Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 4/21/2017
Date: April 21, 2017
Guest: Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes, Jean-Bernard Cadier, Margaret Carlson, Ryan Streeter, Michael Tomasky, Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, John Prendergast
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: “Shattered.”
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
Jack Kennedy once said that victory has 100 fathers, defeat is an orphan.
Well, tonight, we discuss the first detailed account of why Hillary
Clinton, with first class mind, top drawer staff and vast campaign wealth
lost the 2016 presidential campaign.
What went wrong with her second run for the White House? It`s all in a new
book called “Shattered,” which is how many of Hillary Clinton`s supporters
could feel after reading this book and reliving the hell of November 2016
all over again.
Journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes spoke with more than 100 sources
throughout the Clinton campaign providing them information about the true
inside of her world. They learned that the dysfunction, infighting and
leaking that dogged Clinton`s failed 2008 effort persisted again eight
years later, writing, “The campaign was an unholy mess, fraught with
tangled lines of authority, petty jealousies and distorted priorities and
non sense of greater purpose. No one was in charge, and no one figured out
how to make the campaign about something bigger than Hillary.”
But Allen and Parnes concluded the most significant challenge that
reemerged from the 2008 campaign in 2016 was the candidate herself. The
authors say, quote, “What Hillary couldn`t quite see is that no matter how
she recast the supporting roles in this production or emphasized different
parts of the script, the main character hadn`t changed, nor could the
campaign see the iceberg – that`s what I`m calling it, like we`re seeing
off of Newfoundland and staring them right in the face, the unpredictable
and aggressive iceberg of Donald Trump. Their general election opponent
came to them by surprise.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With me, I ate (ph) a lot of
states that aren`t even in play for anybody else. I mean, I had all of the
Rust Belt states. I owe state – I own states that – I will get states
that are unbelievable, that are unthinkable for the Republican Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes join me right now.
You know, I did – when I saw that iceberg this morning, that giant iceberg
looking out the window from Newfoundland, I go, This must have been what it
was like when you`re the Hillary people, all these geniuses, and all of a
sudden, this gigantic thing hits you on election night.
How come they didn`t spot it before, Amie…
AMIE PARNES, CO-AUTHOR, “SHATTERED”: It`s…
MATTHEWS: … this thing called Trumpism, whatever it is.
PARNES: Yes, she – we have a scene in the book where she`s actually
wondering – you know, there was this rise of populism happening around
her. She doesn`t quite understand it. She`s talking to an adviser while
flying on an airplane and saying, I don`t really understand what`s
happening. I can`t quite grasp what`s going on around me.
And I think that was actually very emblematic of the president and
something that kind of foreshadowed what the general election would look
like, as well, when she opposed Trump.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, did you see it? Did either of you see it, this
populist – I thought – I talked about it on the show all the time. I got
a record of that. But it was always, like, two thirds of what I saw.
I said nobody likes – nobody likes – a lot of people don`t like illegal
immigration, but nobody seems to like the loss of manufacturing base in
this country and nobody really likes all these stupid wars. So I thought
he had the trifecta. But I kept looking at the polls and I did not see him
winning in Pennsylvania or the other states like that, but it was there.
That iceberg was there.
JONATHAN ALLEN, CO-AUTHOR, “SHATTERED”: Yes, we talk about this in the
introduction to the book. What we saw was what everybody else saw, which
was the polling that showed her winning the presidency, and we trusted the
only data available.
MATTHEWS: And in the states.
ALLEN: … right – in terms of what did we think on election day. That
said, we`d done so much reporting going in that showed some of the flaws
and some of the weaknesses and some of the things that she was unable to do
as a candidate, that the campaign was unable to do, that we actually didn`t
have to go back and change very much. In fact, funny little side story…
MATTHEWS: Did you see who was going to win ahead of time in the Electoral
College? Did you see who was going to win in the Electoral College?
MATTHEWS: What about the – every campaign – I remember interviewing –
I`m older than you guys. I interviewed Carville before the campaign in `92
when they really did pull a great campaign together. I mean, he and
Stephanopoulos and all those people and – they put together a hell of a
campaign. And Paul did, too, all those people, and the candidates, Bill
Clinton and Al Gore.
He said a campaign is about a big idea, that accent of his – big idea.
Was there a big idea to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016?
MATTHEWS: A big idea.
ALLEN: That`s the problem. She`d been running for president for so long,
at least 10 years, and she still wasn`t able to convince enough voters in
the right places that she had a vision for the country, that one big idea
under which everything else could kind of be subsumed.
MATTHEWS: What about the woman thing, the fact – first woman president?
Was that something she – I get the feeling that she sort of ran on that
the first time but seemed to hesitate campaigning on that argument, give
the women of this country, the majority of people who vote…
MATTHEWS: … a candidate who can be president.
PARNES: She actually didn`t run on it last time.
MATTHEWS: I didn`t think so.
PARNES: Yes, and kind of over-corrected this time and sought to do that.
In our first book, we actually talk about that, where she`s kind of, you
know, grappling with that at the end, the fact that she (INAUDIBLE)
MATTHEWS: So you believe that she did it – she ran on gender to some
extent in `08 but didn`t do it in `16.
PARNES: She didn`t do it in `08, and she did in `16.
PARNES: Yes, in a lot of – and she wanted to address that actually at the
very end of the `08 campaign. She wanted to kind of correct it then, and
she did for the 2016 campaign. She spoke to women. She tried to aim
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about the conditions again. My reference to the wild
thing about icebergs showing up all of a sudden. Did she know there was a
difference between `08, because I don`t think I knew it either, or anybody,
the change in the cosmos, the way things felt, the zeitgeist, if you will?
The country was in a mood in `16. Bernie did incredibly well. Nobody
could predict it. In fact, Bernie confronted me with that one day, said,
You want to call me a fringe, a fringe.
MATTHEWS: You know? And he came on with that Brooklyn accent and
everything, and he just wowed everybody, especially young people. Nobody
saw that coming. And on the other side, on the right, I guess you`d call
Trump – I`m not sure right even means Trump – whatever that thing is out
there, Trump. That also surprised.
ALLEN: But there was a harbinger for her in 2008 when she ran against
Barack Obama, who ran as an outsider and lit up the grass roots against
her. Remember, she was supposed to be the candidate that was nominated in
2008. She ran as a steady candidate, as somebody who could get things
MATTHEWS: 3:00 o`clock in the morning.
ALLEN: … against Barack Obama, who – right, against Barack Obama, who
was change. This time in 2016, she changed a lot of the tactics, but that
big sort of overarching message against Bernie Sanders she ended up
winning, first female nominee of a major party, huge accomplishment, and we
talk about that in the book.
But then by the time she gets to Donald Trump, she`s hemmed back into this
place where she is being the status quo against a candidate of change in a
change election. And I think one of the lessons – and there are a lot of
them in this book – for future Democratic candidates, Republican
candidates, people who watch the political process is the voters want to
know what you`re going to do for them that is different than what`s going
on right now. It`s that one big idea you`re talking about.
MATTHEWS: The name of the book is – by the way, I (INAUDIBLE) because I
love this kind of book. The beach is coming, but even before the beach
comes this summer, you can buy this book and read it. It`s called
“Shattered.” It`s – it`s catnip.
Anyway, in the book you write about campaign manager Robby Mook`s strategy
starting in the primary. You say, “He and his team were trying to keep the
margin closer by turning out supporters in vote-rich areas, which often
meant having to talk Hillary and Bill out of traveling away from the
population centers to convert Bernie`s fans. These decisions were guided
by data analytics, which evaluated the likelihood that each voter would
show up and back Hillary, and Mook`s dogmatic belief that it was better to
focus on turning out supporters than persuading a rival`s voters to switch
In other words, instead of going out and proselytizing and trying to get
moderates or people on the left, if you will, progressive left, to vote for
her, they said, No, we`re going to go to the regular Clinton voters.
PARNES: Right. And analytics was something that actually really angered
Bill Clinton. He was saying, you know, I`m getting a different feel on the
ground. He was reporting back to Brooklyn and saying, Something doesn`t
feel quite right. But they were so reliant on data and analytics that they
were kind of reporting something back to him. But he was always kind of
sounding the alarm, raising the red flags, going, This isn`t quite right.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Did you notice – did you notice covering the campaign
that your anecdotal was different than the statistics? I kept getting it
at the end, my brothers and people (INAUDIBLE) and (INAUDIBLE) I keep
hearing things that people are not really – they shouldn`t be for Trump
and they are.
ALLEN: That`s what…
MATTHEWS: That people, the pro-life people, showing up and – this doesn`t
fit with the numbers we`ve been getting from the experts.
ALLEN: And that`s what we found when we were reporting the book. We
couldn`t – we for a long time had difficulty with this gap between the
sort of stories that we were reporting and the fact that she was up in the
polls, which is why we say – you know, we expected her to win on election
MATTHEWS: OK, let`s – let`s talk about the supreme court poll in
Pennsylvania, which amazed me. The guy said that if you poll with a real
person on the phone, Hillary won by 8. If you poll with a robocall, a
recorded voice, Trump won by 3…
MATTHEWS: … which told me what I always thought, which was people
weren`t proud to be voting for Trump when they`re talking to some perfectly
articulate person (INAUDIBLE) this person will think I`m a racist if I say
I`m for Trump.
PARNES: Right. Right. It`s funny, too, because one of her advisers
circulated a memo back in the spring that basically said, Add a few points
to each poll, and predicted that some…
MATTHEWS: Who`s this person?
PARNES: We can`t say!
MATTHEWS: Why can`t you say? This person is the one hero of your book!
This person said always add 3 points…
PARNES: Right. In fact…
MATTHEWS: … to Trump.
PARNES: … Donald Trump can win.
MATTHEWS: Why would this person want to stay secret? Why don`t they tell
us who – I want a genius here.
ALLEN: Chris, you`re a wonderful interviewer…
MATTHEWS: I know!
ALLEN: … but we`ve got to hold back on the source.
MATTHEWS: OK, let`s talk about this. Anyway, staff from the Clinton
campaign itself dispute the reporting in this book. I want to get the one
fact they want to fight about. Nick Merrill, who is a respected guy, the
press secretary for the campaign, issued a statement saying, “President
Obama and Secretary Clinton spoke only once on election night, only once.
The rest of that recounting is simply incorrect, which we told the authors.
It`s an indication that whoever they were speaking to had no idea what they
were talking about, but it was a knowable fact that we made clear didn`t
OK, let`s talk about that. How many times did Hillary Clinton talk to
Barack Obama election night when she lost?
PARNES: Twice. And not only that, there`s a call that came in from David
Seamus (ph), his political director, to John Podesta, right after John
spoke on the stage at the Javitts Center.
ALLEN: To Robby Mook.
ALLEN: From Seamus to Mook. And then there was an Obama call to Podesta.
There were about four calls between the White House…
MATTHEWS: How many times did the two presidents – the president and the
MATTHEWS: For sure.
MATTHEWS: You stand by that.
MATTHEWS: So these people that are – why would Nick Merrill be putting
out – why are they arguing about this factoid, this one fact thing?
ALLEN: I can`t explain their strategy. I would say this, though…
MATTHEWS: Your voice is getting lower now, by the way.
MATTHEWS: I mean, you`re not belting it out there, Jon. You`re sure of
ALLEN: No, no. Yes. Absolutely. Two calls. And let me say this, too.
This is – the story that we do here, the tick-tock at the end of this
campaign on election night, in the Peninsula (ph) Hotel, as she`s finding
out she`s losing the presidency, is the time in this book and in reality
where she is the most sympathetic throughout this entire campaign process.
You really – I mean, as you read through this, you really get – you get a
feel for what she`s going through.
MATTHEWS: Who`d she blame personally, when she lost?
PARNES: Comey and Russia.
ALLEN: And a little bit Obama.
PARNES: Comey and Russia.
ALLEN: And a little bit Obama (INAUDIBLE)
MATTHEWS: And not about her own people. She wasn`t blaming Mook or
blaming Podesta or anybody else or…
PARNES: No, no, no.
MATTHEWS: … or Benenson. Anyway, you also say that Bill Clinton wasn`t
happy with Mook`s strategy, writing, “Mook wanted Bill in places where the
most Hillary-inclined voters would see him. That meant talking to white
liberals and minorities in cities and their close-in suburbs. That was one
fault line of massive generational divide between Bill and Mook, that
separated old-time political hustling from modern data-driven vote
I`m with the old-time hustling. I think most candidates win because they
go outside. Kennedy did it back in the `50s in Massachusetts. You can`t
just go to the usual suspects. You can`t just be Walter Mondale and rely
on the unions to come in and the liberals to come in because it`s never 50
ALLEN: Right. You can`t just…
MATTHEWS: Don`t they know this?
ALLEN: You would think. Bill Clinton`s whole game in politics is
persuading people who are on the fence or don`t agree with him.
MATTHEWS: He did it five or six times in Arkansas.
ALLEN: Right. I mean, he knows…
MATTHEWS: A conservative state.
ALLEN: Go out and talk to folks who don`t agree with you, and some will
like you even if they don`t agree with you. Tip O`Neill said you got to
ask for votes.
MATTHEWS: I – I`ve written that (INAUDIBLE)
MATTHEWS: Amie, here`s a question.
MATTHEWS: How many times did I pound on this desk and say to Hillary
Clinton, Pick Sherrod Brown as your running mate. He`s Rust Belt. He`s a
gravelly-voiced guy that talks and looks a bit like that voter you`re
trying to get in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio. Pick him. Don`t
pick the guy down from Virginia who`s got nothing to say to these people!
PARNES: I know. And she likes Sherrod.
MATTHEWS: I said, Pick Sherrod Brown!
PARNES: They were old neighbors…
MATTHEWS: Why didn`t – I know why she didn`t – why didn`t she make the
decision? Give up that one Senate seat and take the country! These are
big decisions! You have to make them!
PARNES: Yes, and you know, it`s interesting. She wasn`t very excited by
her list of candidates, from what we report in the book. She wanted – she
MATTHEWS: What stopped her, really, from picking the guy that would have
won the election for her?
ALLEN: Fear, caution.
PARNES: I think so. Yes, caution. And the Senate. There was…
MATTHEWS: Jack Kennedy picked Lyndon Johnson!
ALLEN: To win.
MATTHEWS: He just wanted to win.
ALLEN: (INAUDIBLE) and then figure out what you do.
MATTHEWS: I know (INAUDIBLE)
PARNES: Back then, they really thought they could win the Senate. There
was this whole debate about plucking him and…
MATTHEWS: Yes, well, it`s great, great stuff. I think it`s candy, this
stuff. I mean, I love this stuff. “Shattered.” People buy these books.
Not only that, they`re going to read them all the way through!
ALLEN: We hope so.
MATTHEWS: This isn`t (INAUDIBLE) David McCullough (ph), you know, next to
somebody else. This is a book to pick up and read. Anyway, the book is
called “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton`s Doomed Campaign.” Thank you
Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.
Coming up now, this weekend`s election in France is shaping up to be
another fight between nationalism and globalism, far right versus somewhere
in the center. And now two American presidents, Trump and Obama, are
jumping in, getting involved in this fight. Anyway, the anti-immigration
nationalist is getting Trump behind him, and we can see the most eruptive
election in years over there, very much like we just had here.
Plus, freedom of speech on campus. U.C. Berkeley, a public university,
cancels a speech by Ann Coulter. They`ve since rescheduled. But the
college Republican group that invited Coulter is threatening to sue the
And the Academy Award-nominated actor Christian Bales come (ph) here with
us tonight. He plays a journalist in the new movie “The Promise,” which
bears witness to the Armenian genocide. That`s a story that needs to be
Finally, let me finish tonight with “Trump Watch” for this Friday night.
This is HARDBALL, where the action is.
MATTHEWS: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being slammed for dismissing
the state of Hawaii. Sessions was criticizing a federal district court
ruling blocking the Trump administration`s Muslim travel ban when he said
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I really am amazed that a judge sitting
on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of
the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, an island in the Pacific. Hawaii senators were quick to
respond. Democrat Brian Schatz tweeted, “Mr. Attorney General, you voted
for that judge, and that island is called Oahu. It`s my home. Have some
And today Sessions was asked about his comments in an interview on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESSIONS: I wasn`t diminishing the judge or the island of Hawaii, that
beautiful place. Give me a break! I was just making the point that`s very
real. One judge out of 700 has stopped the president of the United States
from doing what he believes is necessary to protect our safety and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. President Trump tweeted earlier this
morning about Sunday`s French election – that`s this Sunday – after
yesterday`s attack in Paris, which ISIS claimed credit for.
President Trump had this to say. “Another terrorist attack in Paris. The
people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect
on presidential election.” Well, he elaborated during an interview with
the Associated Press, saying the attack will help the far-right anti-
immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen.
According to the Associated Press, the president says he wasn`t endorsing
Le Pen, but he said she`s the strongest on borders and she`s the strongest
on what`s been going on in France. “Whoever is the toughest on radical
Islamic terrorism, whoever is the toughest at the borders will do well in
the election.” That`s Trump talking.
So why is the president inserting himself into France`s presidential
Jonathan Capehart`s an opinion writer for “The Washington Post” and Jean –
Jean-Bernard Cadier is a correspondent for French news channel BFMTV.
Jean-Bernard, I want you first because you are French.
JEAN-BERNARD CADIER, BFMTV: Thank you!
MATTHEWS: Is this a parallel election to our own from last year? Is this
a battle between the far right candidate, Marine Le Pen, who opposes a lot
of this immigration over there, basically blames it on the Muslim
community, the terrorism, and against a more moderate candidate against
CADIER: It`s certainly could be for the second round, for the runoff two
weeks from now depending on what happens on Sunday. It`s the same wave
that pushed President Trump here, that pushed Brexit in Britain, that is
pushing Marine Le Pen, that`s for sure, anti-immigrant, anti-globalization,
nationalism. That`s for sure. And the attack…
MATTHEWS: Is it strong enough to win? Trump won. At least, he won in our
CADIER: It could be strong enough to win, especially because they had an
attack – we had an attack two days before the first run (ph). This
definitely could help Marine Le Pen being elected. Why? Because it could
push her because she`s the strongest on borders, she`s the most anti-
It could help Francois Fillon. And Francois Fillon is a conservative guy.
He`s not that bad. He`s like Sarkozy.
But they could be together for the second round. And, in this case,
according to all the polls, he is the weakest against Marine Le Pen. So,
this attack could in two weeks from now help her.
MATTHEWS: So right against far right, right – far right wins?
CADIER: Far right could win, or right. Or, according to the polls before
the attack, center, the surprise, this young guy, Emmanuel Macron, who is
totally untested in terms of attacks. And he could be the victim of those
What do you think of this? What do you think about Trump getting involved?
I think – I`m going to say at the end of this show, I have always
respected the French, because when the British are with you, you say, ho-
hum, they`re always with us.
But when the French are with us, then you know you`re right.
MATTHEWS: It`s just true. It`s just true, because, in the first Gulf War,
they were with us all the way. They were with us when we had missiles on
Cuba. De Gaulle was with us. He said, of course I`m with you.
It always seems to me a check. Now, they`re not easy to deal with all the
time, but when they agree with you, you`re right. That`s my thinking.
MATTHEWS: I have got a French guy here.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Who is agreeing with you.
Look, I think it`s always dicey when an American president inserts himself
into another country`s election, another country`s referendum, as we saw
with President Obama when he inserted himself into the Brexit conversation
just before the vote.
MATTHEWS: It didn`t help.
CAPEHART: Well, no, it didn`t help, but also he was criticized for that,
although he was criticized for everything that he did on the international
But, with President Trump, with his tweets, like, he can do the wink and
nod if he wants to about, oh, I didn`t endorse Marine Le Pen. But he said,
as you read, she is the strongest on borders. She`s the strongest on
MATTHEWS: He endorsed her.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, Donald Trump is not the only American president, along
the lines with Jonathan, to comment on the upcoming French election,
because former President Obama talked on the phone to centrist candidate
Emmanuel Macron yesterday.
The president`s spokesman said the call wasn`t an endorsement – quote –
“President Obama appreciated the opportunity to hear from Macron about his
campaign and the important upcoming presidential election in France, a
country that President Obama remains deeply committed to as a close ally of
the United States, and as a leader on behalf of liberal values in Europe
and around the world.”
So we know what that means. Barack Obama, by our politics, is somewhat
center-left. He`s not hard-left, by any means. He`s center-left, and he`s
endorsing a candidate who you say is centrist.
CADIER: And Obama, still, he`s extremely popular in France, probably over
120, his approval rating.
CADIER: He`s still very popular. This could have a big impact on all of
these undecided people who didn`t know exactly where to go.
And there are a lot of undecided. That`s why we`re so uncertain about this
MATTHEWS: You have had some great presidents, de Gaulle.
MATTHEWS: De Gaulle and Mitterrand, I think. Mitterrand was great from
our point of view. He was very much with us in the Cold War.
Thank you. Socialists don`t like communists. We should teach people that
every night. They don`t like socialists.
Anyway, Jonathan Capehart and Jean-Bernard Cadier.
And up next: a red-hot fight over free speech out at Berkeley. The
University of California is reversing its decision now to cancel a speech
by Ann Coulter, but Coulter and the College Republicans are fighting back.
And that`s ahead here.
This is HARDBALL, where the action is.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger.
Gridlock in San Francisco after a power outage left 90,000 people without
electricity. A circuit-breaker failed and caused a fire.
Another outage in New York caused subway delays today. The nation`s civil
engineers have given the U.S. power grid a grade of D-plus.
Dramatic new video from Paris, as a gunman is taken down after killing a
police officer yesterday. The attacker spent 11 years in prison for
another attempt to kill a police officer – back to HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
In the 1960s, the University of California at Berkeley birthed, you might
say, the free speech movement when the school lifted a ban on on-campus
Well, today, it`s home to a modern-day battle over free speech. The most
recent dramatic chapter is swirling now about whether or not Ann Coulter
will deliver a previously scheduled speech on immigration set for April 27
to the Berkeley College Republicans.
Well, the university out there initially canceled Coulter`s speech, citing
– quote – “grave concern of violence on campus.” But the college
chancellor proposed an alternative date. Coulter responded to that
proposal last night on “Hannity.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “HANNITY”)
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, “IN TRUMP WE TRUST”: You cannot impose arbitrary and
harassing restrictions on the exercise of a constitutional right. I don`t
happen to be available on May 2. This is a form – I mean, it is anarchy,
when you are only enforcing the law in order to allow liberals to speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Coulter is vowing to speak on Berkeley, whether the school
approves it or not.
This comes in the wake of violent protests that led the college to cancel a
scheduled speech by former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos in
For more on this, I`m joined by the HARDBALL Roundtable tonight, Margaret
Carlson, columnist for The Daily Beast, Ryan Streeter, director of domestic
policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Michael Tomasky,
columnist at The Daily Beast as well. All are on set.
OK, let`s go, Margaret, because – because this makes the university look
out of touch with a debate that was going to follow their decision, as if
they didn`t know canceling a person who is within not the mainstream, but
definitely we`re used to hearing her. And people do buy her books, and she
does talk a lot and write a lot, and it`s part of the conversation.
And they say, not here. It`s not going to be part of the conversation
MARGARET CARLSON, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: And unlike Trump rallies, we
haven`t seen violence at an Ann Coulter speech.
CARLSON: And, you know, Berkeley is the home of the protest, and certainly
they know how to handle this. This is what happens at Berkeley.
MATTHEWS: So, what is going on with violence, anarchist thing, this anti-
fascist thing on the left, followed by this right-wing thing? Do you know
what`s going on with these groups, because they`re different? They don`t
go to school all day and go out and watch a speech at night.
RYAN STREETER, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Yes.
MATTHEWS: They`re schooled in this kind of action. They`re up for it.
STREETER: It`s changed a lot in the last five years, and it`s definitely
gotten crazy now.
I think that you have got a kind of crisis on the campuses. If this were
just Berkeley, I would say we have a unique kind of phenomenon, but this is
happening in multiple places.
I actually that you`re seeing the rise of…
MATTHEWS: Who are these groups?
STREETER: I don`t think we know exactly who these groups are.
MATTHEWS: The violent groups.
STREETER: But what I think we`re finding out is that some of these
administrators, the campus – our universities have really grown their
budgets that adding people that are not faculty members, but are actually
people who help organize some of this or at least encourage it.
And I think I will have some data for you on this actually in a couple of
MATTHEWS: OK. I`m amazed, Michael, that there`s money in this. She`s
getting paid. This isn`t just the local Republican club has asked you to
come out as a kindness, the kind of stuff we had growing up with Democrat
and Republican clubs. You didn`t get paid.
She`s getting a bundle for this.
MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, you do now.
TOMASKY: Yes, you get paid a lot now.
But, look, I think that, you know, this generation, the younger generation,
this actually goes back on campuses, on elite campuses anyway,
interestingly, elite campuses, not really like land grant campuses. But
this goes back a number of years. And…
MATTHEWS: What, the idea that you can shut down somebody?
TOMASKY: Yes. Yes. It does. It`s been happening for a while.
And Jeane Kirkpatrick got blood flung on her, I think. I can`t remember
when that was, maybe in the `90s or something like that. They don`t value
free speech that much. They consider free speech to be kind of a bourgeois
TOMASKY: And they`re more interested in…
MATTHEWS: Who are these people who think that?
TOMASKY: Well, I don`t know, just kids, college kids on the left.
MATTHEWS: What about the people who our age, or my age certainly, who run
these colleges, who get paid because they`re considered to be grownups and
make judicious decisions based upon the principles the university is
founded on, which is free thinking, argument, debate, left and right?
That`s how we do things here. That`s why we come here, to hear radical
ideas exposed to us, because we`re not getting them at home. That`s why we
come to college.
And, by the way, Ann Coulter is no Milo Yiannopoulos.
CARLSON: She`s more mainstream than that.
CARLSON: But college students, these kids today feel like they`re flowers
who will wilt under – yes.
MATTHEWS: OK, make your point, because it`s something called, I have to be
safe from hate speech.
CARLSON: Yes, from opinions I don`t agree with, and, yes, it`s hateful.
MATTHEWS: Protected from it.
Well, why don`t you just don`t go? And, by the way, I would recommend the
best way to blow away somebody like Ann Coulter is, don`t say a word about
MATTHEWS: Don`t even show up. Don`t even comment on it. Let her bore
herself to death.
Anyway, the Roundtable is sticking with us. They`re going to come back, as
Trump gets nervous about his first 100 days in office. We`re going to go
after Trump when we come back.
You`re watching HARDBALL, where the action is.
MATTHEWS: Well, it`s arrived. Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Next Saturday will be the 100th day of President Trump`s administration.
And all of next week, in fact, we at HARDBALL will be profiling the biggest
challenges the president has faced in the past three months, from Russia to
Today, the president, in an early morning tweet, tried to tamp down
expectations by tweeting – catch this – “No matter how much I accomplish
during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, and it has been a
lot, including Supreme Court, media will kill.”
It`s a shift from his campaign rhetoric, of course, when he frequently
touted his first 100 days and how much he would accomplish.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just think about what we
can accomplish in the first 100 days of a Trump administration.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: We`re going to have the biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan, even
You`re going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost,
and it`s going to be so easy.
So, we`re going to build a wall. It will be a great wall. Mexico`s going
to pay for the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, in a speech back in October of 2016, not a million years
ago, then candidate Trump rolled out a 100-day action plan to make America
Here`s what he pledged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: On November 8, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to
restore prosperity to our country, secure our communities, and honesty to
our government. This is my pledge to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL Roundtable.
Remember those Catechism books we had about Jesus putting his hands up? He
does it just like he`s God. Where did he learn that?
I`m afraid he did learn in those Catechism books.
CARLSON: It`s all Sermon on the Mount.
MATTHEWS: Yes, it`s unbelievable.
Anyway, Margaret Carlson is Daily Beast. Ryan Streeter is with the AEI,
American Enterprise Institute. And Michael Tomasky is also with Daily.
We got a lot of Beasties here.
Let me ask you just right off the top. You got a couple minutes. Give him
a report card and give me it anecdotally. What do you think of Trump`s
first 100 days so far? We`re almost there.
CARLSON: An ungentlemanly sea. How is that?
CARLSON: And you notice how he says everything is so easy, like a 6-year-
old who adds two and two? Oh, that`s so easy.
Then he comes in and he says, gosh, it`s complicated, this health care
CARLSON: Everything is a little more complicated than he thought, and he
can`t keep anything straight.
And his Cabinet doesn`t agree with him much of the time. And he thinks an
armada is going to North Korea, when it`s going in the opposite direction.
And it`s really quite a lack of accomplishment. He moved it today, the
goalpost, to 90 days. Did you hear that? And, in 90 days, which is now
his measurement, he`s accomplished more than any other president ever.
MATTHEWS: Well, 90 days.
I guess if you spend your entire adult life studying zoning variances and
deeds, I mean, he`s had a very narrow education, I can tell you. You can
tell. He makes no historic references, not even movie references. He
makes no references except to himself. That`s his reference point. You
don`t learn much that way.
Your thoughts. Give me your broad thoughts.
STREETER: I would say he was for the 100-day measure before he was against
it, before he realized it got complicated.
MATTHEWS: You mean the ridiculous – the ridiculous thing, he calls it
today, ridiculous standard.
STREETER: The ridiculous – the ridiculous thing.
I would go with a C by his own standards. They put out their 100-day plan.
They got a lot of the executive order work. If you actually go look at
what they`d said they`d do in the first 100 days, through executive door,
through using the Congressional Review Act, they managed to pull back some
of these regulations.
But they have about 10 pieces of legislation in there as well. And so I
think really the problem for them going forward is not just the past 100
days, but it`s the actual policy objectives that they have agreement on
within the administration about what success looks like on jobs, on tax
reform, on health care.
And that`s where I think their biggest trouble is right now, is not just
whether or not they have been organized the first 100 days, but, going
forward, are they going to actually…
MATTHEWS: How about an F? How about an F?
MATTHEWS: No, really. I would suggest, before you get there, no health
care, no tax reform, nada on legislation, nothing. The only way they got
Gorsuch through is breaking the rules, so nothing. That would be a report.
TOMASKY: Nothing. OK.
I will go D, because where…
MATTHEWS: What do you give him a D for?
TOMASKY: Well, because we`re not in a depression, and we`re not at war
MATTHEWS: Oh, OK. I`m talking about legislation, which is the way we have
always judged 100 days.
TOMASKY: Legislation, complete F. Legislation, complete F.
MATTHEWS: That`s the way we always judge the president.
TOMASKY: That health care thing – that health care thing was a complete
disaster. It was a total – it was a bigger disaster for Paul Ryan than
for Trump, but it was a disaster for Trump too.
And let`s not forget this central fact. The president of the United States
and his campaign are under investigation by the FBI. That`s a pretty big
boulder that you can`t move out of the room.
MATTHEWS: Well, late this week, and – late this week, NBC learned that
House Republicans were in talks to resurrect a bill that would repeal the
Affordable Care Act.
According to Politico – quote – “A frantic and impatient White House is
pressuring House GOP leaders for another showdown vote on repealing
Obamacare next week” – that`s next week – “so it can notch a legislative
win before President Trump`s first 100 days in office.”
Well, today, President Trump was asked about it. And here`s what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We will see what happens. No particular rush, but we will see what
But health care is coming along well. Government is coming along really
well. A lot of good things are happening.
Thank you, folks.
QUESTION: You`re going to get a health care bill next week?
QUESTION: … next 100 days?
TRUMP: I don`t know. It doesn`t matter if it`s next week. Next week
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: That was sort of Reaganesque. Remember this thing at the ear?
I barely hear you through the helicopter blades. I mean, what kind of
interview – you can talk to him as a walks at a 45 degree angle away from
you. Somebody got that press opportunity.
What did he just say there?
MARGARET CARLSON, THE DAILY BEAST: Nothing, you know. The next week is
going to be great, but it doesn`t really matter anyway. He`s now actually
adopting the 100-day thing because he wants to get that health care thing
MATTHEWS: He`s fickle.
Anyway, the roundtable is sticking with us. Up next, these three will tell
me something I don`t know.
This is HARDBALL, where the action is.
MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.
Margaret, tell me something I don`t know. When did I first meet you?
MATTHEWS: You cooked a meal for our –
CARLSON: Rehearsal –
MATTHEWS: Rehearsal dinner. That`s how long I`ve known her.
CARLSON: More than 30 years ago.
So I just learned this, that Lisa Bloom, who represented O`Reilly`s
accusers, is the daughter of Gloria Allred, who represents one of the
accusers whose case is coming up May 17th in which Donald Trump is saying
he has immunity. But she says Jones v. Clinton, no immunity. It`s only
for your public acts, not your personal ones. That case is going forward.
MATTHEWS: Is Trump`s going to have to answer for it?
MATTHEWS: Go ahead.
RYAN STREETER, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: You know there`s a skills
gap. There`s about 5.5 million jobs every month that don`t go filled. We
know jobs are sort of outpacing where people are trained.
What you don`t know is that states – innovative states are going to fix
this problem before we figure it out in Washington, D.C. There`s new data
analytics that states like Texas, Colorado, in a very bipartisan way, are
using that are allowing employers to find people, allowing students to
understand what the price premium for certain skills will be. And I think
we`re going to see more matching over the next ten years.
MATTHEWS: So, people are going to take courses to allow them to get a job.
MATTHEWS: It makes sense.
MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: Government shutdown. Government
shutdown. Look out.
It`s probably not going to be next week. They`re going to pass a one-week
thing to put it off for one week. The Trump administration pushing hard
for the money for the wall and the money for their deportation force and
the Democrats aren`t going to have it. A lot of Republicans are nervous
about it too. People I talk to today think the odds of a shutdown just
went up a little bit.
MATTHEWS: Well, they got to get all Republicans because no Democrats
voting for that wall.
Anyway, Margaret – no Mexican is either.
Margaret Carlson, Ryan Streeter and Michael Tomasky.
When we come back, the Academy Award nominated actor Christian Bale on his
new film, “The Promise”, about something you haven`t heard much about but
should, the Armenian genocide in the last century.
And we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not safe. No one here is safe. Don`t you see
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve lived through these Turkish threats before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Threats? They want us dead. I have to get us out of
here before there`s no time left. Trust me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was a clip from the upcoming film, “The Promise,” starring Oscar Isaac
as an Armenian medical student whose life is upturned by World War I.
And Christian Bale, who plays an Associated Press journalist reporting on
the Armenian genocide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Myers, I am Farouk Bashar (ph), commander of this
region. What is the “Associated Press” doing here, Mr. Myers?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reporting on the – on the war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no war here, merely the evacuation of the
civilian population to a safer region.
A Turkish official, a man of unshakable humanity and courage, informed us
that Farouk Bashar (ph), a general notorious for barbarism, has been
instructed by the highest authorities to spare no village.
Are these words your fabrications or the words of some lying Turkish
traitor? Prove to me that you did not fabricate these words.
Give me the name of the high ranking Turkish official. I will confirm he
gave you this information and release you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the movie will be in the theaters on Friday this week and
draws attention to the mass killing and deportation of over a million
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
Turkey, by the way, denies the genocide.
Joining me right now is Christian Bale, who starred in movies like “The
Dark Knight Rises,” “The Fighter” – I loved that movie – and “American
Hustle,” a great movie.
CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Oscar Isaac is known for his role in “Star Wars: The Force
Awakens,” and my friend John Prendergast is the co-founder of The Enough
Project, which seeks to end genocide.
Mr. Bale, thank you for joining us.
I want to ask you, what attracted you to a movie about something that so
few Americans are even aware of?
BALE: Just that fact, actually. I was really embarrassed to me that I
wasn`t aware of it, either. I mean, one and a half million people
slaughtered and I was learning about it like many Americans and people
around the world probably were when it was approaching the 100th
And as I was reading the script, I was watching on the news the Yazidis,
who have been surrounded and slaughtered on the mountain –
BALE: – by ISIS and I`m reading the script about Armenians stuck on the
mountain of Musa Dagh being slaughtered, as well, and thinking how
tragically relevant this still is today.
MATTHEWS: Let me go to John, my friend.
What`s the story here, because tell me about the Armenian holocaust. I
know it was a big issue in Congress when I worked there. The lobbyists
worked like hell for the Turkish government, to keep this quiet.
Why did they want to keep it quiet?
JOHN PRENDERGAST, THE ENOUGH PROJECT: Well, I think that it`s the biggest
stain on Turkey`s conscience in Turkey`s history. And at the beginning of
World War I, the Turkish – the Ottoman Empire, at the time, felt that the
Armenian population was siding with the Russians and decided as a measure
to destroy the fifth column, let`s just exterminate the Armenian
And through massacres of the men, through mass rape of the women and
through these death marches into the Syrian deserts, they accomplished
their goal for the most part.
MATTHEWS: But why is it so quiet, that Christian and people like me, I
know it from politics, but people – you don`t hear people, they talk about
the Holocaust in World War II. You don`t hear much about the World War I
PRENDERGAST: The word genocide hadn`t even existed. It wasn`t even
created when this happened and began in 1915 in Turkey – in the modern-day
Turkey. And so we didn`t have a word for it.
PRENDERGAST: There wasn`t any concept that focused on the idea that a
population could be annihilated, could be exterminated on the basis of
their identity, in this case, their religion.
MATTHEWS: Let me go to Oscar about the importance of the story to you,
OSCAR ISAAC, ACTOR: Well, likewise. I didn`t know anything about it when
I first got the script. And as I read it and was horrified and educated
about it and learned about it, I just felt like it was an incredibly
important thing to do.
And then to now, you know, the releasing the movie and to know that 100
percent of the proceeds of the film go to charity, to humanitarian causes,
to creating the UCLA Promise Institute, which, you know, is incredible. So
I think they`ve just got to get to $20 million – to be a part of something
like that is – it`s incredible.
MATTHEWS: Christian, let me ask you about today in journalism. It`s a –
you know, Trump spends his hours – I mean, his minutes, his tweets at dawn
attacking the mainstream media. I mean the real media, not opinion,
opinion, but news people, trashing the major journalism in this country.
What do you think it says about the need for journalism in crisis moments
like this holocaust you covered in the movie?
BALE: There`s no more urgency for it, is there, than now? That actually
really became relevant during the filming and after, as well, when this –
post-truth era. You know, this – I think that hopefully, it will inspire
incredible journalism because people will start to recognize how important
it is to – a free press is to a democracy.
And the fact that with the Armenian genocide, there was so little
documentation, because they restricted access –
BALE: – by journalists. They denied – it was illegal to take
photographs. It was a German soldier, Armin Wegner, who got most of the
photo documentation out there.
But despite the fact that there were many U.S. missionaries whose accounts
all corroborate each other about the genocide, there were no real
And the tragic thing is that may well have provoked the numerous genocides
that we`ve seen since then, you know, with Ukraine and with the holocaust
and in Rwanda and then with, you know, the Yazidis, as I was talking about.
But to me, the real question is, well, what can be done?
And like Oscar was saying, this is a fantastically philanthropic move by
the filmmakers and I`ve never come across this before, to give 100 percent
of the proceeds to charity.
But now please over to John and he`s not a used car salesman like me, just
kind of flogging a film. He`s really out there making change in the world.
BALE: What can be done by people watching?
MATTHEWS: John, tell me about the holocausts in our recent history. Where
are they? In Sudan? Where are they talking about, where people are trying
to wipe out another tribe or ethnic group?
PRENDERGAST: Well, I think in Iraq, we have the Yazidis. We have South
Sudan now, which is the world`s next genocide, potentially. And in Sudan,
in Darfur and in Nuba Mountains.
And the issue is really what can be done, as Christian said?
And in a lot of cases, we`re not going to send in the 82nd Airborne. But
what we can do is take a chapter from the counterterrorism efforts. There
is an incredibly exhaustive effort to chase the assets of terrorist
networks. We could do the same thing with folks that are war criminals who
are committing atrocities who are moving all of their finances into the
They`re stealing the wealth of these countries. In Armenia, it was the
same thing. They stole the wealth of the Armenians. It wasn`t just a
political move. It was also a financial one – massive asset transfer.
In all of these genocides, you see the same thing. People steal the wealth
of those that are victimized and they put it into the international
financial system. That`s a vulnerability of those people and we don`t go
after it. And I think that`s a – that`s the next frontier.
MATTHEWS: You know, Oscar, I`m familiar a little bit, like we all were,
with “Hotel Rwanda,” which pointed to the holocaust, the actual genocide
that was going on in Rwanda. And I was thinking, this is different than
shooting at the other guy across a field or something, or from a trench to
another trench. You`re shooting at another people and trying to kill them
because they are that other people, not because they`re warriors.
ISAAC: Well, yes. I mean and you hear – it`s unfortunate that you hear a
lot of similar kind of word usage nowadays. You know, the thing that
Turkey did, at the time, it said, now, it`s Turkey for the Turks. And they
decided that these ethnic minorities were the enemy, they were others.
They were not entitled to the same citizenship as the Turks at the time.
And you hear similar rhetoric nowadays. So it is –
MATTHEWS: You sure do.
ISAAC: Yes, it is a strange thing to see happen again and again and again.
MATTHEWS: Christian Bale, I have a question for you, because I`ve become
something of a student of a guy you`re going to have to study to play, and
that`s Dick Cheney – Cheney. That`s his family name. He doesn`t care if
we call him Cheney.
How are you getting ready for that?
He`s sort of an interesting guy. He`s not one of my best heroes. What do
you make of him?
BALE: Look at that, a spitting image, isn`t it, maybe?
BALE: So, it`s no wonder –
MATTHEWS: No, but you can do any accent.
MATTHEWS: You can do Wyoming –
MATTHEWS: You can do the Wyoming –
BALE: No, actually, Chris, we`re not sure yet. We`re trying to decide, do
we make a film about Dick Cheney or Lon Chaney, the man with 1,000 faces?
MATTHEWS: I think you could get Lon – I think the original Lon Chaney,
but not Lon Chaney, Jr. Get the real bad guy.
Anyway, I don`t wish you well with that character, but it`s going to take -
- it will be a lot of fun playing the villain. It always is.
Thank you, sir.
BALE: Thank you very much.
MATTHEWS: The movie is called “The Promise.” It`s coming out Friday in
Christian Bale, a great guy.
Oscar Isaac, I just mentioned, a great guy.
Thank you, John Prendergast.
BALE: And Oscar now has become a dad.
MATTHEWS: That`s another role that`s interesting. That`s a real one.
When we return, let me finish tonight with Trump Watch. You`re watching
HARDBALL, where the action is.
MATTHEWS: Trump Watch, Friday, April 21st, 2017.
All eyes are on France this weekend as the people of the fifth republic
vote for president. For obvious reasons, our president has engaged in this
contest. He`s taken sides with Marine Le Pen, the hard right candidate
taking a tough line on immigration from North Africa.
President Obama`s also gotten involved in the French voting, making nice
comments about the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron.
I would think it better for us Americans to stay out. The French and us
are great, vibrant democracies. I love the country. I also think it`s up
to them who to elect their president.
And while we may be interested in who wins, it`s not really our business to
tell them how to vote. And I will say this, whenever we Americans take a
foreign policy action, we can pretty much count on the British being with
us. We have no reason to expect the same confidence when it comes to the
French. That said, it`s my experience that when they do, the French do
agree with us, it`s a sign we`re right. I trust them to make the right
decision on whom to lead them.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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