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Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 05/06/15

Guests: Cindy Boren, George Mitchell, April Ryan, Ryan Grim

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Is the United States about to invade Texas? Let`s play HARDBALL. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington. In parts of this country, people don`t live in imminent fear of invasion, and certainly not by forces of the U.S. government. They don`t see black helicopters leading an advancing army set out to disarm, silence and enslave them. And then there`s Texas, where some fear the federal invasion is already set for this summer. The politicians down there are talking darkly now that coming with the hot months is an all-out U.S. Army assault aimed at bringing the Lone Star State to its knees, smashing away its rights and bringing the Texas people themselves into wartime captivity. In this latest chapter soon to arrive of this country`s paranoid history, the politicians down there are pandering to the idea in Texas that a U.S. military training exercise called Jade Helm 15 has, as its real design, a mass-scale federal invasion of the state that has been part of the union, of course, since the Texas Republic joined up with us in the 1840s. Last week, citing worries about safety and constitutional rights, Texas governor Greg Abbott called in the state`s guard, he said, to address concerns of Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed. "I am directing the Texas state guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15." And over the weekend, Ted Cruz said the Pentagon assured him that his own government`s military was not invading Texas, but that didn`t stop him from playing carnival barker for the conspiracy theorists. Here he goes. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)   SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I understand the concern that`s been raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm. It`s a question I`m getting a lot. And I think part of the reason is we have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of its citizens, and that produces fear. When you see a federal government that is attacking our free speech rights or religious liberty rights or 2nd amendment rights, that produces distrust as to government. When the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many of the citizens don`t trust what it`s saying. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: And Texas U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert put out this sugar plum of a statement yesterday. Quote, "Patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned. I was rather appalled that the hostile areas in the exercise amazingly have a Republican majority. The tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states." Where do we go with this one? Howard Fineman, who can handle anything, has to handle this one, global editorial director, of course, of the HuffingtonPost, and David Corn is the Washington bureau chief with "Mother Jones." Gentlemen, two of my favorites, I don`t know where to start, except there are parts of this country -- represented well, by the way, by Louie Gohmert... (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: And by the way, we`re going get to the fact there are actually some surprising heroes down there, like -- who actually say this is crazy. DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, it seems like Governor Abbott, Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz are turning the -- you know, the Lone Star State into the loon star state... MATTHEWS: Yes.   CORN: ... by -- you know, By going ahead and basically -- this stuff percolates on the conspiratorial right, which sometimes... MATTHEWS: When did you hear of it first, that there was going to be U.S. Army invasion which is actually an exercise? CORN: Someone like Alex Jones who, you know, is a 9/11 truther, and you know, believed in FEMA concentration camps and goes after the Bilderbergs, and has had Rand Paul on his show, and Ron Paul, as guests over and over again was really pushing this hard. And then it kind of jumps into the bloodstream, you know, of the more mainstream politicians. And Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott get out there, and they have this sort of ruse. We are responding to the concerns that people are saying. You know, it`s not like, These people are crazy and we`re going to tell them they`re crazy. It`s, We`re responding to the concerns. But by doing that and saying, We`re going to have the Texas guard, you know, monitor this, you`re basically ratifying people`s concerns about something that is completely made up. MATTHEWS: Howard, you react to this. The U.S. military put out a press release announcing the Jade Helm training exercise back in March. And last week, they sent one of their commanders to a Texas meeting in Bastrop County down in Texas to explain the purpose of the military exercise to the local citizenry. It didn`t go well. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First and foremost, we`re (INAUDIBLE) truly invested in everybody`s personal rights and their privacy. That`s what we live for. We live to support the Constitution of the United States. And that`s what everybody wants to live by. And that`s what we`re here to do. (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t be offended if I told the colonel that I didn`t believe a single word that he just said!   (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we have a federal government that cannot tell the truth, how do we know that what you`re saying is true? (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may have issues with the administration. So be it, OK? But this institution right here has been with you for over 240 years, period. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a preparation for martial law! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s because it is not a preparation for martial law, sir. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what you say. (END VIDEO CLIP) (LAUGHTER) MATTHEWS: "That`s what you say." Howard, I don`t want to get into regional attitudes by us three Northerners here, but let me tell you... HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST GLOBAL EDITORIAL DIR., MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, go ahead.   MATTHEWS: Yes, go ahead. But this is crazy. And the people down there in Louie, what`s his name, Gohmert`s district looked like a bunch of these people in that room were hooting and hollering, saying the feds are coming. The black helicopters are coming. We don`t believe this guy in fatigues, Lieutenant Astoria (ph), is to be believed because he`s saying, We`re not invading your state. FINEMAN: Well, Chris, I wish I could laugh about this. I thought it was an exceedingly sad and memorable moment when that military officer looked to his chest and held up the insignia of the U.S. Army, the name U.S. Army, and appealed to people`s belief in that, if not the administration of the United States of America, not the federal government per se. It`s easy to laugh about this stuff, but like David, I`m sure -- I`ve covered many races in Texas. I`ve been all around Texas. And Texas is the home -- because of its history, it`s the home of the -- it along with South Carolina are the two homes of the sort of rejectionist front of the federal government in the United States. And that attitude hasn`t completely disappeared, and Texas is the place where it`s nurtured like in a hot vat. And people like Ted Cruz -- and Rand Paul, by the way, who similarly didn`t dismiss this totally and make fun of it -- those two guys are responsible, in my mind. They don`t have the guts to stand up there and tell those people to pipe down. They`re going to feed it. They`re going to feed it with everything they`ve got because they`re going after 10,000 voters on the right in places like Iowa and South Carolina. MATTHEWS: So they`re pandering, and they`re also demagoguing... FINEMAN: They`re pandering big-time. MATTHEWS: Let`s take a look at This. here`s -- we`re going to bring in right now Todd Smith. He`s a Republican from Texas who served in the state legislature for 16 years. He says Governor Abbott is pandering to idiots. Thank you so much for joining us, Mr. Smith. And we were watching that group of people there. Now, maybe they are a strange lot of people, but everybody on camera range there was acting like they really thought they were having the wool taken over their eyes, that there`s going to be a federal military invasion of Texas this summer in that military exercise, and that this loyal Lieutenant Colonel Astoria who`s there, working to try to explain what`s actually happening, is lying to them. TODD SMITH (R), FMR. TEXAS HOUSE MEMBER: Yes, it`s certainly a concerning trend in the state of Texas. Having served in the legislature for 16 years, I have had the opportunity to observe personally as the primaries have changed from the George W. Bush primaries that I was originally elected into, into something that he wouldn`t recognize today. It is embarrassing. It is humiliating. And for it to be coming out of the governor`s office is what prompted me to write a letter so that people understood that there are some thinking Republicans that find great offense with what is happening and being said.   MATTHEWS: Yes. I got one for you. Governor -- former governor Rick Perry has emerged as a rare voice of sanity in this debate. Here`s what he told reporters just yesterday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK PERRY (R-TX), FMR. GOV., FMR. PRES. CANDIDATE: You know, I`m one of these guys, I think it`s OK to question your government. I do it on a pretty regular basis. Military is something else. You know, I think our military is quite trustworthy. The civilian leadership, you can always question that, but not the men and women (INAUDIBLE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: I love that. There (INAUDIBLE) I think he looks better in glasses, by the way. But the fact is, he`s sound as a dollar there, saying you can mistrust the government all you want, but does anybody think the United States military, the Army -- it`s fairly nonpartisan... CORN: Well... MATTHEWS: ... is coming to invade? CORN: It made me think, though, that he was saying, Well, you know, Obama might want to do this, but the Army won`t let it happen. FINEMAN: Right. Exactly. MATTHEWS: That was subtle. CORN: But at the same time, you know, Texas is a state now that gets more federal spending than federal taxes it pays. So right now, it`s getting more out of the federal government than it kicks in. And it`s worried about being invaded by...   (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: That`s a good Marxist analysis! It is... (CROSSTALK) CORN: None of it makes any sense! MATTHEWS: OK, let me go back to Mr. Smith on it. Mr. Smith, when I see that woman in the picture there in that room, in that town hall, she`s laughing, OK? So I just wonder. Some of the people there are more sober, more scared maybe. Are the people when they say the Army`s coming, the black helicopters are coming to collect all the guns and silence people -- do they mean that actually, or is it some kind of metaphor they`re talking in, that they mean a slow erosion of our rights? Or do they really mean the government is coming in with helicopters and armor and the infantry? What do they think is going to happen here this summer? SMITH: You know, I can`t tell you what is going through the most extreme elements` minds. But what I can tell you is that the people of Texas, the overwhelming majority of Texans, are not concerned about that. What is a concern is that a tiny, tiny, tiny extreme faction of the state is gaining greater and greater influence in Republican primaries to the point of influencing the governor`s office. You know, dealing with cranks has always been a part of running for office, but it`s sort of the numbers and the extent of it that has changed in the last 15 years. MATTHEWS: Howard, your thoughts about this. You`re taking it seriously. FINEMAN: Yes.   MATTHEWS: And I guess there`s comedy in this because I did see that woman laughing. I just wonder whether this wasn`t just one good carnival she was attending. FINEMAN: Well, I think there`s something... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know... FINEMAN: There`s something to what you`re say, Chris about the emblematic nature of it. MATTHEWS: Yes. FINEMAN: And I think that`s part of it. But no, I think -- I think the disaffection, the disillusionment, the alienation from the federal government, even, as David says, while taking money from the federal government, as well -- that`s very real. This is the distilled -- you know, this is the distilled essence of it. MATTHEWS: Yes. FINEMAN: But it pervade a whole lot of Republican Party rhetoric today in what used to be called the mainstream Republican Party. And people like Ted Cruz -- forget about the governor. I mean, he`s not running for president. I`m looking -- I`m looking at people like Ted Cruz, who`s in the United States Senate, and Rand Paul, who`s in the United States Senate, both of whom are running for president, both of whom are running presumably to be president of all the people, and to become president of the very institution that they`re sowing fear and distrust about, the federal government. That`s always been a pattern in American politics. But this is taking it to a dangerous extreme when you`re basically saying, The United States military is against you and is going try to lock you up. That`s a huge paranoid theme in right-wing literature. It`s been that way for 50, 75 years. And it`s come back around again in a way we haven`t seen in a long time. MATTHEWS: I want to appreciate both of you guys coming on, Howard, of course, David. But I want to also thank especially Todd Smith coming from Fort Worth. And that Republican Party you speak of, the party of James Baker and the rest of them, and George Herbert Walker Bush, I think is still alive. Good luck in taking back your party down there. Coming up -- "deflate-gate." That`s what we`re calling it. The National Football League finds that some personnel on the New England Patriots likely did deflate those footballs on purpose on the way to the Super Bowl. That`s the big story breaking this afternoon.   I know it`s sports. We`re going to cover it because it`s about a big national fascination in this country, the Super Bowl. And that teams (ph) like the quarterback on that team, the hero, Tom Brady, probably knew about what is going on here. So what`s the league going to do about the fact that the star quarterback of the Super Bowl-winning Patriots actually knew that they were deflating the balls to his liking against the regulations, if this is all true? Plus, Hillary Clinton is talking like a progressive on domestic issues and less like a classic Clinton Democrat. Is this a statement of ideological change on her part, or smart politics by a candidate catering to all the needs of the Democratic constituency groups so they don`t go looking elsewhere for a candidate? And wouldn`t you know it, Ted Cruz is blaming President Obama for not stopping that terror attack in Texas. Finally, "Let Me Finish" with that news, the New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, as I said, probably knew that the game was being rigged. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (NEWSBREAK) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. The NFL released the findings of its investigation into the New England Patriots` "deflate-gate" controversy today, and the news isn`t good for the Super Bowl champions and their star quarterback, Tom Brady. In January, the NFL found 11 balls used by the Patriots in the AFC championship game were deflated below league regulations. In effect, Brady had an advantage gripping the ball. The report concluded today, "It is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the playing rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules." Wow! And the report found, quote, "Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities." The report cleared the team`s head coach, Bill Belichick, and the team`s senior management. It found that two men, the team`s locker room attendant and an equipment assistant, probably released the air from the game balls. The locker room attendant, Jim McNally, is seen on security footage just prior to the game taking the bag of balls into a locked bathroom for nearly two minutes, enough time, according to the report, to deflate them.   According to a report again, last year, McNally boasted in a message to his colleague, quote, "that he was the deflator." The deflator. What does this mean for Tom Brady and the Patriots? Rob Simmelkjaer is host of "SPORTS MATTERS" on MSNBC`s "Shift." Cindy Boren is with "The Washington Post." Thank you both for joining us. Let me go to you, Cindy. So what is going to happen? Is there any chance the world (ph) will take back the Super Bowl victory? You laugh... CINDY BOREN, "WASHINGTON POST": No, that sounds like someone who bet on the Seahawks to win. No, I don`t think so. Right now, it`s in the hands of Troy Vincent, who is the vice president in charge of the football operations for the league. He`ll decide the punishment. You`ll notice this isn`t Roger Goodell. This is the -- you know, Troy Vincent deciding what will happen. He can punish them by suspending Brady, by fining him, you know -- fining him is not really going to accomplish a lot. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: What does it mean to you? You care about sports. BOREN: Oh, it means... MATTHEWS: What does it mean to you about -- I mean, anybody who`s ever thrown a football knows that there`s a difference in how much air`s in it, how easy it is to throw it, you know, and you get it just right, at just the right -- you can throw a good spiral maybe... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: ... if it`s too blown up, it`s hard. BOREN: Exactly. Exactly. Yo-Yo Ma knows when his cello is out of tune.   Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in 2006 created this rule whereby they could -- the home team would supply its own -- each team would supply its own footballs. Before, the home team did. Well, it`s pretty clear that there was a reason for that. These guys know what they want. They know exactly what they want. MATTHEWS: Yes. BOREN: And the equipment managers are the guys who take the new footballs and get them ready for that. They`re the ones who break them in, rub dirt on them and all that. So the idea that these two guys would do this without the awareness of Tom Brady is, according to Ted Wells and his group, preposterous. MATTHEWS: Well, back in January, we all know this, everybody, whether you follow sports or not, Tom Brady denied knowing anything about what happened to those balls. Let`s watch him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) QUESTION: Are you comfortable within yourself that nobody on Sunday on the Patriots side did anything wrong? TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: I have no knowledge of anything. I have no knowledge of any wrongdoing, of any... QUESTION: You`re comfortable saying nobody did anything wrong? BRADY: Yes, I`m very comfortable saying that. I`m very comfortable saying that nobody did -- as far as I know. I don`t know everything. I also understand that I, you know, was in the locker room preparing for a game. I don`t know what happened over the course of the process with the footballs. I was preparing for my own job and doing what I needed to do.   (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Rob, it seemed to me he was familiar with the word process. And I always thought watching that myself, it was like Clinton, when he said I had no sexual relations, whatever the phrase he used. It seemed a little odd at the time, the way people speak when they`re not quite wanting to tell it all. And he was saying, I had no knowledge of the process. But he did know about the process. What did he know, logically? Wouldn`t he want the football to be the way he wanted it? ROB SIMMELKJAER, NBC SPORTS: Well, listen, Chris, there are text messages in this report that are reproduced that, if you believe the messages and the messages that were being sent at the time when they didn`t know there was any controversy, these two clubhouse attendants, one of them is saying, I talked to Tom about this. He didn`t like the fact that the ball was too inflated. This is going back to a regular season game against the Jets earlier this year. So these text messages make it pretty clear that Tom Brady, not just for this AFC Championship Game, but previous games this year, was aware of efforts to deflate the footballs, not just to a level that he liked, but to a level that was below the standards set by the NFL. So that is why Ted Wells` report says it`s more likely than not that Tom Brady knew about this. So this process he is talking about apparently included a point when the clubhouse attendant snuck away with the balls into a bathroom, took out a little needle, and deflated the balls. That`s part of this process. MATTHEWS: Cindy, what I found interesting was when they were talking back and forth, these characters. They`re talking about well, I will give him a watermelon, like a big heavy football, or I`m going to give him a balloon, a real softy. So they knew all about the texture, the whole feel of a football. BOREN: Well, they know what he wants. MATTHEWS: And they were playing games, yes. BOREN: They know -- every equipment manager for every team in the NFL knows exactly what the quarterback of that team wants in a football.   And they clearly knew what Brady wanted. Now, there is no actual smoking pressure gauge that leads right to Tom Brady. But, you know, the Wells committee found that it was pretty clear. MATTHEWS: Let me give you a shot at it, Rob. What is the consequence of this if it gets out that it`s accepted as fact that this commission report is true, that the team manipulated the pressure on the ball, they took advantage to give themselves an edge, they basically rigged that game, the AFC game and maybe other games? Is this going to put an asterisk next to them in the record books? Will this go in the history books? Well, they won the world championship, but there was that penultimate game where they were playing that little bit of hanky-panky there with the pressure gauge? SIMMELKJAER: Listen, I think are two consequences. One, I think the NFL will discipline the Patriots. I think we will see a fine. I think we could very well see draft picks taken away. And I think we could very well see a suspension given to Tom Brady going into next year. I think those things are all very much on the table. But I think, Chris, to your question, the longer-term issue for the Patriots is the brand of the Patriots, the legacy of the Patriots. And even though Bill Belichick is not implicated in this report, this is still another example of playing fast and loose with the rules under the Bill Belichick regime. They were found guilty in the Spygate case a few years back of spying on other teams with video cameras on the sideline and looking at their signals. MATTHEWS: Yes. SIMMELKJAER: And this is now another example of the Patriot way, as it`s called in New England, being a way that is a little bit edgy with the rules of the game. And I think that`s something they`re going have to live with for the rest of this Bill Belichick era. MATTHEWS: Well, just my guess, but the front page, top of the fold of the Seattle and the Boston newspapers are going to be all over this. This is not a sports page story. This is A-1, top of the fold, front page. This is going to be huge in those cities. And I will bet you that the Seattle fans, and that`s the whole Western United States, because I went to the Super Bowl, are going to be ripped over this thing. They`re going say that they should have won the whole thing.   Thank you, Rob Simmelkjaer, for joining us tonight. And thank you, Cindy Boren, here with me. Up next, the Iran nuclear deal. The war hawks are still trying to kill the deal. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Senate leaders are now trying to outmaneuver Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas` efforts to basically kill the nuclear deal with Iran. Cotton is clearly not happy with that. Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: If you don`t want to vote, you shouldn`t have come to the Senate. If you`re in the Senate and you don`t want to vote, you should leave. As the senator from Florida said yesterday, be a talk show host. Be a columnist. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, that senator from Florida he spoke of is Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for president, who is equally peeved apparently that his Iran deal amendment is being blocked. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)   SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If these negotiations keep going on, we`re going to end up building the bomb for them at the rate it`s going. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, joining me right now is someone who knows a lot about the Senate, the Middle East and getting deals and agreements accomplished, former Senator and former Senate Majority Leader Senator George Mitchell, author of the new book "The Negotiator." And welcome back to HARDBALL. Senator, thank you so much. And for my people and your people, thank you for what you did in Northern Ireland, because nobody thought that could be done. GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Thank you. Thank you. MATTHEWS: And it looks like it`s working. They don`t love each other, be the Protestants and the Catholics, the Nationalists and the Unionists are getting along wonderfully thanks to you. Let`s look at the Middle East, which is a real conundrum. It seems like President Obama is trying, at great risk, to try to find a deal to contain the ambitions, apparent ambitions of the Syrian -- the Iranian government, the mullahs, to build a nuclear weapon. Is it going to work? MITCHELL: I think it can, although we won`t know for sure until we see the final terms of the agreement, particularly with respect to verification. But the issue is very clear. Iran must not get a nuclear weapon. There are two ways to accomplish that, by negotiation or by war. It`s plain common sense to try to negotiate an end to it if you can before turning to the extreme and what should be the last resort of a war.   The interim agreement accomplished a great deal more than the critics believed it would. Remember, when it was announced, the critics said it was 100 percent sellout to Iran, that Iran would not comply with the terms of the agreement. Now, ironically, many of those same critics are saying, let`s keep the interim agreement in place. MATTHEWS: Yes. MITCHELL: Now the argument they`re using, which really doesn`t make any sense, is that the U.S. should walk away from negotiations, increase the sanctions, and Iran will capitulate and come crawling back. That`s a fantasy. It`s not just the U.S. and Iran. It`s the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France on one side of the table and Iran on the other. MATTHEWS: Yes. MITCHELL: If they reach an agreement and the United States Congress derails it, there is no possibility that the other countries, especially China and Russia, will continue and increase the sanctions. So the sanctions, which are the reason that Iran is at the table, which are effective because they are universal, not just unilateral U.S. sanctions, will go from universal to unilateral... MATTHEWS: Yes. MITCHELL: ... and therefore from effective to ineffective. And what they will accomplish is the exact opposite of what they say they want, Iran then with a clear path to a bomb and the U.S. Congress having sidelined an agreement that was entered into by six major countries in the world. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Take it a step further. I know you have done this in your head. I think the enemies of this deal, of this negotiation want it to go that far. They want us to bomb Iran, kill any chance of rapprochement between our countries for decades to come, killing it, because their biggest fear -- this includes Putin and the hawks in Israel and the hawks in Saudi Arabia.   Their biggest fear is that somehow Iran will settle down, it will become a regular country, but a powerful country. And it`s in their interests that Iran not become a powerful country, even if it`s tamed. They don`t want it to be powerful. They want us to be at war with Iran and they want to try to destroy Iran. MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know. MATTHEWS: Tell me why that doesn`t -- Putin, isn`t he more afraid of an Iran-American friendship than he is of a nuclear-armed Iran? Doesn`t he fear most that? Don`t the Saudis fear that? They`re afraid of an old Iran, like the shah, where we did get along with them. Am I being an extremists in my thinking here? (CROSSTALK) (LAUGHTER) MITCHELL: I don`t know. MATTHEWS: Because I think they`re out for real trouble, the enemies of this deal. MITCHELL: There may be some who believe that. I`m not sure that all do. One of the ironies of this situation is that, in the Middle East, there are so many overlapping, even contradictory conflicts, that you can`t see what will happen if there is an outbreak of violence. MATTHEWS: Yes. MITCHELL: That`s why it`s so important, I believe, for Israel and the Palestinians to reach agreement on a two-state solution. That`s why it`s so important to prevent Iran from a nuclear weapon.   MATTHEWS: Will Hillary, if she is president -- and she has a very good shot at being the nominee of the Democratic Party, your party. And she also has a very good shot of winning the general. Will she stand up to Netanyahu, because he will still be there, and try to get a two-state solution? MITCHELL: Oh, I think so, yes. In fact, she stood up to him and others when she was secretary of state on these issues, although, keep in mind, we are friends and allies with Israel. We are committed, appropriately, to Israel`s security behind -- and existence behind reasonable and defensible borders. MATTHEWS: Yes. MITCHELL: And we are committed to their having a reasonable and sustainable sense of security for their citizens. Our disagreement here is not over the goal. The goal is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. That`s very important, because an Iran with... (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: I agree with that. But Netanyahu doesn`t share our goal of a two-state solution. MITCHELL: No. No, that`s right. Well, he is back and forth on that. But on the issue of Iran, we do share with the people of Israel the view that Iran should not get a nuclear weapon. The question is how best to achieve that. MATTHEWS: Yes. Yes.   MITCHELL: And I think the course that the president is following is the correct one. Now, I believe it will come down in the end to the verification proceedings. The president of Iran, the Ayatollah Khamenei have both said Iran does not want a nuclear weapon. But the actions of their government contradict their words. MATTHEWS: Yes. MITCHELL: So you can`t trust them. That`s clear. It cannot be an agreement based on trust. Will the agreement contain verification procedures sufficient to satisfy, not just the people of the U.S., but the other five countries and the people of the world, that Iran will do what it says it will do in the agreement? And that`s one reason why the relief from the sanctions is conditioned in the agreement upon their compliance with the steps taken to prevent them from getting a weapon. MATTHEWS: Right. That`s clearly stated. Thank you so much. The name of the book is -- as you can see why -- "The Negotiator." Thank you, Senator George Mitchell, the author. Up next: Hillary Clinton seems to be moving to the left, or is she simply catering to the pent-up needs of the Democratic base, which are very pent up actually lately? You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.   (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Make no mistakes. Today, not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship, not one. When they talk about legal status, that is code for second-class status. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was, of course, Hillary Clinton yesterday in Las Vegas calling out the Republicans for treating immigrants as second-class citizens. Strong stuff there. She defended President Obama`s use of executive orders, by the way, when it comes to immigration reform and said she would go even further than he has to prevent hardworking immigrants from being deported. Here she is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: I will fight to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put dreamers, including those with us today, at risk of deportation. And if Congress continues to refuse to act as president, I would do everything possible under the law to go even further. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, most people think that Secretary Clinton needs to keep that successful Obama coalition of voters together in 2016 if she wants to make to it the White House this time around, a coalition of Latinos, African-Americans, young people, and progressives alike. Well, last week, in the wake of the unrest -- well, it`s worse than unrest -- the tragedy in Baltimore, Hillary addressed the treatment of African-American men by the criminal justice system. Here she is on that point.   (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is something profoundly wrong when African-American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counterparts. We need to restore balance to our criminal justice system. Now, of course -- (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: And when it comes to the hot potato of trade issues, Hillary pushed for the president`s Trans Pacific Partnership when she was secretary of state. Here she was. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: We are also pressing ahead with negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership -- an innovative, ambitious, multilateral free trade agreement that would bring together nine Pacific Rim countries, including four new free trade partners for the United States and potentially others in the future. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: But last week, this headline appeared in "The Huffington Post" -- "Hillary Clinton opposes major Obama trade policy." So, is Hillary Clinton shifting to the left on public policy issues to keep the Democratic base energized? April Ryan is the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio, Ryan Grim is Washington bureau chief for "The Huffington Post", and E.J. Dionne is an opinion writer with "The Washington Post".   Thank you all for joining us. And I want to start here and work our way across, jump in here. What`s Hillary doing to position herself to run for president that`s different from where they were say back in `92 and `96 and 2008? APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO: Well, one, we have a different time. We know this. But she`s got to make herself stand above the present like she`s going to do more, because everyone is attacking President Obama. He is the one to -- I guess it`s his record and her record as well. But she is trying to say I`m going to go far -- go farther than this president has done, particularly when it comes to issues of trade and when it comes to immigration. And they`re saying that they`re not giving out all the information when it comes to trade. But they`re saying that what they`re going to do is deal with issues of increased wages, also prosperity and security. And when it comes to immigration, this president has done as much as he can do. That`s what the White House is saying. So, she is saying she is going to take it further. MATTHEWS: How do you do that without Congress? RYAN: I don`t know. We`re trying figure it out. And it is legal that she can do that, go beyond -- MATTHEWS: Yes, with or without Congress. Ryan? RYAN GRIM, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Well, earlier today, we reported that John Podesta when he was at the Democracy Alliance was asked about this, the chairman of her campaign. And he said, can you make this go away?   MATTHEWS: Trade? The trade issue. GRIM: Yes, the TPP, TPA. MATTHEWS: That`s a pretty strong statement. We don`t want to take a position. GRIM: Right. And he was just articulating what is the reality about the political situation that she faces here. There is no upside for her in endorsing it. But if she condemns it, then she alienates President Obama and people who are supporting him. MATTHEWS: Hard choices. GRIM: Hard choices. MATTHEWS: That`s what her book named. That`s her book. That`s what politics is about, making those decisions. GRIM: Can you make this hard choice go away? Yes. MATTHEWS: No Democrat likes to deal with the trade issue. Bill Clinton when he ran waited way to the end of the campaign to take a stand on NAFTA. I was there actually that day when he gave his speech. He said he endorsed it, and almost everything else he said was critical of it. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: What happened to the Democratic Party? It used to be the conservative party was for tariffs and protectionism and the liberal party was for free trade. I mean, Kennedy was for free trade.   E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: The loss of American jobs is what happened. The globalization -- it`s technology. It`s globalization. But I want to say something about this movement of Hillary Clinton. The whole country has moved. When Bill Clinton ran for president, he was coming off the Dukakis campaign where he got a really hammered as what Robbie showed in his video on being soft on crime. And we were getting out of a crime wave. Everybody has moved to a new position and said, wait a minute, those draconian penalties we put in way back then are locking up way too many people, particularly African American men for too long. That`s a consensus position. Same on inequality -- she is talking a lot more about inequality. Guess what? Everybody has been talking more about inequality since Occupy Wall Street, including the president. So, I think she is shifting in a way that the party and large parts of the country shifted. Now, I suspect if Bill Clinton were running for president right now, he would be taking some of the same positions she is. RYAN: But, you know, Chris, I think E.J. is right there. Is this issue now with trade as it relates to Baltimore and this magnifying glass on Baltimore and -- MATTHEWS: No jobs for young men. RYAN: Right. And what happened in Baltimore, and this is something that the Clinton camp is trying to work with, in Baltimore, there was a place called Sparrow`s Point, Bethlehem Steel. The globalization and this global trade helped Beth Steel leave Baltimore. And you had so many people who didn`t have a college education, but a high school education, who wound up working at Beth Steel. So, once they lost their jobs, what do you do? Now the Clintons -- excuse me, the Clinton camp is saying that plays into their economic plan. And they are, again, for increased wages, security, and prosperity. But they say with their ten-point plan, they`re going to figure out how to work this out. MATTHEWS: I want them to tell us how they`re going to bring back jobs in the city. RYAN: Yes, that`s true.   MATTHEWS: Because i think that is the answer. RYAN: Yes. MATTHEWS: We`ll be right back. The roundtable sticking with us. And next, Ted Cruz is blaming President Obama for not stopping that terror attack in Texas. He is blaming him personally. This is HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (NEWSBREAK) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We`re back with the roundtable, April, Ryan and E.J. Dionne. Anyway, the FBI has yet to complete its investigation now into Sunday night`s shooting in Garland, Texas. But that didn`t stop Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz from politicking and politicizing the attack. In a statement to "The Dallas Morning News," Senator Cruz blamed the White House, of course, for not preventing the attack and likened it to the Boston marathon bombing in the 2009 Ft. Hood shooting. Quote, "Once again as with Nidal Hasan and the Tsarnaev brothers, we have radical Islamic terrorists who this administration knew and yet failed to connect the dots to prevent this act of terrorism. It underscores the need for vigilance and also underscores the concerns with this administration`s inability to combat radical Islamic terrorism."   One of the gunmen by the way on Sunday night`s shooting, Elton Simpson, had been known to the FBI since 2006. He was charged in 2010 for planning to join a terror group in Somalia. But he was only convicted for the lesser charge of lying to a federal agent. Ryan, these are going to be part of our lives forever. We have lone wolves, people who are loyal to the Islamist, whatever you call it, for all kinds of reasons. They`re angry at the world but they`re ready to go kill. They don`t have to get any orders from overseas. And this guy, Ted Cruz, is blaming Obama personally for what happened the other day in Texas. GRIM: Yes, and there is a serious inconsistency with what Ted Cruz is saying, if you look at what he said all day long. The other thing he complained about was that the United States government or he flirted with the idea that the United States government might be doing some military exercises in Texas. MATTHEWS: Yes, we just did that. GRIM: So, on the one hand, he doesn`t want the federal government to have anything to do with Texas. On the other hand, he wants an omniscient government that can tell when somebody is self-radicalizing watching YouTube or on Twitter. And the other thing that Cruz won`t want to talk about is that -- there are two elements: one is radicalization; the other is access to guns. This is Texas. So, you know, he has access to whatever weapons he wants to find. If there were background checks in place, then maybe you start to walk backwards and law enforcement finds out, oh, this is not somebody we want armed to the teeth. MATTHEWS: Well, this is the big problem we have because we find a guy like this guy, Simpson, is a trouble -- troublemaker. I mean, he -- I don`t want to put him down, but he`s like -- I will put him down. He was going to go to Somalia and join up. He lied about wanting to go over so they let him walk with a lesser charge. But we can`t -- can we take people we know having committed serious crimes and basically imprison them? That`s what the right wing seems to be saying we can do, E.J.? What are we going to do with the guy -- DIONNE: First of all, I just want to underscore Ryan`s point. We are supposed to do absolutely everything to stop terrorism but we can never take a gun away from anybody, even if they have been convicted of a crime or something like that.   MATTHEWS: Or have the government to do it. DIONNE: Yes, there is a deep inconsistency there. But I think if you want to sort of criticize the government, Peter King was somewhat more responsible. MATTHEWS: Oh, sure. DIONNE: Where Peter King, who`s a pretty hard line guy said, look, maybe with he should have more surveillance on somebody who was -- MATTHEWS: Let`s take a look at Peter King on that point. A good point. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I do believe in having more surveillance of people in the Muslim community, because that`s where the threat comes from. But I think we, as a country, have to come to the realization this is a war we`re in and that you have to -- you have to respect people`s constitutional rights and you shouldn`t have this absolute strict interpretation, because to me, it`s very reasonable in a time of struggle we have right now that a person who pleads guilty to a terrorism charge should receive more surveillance than the average person. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Question, when do you put the hard watch on the guy, April? When do you just begin to just hover over the guy, watch his every move, who hasn`t committed a serious crime yet? RYAN: You have to be very careful. This is a fine line. You have to be careful of their rights. You have to be careful of profiling. But you also have to watch them. But I`m thinking --   MATTHEWS: Peter, by the way, didn`t say be careful. RYAN: No, he did not. He did not. MATTHEWS: He said, lean in on these guys. DIONNE: The first part was wrong, I think, because you can`t just say, follow Muslims around. There are millions of law-abiding citizens. MATTHEWS: How about a suspect, somebody you think is going to do something? DIONNE: Yes, the last part was reasonable. RYAN: But you have to be careful. There is a fine line. But I`m also thinking back to a time -- remember here in Washington years before President Obama, we had the gentleman who -- loosely termed -- that shot up the Holocaust Museum. MATTHEWS: Right. RYAN: And he was being watched. He was being watched by federal law enforcement. So, you know, he went off -- MATTHEWS: And killed the African-American guy at the door to get in.   RYAN: So this whole situation has got to -- MATTHEWS: You say fine line. But where is the line? RYAN: I don`t know. They`ve got to work it out. (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: Somebody is dangerous. He makes it clear he wants to go to Somalia to join the jihad or whatever, join the al Shabaab, and you know he is trouble, but he is a free American. GRIM: Supporting terrorism is a crime. If the FBI suspects somebody is trying to participate in a crime, then they can legally, you know, investigate. MATTHEWS: Surveil him. RYAN: They have to have evidence to make sure. (CROSSTALK) DIONNE: When the government goes too far, we`ll criticize the government and that`s the way we are. MATTHEWS: It`s called harassment, and people make a big issue about it, and they should.   Anyway, April Ryan, thank you. This is a fine line. But the key line of our lives looking forward -- when do you go from fear of somebody to taking away their rights? Ryan Grim, thank you, and E.J. Dionne. When we return, let me finish with this news -- star quarterback Tom Brady probably knew that the game was rigged. You are watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this. I had an uncle who whenever someone left his wife, ran off with someone or got caught stealing money from the show, he`d offer an all- purpose incantation -- it`s like everything else. Some government screw-up gets unearthed, it`s like everything else. Somebody does a below code job on a bridge and there is a crash -- it`s like everything else, he`d say. It was hard to argue with my uncle because there was, on even a little examination, a common thread to all those stories. It`s that people find ways to let down the system, let down society, let down you -- the person who wants things to be like they are supposed to be. And so, it is with the news, that the star quarterback of the New England Patriots, the Super Bowl champs of the world, probably knew that some guy in equipment was letting enough air out of the football so that he, Tom Brady, could get a better grip and throw a better pass. That our hero, to the extent he knew it was being done, knew what the game was -- the game was, to whatever extent he was deflating that ball, being rigged. Yes, as my uncle would be saying right now -- it`s like everything else. In other words, it`s just another case of people cheating the system, of getting theirs as the expense of keeping the system honest, like cheating on your spouse, cheating on your taxes and embezzling on the company books. Go ahead, say it doesn`t matter but first, say it ain`t so. Excuse me for living, I`d just like to know if you did it.   That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>