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Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript, 6/23/2016

Guests: Joaquin Castro, Susan Page, Matt Schlapp, Gregory Meeks, Kim Ghattas, Clarence Page, Jay Newton-Small, Eli Stokols

Show: HARDBALL Date: June 23, 2016 Guest: Joaquin Castro, Susan Page, Matt Schlapp, Gregory Meeks, Kim Ghattas, Clarence Page, Jay Newton-Small, Eli Stokols

JOY REID, GUEST HOST: Tie goes to the Republicans.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening, everyone. I`m Joy Reid, in for Chris Matthews.

Today, the Supreme Court delivered a blow to President Obama`s immigration policy and to upwards of four million undocumented immigrants who the president sought to shield from deportation. It came in the form of a one- sentence statement, "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court." Translation, it`s a tie. The court split 4 to 4, essentially delivering no decision at all. That means an appeals court ruling that blocked the president`s immigration program from being implemented stands for now.

The president called the news heart-breaking for millions of immigrants.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fact that the Supreme Court wasn`t able to issue a decision today doesn`t just set the system back even further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be. I think it is heart-breaking for the millions of immigrants who made their lives here, who`ve raised families here, who hoped for the opportunity to work, pay taxes, serve in our military and more fully contribute to this country we all love in an open way.


REID: Meanwhile, republicans celebrated. They say the president overstepped his authority issuing the executive order shielding millions of immigrants from deportation. Here`s the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is a win for the Constitution. It`s a win for Congress. And its a win in our fight to restore the separation of powers. Presidents don`t write laws. Congress writes laws.


REID: Today`s news could have huge implications for the 2016 race, putting the issue of immigration in the spotlight. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump differ sharply on immigration. Trump has said says he wants to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country and, by the way, build a really big wall.

Hillary Clinton supports the president`s executive actions and has talked about going even further. Earlier today, she responded to the court`s decision in a phone interview with Telemundo, Jose Diaz-Balart.


HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, Jose, my heart is really breaking for the five million people in this country who have been waiting for the decision and are facing deportation, living with fear every single day.

This decision leaves these families with fear. It`s devastating, it`s wrong, and we must do better.


REID: Meanwhile, a very formal-sounding statement from Donald Trump read, "Today`s 4-4 Supreme Court ruling has blocked one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a president. This split decision also makes clear what`s at stake in November, the election and the Supreme Court appointments that come with it, will decide whether or not we have a border and hence a country."

I`m joined now by Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas. And Congressman Castro, you couldn`t have a starker divide coming up for American people in November on immigration. Is the issue of immigration enough to galvanize the Latino community, which has historically under-voted its share of the population?

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: Well, I think that it`s certainly going to help. This decision really, I think, is a travesty, and I agree with Secretary Clinton that it is heart-breaking because it means that more families are going to be subject to deportation. These are people that have been here for years and years. These kids oftentimes only know the United States as their home. Now they live in fear of being deported and separated from their families.

And so it`s certainly going to motivate many in the Latino community to come out. I`ve said often that I believe that the Dreamer movement needs to transform into a voter registration and mobilization movement, and I hope that this will help in that effort.

REID: And is that under way? Because we`ve heard about some disparate efforts, Univision and others that are mounting efforts to essentially to register millions of Latino voters to send a message on immigration? Is that actually under way in the Democratic Party?

CASTRO: Well, it could always be better, but I will say this, that it is more advanced than it has been in prior years, either in midterm years or in prior presidential years.

REID: Now, one of the other things that analysts have said will automatically galvanize the Latino community is obviously Donald Trump. Today, President Obama took a subtle swipe at Trump and other Republicans who are claiming victory today in this 4-4 decision.

Take a look.


OBAMA: Leaving the broken system the way it is, that`s not a solution. In fact, that`s the real amnesty. Pretending we can deport 11 million people or build a wall without spending tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money is abetting what is really just factually incorrect. It`s not going to work. It`s not good for this country. It`s a fantasy.


REID: And Congressman, I`m sure you`ve seen the Trump rallies where he starts the chant of "Build the wall" and it builds up to this just sort of feverish chant within the crowd. Is that spectacle, seeing that and some of the violent clashes that we`ve seen between Hispanic protests and Trump supporters -- do those images, the picture of Trump doing that thing that he does at the rallies -- is that in and of itself galvanizing to a community that historically has not voted its population share?

CASTRO: Well, it certainly is. You know, I`ve had so many conversations over the last several months with people who have come up to me and said that they`re going to go vote for the first time because they want to vote against Donald Trump because he`s scaring them.

And it`s not just Latinos, but it`s also Asian-Americans and other immigrant communities. If you think about it, he started his campaign with a real slander and has been extremely divisive, stoking people`s fear and resentment, and has added to this -- this incredible tension that you feel in the 2016 election season.

REID: And lastly, Congressman, does Hillary Clinton have to do more than just rely on people`s fear of Donald Trump to get the Latino vote out, maybe picking a Latino running mate? Might that be a good idea? And do you have any suggestions of a name that she might want to look into?


CASTRO: You know, I think that she`s going to do every single thing that she can to get out Latino voters and all Americans. She`s said, I think very wisely, that she`s going to pursue a 50-state strategy. I saw a poll today that had her up by a few points in Arizona. I think that Florida has a good chance of doing Democratic. Arizona has a good chance of going Democratic, and also Georgia. So I know that she`s going to do everything that she can to get folks out to vote.

REID: All right, Congressman Joaquin Castro, thank you very much. Really appreciate it.

All right, I`m joined now by Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and an MSNBC political analyst and Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for "USA Today."

So Michael, you had Republicans high-fiving today over this 4-4 decision that let stand an appeals court ruling essentially putting about 4.4 million undocumented immigrants, many of them Latino, at risk of deportation.

Are Republicans celebrating too early because we just heard the congressman say that this spectacle, not only of the potential for deportation of Republicans high-fiving over it -- isn`t that going to drive out Latino turnout for Democrats?

MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: OK, let`s just be clear. They`re not high-fiving over the deportation of individuals. What they`re high-fiving is the -- is the fact that the executive action taken by the president of the United States has been sustained (sic), in other words, upheld in terms of the lower court decision.

So you know, I don`t want to conflate this and Republicans are running around saying (INAUDIBLE) you know, we`re going to now deport all these people.

REID: Donald Trump is.


REID: Hold it a second, Michael because you`re...


STEELE: I understand what you`re saying. I`m also talking about other Republicans, as well. So this is not -- this is not mutually, you know -- you know, one -- everybody on the same page here. We know that. That`s been articulated and that has been clearly defined to this point. So...

REID: Really? How are they...

STEELE: Donald Trump -- Donald...

REID: ... not on the same page? They are on the same page.

STEELE: Look...

REID: The Republicans in Congress...

STEELE: Joy...

REID: ... refuse to pass immigration reform.

STEELE: Joy...

REID: Hold on a second.

STEELE: That`s right. But we`re also...

REID: Both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio...

STEELE: We`re also talking about a president...

REID: ... both said that they oppose immigration reform.

STEELE: That`s...

REID: They actually are on the same page with Donald Trump.

STEELE: That`s true, Joy. But we`re also talking about a president who`s deported over a million immigrants a year over the last three or four years, as well.

REID: And Republicans want that done.

STEELE: And that`s right, as did Barack Obama. So but -- but the -- but the reality of it is -- I`m just clarifying what Republicans -- you -- using your words -- are high-fiving about.

What this means going forward, however, is still a challenge for the GOP. I`m not going to sit here and pretend it isn`t. I`m not going to sit here and deny it isn`t. The face of the matter is we have a lot of work to do, from the words of our nominee to the actions of some of our members in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, that have not, I think, been honest brokers with Hispanic community on this issue.

REID: And Susan Page, if Republicans won`t pass immigration reform in the House or Senate, if they won`t even bring a bill to the floor in the House, if Marco Rubio ran from his own bill -- I don`t know what he`s going to talk -- how he`s going to discuss is in his reelect -- if they won`t do that, and then you have a ruling that essentially says deportations of the parents of some of these children who are getting DACA right now, how do Republicans then take this issue into the general election in anything but high-fiving this ruling and standing behind the "Build the wall" nominee that they`ve all pledged to support?

SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": Well, I think some of the -- some Republicans will do that and it probably helps with some white voters in rust belt states. That may be a big battleground for Donald Trump. But it certainly does create huge problems for Republicans in states like Arizona, as Congressman Castro mentioned.

This is the second poll that shows Hillary Clinton competitive or ahead of Donald Trump in Arizona because of the energy behind the Latino vote, the significant Latino vote there, or in swing states like Nevada and Florida. Those are states where the Latino voters could make a big difference in a bad way for Republicans.

So I think you`re going to see -- it may depend on the part of the country you`re in and the proportion of the Latino voters that are there where Republicans think this is great thing happening for them politically or not.

REID: Yes, and you know, Michael Steele, that John McCain has already said this could be the race of his life.

STEELE: Sure. Absolutely.

REID: The last time he was up for a reelect, he responded to pressure on immigration by doing a commercial in which he said, Build the dang fence. Does he dare triple down on his opposition to any kind of immigration reform...


STEELE: I don`t know the answer to that. You`re going to have to get John McCain to specifically address that. I don`t know. I understand that he is in a tough race back at home, and I don`t know how he`s done the political calculations to answer the charges that will come in the light of this particular decision.

So this goes back to my point earlier, Joy. Republicans have put themselves in a spot, an untenable spot, with Hispanic voters. With all credits (ph) to the RNC for their autopsy and trying to lay out the argument, all of that now has been gone, taken away from them. So they`ve got to rebuild this relationship in way that makes sense to Latino voters while, to Susan`s point, recognizes that white voters who are up for the wall and all of that -- they need those voters, too. And it`s an untenable space for them to be in.

REID: Yes, very difficult spot. Michael Steele and Susan Page, thank you both.

And coming up -- on a busy night in politics, Democrats end their historic sit-in on the House floor. House Speaker Paul Ryan wrote it off as a "stunt," but will the sit-in rally progressive voters and other Americans who want Congress to enact stricter gun laws?

Plus, polls are closed across Great Britain, where voters are deciding whether to stay in the European Union. It`s a decision that has huge implications not just for Europe but also here at home, and we should know the outcome some time tonight.

And why is Donald Trump tending to his golf courses in Scotland instead of his campaign tonight? Some Republicans are questioning whether he`s serious about running for president or if he`s just looking after his business interests. We`ll play you part of an exclusive interview with Donald Trump, coming up.

And finally, the HARDBALL roundtable with be with us to fill in the blanks on this busy news day and to tell me something I don`t know.

This HARDBALL, the place for politics.


REID: We`ve got some new numbers on two key Senate races where Republicans are up for reelection this fall. Let`s check out the HARDBALL scorecard.

In a new Quinnipiac poll, incumbent Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey leads his Democratic rival, Katie McGinty. That race has Toomey at 49, McGinty at 40.

In neighboring Ohio, it`s a tougher race for Republican senator Rob Portman. He`s tied with former Democratic governor Ted Strickland. It`s 42-42 in the Buckeye State.

Be right back.


REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: The fight is not over! This is just one step. But when we come back here on July the 5th, we`re going to continue to push, to pull, to stand up, and if necessary, to sit down!



REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was Georgia congressman and famed Civil Rights hero John Lewis emerging this afternoon with House Democrats on the Capitol steps at the conclusion of an unprecedented and historic 25- hour sit-in protest on the floor of the House chamber.

Democrats are demanding votes on new gun control legislation that would expand background checks and to prevent suspected terrorists from being able to buy guns. Republican leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, dismissed it all as a stunt.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We are not going to take away the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. And we`re not going to allow publicity stunts to stop us from doing our job.

Democrats can talk all they want. I`m really not sure what their plan or end game is here, but the bottom line is despite these distractions, we did our job. We did the people`s business. This is the people`s house. This is Congress, the House of Representatives, oldest democracy in the world, and they`re descending it into chaos.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MAJORITY LEADER: I see (ph) the -- what they wanted to be able to achieve. I think it was more press. But I was most disturbed by, is the number of e-mails I received to raise money off this. This is more about Democrats trying to raise money than actually achieving something.


REID: Joining me now is one of the Democrats who was there, New York congressman Gregory Meeks, and also Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union former political director for George W. Bush.

And Congressman, I`ll start with you on this. Your reaction to the speaker of the House and other Republicans dismissing what you and other members did as a "stunt."

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D), NEW YORK: Stunt. There`s nothing that John Lewis does that`s a stunt. John Lewis a legendary individual. He doesn`t have time for stunts.

He has times for points and tactics so that we can bring to the floor what 90 percent of Americans know makes reasonable sense to do and to try to get the individuals on the other side, the Republicans in the House, to at least bring a bill to the floor.

One of the things that you can say that at least took place in the Senate, they had a debate and everybody then could vote on whether -- up or down, however they did. The least we should be able to do in the people`s house is to have a vote, and that`s what that was all about, is to have a vote on two bills, a bipartisan bill, a bill -- it was Peter King`s bill. So it`s not all what the Democrats want. It was a vote where 90 percent of Republicans are also in support of it.

So it wasn`t a "stunt." It was a tactic that you want to try to show what`s taking place and to try to get something done because (INAUDIBLE) second (ph) time coming to have the stunt of just having moments of silence and nothing of substance done after that.

REID: Yes, and your voice is the way it is because you haven`t been to sleep yet.

MEEKS: I haven`t been to sleep.

REID: A couple people have asked me, well, OK, if the idea was to stop all progress in the House, not let anything happen, number one, why did the Democrats then allow those two votes to happen overnight? And why did they essentially end it? Why did you guys end it today and allow the House to adjourn?

MEEKS: Well, you couldn`t prevent those votes from happening, number one. So even though, you know, there could not be (INAUDIBLE) business of debate. We didn`t allow that to happen, but the votes (INAUDIBLE) there was no way that you could prevent that from happening.

REID: Yes.

MEEKS: And so in the dead of night, they wanted to get out of town. They didn`t want to be confronted. We asked them to come and debate with us, if you want to talk about why not the bill -- why not put the bills on the floor.

REID: Sure.

MEEKS: And what are their positions in regards to closing the gun show loophole and making sure that if you`re on the no fly list, you can`t get on the -- you can`t buy a gun.

REID: Yes.

MEEKS: And we can have that debate.

REID: Sure. But you know, Matt, then, you know, to the point that the congressman is making, if Republicans believe that they have the better side of the argument about keeping people who are on the terrorism watch list, allowing them to still go into a gun store and legally purchase a gun -- if Republicans believe they have the better side of the argument, why not debate? Why not allow a vote, an up-or-down vote, and see where it goes?

MATT SCHLAPP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Well, it happened. They had the vote. They had the vote in the Senate.


REID: In the House, I mean.

SCHLAPP: Well, but let`s face it. They had the vote in the Senate, where, as you know, it`s easier to bring things to the floor.

And they didn`t have the votes to pass it. And many Democrats didn`t support the measure which would have given the FBI three days to make sure someone who is on the terrorism watch list should actually be on the terrorism watch list.

As you know, we have been reading about it all day and for the last couple days. Americans who are inadvertently put on the terrorism watch list, it can take up to eight years to get your name back off of it.

And we shouldn`t abridge someone`s constitutional rights on a whim. There ought to be a process. And there`s a way to accomplish this. It`s not by having a sit-a-buster on the floor of the House of Representatives, where the congressman knows good and well the way you overturn the majority when you`re in the minority in the House is simply get the votes for a discharge petition, and we will be voting on it.

REID: First of all, first of all, Matt, that`s very clever. You came up with a clever moniker.

SCHLAPP: Thank you, Joy. I appreciate that.

REID: But the reality is, it`s easy to get things to the floor of the House. The speaker of House could simply bring a bill to the floor.

The House has refused to vote. You just made an argument...



REID: Hold on a second.

You just made an argument on what you believe is the substance of having people on the terrorism watch list still be able to buy guns.

SCHLAPP: Right. Right.

REID: Why not, in a body that`s designed to deliberate and vote, why shouldn`t the House of Representatives allow a debate and a vote? And I`m talking about the House. Don`t pivot to the Senate.

SCHLAPP: Well, look, I have no problem with having a vote on this.

I have no problem with voting on all these questions, because, at the end of the day, defending someone`s constitutional rights, where the clear letters in the Constitution and the words of the Constitution make it clear that we shouldn`t abridge that right on some kind of willy-nilly procedure.


REID: Well, why do 90 percent of the American people want people who are suspected of being terrorists to not be able to buy firearms? The majority of Americans disagree with you.

SCHLAPP: Joy, I don`t disagree with that. I do not want terrorists -- first of all, I don`t want terrorists...


REID: But Republicans are making sure that they can.

SCHLAPP: Let me talk for Republicans.

Republicans don`t want terrorists to get guns.

REID: But they`re making sure that they can.

SCHLAPP: No, that`s untrue.

The fact is, they had a vote in the Senate today, and the Democrats didn`t support those commonsense measures.

REID: They`re putting it on the Democrats.

Congressman Meeks, he`s throwing it on the Democrats.


SCHLAPP: No, no, it`s a fact. Look at the vote today.


REID: Congressman, Congressman, the floor is yours.

MEEKS: Number one, you are absolutely right, Joy. Number one, we`re two separate bodies.

The Senate had a debate on the floor. You vote up or down. Then your constituents know where you stand. And we have not had a vote on the House. And not saying that we don`t know who would win or who would lose, but at least your constituents and the American people will know where you stand.

It`s a major issue that we`re confronted with every day in the United States of America now, whether you`re talking about the kind of mass shootings that have taken place, or you`re talking about the other 33,000 deaths that have taken place in the United States of America.

As horrible as it was in Benghazi, where we lost four Americans, the Republicans have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to try to figure out how do we fix that and what happened there. And, here, we have 33,000 people that die. We don`t want to go a step even to take a vote so that we can make sure that we save a life.


REID: And that`s a relevant question.

What policy, very question, Matt, do you support in order to try to reduce the 33,000 deaths a year by firearms? What is the policy you support?

SCHLAPP: Very simple. I would like to prevent all the deaths of those people...

REID: How?

SCHLAPP: ... in the Orlando nightclub by making sure terrorists don`t get weapons.


SCHLAPP: It was the Obama administration and the FBI that took that person -- that took that person off the terrorism watch list, Joy.


REID: No, actually, he passed the background check and was able to get a gun, and your party says he should continue to be able to do it.


SCHLAPP: Because the FBI bungled the investigation.

REID: And your party says he should be able to keep doing it.


SCHLAPP: Joy, you don`t have to defend the Obama administration. That`s your job.


SCHLAPP: It is to let me speak as well. And the fact is, is that the things you`re advocating wouldn`t have stopped what happened in Orlando. This is about terrorism.

REID: Name one policy that you support that could pass the House and Senate that your party would be willing to bring to the floor of the House...

SCHLAPP: OK. OK. I got it.

REID: ... that would actually reduce the 33,000 gun deaths that, which include suicides, which include partner homicides, which include the mass shootings in places like Sandy Hook, in places like Charleston.


SCHLAPP: Joy, would you let me answer?

REID: Sure.

SCHLAPP: Joy, I will give you two.

REID: Sure.

SCHLAPP: Number one, we ought to take the mental health records and have them be part of the background checks. That`s the first thing.

The second thing is, terrorists in this country should not have weapons. And under the Obama administration, we have seen two atrocities, San Bernardino and Orlando. I`m against it. And I think the American people...


REID: That`s not a policy. That`s attacking the administration.

SCHLAPP: Yes, it is. Attacking terrorism is a policy.

REID: I got it. Your policy is attacking the administration. Got it.

SCHLAPP: Joy, you really don`t know how to do this.

REID: All right, thank you very much, Congressman -- Congressman Gregory Meeks and Matt Schlapp, the very loud Matt Schlapp. Thank you very much.

All right, coming up: Polls have closed, and results are coming in from voters in Britain as to whether they will remain in the European Union. But what do their decisions mean for us here in the U.S.? That is next.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger. Here`s what`s happening.

Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson, who was charged with murder in the Freddie Gray case has been acquitted. Gray suffered a severed spine while in police custody last year and died later.

Residents in parts of Illinois are cleaning up after at least four tornadoes tore through the northern part of the state. Four people were hurt.

And a second body has been found in the search for a father and his three teenager children who went missing off Florida while on a weekend sailing trip -- back to HARDBALL.

REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

It`s already Friday in the United Kingdom, and the polls have closed for over two hours. A record number of people have been voting on a historic referendum which will decide whether or not Britain should remain a part of the European Union.

Proponents and opponents of the referendum have waged a fierce campaign, which was temporarily halted last week after British lawmaker Jo Cox was murdered. Her assassination stunned the nation and sparked questions over a divisive debate, where immigration and the refugee crisis have become a centerpiece of that campaign.

A survey by YouGov shows early indications are that the remain side has a slight lead. However, we need to wait until all the votes are counted to know the outcome with any certainty.

Back in April, while visiting the U.K., President Obama weighed in on the referendum, and he warned that an exit would have a direct impact on the U.S.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t believe the E.U. moderates British influence in the world. It magnifies it. The E.U. has helped to spread British values and practices across the continent. The single market brings extraordinary economic benefits to the United Kingdom.

And that ends up being good for America.


REID: For an update on the latest, I`m joined by Kim Ghattas, U.S. correspondent for "F.T." and the BBC.

All right, so, Kim, tell us sort of -- we understand that if Britain were to leave the European Union, it would obviously make it a smaller economy in the context of Europe, but what would it mean, I think Americans want to know, for the global economy and for the U.S. economy?

KIM GHATTAS, BBC REPORTER: Yes, Joy, I always think that whatever happens overseas always has, at some point, a ripple effect on the United States itself. And it`s important for American voters, American viewers to understand that.

The latest poll this morning showed that two-thirds of Americans actually weren`t even aware that Brexit, as it`s called, the British -- possible British exit from the E.U., was even happening.

But remember that Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world, that it`s the seventh largest trading partner of the United States. If Britain -- and I do say if -- if Britain leaves the E.U., the United States would have to renegotiate trade agreements with the U.K. That would have an impact on jobs in the U.S., with exports being impacted, for example.

And that`s why President Obama felt so strongly that he had to give a message to the British people, that he traveled, as you saw, to the United Kingdom to speak standing next to David Cameron and delivered a very robust message, much more robust than David Cameron himself had managed to do, in favor of staying within Britain.

The ripple effects on the possible breakdown of the E.U. itself, the breakup of the U.K., with Scotland deciding to go its own way, all of that would not only roil the markets, the global financial market, but possibly impact the global economic recovery. And, again, that would have an impact back here in the United States in an election year, when jobs and the economy are on every single voter`s mind.

But when it comes to the politics -- and that`s important -- the campaign that the remain camp -- or, rather, the leave camp has waged has been driven by what some in the U.K. have said are the politics of anger.

And there`s a lot of comparison being made between that campaign there and the way a candidate in the United States like Donald Trump is addressing voters. There are comparisons between Brexit and the wall that Donald Trump would like to build, he says, if he becomes president, between the United States and Mexico.

REID: Sure.

GHATTAS: So, are we going towards more of that, or are we going to see a pullback from that kind of language?

REID: And, Kim, just explain to us very briefly what immigration has to do with this idea of leaving the European Union.

GHATTAS: Well, a lot of what the leave campaign was saying was that if there weren`t enough jobs in the U.K., if services were overstretched, it was all because of immigration, that it wasn`t being under -- that the government simply couldn`t control it.

You had at some point Nigel Farage, the head of the U.K. independence Party, have this poster that was quite stunning. On the day that the British M.P. Jo Cox was actually killed, he put it out in the morning, where he showed these huge queues of Syrian refugees who were trying to flee Syria, trying to get into Europe over the summer last year.

And he had it on a big billboard with the words "Breaking Point." Well, that was somewhat misleading, because these refugees weren`t flooding the U.K. And there are, of course, a lot of advantages to immigration, because there are a lot of labor jobs that need to be filled. There`s a shortage in skills that the British can`t fill, for example.

So, you need, to some extent, immigration as well. And that`s one of the criticism of the leave campaign -- that the leave campaign has received, is that they try to stoke people`s fears. Obviously, it`s very easy to tell people, if there are more immigrants, you`re going to lose your job, but it`s not always that black and white.

REID: Yes. And we will be definitely watching to see what happens, because the economic implications sound actually pretty frightening.


REID: Kim Ghattas, thank you very much. Really appreciate it.

And coming up: Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton has done a horrible job, but do his attacks withstand fact-checking? His interview with Lester Holt when we return.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Donald Trump is headed to Scotland on his first international trip since becoming the Republican Party`s presumptive nominee for president.

But, unlike most presidential candidates, Trump is overseas for business, not campaign purposes. He plans on checking up on two of his golf resorts.

"The New York Times" writes: "His itinerary, a helicopter landing at his luxury resort, a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and family photo, and a news conference, reads like a public relations junket crossed with a golf vacation."

Critics within the Republican Party worry this trip is a distraction from the campaign trail.

Republican Senator John Thune told the Associated Press -- quote -- "I`m not sure what the purpose of the trip is."

But Trump`s son Eric said in an interview with the AP earlier this week, worry not -- quote -- "It`s a brief, but important visit, and then he will be back on the campaign trail."

Before leaving for Scotland, Trump sat down with Lester Holt at Trump Tower.


LESTER HOLT, NBC ANCHOR: You delivered a speech yesterday. You went hard after Hillary Clinton. She said your speech was full of conspiracy theories and that you attacked her because you had no answers on substance.

What`s your reaction?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I attacked because she`s been terrible at what she does, whether it`s Libya, whether it`s the great migration that you see, which is largely her, and certainly her and Obama.

She`s done a horrible job. You look all over Europe, it`s a disaster what has taken place. And she will be a terrible president. So, the attack is an attack really on the fact that she will be a terrible president.

HOLT: You made some very bold claims about her that didn`t stand up when we put it...

TRUMP: Well, you don`t know if they stand up. What claim are you talking about?

HOLT: Well, let`s talk about the -- your claim that she was asleep during the Benghazi attack.

TRUMP: He was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed.

HOLT: That Ambassador Stevens was...


TRUMP: Were you there? Were you there? Were you with her?

HOLT: She`s testified before the committee that she wasn`t asleep. It happened during the daytime. There`s no evidence that she was asleep.

TRUMP: No, it happened all during the day and during -- it was going on for a long period of time.

HOLT: But I guess what I`m asking, what are you basing that on?

TRUMP: No, excuse me. It was going on for a long period of time. And she was asleep at the wheel. Whether she was sleeping or not, who knows if she was sleeping.


HOLT: But you said she was sleeping.

TRUMP: She might have been sleeping. Why? Because she put out a tweet. Somebody said she put out a tweet. Therefore, she wasn`t sleeping. Nobody else could put out a tweet?

HOLT: So, you stand by what you said?

TRUMP: I don`t know. I can tell you this. Whether she was sleeping or not -- and she might have been sleeping -- it was a disaster. It was horrific disaster. And it was on her watch.

HOLT: You also made the claim that her e-mail, personal e-mail server, had been hacked.

TRUMP: Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments.

HOLT: ... suggesting that...


TRUMP: Well, you don`t know that it hasn`t been.

HOLT: Well, wait a minute, suggesting that she would be compromised as president. What evidence do you have?

TRUMP: Well first of all, she shouldn`t have had a personal server, OK? She shouldn`t have had it. It`s illegal.

What she did is illegal. Now, she might not be judged that way, because, you know, because we have a rigged system. But what she did is illegal. She shouldn`t have had a personal server

HOLT: But is there any evidence that it was hacked, other than routine phishing attempts?

TRUMP: I think I read that, and I heard it, and somebody...

HOLT: Where?

TRUMP: ... that also gave me that information. I will report back to you. I will give it to you.

HOLT: But you just said it with such certainty yesterday.

TRUMP: I don`t know if certainty. Probably she was hacked. You know, you can be hacked and not know it, but she probably was hacked. The fact is she should not have it, she should not have had a personal server.

HOLT: You`ve been critical of Hillary Clinton for taking Wall Street money. Will you take Wall Street money?

TRUMP: I`m taking very little.

HOLT: But you will take some?

TRUMP: I don`t know. I mean, we`ll have to see who comes up. I have turned down millions of dollars from people who I don`t really want the give me money, OK? She`s taken tremendous amounts of Wall Street money. I put up my own money.

Now we started raising money. I`ve gone to different events. And again, a lot of money is being raised for the Republican Party. I think you`ll be surprised when you see the next report.

HOLT: Do you plan to debate her?

TRUMP: Of course I do.

HOLT: Three times? Do you commit to three debates?

TRUMP: I think it`s three debates, yes.

HOLT: And you plan on doing them?

TRUMP: Sure.

HOLT: Are you preparing for them?

TRUMP: I think my whole life has been in preparation, frankly. But, yes, sure, I`ll be preparing, like everybody else.

HOLT: You made an appeal to Bernie Sanders voters to come over to team Trump. You`re asking people who support a Democratic socialist to come over to you, a symbol of capitalism.

TRUMP: True. Do you know why?

HOLT: Who just told me that he may or may not take Wall Street money.

TRUMP: Let me tell you why. Because -- I`m no fan of Bernie. But Bernie Sanders is right about trade. I mean, he`s right.

Now, the difference between him and me is I`ll do something about it. In other words, I will actually do something about it and take those horrible deals and make them great deals for the country.


JOY REID, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Joining me is the HARDBALL round table.

Clarence Page, an opinion writer for "The Chicago Tribune", Jay Newton- Small is a correspondent wit "Time Magazine", and Eli Stokols is a political reporter for "Politico".

And, Eli, I`m going to start with you. Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton was asleep during Benghazi. Well, maybe she was asleep. Hillary was hacked, definitely hacked. Well, maybe she was hacked.

Is this the reset that Washington Republicans have been looking for? Is this the coherent presidential Trump that they have been waiting for?

ELI STOKOLS, POLITICO: well, Joy, with Donald Trump and speeches like this, the bar is pretty low. I had an operative tell me he found the speech surreal because it almost sounded like something a traditional candidate might give. Now, that said, the bar is low because of all the things you just picked part, all those embellishments and falsehoods that are still there.

Yes, he stayed on message for an hour. Yes, he was focused on Hillary Clinton and not a judge. He wasn`t congratulating himself for being right about terrorism. You know, he was more on message. And that -- to some Republicans might excuse him.

I think the problem is because of the embellishments, because they`re still there, that`s what people are looking at and taking apart. If he can clean that up then perhaps more of the message his campaign wants and needs to get across would be coming across more clearly.

REID: And, Jay Newton-Small, you did have yesterday and I agree with Eli, it sounded like Paul Ryan staff wrote the speech. It was very Republican boilerplate, deregulation, tax cuts, sort of the usual blue plate special Republicans put forward. There was a tweet out today about the 4-4 ruling in the Supreme Court that sounded like a staffer wrote it, very formal language, none of the particular bravado.

But then you have Trump sitting down with Lester Holt and you have these kinds of flip-flops, sort of reverting back to form and going to Scotland to tend to his golf courses. Is there concern that anything that Donald Trump does the seem like a regular candidate really is an act he cannot maintain?

JAY NETWON-SMALL, TIME MAGAZINE: Absolutely. The last six weeks have been pretty disastrous for Donald Trump and the Republican establishment is really been looking to him, to see if has the discipline to be a general election candidate. And the more he`s off message and the more he stumbles through and makes these gaffes, you know, going after a judge unnecessarily, talking about terrorism, personal credit for things, that, to them, they win every time that happens. Every time that happens the sort of Dump Trump movement gets an extra boost.

And so, he needs to show that he is presidential, he has gravitas, that he can do this, this campaign. Going off to Scotland to do a ribbon cutting ceremony as your first trip abroad doesn`t say presidential to most Republicans. I mean, Mitt Romney went there as the 2012 nominee. He met with David Cameron in Downing Street. He met with members of parliament. He did an official trip.

That quantitative presidency to most people, that said, I am looking to be the president, going and doing a ribbon cutting does not necessarily say, look at me, I can handle foreign policy, I can handle relations with another countries, especially one that is voting to leave the European Union and could collapse, arguably the European Union, at a very delicate time. He`s ignoring those factors, ignoring the geopolitics of the ground and just going for his own companies and his own personal sort of aggrandizement.

REID: But, Clarence, it`s not clear how he would be received if he would have tried to do sort of a semi-official, quasi-official visit, because all of the previous stuff that Jay just talked about are known to the Europeans as well, right? They`re known to the leaders there. He`s been openly criticized by some European leaders.

And I do wonder if this reading of the script, this thing where the Republicans want him to read from the Paul Ryan playbook, is that a desire for him to be presidential or for him to sort of pretend presidential long enough for him to get in office and sign the privatization of Medicare? Is that really all Republicans in D.C. care about?

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: It`s a darn good question, Joy. I mean, listening to that interview, I wonder, does Donald Trump actually listen to the words coming out of his own mouth? For him to go and boldly state that Hillary Clinton was asleep, and later in the interview say, well, maybe she wasn`t asleep. She was asleep at the wheel, and blah, blah, blah.

That`s the kind of lack of preparedness and thinking things through that so disturbs Republican leaders. I don`t think Donald Trump is welcome to change. He even hinted at that in the interview when asked, are you preparing for the debates? He said I`ve been preparing all my life and hesitated on that, for that matter.

You know, he`s better prepared because he`s going to have to think through some of these issues to figure out what he really believes so that he can present a credible leadership for the party at this point.

REID: Indeed. These guys are sticking with me.

And up next, what does Bernie Sanders want? He`s speaking during this hour telling his supporters where he sees the movement going from here. He`s still not dropping out of presidential race.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


REID: Philadelphia Democrat Chaka Fattah has resigned from Congress. The 11-term representative was convicted Tuesday on federal corruption charges and could face prison time when sentenced in October. Fattah had lost his primary earlier this year. So, he was not up for re-election.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will call for a special election to fill that Philly area seat.

We`ll be right back.



INTERVIEWER: Have you begun to prepare your speech for the convention? Will you speak at the convention?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, it`s hard to say. It doesn`t appear that I`m going to be the nominee, so I`m not going to be determining the scope of the convention.


REID: That was Bernie Sanders acknowledging in a rare moment that he will not be the Democratic nominee. But Sanders has yet to concede the contest for the Democratic nomination. He`s speaking tonight in New York but no concession is expected from the senator.

Back with me, Clarence Page, Jay Newton-Small, and Eli Stokols.

Jay, I`ll start with you. What do you expect to hear from Bernie Sanders tonight?

NEWTON-SMALL: Well, I mean, the speech was billed as, quote-unquote, "the way forward." And I think he`s trying to lay out for his followers and for his supporters where they go from here. And he really wanted to change the platform, that`s what he`s been advocating, to say, we need to bring the platform a little farther to the left. Things like a $15 minimum wage.

And he`s already won a fair amount of concessions from Hillary and dragged her arguably farther to the left than she`s ever been in this race, so many would say he`s already had a successful candidacy. And that on trade, on Wall Street reform, education, a number of areas he`s already gotten a lot out of her.

I think he really wants to cement a lot of that progress and bring it more to the left to say, here`s where the party is, here`s where my followers are, and this is where we should be going moving forward.

REID: Clarence, I`m going to corner you on this one because you are from the city where Jesse Jackson`s two runs for president in his political career, he made this epic negotiation in `84 to get substantive changes at the convention, that redounded to his benefit in `88.

What can Bernie Sanders get at this point from Team Clinton and what do you think he will try to get?

PAGE: Well, in Jesse Jackson`s case, he wanted a plane. He wanted transportation and the platform to go around the country and campaign on behalf of the party and the party`s candidates.

I know Hillary Clinton is hoping that Bernie will go around, help her campaign, give her a good, strong endorsement. That`s the leverage he`s got right now that he`s playing, playing hard to get as it were. Jay and I were talking about how it`s Lucy and the football waiting for Bernie to announce that he`s with the team and he hasn`t quite done it yet. Certainly, Democrats are hoping that he will.

REID: Yes. Last night, during the House Democrats` 25-hour sit-in, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren crossed over to the other chamber to show her support and brought the House members some Dunkin` Donuts.


REP. SANDER LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: We`ve been joined by another senator.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I just brought Dunkin` Donuts.



REID: And she also joined the members on the House floor as part of their protest.

And, Eli, I wonder if the problem for Bernie Sanders now is that he and Elizabeth Warren share a similar brand, very similar brand, but she`s now taken that brand and married to it the Clinton brand and absorbed a lot of the oxygen, a lot of the popularity, a lot of the excitement.

Does Elizabeth Warren sort of upsurge in importance in this campaign, diminish Bernie Sanders` leverage in any way?

STOKOLS: Yes, perhaps a little bit, because she speaks to and represents that same constituency of far-left Democrats who were backing Bernie Sanders. I think Bernie`s been out there saying, and the reason he`s still here, he`s basically saying, you know, attention must be paid to me, to my message, to the millions of people who supported me.

And I think the problem is, you know, you might calculate, well, if I quit right now, if I concede, I lose whatever leverage I have. I think he`s already started to lose that. Elizabeth Warren is part of the reason. The other part is the optics of a guy who has clearly loss and is failing to come to grips with it, saying in this interview, "I`m probably not going to be the nominee." You know, he looks like he`s sort of the last person to figure that out. I it might be news worthy for him to finally admit that.

REID: Yes.

STOKOLS: But, you know, this is a party that need to unify for Hillary Clinton so make sure they hold blue states like Pennsylvania and Ohio. He`s --

REID: Yes, still there.

STOKOLS: -- not really playing his part yet.

REID: Yes, indeed. Well, the roundtable staying with us. And up next, these folks are going to tell me something I don`t know.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


REID: We are back with the HARDBALL roundtable.

Jay, tell me something I don`t know.

NEWTON-SMALL: I interviewed, Joy, today, Kathleen Clark, who`s Democratic congresswoman from Massachusetts, she`s the person who started the sit-in. She went up to John Lewis on the floor of the House last week and said, I want to do something that can be beyond a moment of silence to really mark the Orlando mass killing, let`s do something -- let`s do something drastic. He said, let`s do a sit-in. And they said, OK.

So she was the impetus for what became the sit-in.

REID: Very interesting.


STOKOLS: This week, Corey Lewandowski removed as Donald Trump`s campaign manager on Monday, everybody says Manafort is in charge. But the real power inside Trump Tower are Trump`s three adult children, and Ivanka Trump`s husband Jared Kushner. They are increasingly consolidating power in that inner circle, and as the campaign transitions into general election mode, you can look for them to be more public surrogates, as well as liaisons to prominent Republicans in Washington, around the country, as well as decision makers behind the scenes.

REID: Family affair.

All right. Clarence, very quickly?

PAGE: While we`ve been distracted by Donald Trump over in Scotland, his man, Paul Manafort, has been organizing a counter organization in case there`s a Dump Trump movement that makes it to the convention floor, this is the kind of organizing the campaign has not had until now.

REID: All right, Clarence Page, Jay Newton-Small and Eli Stokols.

That`s HARDBALL for now.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.