Show: HARDBALL Date: July 7, 2016 Guest: Paul Butler, Montel Williams, Randal Hill, Jamil Smith, Jeanne Zaino, Evan Siegfried, Carolyn Maloney, Scott DesJarlais, Charlie Dent
JOY REID, GUEST HOST: President Obama in Warsaw, addressing the recent spate of killings by police of unarmed black men. The cases in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Minnesota really rocking the country, taking over social media.
The president directly addressing them, saying people of good will must agree that we can do better, that the country must do better. He cited several statistics that show the African-Americans are more vulnerable to arrest, more prone to be pulled over, subject to greater penalties in the criminal justice system, and he said that while there is, in a lot of cases bipartisan agreement that this must change,, he said change has been too slow.
Good evening. I`m Joy Reid at MSNBC headquarters in New York. I`m joined by Reverend Al Sharpton, who is on set with me, Eugene Robinson, who is also with me. We were listening to the president together.
And Reverend Sharpton, here we are again. Here we are again in another case of black men who were killed. These two back-to-back, the Philando Castile case coming just as the Alton Sterling case was also really sort of rocking people`s emotions because both of them, so much of that captured on cell phone video. The president said change has been too slow, but is there any momentum to go beyond the outrage and the rage people feel but actually get something done?
REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST, "POLITICS NATION": The momentum will be determined by how much we sustain what we`re doing now. I think that -- when the president was speaking, I thought about how 16 months ago, we met with the president, many of us from the Civil Rights organizations, activist community. He unfolded at that point his commission to deal with these things, and they made recommendations. And we continued having marches, vigils, but slowly, the media goes elsewhere and politicians go elsewhere.
And what I hope -- and I clearly got that message from the president -- is that we don`t see this happen again. I`m on my way to Baton Rouge to the ministers and some of the local people that asked me to come. I`m on my way to Baton Rouge, and I`ve been in touch with one of the family members in St. Paul.
And the issue for me that frightens me is, next week is the Republican convention. Then after that, the Democratic. Are we going to forget this the end of next week? Many of us have been fighting this all of our lives. We`ve seen steps forward, then two steps backward.
I think we need to be determined, and this president said it tonight, and he set the tone with his commission, that we need to get this done now. There`s a bipartisan crime bill now -- I mean, not crime bill, but criminal reform bill that can be passed now. It`s an election year. Make this an election issue so we come out of all of this with some new legislation that is more permanent than the news cycle or the social media cycle.
REID: And Eugene Robinson, you know, we`ve seen a lot of talk about bipartisanship on this issue, Senators Rand Paul and Corey Booker making a big deal about agreeing on some criminal justice reforms, the commission Reverend Al Sharpton talked about that was convened by the administration.
But in a day when we`ve seen hours and hours and hours of hearings grilling the FBI director, Director Comey, who himself has made a lot of pronouncements, really sort of revolutionary for an FBI director, on the issues of race and policing, do we see -- will we see -- could we look forward to maybe some congressional hearings on this subject that has so roiled the country really for decades and decades, but so much in the last several years?
EUGENE ROBINSON, "WASHINGTON POST," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: We will see. I mean, and I don`t know, and I`m just going to be frank here -- it`s difficult to be overly optimistic at this point because we have been through this. How many times have we been through this?
You know, there`s an essential issue at the center of all of these incidents, which is the utter devaluation of black lives. And you know, the president went into a riff about Black Lives Matter, all lives matter, but black lives are more imperiled at this point. But there is a way in which black lives, especially the lives of young black men, are devalued in this country, you know, in a chronic way that has been happening since before the birth of the republic. It`s been there. And we have not solved that.
And the president I thought today was speaking more to white America than to black America or America of color. He was making a case that this is something that white Americans, too, should care about. Yet what we have not had in recent years is the kind of sustained focus that Reverend Sharpton was talking about that it takes to get anything really done, to really move the needle.
And we haven`t had that. "The Washington Post" keeps a database of police shootings. Police shootings this year are up from last year. So -- and then we`ll -- you know, we`ll have to look at the data to see the racial makeup there. But again, we don`t have the sustained focus.
REID: And we have the statistics, Rev. You know, you heard the president cite the statistics that by now, folks in the activist community, as well as journalists, know so well -- 30 percent more likely to be pulled over, three times more likely to be searched, twice as likely to be shot by police.
We know the statistics. It`s not that more study is needed. It`s action.
SHARPTON: The hope that I have because we`ve known these statistics for a while -- in the `90s when we started these "No justice, no peace" movements and Black Lives Matter now with the hashtag and all, we knew the statistics.
The difference now is the video. And I`m hoping because the American public, the white American public, can see these things -- I have people stop me in airports or on the street saying, I thought you were making this stuff up. I don`t know if I agree with you, but I`m looking at it now.
I think that if we can capture the reality, that you can no longer be in denial when you see that tape from St. Paul, and in the same week, see it from Baton Rouge, that people can say, Yes, I want to see change, and make this an election year because a lot of what I`ve been saying to young people in National Action Network and other groups is this is the year to say we`re going to vote based on A, B, C, D, and one of those has to be around this kind of reform, not dropping out, but dropping into the system and making it work.
Otherwise, you`re only surrendering again to a moment that will pass, and they will say, Well, we don`t have to worry about that until there`s a shooting again. We`ve got to stop the (INAUDIBLE) We`ve got to make real change.
REID: And I want to bring in Paul Butler, the former federal prosecutor, and on this question of change and what could actually make a difference, Paul -- you see in the case of the Philando Castile shooting somebody who had a legal right to carry in a state that allows it. He`s attempting to show the police officer his identification, but he had a perfectly legal right to have a gun.
It reminds me, if you go back to the case of Tamir Rice and John Crawford III, who were shot for allegedly having a gun in an open carry state, where in theory, you`re allowed to have a gun. So I think for a lot of African- Americans, they sort of ask, Well, where can you go? What can you do? You`re obeying the laws. You`re a lawful gun owner. You`re still at risk of death.
Is there any answer that the legal system can provide? Will there, in your view, be any sanction against these police officers who in both of these cases did not appear to be under any threat from the men that they killed?
PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR (via telephone): Well, I think there has to be, Joy, but I also think we have to move the conversation beyond bad apple cops and look at the whole culture of policing.
The president said that the overwhelming majority of police officers are doing their jobs well. Frankly, that`s not the experience of African- Americans and Latinos. And if that were true, we wouldn`t have all of these racial disparities.
So the president another time has talked about the need to go from police officers having this mentality of warriors in communities of color to guardians. And what that means, practically on the ground, is that they get better training.
Again, part of what we saw this week is just atrocious policing. If you think that someone has a gun, the first thing you learn in police academy is you don`t roll up on that person and expose yourself to gunfire, and then use that as an excuse to gun them down. You have to protect yourself. You have to conceal yourself.
So some of this is just poor training. You know, there are 18,000 police departments in the United States. The Obama administration has been proactive, but it`s done investigations of fewer than 50. The Obama administration has also been very creative about using its executive power to make the states do things they don`t want to do. I think now is the time for that kind of visionary leadership with regard to race and policing.
REID: Paul -- go ahead, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Let me say this. I agree in principle with what Paul is saying. But even before you get to training and culture, the thing that I think would freeze this to where we can start moving toward that is we need to see penalties for bad cops.
In the late `90s, when we had the Abner Louima case in New York, where a young man was raped and sodomized by a police officer in a police station, we fought. We marched. It got into federal jurisdiction. Those policemen went to jail, and we saw a chilling effect on a lot of police thinking before they made moves.
And I think that if we start seeing police having to be subjected to abiding by the law or paying a penalty for it, it would help us get into a training and cultural mode.
But right now, they feel, Why do I have to do anything because nothing`s going to happen to me because when is the last time something happened? When we made it happen years ago. And I think that`s what we`ve got to do.
When police start understanding, just like bad elements in our community understand, that you`ll pay for the crime, then I think you`ll have a lot of the culture and the training in a different climate.
REID: Paul Butler, just to amplify what Reverend is saying, because you look at these incidents -- if we look at the two incidents you have in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the store owner who was friendly with Alton Sterling, who knew him, said that then police attempted to take the surveillance video from his store. That`s not a move that you would say in training has anything to do with trying to help the man on the ground. There`s no attempt to render aid.
You go to the Philando Castile case in Minnesota, there`s no attempt to render aid. You see the officer really seeming to be himself in fear of somebody who had already been shot, not attempting to render aid.
There does seem to be a culture of attempting to get together and make sure the officer is legally protected and that that happens, but that you`re not seeing -- absent any kind of a prosecution or fear of prosecution, how would training change anything?
BUTLER: So part of the training is about the appropriate use of force, including deadly force. But part of it is about bias. The governor of Minnesota said today correctly, I think, that if the suspect in that case were white, he would still be alive.
So a lot of police officers have these prejudices against African-American men. They are afraid of us, and even the ones of good will have this implicit unconscious bias.
The good news there is that there are things that we can do about that. We can train them about their bias. Attorney General Lynch has required that kind of training for every federal law enforcement officer.
Again, what I`d like to see President Obama do is use the power of his executive office to require local police departments to undergo the same kind of training that he thinks our federal officers need.
REID: And I want to bring Eugene Robinson back in quickly before we go to a couple of our reporters here, because, Eugene, I think when a lot of people who`ve been sort of living these events through social media and looking at the pain of these family members who are losing loved ones, are very skeptical of the idea that you can train people not to be afraid of black people. I mean, let`s just be honest that you can`t train someone out of a fear of another person.
And so, you know, I think a lot of people are really listening more to what Reverend Sharpton is saying, which -- there has to be some sort of legal penalties and sanctions.
In "The Washington Post" count of the number of incidents that have taken place, how many times are you finding that there`s actually some legal sanction to the behavior of the police officer when they go outside their training or outside of the rules of the way they`re supposed to use force?
ROBINSON: Well, you know, Joy, I actually think, though, that this is almost the hardest piece of this whole puzzle to solve, is to get -- getting convictions because, in fact, police officers do realize that there could be prosecutions. And that`s why they try to get their stories straight and get the surveillance video and figure out who had a camera, a phone cam, and everything because they`re well aware that -- they know the legal justice system.
Convictions are very difficult to get in these cases because we give police officers so much latitude, so much permission to use deadly force explicitly, and so the cases are always about, you know, sort of slicing very thinly between what`s acceptable and what`s not.
I actually agree with Paul Butler that we -- that there has to be a shift of consciousness, and maybe that comes through training. If we could get convictions, that would be -- that would perhaps shift consciousness.
But people -- there has to be a different mindset. Police can`t go into communities as an army of occupation. They can`t see the people they`re policing as -- you know, as all potential criminals who -- who -- to be subdued. And in fact, obviously, not all police think that, but clearly, enough do that we keep having these incidents.
REID: Yes. Indeed. Let`s bring in Blake McCoy, MSNBC reporter. He`s in St. Paul. And let`s get the latest on the reaction to the shooting there.
Blake, what -- how is the community reacting today to the Philando Castile killing?
BLAKE MCCOY, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Joy. People here are angry, they`re frustrated, they`re sad. It`s a huge mix of emotions, but unfortunately, this community has been here before. The name Jamar Clark (ph) might ring a billion a bell. He was a young black man shot and killed last fall. Charges were ultimately not recommended for the officers in that case. There was a lot of frustration there. And as one person said, here we are again.
They said they`ve been on the steps of the governor`s mansion here in St. Paul before demanding change, and they`re frustrated because it just hasn`t come. This is the governor`s mansion here in St. Paul.
You can see a lull in the crowd right now. That`s because many of the demonstrators have moved up to an elementary school about six blocks away where Philando Castile worked. He managed the cafeteria up there. And hundreds have gathered at that location -- parents, children and other community members.
They`re being led by the fiancee who took that video, who was sitting next to Castile in that car when he was shot. So she`s leading marchers up there. She just spoke to the crowd. And they`re going to head back down here, where they plan to demonstrate through the night.
It was a remarkable scene early here today. People came to the governor`s mansion to get his attention. The governor and lieutenant governor actually came out, came on this side of the fence, and stood with demonstrators. Some of them were very angry, got right in the governor`s face and said, You need to do something. We have been here before, nothing`s changed, you need to do something.
He kept his calm. He listened. he expressed sympathies towards the family, and as you heard one of the commentators earlier say, that`s when he said had this been a white man, it would not have ended this way. So the governor understands there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
The problem is it`s a cultural problem. How do you change the culture? And even the demonstrators here acknowledged to me that that`s a very difficult thing to change. And it`s not going to change overnight. You can`t just change it through laws -- Joy.
REID: Yes. Indeed. Blake McCoy, thank you very much for us in St. Paul. Really appreciate it. I also want to thank Reverend Al Sharpton and Eugene Robinson, as well as Paul Butler.
And when we come back -- it`s been a very big day in politics, with FBI director James Comey undergoing four-and-a-half hours of grilling from House Republicans over his decision not to recommend charges over Hillary Clinton`s e-mail.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
REID: Much more ahead, including the big political story of the day, FBI director James Comey`s testimony on Capitol Hill.
More HARDBALL after this.
REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Now to the big political story of the day. FBI director James Comey held his ground during a four-and-a-half hour grilling on Capitol Hill before the House Oversight Committee. Led by chairman Jason Chaffetz, Republicans on the committee repeatedly pressed Comey to explain how and why he came to his decision not to recommend charges against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
In scrutinizing his rationale, some Republicans took a page from the Trump playbook, going as far as to suggest that Comey might have coordinated with the White House or the Justice Department.
And here`s how Comey pushed back against that insinuation in an exchange with Congressman John Mica of Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN MICA (R), FLORIDA: We had President Obama and Secretary Clinton arrive in Charlotte at 2:00 o`clock, and shortly thereafter, we had the attorney general was closing the case. This is rapid-fire. I mean, now, my folks think that there`s something fishy about this. I`m not a conspiracy theorist, but there are a lot of questions on how this came down.
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Look me in the eye and listen to what I`m about to say. I did not coordinate that with anyone. The White House, the Department of Justice, nobody outside the FBI family had any idea what I was about to say. I say that under oath. I stand by that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, Comey has made it clear that his recommendation not to prosecute Clinton hinged on her intent and whether her conduct amounted to gross negligence.
As he said today, the only case prosecuted under the relevant federal statute, which was passed in 1917, was a case involving espionage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I know, from 30 years with the Department of Justice, they have grave concerns about whether it`s appropriate to prosecute somebody for gross negligence, which is why they have done it once that I know of in a case involving espionage.
Given that assessment of the facts and my understanding of the law, my conclusion was and remains no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. No reasonable prosecutor would bring this second case in 100 years focused on gross negligence.
I know no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. I know a lot of my former friends are out there saying they would. I wonder where they were the last 40 years, because I would like to see the cases they brought on gross negligence. Nobody would. Nobody did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, late today, Congressman Chaffetz`s spokesperson confirmed to MSNBC that he intends to seek a new investigation of Clinton regarding the statements that she`s made under oath to Congress.
I`m joined now by Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York, a member of the House Oversight Committee.
So, Congresswoman Maloney, what do you make of Congressman Chaffetz`s determination to launch yet another probe into Hillary Clinton, this time based on her statements to Congress?
REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: Well, Joy, it sounds to me like another Benghazi.
They have been investigating Benghazi for seven years. When they got the report that they didn`t want to get, which was that every reasonable prosecutor would not bring charges, they then started attacking the director, who is known for his integrity, his independence, his intelligence.
He served two presidents in high positions in law enforcement, President Bush and President Obama. He`s highly respected. And based on the law -- over and over, he went back to the law. But it was not the result that they wanted, so they announced yet another investigation.
Meanwhile, we haven`t moved on gun safety or affordable education or all the other -- an economy that works for all of our people, the issues that the American people really care about.
I thought Director Comey was under attack by the Republican majority. They originally had praised him and said everyone should follow his decision. When his decision was one that they did not like, then they immediately started trying to attack his decision, coming up with one conspiracy idea after another, all of which he completely and totally denied, and there wasn`t a thread of truth to any of it.
The truth is, he said that no one knew the timing of his disclosure or of his statement. He kept it a secret within the department. So, he wasn`t in any way working with anyone else or he was working with the professionals in his team over there in the FBI. So, he said that this case should be closed and move forward. And I couldn`t agree more.
REID: And I just have to ask, do you think that your colleagues on the other side of the aisle genuinely expected that president -- Hillary Clinton would be indicted and that they were sort of counting on that as sort of a fall election strategy? Do you think they genuinely thought that?
Or this is just the theater that comes from a result that was not that unexpected on Capitol Hill?
MALONEY: Oh, I don`t think anyone expected that.
What was the basis of it? They have just launched one attack after another against her. She is the most vetted candidate in history. President Obama has said she`s the most qualified person in his lifetime to run for the presidency of the United States.
But it`s been one investigation after another. Benghazi has been investigated forever. When they called her into the hearing, she did such a good job, I said, boy, if they would have a Benghazi investigation every day between now and the election, she would definitely win, because they have no facts on their side, and it`s just -- it`s just a witch-hunt after her.
But I thought Director Comey came forward with a very thorough, fair and totally unbiased hard-work product that determined based on the law that no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with this case. It`s closed. Let`s go forward.
REID: All right. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Maloney. Appreciate it.
MALONEY: Thank you.
Now, at the start of the hearing, Chairman Jason Chaffetz pressed Director Comey about whether Hillary Clinton had lied about her e-mails. And he said that he`s seeking this new investigation into the statements that she made under oath.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Did Hillary Clinton lie under oath?
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Not to the FBI, not in a case we were working.
CHAFFETZ: Did you review the documents where Congressman Jim Jordan asked her specifically, and she said -- quote -- "There was nothing marked classified on my e-mails either sent or received" -- end quote?
COMEY: I don`t remember reviewing that particular testimony. I`m aware of that being said, though.
CHAFFETZ: Did the FBI investigate her statements under oath on this topic?
COMEY: Not to my knowledge. I don`t think there`s been a referral from Congress.
CHAFFETZ: Do you need a referral from Congress to investigate her statements under oath?
COMEY: Sure do.
CHAFFETZ: You will have one. You will have one in the next few hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I`m joined by Republican Congressman Scott DesJarlais Tennessee. He`s member of the House Oversight Committee.
Congressman DesJarlais, we just heard Jason Chaffetz say he will send another referral to the FBI. How long do you all intend to string this out? How many investigations of Hillary Clinton will be enough? Is this a strategy that goes through Election Day, or do you intend to just keep it up in perpetuity?
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS (R), TENNESSEE: Of course, the Democrats are going to say that this was a political witch-hunt, but look what we have here.
We have an FBI director that got out and laid a perfect case really for prosecution, but in the end said that there wasn`t a prosecutor that would convict her. We have heard to the contrary. What he did say was that Hillary Clinton as secretary of state was extremely careless in the handling of top-secret documents.
He also went on to say that she was sloppy in her handling of documents and that she was not as sophisticated as people thought, that she couldn`t understand what was really classified. But he did tell us something that was very important and probably should lead to another hearing, was that she was not honest about turning over all the e-mails that she said she did, that she was not honest about not sharing classified information with other people, and she wasn`t honest about using one device. It certainly raises a lot more legitimate questions.
REID: You just used a lot of adjectives there, careless, sloppy, and not sophisticated, none of which are crimes.
And the idea that Comey was very clear that they found no intent to hide any e-mails. They found some difficulty in finding things.
But I want to go to some of the specifics of the things that you are alleging about Secretary Clinton. Your colleague Republican Congressman Tim Walberg did point out that the statute that was at issue in this case doesn`t actually mention intent. So, he was suggesting that Clinton has been held to a different standard than the law requires.
I want to let you listen to how FBI Director Comey responded to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TIM WALBERG (R), MICHIGAN: There doesn`t seem to be a double standard there. It doesn`t express intent. You have explained your understanding of why intent is needed. And we may agree or disagree on that, but the general public looking at that statute says it`s pretty clear.
COMEY: Like I said, I understand why people are confused by the whole discussion. I get that. But you know what would be a double standard? If she were prosecuted for gross negligence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: If Director Comey has said that in all the time that the statute has existed since 1919, one person has been prosecuted under it, and this was for espionage, how can you say that it would be a double standard not to prosecute Hillary Clinton? DESJARLAIS: Well, certainly, there`s a perception that Hillary Clinton is above the law.
REID: How? If it`s never been used, except in one case of espionage, then why are you making it sound as if the standard would have been to prosecute her? It sounds like the standard would have been not to prosecute in a case like this.
DESJARLAIS: Well, Trey Gowdy brought up a point that you have got to have a precedent somewhere.
REID: One case from 1919?
DESJARLAIS: No, there`s no precedents here.
What -- we asked Director Comey, what would happen if she went -- were elected to the White House and did the exact same thing, used a private server, shared confidential e-mails? We know she lied about it. That was the director`s comments that I was referring to. It wasn`t my allegations. Those are facts.
So what is to stop her in the future? And he didn`t really have an answer for that.
DESJARLAIS: So, she is being held to a different standard. Just because she`s original...
REID: He also said, sir, that if a member of his own staff had done this, they wouldn`t have been prosecuted.
He actually laid out every scenario that he was asked and said that there would be no prosecution. So what is it that your side of the aisle wants done if these cases have, except for in the case of espionage, never resulted in prosecution?
DESJARLAIS: Yes. Well, we don`t even know. We know that Sidney Blumenthal was hacked. We don`t know if Hillary Clinton was hacked.
REID: You want to prosecute based on not knowing if she was hacked?
DESJARLAIS: Well, here`s somebody that is applying for the highest job in the land, and ultimately the public is going to have to be the jury.
But we know that she lied on those three things. He admitted as much. He also said someone in the FBI that would have done the same thing, using a server in an unsecure location and breaking the rules that she brought, they would be reprimanded by the FBI. So the FBI has a different standard. But just because she was original in her crime...
REID: So, you want Hillary Clinton to be reprimanded, because if we are going to follow the precedent, you want to see her reprimanded? Is that what you`re...
REID: ... satisfied with?
DESJARLAIS: Obviously, if she is extremely -- no, I think that the people need to decide.
If the FBI director describes her handling of top-secret documents as extremely careless, sloppy, and that she`s not sophisticated enough to understand when a classified document is, then I think there`s great concern about her being commander in chief.
REID: Well, they also described the fact that the three classified documents were not marked as such, such that a normal person would know.
DESJARLAIS: No, there were markings on there.
REID: Let me ask you a quick question before I let you go. Do you think that if Colin Powell ran for president, he would be qualified to be commander in chief? He had a private e-mail.
DESJARLAIS: I don`t know all the details of Colin Powell`s...
REID: He had a private e-mail. He used it routinely for work.
DESJARLAIS: Yes. Did he say that he didn`t shared classified documents?
REID: Well, you guys never held hearings about it.
DESJARLAIS: Did he say that he was doing it because he wanted one device?
It`s a different case. You`re doing apples and oranges here.
REID: No, it`s apples and apples. But you guys didn`t hold hearings on it.
DESJARLAIS: No. I mean, there`s no question that she lied about it. And the director said we need to ask for a hearing to show that she lied to Jim Jordan under oath about her e-mails.
REID: Sir, the director did not say that we needed to ask for a hearing and he did not that Hillary Clinton lied to you. That is not what the director said. He said the opposite.
But I appreciate your spirit, sir.
DESJARLAIS: Well, I sat there for four hours. I`m sure you didn`t.
REID: But, no, he actually didn`t say that. He did not say that. He did not say that she lied.
DESJARLAIS: He said that the Congress would have to request that.
REID: Right, if they wanted it, right.
And I asked him whether or not they asked those questions. And he actually didn`t do the interview on Saturday, so he is going to have to get back to us or we`re going to have to get the 302 to see whether or not they asked whether or not she lied. But that`s important when it comes to intent and what was going on in Hillary Clinton`s mind.
REID: All right, we will look forward to further hearings.
Congressman Scott DesJarlais, thank you very much, sir.
REID: And coming up: Donald Trump -- Donald Trump meets Republicans on Capitol Hill. Trump won some of them over, but others, not so much. We will talk to one House Republican who says that he`s still concerned about Trump`s candidacy next.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It was actually probably Donald Trump at his best. (INAUDIBLE) Donald Trump is Donald Trump. And if we look to the experts, he did everybody wrong in the primaries, and he`s the last man standing. So, he sort of marches to his own drummer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was New York Congressman Peter King after the House GOP`s meeting this morning with their party`s nominee, Donald Trump. House Republicans had the opportunity to listen to Trump, get to know him better and ask him some questions. Following Trump`s meeting on the House side, he visited with Republicans on the other side of the Capitol in the Senate.
But, notably, some vulnerable Republican senators who find themselves in tough reelection fights this fall chose not to attend the meeting with their party`s new leader.
Republican Senators John McCain from Arizona, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Marco Rubio from Florida were all no- shows. Trump also held a private meeting with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whom he defeated in the primary and who so far has refused to endorse him.
Trump`s trip to the Hill comes as a new Pew poll finds that Hillary Clinton holds a nine-point lead over Trump among registered voters, 51 percent to 42 percent.
U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent is a Republican from Pennsylvania who was in the House GOP meeting this morning with Trump, and he joins me now.
And also joining me is Robert Costa, a reporter for "The Washington Post."
And I will start with you, Congressman.
What was the meeting like? Was the takeaway that you walked out of that room more likely to support Donald Trump for president?
REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Let me say I thought the meeting was somewhat subdued, not particularly eventful.
I would also tell you, too, that prior to the meeting, I have expressed my concerns about the presumptive nominee`s candidacy because of the various incendiary remarks and the lack of policy specificity.
I have also stated very clearly, too, that I need -- the American people need to be persuaded that he`s ready to lead this great country, and I need to be persuaded, too. And that`s how I felt walking into the meeting, and that`s how I feel now.
REID: But, Congressman Dent, if you have a concern about specific things that are incendiary, for instance, the tweeting out of an image that originated on a white supremacist Web site, or the insults to Muslims or to Hispanics, is there something that someone who has already done those things would do to suddenly change your mind and have you say, yes, I still support that person, knowing all of that?
DENT: No, I don`t know what can be done to change my mind at this point. As I said, the incendiary remarks, whether it was about POWs, the disabled, Hispanics, Muslims, women, the David Duke debacle, the exchange with Chris Matthews on abortion, all these issues, the Indiana judge, they have all caused real concerns for me.
And I`m not sure what can be done at this point to get me to move into his column.
That said, I`m certainly not for Hillary Clinton. I believe, based on what was just revealed by the director of the FBI, that she`s disqualified herself as commander in chief based on her very careless handling of classified material. I can guarantee you that, I handled classified material like that, I wouldn`t be in a very good position right now.
REID: But might you then support Gary Johnson, the third-party ticket?
DENT: No, I really haven`t -- I`m not supporting Hillary Clinton under any circumstances.
And I have got to think about what I will do in the fall. But, right now, as I said, I need to be persuaded that the presumptive nominee is able and ready to lead this great nation. And, at this point, I`m not.
REID: Robert Costa, do you find this formulation often on Capitol Hill? People will say, I`m appalled by this or that thing that Trump has said or done, something that`s offensive to veterans, or offensive to people of color, offensive to Muslims, et cetera, but then they say, if he makes the case that he can lead the country, they are persuadable.
Do you find a lot of that among Republicans on Capitol Hill?
ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: When it comes to news conferences and conversations with reporters, many elected Republicans in the House and Senate that I have encountered, they say they are waiting for Trump to persuade them.
But, privately -- I`m not speaking about Congressman Dent, per se -- but, generally speaking, many of them are actually rooting for Trump, in the sense that they know that their political careers are intertwined with Trump`s, and that if he is part of some kind of Goldwater slide for the Republicans this fall, they too could lose their seats in Congress.
So, as much as they don`t like him, they don`t want to see him be a political disaster.
REID: And do -- would they be comfortable seeing him in control of the nuclear codes, the FBI and the CIA?
COSTA: Well, that`s a question to ask individual members of Congress.
Some of them have expressed real concern about that. Others, though, see in Trump, someone like Bob Corker in the Senate, someone who is not a hawk on foreign policy -- his instincts are more noninterventionist, based on what he said on the campaign trail -- and that`s appealing to some Republicans who think the party`s become too hawkish. But to those hawks in the party, they are really the heart of this never Trump movement.
REID: But last -- real quickly, before I let you go, Robert Costa, let`s get a little update on veepstakes.
It does seem there`s a dwindling pool of Republicans willing to marry their brand to Donald Trump. Are we still looking at Newt Gingrich, Rick Scott? And who else is on that short list, as far as you know?
COSTA: I think Newt Gingrich is near the top of that short list. I spoke to him a few minutes ago.
He was on the plane last night with Trump, on the campaign trail here in Cincinnati. They formed a real bond. They -- they are two insiders, but they consider themselves to be outsiders, people who have never been accepted by the, quote, so-called "elites".
Also on the list is Indiana Governor Pence. If Trump`s looking for someone with a contrasting personality, someone who can reach out to the movement right, he presents that kind of opportunity.
REID: And, Costa, you think Pence would give up the governorship of Indiana to be on Donald Trump`s ticket, because he has to pick one?
COSTA: Based on my conversations with Mike Pence`s close friends, he actually I think would be willing to give up his race in Indiana and not resign the governor`s mansion, but it`s a tight re-election race even in a state like Indiana. Pence as a former House member, rabble-rouser in the house, his friends say his heart`s always been really on Capitol Hill and being part of the conservative crowd in Washington. He hasn`t loved being governor. It`s not something he feels is a perfect fit.
So, being on a ticket and serving out the remainder of his term, to Pence friends, they say that`s a fine option.
All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Charlie Dent and Robert Costa. Appreciate it.
OK. Up next -- thank you -- before coming to Capitol Hill today, Trump delivered a scattershot speech last night in Ohio, and Montel Williams was not impressed. He called Trump "deranged" and he`s coming here next.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The Democrats -- oh, there was a mosquito. I don`t want mosquitoes around me. I don`t like mosquitoes. I don`t like those mosquitoes. I never did.
OK. Speaking of mosquitoes -- hello, Hillary. How are you doing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was a frenetic Donald Trump at a rally last night in Cincinnati. And the often rambling speech, Trump issued a variety of attacks on his critics. Trump also defended his campaign`s decision to tweet an attack on Hillary Clinton featuring a Star of David and piles of money. But this time, he blamed the media, accusing them of interpreting the image the wrong way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It`s a star. And it actually looks like a sheriff`s star but I don`t know. Behind it, they had money. Oh, but there`s money behind it. So, actually, they`re racially profiling. They`re profiling. Not us. Because why are they bringing this up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I`m joined now by Montel Williams, talk show host and former supporter of John Kasich, who tweeted that Trump looked deranged.
And, Montel, thanks for joining me. You were sort of live-tweeting this speech or whatever he was giving. What do you think was the most egregious part of it in your view?
MONTEL WILLIAMS, TALK SHOW HOST: You know, Joy, honestly, I have to correct you. I didn`t tweet that. I retweeted a critic who used the words "deranged".
What bothered me last night about this, I wasn`t really attacking Donald Trump. I`m attacking both Donald and Hillary for this in a sense. Yesterday, at the same time all this noise is going on about these silly speeches that really are meaningless to the American public.
We still had another 22 veterans take their lives yesterday, and yesterday, there was a report that was issued by a commission that was commissioned to look into what`s happened since the United States government has spent billions of dollars attempting to correct our V.A. hospitals and guess what, Joy? Nothing`s happened. And nothing`s changed.
The report came out, 300 pages long. We spent a full hour live listening to Donald Trump and all that garbage, and I`m going to say the same thing about the speech yesterday that Hillary Clinton gave, because it was 20 minutes, all talking about the stupidity of Donald Trump`s golf courses. I don`t care about that.
I`m going to tell you something. This past Saturday, I was in Utah. Utah at Brigham Young University. At Brigham Young University, they have something called the Stadium of Fire. There were 60,000 people in a stadium all supporting a patriotic event.
And on that stage, walked out Amir Hekmati. If you don`t remember who that is, that`s the marine who spent four and a half years in prison in Iran and our government took the time getting him back. He walked onstage and I`m going to tell you that that entire arena erupted. Why?
Because the American public really cares more about the real issues and one of those is, as you hear hawks on one side talk about going to war, other people talking about we need to go out and shove more of our democracy down people`s throats, well, there are bodies and lives behind that and when reports like this come out and we don`t even cover it, yes, I`m going to get really angry about that.
I`m going to say that we got to stop talking about the stupidity of whether Donald Trump did X, Y or Z or whether or not we like his golf course, let`s start demanding that both candidates tell us what we are going to do to stop the 22 deaths a day.
REID: But do you --
WILLIAMS: That`s what`s about.
REID: Do you honestly think Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the equivalents? I mean, yesterday, the speech she gave in Atlantic City -- hold on a second.
WILLIAMS: Joy, stop. I can`t do this.
REID: You made an equivalency between the two. You said essentially --
WILLIAMS: I`m not doing it, stop. I`m trying to say neither of them took the time to address the issues that are important.
Yesterday, Hillary wasted her speech when a 300-page report came out. If she had said to the American public yesterday, forget Donald Trump. I`m going to take care of the fact that right now, there have been billions of dollars wasted since I have been running for office trying to save the lives of our veterans.
Why didn`t she address that? I don`t care about Trump.
REID: Her speech was specifically an economic speech, right? She went there specifically to Atlantic City to that venue to give a speech --
WILLIAMS: She spent the entire time talking about Donald Trump`s golf course.
You can defend her all you want. And go ahead and do so. That`s not my point.
REID: But you are saying they are equivalent in your view, they are basically two sides of the same coin.
WILLIAMS: If you are not going to defend our soldiers, defend the fact this report came out and not going to say anything about it, I assume you are the same, because if you don`t care enough to make it a point on the day the report was issued, you are the same. So, yes.
As far as veterans go for me, until I have a candidate step up to the plate and tell me that number one, we are going to fix the V.A. and stop the wait times, stop the deaths, I`m going to throw them in the same camp.
You can sit back and act like this is not that important but the same people who are going to demand that these same soldiers go put their lives on the line again, doesn`t matter if it`s Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in office in November, when they demand these guys put their lives on the line to protect this democracy, they better make sure when they come home, something is being done to correct what`s going on.
Right now, we have an egregious report that just said our government is doing nothing and neither candidate addressed it when it came out. Yes, I throw them in the same boat.
REID: All right. Well, there, you think you made news there. Montel, appreciate it.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
REID: And up next, back to our top story. The outrage over the second deadly shooting of an African-American man by police this week. The president responded within the past hour and large crowds are now in the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Back to our top story this hour, another deadly police officer involved shooting, this one outside of St. Paul, Minnesota. Thirty-two-year-old Philando Castile was shot and killed last night after being pulled over for a broken tail light. The aftermath of the situation was captured on a cell phone and streamed live on Facebook by Castile`s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds who was in the car, along with her 4-year-old daughter.
On the video, you can hear Ms. Reynolds tell the officer who still has the gun pointed at Castile, that Castile had been about to show his ID, per the officer`s request, and that he did have a license to carry a concealed weapon.
What happened before the video streaming started is not known. But before we show this video, please note that it is disturbing and graphic in nature.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND REYNOLDS, VICTIM`S GIRLFRIEND: Stay with me. We got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back and the police just -- he`s covered. He`s killed my boyfriend. He`s licensed -- he`s carried -- he`s licensed to carry.
He was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out his pocket and he let the officer know that he was -- he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm. We`re waiting for a backup.
OFFICER: Ma`am, keep your hands where they are.
REYNOLDS: I am, sir, no worries.
REYNOLDS: He just got his arm shot off. We got pulled over on Larpenteur.
OFFICER: I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his head up!
REYNOLDS: He had, you told him to get his ID, sir, his driver`s license.
Oh my God. Please don`t tell me he`s dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, in accordance with department policy, the officer who shot Castile has been placed on paid administrative leave and the governor of Minnesota is calling for a federal investigation.
Protesters are now taking to the streets in cities across the country, including in St. Paul and here in New York City.
In just a short while ago, President Obama spoke on the subject while on his trip to Warsaw, Poland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When incidents like this occur, there`s a big chunk of fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us.
This is not just a black issue. It`s not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about, all fair-minded people should be concerned.
When people say black lives matter, it doesn`t mean blue lives don`t. All lives matter. But right now, the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Turn now to Randal Hill, who`s former deputy sheriff and federal firearms instructor.
All right. Randal, give some advice to African-American concealed carry permit holders, is there anything they can do to protect themselves in the event of a traffic stop where they clearly in this case frightened a police officer.
RANDAL HILL, FORMER FEDERAL AGENT: Yes, ma`am. What you have to do is definitely let them know that you have a firearm, let them that you have a concealed weapons permit, but don`t move. You go ahead and put your hands on the dashboard, put them on the ceiling. Don`t put them anywhere near your waistband or any where near your body. Let the officer grab the firearm from you if necessary but don`t move.
REID: But, sir, Philando Castile did tell the officer, according to his girlfriend that he had a firearm. He tried to explain that he had a concealed carry permit and the officer told him to get his license. So, if the officer is telling you to get your license, are you saying, don`t comply, because that also puts you in jeopardy?
HILL: That brings back another case of why doesn`t this officer have on a video camera, to see what actually happened before the shooting? Because we`re going to see part of it.
But if it were me, and I`ve been in situations like this before, even as a former federal agent, I usually don`t move, I let them see my identification, and I let them even come up and pat me down and/or frisk me, because I have nothing to hide.
From the looks of this, it does look like a bad shoot, but we still have to wait and have caution, because we must let all of the evidence come out before we react to it.
REID: And very quickly before I let you go, Randal Hill, does it concern you that statistics say that your concern about having to completely freeze when this happens to you is in part statistically because you are African American, that if you were white, you wouldn`t have to have that concern?
HILL: Yes, ma`am. And I try to have that conversation with some of my former white counterparts, but until now, where video cameras and phone cameras are coming up, that they can see exactly what`s going on in the public when black lives are taken on the street.
RIED: All right. Well, thank you very much, Randal Hill. Really appreciate you being here.
And for more, I`m joined now by our roundtable, Jamil Smith, senior national correspondent for MTV News, Jeanne Zaino, adjunct professor of political campaign management at NYU and Evan Siegfried, a Republican strategist.
Jamil, just go to you quickly. Jamil, your thoughts on -- is there any policy that we can put forward, at least to end this on a somehow hopeful note, that could begin to turn this situation around?
JAMIL SMITH, MTV NEWS: Well, I think certainly immediate suspensions. The cops need to have penalties for these kinds of actions. Paid administrative leave is not enough.
Certainly what we`ve watched this week on video are two murders. They`re not two killings, not two bad shoots, they`re two murders. So, what we need to have here is an appropriate penalty for such actions. And so, what I think here, certain real penalties, including firing, for those kinds of actions.
REID: And, Evan, we`ve seen Republicans on Capitol Hill spend a great deal of time on Benghazi, hours and hours and hours of hearings, Hillary Clinton did 11 hours, James Comey did a full day today. Is there a possibility that Republicans would take an interest in maybe having some congressional hearings on this rash -- this unending rash of shootings by police officers of particularly African-American unarmed civilians?
EVAN SIEGFRIED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: If they`re smart, they should. There are a lot of policies that we can go as Republicans and Democrats and push that would actually help reduce them. The body cameras that Mr. Hill referred to, that`s a very positive step that I believe everybody, even pro-law enforcement people would --
REID: If they don`t fall off.
SIEGFRIED: Well, if they don`t fall off. Obviously, no system is perfect, but having a body camera is better than not and we can help to reduce all of these, because all of these are tragedies and I don`t think we want to see another one of them.
REID: And, Jeanne, will we see a political will amongst Democrats to make this an issue in the campaign, to actually fight for change legislatively on this issue?
JEANNE ZAINO, POLITICAL ANALYST: Unfortunately, we haven`t seen that yet. That`s a big problem. We talk a lot about body cameras and I know you want to end on a positive note, but there`s an insidious problem here. And that is if you look at the discrimination between the police forces. And so, you just look at the makeup alone of some of these police forces.
How do you address that? This is a generational crisis and a general problem, until and unless you start to diversify these police forces and you start to address the insidious discrimination within them, that is something that we are going to be living with very a very, very long time, and there`s absolutely no political will to address those very tough questions, because there are no easy answers for that.
REID: Do you think that the presidential campaigns have addressed this sufficiently today?
SMITH: No, I don`t. While a statement from Hillary Clinton is certainly appreciated, certainly, I think policy recommendations are in order. Donald Trump, I mean, he`d rather talk about stars on a "Frozen" coloring book than talking about black people dying at the hands of police.
REID: And, did Donald Trump make a mistake of ignoring this issue and not addressing it?
SIEGFRIED: He`s going to address it when he comes around to it. I think the mosquito was higher up on his priority list and that`s pretty disturbing to me.
REID: Yes. And lastly, Tim Kaine and Elizabeth Warren, very different today. Tim Kaine didn`t address it that I`ve seen so far. Is that a mistake?
ZAINO: I think it`s a big mistake, you know. And we have seen Republicans do that and we have seen Democrats, but we have not seen enough.
REID: Thank you, Jamil Smith, Jeanne Zaino and Evan Siegfried.
That`s all for HARDBALL for now. Stay 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