Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript 12/9/2016

Catherine Rampell, Joel Benenson, Anthony Scaramucci, Heidi Przybyla, Anand Giridharadas, Adam Chandler

Date: December 9, 2016
Guest: Catherine Rampell, Joel Benenson, Anthony Scaramucci, Heidi
Przybyla, Anand Giridharadas, Adam Chandler


Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in New York.

Well, there`s a big news out from the Trump transition tonight. Rudy
Giuliani is out of the running for secretary of state. Wow! One of the
president-elect`s earliest and most loyal supporters, Giuliani was
considered a front-runner – I thought he was going to get it – for the
job early on.

Anyway, this afternoon, the Trump team announced that the former New York
mayor took his name out of consideration. Here`s what Giuliani himself
said in an interview with Fox.


RUDY GIULIANI (R), FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I decided, I guess it was,
about 10 days ago, November 29th, that the whole thing was becoming kind of
very confusing and very difficult for the president-elect. And my desire
to be in the cabinet was great, but it wasn`t that great. And he had a lot
of terrific candidates.


MATTHEWS: Well, Giuliani said that one name he does not think should fill
a cabinet post is Mitt Romney. Let`s get that. Let`s listen.


GIULIANI: I probably agree with Newt and with Mike Huckabee and a group of
other very loyal supporters of President-elect Trump. Mitt`s – I thought
Mitt went over the line in the things that he said about Donald Trump. You
can make friends and make up, but I don`t – I would not see him as a
candidate for the cabinet.


MATTHEWS: Well, that`s for sure. Anyway, the State Department post is one
of the last cabinet posts that remains unfilled. An announcement is
expected next week on that.

Meanwhile, we`re watching a stage in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Donald
Trump is set to address supporters at another thank you rally this hour.
We`ll monitor his speech and bring you any major news out of it.

We begin tonight with Giuliani`s desire or decision to take his name off
the list from secretary of state. What does it mean for the transition?

NBC`s Kristen Welker is in Grand Rapids, tonight. Kristen, I get the
feeling that Rudy Giuliani really, really, really wanted to be secretary of
state. He campaigned for it. It would have been a hell of a decision.
But what happened?

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Look, I think a couple things happened,
Chris. I think, one, Trump world was divided. We`ve been reporting on
this for weeks. You had a lot of people who thought Mitt Romney would be -
- Rudy Giuliani would be great. He`s a longtime loyalist. And then you
have people who have been campaigning against Mitt Romney.

On the other hand, you had people who were expressing concerns about Rudy
Giuliani, that he was too much of a hard-liner, that he wasn`t enough of a
counterpoint to someone like a Michael Flynn. And then, of course, you had
his background, the fact that there were questions regarding his past
business dealings.

Now, Reince Priebus has been very clear, all of that checked out. Still,
Chris, I think it left a shadow over Rudy Giuliani.

And the bottom line is – and you heard Rudy Giuliani refer to it himself -
- the fact that it was becoming complicated for the president-elect, that
there were these two factions within Trump world, some who were fighting
for Romney, some fighting for Rudy Giuliani. And I think, ultimately, he
felt as though it was getting too complicated, just as he said. And I
think the president-elect felt as much, as well.

I also think other names have emerged as top contenders, including Rex
Tillerson. He is, of course, the CEO of Exxonmobil. He`s someone who has
done business deals in Russia, in the Middle East. And I am told that
President-elect Donald Trump and his top advisers are increasingly
impressed by Rex Tillerson. And of course, he met with Mr. Tillerson
several days ago.

So I think the fact that you have the president-elect expanding his search,
and you have all of these complicating factors around Rudy Giuliani,
ultimately, Rudy Giuliani and the president-elect felt as though this was
the best decision and that it wasn`t going to be Rudy Giuliani.

But you`re absolutely right, it is a stunning moment because for quite some
time, a lot of people thought that it could be Rudy Giuliani.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Me, too. Well…

WELKER: And now, tonight, a very different outcome, Chris.

MATTHEWS: … I was one. I thought it was going to be – and I got one
more thought. You`ve watched Trump, and I think there`s sympathetic going
on here. I mean, he doesn`t mind being accused of being too conservative,
too right-wing, even he doesn`t mind being attacked for having too many
generals he picks.

But I do think he wants to avoid any distraction in the first hundred days.
The president only gets a little bit of time to get something done, as we
all know, even from Reagan and people like that, successful presidents only
get a few months.

He doesn`t want to have that tainted by some wild goose chase scandal
problem, whether it`s Giuliani – he`s in the same business and I thought
in a rougher way, to Chris Christie. Good-bye, Chris Christie. In fact,
good-bye to all your people. I don`t want any problem with you on the

Is that what`s going on, he just doesn`t want any scandal story, true or
not, to distract him from his oomph right up front when he gets the – when
he`s inaugurated?

WELKER: I think you`re absolutely right. And look, we saw that with
Michael Flynn`s son, right? He was putting all of these conspiracy
theories out on social media and he was fired, effectively, from advising
his father. And so I think you`re right, that was a real concern for the

And just to play a little bit of chess here, Chris. Tonight, President-
elect Trump is going to appear with the state party chair, Ronna Romney
McDaniel. She, according to sources, is President-elect Trump`s leading
candidate to be RNC chair. Now, if she, in fact, does become the RNC
chair, would he have – would he want two Romneys in key positions? By all
accounts, the answer to that would be no.

And again, that underscores that we`re increasingly looking at candidates
like a Rex Tillerson to fulfill that all-important position of secretary of
state. The transition is very insistent upon the fact that he`s not going
to rush through this decision because it is so vitally important and that
they are expecting a decision some time next week, but it might not come
next week.

He`s going to make the decision when he feels as though he has made the
right one, Chris.

MATTHEWS: OK, denying Romney the secretary of state job, but giving his
daughter-in-law the RNC job is like not giving you your big present for
Christmas, but giving you a stocking stuffer in with the apples.


MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you Kristen Welker. You know what I`m talking

WELKER: Great analogy. Great analogy.

MATTHEWS: You`re at the Trump rally in Grand Rapids.

Well, last night, Donald Trump praised the men and women he`s chosen for
his cabinet.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I believe we`re in the process of
putting together one of the great cabinets that has ever been assembled in
the history of our nation! Do you like it so far, everybody?



MATTHEWS: What a crowd pleaser.

Anyway, Anthony Scaramucci is an executive board member of the Trump
transition, itself. He`s the guy. And “USA Today” senior political
reporter Heidi Przybyla also joins us.

Heidi, thank you for this. Well, let`s listen to what Anthony has to say,
and if there`s any factual corrections you want to get into, we will make
sure the reporting is available to our audience.

Anthony, this guy, Trump – and I`ve interviewed him for 20 years. I don`t
dislike him or anything. Some of the things he says I make clear I don`t.
But let`s talk about some things.

Generals! Somebody said this was going to be like “Seven Days in May.”
You got the general running the Defense Department, a general running
National Security Council, you`ve got a general Homeland Security.

Why all the brass? We have a civilian government.

that these guys are terrific guys. And let`s just call them for what they
are. They`re civilians…


SCARAMUCCI: They`re civilians…

MATTHEWS: A few years out.

SCARAMUCCI: … that have valorously served the country.

MATTHEWS: Good. Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: And so they`re now private citizens. So let`s make that clear
to everybody. And one of the great things about these guys – you think
about the guys that he`s put in place, they get along with each other.


SCARAMUCCI: And you`re going to need support on that border. And General
Kelly is probably going to help the Mexican government with the drug and
gun cartels, which will reduce crime in the United States and drug
trafficking. So to me, I think it`s a harmony of a lot of great things,

And this is something about Mr. Trump that I think everyone knows. He`s
absolutely fearless about finding the people that have the highest


SCARAMUCCI: … that can go into the specific jobs and be the most
efficacious at them.

MATTHEWS: But cabinet ministers aren`t supposed to be, “Yes, sir” types.
They`re (INAUDIBLE) the top.

SCARAMUCCI: Have you met those three guys?

MATTHEWS: They`re not – no, I`m just telling you. Generals don`t just
go, “Yes, sir,” snap to. They`re supposed to be collegial, challenging the


MATTHEWS: And so there`s a real community there of thought.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, first of all…

MATTHEWS: Do you think generals are going to be…

SCARAMUCCI: Well, first of all…

MATTHEWS: … up to challenge?

SCARAMUCCI: First of all, they`re not generals anymore. Secondly, have
you met these three guys? Because…

MATTHEWS: No, obviously, I haven`t.

SCARAMUCCI: OK, because I sit right next to General Flynn all day. And so
I wouldn`t describe him as somebody that isn`t a challenging sort of a guy.
Moreover, John Kelly and I know each other from Benz (ph), another terrific
person. General Mattis I don`t know personally, but…

MATTHEWS: Mad dog!


MATTHEWS: What do you think of that nickname?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, he likes “warrior monk.” Let`s go with warrior monk.
He`s one of the most well read generals in the history of the United
States, and he is a brilliant leader. And I`ll tell you something, you
can`t find anybody in any of the armed services that dislike…

MATTHEWS: So you`re not worried about civilian control.

SCARAMUCCI: … General Mattis.

MATTHEWS: You`re not worried that this is going to be too many generals.

SCARAMUCCI: No, I`m not. I`m not worried. And typically – and I can
give some historical context here from General Washington through Andrew
Jackson right to Eisenhower, you get less casualties when you put these
guys in charge (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: OK, well, I`m not against one or two guys, but this is a lot.

Anyway, Trump`s pick to head the Labor Department, Andrew Puzder, is the
CEO of several major fast food chains. And earlier this year, he spoke
about using machines to replace some functions of human workers.

Here he goes. “Machines are always polite, they always upsell” – I guess
sell more than they`re supposed to. “They never take a vacation. They
never show up late. There`s never a slip and fall, or an age, sex, or race
discrimination case.”

Well, with of course that`s true! But why – he`s the labor secretary.
Isn`t the Labor Department – wasn`t it created to look out for the
interests of actual human being workers?

SCARAMUCCI: Of course it is. He`s just…

MATTHEWS: Not for robots!

SCARAMUCCI: But you know, the way it`s being framed is a little – you`re
trying to present him as sort of callous, right? But he`s not really a
callous guy. I know the guy personally. He loves the working class
community. One of the reasons why he was given this job is that we`re not
talking about a $15-an-hour job. We`re trying to get $60-an-hour jobs.

You know, one of the big problems here is talking about robots? There`s no
robot manufacturing in the United States, Chris. How about paying people
$60 an hour to make these robots? The robots are coming, no matter who you

MATTHEWS: So it doesn`t bother you when you go to LaGuardia – as I
mentioned this the other night – and see nothing but computer –
basically, laptops, a whole bunch of laptops where you order up your
hamburgers, your donuts, your coffee? There`s no human beings working
there, or hardly any.

SCARAMUCCI: I – I – I think what we can do, we can again look through
history at the industrial transformation and technological


SCARAMUCCI: … of our society and we can see a brighter future for the
people that used to be doing that at LaGuardia.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Who`s going to…

SCARAMUCCI: We`re going to make – we`re going to help them find better

MATTHEWS: Anthony, who`s going to fight for minimum wage in this
administration? Nobody. The Labor Department won`t do it. The secretary
he named is opposed to minimum wage. There`ll be no case for it being

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think the biggest advocate will be the president-
elect, and he`s…

MATTHEWS: But he`s against it!

SCARAMUCCI: He`s really not against it. He says that he wants to make it
a state-by-state decision. He`s told people…

MATTHEWS: The minimum wage?

SCARAMUCCI: Yes. He`s told people on this network and other networks that
it should be higher than it is now.


SCARAMUCCI: But what he doesn`t want to do is have a one-size-fits-all for
all 50 states, and so…

MATTHEWS: OK, what about this guy, Pruitt…

SCARAMUCCI: … he wants to turn it (ph) more of into a laboratory.

MATTHEWS: … the AG down in Oklahoma from the oil patch. I mean, this is
the Environmental Protection Agency. It`s the one agency of government
whose job it is to protect the environment. And this guy defends the oil
patch. He`s against all this regulation. He wants to defend the oil

SCARAMUCCI: He`s obviously got to get confirmed, and I think, in the
confirmation process, you`ll learn…


SCARAMUCCI: … that he really wants to strike the balance between the two

MATTHEWS: Heidi, take a – take moment here and just give me a portrait,
and he`ll respond to it, of how you would describe the composition of this
new administration – generals, billionaires – as I said in Bernie accent
– I mean, they all seem to fit a pattern, rich guys or generals.

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, “USA TODAY”: Well, I think Anthony is right about the
general aspect of it. I actually went back and looked, and Obama had also
appointed about three generals at or about this time. And Mattis and Kelly
get great reviews.

But I think the broader issue is whether we are seeing kind of a cabinet
version of what we saw with the Tea Party in Congress, which is where you
have a whole flank of people coming in whose mission is unclear as to
whether build up these agencies and fulfill their current mission or to
basically claw them back and kind of claw back the government itself.

Like with the Environmental Protection Agency, the word – the name of it
is to protect the environment, and you have a climate change denier in
charge of that. Betsy DeVos is very much against public education.

So I think there is a question just about the broader mandate…


PRZYBYLA: … and what Trump sold on the campaign trail.

MATTHEWS: There is a pattern here. (INAUDIBLE) the Environmental
Protection agency, you get a guy who`s basically an oil patch guy, doesn`t
believe in all this regulation. You put a head of the – you put a person
in the Education Department – DeVos is a very fine person, I assume, but
she`s not a big advocate for public education.

SCARAMUCCI: OK, so actually, I think, again, you`ll have to go to these
confirmation hearings. I think what you`ll find with her is that she`s an
advocate for students. And so she`s trying to look for the best solution
for students across a broad cross section of the country. I`m the product
of a public school, and so I can tell you about Betsy. She wants very
robust public schooling.

MATTHEWS: Do me a favor?


MATTHEWS: Promise me John Bolton will not be in charge of the United
States foreign policy because Donald Trump ran against these stupid wars.
And to put Bolton in there in any capacity, you`re putting the biggest war
hawk in the country in charge of war and foreign policy. Would he do that?
Is that possible? Bolton?

SCARAMUCCI: Listen, I don`t want to rule anybody out, but I think that the
process has been fascinating for me to observe from my seat.

MATTHEWS: Yes. OK. You know what I`m talking about, don`t you?


MATTHEWS: Trump ran against these stupid wars.

SCARAMUCCI: You`re suggesting that he`s a neocon and…

MATTHEWS: He is one! He`s the number one neocon.

SCARAMUCCI: And what I will tell you about the president-elect is that
he`s really trying to find people that are not really subscribing to any
anchored ideology.


SCARAMUCCI: I think that`s going to be good news for the American people.

MATTHEWS: Well, look beyond John Bolton. Anyway, I`m allowed to
editorialize here. Anyway, Scaramucci, thank you, Anthony. It`s great to
have you on. And Heidi, thank you, as always.

When we come back, we`ll continue to wait for the beginning of Donald
Trump`s big rally out tonight in Grand Rapids. You can see it here live.
We`re keeping an eye on what`s going on in that (INAUDIBLE) see what the
big news is tonight, if there is any.

Plus, President Obama orders a full review of election-related hacking.
This is big news coming up right now. What effect did it have on the
election? Were the Russians involved? And let`s check out with the
intelligence agencies what they have to say about Russia`s role here and
whether they are to blame for these hacks. Anyway, this is something that
Donald Trump has repeatedly ignored or denied. And that`s a big story
that`s coming up next, the Russian role.

And another edition of “Vintage Trump” coming up tonight. You`re going to
hear from him tonight in Michigan, but it`s his past interviews where he`s
been the most revealing about the kind of president he`s going to be.

Finally, “Let Me Finish” with something that needs to be said about the
American hero we lost this week, John Glenn.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Well, we continue to watch that podium there in Grand Rapids,
Michigan, the latest stop on Donald Trump`s thank you tour. We`ll be
monitoring what Trump says tonight at that rally and keeping an eye out for
any news he might make.

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL, where we`re continuing to keep an eye
on that Donald Trump rally in Grand Rapids tonight. We`ll be monitoring
it, as we often do, to find out if there`s any news in it. We`ll bring
that to you if there is.

Meantime, today, President Obama has offered (sic) a full review of the
cyberattacks carried out against the Democratic National Committee and
other political entities during the 2016 campaign. Wow, this is necessary.
The U.S. intelligence community has already blamed Russia for the hacking,
but the review will compile a more complete dossier of evidence for the
president before the end of his term.

So this is a quick one. He wants to get it done before he leaves office,
President Obama.

Here`s how counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco described it at a breakfast
with reporters this morning.


the work that we did over the summer to engage both the Congress on the
threats that we were seeing and state and local stakeholders that I just
spoke to in terms of providing them both information and tools to defend
themselves and help them confront the risk. We may be in – have crossed
into a new threshold.


MATTHEWS: Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump continues to cast doubt
on the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia was,
indeed, responsible. On Tuesday, he told “Time” magazine that, quote, “I
don`t believe they interfered. It could be Russia, it could be China, and
it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

Well, this also comes as a group of Republican senators – Republicans –
including John McCain and Lindsey Graham prepare to lead their own
investigation. Here`s what Graham told CNN yesterday.


Russia in every way you can go after Russia. I think they`re one of the
most destabilizing influences on the world stage. I think they did
interfere with our elections, and I want Putin personally to pay a price.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should Trump take a tougher tone with Russia?

GRAHAM: I think Russia – I think Trump should take a real tough tone with
Russia because if he doesn`t, you`re going to allow Russia to begin to
break apart alliances.


MATTHEWS: Well, I`m joined right now by Catherine Rampell, opinion
columnist at “The Washington Post,” as well as MSNBC political analyst, the
great Jonathan Capehart, who`s an opinion writer at “The Washington Post,”
as well.

I want to start with you, Jonathan, because I want a point of view and I
want some attitude on this.


MATTHEWS: Suppose the same thing happened in this election, but in the
case of the partisan aspect was different.

Suppose it came out that the Russkies, the Russians of old, our old Cold
War enemies, if you will, we thought we were going to blow up the world
with, one way or another, were involved with secretly putting out bad
information and it embarrassed the Republican candidate.

And imagine the word got out that the election went in the direction the
Russkies apparently wanted it to go. I would expect millions of right-
wingers would be pounding the streets of Washington for the last several
weeks. They wouldn`t have had their somewhat calm reaction of the
Democrats and the progressives, yes, let`s have an investigation.

Your thoughts? The Russians, we all know, by 17 agencies got involved with
digging up the stuff and hacking the stuff from the DNC, exposing all of
John Podesta`s stuff, bringing in all this e-mail.

Go ahead. Your thoughts?

CAPEHART: The fact that there isn`t screaming from the rooftops by
conservatives shows you just how otherworldly a state the United States is
in right now.

Every American, Democrats and Republicans, should be concerned at the
highest levels that the Russians have possibly done something, done
something bad or nefarious with our elections. And the fact that
Republicans, who used to own the flag, used to own, you know, strength in
the face of Russia, used to own, you know, strong military preparedness and
all of that, that they are quiet in all of this is astounding.

Imagine if it were the other way around.

MATTHEWS: That`s what I`m saying, brother. I`m telling you, it`s
unbelievable how this has become – let me go right now to Catherine,
because what Jonathan noted there, the fact is, Republicans, like Lindsey
Graham, as we said, and John Corker, these people also want this thing put
together. They wanted – Bob Corker – they want to know if the Russians
did, in fact, get involved with our election.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Of course they do. Of course,

MATTHEWS: Why do you think they`re motivated?

RAMPELL: Well, the charitable explanation is that they care about our
national security, they care about interventions within our democratic
process, our political process.

If you want to talk about the more self-interested reason, it`s that today
it`s the Democrats, tomorrow, it could be the Republicans.

MATTHEWS: They don`t really like Trump very much either. Let`s be honest.

RAMPELL: Well, there`s that, too. But my point is that Russians are
playing the long game here. In the short term, they care about getting
Trump into office. In the long term…

MATTHEWS: You think they did that on purpose? They wanted him in the
office, or they just wanted to mess it up?

RAMPELL: Well, I think it`s both. That`s where I was going with this.

I think, in the short term, they definitely prefer Donald Trump. In the
long term, their goal is to destabilize the world`s number one superpower.

MATTHEWS: What I like about this, Jonathan – only a moment for you to get
back on this, 20 seconds.


MATTHEWS: It`s not one of these nine-year Lawrence Walsh investigations.
Obama has already the authoritative reactions from 17 agencies.

He wants this capped off, concluded by the time he leaves office on the
20th of January.

CAPEHART: Right, so that everyone knows that – what was what with this
election and the Russians – Russians` involvement and how extensive it is,
so that the incoming administration will have no choice but to do something
about it if there is something to do, and for the American people to know
the extent to which the Russians were involved, and, if everything is A-OK,
then that, for the American people, I think, should put a lid on whatever
conspiracy theories that might be out there that the election was swung to
Trump`s advantage.


MATTHEWS: Sorry. Have to rush here.

Catherine, is there going to be a reaction from Russia if we do conclude
they did it, we have put out official paper by January 19 of 2017, you guys
did it, you Russkies did it, we know you did it?

RAMPELL: I`m sure that they will declare that they had nothing to do with
it, that they did not intercede, but, meanwhile, speaking out of the other
dies of their mouths, oh, yes, notice how vulnerable our – you know, our
frenemy is.

MATTHEWS: Our frenemy.


RAMPELL: Our frenemy, how we might have potentially affected them.


MATTHEWS: Catherine Rampell, it`s always great to have you, and another
“Washington Post”-ie, Jonathan Capehart. Thank you very much, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Have a nice weekend, both of you.

We continue to monitor, by the way, Donald Trump`s rally out in Grand
Rapids, Michigan. And, by the way, that`s Ronna Romney – Ronna Romney
McDaniel on the stage, the leading candidate to be the next chair of the
Republican National Committee.

We will certainly bring you any news that comes out of that event tonight.

And up next, the chief strategist to Hillary Clinton`s presidential
campaign, the great Joel Benenson, the grownup in that race, is going to
join us.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.



Jurors in the Dylann Roof trial were shown a videotaped confession from the
accused Charleston church gunman. It began with Roof telling authorities -
- quote – “I went to that church in Charleston, and I did it.”

Nine people were killed in the shooting last June.

It looks as though there will be no government shutdown. The Senate is
expected to pass a temporary funding measure tonight.

And it`s not officially winter, but parts of Upstate New York are being
pummeled by lake-effect snow, which at some points have been falling at a
rate of two inches per hour – now back to HARDBALL.


so-called fake news can have real-world consequences. This isn`t about
politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk.

It`s a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly. It`s
imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector
step up to protect our democracy and innocent lives.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was Hillary Clinton yesterday at the United States Capitol in just her
second high-profile public appearance since losing the presidential
election last month.

Well, Secretary Clinton addressed fake news and urged Congress to tackle
the issue, which at times challenged her presidential bid and ultimately
led to a shooting innocent at a Washington, D.C., pizzeria earlier this
week by a man who believed bogus conspiracy theories about Clinton`s

I`m joined right now by the chief strategist to Hillary Clinton`s campaign,
Joel Benenson.

I don`t want to rehash. You don`t want to rehash, but I`ll tell you, some
things just came out of that campaign we have got to worry about, fake
news. When you and I were growing up, I have to tell you, when Walter
Cronkite told us something, John Chancellor said something, that was about
it, the major newspapers.

Now people are getting information from God knows where, including Alex
Jones and people like that, and they`re acting on it.


And I think the problem for mainstream media, journalists, cable TV and
everybody else, print, television, is they`re having to make decisions in
real time, because we`re in the midst of this revolution.


BENENSON: It`s not completed. Every day, we`re dealing with new things.

When this campaign started, no one was talking about fake news. Six months
ago, no one was talking about fake news. It`s a fairly recent emergence.
Today, also, I think President Obama asked his intelligence agencies to
report to him about what happened in terms of Russia`s interference
potentially in this election.

Things happened here in the last six or seven months that are
unprecedented. I think it puts everybody in a tough spot. I think it puts
campaigns in a tough spot. I think it puts guys like you and everyone in
the media in a tough spot.

MATTHEWS: Well, you can get punked, too. That happens a lot too. People
call in with something. People, a younger person perhaps, somebody who
isn`t smart enough to know that this is B.S., they get it right to the
person on the air. They`re reading it on the air. And they look like an
idiot right away.

BENENSON: And somebody tweets it and it goes viral. It goes to a million
or two million people like that.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Trump`s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said on
HARDBALL last night that Hillary Clinton did not have a message. That`s
why this other stuff worked. Let`s watch her.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: The fact is that this campaign ran
a race where we reached into those working-class voters who felt like they
were the forgotten man or forgotten woman. They were the base of our

And, Chris, all they needed to do was have a compelling, sticky,
persuadable, aspirational message to the American people. If you can sit
here right now and tell me, as a brilliant political mind, what Hillary
Clinton`s message was, I`m listening. What was it?

All I heard was, we`re not Donald Trump. That`s not a message. That`s a


MATTHEWS: Well, there`s Kellyanne. And I have to tell you, she`s a
partisan, she has a point of view.

But I think there`s a couple things going at war. It seems to me you need
a very powerful message to drive the crazy fake news out of there. And the
other question I will get to, two questions, did you have a message, and,
secondly, why do people believe the worst about politicians?

That some politician or some political friend of a candidate is running
some sort of slave – sex slavery operation out of the basement of a
pizzeria, why would anybody believe that?

BENENSON: Which part do you want me to take, the second one or the first


BENENSON: Look, obviously, we had a message.

Hillary Clinton was running a campaign all the way through about building
an economy that works for everyone, not just corporations and the very
wealthy and those at the top, that the economic system had been working for
those who had gotten 99 percent of the gains. She was a true populist in
this race.

I think the voters that Kellyanne is talking about are in for a rude
awakening when Donald Trump proposes and asks as for the biggest tax cuts
in history for those corporations.

MATTHEWS: Now we`re doing what we`re doing here, which is still flacking.


MATTHEWS: I think that…

BENENSON: Well, no, because I think that`s a real problem.

MATTHEWS: Did you make mistake in talking about too much redistribution,
talking too much dividing up the pie, and not enough talk about baking more
pies, making more jobs, making…

BENENSON: No, I think…

MATTHEWS: Did you talk economic growth?

BENENSON: Oh, absolutely.

MATTHEWS: Growth, economic growth?

BENENSON: Absolutely.

We talked about strong growth and fair growth. We talked about investing
in the jobs of the future, yes, because fair growth is strong growth.


BENENSON: You can`t have strong growth without wages rising.


BENENSON: Look, the reality in the country, whether you want to accept it
or not, or Kellyanne or Donald Trump wants to accept it, is we have had
record corporate profits and wages are stagnant.


BENENSON: So there`s a massive disconnect here.

MATTHEWS: I know. That`s why they voted for somebody to change the whole

BENENSON: Well, they voted for somebody who they think, well, I believe
will shake up Washington. I think that is their biggest pain point. I
believe they think Washington`s broken. He`s a bomb thrower. He will
shake it up. And I think that`s what they were voting for.


MATTHEWS: I`m watching this campaign really close, and I`m telling
everybody – I was over in Ireland a few weeks ago, before the election. I
said, don`t worry. Don`t worry. Pennsylvania`s the firewall. I know that
state. They`re never going to go for a Republican.

When did it strike you? And then the night before, I get a call from
Kellyanne, how`s Pennsylvania looking? I said, well, it looks like three
points, you lose. I`m sorry. I just talked to Rendell. I talked to the
party chair up there. Looks like a three-point loss.

What happened in your head over that 24 hours? Did something happen at the

BENENSON: No, I think things were tightening up at the end. And I think
that we saw, in a couple of states, in a lot of those – Pennsylvania,
Wisconsin, Michigan, by the way, at the end, those three together, as we

MATTHEWS: Why`d they move?

BENENSON: There are about 80,000 votes separating us across those three


MATTHEWS: Why`d it happen?

BENENSON: Look, I could look back at probably six or 10 different things,
Chris, and any one of them I could say had some truth in it, probably.

I think, at the end, I think the Comey thing was a factor.

MATTHEWS: I do agree.

BENENSON: The FBI thing.

The other thing we had in this race was a variable of third-party voters.
We always had Trump defectors and Hillary defectors.

MATTHEWS: Don`t you hate them? Don`t you hate people who come up to you
and say, I voted for Gary Johnson, who couldn`t name a world leader?

BENENSON: I`m sure they`re feeling great today. Right?


MATTHEWS: I hope they get the message.

BENENSON: I mean, look, the problem when you have that, it`s something you
can`t control totally. They`re a small group of people, and if they decide
to go one way late – and I think his voters solidified his third-party
defectors and ours didn`t, particularly when FBI Director Comey did what he
did 11 days out.

MATTHEWS: Yes. I think that mattered.

BENENSON: We saw the momentum break.

And, in fact, their pollster, Tony…

MATTHEWS: Fabrizio.

BENENSON: Fabrizio.

MATTHEWS: The guy who didn`t get paid.


BENENSON: He did a podcast with me the day we were at Harvard. He said he
saw that as well. And I think, without the third-party candidates, I think
maybe it`s different at the end, but who knows.

MATTHEWS: Hillary won debates, Hillary won money, Hillary ran ground and
she had the best TV ads.


MATTHEWS: Was it the traveling around that Trump did, the old Vaudeville-
style of politics of going five or six stops a day, hitting the key
battleground – was that the smart move in the end, his showing up?

BENENSON: It may have – I think it probably helped him. I think it
probably – he looked – people were seeing him every day. We were out
there every day, too. We just may have missed a few spots that we should
have been in.

MATTHEWS: OK. Like you – I wasn`t inside. I was outside looking in.
But people come up to me and they say reasonable things, and I never want
to say an answer because I don`t know the answer.

Would Bernie have won? Would Bernie have beaten Trump?

BENENSON: I don`t think so.

MATTHEWS: Are you sure or are you not sure? Tell me if you`re not sure.

BENENSON: Look, I can`t be sure, because he wasn`t in the race.


MATTHEWS: Can you imagine him beating him, Trump?

BENENSON: Could I imagine him?

You know, I don`t know. There are things you can`t imagine about Trump
winning at some point in the race.

MATTHEWS: You must think about it.

OK. How about Joe Biden? Could he have beaten him?

BENENSON: You know, again, I don`t know. He`s got to carry President
Obama`s third term.

It doesn`t do any good to look back and say, could this person have


MATTHEWS: But everybody does it.

BENENSON: No, you`re doing it. I haven`t done it once.

MATTHEWS: People come up to me on the street all the time and they say,
what – the Bernie people, Bernie or bust, they say, Bernie would have won,
wouldn`t he? And I say, you know what? I can`t argue he couldn`t, because
I don`t know if he could have won.

BENENSON: I don`t know.

He would then had to have run as a socialist. He would say over and over
again, I`m a Democratic socialist.


BENENSON: You tell me. You know Pennsylvania. Do you think people in
Pennsylvania are going to vote for a socialist?

MATTHEWS: Don`t ask me to pick Pennsylvania, because I had it wrong.

BENENSON: Oh, don`t ask you. Yeah, right.

MATTHEWS: I told the Irish in Ireland that he wasn`t going to win.


I think it`s easy to say what you think would have happened when the person
isn`t in the race and doesn`t have the spotlight on him.

MATTHEWS: I got little things – first of all, I get up in the last –
called a couple of my brothers. That`s always the best thing to do. One
of my family members I got protective of doesn`t like Hillary really bad.
And I was surprised, because I never knew about that.

Number two, right-to-life thing really popped up out in the burbs more than
I thought it would. A lot of people who came out, older people – my
brother Charlie said he never saw so many older people, even with walkers,
showing up. And they were all Catholics. It was the Supreme Court issue.

So, I was surprised at that. Trump, I don`t think he believes a word of
it, but he played it.


BENENSON: But the turnout numbers don`t show that, Chris.

What the turnout numbers do show is that the third-party voters that
defected were all under the age of 45. The ones over 45 stayed with Trump.
Only 2 to 3 percent of those voted third-party. The younger ones, probably
some leftover from our primary, voted the other way.

MATTHEWS: Well, I`m sorry I have to go. Everybody loves Nate Silver, but
let me tell you, these numbers guys have really gotten to me, I`ll tell

I`m really not big on the numbers…

BENENSON: Me too. Me too.

MATTHEWS: You shouldn`t be. Anyway…

Anyway, the grownup in the campaign, Joel Benenson, it was great watching
you in the campaign and it`s great having you on.

Up next, all week long, we have taken a look back at some of the more
revealing things Donald Trump has said in interviews over the years,
including with me. We`re going to call it – we`re calling it vintage
Trump. And we have got another installment coming up tonight. This is a
very popular part of the show now.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

JOY REID, MSNBC ANCHOR: Hello. I`m Joy Reid in New York.

We are going to get right back to HARDBALL in just a minute, but just –
but, first, Donald Trump is now on stage at his rally in Michigan. Let`s
listen in.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I`m here tonight for one main reason,
to say thank you to the incredible people of Michigan.


TRUMP: You went out and pounded the pavement, organized your fellow
citizens, and propelled to victory a grassroots movement, the likes of
which actually, actually, the world – we don`t just have to say the
country – the world has never seen.


TRUMP: And now we`re going to bring back your jobs. We`re going to bring
back new jobs.


TRUMP: I also want to give a very special thank you to our veterans, who
have been so incredible.


TRUMP: Our service members and our military families, boy, did we get
their votes. Thank you.


TRUMP: Big numbers.

America`s men and women in uniform are the finest and bravest the world has
ever known.


TRUMP: So, to all who have worn the uniform, I say right now, on behalf of
all of us, thank you. Thank you very much.


TRUMP: Thank you.

We`re in your debt. And we will never, ever let you down, believe me. And
you will see that with the vets, because we`re going to take care of our


TRUMP: We`re going to honor your service and sacrifice. And that begins
with respecting the American flag. We will respect the –


That`s the flag that our soldiers fought and died for, and we`re going to
protect it. You`ll see, we`re going to protect it.

One man who understands the meaning of service is General “Mad Dog” Mattis.


Earlier this week, I formally announced my plans to nominate him as your
new secretary of defense.


Even the Democrats are loving him. Isn`t that nice? What can you say?

He`s got some record. Let me tell you. He`s got a record of winning.
That`s what we want. We want to win.

When he had to do battle, whether he agreed with it or not, but when he had
to do battle, he won and he won fast, and there was no games. There was no
games. So, he`s going to be great. Secretary of defense.

I believe we`re in the process of putting together one of the great
cabinets that has ever, assembled in our nation`s history this evening.

JOY REID, MSNBC ANCHOR: That`s Donald Trump at his latest rally in Grand
Rapids, Michigan. We`ll continue to monitor what he says and bring you
news if he makes any.

Right now, let`s go back to HARDBALL with Chris Matthews.


TRUMP: I just know that I follow my instinct and my instinct, if I follow
that instinct, and if I go with my original instinct, as opposed to
waiting, procrastinating, and just seeing what happens over a period of
time, I have historically done better. I`ll do spur of the moment things,
and they are the things that tend to work out the best.



That was Donald Trump discussing what he called his good instincts in a
1985 interview. Well, his instincts did ultimately help him reach the
White House. His off-the-cuff rhetoric often provoked backlash on the
campaign trail. In tonight`s edition of “Vintage Trump”, we`ll look at his
statements on issues of social equality, diversity and culture.

Speaking about African-Americans for an NBC special on race back in 1989,
Trump said that a well-educated African-American is afforded greater
opportunity in this country than educated white counterparts. Let`s hear
Trump on that.


TRUMP: A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-
educated white, in terms of the job market. And I think sometimes a black
may think that they don`t really have the advantage or this or that, but in
actuality, today, currently, it`s a great – I`ve said on occasion, even
about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-
educated black, because I really do believe they have an actual advantage.


MATTHEWS: Anand Giridharadas is author of the book, “The True American
Murder and Mercy in Texas,” NBC`s Katy Tur has covered the Trump campaign
since day one in the campaign, and Adam Chandler, senior associate editor
at “The Atlantic”.

I don`t know who to start with. I`ll start with you, Katy. You know,
sometimes people have conversations, different backgrounds, different
ethnic groups. We`ve actually talked among ourselves in this country.
I`ve never heard anybody say that an African-American has a better chance
than a white person in this country. I`ve never – in fact, I`ve heard
from people who I respect immensely say that their experience has been that
the bar gets raised just as they`re about to go through it. Just as
they`re about to meet the usual standard, the standard gets changed.

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS: Well-heeled circles of privileged people will often
say or sometimes say, I`ve heard it say, that I don`t feel like I got into
Harvard because my place was taken by somebody through affirmative action.


TUR: That was something that people used to say, maybe a little bit more a
decade or two ago, than they are today, at least from what I have heard in
just my life. So, this was – you could say that it was more of a product
of the time.


TUR: But at the same time, you know, Donald Trump is Donald Trump. And
this is vintage Donald Trump.

MATTHEWS: Anand, you`re thinking about this. I don`t think people believe
this who are people of color. I don`t think I hear it from them.

ANAND GIRIDHARADAS, THE NEW YORK TIMES: So, let`s just – I mean, I`m a
writer and I spend a lot of time looking at language in a close way. So I
look at that clip and I think it`s very revealing. The substance, but also
how he speaks.

First of all, the “a black.” “A black,” right? People who use the phrase,
“a black,” it`s already telling you what road we`re going down.


GIRIDHARADAS: It`s dehumanizing. It`s usually a pretty good clue to
racist beliefs, as a kind of –

MATTHEWS: What`s the correct way?

GIRIDHARADAS: An African-American, a black person. And I`m just saying,
if you go out into society, it`s a pretty good –

MATTHEWS: By the way, I know the answer, but I wanted to have you say it.

GIRIDHARADAS: But I think more deeply in that clip, it`s the – you know,
this phrase that has now kind of gained ground of white splaining. This is
the ultimate white splaining. A rich white man explain – some black
people –

MATTHEWS: And explaining.


GIRIDHARADAS: A rich white man. And he says at some point, so the black
people may think, just based on life experiences. And he is explaining to
them that their experience or lack of opportunity, Donny knows better.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, in an interview after the release of his book, “The Art
of the Comeback,” Trump spoke about how he views women. Let`s catch this.


TRUMP: I love women. I think they`re the most beautiful things that you
can imagine. I think women are just magnificent.

I think women are not the weaker sex at all, in many respects. I think
they`re the stronger sex. I think that – and I mentioned this strongly in
the book that women are more aggressive sexually than men in my opinion.
The fact is that these very aggressive folks, unbelievable. And I say far
more aggressive than men.

INTERVIEWER: Physically aggressive with you?

TRUMP: Physically, physically aggressive. Sexually aggressive. Women are
more aggressive than men.

INTERVIEWER: Can`t keep their hands off you?

TRUMP: Well, I`m not saying me. I`m not even really saying me. I`m just
saying that I believe that, sexually, that women are more aggressive than
men. And I think men are pretty aggressive. I know I am.


MATTHEWS: Well, he covered all the bases with that, didn`t he? Didn`t
that all seem pretty narcissistic, I`m just asking. It`s all about his
experience with women, he`s obviously advertising here, which he`s
suggesting is quite grand, to put it lightly.


MATTHEWS: And therefore, he knows all about women in that way. And he`s
basically saying that they just love him, they can`t keep their hands off
him. And basically, although he can`t keep his hands off them, too. I
mean, it`s outrageous, you might say, and it also is narcissistic. But
he`s not running for office back then.

CHANDLER: Absolutely, he`s not running for office, and he`s also – he`s
also just kind of being this brash person we know him to be. The tape
shows him over and over again being this huge person. And this is part of
it. This is part of the conversation with him.

And it doesn`t sound all that different from what we see throughout the


TUR: “Things.” “Most beautiful things.”


TUR: “A black.” “Things.” Same vein.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I did notice, without casting grand judgment, that all the
women he`s named to major positions – and some of them are obviously very
credible people, you know, like Governor Haley and people like that, and
DeVos, people like that, who are very big on charter schools, they`re all
very attractive people. He seems to like that idea.

Am I the only one who`s noticed, this is the way he sort of casts?

GIRIDHARADAS: I`m not into the Donald Trump women cabinet rating business.
But in that clip, there`s “things”, which is I think really stands out in
that –

MATTHEWS: You`ll leave me all alone on that one?

GIRIDHARADAS: Totally leave you hanging. Even though it`s Friday. And
the second part, where he says, you know, women are magnificent. And women
are the better – I just want to say, one of the defining features – I`ve
had the chance to travel to a lot of developing countries, traditional
societies where women are much more oppressed than here. One of the
telltale signs of very – signs that are very bad to women is that people
are constantly putting them on a pedestal. Oh, they`re our sacred
treasures –

TUR: Yeah, look at Saudi Arabia, women can`t drive, because we don`t want
them to potentially hurt their ovaries. I mean, there`s – seriously!
Yeah, there`s all sorts of, we need to protect you, because you need to be
kept pure and you need to be kept as beautiful as you are, you need to be
kept as a thing.

MATTHEWS: OK, we have our own version of that. Sort of the George W., we
all married up and all of this, women are smarter than we are. All that

CHANDLER: This was language that was used in the United States, we`re
talking about not giving women the vote, you know, a hundred years ago,
that women were too pure for the dirty pool of politics. This sort of
othering that –

TUR: Too delicate.

CHANDLER: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s take a look – peaking of women, here`s a prominent
one, long before Mike Pence, Trump revealed to me in 1999, if he decided to
run for 2000 in president, he had another running mate in mind. Here he is
on her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you consider a woman for your running mate?
And if so, who?

TRUMP: Well, I would consider it, and as Chris can tell you, I threw out
the name of a friend of mine, who I think the world of, she`s great. And
some people thought it was an incredible idea, some didn`t. But, Oprah. I
said, Oprah Winfrey, who`s really great. And I think we would be a very
formidable team.


MATTHEWS: Another name drop. The two of them together would be
formidable. A friend of mine, Oprah Winfrey. Good name drop. Go ahead.

CHANDLER: I think it`s safe to say this is probably not one of Oprah`s
favorite things.

MATTHEWS: The claim that he wanted her?


MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you.

The roundtable is sticking with us.

And up and next, the three will tell us something I don`t know. This is
HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.

Anand, tell me something I don`t know.

GIRIDHARADAS: A lot of people that I know who hate Donald Trump but are
trying to figure out how to live these next four years are really on the
fence about courage and are thinking about, do we speak out or do we do the
open mind kumbaya thing? And I think that`s going to be one of the most
interesting –

MATTHEWS: What`s courageous, to have an open mind or to slam him?

GIRIDHARADAS: I think to read, to take this man at his word, to understand
that many of the signs of autocracy are things that he`s said and starting
to do and to not think foolishly that this country and this system is
somehow exceptional in its imperviousness to going dark ways.

MATTHEWS: OK, I`m more optimistic than that. I`m looking for the pony in
the crap pile myself.

Go ahead.

TUR: It`s not that deep. I was just going to tell you –

MATTHEWS: No, dark, it`s not deep.


TUR: Sources say that the RNC is very close to announcing that Ronna
Romney will take over as chairperson.


CHANDLER: All right. Well, for something totally different, this week,
we`ve been talking about Carrier and last week, too, and the deal and
actually across the river in Brooklyn, carrier was host of the first
serious air conditioner – there`s a printing factory that printed “Judge”
magazine, which is sort of a forerunner to “The Onion” that had humidity
and the illustrations would leak and they had to throw out all the work.

So, Willis Carrier created a system to make it cold enough and less humid
and that`s a long way of saying you can thank modern journalism for air

MATTHEWS: OK, thank you. By the way, air conditioning changed the entire
map of the United States geopolitically. It created the South. There was
nobody living down there. In places like Houston, you can live there now.

Anyway, thank you, Anand Giridharadas, Katy Tur, and Adam Chandler.

When we return, let me finish with something that needs to be said about
the hero we lost yesterday, John Glenn.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with something that needs being said about
the American hero we lost yesterday.

John Glenn proved his patriotism years before and many, many times before
he circled the planet and brought America strongly back into the space
race. As a fighter pilot in World War II, he flew 59 missions according to
today`s “Washington Post” and in the Korean War, he flew 90 missions
returning from one battle with 200 holes in his plane. And here he is
speaking to me in 2005 about his combat experience.


JOHN GLENN, AMERICAN HERO: When you go into this, you don`t go into it
separately as one person. You go into it as a unit and you fight as a
unit. You`re responsible for the people with you, whether you`re on the
ground or in the air, and that`s just the way it works. Marine training is
absolutely the best in the world, and you just stick with that training
when you get into combat.


MATTHEWS: And that was Ed McMahon with him in that picture. If it weren`t
enough he set the transcontinental speed record flying coast to coast in
less than 3 1/2 hours. In an off-air interview I did with Colonel Glenn
early this year, he spoke about his role as the first American to orbit the

Let me read you what he told me, “We were sort of at a low ebb in this
country at this time and the soviets at that time were claiming they were
technically superior to the United States and they were using that to
invite students into the Soviet Union by the thousands to get training and
head back to their third world countries. We were determined to overtake

On the Russian side, they would claim their superiority. They had stuff
going into orbit while we were still blowing up on the launch pad.

Our early efforts of the space program, Project Mercury was mainly to catch
up. Mine was the first one to actually do the orbit for this country and
that evened things out with the Soviet Union in some ways.

The world looked at us as being ahead because we were completely open with
our program where the Soviets were completely secret. They didn`t let the
press in. And we had the press in by the thousands. I think the world
responded favorably to that kind of treatment.”

That`s John Glenn on why the world looked up to us in so many ways in
February 1962.

And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.


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