House to vote on impeachment inquiry. TRANSCRIPT: 10/28/19, Hardball w/ Chris Matthews.

David Cicilline, David Jolly, Shermichael Singleton

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST:  It was an honor to work with those individuals and

hear from some of the candidates.  So we wanted to share that with you.


That does it for us, THE BEAT live from Philadelphia tonight.  I`ll be back

tomorrow at 6:00 P.M. Eastern.


Don`t go anywhere.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews is up next.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Crashing toward impeachment.  Let`s play



Good evening.  I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.


Tonight, two gate crashing steps toward the impeachment of Donald Trump. 

First, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that the House of

Representatives will hold its first vote on impeachment, a vote to

formalized the heightening inquiry that`s now entering its second month. 

Quote, we will bring a resolution to the floor.  Speaker Pelosi wrote in a

letter to our colleagues that affirms the ongoing existing investigation

that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this

impeachment inquiry.


Though Democrats say the resolution isn`t needed under the Constitution or

the law to conduct an impeachment, its passage this Thursday, that`s when

the vote will occur, undercuts the White House, which has been arguing that

the inquiry is illegitimate without the approval of the full House and



Rebutting the White House, Pelosi writes, the Trump administration has made

up this argument, apparently out of whole cloth, in order to justify its

unprecedented cover-up.  However, she notes, we are taking this step to

eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump administration may withhold

documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard dually authorized subpoenas

or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.


The impeachment inquiry resolution will be introduced tomorrow with a vote,

as I said, by the full House on Thursday.


In the second step to expedite the impeachment, Trump says they will forego

lengthy court fights to enforce the subpoenas for evidence and testimony

that the White House had been blocking.  They will simply use the White

House`s refusal to honor them as evidence of obstruction of justice.


It comes as former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman

defied a subpoena and skipped his scheduled deposition today.  His no-show

at the behest of the White House earned a strong rebuke from House Intel

Chair Adam Schiff.




REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA):  I think we can infer from the White House

opposition to Dr. Kupperman`s testimony that they believe that his

testimony would be incriminating of the president.  We are not willing to

allow the White House to engage us in a lengthy game of rope-a-dope in the

courts.  So we press forward.




MATTHEWS:  No more rope-a-dope.


I`m joined right now by David Cicilline of Rhode Island who serves on the

House Foreign Affairs Committee, Shannon Pettypiece, NBC Senior Digital

White House Reporter, David Jolly, of course, former Republican Congressman

from Florida.


I want to go to Mr. Cicilline.  Thank you, sir.


A couple steps.  Let`s start with this one, a resolution to conduct an

impeachment inquiry, not necessary. 

Why are we voting this Thursday?


REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI):  So it`s not a resolution to conduct the

impeachment inquiry.  Judge Howell has already ruled we don`t need to do

that.  This resolution will set forth the procedures for the next phase of

the inquiry, which is a set of public hearings.  So it will set forth the

procedures that will be followed by the committees in the public hearing

part of this process.  It will authorize the committees of jurisdiction to

send referrals to the Judiciary Committee of work they have done.


So it`s really a procedure, setting forth the procedures for the public

hearings so they can be done efficiently and with tremendous transparency,

and it will acknowledge that we`re in the midst of an impeachment inquiry

obviously by implication.  But this is really important because it`s going

to set forth the procedures for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry,

the public hearing process.


MATTHEWS:  Well, if it ain`t broke, you don`t fix it, but you`re doing it. 

So here is my question.  Will this stop the White House from having an

excuse not to participate, not to respond to requests?


CICILLINE:  Well, for sure, they`ve never had a legitimate excuse for doing

it after Judge Howell`s decision where she said an impeachment inquiry

doesn`t require a formal vote, so you would hope by that moment, for sure,

he would realize this is not a good excuse.


But, look, the president has resisted efforts, our efforts to collect

evidence and to get at the truth.  He`s tried to obstruct this

investigation since the very beginning.  We should not lose sight.  We are

investigating the president for reaching out to a foreign ally, asking them

to interfere in an American presidential election to help him in his re-

election and holding up military assistance to that country as leverage.


This is shocking behavior and we intend to get to the bottom of it and hold

this president accountable.


MATTHEWS:  Thank you so much for being on tonight, David Cicilline of Rhode

Island, from Rhode, thank you, sir.


CICILLINE:  Welcome back, Chris.  Great to be with you.


MATTHEWS:  Thank you.


Shannon, this is great.  I like two things about today.  It is gate

crashing.  It knocks down two gates on the way to impeach.  From one, it

says, okay, you guys have been fuddling around, saying we`re not going to

cooperate because you didn`t pass a resolution to begin this inquiry. 

We`re going to pass a resolution.


Number two, it says, no more court fights.  You guys resist a subpoena,

great, that`s evidence of obstruction of justice, thanks you, keeps it




the legs out from under the process argument, which was the big argument

that Republicans were making last week in Congress, when they stormed or

went in, whatever want to call it, to this hearing –


MATTHEWS:  The Brooks Brothers` fault (ph) on truth.


PETTYPIECE:  Knocks the legs out of the process argument.  It puts the

White House on the defense.  But the White House is going to make whatever

argument they want to make, and they can continue calling this an

unconstitutional investigation if they want to.  Their argument was already

on questionable legal ground.


And we had actually asked a White House official at the time that the main

White House lawyer, Pat Cipollone, came out with this argument about the

process not being correct.  And we said, well, if the White House – if the

Congressional leaders followed this process, would the White House

cooperate.  And they refused to acknowledge that or say they would.  They

called it a hypothetical situation.


So the president will continue making whatever argument he wants to make,

that he did nothing wrong and this is unconstitutional.  And I don`t think

this is going to change the White House strategy at all.


MATTHEWS:  David, the criminal mind always has an alibi, always has an

excuse, somebody told me to do this, I thought I was doing something right. 

There`s always an answer, nobody ever says, I did it.  So their defense all

these weeks has been you don`t have a resolution, so we`re not going to

participate.  And we`ll find out in court because we own the courts, things

like that.


Now, I think Pelosi, once again, is showing her savvy and saying, okay,

we`ll give you the damn resolution and get that over with.  And, number

two, we`re not fighting this out in your courts anymore.  They`re not being

helpful.  We`re going to move ahead to impeach you guys.  Go ahead.


FMR. REP. DAVID JOLLY (R-FL):  And I would say there may be a third, which

is I think this indicates that the House is preparing to file an article of

obstruction of Congress.  And here`s why I mean that, Chris.


At this point, the White House has tried to exert privileges, they have

exerted constitutional immunity, which does not exist.  They have tried to

litigate the request for subpoena or the depositions.  And even during the

Clinton impeachment, you have Republicans who were trying desperately to

defeat Clinton, ultimately acknowledged that even the White House, even

Bill Clinton was afforded certain due process rights and it was not

impeachable for him to exercise his legal rights.


In this case, if they were to move forward with an article of obstruction

of Congress right now, you would be in a predicament where the White House

has simply alleged or proffered their legal defenses.  And some would say,

hey, that`s not enough for obstruction of Congress.  In this case, by

filing the articles, and we have the Kupperman case sitting out in front of

us, the courts are ultimately going to order that Trump administration

officials must testify.  The courts are going to defeat this claim of

constitutional immunity.  It does not exist.


At that point, it`s obstruction of Congress.  It is an article of

impeachment that the House is in a much stronger position to file against

the president, and likely pass out of the House if the White House fails to

comply with the court ordered testimony.


MATTHEWS:  You Know, Shannon, Nancy Pelosi is pretty much my age.  And I

have to tell you, one thing you learned in catholic school when you`re

growing up, you learned scholastic philosophy, which is Aristotelian

philosophy.  You could discern the difference.  You could distinguish

between the essential and the accidental.


And it seems like at every step of the way, she`s sticking to the

essential.  What`s impeachable, what do we need to get to a vote on it, to

get this out of the House sometime this year, and maybe just around

Thanksgiving time.  She`s sticking to the essential.


PETTYPIECE:  Right.  Well, and we`ll see if that strategy plays out.  But

longer term, the strategy does cause a lot of members have to go on the

record and vote, which was a sense that that was the concern that –


MATTHEWS:  She`s protecting her members.


PETTYPIECE:  – members in these districts that Trump had won, that

Democrats took back, were now going to have to go on the record and have an

impeachment vote.


But as we have seen the polling move increasingly towards a majority of

Americans being in favor of impeachment or certainly in favor of an

impeachment inquiry, I think that`s lifted a lot of that overhang.  And so,

I mean, maybe that`s why we`re seeing it now at this time, because the

polling is really going in that direction.


And I`ll say within the White House, there`s a Quinnipiac poll last week

that showed about 50 percent of Americans supporting impeachment.  That

definitely, I heard, got attention within the White House, and they`re

finally starting to hear some concern about these pollings.


MATTHEWS:  I tell you again, the essential thing here is national security

and the fact that the president traded public trust for his personal

political ambitions with regard to Ukraine.  That`s better than arguing

about Access Hollywood yucky poo (ph) and all that stuff, because people

don`t think that`s essential.  They wouldn`t have elected Trump president.


Anyway, The Washington Post reports today that in their attempts to defend

the president, House Republicans have been using their time in recent

depositions to get information about the whistleblower.


According to sources involved in the proceedings, quote, GOP members and

staffers have repeatedly raised the name of a person suspected of filing

the whistleblower complaint.  And their questions in those depositions have

been interpreted as an attempt to unmask the whistleblower, whose identity

is shielded under federal law.


Their behavior stands in contrast to Senate Republicans who, according to

The Washington Post, have quietly voiced exasperation at the expectation to

defend the president.  One veteran Republican senator says, it feels like a

horror movie.


David, distinguish between House and Senate here.  Senators with six-year

terms, wider constituencies, not just Republicans, you see at least 47

percent of their district from the other party as opposed to House

Republicans who have come from Republican areas, how they`re differing in

their behavior here on impeachment.


JOLLY:  And the senators are going to be jurors.  And I believe there`s

already five or six senators that are probably considering whether or not

they`re going to have to vote to convict this president on an article of



What the House is doing is trying to replicate what they did during the

Mueller investigation, which is undermine the entire investigation as

somehow being invalid.  And if they can put a face to that lack of

credibility, in this case, the whistleblower, they will exploit that for

everything it`s worth, even if it`s meaningless.


What, Chris, ultimately they`re going to have to face though, and this is

where I hate to give counsel to my Republican colleagues because I think

they`re on the wrong side of history on all of this, but they might as well

start arguing the president`s behavior was not impeachable.  That`s the

conversation the American people are having.


Is it impeachable for Donald Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden? 

That is a fair conversation to have with the American people.  Stop with

the procedure nonsense and start trying to convince the American people and

GOP senators that, yes, it may have been wrong, what the president did, but

it`s not impeachable.


MATTHEWS:  That would be a little more targeted, I would say.  Is it wrong

for the president to hold up foreign military aid to a country under attack

by Russia if they don`t get the dirt for him for his political purposes? 

They don`t get their anti-tank Javelin missiles, which they`re fighting the

tanks at the very moment.  I would be more critical.


Anyway, Shannon Pettypiece, thank you, David Jolly, as always, sir.


Meanwhile, in an exclusive story, exclusive NBC news reports that the White

House was alerted as early as mid-May of this year that a budding pressure

campaign by Rudy Giuliani was rattling the new Ukrainian president,

Zelensky.  That`s according to two people familiar with the matter who say

that former NSC Official Fiona Hill was alerted that Giuliani`s meddling in

Ukraine had unnerved the Ukrainian President Zelensky even before his



Hill learned in a White House meeting that Giuliani was pushing the

incoming Ukrainian administration to shake up the leadership of a state-

owned energy company.


Additionally, Hill was also told that Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon

Sondland, we know him, was giving Zelensky unsolicited advice on who should

be elevated to influential posts in his new administration.


I`m joined right now by NBC News National Political Reporter Josh Lederman,

who joins us from Kiev.


Josh, this is your great story.  What does it all mean in terms of this

whole role that Rudy and the president were playing in pressuring Zelensky

to come up with helpful information for their campaign for re-election?



the depositions and other testimony that we have heard so far have

indicated that officials in the White House and the administration started

learning about this secret plan to influence the Ukrainians outside the

normal diplomatic channels over the summer, more into June and July.


But now, we`re learning that this started much earlier, that by mid-May,

when President Zelensky was being inaugurated right here in Kiev, back in

Washington, Fiona Hill was hearing about these concerns, how he was already

very upset about what Giuliani was pushing him to do to mix up that board

of Naftogaz and also specifically about the involvement of Lev Parnas and

Igor Fruman, those two Florida businessmen who were also trying to dig up

dirt on Joe Biden.


By the way, this was all happening just a few weeks after Joe Biden had

announced his presidential campaign.


As you mentioned, Sondland, the ambassador to the E.U., also pushing the

new president of Ukraine to try to take his suggestions for who should be

an influential post.


So this information came to Fiona Hill via a former U.S. diplomat who had

met with Zelensky here in Kiev and then went back to the White House to

relay to Fiona Hill what he had heard.  He told that to Fiona, who told it

to John Bolton, indicating just how much people knew in the White House

that far back about these concerns.


MATTHEWS:  Wow.  Thank you, Josh, for that great story.  Josh Lederman over

there in Kiev, in Ukraine.


By the way, it just shows you how much this administration has outsourced

American interests for political interests.  The amazing amount of

enterprise that went on over there, thanks to Rudy and the president, the

rest of them to get dirt so they could win the next election, nothing to do

with U.S. foreign policy interests. Thanks, again, Josh.


In advance of the raid that killed ISIS leader al-Baghdadi, President Trump

notified Vladimir Putin.  Got this theme?  He told Putin.  But he didn`t

tell our congressional leaders.  It could have been a moment of national

unity, but instead, President Trump used it as another opportunity to

demean his Democratic rivals, give the heads-up to Russia, et cetera,

standard pattern.


Plus, the key to surviving in Trump world, praise him like a despot on a

gilded throne.  Oh, my God.  White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham,

she`s something, says former Chief of Staff John Kelly was, quote, this is

a memorable quote, totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great

president.  It sounds like something from North Korea, from Pyongyang.


We`ve got much more to get to tonight.  Stick with us.




MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.


In the wake of yesterday`s successful raid on reviled terrorist and ISIS

leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, President Trump headed to Chicago for a

victory lap.




DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT:  He`s dead.  He`s as a door nail.  And he

didn`t die bravely either.  I will tell you that.


He should have been killed years ago.  Another president should have gotten





MATTHEWS:  Well, Trump missing an opportunity to unite the country, has

kept up his attacks on Democrats and defended his decision to keep them in

the dark about the raid this weekend, accusing them of being so

untrustworthy that they would put American lives at risk.


Trump first made those claims during a 40-minute rambling news conference

on Sunday where he divulged operational details and made unfounded claims

about Osama Bin Laden.




TRUMP:  He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying

and screaming all the way.


Washington is a leaking machine.  And I told my people, we will not notify

them until the – our great people are out.


I mean, al-Baghdadi, everybody hears, because he`s built this monster for a

long time.


But nobody ever heard of Osama Bin Laden until really the World Trade

center.  A year, year-and-a-half before the World Trade Center came down,

the book came out.  I was talking about Osama Bin Laden, I said you have to

kill him.  You have to take him out.  Nobody listened to me.




MATTHEWS:  Well, late tonight, NBC News is reporting that President Trump,

according to current and former U.S. officials, quote, got a few of those

colorful details wrong.  Many of the rest were either classified or

tactically insensitive.  And their disclosure by the president made

intelligence and military officials cringe.”


For more, I`m joined by Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff at the CIA and

the Department of Defense, Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential



I don`t understand, but I do understand why this president takes a moment

of success for America.  ISIS was evil.  It beheaded good people.  It was a

horrible, horrible reality, a caliphate from hell.  Everybody should unite

around this.  It`s success.  We always like success. 


And he`s turned it into a weird kind of torture, like how he enjoys the

guy`s demise and how some sort of street fight has been won by the good

guys, and how poor and chicken the guy was who died. 


And who cares?  He`s gone.  And then to go – Trump going after Obama

again.  What`s this about? 



in spiking the football or doing an end zone dance. 


MATTHEWS:  Hotdogging it. 


BASH:  Yes, hotdogging it, when this should be a moment of national unity,

and our compliments should go to the military and intelligence



MATTHEWS:  And the dogs.


BASH:  Right, and those that supported them on the ground, put their lives

on the line. 


And this isn`t about whether or not a previous president should have done

better.  I remember, in the hours after the bin Laden operation was

successfully completed – I was at CIA – the first person I called,

because my boss, Director Leon Panetta, told me to, was, I called General

Mike Hayden, who had been George Bush`s CIA director.


I said: “General Hayden, tonight, we`re standing on your shoulders and the

shoulders of al the men and women for the past 10 years who have been

pursuing this target.”


MATTHEWS:  You know, it`s like the end of the Cold War.  Harry Truman

started the Cold War because we had to.  Reagan ended it.  OK. 


Maybe Bush ended it.  But, you know, it was both sides. 



everyone, as well they should have


And this is a tradition that really goes back to the night of Pearl Harbor. 

After Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt invited the congressional leadership

from both parties to come to the White House and talk about what they do



That tradition went all the way through the Cold War and the post-Cold War

era.  Looks as if it`s another that may be going by the wayside. 


MATTHEWS:  He also asked Wendell Willkie to cut a deal with the British

before the war. 




MATTHEWS:  He took the guy he beat in the election.


Let`s talk about this Pelosi thing, because Pelosi is an honorable person. 

Whatever – she`s obviously partisan, no more partisan than anybody else in

Washington, a smart, patriotic person. 


In a statement today, Pelosi said: “The House must be briefed on the raid,

which the Russians, but not top congressional leadership, were notified of

in advance, and on the administration`s overall strategy in the region.”


The statement is reminiscent, of course, of remarks she made directly to

the president earlier this month, when she asked him why all roads lead to

Putin, that great moment when she pointed across the table at the president

and said, why does everything lead to Putin?


Why did he tell Putin before he told the Democrats about this raid?  Putin? 


BASH:  I think he was probably trying – his military officials were trying

to deconflict the airspace so they could conduct the operation.


But it points up to the larger point, which is…


MATTHEWS:  He trusts Putin.


BASH:  … although the law – although the law may not have required it,

the better practice for a president in this case is to brief the

congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle. 


Certainly, don`t just brief one party or the other, because ISIS doesn`t

care whether you`re a Democrat or a Republican before they come to blow us



There`s no room for partisanship in how you conduct the operation.  There

should be no room for partisanship in how you describe it or brief it. 


MATTHEWS:  Michael, all he had to do was call Pelosi up and say, don`t

spread this around, I`m just talking to the two leaders on this. 




MATTHEWS:  We`re keeping it really close. 


And the – then, when the Pelosi would have had to get up the next day and

say – today – and say, you know, I have to give the president credit, as

she`s pursuing impeachment. 




MATTHEWS:  I have to give him credit because he gave me the call the other

night, the heads-up. 


Instead, she now has an opportunity to hit him hard and say, you have to

brief us.  She`s on offense again. 


Yes, and I think…


MATTHEWS:  It is bad politics. 


BESCHLOSS:  I think it would have been only great for everyone, because,

just as you said, it would have made him look larger, trying to unify the



MATTHEWS:  Which he ain`t. 


BESCHLOSS:  Well, was not on this occasion. 


And, you know, one example of someone who really did do that was, in 1971,

Richard Nixon, who, as you know, ran this very partisan campaign during the

1970 midterm elections. 


And he literally went on TV and he said, I`m now taking off my campaign

hat.  I`m putting on my presidential hat. 


And he was a lot more presidential in 1971.  That positioned him in a way

that was – made it a lot easier for him to occupy the center in 1972

against George McGovern and win by a landslide.  So I think it`s not only

good government.  I think it`s good politics. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, in today`s “New York Times,” national security

correspondent David Sanger writes: “The death of the Islamic State`s leader

in a daring nighttime raid vindicated the value of three traditional

American strengths: robust alliances, faith in intelligence agencies, and

the projection of military power around the world.  But President Trump has

regularly derided the first two.”


Sanger goes on to write that America`s foreign policy in the age of Trump

runs the risk of looking “like a force of exploitation, willing to enter

hostile foreign lands for two reasons only, killing terrorists and

extracting resources.  The mission of the American century, helping other

nations develop their economies and build democratic institutions, is



Just a more narrow point.  This president has dumped on the intelligence

agencies since he got there.  And there you have the CIA pulling off this

tough fight, going after the bad guy, killing him, getting it done,

excellent execution of intelligence.  And the president gives himself

credit, himself credit.  


BASH:  Well, he started his presidency on day one by standing in front of

the memorial wall at the CIA original headquarters building in Langley,

Virginia, talking about not the sacrifice of those who had given everything

for our country. 


MATTHEWS:  The stars on the wall. 


BASH:  Yes.  He talked about how many times his face had graced the cover

of “TIME” magazine. 


And it went downhill from there.  He compared CIA officers to Nazis.  He

denigrated intelligence agencies.  He called them the deep state.  He has

criticized law enforcement, the FBI, and others charged with the

counterintelligence mission. 


So I`m glad that our intelligence professionals have kept their nose down,

they have stayed focused on the target, they have done their job, but they

have not gotten a lot of support from the president. 


MATTHEWS:  How would you charge this up historically?  A president of the

United States who last week said, there is no team.  I am the team.  I am



It`s almost a statement of a deity.  I`m the one who does everything.  I do

everything.  I killed Baghdadi.  I killed him personally. 


BESCHLOSS:  And he said at the convention in 2016, “I alone can fix it.”


So this is something that`s gone back a while.  You can only hope that, you

know, in retrospect, he will look at what happened and the death of

Baghdadi and see that our intelligence agencies performed extremely well,

and it was helpful to have allies.  So that may make an impression on him. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, where does he get this whimpering, by the way, and crying

and running like a little baby and all?  Where did he get all that info,

that color of the game of this guy dying?


I thought he blew himself up in a suicide vest.  That`s horrible enough. 


BASH:  I don`t know where he gets that information.  Maybe he had some

reports from the field about what they saw in the tunnel. 


But I think it points up to this larger issue, which is that, on the

ground, the Kurds have been our allies. 




BASH:  They have provided vital intelligence.  And the bigger strategy in

the region has been to abandon the Kurds.  That`s a mistake. 


MATTHEWS:  Gets around, doesn`t it, that we abandon allies?


Just hours after announcing the successful raid against al-Baghdadi,

President Trump was greeted by a chorus of boos as he attended last night`s

World Series game in D.C.  Let`s take a look. 




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Joined by the president and first lady of the United







MATTHEWS:  Well, he was smiling, anyway.  Chants of “Lock him up” were also

heard during his introduction.  Let`s listen.




CROWD:  Lock him up!  Lock him up!  Lock him up!  Lock him up!  Lock him

up!  Lock him up!  Lock him up! 




MATTHEWS:  Fans were better than the batters last night, I must say. 

They`re doing pretty well there.


Michael Beschloss, Mr. Washington, you live in town here. 




And presidents have been booed at least back to Harry Truman and maybe even

earlier than that… 


MATTHEWS:  It`s normal. 


BESCHLOSS:  … at baseball stadiums. 


It`s normal.  But I must say, the “Lock him up” part is something that you

don`t find much in history. 


MATTHEWS:  You know, what do you think he thought he was going to get when

he went to downtown D.C., not far from Capitol Hill, to the den of the deep



Most of this town is Democrat, liberal, probably, government employees, CIA

agents, federal FBI agents, all kinds of people that work for the

government.  He`s treated them all as dirt.  What did he expect? 


BASH:  I think – yes, I think it`s less about them being Democrats and

more about being federal employees who are committed to the mission, many

of whom work in national security. 


I was at a game, game four.  I saw a lot of my former colleagues from the

Defense Department and elsewhere, celebrating baseball.  Obviously,

baseball shouldn`t be a political issue. 


MATTHEWS:  What was your ticket cost? 


BASH:  A lot. 




BASH:  I had to mortgage the house. 


MATTHEWS:  I heard it was 600-and-some for a standing room the other night. 


BASH:  I had to mortgage the house.


But I`m also with Michael.  I actually think the “Lock him up” is

inappropriate from any corner. 




BASH:  The criminalization of political differences is wrong. 


MATTHEWS:  Thank you.  Who started that? 


BASH:  I have no idea, but I think it was shameful.


MATTHEWS:  I think Trump started it. 


Anyway, I want to ask you.  I just want to tell you – to make your point,

you can`t go by boos at baseball games, because Richard Nixon thought he

could beat Pat Brown as governor of California.  He went to the opening of

Candlestick Park.  They booed the hell, mercilessly booed the hell out of

Pat Brown, and then they – he beat Nixon by a quarter million votes. 


So, bad call.  Don`t go by boos. 


BESCHLOSS:  Drew the wrong conclusion.


MATTHEWS:  But, in this case, go by boos. 




MATTHEWS:  Anyway, Jeremy Bash, thank you.  Michael Beschloss. 


Up next: unheeded warnings.  Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly,

General John Kelly, says he tried to warn Trump that hiring a yes-man as

his next chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, it would lead to impeachment. 


More on that warning and the White House`s bizarre response – coming up





MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 


Former White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly says he warned

President Trump about the looming threat of impeachment. 


At a political conference hosted by “The Washington Examiner” over this

weekend, Kelly said he advised the president against hiring a yes-man to

replace him last year. 





don`t, don`t hire a yes-man, someone that`s going to tell you – won`t tell

you the truth.  Don`t do that, because, if you do, I believe you will be

impeached.  And someone has got to be the guy that tells you that – you

know, that you either have the authority or you don`t, or, you know, Mr.

President, don`t do it because whatever. 


“You know, but don`t hire someone that will just nod and say, you know,

that`s a great idea, Mr. President, because you will be impeached.”




MATTHEWS:  Well, in a statement, President Trump responded to Kelly`s

recounting of events, saying: “John Kelly never said that.  He never said

anything like that.  If he would have said that, I would have thrown him

out of the office.  He just wants to come back into the action like

everybody else.”


Well, Kelly suggested the blame for the president`s current situation lies

at the feet of the acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, for not keeping

Trump out of trouble. 


But given what we have already seen from this administration, it`s no

surprise the president would want someone to tell him only what he likes to






recapping the incredible, historic trip that the president and the first

lady have just concluded, because it truly was an extraordinary week for

America.  It was an unprecedented first trip abroad. 



for the honor to serve the country.  It`s a great privilege you have given




enough for the privilege that you have given me and the leadership that you

have shown. 



you for the opportunity and the blessing that you have given us to serve

your agenda and the American people. 




MATTHEWS:  Isn`t that nice? 


Well, that fawning praise wasn`t enough to keep any of those people in

their jobs.  Every one of them is gone, after all that applause for the



But Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, she beats them all.  She showed what

is and what is coming up next.  She`s hard to beat in the fawning



You`re watching HARDBALL. 







media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further

actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very

substantial and will not be questioned. 




MATTHEWS:  God, is that frightening? 


Welcome back to HARDBALL. 


That was White House senior adviser Stephen Miller back in 2017 on

President Trump`s unquestioned authority. 


Miller remains one of the president`s longest serving advisers, thanks in

part to his unwavering devotion. 


Over the White House, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham,

however, outdid him.  ON Saturday, former White House chief of staff John

Kelly told a political conference hosted by “The Washington Examiner” that

he warned President Trump that hiring a yes-man to succeed him as chief of

staff would lead to impeachment. 


In response, Grisham put out a statement that seemed written in Pyongyang,

North Korea. 


Grisham said: “I worked with General Kelly, and he was totally unequipped

to handle the genius of our great president.”


For more, I`m joined by Adrienne Elrod, former senior adviser to Hillary

Clinton, and Shermichael Singleton, Republican political consultant.






MATTHEWS:  … I have a cold, but go ahead.


What do you…






MATTHEWS:  What do you think of this North Korean state dear leader kind of



SINGLETON:  Right. I don`t think it would have mattered, though, because

where is General Kelly?  He is now on the outside.  Remember Rex Tillerson. 

Remember General Mattis.  Those are guys –


MATTHEWS:  All the kiss butt guys didn`t last. 


SINGLETON:  Yes, they didn`t either.  I mean, you showed them in the video. 


MATTHEWS:  So, what works for this guy? 


SINGLETON:  Nothing works, because I think at the end of the day, Donald

Trump is going to do whatever Donald Trump wants.  Why?  Because Donald

Trump is not a disciplined individual. 


And I don`t think even if General Kelly or as someone who`s a tougher guy

who was still there, I would predict Donald Trump would still find himself

in the midst of an impeachment crisis. 


ADRIENNE ELROD, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  I completely agree.  And I think that

Donald –


MATTHEWS:  You agree, this morning, he could have said, Mr. President, in

the back room, I have seen what you`re doing with Giuliani over there. 


ELROD:  Uh-huh.


MATTHEWS:  And you`re setting up a totally separate foreign policy. 


ELROD:  Uh-huh.


MATTHEWS:  It involves all of the effort to get dirt on your opponents. 

All this 19 – 2016 conspiracy nonsense and the Joe Biden stuff.  It has

nothing to do with American interests. 


ELROD:  Yes.


MATTHEWS:  This is going to get you in trouble because Nixon had a whole

separate operation called the plumbers and that brought him down. 


ELROD:  Yes.


MATTHEWS:  Can`t anybody give him a history lesson? 


ELROD:  No, he`s not going to listen to anybody.  And, Chris, I believe

that even if he had two or three people left in the entire West Wing of the

White House, he still wouldn`t listen to them.  This is just how Donald

Trump operates.  He believes that he won his election single-handedly

without the outside help of anybody else. 


You know, he`s obviously constantly defending himself in terms of the

legitimacy of the election, which is up for debate, which we`ve been

debating for the last three years.  But he truly believes that he single-

handedly, not his staff, not anybody else, got him elected.  And that same

mentality is what is driving his decision making in the White House.  But I

also wanted to make a point –


MATTHEWS:  But he`s deluded then, he`s crazy, because you`re saying he

thinks he killed Baghdadi this weekend, the head of ISIS.  Did he

personally do it?


ELROD:  Of course, he does.  Of course he does.  He is the one who made the



But let`s also be clear, John Kelly is no angel, right?  He was not exactly

an effective chief of staff. 


SINGLETON:  That was my point.


MATTHEW:  You think he`s lying?  You think he`s lying? 


ELROD:   Yes.  He`s the person who went out there and called DACA

recipients lazy because they didn`t –


MATTHEWS:  OK.  Here`s a question – these people – 




SINGLETON:  He doesn`t have any ground to stand here.


MATTHEWS:  Do you think he sided with the president in the Oval Office, or

the little hiding room behind the Oval Office, do you think he said Mr.

President, don`t hire a yes man?  Do you think he ever did what he said he



SINGLETON:  No, because if he did, I think Donald Trump would have fired

him.  He wouldn`t have lasted as long as he did.  I don`t think, with all

due respect to General Kelly`s military record, I don`t think politically

to your point, this guy wasn`t very effective.  From my perspective, he

doesn`t have a lot of legitimacy to be insinuating things against a current

acting chief of staff. 


MATTHEWS:  OK.  Let me try something.  He was constantly running up against

this president by telling him, I don`t want Jared Kushner in the room.  You

have to ask my permission to come in the room, even your family members. 

All the times he`s setting up these guardrails. 


SINGLETON:  And Jared Kushner still got a security clearance. 


MATTHEWS:  And every time he set up the guard rails, the president fought



SINGLETON:  He did and Jared – 


MATTHEWS:  But he did fight him.


SINGLETON:  Yes, but he got a security clearance.  His daughter got a

security clearance.  Donald Trump still did every single thing he wanted to

do, in spite of some of the general`s concerns.  So, my point, again, it

doesn`t matter what any of these people say. 


As Adrienne said, Trump believes he won alone, but the only negative side

of this is if he loses, he`s not going to lose alone.  He`s not going down

alone.  Many of the folks around him are going to go down with him, Chris. 

And that`s a tragedy.


MATTHEWS:  Well, let me tell you, he thinks he can do it all by himself,

he`s an idiot, because – I don`t know if he is an idiot, but I`ll tell

you, I have worked in politics for years, and every politician needs

counselors, men and women around him who will say be careful on that. 

You`re going to watch that and you`re going to get in trouble with that. 


ELROD:  You can ask some of the most effective White House chiefs of staff

in recent history, Rahm Emanuel, John Podesta, Leon Panetta, all of them,

none of them were yes men, right?  Otherwise, there`s no way that Barack

Obama would have gotten the Affordable Care Act passed.  Rahm Emanuel made

that happen because you have to be constructive.  You have to have – you

have to have give and take and you cannot be a yes man in that job. 


SINGLETON:  That`s exactly why the White House is in chaos, why the

president is experiencing impeachment.  There isn`t a cohesive message. 

Republicans in the Senate seem to be sort of looking the other way. 


MATTHEWS:  OK, Shermichael, you`re a Republican, right? 




MATTHEWS:  Let`s imagine this, as a party guy. 




MATTHEWS:  This guy gets re-elected by a squeaker.  It`s still possible.  I

don`t think he will, but he could win by a squeaker.  Win Pennsylvania by a

squeaker over Senator Warren or somebody, who knows?  Or Biden. 


He squeaks it, he comes back like, my God, I can do anything I want.  I got

away with everything. 


SINGLETON:  He will. 


MATTHEWS:  I did it all myself.  I`ll do anything.  Anything.


SINGLETON:  If people think the past two and a half, three years have been

mad, imagine when the guy doesn`t have to worry about the next re-election. 




SINGLETON:  He feels the impeachment has gone nowhere.  He was found not

guilty, if you will, in the Senate.  He`s going to say, I now have an

immense amount of power that alleviates –


ELROD:  He feels like he has a mandate.


MATTHEWS:  And just take a look at the Supreme Court when he`s done then,

too.  It will be 7-2 right wing court for the next 50 years. 


ELROD:  Let`s thing positively.  I don`t think he`s going to get reelected.


MATTHEWS:  I want to warn people on not voting, thinking of not voting next

year.  Just two words, 7-2 will be the Supreme Court when he`s done.  They

will when I get finished with them.  I`m going to remind them. 


Adrienne, thank you so much.  Shermichael, you`re going to stick with us. 




MATTHEWS:  Still ahead, Biden and Buttigieg fight it out.  Everybody is a B

this year.  Have you noticed?  Booker, everybody is B.  From moderate

Republicans and other 2020 coming up, this is interesting, he`s trying to

take away that guy`s lane.  He may do it in Iowa. 


We`ll be right back. 






PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The upsetting cynicism of this

White House is that you have somebody who on one hand sees actual literal

no (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Jews will not replace us anti-Semites as very fine





MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.


That was Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of course, today, now, using strong

language, had to bleep it there, while speaking to a left-leaning Jewish

advocacy group J Street about the president`s relationship with Israel.  He

was invoking President Trump`s remarks following the deadly 2017

Charlottesville rally.  Buttigieg has seen a rise in support as he tries to

secure his place in the moderate lane of the party, alongside Joe Biden. 


Well, that support is most apparent in Iowa where Buttigieg has now seen

his numbers rise to more than double since the beginning of September. 

He`s on the rise in Iowa.  Watch him. 


According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls for Iowa, Buttigieg

has risen to third place, only slightly behind Biden.  Even as the race

tightens, Biden said he`s confident in his status as leader of the pack. 




REPORTER:  Do you still consider yourself the front-runner? 


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I know I`m front-runner.  Find me a

national poll with a notable, a couple of exceptions.  But, look, this is a

marathon.  This is a marathon. 




MATTHEWS:  Adrienne Elrod and Shermichael Singleton are sticking with me.


I have three possible scenarios.  Choose your favorite.  How this election

for the Democratic nomination works.


Number one, Elizabeth Warren wins early and keeps winning fast breaks.  She

wins Iowa, she wins New Hampshire, she keeps winning.  She is a fast break

winner of the nomination without stop.  She goes right through Nevada with

Harry Reid behind her.  Who knows?  She takes a couple of losses but can`t

be stop.


The second possibility is Buttigieg messes up the whole thing by winning in

Iowa, taking race a lot further down the road because that will hurt her

chances of winning in New Hampshire.  It will give Biden a second chance

back in South Carolina.  The whole thing will slow down through Super



Buttigieg is the one that slows thing.  He`s like a big yellow flag and a

race that slows – it`s not the one that slows people down.  Everything

slows down.


Third possibility, and I don`t think it is likely at this point, Biden wins

everything from the beginning. 


You`re the Democrat.


ELROD:  Yes.  I think third scenario – 


MATTHEWS:  What`s – if you like any scenario, which scenario do you like? 


ELROD:  If you were to pick one of three, I think the last scenario is the

least one that takes place.  But look –


MATTHEWS:  What`s the most likely?  Fast break for him? 


ELROD:  First, with Elizabeth Warren, but I`ll tell you, Mayor Pete is on

the rise.  We have seen this in poll after poll.  You also have to look,

Chris, of course, at cash on hand.  Mayor Pete is sitting on $23.5 million. 

Versus Joe Biden sitting on $8.5 million. 


MATTHEWS:  What would you do with that money?  Blow in it Iowa?  Just spend

it?  Does he have 35 offices in Iowa right now?


ELROD:  Yes, but I think he`s doing it already.  I mean, first of all, it`s

a good thing there is a super PAC going in for him.  He needs the extra

funding.  I would take a long hard look at my payroll and figure out whose

staff salaries can I reduce and probably fly a little less on private

planes than $1 million on private planes. 




MATTHEWS:  The cost-cutting way to the presidency.  I love it. 


ELROD:  Thank you.


MATTHEWS:  Shermichael, my bet?  I think Buttigieg wins early and slows the

whole thing down.  I see two numbers in Iowa.  One, none of the above,

undecided.  And the other is Buttigieg, which is another way of saying none

of the above but my February vote is for Buttigieg.  I think later about

November.  Your thought?


SINGLETON:  I think number two is absolutely likely.  I think he has the

amount of money, the cash on hand enables him to be able continue, to build

that –


ELROD:  Small donors.


SINGLETON:  – small donors – 


MATTHEWS:  And, by the way, people are fine beam good values say I`m with

Buttigieg and nobody challenges them.  They go, oh, that doesn`t make



SINGLETON:  All right.  Because he has the money to build the type of

robust infrastructure that allows a campaign in a key state like Iowa to

directly target and mobilize voters and there are a lot of voters in Iowa

who are looking at Biden and saying he`s shaky. 


MATTHEWS:  There aren`t many black voters in Iowa who had a problem with

white guys.




SINGLETON:  They`re looking at the mayor and see the guy is smart.  He`s

moderate leaning.  We think he could go the long way. 


And I think that benefits mayor but I think it is certainly something the

Biden campaign should be concerned about.  One, they haven`t been able to

raise a significant amount of money and two, if he can`t win in Iowa and

New Hampshire, that goes against his entire argument. 


MATTHEWS:  I`m sorry, how come he`s been the one successful person to

question Senator Warren about financing and health care and the rest of her

program?  How come he`s been able to bite into her and hang on to that



ELROD:  That is an excellent question, Chris, and that`s what we saw happen

in that last debate.  Instead of Joe Biden taking on the, I`m going to

defend the establishment, I`m going to defend Obamacare which I helped get

past as vice president, I`m going to defend these Obama era policies.  It

was Mayor Pete making that defense with an assist by Amy Klobuchar. 


Joe Biden has got – look, debates have not hurt him so far, right?  But I

think if he wants to keep Mayor Pete at bay, he has to have a stronger

performance and he`s got to be the one on that stage defending those Obama

era policies. 


MATTHEWS:  Was Norah O`Donnell right by asking, are you quick enough to run

for president?  That`s a pretty brutal question.


SINGLETON:  It is but it`s an honest question.  And I think Mayor Pete is

really carving out a piece of that moderate lane, Chris, and I think there

are a lot of moderate white voters –


MATTHEWS:  Are you smarter than him?  Are you smarter than him?  I`m just

teasing you. 




SINGLETON:  He`s a brilliant guy. 


MATTHEWS:  I`m just teasing you because I don`t know anybody who is smarter

than him.  Every time you ask him a question you have the sense that he had

the question two weeks ago, and he`s been working on it.  But he just got

it.  He`s very smart.


SINGLETON:  He`s quick on his feet, and I think if you contrast him to Joe

Biden, who is often sluggish, his responses are rambling and all over the

place – again, I think people look at the mayor, they look at Biden, and

they`re going to say, this is a guy who can go the long haul. 


ELROD:  Ii still think this is Joe Biden`s race to lose/Elizabeth Warren`s

race to lose. 


SINGLETON:  I agree with that.


ELROD:  It`s two front runners.  Joe Biden has so far the most broad, the

most diverse coalition.


MATTHEWS:  Are you with him? 


ELROD:  I am undeclared. 


MATTHEWS:  But you sounded like you`re with him. 


ELROD:  No, I`m a huge Joe Biden fan.  I`m also a Mayor Pete fan. 


SINGLETON:  I mean, as a Republican, I respect the vice president.  I like

him a lot.  But I think his support with African-American could decrease if

he doesn`t perform well in the early state as we saw President Obama who

saw his support increase as a result of –


MATTHEWS:  Because the black voter is watching, a national story.  They

don`t want to waste their votes. 


SINGLETON:  You don`t.


MATTHEWS:  Anyway, thank you, Adrienne Elrod.  Thank you, Shermichael

Singleton, a Republican, a Democrat.


Up next, remembering James Foley.  Remember him?  We ought to.  You`re

watching HARDBALL.




MATTHEWS:  I thought of one person when I heard the head of ISIS was dead

this weekend.  I thought of James Foley, that young American journalist who

ISIS killed five years ago. 


When the history of war is written, any war, it is the courageous one and

those are the ones who deserve our regard, the good people of the war. 

Those like James Foley who when horror ranges, the world turns itself on

life and death, show their character, their true worth as human beings.  I

have for the last five years carried in my wall at the time photo of James

Foley with his head shaven, being walked out there in front of cameras to

have his life stripped from him, to have his head cut off – all for the

world to see. 


And what did they see?  What did James Foley give these evil people that so

much want to get something from him?  Here`s what.  When Foley met his end

squarely in the face, he showed the stoic face of moral courage.  To the

very end, he held true to who he was.  He gave them nothing. 


I will carry that photo with me long after ISIS is dead because to me, the

memory of James Foley`s courage and stoicism is what matters, and my best

again to his father and mother.  How proud you must be. 


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


“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now. 







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