Trump ally Roger Stone pleads not guilty. TRANSCRIPT: 1/29/2019, Hardball w. Chris Matthews.
Date: January 29, 2019
Guest: Elliot Williams; Mike Quigley,Cheri Bustos, Sherrod Brown, Bill
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: That does it for THE BEAT. I will see you back
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But don`t go anywhere because as you know, HARDBALL with Chris Matthews is
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Stonewalling. Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
There`s a lot of news tonight. Roger Stone makes his first court
appearance today. The cost of Donald Trump shutdown is tagged at $11
billion. Democrats announce who will give the party`s answer to President
Trump`s state of the union. And in just a few minutes Senator Sherrod
Brown will join us here on HARDBALL. He is on a countdown, I think to
We begin with some big developments in the Russian probe with the head of
the justice department. Acting attorney general Matt Whitaker saying the
Mueller probe is quote “close to being completed.” The lingering question
for special counsel Robert Mueller remains. Will he deliver on his mandate
to unearth any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia?
And today, the most recent Trump associate to be in snared (ph) in the
Russian probe, Trump advisor Roger Stone pleaded not guilty in a Washington
courthouse. It comes as Stone continues to lever a full-court press of
media appearances. Giving at least 10 TV interviews, five press
conferences, and no fewer than catch this eight costume changes, all since
his arrest on Friday.
In fighting charged of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to
Congress, Stone is due back in court on Friday and set to appear before the
same federal judge who presided over the case of Paul Manafort.
This after comes after acting attorney general Matt Whitaker said yesterday
that he has being fully briefed on special counsel`s investigation and
thinks it`s being close to complete. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT WHITAKER, ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL: You know I have been fully briefed
on the investigation. And you know, I look forward to director Mueller
delivering the final report. And I really am not going to talk about open
and ongoing investigation otherwise. But right, you know the investigation
is, I think, close to being completed. And I hope that we can get the
report from director Mueller as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: A little of stumbling there, but close to be completed.
Anyway, since the outset of the probe, the special counsel has brought
charges against 34 people and three companies. Again, the question now is
whether Mueller, in his final act as special counsel, will deliver what he
was set to find, a conspiracy between Trump and itself and Russia.
But a prosecutor Glenn Kirschner argues that Stone in the Stone indictment
already contains the building blocks of the conspiracy and could foreshadow
more charges to come. That`s because the Stone indictment replete with
reference to the alleged misconduct of other carried out in a concerted
effort to obtain and exploit and stolen DNC email in order to help Trump.
That DNC mail came from Russia.
I`m joined right now Democratic congressman, Mike Quigley of Illinois who
sits on the House intelligence committee, Julia Ainsley is a national
security and justice reporter with the NBC News and Elliot Williams a
former federal prosecutor and former senior DOJ official.
I`m going to start with Elliot because I want to get a sense of this. A
bang or a whimper? Are we going to get what we went to find out? Did the
Russians cooperate? Both ways, Trump and the Russians, did they work
together on this winning election in 2016?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, here is a thing. I
think everybody wants one answer. Like is the President going to get
indicted? Are we going to find out something critical about the Russians?
Look, 30 people have been indicted. Look at all the charges, look at all
information that`s already come out. This has been a hugely successful
MATTHEWS: Sure. But will he answer the question in the mandate? Did
Trump collude with Russia?
WILLIAMS: Trump himself may not have colluded with Russians. Now it`s
clear from paragraph 12 of the indictment that individuals on the campaign
were trying to direct, you know, interactions with Russians and
interactions with WikiLeaks and so on. So they got close. Now whether
this is something they can be charged with, it`s just not clear. But –.
MATTHEWS: OK, Joy. That opens the question which I don`t really is a
question that Trump is some kind of mister – criminal mastermind that he
is able to undermine - to oversee a criminal enterprise that brings dirty
stuff on Hillary Clinton from Moscow with their help, does exactly what the
investigation is supposed to prove he did do and he never got his fingers
on t ever once told somebody to do this ever.
JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER: We know,
it was a very centralized campaign in that paragraph that Elliot
referenced. It says that is senior campaign official was directed. So we
could maybe think that anyone higher than a senior could be –.
AINSLEY: But let`s also point out what is not in this charging document in
the indictment. It does not say – Roger Stone himself is not charged with
conspiracy with the Russians. It doesn`t even say in there that Roger
Stone knew for sure that this information from WikiLeaks was coming from a
Russian hack. So how can we with expect then, I mean, unless there`s more
work which of courses there is, there`s so many Stones still unturned.
AINSLEY: Ha. I didn`t even realized I would do that. But still, it could
be that, you know, if they can`t make that connection from Roger Stone to
the Russians, how can they make it from the campaign to the Russians?
WILLIAMS: But here`s –.
MATTHEWS: Congressman. We go to congressman in here. He is on the
Congressman, you put all this together. It`s like wheel of fortune when
you have to complete the word to the whole phrase, you know. The
quotation, you see a few words and you got to fill it in. Where are you on
this? Where are you in seeing a connection between President Trump now,
President Trump, candidate Trump then and the Russians?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: A couple things. First
I don`t believe there are any coincidences that existed in this. And then
I think we have to quote Steve Bannon who once said that there is zero
chance that the President of the United States did not know about the Trump
tower meeting. And that the sun didn`t go straight to the dad and tell him
what took place. We know he dictated that falsified response to that
It`s a very hard for me to believe that the man with this personality
central to the campaign wasn`t engaged and involved in directing people to
have this coordination.
MATTHEWS: Especially, Congressman, to remind us all, he said I want the
Russians now on television to go get the Hillary emails. I mean, he said
Anyway, in plain sight. In his multimedia appearances over the weekend,
Roger Stone repeatedly denied a central allegation revealed in the
indictment filed against him last week. That he quote “was contacted by
senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future release by
WikiLeaks.” Stone says that nobody from the campaign approached him about
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONE: The allegation that two campaign officials instructed me or
inquired of me about WikiLeaks is false. I suspect that they could induce
somebody to say that. But they would be people either with an ax to grind
or seeking a reduction in their sentence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Why would a guy that was just arrested, put in shackles, thrown
before the court and have to pay big bail money show up at nine different
costumes including this (INAUDIBLE) costumes that he has got? What is
going on here? And you dealt with defendants. What`s the escapade about?
WILLIAMS: The escapade is a pathological liar who can`t get his story
straight. That is what is going on here. This is an individual, if you
read the indictment, you know, a number of instances of lying, of tampering
with witnesses and so on. And he is just trying to put on show and throw
people off the scent of his wrong doing.
And so, what`s going on here? He has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his
back. I can`t explain what`s going on with him. But it is clear, you
know, it`s a public relations stunt to try to undermine the investigation
which actually someone else we know has done and he is President of the
United States. They are all trying to attack the fundamental integrity of
the investigation because they know they don`t have a decent legal argument
MATTHEWS: Well, a denying contacts with the campaign to discuss WikiLeaks,
Roger Stone has borrowed a page from the President`s play book. As we have
seen on multiple occasions, the President has accused witnesses of
fabricating stories about him to please prosecutors. Now Stone is doing
the same thing about others.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONE: I`m mindful of the special counsel`s ability to induce people to
say things that are not true, particularly people who are seeking a
reduction in their sentence or people of an ax to grind.
People can have their testimony composed particularly if they are looking
for a reduction in their sentence. But there is no proof here.
It appears to me that they have composed testimony for someone, perhaps
Rick Gates, perhaps Steve Bannon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: You know, Roger Stone jumped, I`m going to go to the Congressman
on this. Roger Stone jumped around a lot in the media. He showed off the
fact that he knew that it was going to be John Podesta`s time in the
barrel, to use his infamous (ph) phrase. Now it`s his time in the barrel.
And I don`t understand, he seems like a guy that wanted to look guilty,
wanted to flirt with disaster and then when he came up in court and he is
dancing away from it. But the guy hasn`t, even now, doesn`t seem to act
Congressman, what do you make of this suspect, in fact this witness in this
case that could be the prime witness in the Russia connection?
QUIGLEY: I was one of three that questioned Mr. Stone. And I did ten
years of criminal defense work. I have never met anyone quite like him.
It is half show, half Barn and Bailee. I just absolutely can`t make it
out. It`s one thing when you read the transcript and the exchanges that
were in the indictment. It is another thing to be in the room when he is
doing the testifying. I don`t think anyone in their right mind would
believe him for a seconds.
MATTHEWS: Wow. Well today, former governor Chris Christie who briefly ran
Trump`s presidential transition says that Mueller doesn`t look he is
finishing up. We are going to talk about that quest. Here we go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Matt would know better than
anybody since Matt supervising it. But I can just tell you that, you know,
the thing about this Mueller investigation is there has been no leaking.
And you just don`t know what they are up to. So Matt probably knows more
than anybody else in the country other than Bob Mueller about it. So I`m
going to take matt`s word for it. But Bob Mueller doesn`t feel to me he is
almost done. I don`t think he`s ending on Roger Stone but could might be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s a good question. Does it logical – everybody
here, same question to everybody. Is it logical he will end with a
crescendo, like they said they build up to the top guy, whoever that tough
guy is probably the President, build up, build up, bring the Roget Stone as
the lieutenants, the commanders and finally to the top guy. And does that
suggest that we are getting near the end or not? The governor seems to be
WILLIAMS: You don`t always get the top guy but that doesn`t mean the
investigations hasn`t been successful. And even if you can`t charge the
President or Junior or anybody senior at the campaign with crimes, there`s
conduct that they shouldn`t have been doing. This is unprecedented
MATTHEWS: Can you impeach a guy for that?
WILLIAMS: You have, so you can impeach for some of it, depending on what
it is and depending on what they find. But if the President is directing a
foreign actors to medal in our election to try to skew the outcome, of
course that`s an impeachable offense. But, you know, we just have to see
what he finds. But again, it is just shady behavior. It may not be
something you convict him of.
AINSLEY: Well, another clue today, and I`m curious how you would read on
this, Elliot, is that there are now D.C. prosecutors present in the
prosecution team in the courtroom against Stone. The attorneys who are on
Mueller`s team already have license to practice in D.C. So it is not clear
why they needed those.
I wonder if this would be a plan in case Mueller either wants to conclude
this report or if it us failsafe thing if case he gets fired. That he
could spin that off. If there is a way we could get a Mueller report and
this would be probably very unsatisfying, where he ends his probe but there
are numerous strands still to pull, whether it could Trump organization or
various other associates and aids of his who could still be criminally
charged in the months to come.
WILLIAMS: And that`s you have in the southern district in New York.
That`s how Michael Cohen ended up getting charged, too. It got spun off to
a U.S. attorney`s office up there.
MATTHEWS: Following up what Elliot said there, Congressman. Can you
imagine now, you are on the committee, that somewhere we look at this like
a RICO charge, like the President, this President as a candidate in
transition and in office was running a criminal enterprise. He had all
kinds of people doing criminal things under his supervision. And even
though you come for his fingerprints on them, they were doing it because
they were serving his purposes.
Can you do that to a President without proving he was on the phone? Like
the Nixon thing went down because he was on the phone with (INAUDIBLE) and
he was telling him tell the CIA to get in the way of the FBI on this.
That`s pretty cold evidence. Can you do it without that kind of evidence?
QUIGLEY: It is very difficult. It is, you know. Look, we are in
uncharted territory. I think what`s troubling today is the fact that Mr.
Whitaker`s talking like this. He has told by his ethics attorneys to stay
far away from this investigation. Play no role. What he is saying
yesterday was very, very troubling. He was basically messaging potential
witness and witnesses that hey, this is almost over. That is disturbing.
And the fact that he knows all about this is concerning in the fact that he
might share it with someone that White House or the Trump legal team.
MATTHEWS: Wow. Well, take it together the evidence from Mueller`s court
file. Paint a damming picture for the Trump campaign. The allegation that
Stone lied to cover up his contacts about WikiLeaks is the latest
revelation suggest the Trump campaign may have colluded in 2016.
There is also the news that during the election of Paul Manafort lied about
giving campaign polling data to a Russian intelligence operative. Then
there is Michael Cohen who lied about trump`s effort to build a Trump tower
in Moscow. At the same time Trump was running for President. Michael
Flynn lied about discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Kislyak.
And finally George Papadopoulos lied about learning that the Russian had
dirt from Hillary Clinton`s emails.
Elliot, Julia and then to the Congressman, why do they lie about anything
to do with Russia? And apparently, I was listening to your network all day
today. There is a pattern here. They don`t regularly lie, these people.
They are not just liars but they lie about Russia.
WILLIAMS: And lied about Russia`s two federal agents, two judges, two
courts, and two Congress. These are all serious crimes.
MATTHEWS: Are they afraid that they broke the Logan Act which is never
enforced. What made Michael Flynn just lie about a conversation of
sanctions with Kislyak? Why they lie about going to a meeting when there
is nothing came of that meeting apparently? They lied about everything.
WILLIAMS: They are trying to lie to protect themselves, they are lying to
try to protect the President or lying to try to protect the President`s
campaign. It`s just it is self-interested and you see it in defendants all
the time. It is either they think they will get away with it or they think
that they would get caught, they just won`t get in trouble for it.
AINSLEY: Or they will get pardoned. I mean, I think that is why we have
to listen to what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the White House today to
some of our won correspondents as she would not rule out the President
pardoning Roger Stone. It just seems like an easy answer to have at this
MATTHEWS: Well, she doesn`t have license to say that because he may well
Thank you, U.S. congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois.
Thank you, Julia Ainsley. And of course, Elliot Williams on my left here.
Coming up, Ohio Democrat and potential 2020 candidate Sherrod Brown, United
States senate from Ohio reelected again joins me next to discuss the fall
out of Trump`s disaster shutdown which we now know caused the U.S. economy
$11 billion. And by the way Trump said he is still considering another
And Donald Trump once again mocked the scientific reality of climate change
today saying we need global warming. Bill Nye the science guy will be
there respond to our denier in chief.
Stay with us.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Donald Trump`s 2016 presidential road to victory was paved through
Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. And tomorrow, Sherrod Brown,
the Democratic senator from Mansfield, Ohio is set to launch his dignity of
work tour, bringing his working class progressive message to Iowa, to New
Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, fuelling 2020 speculation.
Asked last week whether he plans to run for President, Brown said we will
make that decision in the weeks ahead. But given the Democrat stinging
defeat in those great lakes states and given Sherrod Brown`s commanding
victory in that state in Donald Trump won by eight points in 2016,
Democrats have got to ask is Brown the guy that could bring the Midwest
states back into the fold?
For more I will joined - I`m joined right now by Senator Sherrod Brown of
Thank you, sir. Senator, earlier today three of the President`s top
intelligence officials, including FBI director Christopher Wray, CIA
director Gina Haspel and director of national intelligence Dan Coats
presented an update to the Senate intelligence committee about their
assessment of global threats. At times they directly contradicted
President Trump. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, ISIS is nearing
territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria, the group has returned to its
guerilla warfare roots while continuing to plot attacks and direct ts
ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in
Iraq and Syria.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we have won against
ISIS. We have beaten them, and we have beaten them badly.
COATS: North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is
unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production
capabilities, because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as
critical to regime survival.
TRUMP: We have made a lot of progress that has not been reported by the
media, but we have made a lot of progress. As far as denuclearization is
concerned, things are going very well with North Korea.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Not only have the Russians continued to do
it in 2018, but we have seen indication that they`re continuing to adapt
their model and that other countries are taking a very interested eye in
TRUMP: I have President Putin. He just said it`s not Russia.
I will say this: I don`t see any reason why it would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Senator, this – this is pretty disquieting, I mean, the fact
that the president of the United States doesn`t buy the information given
to him by our top intelligence people.
On ISIS, he says it`s gone. They said it`s alive and dangerous, even in
that area down there in Iraq and Syria. North Korea is dangerous.
Trump seems to think everything`s calm up there. And Russia is still
interfering with our elections.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Well, you see – you see a couple things on
this show that you talk about a lot, Chris.
This president clearly has trouble with the truth over and over and over
again. He knows he`s lying. He lies about all kinds of things. And the
other thing is, it`s always a president – he`s always a president who
wants to distract from what other things are happening.
For instance, a big part of the government shutdown is, the president
demonizes immigrants, so you`re not thinking about how he betrays workers
in Youngstown, Ohio, and he won`t engage when GM says they`re going to
close a plant with 5,000 workers.
I mean, consistently, the president is – tries to distract from the things
that are not going well, so that we talk about immigrants, or we talked
about the caravans, or we talk about things abroad, where he brags
generally in a way that`s simply not true.
MATTHEWS: No argument here. Thank you.
Donald Trump was elected on the promise, however, that his administration
would refrain from stupid wars and reckless regime change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They have dragged us into foreign wars that have made us less safe.
Our new foreign policy is going to always put America first.
Unlike my opponent, my foreign policy will emphasize diplomacy, not
Sometimes, it seemed like there wasn`t a country in the Middle East that
Hillary Clinton didn`t want to invade, intervene in or topple.
We will abandon the policy of reckless regime change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: That`s what I liked about his campaign.
Despite that, the Trump administration last week officially recognized an
opposition figure as the acting president of Venezuela.
And, yesterday, the president`s national security adviser, John Bolton,
startled reporters when he appeared in the White House Briefing Room with a
yellow pad that had a scribbled line on it that read “5,000 troops to
When asked about the note, the White House told reporters that all options
are on the table.
That language, Senator, all options on the table, is scary. It`s the kind
of neocon talk, and it`s been brought into this White House, if not by
Trump personally, by this character John Bolton, who does want to invade
every country in sight.
What do you make of this?
MATTHEWS: What happened to the guy said no more stupid wars?
In the clip you – Trump himself used the word reckless. And in this
behavior in Venezuela is reckless and irresponsible. You don`t – you
don`t start off by – by in any way threatening military action. You work
with your allies, another thing the president rarely does, whether it`s
tariffs, or whether it`s working on – in Iran, or whether it`s working on
any kind of international diplomacy.
The president rarely works with Canada and the E.U. and our allies around
the world. And this is a time – we want free and fair elections in
Venezuela, of course. And we bring our allies into this, not with threats
of military action, but with good diplomatic skill. And that`s the way to
move forward in this.
I mean, you look at the president`s views of institutions that we believe
in, from NATO to things such as the Paris climate agreement, all of those
kinds of things that we should be part, and this president has pushed away,
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about a Democratic proposal.
Senator Warren, your colleague from Massachusetts, is talking now about a
wealth tax on people that have wealth of over $50 million. What do you
make about that approach for the Democratic Party?
BROWN: Well, I think you`re going to see a lot of those kinds of
I – clearly, we need to make the wealthiest 1 percent pay more. Look at
what the Trump tax cut – the Trump tax cut provided 70 percent of the
benefits in the $1.5 trillion tax cut went to the wealthiest 1 percent.
So, there`s good evidence and good reason to do that.
But it`s the other end of it is what matters. That matters, but what
really matters is where these dollars are spent. Are you spending it on
infrastructure? You spending it on medical research? Are you spending on
I met with Ohio school board members today, about 25, 30 of them. And
we`re talking about the Individual with Disability Education Act, that it`s
so underfunded from the federal government, and these schools are
struggling financially to take care of disabled children, which they want
to do, but they simply aren`t getting the federal support.
So, when we do a better tax bill and a better tax system in 2021, with I
hope a Democratic president, Democratic Senate, Democratic House, one of
the things we do is as a fairer tax system. We roll back a lot of these
corporate tax cuts that have gone to companies and giving incentives to
outsource jobs and giving big tax cuts to the rich.
We make a fairer tax system, and the revenue obviously should go to
infrastructure and those kinds of things in education and health care.
MATTHEWS: Well, I`m with you on that, if it matters. I`m with you,
because I think the infrastructure betrayal – and that`s what I call it, a
betrayal by this president. He said he was going to do it. He spent the
money on the tax cuts.
And that $1.5 trillion went to people at the top and corporations to buy
back stock, which all it did was screw the workers and fire people.
Let me ask you about your tour. It clearly is tracking, the tour, of the
early caucuses and primaries starting in Ohio – Iowa, rather – Iowa, then
going to New Hampshire, then South Carolina, Nevada, California.
Tell us what you want to try to find out on that trip.
BROWN: Well, I – when you love your country, you fight for the people who
make it work.
And I`m concerned that what – the message I want to come out of this is, I
want whoever the Democratic nominee is to make the centerpiece of their
campaign the dignity of work.
And I – you talked at the outset of the show about winning Ohio, a state
that Trump won by almost double digits. Too many Democrats, I think, look
at the electorate as, you either – you either talk to the progressive base
– and I have been a progressive for – from voting against the Iraq War,
to opposing – supporting marriage equality for 20 years, all that.
You either talk to the progressive base, or you talk to working-class
voters. And you got to do both. And I want the dignity of work to be the
And that – it`s – we have seen, Chris, for a couple of decades now people
are working harder, corporate profits are up, executive compensation is
exploding, productivity is up, yet workers` wages are flat.
And one of the central parts of the next – the next presidency and the
next Congress needs to be focusing on work, so when people work hard, they
actually get ahead. And that simply is not happening enough in this
country. And that needs to be the message for any Democrat who runs in
MATTHEWS: I`m thinking about the campaign poster right now, and I`m
thinking about what would look good.
And I`m thinking about your name, which is a very common American name,
Brown. And I think about another name that is pretty common, Harris, and
I`m wondering whether a Harris-Brown or a Brown-Harris looks good to you,
because both of you guys are progressive. You`re from different parts of
the country, probably different tones to their – to your ideologies, but
probably similar in product, in terms of pragmatics.
What do you think of that ticket, one way or the other?
BROWN: Well, I don`t know. I`m not going to comment on a ticket.
I will just say, I like Kamala. I was amazed that somebody called her un-
American today for a proposal she had on health insurance, that – one of
the billionaire candidates for president.
So, I stand with her on that. We have stood together on a number of
issues. And I think very highly of her.
MATTHEWS: Do you think we`re better off having a two-person choice for
president, so there`s none of these straggling five or six million votes to
go out there that really don`t help any candidate?
Well, they help a candidate sort of in reverse, because they take away
votes from somebody those people would have voted for. Are we healthier
with a two-party candidacy or a three – with three candidates running,
with that third one spoiling somebody`s win?
BROWN: Well, I think we`re healthier when I see – we – when I think
about a billionaire running as an independent, we tried – we tried a
billionaire in the last election, and the billionaire won. And look where
So, I – if you`re asking about an individual candidate, yes. I just think
that I want a choice between Trump and a progressive Democrat. We`re going
to have that.
And I think it – we have got to win the Industrial Midwest, the Heartland,
the Great Lake states, and a state you grew up, Chris, in and a state that
I represent, and we change the country.
I think this third-party possibility is a little too caffeinated for me.
Thank you very much, Senator Sherrod Brown.
BROWN: Thanks, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Good luck on your tour.
MATTHEWS: I agree with you.
We have a Catholic phrase, orare est laborare, laborare est orare, to work
is to pray. We believe in that. Thank you so much.
BROWN: Pope – sounds like Pope Leo XIII. Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Exactly, but the encyclical, which is that great one, which is
Rerum Novarum, which I loved. Anyway.
BROWN: The labor pope. Yes, Rerum Novarum, exactly.
BROWN: Coming from a Lutheran here, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Well, a lot to do with the New Deal and the Fair Deal and
everything else came out of that papal encyclical.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, up next: How much did Trump`s 35-day government
shutdown end up costing the U.S. economy? A new tally from the
Congressional Budget Office may stun you.
We`re back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: It`s good news that our
federal employees are back to work. There`s still impact to the Trump
I hope this serves as a lesson to President Trump and all of my Republican
colleagues: no more shutdown. President Trump touched the hot, hot stove.
And, hopefully, he won`t do it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was Senate majority leader – Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the
consequences of the five-week government shutdown, $11 billion lost.
With the government back open now, we`re learning more about the larger
economic toll. It resulted in a temporary loss to the American economy $11
billion, some of which will be lost permanently, just lost economic
A bipartisan group of lawmakers will meet tomorrow to begin working on a
deal for border wall funding, ahead of a February 15 deadline. That`s
three weeks altogether. President Trump has been – ruled out the
possibility of another shutdown over a border wall – he won`t – or the
possibility of declaring a national emergency to start wall construction.
At a congressional hearing on worldwide threats, the chiefs of U.S.
intelligence agencies made no mention whatever of what the president has
deemed a crisis at the southern border or for a need for a wall.
These guys in charge of protecting this country see nothing there to really
But, last night, FOX News host Sean Hannity came to the president`s defense
over attacks from his – quote – “conservative friends.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Do you believe for one second, do you
really believe the president has stopped his full-on fight over the border
wall that he has promised?
Has he not shown he is a tenacious fighter when it comes to keeping his
promises? Don`t let what is a – what I believe to be a shift in strategy
fool you, because I don`t have any doubt at all that the president is going
to fight as hard, if not harder, for the money for the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Wouldn`t you like to have a friend like Sean, who will defend
anything you do?
Anyway, I`m joined right now by Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of
Illinois and Robert Costa, national political reporter for “The Washington
I want to ask the same question to you from different perspectives. I want
to start with Bob.
I know how has a Senate conference works with the House. You get together
in the room. You spend days doing it sometimes. You try to find the
common stuff. Then you try to find how to work the other side. And you
try to get everything included, but sometimes things don`t get included
because they`re only being pushed by one side.
A conference tries to find common ground. Both sides, Democrat and
Republican, House and the Senate, say they want stronger border protection.
Why can`t they find some way of calling a fence a wall, because we already
have a lot of fence? Is there a way we can get past this and bring the
government back and make people feel a little bit better about the border
and end this for a couple months, or a couple years even?
ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: (AUDIO GAP) easy seen here at the
I have been talking to senators on both sides ahead of this Wednesday
meeting. They say too many ideas are being floated. It`s not just about a
narrow package on immigration and border security.
Senator Lindsey Graham`s talking about adding a debt limit extension onto
this whole immigration discussion. Other senators are talking about
spending cuts. Democrats are talking about, what about dreamer
protections? Could they be part of a broader immigration deal? But they
don`t want to include any funding for a wall.
A lot of disagreements before they have even met.
MATTHEWS: This has begun – they begin – I`m sorry – the president
mainly, but also someone on the other side – beginning to talk like people
the Middle East. Let`s argue about whose historic right is to this wall,
this brick here, or this fence, or this – we`re finding over it in
Can`t you just say, we already got a hell of a lot of fencing down there
across the border? Anybody who has been there has seen it. Fix the fence,
do something, and call that the wall. I don`t know.
I know I`m not – I`m not ideological about this thing. I think it`s
something we`re arguing back because we want to argue.
REP. CHERI BUSTOS (D), ILLINOIS: Well, in the meantime, we had 800,000
workers not getting a paycheck for 35-plus days.
But, yes, we absolutely can. And we – Chris, last time you and I spoke,
you said, what is the plan and what`s the dollar amount attached that plan?
We do have a plan. It`s a four-point plan. We do have dollar amounts
attached to that. That will all be worked out in conference.
MATTHEWS: You`re talking about border protection?
BUSTOS: Well, we`re talking about hiring the – we have 3,000 openings for
BUSTOS: We`re talking about radar. We`re talking about technology. We`re
talking about making sure that every vehicle that comes into our country,
we have a way to check that.
MATTHEWS: For drugs.
BUSTOS: For drugs.
We have got the ports of entry, where most of the drugs – 90 percent of
the drugs are coming into our country through those ports of entry. So we
have got specific plans, including – now, if you look at the president`s
proposal, 2,000 miles of a wall? It`s not even practical.
We would have to go in…
MATTHEWS: Yes. How many miles we have now?
BUSTOS: You know, I don`t know the answer to that.
MATTHEWS: See? See? We`re arguing about stuff.
BUSTOS: But the people…
MATTHEWS: But we have already have – people tell me, down in Texas,
there`s wall. There`s fencing down there. There`s fencing. I have seen
it down in below San Diego.
I know you can`t stop – 2,000 wall – you can`t cover 2,000.
BUSTOS: You can`t do that.
MATTHEWS: But – so we`re arguing over what percentage of the wall is
going to be built or has already been built?
I don`t – I know the importance of it to Trump. He has to say a wall.
BUSTOS: It`s a symbol.
MATTHEWS: Like it`s a – like the Chinese wall.
BUSTOS: Yes. It`s a symbol, where he talked about it 200 times on the
But we can get this done, Chris. If you have reasonable people sitting
around the table, we can get it done.
MATTHEWS: That`s an if.
Meanwhile, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced yesterday the new
date for the State of the Union speech will be next Tuesday, February 5.
And, today, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Schumer announced Stacey
Abrams – there she is – former Democratic governor for – down in
Georgia, would give the Democratic response to Trump`s speech.
Let me go.
Do you know how that person was chosen? I think I know why. Why do you
think she was selected, this great woman?
BUSTOS: I mean, the strongest base of Democratic support is African-
Look what happened in the Senate race in Alabama. Doug Jones would not
have won without African-American women. Wouldn`t have happened; 97
percent of African-American women voted for him. That is why we have a
Democrat as a U.S. senator in Alabama.
Stacey Abrams is the future of our party. She`s a superstar.
MATTHEWS: I agree.
BUSTOS: And I`m very, very happy with that decision.
MATTHEWS: I`m hearing from that so many people.
Go ahead, Congressman – I mean, Robert Costa. Your turn.
COSTA: Another reason Stacey Abrams was selected was that Democrats are
being strategic. They`re looking at the map for Senate races in 2020.
They see a top target in Senator David Perdue, an ally of President Trump.
Senator Schumer, by making this selection, along with the House speaker,
he`s trying to say to Ms. Abrams, get in that race in 2020.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Good for you.
COSTA: If Democrats can win in Alabama with Doug Jones, they`re going to
try to win in Georgia where Abrams came close in `18, with her in `20.
MATTHEWS: I think that`s true, and politically wonderful. And I
understand why they got to push that Purdue race.
I also think there`s a sense of righting the boat, because with all the
publicity about Beto O`Rourke and he lost his race, about still being a big
national leader, a big Democrat now. I think they have to do with the
other person who lost a close race, certainly in Georgia, and the fellow
that lost, Gillum who lost down in Florida, they need the same publicity
and the same respect that Beto`s been getting and I think this is, I hope,
part of that effort.
Thank you. You know all about this stuff. Thank you, U.S. Congressman
Cheri Bustos, one of he leaders of the Democrats, the chairman of the DCCC;
Robert Costa, the great Trump listener.
Up next, I was going to say – you`re not a whisperer, you`re a listener.
Thank you. A great reporter.
COSTA: Reporter, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I know, that`s what you are. That`s what I`m saying.
Up next, America`s denier-in-chief is at it again, tweeting misinformation
about climate change that shows he just doesn`t get the science behind our
warming planet. He gets, he`s just selling to the yahoos.
Bill Nye the Science Guy responds to President Trump. That`s next. Stay
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Right now, millions of Americans across the country are bracing for a once-
in-a-generation arctic blast that could bring wind chill temperatures as
low as minus 60 degrees. That`s the latest example of extreme weather
around the world. And last summer, ranked as the fourth hottest on record
in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, the fourth worst. And that factored into the increased
drought conditions obviously that led to the most destructive forest fire
in California`s history last year, taking the lives of 85 people.
And there was historic flooding throughout the parts of the country,
following major hurricanes like Florence. And despite all of that, the
president, Donald Trump, last night mocked the rule of climate change in
response to the sub zero temperatures facing the Midwest.
He tweeted: What the hell is going on with global warming? Please come
back fast. We need you.
One of the Trump `s own agencies felt the need to correct the president.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted out a cartoon
image with the caption “winter storms don`t prove that global warming isn`t
happening.” In fact, his own administration has released multiple reports
showing the drastic role climate change is playing now.
In 2017, 13 federal agencies unveiled a report that found humans are
overwhelmingly to blame for climate change. And last year, another report
was released by the administration, laying out the devastating effects
climate change will have on the economy, health and the environment. And
just this month, the Department of Defense released a report that called
climate change a national security issue.
Nevertheless, President Trump has long denied climate change. And he`s not
alone. Some of the most outstanding rationales put forth by prominent
deniers come up with next, along with my special guest, Bill Nye, the
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Large parts of the country are preparing for the coldest temperatures seen
in decades. President Trump has continued to down play the role of climate
change in all this, and he`s not alone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TOM MCCLINTOCK (R), CALIFORNIA: If global warming is caused by your
SUV, why is it we are seeing global warming on every other body in the
solar system? As you know for the last decade or so, the Martian south
polar ice cap is conspicuously receded, Pluto is warming about 2 degree
Celsius over the past 14 years.
REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: What about –
BROOKS: – the White Cliffs of Dover, California, where you have the
waves crashing against the shore lines, and time and time again you have
the cliffs crashing into the sea? All of that displaces water, which
forces it to rise, does it not?
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: We keep hearing 2014 has been the warmest
year on record. I asked the chair you know what this is? It`s a snow ball
and that`s just from outside here. So it`s very, very cold out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I`m joined now by Bill Nye the Science Guy, author of
“Everything All At Once.”
Bill, why do people do this? Why did they come up with this comical
excuses to deny the science?
BILL NYE, “THE SCIENCE GUY”: Well, it really starts with the fossil fuel
industry who has been working very hard to introduce the idea, that doubt,
that scientific uncertainty, plus or minus 2 percent is the same as plus or
minus 100 percent. In fact, they`ve hired the same people that the
cigarette industry hired.
And there was – Luntz, the pollster, who said doubt is your friend. He
coached Republican presidential nominees that to introduce the idea that
there`s doubt about scientific uncertainty. So, therefore, there`s doubt
about the whole thing, that`s patently wrong and it`s very frustrating for
those of us in the science education community on the fact-based science.
MATTHEWS: What can you say to the people on the ground, the grave
majority, almost 2/3 of Trump voters say it`s not an issue with them
personally? Whatever you make of that, that`s what they say. It`s not an
issue with me personally.
NYE: I think it really is. If you ask any farmer, any professional in
agriculture. The pests and parasites are showing up earlier in the growing
season and they`re sticking around longer and this makes farmers have more
what we call inputs, more pesticides, more herbicides, more mechanical
removal of rogue weeds and stuff – and this is very expensive. So, it
will add to the cost of food.
And the other problem is growing in North America, which is the bread
basket of the world, even now, the agriculture in North America is going to
have to move north into what would normally be Canada.
NYE: And we don`t have the infrastructure. We don`t have the railroads
and roads to get food from that area to where we need it around the world.
And, of course, it can be built but the longer we mess around and not
address the problem, the more difficult it`s going to be.
I claim that the people in rural areas are affected perhaps even more than
people in urban areas and they`ve been hoodwinked, they`ve been led astray
by this group of like minded people who feel the economic effects of
getting away from fossil fuels are going to be catastrophic. But that`s
just simply not true.
MATTHEWS: You know, every time I see a Koch Brothers ad, I think these
guys ought to get a tax write off of this. And that would be a sick thing
to do obviously, but it`s in their economic interest, isn`t it? The Koch
Brothers, that industry, the fossil fuel industry, gas and oil, to deny?
To deny, it`s in their economic interest to deny science and that`s why
they run all of these advertisements. Yes.
NYE: That`s their perception. So, if everybody – I`m not a member – I`m
not on the board of directors of the solutionsproject.org, but check it
out, these are civil engineers who have done an analysis of our electrical
grid and they believe, quite reasonably we could go 80 percent sustainable,
renewable in 15 or 20 years and 100 percent in about twice that.
And this would change the world. We wouldn`t need – the United States
wouldn`t need to get its energy from overseas. It would be domestic energy
and, of course, some of the people that are very concerned about climate
change are in the U.S. military and they would welcome not having to
protect oil fields on the other side of the world.
NYE: The overreaching effect of climate change is a problem that a lot of
people have trouble with, because it`s happening and it would seem like
slow motion and it is literally global.
MATTHEWS: I see it in Africa, people in these parts of land with the
growing Sahara Desert and Sahel, and there`s no more arable land left,
there`s no trees left, and people are moving north into Europe. And in our
country, in our hemisphere, it`s people from Central and Latin America
moving north because how much is climate related to the migration pattern?
NYE: Well, that`s not clear about Central America but it is clear about
Florida. People are going – you know, there`s two cities. There`s Miami
and there`s Miami Beach. People in Miami Beach are quite wealthy and they
can afford to have so-called mitigation sea walls and so on.
But middle class and lower income in Miami cannot afford to have their cars
flooded once a month or wheel wells flooded once a month and they`re going
to move north in Florida. Where are they going, and where are they going
to – are they going to abandoned their mortgages?
NYE: What is the economic effect of that? This is – it`s far reaching.
And it – I understand it`s very troubling for a lot of us to think a human
species, just a few people on the earth can somehow change the climate of
the entire world but we`re doing it.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Bill.
NYE: And if you live in the rural area – well, the effect may be less
apparent because your neighbors are so far away but it`s happening. Thank
MATTHEWS: We should have you back regularly and we will.
Thank you, Bill Nye the Science Guy, teaching us all.
Coming up, two Trump people are now talking about life inside the White
House. Back in a minute.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Donald Trump, it`s been reported, has list of people in the White House he
doesn`t trust, an enemy`s list. And based on the record, Trump is right to
keep such a list. In fact, I`ve never seen a White House so quick to
attack the inside operation from the moment they clear the door.
Cliff Sims will be here tomorrow, has a new book where he describes life
inside the Trump bubble, describing Kellyanne Conway as a relentless
leaker. Well, this race to publish isn`t normal. People working the White
House don`t normally leave and immediately trash the place.
There are exceptions. I was present years ago for a debate between an
historian and a famous presidential speech writer. The historian said, we
owe our loyalty to history. The speech writer said, we owe our loyalty to
the president we`ve come to serve.
That`s HARDBALL for now.
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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