial that he said,
and he had to keep explaining it.
Remember what John Pastore, by the way, said about Barry Goldwater – the
world can`t wait until Saturday to learn what the Republican candidate
meant on Monday.
Finally, “Let Me Finish” by asking what Donald Trump thinks about people
concerned with honoring the 2nd Amendment. I`m going to close on that
tonight, my interpretation of what he said yesterday.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, a surprising number from our NBC News online survey.
Catch this; 72 percent of registered Republicans doubt that President Obama
was born here in the USA; 72 percent doubt it. When asked whether they
agree with the statement Barack Obama was born in the United States, 41
percent disagreed directly. Another 31 wouldn`t agree or disagree. So,
they`re not willing to say he`s one of us.
That`s nearly three in four registered Republicans who still doubt the
president`s birthplace five years after he made public his Hawaiian long-
form birth certificate.
By the way, to those doubtful, Hawaii is part of United States, just to
We will be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
As Donald Trump manages the firestorm from his remarks about Hillary
Clinton and the Second Amendment, his campaign is facing a series of dismal
polls showing Trump quickly losing ground to his Democratic opponent.
Today, a new Bloomberg Politics national poll shows that in a head-to-head
matchup with matchup, well, she is ahead 50-44. And that`s not hopeless,
50-44, after all this mishegas, if you will, a six-point difference.
In addition to that, a Reuters-Ipsos poll shows 19 percent of registered
Republicans want Trump to get out of the race. That`s a problem. Now,
that is one in five Republicans. The poll has – taken before Trump`s
Second Amendment comment of the other day. So, that really comes off of
the Khan family problem.
We heard, by the way, just heard from former New York City Mayor Rudy
Giuliani, who is trying to stop the bleeding, but can the campaign turn
Willie Brown is the former mayor of San Francisco, a former speaker of the
House out there. And Al Cardenas is a Republican strategist and former Jeb
Mayor Brown, thank you for that, and Speaker Brown as well.
Let me ask you about this. You know, I read – I don`t need any help from
the Clintons. I heard it one way. I heard him talking in kind of aside,
sort of a Kevin Spacey kind of aside. Well, Second Amendment people may
have their means of doing this. I heard a direct hint at violence.
What did you hear?
WILLIE BROWN (D), FORMER MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO: I heard similar.
Let me tell you, when Donald Trump speaks, he has no idea what he is
saying, of course. And seldom if ever has he been able to explain it.
This is one of those that he cannot explain. He actually said exactly the
interpretation that you just have given and I have given to it.
MATTHEWS: I watched him with Hannity last night. And Hannity knows what
he is doing. And Hannity basically read to him his defense. And he goes,
yes, that`s my defense.
MATTHEWS: He was leading the witness very effectively. But then he said,
yes, that`s true. Yes, I didn`t really mean that. I meant get out there
AL CARDENAS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: Well, look, the
advantage Donald Trump has is there are so many tongue slips throughout so
many months now that folks are primarily numb about this. They have mostly
made up their minds. They think he has no filter.
MATTHEWS: Do they want him in the White House?
CARDENAS: Well, I think the number…
MATTHEWS: Are they that mad?
CARDENAS: They`re that mad. But they`re that mad to win the nomination.
But what I have seen, I think there is a second mind-set about this. The
numbers that Paul Ryan got, defeating of far-right candidate in a primary,
I think the party is coming together and saying this madness, this civil
war in the party, this anger, look what it has resulted in.
And so I think if Donald Trump is doing one thing good for the party, it is
a reassessment, a recalibration of who we are, and the fact that there`s
been too much anger.
MATTHEWS: But are you a Trump party when you get down to the bottom of it?
Or are you not a Trump – is he teaching you what you aren`t?
I think he`s been great for the Democrats, because he`s taught them to be
flag-wavers and talk about the values of this country, because they`re
being challenged by Trump saying that we have to get great again, we`re not
so great anymore.
CARDENAS: Well, you have got good things and bad things.
You have got the Elizabeth Warren wing, which will never be part of a
majority of American. And you have got Donald Trump making you patriots.
That convention certainly proved that.
MATTHEWS: … patriots.
CARDENAS: But in our case, I think if Donald Trump does any good, it is to
kind of put down the fire, the anger, the rhetoric that has brought us him.
Sixty-some percent of the people didn`t vote for him. And I think if you
had to choose over again, I don`t think he would get 25 percent.
MATTHEWS: This is a strange enunciation by a good conservative, Al
But let`s get back to you, Mayor. Mayor, what do you make of this?
Because I think the Democrats never looked better, or not in a long time,
than they looked in Philly, because they are out there speaking about
values. And the reason they were is, there`s a great opportunity to
express a difference between them in partisan terms that puts them on a
very good plane, I think.
BROWN: I, frankly, think the Democrats had the best convention. In all
the conventions that I have seen or participated in, that was singularly
the best show that I have ever seen involving politics.
And the Democrats did it in a way that it had credibility. They sounded
sincere. Their conduct was sincere. And they didn`t go off of the deep
end in terms of promising anything. And so it was a good thing for the
On the other hand, Trump`s pure existence for the last 13 to 14 months has
been a newsmaker, the idea that every day of the week, you could rely upon
Trump. No matter how bad off you are, if you are Hillary, in terms of
things you have said or you have done or been accused of, Trump will give
you an exit.
And that`s what he does every time he opens his mouth. And that would be
incredibly dangerous for this country.
MATTHEWS: I think of the young woman in “Sound of Music” that somewhere in
my youth or childhood, I must have done something right, because Hillary
Clinton is being handed this thing, handed it.
CARDENAS: Yes. And not to let her off the hook, and…
MATTHEWS: Well, go ahead. That`s why you`re here.
CARDENAS: And Speaker is great.
But, Speaker, I was there in Philadelphia, and I saw a chairman ousted. I
saw the Bernie Sanders people really passionate. I heard the booing. Now,
I think for the outsiders, the optics were pretty good. But, inside, you
still have a festering challenge there.
And, listen, with Warren and Bernie Sanders, and the movement, the activist
primarily, are not overall happy with what`s going on. In our side, we
have got a bigger problem. But this bigger problem that we have, I think
is going to work out.
Mayor, contrast and compare like in school, Bernie Sanders and his
challenge to the Democratic establishment of the Clintons and Donald
Trump`s challenge to the establishment of Paul Ryan, who is looking very
good these days.
BROWN: I don`t think that there has been ever any unity among Democrats
that didn`t promote an opportunity for the left and the progressives to do
Sometimes, they`re more dramatic than ever. After all, we have gone
through this convention after convention after convention. And so the
Democrats have not changed.
Donald Trump has brought a whole new deal to the Republican side of the
world. As a matter of fact, it shouldn`t even be referred to as a
Republican Party. That ought to be a third entity. It is the Trump party.
MATTHEWS: See, that`s how tough you can get these days, because that is
playing it very tough.
CARDENAS: Here`s what I think has happened that people are not seeing.
I think this party has gone from Trump`s party when he got the nomination
to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell`s party. I think the last two week, or
last three weeks, we have had a shift. And now the party is back in
reasonable hands with good judgment. And I think that augurs well for the
Senate, augurs well for the House, not sure about the Senate – president.
MATTHEWS: Let`s think of what personality they`re thinking about when
people walk into that voting booth in November. Are they thinking Paul
Ryan or are they thinking Donald Trump?
MATTHEWS: You may be betting on Paul Ryan. But he may be smarter than
Trump as a politician, but he doesn`t have the reach.
Anyway, thank you, Mayor Willie Brown. I`m sorry. Thanks for your time.
BROWN: It is the presidency we`re talking that.
MATTHEWS: That`s right.
BROWN: Not whether or not Trump ends up where he is. It is the
presidency. And Hillary, in my opinion, is going to produce that.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you. Please keep coming on, Mayor Brown of
California, San Francisco, former speaker of the House out there, and Al
Cardenas, former head of the American Conservative Union and a great
Republican of the future.
Coming up: Another batch of Clinton e-mails is out. We`re going to talk
about that, because Rudy brought it up already. We got that coming. It`s
not stopping all Republicans, of course. Even more are coming out and
endorsing her today. I will speak to a new Hillary backer next.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger with
The man who climbed up Trump Tower with suction cups is in custody after a
two-hour standoff with police. Officers grabbed him and pulled him inside
from an open window on the 21st floor. The candidate is not in New York.
He is currently campaigning in Florida. The building houses Trump`s home,
as well as his corporate and campaign headquarters.
A short time ago, the suspect was taken from the building on a stretcher
and put into an ambulance headed to Manhattan`s Bellevue Hospital.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive for this stunt – back to HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
There are new questions tonight surrounding Hillary Clinton after never-
before-seen e-mails were turned over to conservative advocacy group
Judicial Watch. The State Department released e-mails Tuesday as part of a
lawsuit the group brought under the Freedom of Information Act.
NBC`s Kristen Welker follows the campaign and joins us now from Des Moines.
Kristen, what is in there that does look troubling or illegal or whatever?
KRISTEN WELKER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Chris.
There are about two e-mails that we are focused on. In one, this was
written in 2009. A former top aide to the Clinton Family Foundation, Doug
Band, e-mails two top officials at the State Department, Cheryl Mills and
Huma Abedin, and essentially tries to set up a meeting with a billionaire
donor to the foundation with the U.N. ambassador – U.S. ambassador, I
should say, to Lebanon.
In that exchange, Band writes, it is very important, and the advisers
essentially say, OK, we are going to work on this. By the way, I`m told
that meeting didn`t happen.
In a second e-mail, that same adviser, Doug Band, requested that they look
at one of the former workers for the Clinton Foundation for a potential
spot at the State Department.
This is the type of exchange that does go on quite frequently with people
essentially recommending people to the State Department. The Clinton
campaign, as you can imagine, saying that, look, there is nothing untoward
about these e-mail exchanges.
I will read you the statement.
They write – quote – “Neither of these e-mails involved the secretary or
relate to the foundation`s work. They are communications between her aides
and the president`s personal aide, and indeed the recommendation was for
one of the secretary`s former staffers who was not employed by the
So, essentially, they`re making the case Secretary Clinton wasn`t involved
in these exchanges. But, of course, Chris, as you know, there are these
ongoing questions that whether or not the foundation tried to set up these
types of meetings, donations, to impose undue influence on the State
And that is something the Clinton family has long denied. This comes as
Secretary Clinton has a lead in a lot of the polls in a lot of the
battleground states, including right here in Iowa. And, Chris, her
campaign also announcing today a new initiative to reach out to Republican
and independent donors.
They`re trying to turn the page on this latest e-mail controversy and put
it back on the race, which, as of right now, she appears to be winning –
MATTHEWS: Neither snow nor rain nor whatever can stop you, Kristen. Thank
you for reporting in the rain.
MATTHEWS: And I heard the thunder just then. Thank you. Get inside.
WELKER: A surprise storm.
WELKER: Thanks, Chris.
MATTHEWS: You`re taking on thunderbolts. Thank you, Kristen Welker.
Another former Republican lawmaker has announced he is backing Hillary
Clinton, continuing the trend Republicans bucking their party presidential
nominee, Donald Trump.
Well, this morning, former U.S. Congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut
explained his decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Not hard to figure out.
Donald Trump lost me a long time ago.
He does and says everything my mom and dad taught me never to say and do.
He doesn`t understand the basic requirements of being president of the
United States. And, frankly, he is dangerous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, Shays joins a growing list of new big-name Republican endorsements,
including Bush 43 Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, former Ford Housing
and Urban Development Secretary Carla Hills, former Maryland Congresswoman
Connie Morella. She was our congresswoman for years. And former Bush
Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.
Our next guest, retired Army Colonel Peter Mansoor, was one of the first
members of the Republican national security community to come out against
Donald Trump. In March of this year, he signed an open letter saying a
President Trump – quote – “would use the authority of his office to act
in ways that make America less safe” and poses – quote – “a distinct
threat to civil liberty in the United States.”
Colonel Mansoor, thanks for joining us.
What is it? I ask this question because I like the get to the heart of
darkness, if you will. I did that with Mike Murphy, the political
consultant. What is it if you had to say to somebody really close to you
that stops you, no matter what else happens, from voting for Trump?
COL. PETER MANSOOR (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Well, he lacks any kind of deep
knowledge of foreign affairs, national security or history.
He speaks and acts impulsively. And although he says he`s going to
surround himself with good people, he simply won`t listen to them. He is,
in his own words, his own best adviser. And that means he`s going to shoot
from the hip. He is going to act the way he sees fit to act.
And as we can see, with his recent statements, his judgment is suspect at
best, and dangerous for someone occupying the office of the president of
the United States.
MATTHEWS: What was your interpretation when you heard him yesterday? I`m
sure you saw the clips when he said that, well, once she is in office,
there is nothing we can. Of course, Second Amendment – those Second
Amendment people might be able to do something.
What did you hear? I know what I heard. And I didn`t need any help from
the Clintons to hear it.
MANSOOR: Yes. You know, I didn`t even listen to anything the Clintons`
campaign put out.
And to me, it was a hint at violence against Hillary Clinton should she be
elected into office. I know I have had this battle over Facebook with my
Republican friends all day. They see it differently. But I certainly had
the same sort of interpretation that you did.
MATTHEWS: Quickly, do you think he is incompetent or is he a guy ignorant
of things he should know? Or do you think he personifies a dangerous
ideology? Which is it? Is he serious or clownish?
MANSOOR: You know, I think he is – he says what he thinks. But I don`t
think he has any sort of deep ideology.
He has pieces of ideology. But he basically says whatever comes to the top
of his mind at the moment. And you have got to take it at face value. And
if he actually believes these things that – that he says, then why does he
have to go back and clarify so many things all the time? It just makes no
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: I agree completely. Leaders have to lead.
You can`t lead if people don`t understand you.
Anyway, Colonel, Peter Mansoor, for coming on.
Up next, did he mean it or didn`t he? I`ll look at some controversial
comments that Trump has been making all along the line of his campaign, not
just yesterday, but for months now. And it`s for every attempt to try to
stop us from believing what he just said, or to think something else.
Anyway, you`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This individual a 20-year-old individual from Virginia.
He came up here yesterday and stayed in a local motel. What he explained
to us is that he wanted a personal meeting with Mr. Trump. He posted a
YouTube video on Tuesday.
That video explains that. He did independent research and wanted to meet
with him. That`s why he did what he did. There`s no time did he express
that he wanted to hurt anybody. His sole intention was to meet Mr. Trump.
It took three hours to get him in custody. Upon getting him in custody, he
explained the same thing. He wanted Mr. Trump`s attention. He wanted to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that was the police press conference in New York with the
latest information that climber who scaled, a great word, Trump Tower, just
a few minutes ago. And the guy apparently, according to that statement,
the police said he wanted to meet Mr. Trump. You would think there would
be easier ways.
Anyway, that climber is now undergoing, appropriately I`d say, psychiatric
Welcome back. I like the way they say “take him to Bellevue.”
Anyway, Trump is defending his call for action among what he calls “Second
Amendment people”, pushing back against the notion that he was suggesting
violence against his political opponent. Will he would, wouldn`t he (ph),
at this point? It`s another example of pattern of behavior from Trump who
now has a long history, a long one, of making controversial remarks, which
he`s had to walk back.
Walk back is a new phrase. Clarify or otherwise clean up.
Let`s look at some other examples from throughout his campaign, this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Written by a nice reporter. Now
the poor guy, you ought to see this guy. I don`t know what I said. I
I didn`t know what he looked like. I didn`t know that he was disabled. I
didn`t know it. I didn`t know it at all.
You know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming
out of her – wherever.
I was referring to, or if I finished it, I was going to say ears or nose,
because that`s a common statement.
I don`t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don`t know anything about
what you`re even talking about white supremacy or white supremacists. You
wouldn`t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about.
I totally disavow the Ku Klux Klan. I totally disavow David Duke. I`ve
been doing it two weeks. This is – you`re probably the 18th person that
has asked me the question.
Russia, if you`re listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 e-mails
that are missing.
When I`m being sarcastic with something –
INTERVIEWER: Were you being sarcastic?
TRUMP: Of course, I`m being sarcastic.
MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as
TRUMP: The answer is that, there has to be some form of punishment.
MATTHEWS: For the woman?
TRUMP: Yes. There has to be some form.
I must tell you this is the same – my stance is the same stance as Ronald
Reagan. If in fact abortion was outlawed, the person performing that act
is responsible, not the woman.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by our roundtable tonight, Ken Vogel is
chief investigative reporter at “Politico”, Victoria McGrane is a political
reporter for the great “Boston Globe”, see how I pronounced that? “Boston
Globe”. And Jason Johnson is the politics editor at “The Root”.
Jason, you start. What is this guy`s problem?
JASON JOHNSON, THE ROOT: He is from Queens. He should understand, say it
to my face. This is the thing. He keeps saying this stuff and he keeps
backing off of it. And that – look, when I talk to my friends who are
Trump supporters, that`s the thing that makes them angry. They`re like, we
like him because he says what he means, means what he says and says by –
MATTHEWS: Does he know what he means?
JOHNSON: I think he knows what he means. I think he doesn`t care. But
when you back off, you sound like a politician.
MATTHEWS: When you make fun of a guy because of a disability, that`s
obvious, if you`re clearly mimicking or aping the guy and you say you`re
not, what part of it would anybody like first of all?
VICTORIA MCGRANE, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Well, I think part of the problem is
MATTHEWS: Unless you`re eight years old.
MCGRANE: – these off the cuff statements, sarcastic remarks, whatever you
want to call them, they used to kind of slide off Trump. Even when he did
backtrack on all of this, it wasn`t a problem. But now, we`re in the
general election, and his – the Trump supporters, this is what they like
about him. That`s not who he needs to persuade now.
And these kinds of statements, the backing off, instead of saying “I`m
sorry” really is leaving a lot of people unsettled.
MATTHEWS: Victoria, you first, quickly, I mean to Ken, the problem is, it
is a main war piece in journalism. It`s – I read the major papers today,
the three big, “The Journal”, “The Times” “The Post”, and I`m trying to
read them. I`m trying. They are struggling.
These main editors, you start, Ken, to try on write an objective statement
about what the guy said when it`s in a controversy. Did he allude to, go
get the gun and shooting somebody? Many people thought he did mean that.
KEN VOGEL, POLITICO: Yes, ion journalism, we face a lot of pressure to
give people the benefit of the doubt, and we should. We should internalize
it. So, even if it doesn`t fit with our narrative, or what the initial
perception is, we also have what we call that “to be sure” graph, or we
give the exculpatory information.
MATTHEWS: On the other hand.
VOGEL: Or the alternative possibilities. But it is getting harder and
harder to do that for Trump, because he has this long history and what
could he possibly mean other than what our first blush –
MATTHEWS: There is no lack, that thing with me about women. I think he
didn`t know the pro-life position. You don`t punish the woman, because
politically that would be outrageous, blame the doctor or whatever. He
just didn`t know it. I mean, that was – like he didn`t know about nuclear
weapons. He apparently thinks nuclear weapons are to be used, not as a
He doesn`t know that.
MCGRANE: And I think that`s why you`re seeing these relatively high
profile Republican establishment figures coming out. Not only repudiating
Donald Trump and saying, “I will not vote for him”, but they`re voting,
they`re saying they`re going to vote for Hillary Clinton. And some of them
like Meg Whitman are saying they`re going to do everything they can to get
her elected. That`s the narrative that`s building right now when a lot of
MATTHEWS: I`ll go back to something that`s always been a problem, I`ll
call it his original sin. I`m not a moralist about politics. I like
When he said Obama wasn`t born in this country, first of all, it is
impossible that he was not. His mother is white from Kansas. She married
an African man. Maybe the guy was dodgy. He never really met the kid,
never really met until he was 20-something.
But clearly, it is the mother. And she clearly did not skip over to Kenya
just to have the kid so she could pretend to have the kid in Hawaii, it`s
crazy talk, and giving the kid Barack Hussein Obama plotting –
MATTHEWS: – to make him a president. It makes no sense unless you`re a
racist and you want to believe it. You want to believe this, as Joe Biden
would call, malarkey. You just want to believe the stupidity.
VOGEL: It`s the catch-22 of Trump`s political career. That was what
really endeared him –
MATTHEWS: I love your word. Ken, I love you. You said endeared him.
This endeared him, this lying about the guy being from Borneo or wherever
the hell he`s from.
JOHNSON: You`re brave enough. The people, the Ohio, Youngtown folks that
I know, they love it. They`ve been waiting to hear it.
VOGEL: There`s a hard feeling and you can`t get over it.
MATTHEWS: They also believe – anyway, they also believe. I got a whole
set of beliefs.
Anyway, thank you, Ken Vogel. Thank you, Victoria McGrane and Jason
You have to come back. This is a group that I must see again. We`ll be
right back after this.
MATTHEWS: Well, you can play HARDBALL all week long online, follow the
show on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook. You`ll get access
to interviews, videos, behind the scenes photos as we hit the road covering
this wild presidential campaign of 2016.
And I`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: When we return, let me finish by asking what Donald Trump really
thinks about people concerned with honoring the Second Amendment. What did
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight by asking what Donald Trump thinks about
people concerned with honoring the Second Amendment.
Now, there are at least two possible interpretations here. Let`s suppose
he believes – truly believes that the right to bear arms as enshrined in
the bill or rights is a worthy constant in American values, that people who
want it honored are doing what any good citizen might do, demand that our
elected office holders honor their pledge to protect the right to bear
arms, just as they do all the bill of rights. They`re simply being proud
Americans, proudly and justifiably jealous of the rights secured in the
Constitution and the amendments to it.
Is this what he meant yesterday, when he made that quick interjection, that
Second Amendment people might have a way of stopping Hillary Clinton even
if she gets elected and has the power to name federal judges? Well, if so,
it`s hard to see capability such law abiding constitutionalist people would
have to do such a thing. Why would such a Second Amendment crowd have any
more capability to stop a duly elected, fully empowered President Clinton
than anyone else?
Now, let`s look at the alternative interpretation of what Trump meant, when
he made to decide to the rally audience yesterday. Did he mean by second
amendment people, those with a different will, like their willingness to
use their Second Amendment rights against the President Hillary Clinton, to
take up arms against her?
If you find this funny, that Trump left open the possibility that this is
just what he means, doesn`t it get to the heart of the problem here? Does
it make a vital point that someone in Trump`s position right now should not
be even hinting at such a prospect. Can we at least agree on that?
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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