Police standoff in Philadelphia continues. TRANSCRIPT: 8/14/19, Hardball w/ Chris Matthews.

Donna Edwards, Montel Williams, Claire McCaskill, Ben Howe

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening.  I`m Chris Matthews in



We`re following breaking news out of Philadelphia tonight.  Six police

officers have been shot in what authorities are calling an active and

ongoing situation.  All the officers are expected to survive.  The shooting

began about 4:30 this afternoon in the Nicetown section of north

Philadelphia, which is where I came from.  There is a massive police

presence surrounding the house there where one shooter is still inside,

trapped, apparently.


A police spokesman told NBC News that the incident began when an officer

attempted to serve a warrant at that address there.  We`re going to

continue to monitor developments in North Philadelphia and bring you the



The big political news tonight is the 2020 Democratic race for president is

drawing very tight.  With the deadline looming to qualify for the next

debate, a new poll out today shows the race between the frontrunners in a

virtual tie.  A new economist YouGov weekly tracking poll shows former Vice

President Joe Biden now at 21 percent where Elizabeth Warren at 20 percent. 

Senator Bernie Sanders is third at 16 percent, then comes Kamala Harris at

8 percent, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 5.


For his part, at the rally in Pennsylvania yesterday, President Trump

referenced the recent tightening in the Democratic race, using his usual

derogatory vocabulary.




DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT:  I did it very early with Pocahontas.  I

should probably have waited.  She is staging a comeback on Sleepy Joe.  I

don`t know who`s going to win,  But we`ll have to hit Pocahontas very hard

again if she does win.


But she is staging a little bit of a comeback.  What a group, Pocahontas

and Sleepy Joe.




MATTHEWS:  But it was a different Republican under fire for comments he

made today.  Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King drew criticism for

remarks he made explaining his opposition to abortion, including cases of

rape or incest.




REP. STEVE KING (R-IA):  We know the reasons why that we know the

exceptions for the most of it is for rape and incest, because it`s not the

baby`s fault.  But I sort of wonder about this.  What if it was okay and

what if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those

people out that were products of rape and incest.  Would there be any

population of the world left if we did that considering all the wars and

all the rape and pillage that has taken place and whatever that happened to

culture and society?  I don`t like to answer the following (ph), but I`m

not a part of product of that.




MATTHEWS:  Wow.  Anyway, King had already been stripped of all his

committee assignments by the leadership of the Republican in Congress

earlier this year after he questioned whether the term white supremacy was

really offensive.


And a host of Democratic 2020 candidates condemned King`s comments today,

many of them urging to donate to King`s Democratic opponent J.D. Scholten.


For more, I`m joined by former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of

Missouri, Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for The New York Times.  Thank you. 

You`re laughing already, I can see.  Yamiche Alcindor, a White House

Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, and Ben Howe, author of Immoral Majority,

Why Evangelicals – there is the book, Shows Political Power Over Christian

Values, because judgeships last longer than tax cuts, I think.


Let me go to Senator McCaskill, because you know the world, you know the

Midwest, you know the political world, you know political world, you know

what it`s like to actually run in a general election, which most of people

– neither party knows what a general election is because they don`t have

to face them.


Why do these people – why do they go back to these trolls go way back to

these arguments about, you know, legitimate rape, talking about this

anthropological almost opposite Thomas Malthus, oh, we wouldn`t be here

today if it weren`t for rape and incest?  I mean, why do they bring this

crap up?  Why do they do it?


FMR. SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-IA):  Well, I mean, Steve King is a nut.  He

is a stone-cold nut.  He makes Todd Akin, who was my opponent back in `12

who said, you know, legitimate rape, a woman has a way of shutting down her

pregnancy.  He makes him look kind of mainstream.  I mean, this guy, if the

people of Iowa send him back to Congress, they get what they deserve.


It`s just frightening to me that this guy has a position in our government

with all of the things he said offensive to people, black and brown people

about immigrants, and now the notion that he thinks it`s just fine if a 14-

year-old is raped repeatedly by her father that she would be forced to

carry that baby and have that baby.


I guarantee you he`s never sat across the table from one of those young

girls like I have when I was a prosecutor.  It might change his attitude

and make him maybe not quite so cavalier about it, because it`s offensive. 

I guarantee you it`s offensive to women and I think it`s offensive to most



He is basically saying that all men rape and commit incest because our

population is full of the byproducts of that, which, of course, we all know

is not true.


MATTHEWS:  Yes.  It`s like Meyer Lansky said in the movie Godfather,

saying, it`s the business we have chosen.  It`s who we are as a people.


Yamiche, this is the guy who just agreed with the Senator.  This is a guy

that said that Latinos that come to America had big legs because they`re

like cantaloupes because they`re carrying all the drugs.  I mean, this is

how far he reaches to make his slurring comments.



make any sense.  And we now see Liz Cheney, the number three Republican in

the House saying he has to go.  She is echoing in some way, of course, what

the 2020 Democratic candidates are saying.


But to just look at what Steve King is talking about.  He is talking about

why is white supremacy an offensive term.  Well, maybe because all these

people died just two few weeks ago because somebody was shooting up a

Walmart looking for Latinos because they were talking about an invasion

Latinos.  Or maybe it`s the idea that like when he is talking about women

being rape and having to carry their rapist`s child, he is divorced from

reality.  I mean, women die in childbirth.  There are states where rapists

still have actual access to their children where they can get visitation

rights.  These are things that people –


MATTHEWS:  They`re under our law?


ALCINDOR:  Under our laws.  These are real life consequences that people

are dealing with.  And you have a sitting lawmaker making almost light of

the things that are really tragedies in a lot of people`s lives.


MATTHEWS:  Let`s talk politics.  Why can`t a conservative, and you can say

at minimal he is a conservative, at worst, he`s a right wing crazy, why do

they feel they have to go into the crazy erogenous zones of the far right

to keep these people behind him?  Steve King doesn`t have to talk like this

to keep his peeps behind him.  Why does he go that far?


BEN HOWE, AUTHOR, THE IMMORAL MAJORITY:  I think he does have to go that

far to keep those people behind him.  I think a lot of his base online

energizes online, in their communities, and the more excited they are with

the idea that they have someone who is going to radically support their

agenda, they will.  I think that`s the only way they`ll stay with him.


 I mean, I know that`s not –


MATTHEWS:  Why does he just say, I think abortion is immoral?


HOWE:  Why can`t he say that?


MATTHEWS:  Yes, just say, I think it`s immoral.


HOWE:  Because he needs to provide rationalizations.  This is what the

evangelicals do, this is what they do with just about every group in the

Republican Party, is they find ways to rationalize amongst themselves, not

to convince anyone else, not to bring anyone else in and not to make a

position that anyone else would find appealing, but just to make sure that

within the community, they can feel okay with what they`re doing.


MATTHEWS:  Michelle, the problem with his argument, the counterpoint from

him would be, okay, we`re going to force women who were raped or the

victims of incest to have babies, because the law is going to come into

their world and make them have the baby.  I mean, does anybody think

through what kind of country we would be if that were the case?



thought it through, and I think that`s what they want, right?  I mean, I

think that he is saying two things.  Both he`s saying that, yes, I am in

favor of forced birth for women who have endured horrible violence and

trauma, but I think he is saying something else, and I think it`s probably

what he really believes, which is that he sees rape and forced birth as

important building blocks of civilization, and maybe even all worth it if

it ultimately leads to the birth of Steve King, right?


MATTHEWS:  Well, maybe you think it`s that self-referential.


GOLDBERG:  Well, he`s the one who said it, right?  You know, I might not be

here were it not for rape and pillage.  So who can criticize rape and



MATTHEWS:  Thank God for the Visigoths.


Let me go to the Senator on this political question because I don`t think

I`ve spent more time than anything in the last six, seven months, last two

years trying to figure out how the Democrats are going to run a good

candidate in 2020, someone who can win and hold the center of the

Democratic Party and the left together to actually add up to a working,

winning majority.


And my question then – I think they could do it.  The question is the

failure of Biden in the last couple of weeks to exploit the opening he has

as a moderate, because he`s got that lane all to himself, what`s going on? 

What do you see happening here?  He`s not played the game effectively in

the last couple of weeks again.  Your thoughts.


MCCASKILL:  Well, I think, first of all, there is a lot of time left. 

Second of all, I think he probably doesn`t see anybody encroaching in that

lane.  If you`re just looking at this from a cold political standpoint, I

think he feels like he`s got it staked out.  I don`t know.  I haven`t

talked to him about it.


But I will say this.  I think, Chris, this is a different kind of election

because people forget that the majority of people that will vote November

2020 will not claim either Democratic Party or the Republican Party.  They

will look at the binary choice.  And we have something that will unite the

middle with the Democratic Party, and that is Donald Trump.


And I think Donald Trump is such a unifying force for our party.  I think

we can withstand a few bumps in the road through this torturous

presidential primary process with so many candidates and so many people out

there trying to play gotcha.


MATTHEWS:  Michelle, that`s the question.  Can Trump turn the question to,

oh, right, you hate me, but I`m here.  I`m not a left winger to sort of

socialize the country.  I mean, he`s going to make that question and maybe

that is that question.  Do you want to go to the left or do you want to

stay in the middle with this crazy guy you`ve got as president right now,

but he is going to leave your taxes alone?  Your thoughts.


GOLDBERG:  I think he`ll make that argument if he is running against

Elizabeth Warren.  He`ll probably make that argument if he is running

against anyone.  But I also think he can make the converse argument about

Biden.  You`ll see a lot of trolling about Biden`s records, a lot of, you

know, sort of efforts to depress voter turnout, to disillusion the base. 

You might see a lot of kind of trolling about his lack of energy in his

campaign.  So any of these candidates are going to have vulnerabilities.


I just came back from Iowa, and any sense when I went to – I went events

for Warren, I went to events for Biden, I went to events for Harris, I went

to the state fair.  When I talked to actual voters, I don`t think that

these lanes that we talk about are really real.


I mean, I spoke to a lot of people who are trying to decide between

Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden and don`t see them as really that

ideologically different.  Because on the stump, they`re both talking about

their hard scrabbled childhoods, they`re both talking about middle class

economics.  I think people are making decisions using kind of different

metrics than we are in pundit land.


MATTHEWS:  Well, when I look at that – I`ll just look at it, but you look

at the same access we all have.  But the look at the polls.  He said, very

liberal, Elizabeth Warren, somewhat liberal, surprising, Bernie, he`s a

little bit to the right of her.  These are supplied (ph).  But they are, I

think interesting.  Ben, your thoughts.


HOWE:  This is anecdotal, but I`m from South Carolina and that hasn`t been

my experience.  The experience I`ve had is not that Elizabeth Warren and

Joe Biden aren`t that far apart from one another, if that`s what`s being

said.  Joe Biden is much more appealing to people where I`m from who don`t

like Trump, but I don`t think not liking Trump is a great strategy to begin



MATTHEWS:  Anyway, for a Democrat to win, even Biden against Trump, in

South Carolina?


HOWE:  Yes, I think Biden actually could do well.


MATTHEWS:  Could win the general?


HOWE:  I think he could win the general, yes.




ALCINDOR:  The strategy in 2016 and the talking points that you heard from

Democrats in 2016 was even if Bernie and Hillary Clinton were having this

bloodbath, everyone is going to coalesce because Donald Trump is such a

crazy figure.  Every Democrats thought, okay, this is – then we`re clearly

going take this.  Obviously, that did not work out.


I think Pete Buttigieg though summarized the Democrats` issues really well

in the last debate.  He said, no matter what policies we run, we`re going

to be cast as American socialists.


And the president has kind of really settled on that language.  He`s

settled on the idea of telling its voters –


MATTHEWS:  Do you believe Biden looks like a socialist?


ALCINDOR:  I think the president is going to continue to make that

argument.  I`m not saying that it`s correct.


MATTHEWS:  Do centrists play golf?


ALCINDOR:  He is continuing to –


MATTHEWS:  I`m serious.  There`s is nothing about him culturally that looks

like a leftist.


ALCINDOR:  I mean, his message to his voters is these are – Democrats are

going to destroy your way of life.  And it`s Democrats who are going to

have to say that`s not clear.  But I think that that`s the argument that

they –


MATTHEWS:  A lot of people I know are dying for a winner, and they want

somebody who look likes a winner.  They don`t want to put up somebody who

might win.  They want to pick up somebody they think will win.


Anyway, a former Republican congressman is urging his party right now to

find someone to primary the president in the Republican Party.  In a New

York Times op-ed, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh writes, President

Trump needs a challenger from the right side of the party.


Walsh argues the fact is Mr. Trump is a racial arsonist who encourages

bigotry and xenophobia to rouse as base and advance his political

prospects.  Wow.  He adds, Mr. Trump isn`t a conservative.  He is reckless

on fiscal issues, he is incompetent on the border, he`s clueless on trade,

he misunderstands executive power and he subverts the rule of law.


Senator, your thoughts about – that`s a Republican who wants to see a real

challenger.  I`m not sure Bill Weld fits the bill, because Bill Weld is a

liberal Republican from Massachusetts.


MCCASKILL:  Well, frankly, one of your guests has written a very good book

that can speak to whether or not a challenge from the right would work,

because if there wasn`t vulnerability on Trump from the right, it would

certainly be around fiscal policy and things like ethics, integrity and



And, typically, in the Republican Party, you would see the evangelicals

that would be clamoring to get a challenge to him from the right.  But he

has managed to co-opt a lot of those.


And let me say this about what Yamiche said.  I get in 2016, we thought,

well, it doesn`t matter because we can beat Trump.  The problem was in

2016, none of us believed that Trump could win.  So a lot of people stayed

home because they thought it was done.  All of the punditry, all of the

polls said Hillary Clinton was going to be president.  I think everyone was

shocked, including Donald Trump, that he won.  I don`t think that will be

the case in 2020.


MATTHEWS:  All I know is the experts, when I said, there is a lot of angry

people on Pennsylvania, they don`t like Hillary Clinton.  There are a lot

of them.  They don`t like it.  And there`s not enough of them because the

Ivy League crowd, all crowds together, may say, you know, we`re all

intellectuals and she is meritocrat, she has made her way and she deserves

I.  And then, of course, they`re going to vote for her.  No, they don`t. 

They don`t have to vote for anybody.


Here is the question about this.  Evangelicals, they got a shot at this

seven to two conservative court if this guy, Trump, gets another four

years.  You know, Ruth Bader Ginsburg might retire, something might happen. 

Steve Breyer might quit.  They have a shot at permanent, like Hamiltonian

control of the court.  Is that what is driving evangelical voting?


HOWE:  It`s absolutely what`s going to drive them to come out again in

record numbers.  I mean, they came out in record numbers before for Donald

Trump.  They still, even in some of the elections where there were less of

them, they still have more support, 81 percent for Roy Moore, almost 81

percent for Roy Moore, of the ones who came out.


But I think that the problem is this is the promised land, what you`re

talking about, supreme court.  I mean,

That is – if they can achieve that, there is no amount that Donald Trump

can do, nothing he can say, no amount of cursing to upset people or using

the Lord`s name in vain or any of that that`s going to prevent them from

voting for him, no matter what they say right now.


ALCINDOR:  I think it`s important though to make the distinction that we`re

talking about white evangelicals.  And the people that I`m talk nothing in

the African-American churches are saying, this person is someone in

President Trump is someone who is using racist language who is really

dividing our country.


And the white evangelicals that I`ve been talking to, they`re saying, we do

have a problem with his ethics, and, yes, the courts are important, but the

Tweets and the talking about the invasion, that stuff works on evangelicals

that I have talked to.  Some of his evangelical supporters of the

president, they`re excited about the president`s language.


So I think, yes, it`s the courts, but it`s also his race baiting that is

helping him get in the white evangelical vote.


MATTHEWS:  The African-American evangelical vote, they have their own

issues, like Buttigieg.  Would they vote for him?


ALCINDOR:  They have their own issues and there are some people that are

going to question whether or not there are going to be some African-

Americans who want to support a homosexual presidential candidate.


But I think, honestly, a lot of African-Americans that I`ve talked to say,

if it`s between Pete Buttigieg and the president, I`m going to go with Pete

Buttigieg because I have already seen what President Trump will do, not

just in his words but also in his policies.


MATTHEWS:  I`d love to see them after the polls.  I`d love to see them. 

That would be very education.


It`s all about anthropology, and you`re an expert.  And your book is called

The Immoral Majority.


HOWE:  Well, you know, I was going to say, it may be white evangelicals,

but you`re talking about 26 percent of the electorate in the last four

elections.  So it is huge voting bloc.


ALCINDOR:  Yes, it`s definitely a huge voting bloc.


HOWE:  And it`s extremely consequential.  And –


MATTHEWS:  And they ignored completely the New York-based media,



Anyway, thank you, Claire McCaskill, as always, Michelle Goldberg, thank

you, Yamiche Alcindor and Ben Howe.


Coming up – and Howe.  Anyway, we`ll have the latest in the breaking news

out of Philadelphia in North Philly, where six police officers have been

shot.  This incident began at 4:30 this afternoon in the Nicetown area.


Plus, double standard?  Recent gaffes by Joe Biden have Democrats

concerned, as they should.  But the president of the United States can`t

get through his speech without making multiple false statements.  Yesterday

he took credit for signing a bill he never actually signed and made false

claims about the United States` trade policy with Japan.


Well, Montel Williams is calling the former – he`s a former Republican

Party member and he is calling out his former party for using hate, fear

and lies over their country and says the president is dangerously unfit to

confront a world he says is on fire.  Join us later in this show.  Stick

around for Montel.


Much more ahead.  Stick with us.




MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL we continue to follow the developing

situation in North Philadelphia where six police officers have been shot

and are being treated for nonlife-threatening injuries at this point.


Police urge residents to avoid that area. The suspect, who is holed up in a

building in North Philly near Temple University is not currently in

custody, continues to fire on the police, in fact. Sources tell NBC News

that police were in the scene, serving a warrant.


Well, there is a massive police presence surrounding the building, as

you`ll see here. A spokesperson told NBC News they are attempting to talk

to the shooter to get him to surrender. Here is an audio, audio clip from

over an hour ago when police arrived on the scene.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nearby car, nearby - shot fire, shot fire inside.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give S.W.A.T. ASAP. Long gun ASAP. This is Nathan 1080.






MATTHEWS: The President of the United States has been briefed on this

shooting. He continues to monitor the situation from his vacation home in

Jersey. For the latest I`m joined by NBC 10 Reporter Aaron Baskerville who

is on the scene. Aaron, thank you joining us what do you know right now?


AARON BASKERVILLE, NBC 10 REPORTER: Well, Chris right now I`m just staring

at a whole bunch of officers taking at the front position right now. We`re

in North Philadelphia about two miles north of Temple.


And right now a whole bunch of officers are kind of huddled behind their

vehicles in cars, and they`re just focused on that building in that area

where that gunman is still holed up right now. Some of the homes in this

area have been evacuated.


Me personally, I`ve heard at least 40 to 50 different gunshots. These are

volleys, they are rapid-fire, there are about seven or eight gunshots and

then may be five minutes later seven or eight more gunshots. That continues

for about a 30, 35-minute period since I`ve been out here.


Where I`m at, my exact location, it`s kind of died down for the most part.

But you talk about some of the details. Some of our sources are saying at

least one officer maybe two went inside that house, serving a warrant for

drugs. They went inside that house, started to arrest a couple of folks.


According to our source, that`s when at least one gunman downstairs

apparently started firing through the floor upstairs. There were other

officers outside who obviously heard the gunshot and came rushing towards

that home. They took on some gunfire.


If there is any good news whatsoever right now is that those six officers

that have been shot are facing nonlife-threatening injuries. We`ve heard

may be a couple of injuries to officers. They weren`t shot, but just maybe

some injuries responding.


We haven`t heard any gunshots in the last 30 minutes or so. But my position

right now, I`m staring at least 50 officers who are kind of just waiting to

see what happens here still kind of taking that defensive position behind

vehicles out here.


MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Aaron Baskerville. Thank you for joining us.

That`s actually the neighborhood by earliest memories of from right that

area there. My grandparents lived there for years.


Let my bring in Jim Cavanaugh, Former Hostage Negotiator for ATF and Tom

Winter, an NBC News Investigative Correspondent. Gentlemen, thank you.


First of all, Jim, this is a row house neighborhood, working class

neighborhood African-Americans. I don`t know what we know except that you

start shooting in those neighborhoods there is lot of people around?



clear those people out there surrounding houses Chris. And one of the

earlier reports, I don`t know if it`s been resolved from NBC Philly was

that officers were trapped inside the house.


That poses quite a great dilemma for S.W.A.T. commanders if that`s the case

because they have to get their rifles trained to keep the shooter away from

their officers if they are trapped inside. And what Aaron just reported,

maybe they were on the second floor trying to make some arrests.


So it is possible. That`s still ongoing. That`s going to slow things down.

No shooting for 30 minutes may mean the shooter is dead. May mean there is

ongoing negotiations, may mean they`re still trying to get him on the

phone. We just don`t know.


The critical point is, are there any Philly police officers still in there?

If there are, they`re talking to their commanders. They`re talking to their

S.W.A.T. commander on their phones, on their radio, and they`re trying to

make sure they can get their rifles between those officers, the S.W.A.T.

rifles on target between those officers and any shooters.


MATTHEWS: We don`t know where they`re being held. Ransom or held captive or

not, do we?


CAVANAUGH: Right. Or maybe even in another room in the building and a

shooter in another room, but they don`t have access to leave, like they

can`t go in the hallway because the shooter is active that`s a possibility.

So they may not be shot. May not be wounded, but they may just be trapped.


The S.W.A.T. commander will have to deal with that. That was an early

report. I don`t know if Aaron and his team in Philly have verified it. It`s

a big issue for S.W.A.T. Command also; any other people who might be

wounded in there could be bleeding. So there is a critical time frame here

as well.


MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Jim Cavanaugh. Let`s go to Tom Winter. Tom,

what are your sources telling you?


TOM WINTER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, a little bit of late information

here. First off have I the answer to Jim`s question, as far as whether or

not there are officers inside of that house or whether or not there are any

injured? There are no injured officers inside the house.


As far as whether or not there are still officers hold up inside, that`s

information I`m aware of. But with respect to the ongoing law enforcement

situation and officer safety, I`m not going to discuss at this time. In

regards to this, this incident happened approximately 4:30 this afternoon.

It was due to a warrant that was being searched, a warrant that was being

executed rather at this residence as part of an ongoing narcotics



There are some initial concerns that the suspect involved, the shooter here

has an AR-15 style weapon. Police are incredibly concerned about that. At

this time they are trying to talk to him and trying to implore him at this

point to end this so more officers are not injured here tonight.


Six officers shot. The good news or the silver lining here, Chris, if there

is any is that all those officers are expected to survive. In addition to

that, there had been some local schools, even a day care facility nearby.

The indications that we`re getting real time here as I`ve been on the air

with you and as you`ve been discussing it was that they would be able to

safely evacuate those centers.


But this is still very much an active scene in the Philadelphia police

department right now is really concerned about officer safety moving

forward and some things inside that house.


MATTHEWS: It`s amazingly familiar territory for me. Anyway, thank you, Tom

Winter and Jim Cavanaugh. It`s a close in neighborhood where neighbors all

know each other. Coming up double standard recent gaps by Joe Biden have

Democrats worried. The President of the United States can`t get through a

speech without making multiple false statements.


How about a double standard with the President? He is getting off easy for

what he says. Are these gaffes or lies? That`s next on Hardball.







with a full deck. This is not somebody you can have as your President.


LARA TRUMP, TRUMP 2020 SENIOR CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: I do think when you hear

time after time these slip-ups from him, people question his mental acuity

to a degree.


MERCEDES SCHLAPP, TRUMP 2020 SENIOR ADVISOR: We see that Joe Biden is in a

weakened position. He obviously can`t remember, you know, just basic facts.




MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL following a series of gaffes by Former

Vice President Joe Biden, President Trump and his allies are trying to

shape the narrative that the Democratic front-runner isn`t fit to be



However, the President has his own problems, don`t you think, gets facts

right, don`t you think? Here are some of the false claims Trump has made

just yesterday during his speech in Pennsylvania.




TRUMP: I got sued on a thing call emoluments. Have you heard the word?

Nobody ever heard of it before. They went back. Now nobody looks at Obama

getting $60 million for a book. That`s okay. Many car plants that are

coming in from Japan, they send us house thousands and thousands, millions

of cars. We send them wheat, wheat, that`s not a good deal.




MATTHEWS: Well, actually President Obama didn`t sign a book deal until 2017

after he left office. It wasn`t an emoluments situation. And wheat by the

way as you look at here is only a small component what we export to Japan a

very small part of it. Then there would be what you might call the lies he





TRUMP: Veteran`s choice. You`ve been hearing about it for 45 years. I got

it approved.




MATTHEWS: Actually, President Obama signed the Veteran`s Choice Program

into law in 2014. And then there are just sloppy mistakes like these.




TRUMP: That`s a lot of people back there for an 11:00 speech. That`s a lot

of people.




MATTHEWS: The President`s speech was actually held at 2:00 in the

afternoon. When he looked at his watch, it should have said 2:00, and it

did but he said 11.


I`m joined by Former Democratic Congressman Donna Edwards and Former

Florida Republican Congressman David Jolly, who is no longer affiliated

with the party. Mr. Jolly, why do we give Trump a free ride on things they

are saying like crowd size, like who signed the law and his peeps don`t

seem to care at all about the stuff you have to decide is he stupid or is

he a liar?


FORMER REP. DAVID JOLLY (R-FL): I don`t know that he gets a free ride. I

think we`ve had him under intense scrutiny rightly so in the last three

years, but I think it`s important how he can conceptualize what is reported



MATTHEWS: We don`t say he is losing it. We don`t say he doesn`t have a full

deck. We don`t make comments about his IQ like he does about Biden. He is

talking competence with Biden.


JOLLY: Well, I think some of us do. I mean, some of us certainly have. But

I think Chris importantly to your point that we contextualize what we hear

from Donald Trump is often a lie ruled in malice, ignorance, manipulation

and intended to stoke division.


The President of the United States knows he is lying where as how we

contextualize where we often hear from Joe Biden and other candidates as

well, not just Biden are what we have historically considered gaffes of a



And I think in each case, it`s important that we ask for explanations. I

mean, we at - we are looking at people who are asking to be the next

President of the United States. But we have to keep it in context.


In Donald Trump we see lies based on manipulation, malice, rooted in

division and often ignorance frankly dangerous ignorance where as what we

see from Joe Biden and others are truly gaffes but gaffes that need an

explanation and follow-up.


MATTHEWS: When he hears the word liberal democracy, they must be thinking

about Phil Burton Machine in California. No. They`re talking about

countries like the United States. And one example of gaffe by the Former

Vice President at a recent fundraiser reportedly misstated the locations of

the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.


The poll reports said he corrected himself later in his remarks. President

Trump also had trouble remembering all the locations of one of the

shootings during his address to the country last week. Here he goes.




TRUMP: May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo. And may

God protect them. May God protect all of those from Texas to Ohio?




MATTHEWS: Now Toledo is where Danny Thomas is from. Nobody says he is

losing it. Nobody says any full deck.


FORMER REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D-MD): No but I mean, look, the fact checkers

have checked more than 12,000 of his lies, misstatements, gap whatever you

want to call them. But I actually do think some of this stuff is

intentional. Remember the whole birth thing that was a lie and it was on–


MATTHEWS: I have people in Hawaii checking this out.


EDWARDS: It wasn`t on purpose. It was deliberate. There are things that he

does are that are really deliberate that are harmful and are dangerous and

that his people act on. I think it`s important really to call this out. I

hate the comparisons between Joe Biden and Donald Trump because to me there

is like not as until a comparison between somebody who makes an occasional

couple of mistakes.


MATTHEWS: How you hear it when Biden makes comments like poor kids and

white kids, and then he realizes somewhere in his head a bell goes off and

oh, God, I just made an ethnic comment about who the wealthy kids are. No,

there is wealthy black people and Hispanic people. So he corrects it. He is

hearing it as he makes the mistake.


EDWARDS: When I hear the difference between candidates who was there and

then he self-corrects. And frankly if you look at that room and the

comments coming out of that room, the people in that room actually were not

offended. Look, I think most people are - most Democrats are giving Biden a

pass. You can`t see that that`s really having a deep in path.


MATTHEWS: Look at this. Here is Trump who rarely admits getting anything

wrong. This is true for even one of the most inane issues. Remember back in

2017 when Trump said the infamous late night “covfefe tweet” instead, we

admitting it was in the sake the word doesn`t exist. Here is how then Press

Secretary the great unforgettable Sean Spicer explained it.




REPORTER: “Do you think people should be concerned that the President

posted somewhat of an incoherent tweet last night and that it then stayed

up for hours?”




REPORTER: Why did it stay up so long? Is no one watching there?


SPICER: No, the President and a small group of people know exactly what he





MATTHEWS: David, what are these - was it fraternity code, pigeon English,

whatever you call it, pig Latin. What kind of language was he talking?


JOLLY: The other topic here is the analogy, it`s not the scandal it`s the

cover-up right? In moments like this and this is very important with Donald

Trump. When we see him cover up and lie and trying to suggest, oh we all

know what “covfefe” meant. The American people see that, they`re smart

enough to know that this is a President who is doubling down on his



They see the defensiveness. The opportunity, I think, for Biden and any

other Democrat running, and to be fair, every single one of these Democrats

will make a gaffe at some point. We also get to evaluate how they handle

it. Your colleague Nicole Wallace yesterday talked about how Bush 43 leaned

in to some of his misstatement on statuary and other comments he made, made

light of them, made fun of himself.


I think the opportunity for somebody like Joe Biden because we know where

his heart is in contrast to Donald Trump, when he makes the comment about

poor kids and white kids, there is a leadership moment that he can embrace

and the American people will embrace him for to say you know what.


I did misspeak, and it actually was important. And here`s why and here is

how I want to clarify. On the simple gaffes, acknowledge them, make light

of them. What we see in Donald Trump is more obfuscating than lying and we

pick up on that on a very human level. This is a President with a thin skin

who is defensive. And the American people see that right away.


MATTHEWS: You know I love the way you talked about the “birther” thing,

because he was elaborate about it. He embroidered it. He talked about - he

had to detectives in Hawaii, a lie. And we`re picking up interesting stuff.


Not only did he accuse Barack Obama of coming into the country illegally,

sneaking in, but he said he didn`t have a real presence at the prestigious

schools he went to. Nobody knew him. What was he suggesting? He doesn`t

exist? He was very elaborate in these conspiracy theories.


JOLLY: They were lies.


EDWARDS:  It was.  And what you describe is something that is really true

of him.  He takes these things and then he embraces these conspiracy

theories and then he puts them out there and then he says, oh, well,

somebody said, you know, as though to cast it off on someone else. 


On this birtherism thing, I think it really connect – you have to connect

the dots between that and the Central Park Five and the recent statements

on Charlottesville and down the rest to connect this line where he`s saying

that, you know, somehow an African-American guy who claims he wants to be

president really couldn`t go to the good schools. 




EDWARDS:  He couldn`t get into the good schools.  And by the way, we

haven`t even seen his grades.  He went so far as to ask President Obama

like, where is your transcript?




MATTHEWS:  You can believe he got in on affirmative action, didn`t deserve

these prestigious, or he didn`t go there, or nobody remembers him. 


EDWARDS:  Right.  And so – but I do think we have to hold the president to

account when he lies.  And it`s hard for somebody like me to even say the

word “lie” because where I grew up, you didn`t do that. 


MATTHEWS:  I don`t like (ph) it either.


EDWARDS:  But you know, you got to call a liar when you see it. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, thank you, Donna.  You`re a gentle lady to still consider

the old rules of behavior.  Thank you so much because I can like `em, too. 


David Jolly, sir, thank you.  I know you`re having a hard time with in

political party you used to be a member of. 


Up next, Emmy Award-winning talk show host and former Republican Montel

Williams is out with a blistering op-ed column about the man he calls

inept, emotionally unstable and actually president. 


You`re watching HARDBALL.




MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.


An opinion piece put out today on “USA Today”, Montel Williams has a stark

warning for America. 


The former Republican and talk show host writes the president seems to have

gone off a narcissistic cliff with America facing a rising tide of white

nationalism and a world on fire we have a leader who is dangerously unfit,

makes everything about him, and takes advice on war and peace from cable

news hosts. 


He notes: We wake up each morning to the president of the United States

live tweeting “Fox & Friends” and litigating a laundry list of personal



As protests flared in Hong Kong with the specter of another Tiananmen

Square looming large and America still reeling from three mass shootings in

a week, the president was busy tweeting conspiracy theories about a suicide

and waging a Twitter war with a former employee who is now a private



Williams adds: Tuesday, as the situation on Hong Kong continued to

deteriorate, the president predictably made the crisis about him.


Well, Montel Williams concludes: that is absurd, and we need to say so,

because the world is watching.


But Williams didn`t limit his criticism to just the president, and that`s

up next on HARDBALL.




MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.


And that opinion piece in “USA Today”, Montel Williams had a strong message

for members of his former political party, Republicans. 


He writes: My former party has spent the last few years covering for

President Trump`s incompetence, instead of telling the president his

behavior is unacceptable, even crazy.  Republican leaders have chosen

ambition, hate, greed, fear, lies and winning their next election over

their country.


Williams continues: Because of my former party`s intransigence, we are

likely stuck with an inept, emotionally unstable president until the next

election in 2020.  Who shows up to vote matters, so please treat voting

like your country`s future depends on it.  A low turnout election will lead

to four more years of escalating chaos and depravity.


Well, I`m joined right now, the man himself, Montel Williams, former talk

show host and host of “Let`s Be Blunt”, the podcast. 


Montel, what is it now?  It`s August now, his second August as president –

his third August in national spotlight as the Republican leader.  What gets

you now?  What are you most afraid of this August of 2019? 


MONTEL WILLIAMS, FORMER TALK SHOW HOST:  I`m afraid that`s what happening

as I said in my op-ed piece, have we reached a point now only two years in

where we just as a nation don`t care anymore.  We`ve heard it.  The din is

so loud, that every single day, the absurdity is so loud, you can`t each

pick which absurdity to focus in on.


And so, is it now we`ve gotten into his presidency for two years and people

are just fed up?  They`re just done.  They don`t care.  And he`ll go away

in two years.  That`s what they may think ah, don`t worry about it.  It

will come back to normal maybe in six years. 


What they don`t realize in six years, this country that we have all and

people like myself have put a uniform on and swore in Oval Office to

protect and serve may not be here anymore. 


MATTHEWS:  What oath do the Republicans take? 




MATTHEWS:  Because they`re very loyal to this guy.  They`re loyal to a

higher oath.  That`s to him.  What`s that about? 


WILLIAMS:  I don`t understand that at all.  They stood up when they

accepted their placement in office and said, I do solemnly swear or affirm

that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States

against all enemies foreign and domestic – yet they don`t recognize that

the domestic one is the one they`ve sworn the secondary oath to of

allegiance and that they will give unwavering support. 


I mean, Chris, come on.  Every single day, you a president of the United

States just like some of these Republicans.  Take a look at Mitch McConnell

who made sure he made a deal to lift some of the sanctions against the

Russians who ensures that his state got a $200 million investment in an

aluminum factory because it`s all about money.  How much money can I make

and give the perception that I`m making money for you when that money is

going right in their pocket.


MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you to help script a TV show.  So, this is about like

“Veep” only in the case it`s not like “Veep” because it`s real.  “Veep” was

a funny show. 


This is a show about the president of the United States.  So, here you have

the president of the United States who won in the Electoral College,

getting up every morning at 6:00, waiting for the newspaper to arrive. 

This is what I hear goes on, sitting in a beautiful bedroom up top of the

White House. 


The paper is delivered in paper, the actual “New York Times.”  He reads it

and begins the country`s agenda by tweeting out his grievances.  That`s

what he does.


WILLIAMS:  Are you sure – are you sure he reads it or someone colors in,

putting a little stripe across a couple of lines –




MATTHEWS:  I heard this from an insider to – I`m just saying, this is

based on the timing of when the people at “The Times”, for example, know

when his paper gets to him physically.  And his meeting – his tweeting

begins like then.  There`s –


WILLIAMS:  Yes.  When he gets a synopsis.  When some other aide reads the

newspaper and reads the entire article, pulls out one or two little talking

points and hands it to him, then he responds by doing things, like, come

on, this president of the United States is selling t-shirts to make fun of

Chris Cuomo.  But using a derogatory phrase – and that is what a lot of

people in this country don`t understand right now, we look at what we

perceive as racist comments coming from the president, we think that

they`re only going to be directed at brown people. 




WILLIAMS:  But let`s remember, Chris, go back in time.  Remember, this

country for a period of time, we fought riots in the streets because we

didn`t like Polish people. 




WILLIAMS:  We fought riots in the streets because we didn`t like Italians. 

We fought riots in the streets because we didn`t like Croatians.  We don`t

like anybody that we claim is different from us. 


And so, now, we`ve got the president of the United States selling t-shirts,

really disparaging Italian-Americans by using a term “Fredo”.  Come on.


MATTHEWS:  Well, by the way, you know your history because in Philly, back

in the last century, they built our cathedral, the Cathedral of Saints Paul

– Peter and Paul, no street level windows – 




MATTHEWS:  – because they didn`t want the Protestants throwing the rocks

through the windows.  I mean, that was how bad it was back then. 


WILLIAMS:  How about some more history, Chris?  You know, look, I mean,

what, a week ago, the president was disparaging my hometown, which is

Baltimore, Maryland.  But let`s also remember that there was at one point

in time, Baltimore was the capital of the United States.  And Baltimore

also was one of probably the most instrumental states – or cities in this

country that helped build our infrastructure the way it did when we had

Bethlehem Steel.  We had McCormick.  We had all these other business

there`s that left the city and left the jobless rate as high as it is. 


So, he was disparaging the city that was probably one of the greatest

cities this country ever had. 


MATTHEWS:  Baltimore also had the political conventions for years. 


Anyway, thank you, Montel Williams.


WILLIAMS:  Yes, sir.


MATTEHWS:  It`s great to hear your voice. 


WILLIAMS:  Thank you. 


MATTHEWS:  I believe your stuff.


Up next, how Speaker Pelosi is trying to save the peace in Northern Ireland

as Brexit threatens it. 


You`re watching HARDBALL.




MATTHEWS:  I grew up in a family with Irish on both sides.  My mother`s

family was made up with the Shields, the Conroys, the Quinlans.  They were

Irish-Catholic to the core.  My father`s mother, on the other hand, was a

Protestant who emigrated here from Northern Ireland.  Nevertheless, the two

families melded into one, and that one was comprised of my four brothers

and me. 


Well, you might say we`re an early personification of the Good Friday

agreement of 1998 which I was happy to cover for my old newspaper, `The San

Francisco Examiner”.  There are the headlines. 


What I love, of course, was being who I am is how Good Friday brought peace

between the two sides, Catholic and Protestant, nationalist and unionist,

and an agreement to sharing governing Northern Ireland and to solve their

differences peaceably.  What I loved most was the end to the troubles, the

violence that had plagued the North for years. 


Well, today there is a risk, Brexit.  The British Exit from the European

Union threatens to reestablish a border between Northern Ireland and the

Republic of Ireland, putting up that hard border places imperil the peace

that`s endured these 21 years. 


Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday said the United States will not agree

to any U.S. trade deal with the U.K. if it brings back that hard border. 

I`m glad to see her out there making this position clear as hell.  We

Americans believe in the promise of Good Friday. 


That`s HARDBALL for now. 


“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now. 






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