Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 6/26/2017 Trump lashes out at Obama over Election Hacks
Date: June 26, 2017
Guest: Randy Bryce, Sabrina Siddiqui, Paul Singer, Montel Williams, Chris
Murphy, Adam Entous
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Trump changes his story again.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews back in Washington.
Donald Trump has changed his story when it comes to the Russian
investigation again. After dismissing the intelligence, calling it a
Democratic hoax and a witch hunt, the president is now knocking his
predecessor, Barack Obama – catch this – for not doing enough to respond
to the Russian intervention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just heard today for the
first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election and
he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that. The CIA
gave him information on Russia a long time before they even – you know,
before the election, and I hardly see it. It`s an amazing thing to me.
You know, in other words, the question is, if he had the information, why
didn`t he do something about it? He should have done something about it.
But you don`t read that. It`s quite sad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s Trump on Fox. President Trump seems to be
referring to a “Washington Post” article this weekend that said the Obama
White House took a cautious approach to Russia meddling prior to the
Well, President Trump tweeted this morning “The reason that President Trump
(sic) did nothing about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling
is that he expected Clinton would win and did not want to rock the boat.
He didn`t choke, he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and crooked
Hillary no good.”
Trump added, “The real story is that President Obama did nothing after
being informed in August about Russian meddling. With four months of
looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have kept tapes of it,
tapes of T people colluding. There is no collusion and no obstruction. I
should be given apology.”
This is Trump`s world. For months, Donald Trump`s rhetoric has been very
different. During the campaign, he repeatedly quoted from the information
leaked to Wikileaks by the Russians and he praised the leaks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This just came out – Wikileaks! I love Wikileaks!
Oh, we love Wikileaks. Boy, they have really – Wikileaks! They have
revealed a lot!
Boy, I love reading those Wikileaks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Anyway, after being elected, President Trump dismissed the
seriousness of the hack. Let`s watch him there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think the computers have complicated lives very greatly. The
whole, you know, age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly
what`s going on.
Well, I just want them to be sure because it`s a pretty serious charge, and
I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass
destruction, that was a disaster and they were wrong. And so I want them
to be sure. I think it`s unfair if they don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Sean Spicer was asked about the collusion charge in an
off-camera briefing today, where Trump accused Obama of collusion with the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Is there an element of hypocrisy here, Sean, because this was
President Trump on the campaign trail. “Russia, if you`re listening, I
hope you`re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you
will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
How can you accuse President Obama of obstructing when he was egging Russia
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He was joking at the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: He was what? Guilty (ph) (INAUDIBLE)
There`s also some breaking news this evening. Former Trump campaign
adviser Carter Page – this story`s Kato Kaelin, as far as I see it –
confirmed to NBC News he`s been interviewed at length by the FBI. So he`s
into it. I think he likes this stuff.
Anyway, “The Washington Post” was first to report the news – over a series
of five meetings in March, totaling over 10 hours of questioning, Page
repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
I`m joined by Adam Entous, one of the authors of “The Washington Post”
article this weekend on President Obama`s response to Russia, “USA Today`s”
Heidi Przybyla, who`s also an MSNBC political analyst, and MSNBC`s national
security analyst, Malcolm Nance.
Look, I just want to go to the basic nonsense of Trump here today. I`ve
been away for a few days, and I need to get my head back into this. Trump
is now saying, Heidi – now saying that there was, in fact, Russian
intervention and that Obama let it go. In other words, after weeks and
weeks saying there was no Russian intervention, he`s – Oh, yes, there was
Russian intervention in our election, but it was Obama`s fault.
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, “USA TODAY,” MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
MATTHEWS: How do you do a 180 like that in one day because you read a
“Washington Post” piece? We`ll get to your piece in a minute.
PRZYBYLA: Perhaps if people aren`t paying attention. Let`s think this
through. So first he says there`s no collusion for months and months. Now
he says there was collusion, and it was Obama who was colluding in order to
get him elected…
PRZYBYLA: … so that he could undo Obama`s legacy? So it`s just
nonsensical. But Chris, I think there hasn`t been due attention, as well,
to the fact that this is a day of vindication for that 400 pound person
MATTHEWS: I know. It`s now – it was now somehow – let me – you`re
laughing Malcolm. I heard you through the intercom here. And I have to
tell you, the absurdity of this fellow (ph) because he`s been saying there
shouldn`t be an investigation because there was no intervention. He`s now
acknowledging there was an intervention. I guess Obama should be
I swear Trump can say anything any moment and it`s irrelevant to the very
next moment. I mean, a few seconds later, a nanosecond later what, he says
later doesn`t matter a second later. His comments don`t make any
coherence. They never make any coherence since he`s been president.
And by the way, we`re going to get to the part in “The New York Times”
yesterday which authenticates for the first 40 days of his presidency, he
told a lie every single day at, like, Noah`s flood of lies the first 40 –
and then he – he pretty much made every day after that, too. What a
Anyway, let`s talk about this. Is Trump now saying that there was Russian
intervention in our campaign and that somebody has to explain their role in
that? Isn`t he now basically 90 percent of the way towards where the
investigators are headed, something bad was done by the Russians, we got to
find out who helped them?
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well…
MATTHEWS: He`s with the investigators now, all of a sudden, seems to me.
NANCE: Sure. I think he`s going to try to steer the conversation in that
direction. We`ve seen certainly on other channels over the last 72 hours a
completely different story, that collusion is legal. We`ve actually heard
people say that and argue this.
I think Donald Trump – and I know people who know Donald Trump personally
and very well – cannot think past 10 seconds. He can`t get past whatever
is before his face at that moment. He talks as if there`s no such thing as
television or video recordings.
Let`s go over some things that we know are an absolute fact. He was
briefed about this in his top secret security briefings before the election
last year. He was briefed about this after he won the election. He was
briefed about this in January, when President Obama`s national security
team brought together the evidence and the FBI and CIA told him what
blackmailable information they had on him.
He has called this a hoax from the very beginning. To suddenly do a 180,
this is certainly solely for his political audience, and he doesn`t care
what the rest of the world thinks, whether it appears that he`s once again
telling a fantastical lie.
MATTHEWS: I know. Adam, let`s start with your piece for the weekend.
Let`s talk about sins of omission, if you will, by Obama. Go for it.
ADAM ENTOUS, “WASHINGTON POST”: Right. So I mean, just to make clear, I`m
not sure that Trump was actually briefed before the election on the details
of what was being collected because the FBI was not briefing President
Obama on what they were doing as far as this investigation of possible
coordination between Trump and the campaign. He definitely was briefed on
this in January when that report came out.
MATTHEWS: Well, what do you make of the charge the last several hours by
Trump that Obama let it go?
ENTOUS: Well, I mean, the argument could be made that Obama could have
done more. One of the reasons…
MATTHEWS: You said he wasn`t briefed on it.
ENTOUS: He wasn`t briefed on the possibility of collusion, but he was
briefed on the Russian intervention…
MATTHEWS: On he Russian (INAUDIBLE)
ENTOUS: … and the role of Putin in that intervention. The issue is, why
didn`t he? Why didn`t he do more before the election?
The answer was, number one, he was worried if he did, Putin would do
something even worse, try to tamper on election day with voting machines,
for example, and number two, that Trump would politicize it, which clearly,
you know, Trump might have politicized it and the Republicans…
MATTHEWS: You mean by saying the Russians were trying to help Trump, by
the very act of challenging that, it may look like Obama was jumping in
ENTOUS: Correct. That way, it would have looked potentially like Obama
was trying to help Hillary win the election. Obama wanted to avoid that,
so they decided to backload the sanctions. That would come in December
after the election. That way, you avoided the risk of looking like you`re
MATTHEWS: Well, what – what – just to try to keep coherence here, if
Trump has any claim to knocking Obama for sins of omission, for not moving
quickly on what he had discovered about Russian intervention in our
campaign or interference in our campaign, what has he done since January
ENTOUS: I`m not aware of anything.
MATTHEWS: That`s the weirdness! Hypocrisy suggests human morality (ph).
You don`t get much of that from Trump. How does he knock Obama for sins of
omission when he`s done zero to sanction the Russians for what they did in
PRZYBYLA: I would argue he`s actually done negative in that he has sent a
MATTHEWS: He`s fluffed them.
PRZYBYLA: … to Russia…
MATTHEWS: He`s been nice to them.
PRZYBYLA: … in terms of firing Comey. He`s going to be meeting with
Putin next week. It`s been six months, and you`re right, nothing`s been
done. But there is a sanctions bill that moved, bipartisan bill, in the
Senate. It`s caught up in the House, and some of the reporting suggests
that it is White House officials who are trying to water it down. So as he
prepares to meet with Putin, we`ve actually done negative.
MATTHEWS: Well, recent testimony by former FBI director James Comey and
Attorney General Jeff Sessions paint a picture of a Trump administration`s
less than focused on responding to the threat from Russia. In fact, there
seemed to be little interest in Russia`s election meddling by this new
administration since January 20th. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARTIN HEINRICH (D), NEW MEXICO: Did the president, in any of those
interactions that you`ve shared with us today, ask you what you should be
doing or what our government should be doing or the intelligence community
to protect America against Russian interference in our election system?
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I don`t recall a conversation like that.
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I know nothing but what I`ve read in the
paper. I`ve never received any detailed briefing on how a hacking occurred
or how information was alleged to have influenced the campaign.
SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: You received no briefing on the Russian active
measures in connection with the 2016 election?
SESSIONS: No. I don`t believe I ever did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Sometimes Sessions reminds me of Sergeant Schultz in “Hogan`s
Heroes,” I don`t know nothin`.
Anyway, NBC reported this weekend that according to officials and experts,
the Trump administration has taken little meaningful action to prevent
Russian hacking, leaking or disruption in the next presidential election or
congressional election in 2018 despite warnings from intelligence officials
that it will happen again.
Back to you, Adam. And – I mean back to you, Malcolm. And my question
is, you`re the expert on this. In the community you`re in, is there any
sign that this administration is moving aggressively to make sure we don`t
have anymore of this hell hitting us next year?
NANCE: No. And it appears that the only agency that is going forward with
any initiative is DHS, Department of Homeland security. The CIA, NSA, the
other intelligence agencies are maintaining their standard, you know, high
level of cyber-security awareness, but it`s not them who have to – you
have to worry about.
It`s the Republican Party who really needs to worry about this because this
could easily be a double-edged sword. They could come back and stab Donald
Trump in the back using the exact same cyber-warfare systems.
And to put their heads in the sand when the nation was attacked – and let
me tell you one other thing, Chris. You cannot fault President Obama for
not starting an active cyber-war between the United States and Russia. He
used the measures which were commensurate with his office. He called Putin
on the red phone. We did not start shutting down each other`s national
But President Trump has to understand it is imperative that he take action.
And if he doesn`t, well, that tells us quite a bit about his views with
MATTHEWS: Adam, this charge, this high school Harry number of “So`s your
old man” – Trump now accuses Obama of collusion. What? He helped Trump
win? I mean, what kind of collusion would Obama be involved with here? He
just threw that word at him like “So`s your old man” in high school.
(INAUDIBLE) so`s your old man. What does it mean when a president of the
United States says collusion by his predecessor?
ENTOUS: Well, he…
MATTHEWS: Nothing, does it? (INAUDIBLE) mean anything?
ENTOUS: And earlier this year, he accused Obama of targeting him by having
him surveilled, right, but plating…
MATTHEWS: Which he ended up saying was metaphorical for what BS? I don`t
ENTOUS: And there were the suggestions of tapes. So you know…
MATTHEWS: Oh, the latest thing he says is, There`s no tapes, so I`m
innocent. But no, he was the one talking about tapes. He was the one who
claimed he had tapes, and then turned out he didn`t have the tapes, which
we all pretty well knew. And then he says, But they don`t have any tapes
He uses language in this demoniac (ph) way to confuse the unsubtle mind
what he`s up to. (INAUDIBLE) who`s got tapes, who doesn`t have tapes? How
do you follow Trump mentally? It`s impossible!
ENTOUS: It is – it is a challenge to try to…
ENTOUS: … figure out what he means.
MATTHEWS: Well, what about – I want to ask you about – what collusion
could Obama have been capable of or involved with? What collusion?
ENTOUS: I`m not aware of…
MATTHEWS: Hillary lost! He was for Hillary!
ENTOUS: Yes, I…
MATTHEWS: Trump won! He wasn`t for Trump!
ENTOUS: At this point…
MATTHEWS: What tapes is he talking about?
ENTOUS: I`m not sure.
MATTHEWS: See? I mean – I mean, this is a crumb trail that leads to
PRZYBYLA: I do think we need to talk – have a discussion about collusion,
though, because there were a lot of contacts going on throughout the course
of the height of the hacking campaign, and so we as reporters…
MATTHEWS: Contacts by whom with whom?
PRZYBYLA: By Trump officials.
MATTHEWS: Yes, we know.
PRZYBYLA: Right. Right. But we need to kind of set a bar and understand
as reporters, as well, what would constitute collusion because that`s not
something that`s been…
MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) meeting.
PRZYBYLA: … defined yet.
MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) a meeting at the Mayflower, at the RNC, in the Trump
Tower, you know, all kinds of places, in the Oval Office, all kinds of
Anyway, thank you Adam Entous. And thank you, Heidi Przybyla. And think
you, Malcolm Nance, for bringing your fire and knowledge to this show.
NANCE: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Coming up – you know what I`m talking about.
Anyway, the Republican health care plan in the Senate would increase the
number of Americans without health care altogether. By the way, the magic
number tonight, 22 million. Remember, the House number was 23 million?
Well, they`re slightly improving it, I guess, because by 2026, only – I`m
being sarcastic – only 22 million less people will be covered with health
insurance under the Republican plan being pushed through the United States
Senate, according to the Congressional Budget Office. And that`s not much
better than the House plan, as I said. Trump called the one he called
“mean” – again, high school language.
And now tonight, another Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, says she`ll
definitely vote no. Guess what? She tweeted her no.
Plus, the would-be challenger to House Speaker Paul Ryan is coming here.
He`s going to run against him out in Wisconsin – interesting guy.
Interesting guy. A real working guy. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDY BRYCE (D), WISCONSIN HOUSE CANDIDATE: I think it`s time. Let`s
trade places. Paul Ryan, you can come work the iron, and I`ll go to D.C.
We can do so much better together as a community, and our future depends on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: He`s got a Michael Moore quality to this guy. Tonight, we`re
going to get ready. Randy Bryce is coming here, an iron worker from
Wisconsin who wants to trade places with Paul Ryan.
And “The New York Times,” as I said. compiled the definitive list of all
the lies President Trump has told since taking office, and the numbers are
staggering. Trump said something untrue in public office every one of the
first 40 days as president, one for each day.
Finally, let me finish tonight with “Trump Watch.” He won`t like this one.
This is HARDBALL, where the action is.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear arguments over the
Trump administration`s travel ban when it`s back in session next term. It
also ruled that the administration can partially enforce the ban in the
meantime as long as it doesn`t block people from entering the country who
have a close relationship with someone in the United States or those who
want to attend school or accept a job here.
In a statement today, President Trump said, “Today`s unanimous Supreme
Court decision is a clear victory for our national security. It allow the
travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and refugee suspension
to become largely effective. As president, I cannot allow people into our
country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United
States and all of its citizens and who will be hard working and
I`m joined right now by NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams. Do
the analysis. What`s good for Trump? What`s bad for Trump?
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC CORRESPONDENT: So what`s good for Trump is he gets one
thing he really wanted, which is for the Supreme Court to review those two
lower court decisions what went against the travel restrictions that said
the president couldn`t enforce them. The court agreed that he`ll (sic)
hear that case in the fall. That`s one thing he wanted.
And it gave him part of the second thing he wanted, which is authority to
go ahead and begin enforcing the executive order now while the court waits
to hear the case over the summer months.
There`s some disagreement here, Chris, though, on how much of a concession
that is to the president. As you mentioned, anyone who wants to come to
the U.S. and to try to get a visa who has a connection here, a family
member, is going to school here, wants to teach here, comes here to accept
a job, the travel restriction cannot apply to them. The ban remains in
place on enforcement. They can still get a visa and come in.
Refugees who have a relative in the U.S. or have a connection to an entity,
the court said, in the U.S. which presumably means the churches and the
refugee groups that sponsor them – if they have an existing relationship
with them now, they, too, can come in.
So how much of this will actually end up being enforced? How much of it
will remain on hold? That`s something that`s going to take another couple
of days to work out. But it`s certainly a victory for the president that
after the string of defeats, he finally gets at least some relief.
MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Pete Williams. Great reporting.
And up next, the Republican health care bill is very much in jeopardy,
especially given today`s news that it would reduce coverage – catch this -
- for 22 million Americans.
Back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: It`s hard for me to see the bill passing
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t have enough information. I don`t have the
feedback from constituencies who will not have had enough time to review
the Senate bill. We should not be voting on this next week.
JOHN DICKERSON, HOST, “FACE THE NATION”: Will you support this bill,
SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: Right now, I am undecided.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, welcome back to HARDBALL.
It was a rough weekend, of course, for Senate majority leader Mitch
McConnell, tough for him, who is facing a daunting task of rounding up
enough votes – that would be 50 – to pass the Republican repeal of the
Affordable Care Act.
In more bad news, in more bad news, the Congressional Budget Office today
estimates the Senate bill would strip health insurance from 22 million
Americans. That number will be all over the newspapers tomorrow – 22
million will lose insurance.
Ahead of this week`s vote, the majority leader is already facing fierce
headwinds from his caucus, the one that spans the ideological divide from
conservatives to moderate – sort of moderate.
Late today, Republican Senator from Maine Susan Collins, as you just saw
said: “I want to work with my GOP and Democratic colleagues to fix the
flaws in ACA. CBO analysis shows Senate bill won`t do it. I will vote no
on motion to proceed.”
But Republicans are determined, apparently, to schedule a vote before the
July 4 recess. That means this week. Texas Senator John Cornyn, who is
charge of the vote counting for the Republicans, tweeted: “I am closing the
door. We need to do it this week, before double-digit premium increases
are announced for next year,” in other words, get it off the table.
Anyway, tonight, Senate Democrats are on the Senate floor protesting –
there they are – the Republican health bill. There`s Senator Harris of
California – or is that Cantwell? It`s Cantwell from Washington State.
This morning, President Trump previewed what he might do if the thing
fails. It`s something we have been forecasting he`s going to say for a
while, blame the Democrats.
He tweeted: “Republican senators are working very hard to get there with no
help from the Democrats. Not easy. Perhaps just let OCare crash and
It`s not just Democrats that are in Trump`s crosshairs. America First
Policies, an outside group that backs President Trump`s agenda, is
targeting the Republicans who have come out against the Senate health care
bill. The message to all Republicans, get in line or else.
The Republican repeal remains one of the most unpopular pieces of
legislation, however, in decades.
In a scathing opinion piece, Montel Williams has a dire message for
He writes: “In his victory speech, Trump promised to lift up the forgotten
men and women of this country. Instead, under Trumpcare, they will be
crushed, left to die.”
For more, I`m joined by the author of that piece, former talk show host
Montel Williams. There he is, of course, Montel Williams. And, Robert
Costa, national political reporter for “The Washington Post,” an MSNBC
Robert Costa, you first on the track touting here. I don`t see in the
world, with Collins already having walked and four or five other Republican
senators already basically saying they`re off, that you get 50 out of 52.
I don`t see why – I don`t know what Chuck Schumer is doing, except
sandbagging the Republicans, by saying it`s a 50-50 jump ball.
It`s not a jump ball. This bill is dead. Am I right or wrong?
ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It`s nearly dead, based on my
reporting, but I`m not ruling it out from passage at this point, Chris,
because of a couple of things I`m hearing on Capitol Hill.
One, there`s still a chance some significant changes could be made to the
Medicaid portion of this legislation in terms of providing poorer states
with far less population than some states with more money, more guarantees
of funding. And some conservatives could get the amendments they want on
If that happens, maybe Leader McConnell could thread the needle and get it
through. But you`re right. At this point, it`s a pretty dismal outlook.
MATTHEWS: Why would a Republican senator, left – they don`t have a left -
- right and center-right, why would any Republican senator want to have
their name on health care for the country? They don`t believe in it,
essentially. They don`t believe in social welfare like this kind.
Why do they want their name on it, when they have to go back to the
conservatives and say, I supported something like Obamacare? Why would
they want to do that? I don`t get it.
COSTA: The politics are complicated for Republicans, because, privately,
some Republicans tell me, especially the staffers, that they wouldn`t mind
if the bill fell apart. The moderates could say they stopped this from
happening, they protected the coverage.
Conservatives could say this wasn`t conservative enough.
COSTA: But they got on this train a long time ago. Republicans pledged to
their base they would try to uproot this law. And that`s what they`re
trying to do, even if it`s unpopular.
MATTHEWS: Montel, tell me why about you care about this, your personal
reasons. And maybe they`re obvious to you, but not to everyone. Explain.
MONTEL WILLIAMS, FORMER TALK SHOW HOST: Chris, most people out there know
I have M.S. I have been suffering with M.S. now for over 20 years.
I had a daughter two years ago who went through two rounds of a battle with
cancer. And were it not for the Affordable Care Act, it would have
bankrupted her and us because we would have had to pay for this out of
pocket because she wasn`t insured.
So, the bottom line is that isn`t even an – is no form of health care
bill. This is nothing more than a cheap short-term talking point. And
they know that. The Republicans know that. In addition to that, and it`s
nothing more than a tax break for the rich.
Let`s talk about the short-term. They know this doesn`t go into full
effect until 2025, so they can kick this can down the road and say, look,
we passed a bill that helps some people, but don`t have to worry about the
fact that it will fall apart in 2025.
And it`s going to fall apart way faster than that, Chris. We are not
telling the American public the truth. The truth is, right now, if
everybody at home were to Google, just Google chronic illness in America,
you will see that 125 million Americans right now suffer from one chronic
illness, and at least 80 percent of them suffer from two. That`s close to
80 million people.
This 20 million thing is a joke, because if states are not allowed to cover
you for preexisting conditions, they can drop 80 million people, my friend.
And, wait, you know, sickness is an equal-opportunity offender.
MATTHEWS: Yes, but let me ask you why you think the Republicans think they
represent their states. It could be…
WILLIAMS: Because 31 percent…
MATTHEWS: Is it fact that most Republicans, overwhelmingly, Republican
voters have some kind of health insurance? They just do. They have that
advantage. They`re not the disadvantaged people as a party. Is that true?
WILLIAMS: I don`t believe that`s true anymore. It used to be.
That`s why the reason why, right now, you see only 31 percent of people in
this country support this bill and over 51 percent are against this. And
let`s talk about this again. Equal opportunity is sickness, my friend.
When you talk about Republicans…
MATTHEWS: But you`re not explaining why Republican senators are against
doing anything really. Why are they voting – let me go back to Robert on
WILLIAMS: They can go home and have a free lunch.
MATTHEWS: Well, look, they have to get reelected in big states like
Pennsylvania, Ohio. These are real states, not little mini states with one
or two electoral votes. They`re big states with a lot of different kinds
of people, with different kinds of economic conditions in them.
Why would a person like Pat Toomey vote for it, or Portman? Why would they
vote their suicide politically?
WILLIAMS: Because they have kicked it down the road.
MATTHEWS: They must be representing somebody.
WILLIAMS: They have kicked it down the road.
Well, Robert – I want to go to Robert for a minute.
Robert Costa, report this.
COSTA: There is a belief inside of the Senate Republican Cloakroom that
this thing could be patched together, that if you`re Pat Toomey, and you
get what you want with making sure the Medicaid expansion doesn`t expand as
much as it does under the ACA, if you`re Senator Portman, you get the
opioid coverage guarantees you want, if you`re Senator Collins or Senator
Murkowski, you get what you want in terms of abortion coverage, so it`s not
hard-line conservative and you also get what you want on Medicaid.
There`s a belief that, because Trump`s not guiding this process from the
White House, it`s McConnell, McConnell at the fore, they can cut a deal
with him to try to make this get over the line.
MATTHEWS: And do you think that might be happening?
COSTA: I think McConnell is – Leader McConnell is a transactional
The president recognizes that, and he`s let McConnell take control of this
process, because he knows, whatever happens out of the Senate, that`s going
to have to be forced upon the House if this has any chance of approval.
WILLIAMS: And, Chris, the Democrats…
MATTHEWS: Montel, last thought to you. I have a feeling that Trump
doesn`t mind this thing dying. I think he doesn`t mind going to plan B,
which is the health care bill we have now. Obamacare will have – whatever
weaknesses it has, he will work on those weaknesses over the next three
He will watch the system deteriorate, and weaken, perhaps die in many
places through lack of insurers. And then he will say, it was the
Democrats who did this, just blame the hell out of the Democrats.
WILLIAMS: He can get away with it.
And the reason why, Chris, if you remember, when Obama came up with his
health care plan, the Affordable Care Act, it was immediately called
This is being McConnell-care, Ryan-care. Trump doesn`t have to have any
responsibility. If it fails, it`s not on him. It`s not Trumpcare. And
this is the failure of the Democrats, because the Democrats right now
should be all over just calling this nothing but Trumpcare, Trumpcare. But
they won`t do it.
MATTHEWS: I think that`s an oxymoron, by the way, Trumpcare.
Anyway, just thinking about it.
Anyway, thank you. My thoughts – great. Good luck with everything.
WILLIAMS: Thank you, my friend.
MATTHEWS: And, Robert Costa, thank you for reporting.
Last week, President Trump (sic) accused Republicans of passing a tax cut,
not a health care bill. President Trump was asked about it on FOX News.
Let`s watch the exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: How frustrating is it to have former President Obama there out
there leading the resistance?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think – I don`t
think he`s leading it. He actually just put out a small statement. I
don`t see that leading it, but other people are leading.
QUESTION: Some people might say it`s – the level of anger is
But it`s also unprecedented for a former president to come out the way
President Obama has. He came out on Facebook recently. You may have seen
it. He said your bill, Mr. President, it`s not a health care bill, it`s a
massive transfer of wealth, it`s going to harm Americans, it`s mean.
What do you say to the former president when he comes out and does that?
TRUMP: Well, he actually used my term, mean. That was my term, because I
want to see – I want to see – and I speak from the heart. That`s what I
want to see.
I want to see a bill with heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: “I want to see a bill with heart.”
I`m joined right now by Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat.
What do you think when you hear that? He goes, I want to a bill with
heart, and the House bill, which I supported, is a mean bill. He jumps
around every day 180 from the day before.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: He didn`t just support it. Right? He
convened a giant party in the Rose Garden to celebrate the fact that they
had just passed a bill that stripped health care from 24 million people.
MATTHEWS: I remember.
MURPHY: You know, I think he read something on TV that morning. He saw
the fact that the news was turning against him, and he decided to try to
get out in front of it.
But the Senate bill, right, is no improvement – 23 million people lose
insurance. So, if the House bill was mean, this bill is mean. And I think
that`s why Republicans are running away from this thing.
MATTHEWS: Yes. It seems to me one of those easy issues.
The Democratic Party created Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,
Obamacare. The Republican Party opposed all of them. And now they still
do. And yet they`re coming up now with an attempt to have a Republican
I just – I don`t know what that means, a Republican social welfare
program. It doesn`t seem to be – whoever imagined a Republican with a
social welfare program? Maybe the pill thing that W. came up with, but a
serious program to help the health care of millions, tens of millions of
people, and the Republicans came up with it? They don`t believe in it.
MURPHY: And what`s amazing is that…
MATTHEWS: They don`t believe in this stuff.
MURPHY: Well, and, listen, their proposal has made Obamacare more popular
than ever, right?
Today, more people want this program to remain, because they actually now
are at risk of losing all of the benefits, all the protections that they
have gotten. So, it`s pretty amazing. This is dog that caught the car,
MATTHEWS: You have won. I think your side has won the principled
argument, the principle, which is the American people expect their
government to play a role in providing them with health care, not just
access, but health care.
MATTHEWS: And now the Republicans have to – every time they bring up a
bill, have to wait for the CBO. And the CBO number comes out and says, OK,
23 million on the House side won`t get it, 22 million in the Senate.
MATTHEWS: And they lose the argument.
MURPHY: And to protect Americans against the abuses of insurance
Everybody agrees now that you shouldn`t let an insurance company charge you
more if you`re sick, which is what the Republican bill allows you to do.
MATTHEWS: Let me talk to you about the dirt ball option here, I call it.
Suppose the Senate bill – and I think it will fail, the Republican bill –
and the Democrats don`t have an alternative right now. What happens if
over the next three years, Trump, assuming he has one turn – maybe he will
have two. But he only has one now.
During the course of that time, Obamacare deteriorates. There are more
insurance companies pulling out of the exchange, more people not getting
covered. And so at the end of that period, people begin to blame the
Democrats. What happens to you guys?
MURPHY: Well, first, he`s doing that already, right?
MATTHEWS: He`s trying to talk it down.
MURPHY: Yes. So insurers are pulling out of markets, and they`re blaming
the uncertainty that Trump has created. So, he`s trying to pull it down as
MATTHEWS: What stops him?
MURPHY: Well, the only thing – two things stop him.
One is that the public is not going to buy the fact that it`s Democrats`
fault. The Republicans control the White House, control the House, control
MATTHEWS: Yes, but they failed at every attempt to get rid of Obamacare.
Now you have Obamacare and they will say Obamacare failed. It has his name
MURPHY: Yes, but people aren`t dumb. They know that Republicans are in
charge of everything. They know that the president actually controls HHS,
which runs these exchanges.
The second thing is that perhaps Republicans and Democrats, if this thing
falls apart in the next few days, actually come together. Maybe Susan
Collins is successful in reaching out to people like me, and we pass a bill
that stabilizes the markets and maybe gives Republicans some of the
flexibility that they want. That is not impossible.
MATTHEWS: Just remember, Republicans spent 40 years running against the
war on poverty successfully. So, you have got to be careful here.
Thank you, Senator.
MURPHY: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Thanks for coming in, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
Up next: He`s the man being a political ad that has got everyone talking,
but does he have what it takes to unseat – this is the guy running against
the speaker of the House. There he is, a real ironworker who is
challenging Paul Ryan.
Anyway, this is HARDBALL, where the action is.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Randy Bryce is a union ironworker and Army veteran, all for real, by the
way, and now a 2018 Democratic candidate for Congress out in Wisconsin.
His opponent, you`re won`t believe it, Republican Speaker of the House Paul
Ryan. Bryce announced his run last Monday. And already his first campaign
ad has gone viral. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDY BRYCE (D), WISCONSIN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I have spent my entire
life in Southeastern Wisconsin. I can see what people need.
I could do so much more, and I will do so much more taking my voice, taking
our voice and what we need to Washington, D.C.
I decided to run for office because not everybody`s seated at the table,
and it`s time to make a bigger table. I`m the best person to represent
this district because I`m a working person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Bryce wants to trade places, of course, with Speaker Ryan
to represent Wisconsin`s 1st Congressional District.
It`s in the southwestern – actually, southeastern corner of the state.
It`s a seat Ryan has held since winning it in 1998. The district runs from
Lake Michigan in the east, just south of Milwaukee, west of Paul Ryan`s
hometown of Janesville. And it hasn`t elected a Democrat out there since
I`m joined right now by himself, the Democratic – for Congress, Randy
BRYCE: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: You know, you strike me, Mr. Bryce, as the kind of guy or woman
who voted for Trump, a working guy who`s a little ticked off at the
Democratic Party for being a little too culturally elitist.
And yet you`re sticking with the party and you`re representing it, you hope
to, against Trump`s guy, Paul Ryan. Explain.
BRYCE: Well, thanks for having me on. Happy Monday, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Thank you.
BRYCE: The thing is, is that Speaker Ryan isn`t – he might be speaker of
the House, but he`s not speaking on behalf of working people`s houses.
He hasn`t been present in the district for over 600 days. And you have
this horrible – it`s not even really a health care bill, but he`s trying
to take away health care.
The people in the 1st Congressional District are working harder, and we`re
having less to see for it.
MATTHEWS: He`s kind of an Ayn Rand ideologue. You know what that thing
is, Ayn Rand?
I read one of her books. And one them, I really liked, which was
“Fountainhead,” because it was a hell of a yarn. But she basically
believes every man for herself. That`s her argument.
What do you make of that argument? Because apparently Paul Ryan believes
in total, utter personal self-reliance. Don`t look out for anybody to look
out for you.
BRYCE: Well, he – at one point, I understand that he made his staff read
MATTHEWS: “Atlas Shrugged” probably.
BRYCE: Correct. Correct.
And he was talking about makers and takers. Well, you know, I`ve spent the
last 20 years of my life and all my neighbors have spent the last 20 years
of their lives contributing to our society, contributing to the first
congressional district, building things, you know, and not only is he
taking stuff away from us but he won`t face us.
If we want to find out what`s going on in Washington, we had to ask
Representative Mark Pocan to come in. We had two meetings that were
packed, people just dying to know what`s going on, and we have no idea. As
I said before –
MATTHEWS: What do you mean, you said 600 days you haven`t seen him? What
is that – that`s a strong indictment. Where`s Ryan been for 600 days?
That`s two years?
BRYCE: He hasn`t had any public town halls within that time. It`s been
over 600 days. But he`s had over 50 events. He had some events where
he`ll charge $10,000 to have a picture taken with him. That`s not
representing people –
MATTHEWS: How do you run, by the way – I`m going to ask you a technical
question. Lawyers are uniquely eligible to run for office because they can
be of counsel to a law firm to run for office. Very few people can do
that. How do you as a guy getting paid for a wage get enough free time to
run for U.S. Congress? How do you do it?
BRYCE: Well, it`s difficult. I`ve spent every possible minute that I can
campaigning. Luckily, I belong to the Iron Workers Union and they pay a
very good wage. There`s times in the wintertime, depending on – it`s been
called sometimes the best part-time job that there is. It`s dependent on
weather. We don`t often get a 40-hour week.
MATTHEWS: Oh, I see.
BRYCE: If it`s a good week, we call it a ringer.
MATTHEWS: Good for you. Maybe there`s –
BRYCE: Thanks too belonging to a union.
MATTHEWS: Maybe there`s a good side to not working 40 because you get to
run for Congress.
Hey, Randy, it`s great to have you on. I`m very impressed by your ad
campaign. I hope you get the door to door stuff figure. The door to door
stuff two down. Good luck with that.
BRYCE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, the Democrats challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan, you
just saw him, Randy Bryce.
Up next, a street that does not look good in print. This is so powerful.
“The New York Times” cataloged the staggering number of lies, they call it,
President Trump has told since taking the oath of office. As I say, It`s
like Noah. One a day, a flood of lies to the first 40 days and one every
day and then many, many pretty much almost every day since. It`s an
astounding, horrible record.
You`re watching HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Opinion writers at “The New York Times” have cataloged, that`s a great word
for it, over 100 demonstrably false claims, lies, if you will, President
Trump has made since becoming president. The results of that exercise show
the regularity of President Trump`s inaccuracies, exaggerations and
outright falsehoods. In fact, most of them are, noting that it would be
the height of naivete to imagine he is merely making honest mistakes, he is
lying. That`s “New York Times” talking.
They find that President Trump is, quote, said everything untrue in public
every day for the first 40 days of his presidency and since then he`s said
something untrue on at least 74 of 113 days. This is like the Phillies
losing record here.
Here is a look at just a few of the examples. Jesus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here`s a picture of the
crowd. Now the audience was the biggest ever, but this crowd was massive.
Look how far back it goes.
When you look at the people that are registered, dead, illegal, in two
states and some cases maybe three states, we have a lot to look into.
I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.
The murder rate in our country is the highest it`s been in 47 years, right?
Did you know that?
China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we
can`t build the plants but they can, according to this agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, the piece in “The New York Times” yesterday concludes that
the president, quote, is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is
irrelevant. I am so into that.
I`m joined right now by the HARDBALL roundtable tonight. Sabrina Siddiqui,
political reporter at “The Guardian”, Jason Johnson, politics editor at
“The Root” and MSNBC political analyst, and Paul Singer, Washington
correspondent for “USA Today”.
Paul, you`re first. I think they`ve got something there. I think the
supporters of Trump, somewhere between 35 and 40 percent who stick with
him, hell and high water, don`t give a damn, or a rat`s ass, what everyone
would say about whether he says untrue or not. They don`t care.
PAUL SINGER, USA TODAY: They didn`t vote for the guy with the right facts,
they voted for the right mood.
SINGER: And he got the mood right of the country. And if you got the mood
right, who cares if the facts are over all –
MATTHEWS: He shoots facts on Fifth Avenue to use his old reference. He
shoots facts dead.
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: Look, the greatest challenge with this is
people becoming numb to the president not telling the truth. This is the
highest office in the land and the fact that they lack credibility, that
not just the president but whoever gets up behind the podium, the press
secretary, you can`t believe, you know, every other thing that might come
out of their mouth. That`s deeply problematic, not just for the public`s
trust in the office but also for how our allies view us around the world.
MATTHEWS: How do you write a straight news story? When you have to quote
a president every day like, that`s called straight reporting, Jason. And
it`s called objective. I`m not sure it is objective.
If you sit down and write down everything Trump says as if it means
something factually, aren`t you being duped? I know it`s very hard to say
this because you`re supposed to write as a paper of record. You got to
write down what he says, but it doesn`t relate to reality.
JASON JOHNSON, THE ROOT: Right. That`s one of the reasons why they`re
trying to get rid of recording equipment at the daily press briefings.
They don`t like the actual record being there of the number of times that
either Trump or the people who represent him end up lying. It makes it
incredibly difficult because journalism, in fact, covering all politics is
based on the minimum idea that the president may only lie about one or two
things. He lies about everything, which makes it almost impossible.
MATTHEWS: This tape today, he said today that Obama, his predecessor`s
responsible for somehow colluding with the Russians when they interfered in
our election. Split second before, he said there was no Russian
interference in our election. He does a 180. It doesn`t seem to offend
SINGER: But if you track Trump at all over the years, this has always been
his style. He just talks. He just says what he thinks at the moment. He
doesn`t care if it`s true.
And, by the way, what`s his brand? How rich is he? How is he doing in
business? He just makes those up on the –
MATTHEWS: How do you report on this guy, Sabrina? How do you write down
what he says when you know it doesn`t mean anything?
SIDDIQUI: Well, the responsibility of the media is still to hold people in
power accountable. And to not just let these misstatements slide. I think
that also, you had to remember that his success is contingent upon creating
this alternate reality. You know, Kellyanne Conway infamously said
alternative facts. But the media still has to report the facts and present
the truth to the American public, and to hope that there are more people
who are watching and taking seriously the office he now holds and just the
campaign where a lot of people are disenchanted by both of their choices.
MATTHEWS: Does anybody offended by the fact he spent eight years calling
Obama an illegal immigrant?
JOHNSON: Well, there`s lots of people offended by it.
Here`s the thing. That`s where the lying starts. Like, if you could lie
about where a president is from and stick with it all the way –
MATTHEWS: With no evidence. I`ve got investigators down in Hawaii coming
up with very interesting stuff – B.S.!
JOHNSON: And then he pretends he feels bad about it. He`s like, if he
would just show me, if he would just show – I`m worried about Obama.
MATTHEWS: We`re sticking back with this unflappable president.
Anyway, up next, these people tell me something I don`t know – which
actually will be true what they tell me, which is revolting.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you.
To HARDBALL, where the action is.
MATTHEWS: Well, it`s been two years since the United States Supreme Court
ruling requiring states to recognize marriage equality and today, support
for same-sex marriage, you won`t be surprised by that, is at all-time high.
According to a new Pew Poll, Americans are now nearly 2-1 in favor of
allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, that`s a dramatic shift,
believe it or not, from 2010, to seven years ago, when a plurality of
Americans, most, opposed same-sex marriage. We are evolving in our
And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.
Jason, tell me something I don`t know.
JOHNSON: We know that Philando Castile`s family settled with the city for
$3 million after his wrongful death suit. What we don`t know and they
aren`t talking about is, that is going to cost over $3 million spread
throughout the entire state. Police brutality is not a human rights issue,
it`s costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.
SIDDIQUI: Refugee admissions to the U.S. are already nearly half of what
they were under Trump now and compared with Obama, 25,000 in final months
of Obama`s presidency, just 13,000 refugees admitted in the previous three
months under Trump. That`s according to new statistics by the DHS.
MATTHEWS: Is that policy? That`s policy.
SIDDIQUI: That`s policy. That`s extreme vetting.
SINGER: Not only is gay marriage more popular, people are opposed to the
notion of denying services to people just because they`re gay. The Supreme
Court is taking up a court case, but a survey has shown even amongst faith
groups, most people believe you should still have to serve gay marriage
MATTHEWS: Well said. Thank you. Things are changing for the better.
Jason, thank you, Sabrina and Paul Singer.
When we return let me finish with Trump Watch. Not going to be popular
watch for him tonight.
MATTHEWS: Trump Watch. Monday, June 26th, 2017.
If Washington is a swamp, and I get the criticism, then Donald Trump`s the
swamp fox. Let me take that as – you can take that as a compliment if he
wants to, let his critics take it as criticism of him. Swamp fox.
The fact is, he has shown himself able to sneak through day after day here
in this capital city without being caught. He says one thing, one day.
Another thing off the direct opposite the next. And people continue to
write down what he says as if it contains meaning of some sort, as if it
was meant to contain meaning.
It doesn`t. As “The New York Times” documented yesterday, since he took
office as president, Donald Trump told an untruth every single one of his
first 40 days as president. This deluge on untrue statements should have
driven all of us into our boats like Noah – waiting for the high sea level
to drain from the city. That`s the fact we haven`t been able to handle
yet, what do you do with a president whom basic human truth telling doesn`t
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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