Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript 12/2/2016
Date: December 2, 2016
Guest: Susan Page, Karen Tumulty, Francesca Chambers, Eli Stokols, Al
Cardenas, Tim Daly
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Battle of the bands.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
It`s been nearly a month since the election, but for many, it`s clear
there`s more than a little bitterness out there. Last night, Donald Trump
held a thank you rally in Cincinnati. Amid chants of “Lock her up” from
the crowd, Trump reminisced about how much fun it was battling Hillary
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I`m going to discuss our action plan to
make America great again. We`re going to discuss it.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Although we did have a lot of fun fighting Hillary, didn`t we?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: And then there was the remarkable sight on the campus of Harvard
University yesterday at a forum featuring top Trump and Clinton aides.
It`s an event held every four years, and usually a civil affair where
former rivals come together to get debriefed about the election.
Well, this year, it devolved into shouting matches over the popular vote,
the media, and the race itself, or the issue of race, especially when the
topic of Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon came up. Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DAVID BOSSIE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: He gets held to a standard that none of
these other folks do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let me – let me…
JENNIFER PALMIERI, CLINTON CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIR.: If providing –
Dan (ph), if providing a platform for white supremacists makes me brilliant
– a brilliant tactician…
PALMIERI: … I am glad to have lost. And one – give me a minute, David
– I am more proud of Hillary Clinton`s alt-right speech than any other
moment on the campaign…
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Wow.
PALMIERI: … because she had the courage to stand up – I would rather
lose than win the way you guys did.
CONWAY: No, you wouldn`t.
CONWAY: That`s very clear today. No, you wouldn`t, respectfully.
Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform? You
going to look me in the face and tell me that?
PALMIERI: It did! Kellyanne, it did!
PALMIERI: It did!
CONWAY: Do you think you could have just had…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys are pathetic!
CONWAY: … a decent message for the white working class voters? Do you
think this woman, who has nothing in common with…
PALMIERI: I`m not saying…
CONWAY: … over 200 counties that President Obama won and Donald Trump
END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: So let`s get into it. “You guys are pathetic.” That`s a great
line. Donald Trump`s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway – just heard her
there – accused the Clinton team of being sore losers. Let`s listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CONWAY: Guys, I can tell you`re angry, but wow. I mean, hashtag he`s your
president. How`s that?
CONWAY: I was asked a hundred times on TV – they`re all here – maybe a
thousand times, Will he accept the election results? Will he accept? Will
you? Will you ever accept the election results? Really, will you tell
your protesters he`s their president, too?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, we`ve got a lot more sound from yesterday`s event (ph),
really wild sound. I`m joined right now by NBC`s Kasie Hunt and “USA
Today`s” Susan Page, who were both there last night, and the
HuffingtonPost`s global editorial director Howard Fineman. Thank you.
The tenor of this thing – this is usually some little intellectual thing,
where the sit around among the swells from Harvard and talk about the
intellectual – this is raw, bitter, gut-fighting, gutter-fighting.
KASIE HUNT, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Usually, this is polite. Polite would be
the word. It was not polite yesterday. The Trump people were in the room
because they wanted acknowledgement that they won this election. They
didn`t really get it beforehand. They didn`t get any credit. And they, if
anything, came to gloat a little bit.
And the Clinton people were just downtrodden. They were there to defend
her honor. It was very clear that they all felt very emotionally invested
and devastated and were not past the election.
You could see the culture clash that was on display throughout the entire
campaign was on stark display in that room, even in the panels that were
focused on the Republican primary, where you had people who worked for
Republican candidates who might have sat across the table from Hillary
Clinton and had a discussion like we`ve seen in past years.
MATTHEWS: It`s rough stuff, but I can imagine the people that lost felt
bad. They didn`t like the looks. They didn`t like David Bossie sitting
there telling them he won. He`s an arch-right guy, you know? He`s pretty
nasty in politics. We all know that. And they looked at him and said,
You`re the winner and you`re the leader of our country? And I can imagine
what Jennifer Palmieri felt.
SUSAN PAGE, “USA TODAY”: You know, the – in past ones, it sounds like
they`ve been – I wouldn`t say polite, they`ve been civil. And it`s not
like they`ve been friendly because this forum always takes place about
three weeks after the election, when fumes are still pretty high.
But the Clinton people thought they were going to win. And for them,
they`ve had three weeks, and they have not yet come to terms with…
MATTHEWS: That`s what I write about. (INAUDIBLE) the end of the show
PAGE: … with why they lost.
MATTHEWS: That I think is it. Howard, it was too soon for an election
which happened too quickly. The results came too quick for everybody.
Nobody knew what was going to happen (INAUDIBLE) I don`t care – the Trump
people didn`t know. Nobody knew this was going to go the way it did.
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST GLOBAL EDITORIAL DIR., MSNBC POLITICAL
ANALYST: Well, part of it is the shock of that defeat, as you say, that
the Clinton people haven`t come to terms with. But I`ve been going to
these things since 1984…
MATTHEWS: And they`re for the students.
FINEMAN: … and I`ve moderated some panels. They`re for history, as well
as the students. They`re to lay down the first draft of history from the
And I was there when the whole Lee Atwater controversy over the Willie
Horton ad in…
FINEMAN: … in the campaign of `88. That was raw. And yet people – I
moderated that panel. And yet the situation was civil because there was a
feeling in the room that, You know what? We`re all in this together. This
is one country. And as Barack Obama said somewhat naively on election
night, and soothingly, this was an intramural game.
Well, the attitude at this thing, from everything I`ve seen, and the people
I`ve talked to on both sides, was unforgiving. It`s like we`re not even
part of the same country.
FINEMAN: And we`re – and it`s more like after a college football game,
let`s say between Ohio State and Michigan. They hated each…
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) about it.
FINEMAN: They hated each other before the game…
FINEMAN: … they played the game, and now they hate each other
afterwards, and that`s…
MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) school up north, Ohio State…
FINEMAN: And the lack of civility in the campaign is reflected in this.
HUNT: Look, the Clinton people believe fundamentally that Trump is going
to tear the country apart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
HUNT: This is apocalyptic.
FINEMAN: Yes. Right.
MATTHEWS: It isn`t like George Herbert Walker Bush taking over. Anyway,
on the topic of Hillary Clinton`s e-mails, Trump adviser David Bossie
faulted the Clinton team`s approach. Let`s watch this. It gets rougher.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BOSSIE: They made a calculated mistake. If they had put out all of the e-
mails that Judicial Watch and Vice News and Citizens United and others had
demanded out of the State Department and FOIA requests for the two years
prior – two years prior to this campaign – they would have solved their
own problem. But instead, they used the old Clinton playbook from the
`90s. They drip, drip, drip, held it all internally. They…
ROBBY MOOK, CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: (INAUDIBLE)
BOSSIE: Yes, a winning – winning – it was a winning strategy, I guess.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: So they said, Why didn`t you do the same thing on the tax
returns? Well, this is the weird thing about the thing last night. I
thought that the Trump people – or the Hillary people accused the media
not being for Hillary. Oh, I`m sorry, assuming Hillary was going to win,
and therefore being tougher on her than they were on Trump. This is kind
FINEMAN: Yes. It was totally mixed up. And I also think, in the past,
the media, I know, having been at a lot of these, is kind of a passive
observer thing. We weren`t the story in the past. But I gather here, both
at these events and at the dinner the night before, the media coverage and
where the media stood on this became one of the central issues of this
whole – this whole debrief, which is fascinating.
PAGE: That`s really (ph) right. And there were no defenders of the media
PAGE: The Democrats thought that the press had been unfairly harsh on
Hillary Clinton and too soft on Donald Trump. And the Trump people felt
that the media never took Trump seriously, didn`t give him a fair shake,
treated him in a dismissive way.
And you know, the Clinton people haven`t come to terms with their loss.
The Trump people did not play the traditional role of gracious winners.
HUNT: That`s the (INAUDIBLE)
PAGE: They – and both of- neither of them had gotten off their campaign
stances, even though the election is over.
MATTHEWS: Is this because these people, unlike – well, we covered it for
two or three years. They`ve lived it in the bunker for two years. The
people up in Brooklyn, like Robby Mook, that`s all their life is. And then
they see a new life emerging which isn`t the one they`re in. All of a
sudden, there`s a world where Trump wins. It`s a world they don`t know.
You know, (INAUDIBLE) say suicide comes to people not from, you know,
horror stories in their life, but from something completely different than
they ever expected was going to happen. They can`t take it. It`s almost
like they can`t take the reality of today. And I guess I understand it.
HUNT: When I started covering Hillary Clinton`s campaign six months ago, I
went to Brooklyn and I talked to all of her top staff. And one thing I
heard over and over again privately was, We feel an enormous weight to not
screw this up because if we screw up this campaign, then Donald Trump is
going to be the president of the United States. And their view of that
was, as you said, very different from what if it was Jeb Bush or if it was
And the reality is, they`re still sorting through – remember, this was a
campaign managers` forum about what was going on in the campaign. Do they
have to blame themselves? Where…
MATTHEWS: You`re right. It`s a good Freudian…
MATTHEWS: … only blame is this one. Anyway, the Trump and Clinton aides
also battled over the significance of Trump`s popular vote loss. That`s an
argument, by the way, everybody`s having right now. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MOOK: I would just say Hillary did win the popular vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, God!
MOOK: So we`re talking about a majority…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But she didn`t win.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, just purely factual.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, God, you guys!
JOEL BENENSON, CLINTON POLLSTER: Listen, you guys won. That`s clear. You
won the Electoral College.
BENENSON: Be honest. Don`t act like you have a popular mandate for your
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: This is just fighting words here. As you said, Ohio State
against Michigan, they haven`t changed.
FINEMAN: But to Clinton`s point of view, the Clinton camp point of view,
actually, what`s going to end up happening is the pre-election night
polling which predicted that Hillary would win by 2 or 3 points…
MATTHEWS: Is true.
FINEMAN: … is true!
FINEMAN: It`s just she didn`t win in the right places.
FINEMAN: From the Trump side, look, they were branded as illegitimate,
that they didn`t deserve to be in the race, that Trump was something
completely outside of politics. So they – to continue the football
analogy, they`re spiking it in the end zone repeatedly…
FINEMAN: because after having been told that they didn`t know what they`re
doing, that they didn`t deserve to be in politics, that they were
unqualified and disruptive in a way we`ve never seen in American politics
before, they won. So what is Kellyanne Conway`s answer to every criticism?
MATTHEWS: Which drives…
FINEMAN: It`s almost like…
MATTHEWS: It`s so interesting. At a separate panel at Harvard, also
yesterday, Trump`s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski – he`s back
– had a message – by the way, the guy that never got paid, Fabrizio, he
was there, too. He never got paid. (INAUDIBLE) comment about the media.
We shouldn`t have taken everything the candidate said so literally, he
said. This is a new kind of journalism. Don`t listen to the words, think
through what he really meant. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FMR. TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: This is the problem with
the media. You guys took everything Donald Trump said so literally. And
the problem with that is the American people didn`t. And they understood
it. They understood that sometimes when you have a conversation with
people, whether it`s around the dinner table, or it`s at the bar or it`s
wherever it is, you`re going to say something, and maybe you don`t have all
the facts to back it up, but that`s how the American people live.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, this is a new challenge in journalism, Susan. I`m not –
we have to be able to figure out what the parable meant. So if he says,
something, like Jesus in the bible – well, what he really meant was – he
didn`t mean this, he meant that. How do we report that?
PAGE: Well, it`s hard to report. And we need to take things literally
because when presidents are – when people are president, their words
But I actually think the analysis, which I first saw in the article in “The
Atlantic,” that voters took Trump seriously but not literally. Reporters
took Trump literally but not seriously. I think that`s about right. I
MATTHEWS: But how do you do it?
PAGE: Voters were – because you`ve got to – you`ve got to understand
that voters were less consumed with when he said things that were…
PAGE: … demonstrably untrue than they were about the approach…
MATTHEWS: OK, let me…
MATTHEWS: Let me try that out. When he said Obama wasn`t really an
American citizen, he snuck in from another country, he`s basically an
illegal alien who`s totally here as an impostor, how are we supposed to
translate that to what he really meant?
PAGE: No, we`re supposed to say that`s not true. He was – that`s a
discredited theory. But we`re supposed to also understand how it`s
resonating with some voters.
PAGE: You got to do both!
MATTHEWS: Well, how`s the – how – what is the message he`s saying that
we should report on? Just tell me.
PAGE: The message that we should report on is that there continues to be
an effort by people who are so opposed to President Obama they`re willing
to peddle a discredited theory, which by the way…
FINEMAN: The probably with that…
PAGE: … a significant number of Republican voters…
FINEMAN: The problem with that…
PAGE: … say they believe.
FINEMAN: Of course, the problem with that is it allows Trump to have it
both ways. He`s the guy on the bar stool – I`m going to get off of Jesus
and compare him to the guy on the bar stool.
MATTHEWS: OK. Fine.
FINEMAN: OK. He`s the guy on the bar stool declaiming, That`s going to be
– that guy`s going to be president? No, don`t pay any attention to that
guy. Pay attention to the guy who has the action plan.
Well, when Trump says he has an action plan to make America great again
that he just said in Cincinnati, does he mean it?
MATTHEWS: Yes. Does he mean…
MATTHEWS: He didn`t really mean rapist. He meant – what? I mean, what
is the interpretation? If we`re at the U.N., we got to translate it,
what`s he want us to translate?
FINEMAN: I think the real story here is that people were going to go for
Trump as an instrument to bash the establishment…
MATTHEWS: I agree with that.
FINEMAN: … no matter what he said.
MATTHEWS: I agree.
FINEMAN: That`s the real (INAUDIBLE)
MATTHEWS: Kasie, you were there every day.
HUNT: In the panel that Corey Lewandowski made these comments in, one of
the Republicans who lost to Trump said, Look, Americans – they didn`t care
what your policy was, to fix anything or do anything. They wanted to burn
the house down and then figure out what to do with the ashes afterwards.
FINEMAN: Who said that? That`s a…
PAGE: Sarah Huckabee.
PAGE: Well, you know, there was another quote that I thought was great
from David Kochel (ph) of the Bush campaign. He said that Trump was like
Godzilla walking into the power plant and he touches the third rail and he
touches the fourth rail and he touches the fifth rail, and he just got
HUNT: Didn`t matter.
MATTHEWS: I love these metaphors…
FINEMAN: Jesus, the barstool and Godzilla.
MATTHEWS: I think barstool`s the smart one. Anyway, thank you very much,
Kasie Hunt, Susan Page and Howard Fineman, a great panel for a great Friday
Coming up, Trump`s victory rally last night in Cincinnati was a sign of
things to come for the next four years. He spent the night blasting, of
course, the media as a way of preemptively discrediting any sort of
coverage of his presidency. It`s called riding the ref, and he`s already
doing it. And that`s ahead.
Plus, back to that hot fight between the campaign staffs of both Donald
Trump and Hillary Clinton. The battle of the bands I`m calling it. The
HARDBALL roundtable will be here with more on that, why things got so raw
And it`s clear during this transition that Trump is relishing the
theatrical aspects of the job. Actor Tim Daly (ph) is with us tonight to
talk about the presidency in the age of reality TV.
Finally, let me finish with “Trump Watch” for tonight, December 2nd.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, President Obama is handing Donald Trump an economy that`s
in solid shape after today`s job report. The economy added 178,000 jobs
last month. The unemployment rate a 9-year low- it`s down to 4.6 after all
that he came in with Anyway, an average – on average, the economy has
added about 180,000 jobs each month this year.
And we`ll be right back
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: These are very, very dishonest people!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was, of course, Donald Trump
last night attacking the media at his thank you rally in Ohio. It was
really a no thank you rally to the media. While it`s been nearly a month
since he won the presidency, Trump has continued to rail against the
mainstream media, now mocking them – us, I guess – for wrongly predicting
the outcome of the election. As Politico reports, Trump`s number one
message is, I told you so. Well, here`s a look at what the president-elect
had to say last night.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: How about – I mean, how dishonest – how about when a major anchor
who hosted a debate started crying when she realized that we won!
TRUMP: How about that? Tears! Oh, tell me this isn`t true! I mean,
think of it. We won in a landslide. That was a landslide. And we didn`t
have the press. The press was brutal. Remember? You cannot get to 270!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: And that person is doing the math! And that person was saying for
months that there`s no way that Donald Trump can break the blue wall,
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: We didn`t break it, we shattered that sucker!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, in effect, Trump`s continuing the rhetoric of the
campaign. However, it now appears his attacks are intended to – as kind
of a prebuttal against the media in order to lower expectations for his
incoming administration`s press, the kind of press it`s going to get.
I`m joined right now by MSNBC political analyst David Corn, Washington
bureau chief of “Mother Jones,” as well as Al Cardenas, who`s former
chairman of the Republican Party down in Florida.
Al, it seems to me – it`s called riding the ref. I mean, he`s now saying,
Whatever you hear from “The New York Times,” which he maybe fairly
despises, of course, would like to see go out of business – whatever you
read in there from now on, don`t believe it because they`re out there to
crap all over me, and that`s the way it is.
AL CARDENAS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, a few conclusions, right?
Healing the country is not yet a top priority in the incoming
administration. And, two, you know, this is it. I mean, he wants to make
sure that he can talk to the populist crowd in their language. This rally
stuff is his elixir. It`s an addiction. I think you will see more of it
even during his term in office.
You are going to see constantly these rallies feeding the needs that he may
have. But, look, the optimist in me says, as long as they can govern right
with the right people in place, I will live with the aggravation of the
populist aspect of it.
But it won`t heal the country. The country needs more than that.
DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: He has no interest in healing the
He came to prominence pushing a racist conspiracy theory. He ran a
campaign of hate and fear, misogyny, bigotry. And he is going to govern or
rule as president in the same way.
He, according to every fact-checker, lied so much more than any other
politician. He broke the record of all politicians for telling lies. So
he doesn`t want the media to pay attention to him. He wants to keep, you
know, dismissing it, which is a play out of the conservative playbook.
MATTHEWS: OK, let`s talk about the logic here. Is he trying to destroy
the fact-checking? Because if he can destroy – he would like to see no
print newspapers. I think that`s fair.
MATTHEWS: Because not a single newspaper in the country whose editorial
page endorsed him that I can think of. So, the newspapers…
CORN: Well, Sheldon Adelson.
MATTHEWS: OK. You`re just making a joke.
CORN: Well, no, that was one.
MATTHEWS: He doesn`t like print reporters.
CARDENAS: You will you will find out that he believed he got his message
out in the digital media world.
And he believes that you and the traditional mainstream media are a
nuisance. But he doesn`t need you. And so if he discredits you, he
believes he has got this other outlet that got him to the presidency. I
think, at some point in time, this thing is going to…
MATTHEWS: Live coverage of his rallies helped him a hell of a lot.
CORN: Well, yes, the live coverage, which were unfiltered, and often
unevaluated, particularly in the first few months of his campaign, things
that other Republicans were shouting at Jeff Zucker about at the event in
Harvard last night.
He doesn`t want to be called on the fact that he doesn`t care about facts.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s check the facts last night. He said he won in a
landslide. What does he mean?
CORN: No. He lost the popular vote. And if you look at the list of…
MATTHEWS: They cheered him, because I think it`s like – let me – I`m not
a media critic.
At FOX, they say things, we`re fair and balanced. And everybody knows
that`s not what they mean. They mean we balance out the liberal media. We
know what they mean. We report, you decide. No, we decide.
Look, they know what – I get the feeling there`s like a – it`s not a dog
whistle. It`s like, you know what they`re really saying. You know what I
mean? Trump talks in this language of, we won in a landslide. It`s not
that he really did. It`s screw-you language, like, of course I didn`t win
in a landslide, but I`m going to say it.
CORN: No, no, but there`s a difference.
MATTHEWS: And they`re going to cheer that.
CORN: There`s a difference here.
MATTHEWS: Do they think he won in a landslide?
CORN: I think some of them do.
MATTHEWS: Oh, come on.
CARDENAS: Hey, you could say, I won 30 states and more. But that`s not
she he said.
CORN: No, but here`s your case study, Chris. The other day, he said
millions of people voted illegally in the race.
Now, that`s not true. His campaign cited studies that didn`t say that.
The people who wrote the studies said it`s not true.
MATTHEWS: Pew didn`t say that.
CORN: And then on CNN yesterday, had this wonderful video – I hate to
tout a competitor – in which one of the reporters talked to some Trump
voters. And they all said, yes, of course he`s right.
MATTHEWS: OK. Can I ask those voters who are watching right now, if there
were three million illegal, I assume Hispanic, voters that voted in
California, right? That`s where largely the big plurality was for Hillary.
How come didn`t they vote for Loretta Sanchez? How come Loretta Sanchez
didn`t roll it up, roll it up? She lost.
So, there weren`t three million illegal people voting up there.
CORN: But the point is…
CORN: This gets back to your question. He said it. His people believe
him, despite any evidence. They even say, we heard it reported on CNN,
when it wasn`t reported.
This is a big challenge of the media and the rest of us.
MATTHEWS: That`s why he`s doing what he is doing.
CARDENAS: His biggest problem is three-fold.
One, he`s got a shrinking base if he keeps this up. And that`s not good
for the party.
MATTHEWS: Older whites. Older whites.
CARDENAS: Number two, he`s appointed – 80 percent of his appointments so
far have been pretty reasonable people. He`s going to get closed in with
his own Cabinet and governance into being a straighter shooter, or else he
can`t keep these good people.
MATTHEWS: Do you think he will put…
CARDENAS: Betsy DeVos is not going to put up with things which are not
And so he`s going to get closed in by good people.
MATTHEWS: She`s the new education secretary.
CARDENAS: That`s correct.
And, number three, there`s going to be a lot of pressure out there for
people seeking reelection, seeking governorships and Senate races in `18,
and that`s going to have another…
MATTHEWS: You`re a very sobering effect. But you`re not Donald Trump.
And you never will be.
CORN: That`s a compliment.
MATTHEWS: By attacking the media as president-elect, Trump is signaling
that he will continue to use this kind of rhetoric once he`s in the White
Here`s a look back at the way he slammed the press during the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: The biggest rigger of the system is the
media. The media is rigged.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: They`re bad people. They`re bad people. And they`re dishonest
people. They don`t tell the truth. They don`t write the truth.
I love it. We just took the press credentials away from the dishonest
Crooked CNN. CNN is so disgusting. CNN.
TRUMP: We have a newspaper that`s failing badly. It`s losing a lot of
money. It`s going to be out of business very soon, “The New York Times.”
Every story they write is a hit job.
It is a failing newspaper. It`s third-rate people. I`m telling you,
third-rate, bad people, bad people, sick people.
You know what you have to do with the media? You have to bull your way
through it. You just bull, bull through it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: There he is describing his approach. You have got to bull your
– listen, David, what does he mean by that, I`m going to bull my way
CORN: You know, Donald Trump knows no shame.
And a person who knows no shame is a dangerous person, because if you
report these that he`s lied or made a mistake or that he doesn`t know what
he`s talking about, it doesn`t harm him. He just says, you`re wrong, and
he feels that “The New York Times” is sick.
“The New York Times” may be wrong, but they`re not sick people. We know
people who work at “The New York Times.” And he knows even better, too.
But he uses his demagogic language. And that`s only word for it, because
it goes to turn his base…
CARDENAS: His predicate is to discredit the press, because he knows that
he`s going to have an ongoing contentious environment.
MATTHEWS: Thank you.
CARDENAS: That`s all it is. So he`s…
MATTHEWS: So, he`s taking the refs, and saying, don`t trust the referees.
CARDENAS: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: They`re crooked.
CARDENAS: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: This is rigged.
CARDENAS: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: In other words, his presidency is going to be rigged. He`s
going to say, no matter what it says in the paper – but I think he
especially hates the print newspapers, hates them.
Not a single newspaper endorsed him. I`m sorry. I have never heard of a
presidential candidate who nobody endorses in the press.
CORN: Well, there was good reason for that.
And a lot of the best reporting, when I don`t think there was enough good
reporting, came from the investigative reporters at a couple of newspapers.
And that`s kind of what he doesn`t like.
MATTHEWS: Well, you know what I figured about this show years ago? People
that watch this show and shows like it read newspapers. And he`s going to
have to contend with facts, because the next day after he talks, somebody`s
going to correct him. Thank God they`re going to correct him.
CORN: That happened a million times during the campaign.
MATTHEWS: Truth will out.
CORN: Well, I hope…
MATTHEWS: Truth will set you free.
CORN: I hope that`s true,Chris.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you.
Al Cardenas sir, thank you for coming on.
MATTHEWS: David Corn.
Up next, back to our big story tonight, the battle of the bands, the hot,
red-hot fight last night between the aides for Clinton and Trump and those
campaign managers. The campaign may be over, but there`s a lot of anger
and bitterness. It`s real. It`s real, and it hurts.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
RICHARD LUI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I`m Richard Lui in the MSNBC
Deadlocked jurors resume deliberations Monday in the trial of former South
Carolina police officer Michael Slager. The judge twice telling them to
keep trying for a verdict. Slager is accused of killing Walter Scott, an
unarmed black man, in a 2015 traffic stop.
A suburban New Orleans sheriff says the shooting death of ex-NFL player Joe
McKnight was a road rage incident. The sheriff being criticized after the
shooter, Ronald Gasser, was released from custody without bail. Cops
saying Gasser fired three rounds at McKnight, who was standing outside of
his vehicle – now back to HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Well, last night`s forum at Harvard University`s Kennedy School of
Government is normally a civilized postmortem on the election. But, as we
told you earlier, last night was anything but that. It was a bruising
bloodbath fueled by acrimony and anger. At best, it was entertaining. At
worst, it was cringe-worthy.
And it seemed to highlight the deep divisions many feel not just from
within the campaign, but throughout this country right now. And you all
For more, I`m joined by our panel tonight, Karen Tumulty, national
political correspondent for “The Washington Post.” Francesca Chambers is
with “The Daily Mail,” and Eli Stokols is national political reporter with
Karen, I want you to start.
Your strongest memory of last night. You were there.
KAREN TUMULTY, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: OK. I was there.
And as it so happened, I was seated facing the whole Clinton team, and the
Trump people having their backs to me. And their faces had the exact same
expression, every one of them. It was anguish. It was shock. And as they
looked at the Trump people, it was contempt.
And you sort of saw them working through all those emotions. Interestingly
enough, the person who was able to take the most clinical look at it was
Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager.
And one of the things that was really overlooked was his description of
precisely what went wrong for them in those last few days, how they needed
to get over 60 percent among young people. They only got into the high
50s. He said, as a result, we lost, how, in the last three days, the
undecideds completely broke for Trump, in part because of the first Comey
letter, which resurrected the doubts people had about Hillary Clinton, and
the second Comey letter, which really energized the Trump voters.
There were a lot of things that happened at the very end.
MATTHEWS: I agree with you. And that`s why Trump dumps all over the
polling and dumps over us. He was surprised at what happened the last
Go ahead, Francesca.
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, “THE DAILY MAIL”: So, speaking about Robby Mook as
well, what I found really fascinating about the discussion was he said that
they seemed to misread the polls almost, that they recognize that it was a
But what they zeroed in on was the risky bet. Donald Trump is a risky bet.
And so they thought, if they could convince voters that he would be too
risky, that they wouldn`t vote for that change in the end.
MATTHEWS: That`s a big mistake.
CHAMBERS: And it ended up being a very big mistake.
MATTHEWS: Why do you think he made the mistake? What was right that he
had wrong? Did he miss the fact that they cared so much about change, they
were willing to take the risk?
CHAMBERS: That they cared so much about change.
But, as Kellyanne Conway described it, they saw the same poll. They read
into it that voters thought that Hillary Clinton was completely
untrustworthy, and that that was more important to voters. And that seems
to be what…
MATTHEWS: And I think it was the Rust Belt.
ELI STOKOLS, POLITICO: Well, I think what was amazing was the sort of
smugness and the sanctimony that you felt, especially from the Trump
Usually, you get a bunch of consultants and campaign operatives in the same
room, they have all been through the trenches, on opposite sides, but after
an election, they can kind of put themselves in the losers` shoes and say,
this is really hard. Not going to rub salt in your wounds.
And you saw a lot of that last night, in terms of gloating and taunting,
especially for a campaign – even if the Clinton people could feel the
ground shifting beneath their feet over the last weekend of the election, I
don`t think the Trump people in Trump Tower really felt all that
confidently that, we got this in the bag.
They were surprised. They didn`t act like they were surprised last night.
They acted like they knew it all along and like the Clinton people…
MATTHEWS: That`s so dishonest. They didn`t know they were going to win.
STOKOLS: But I`m just saying, the amount of celebration and self-
satisfaction was really remarkable.
MATTHEWS: I know. Why don`t they just say, well, we lucked out, we won in
the ninth round or the 10th inning or whatever?
STOKOLS: But the bitterness, that`s our politics now.
MATTHEWS: I know.
Anyway, during the event, Robby Mook, the chairman – or the manager of the
Clinton campaign, criticized the media for its coverage of Secretary
Let`s watch Robby or listen to him.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ROBBY MOOK, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: There was a sense
that Hillary was likely to win this election.
And I think, as a result of that, a lot of the treatment and the reporting
was such that, if there was something suspicious on the Trump side, it
would largely go uncovered, but if there was even the slightest suspicion
on Hillary side, it would be blown up quite a bit.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
TUMULTY: Well, first of all, there was something that everybody agreed on,
which is that they all thought the media had been unfair to their
TUMULTY: They were unanimous on this.
Basically, Robby made the point that, for instance, he did not believe that
the question of Trump not producing his tax returns was prosecuted as
vigorously in the media as Hillary Clinton`s e-mails.
But to hear it then from Kellyanne Conway`s point of view, she said – what
she said literally was: I had that vomited at me on television every
I think we probably, as the media, gave up on the tax return thing at some
point. We just were tired of saying it, whereas the e-mail thing got
reignited by James Comey`s two announcements near the end. This case is
still alive. You know what I mean?
CHAMBERS: Right. Well, that`s exactly – and then Donald Trump was on
stage bringing it up constantly about her deleted e-mails. And so that was
the reason that it continued to stay…
MATTHEWS: What was it? Anybody here can help me with this, as we get
about the last comment on this campaign.
What was so evil, explain, worst-case scenario, about the e-mail story?
What does it say about Hillary Clinton as a disqualifying factor in her
STOKOLS: Well, I Trump always paints with a broad brush.
MATTHEWS: What is the worst you can say?
STOKOLS: This was about portraying her as someone who was not truthful,
who was careless, who had something to hide. That`s it.
It was a big, broad-brush theme, the lock her up chants, everything else.
It was all about, you can`t trust her. Maybe she did something illegal.
If we`re supposed to take him literally, that`s what he was saying.
But I think the big picture was, she`s not trustworthy. And this is from a
guy who didn`t tell the truth over 50 percent of the time.
MATTHEWS: I ask you for an explication for the kids we have, and
grandkids, and great grandkids, how do you explain to Hillary how she
messed it up, if she messed up?
I don`t quite – it`s almost like Whitewater. It ended up being nothing.
It wasn`t anything, or the Travelgate story. These Clinton stories are
always faux scandals. They`re not quite scandals.
TUMULTY: Well, the fact is, Jennifer Palmieri was very emotional, to the
point of tears almost, saying, she thought they made a mistake by
legitimizing this as an avenue of inquiry.
And that is the one thing she would go back and do over again. I think it
spoke to misgivings people already had about Hillary Clinton.
MATTHEWS: Yes. And they just looked for a hook.
But what is it when she said – and I think Palmieri is a real pro. Why
did she say last night the media secretly didn`t like her candidate, or she
said there was sort of anti-Hillary bias? I don`t know where – I don`t
CHAMBERS: And then you, of course, have Donald Trump saying the whole
entire time that…
MATTHEWS: Yes, but I understand that, because he`s an outsider. But she`s
an in – why – where is this secret anti-Hillary hostility? I don`t see
CHAMBERS: It seemed to be, based on what they were saying, that they
didn`t think that the media did a good enough job holding Donald Trump
accountable for his taxes, for a lot of the things that he said.
MATTHEWS: I think we talked about it 100 times here.
CHAMBERS: And I was going to say, I felt that we talked about that quite
frequently as well. So…
MATTHEWS: Anyway, I still have some skepticism about where the there –
where the there in the e-mail thing? What is it?
I know she didn`t want everybody to know about all her campaign business,
because she still was running for president all those four years when she
was at State. And she had all that business to do politically.
It`s not evil. It`s political business. She didn`t want it out. Why
didn`t she just say that, that was political business I wanted to keep to
STOKOLS: Well, she didn`t have Trump`s ability to create your own reality,
your own reality.
MATTHEWS: Yes, your own narrative, your own narrative.
STOKOLS: Forget the facts. Hammer in this narrative. And whether it`s
true or not…
MATTHEWS: You can write about the way these narratives are written.
Anyway, the roundtable is sticking with us.
And up next, these three will tell me something I don`t know. And I`m
learning a lot already.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Karen, tell me something I don`t know.
KAREN TUMULTY, THE WASHINGTON POST: I touched on it a bit, and that is the
degree to which all the smart guys and their analytics had this all wrong.
And it was really young people in the end, despite all of Clinton`s
outreach to celebrities and stuff. Young people at the end decided to go
with third-party candidates and that could have been the deciding factor.
MATTHEWS: That`s what Robbie said. I`m amaze at that. You didn`t hear
any pro-Trump. It`s just that I wasn`t thrilled by Hillary.
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, THE DAILY MAIL: President Barack Obama is heading to
Tampa on Tuesday. He`s going to be giving a big counterterrorism speech at
MacDill. This will not be the final policy speech necessarily of his
presidency. And it might not be the final domestic trip that we`ll see him
take. But the White House is saying, it will be a final opportunity for
him to explain why he took the strategy that he did.
MATTHEWS: I`ve got to get an interview with him. We only have a little
ELI STOKOLS, POLITICO: You`ve covered this earlier in the show, the rally
that Trump did in Ohio last night, that he`s going to be doing more next
week, a victory tour. And because maybe all these conflicts of interest
around his presidency, we`ve been getting a lot of questions about who`s
paying for all these rallies? What`s going on?
Well, we found out and we found out from sources inside the transition that
they thought about, and Trump said let`s use transition money for it. And
after some deliberation, they decided, no, we don`t want any confusion, any
gray areas. So, they are using presidential campaign money left over for
the rally last night and for the rally –
MATTHEWS: So, it`s still going on. The engine is still running.
Anyway, thank you, Karen Tumulty, Francesca Chambers, Eli, who`ve had a
When we come back, the reality show “President”. Actor Tim Daly is with us
for the performance art, as he got to call up Donald Trump.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Next week, join me for a special hour of news leading to a big
hour of HARDBALL. Starting Monday at 6:00 Eastern, we`ve got a pre-game
hour, with news and headlines from around the country. And then at 7:00
Eastern, you want to stay tuned for the big hour of HARDBALL with all the
fire and heat from the day in politics. That`s next week.
And we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And polls have officially opened, what is shaping up to
be one of the most dramatic American elections in recent memory. For the
first time in nearly 200 years, we may be looking at a deadlock in the
Electoral College for president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s not toing to lose. I told you, he`s not going
to lose. He`s going to win, today. He`s totally going to win in the House
of Representatives in a couple of months.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which again makes no sense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it`s tricky. But Evans has alienated a lot of
people in his own party. So, in a contingent election, Bolton should
emerge as a compromise candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: We`re back.
That was a scene from CBS`s “Madam Secretary”, currently in its third
successful season. The real-life Madam Secretary Hillary Clinton is a huge
fan we`re told.
The lead actor in the program, Tim Daly, knows a lot about political drama.
Come January 20th, Donald Trump will make history himself becoming the
first reality TV star to be elected president. And just because he`s in
the White House doesn`t mean he will give up on dramatics. This is Trump
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: We did have a lot of fun fighting
Hillary, didn`t we, right? We will have two simple rules when it comes –
They don`t know that Hillary lost a couple of weeks ago. They forgot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Joining me now is that actor and president of the Creative
Coalition, Tim Daly.
Tim, thank you for coming on.
TIM DALY, ACTOR: Thanks for having me, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I wonder what it was like shooting your latest episodes during
November, as in real-time, and it was real-time for you as well-being an
American to shoot scenes from a dramatic series about a secretary of state
as a woman, a smart woman, and at the same time maybe model it after
Hillary at the time the campaign came down to a conclusion which we never
DALY: Well, it was, you know, very interesting, and for a lot of people
very difficult. I think it was no secret that I was a supporter of
Hillary. And I Hillary and I worked for her. Little did we know when we
were making this political show that our actual political situation in this
country would be more dramatic and maybe more farfetched than anything we
do on TV.
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s the truth. I`m wondering. Ha!
This is still concerning to me, because I still get up in the morning and I
go, Clinton lost. I don`t know – whether that`s more powerful in my head
or that Trump won is still powerful in my head. I had these competing
realities. I have a very recent memory of people figuring out, who`s going
to be ambassador to Paris, who`s going to be ambassador to England, who`s
going to be secretary of state, who`s going to be this, and all those jobs
are now in the hands of Donald Trump.
And all those people that thought they have a future all figured, including
Robby Mook and Joel Benenson and the rest of them over in Brooklyn, that
experience, that reality isn`t true any more. It`s a whole new reality.
It just is.
DALY: Yes. I mean, you know, there`s an enormous shift in the country,
and I think that, you know, it`s something that we`re going to have to come
to grips with. And, you know, as an artist and president of the Creative
Coalition, I think now is the time for artists to really get busy, because
there`s two things we do really well. One is, we cause trouble, we stir up
controversy. And the other is, we create a lot of empathy.
So, it`s time for us to get busy as writers and actors and musicians and
reflect back to us, who we actually are as a society. So that we can come
to grips with this, and figure out how we`re going to move forward.
MATTHEWS: Do you believe – this is a loaded question, which you might
expect from me, Tim. When you see those last minute rallies – now,
Springsteen is different, because Springsteen appeals to working people,
Allentown, the whole thing, Youngstown. He has a real connection to
Carole King gets on, Bon Jovi gets on, the rest of them, Rob Reiner,
anybody Hillary Clinton, Streisand, anybody she hangs – do you have a
sense when they get together with Hillary Clinton, in the campaign, that
sent a message of inclusiveness, of come on, join the team? Or does it
send the message of, we`re the winning circle here, you`re not in it?
I wonder if it doesn`t hurt that too much celebrity around you, when you`re
running for president of the United States. I don`t know if it`s true, I
have a hunch it is true. Your thoughts?
DALY: Well, I don`t know, I mean, I remember eight years ago, there was a
big cry among the Republicans that Barack Obama was just a celebrity, and
he had all these celebrity friends. Meanwhile, the Republicans elected
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood and Ronald Reagan who
were all celebrities themselves. They were the people who elected
celebrities. And we have another election of a celebrity now. So, I don`t
What I do know, is that a lot of artists – Bruce Springsteen included,
myself included – come from a place that is not exulted. You know, people
– most people I know aren`t born into a successful career as an actor or
singer. They come from some place more humble, and they have a success
story, much like Hillary Clinton.
And I think it`s interesting and ironic, that a billionaire who is born
with a silver spoon in his mouth, in the city, managed to somehow connect
with the Rust Belt of this country, people who – bear a lot more in common
with Hillary than Donald Trump.
MATTHEWS: How did he do it?
DALY: I really don`t know. I think that maybe he – you know, he made –
look, I think that there are a lot of people in the Rust Belt and in the
middle of this country who are left out, and who feel it, and want to be
seen and heard. And somehow he managed to make them feel scene. And
apparently the other party did not. So –
MATTHEWS: How does the Democratic Party – you`re a political guy. How
does the Democratic Party get back to Bobby Kennedy, in the `60s, where
you`re able to have a candidate who appeals to both the working class
whites, Irish Italian, Polish, whatever, and also the African-Americans and
Chicanos, well call them back then Mexican Americans? And how – he was
able to do that. How can you do that again?
Democrats can`t do that anymore for some reason. Why not? What are they
going to do to fix that problem?
DALY: I don`t know, but I think they have to start by talking to
everybody. And making sure that, you know, that when we`re talking about,
you know, as Democrats, we`re talking about being inclusive, that we`re
including those people that we seem to have left behind, or to ignore for
DALY: So, everybody, if we`re going to talk about being inclusive, we have
to make sure we include everybody.
MATTHEWS: Yes, a friend of mine used to say, in terms of male and female
relations, he said, people don`t mind being used, they mind being
discarded. I think we have to think about that politically. It`s serious
Tim, it`s great to have you on. I`m a big fan.
DALY: Thank you, Chris.
MATTHEWS: When we return, let me finish with what happened last night at
Harvard confab between the Trump team and the Clinton team. It was
And you`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with the event last night at Harvard, the
John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics which hosted the forum last night,
featuring the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaign managers is usually a more
Last night was anything but, and there`s a reason for it. The reason is
the campaign didn`t turn out the way it was supposed to. Nobody had reason
to believe Trump was going to win. Not even the top Trump people believed
he was going to breakthrough the firewall and grab Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
and then Michigan, which by then they didn`t need.
So, the losers didn`t, haven`t had a chance to digest what happened, no,
not even almost a month later. It takes time to realize the world you
imagined through two years of hard campaigning isn`t the world you`re
leaving in. Feelings are raw, for minorities who hated what they heard
Trump say on his way to winning the election. For women who feel he got
away with words that should never be spoken, for people with physical
handicap, for immigrants, for a president he accused of being an illegal
I can live with a little bitterness after all that, I`m glad to live in a
country that when confronted with these offenses against the civil society
do more than say “ouch” and forget about it.
That`s HARDBALL for now, for Friday, December 2nd, 2016. Thanks for being
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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