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Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript, 7/13/2016

Guests: Bill Maher

Show: HARDBALL Date: July 13, 2016 Guest: Bill Maher


Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in New York.

And the Republican Convention is just days away now, and the party`s nominee is running the most unpredictable, some would say confounding, campaign in modern times.

The Democratic nominee is facing a major trust deficit. Only 37 percent of voters consider her trustworthy. And on top of that, the country seems polarized on issues of race and policing.

Donald Trump says he is a law and order candidate. Hillary Clinton says America needs more love and kindness. Whose vision will prevail this November?

With me for the full hour, comedian Bill Maher. He`s the host of "Real Time" Friday nights on HBO. He`s also hosting a series of four special episodes, all live, during the Republican and Democratic Conventions. Those will air Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Bill, thank you.

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: Great to be here.

MATTHEWS: And there`s nothing like having you here because I can ask you the toughest questions.


MATTHEWS: If you had to explain this to somebody you knew living overseas, what would you explain is going on in this country on racial issues right now, this tenseness?

MAHER: Well, it depends on what country the person was -- who I was talking to was from. Some countries don`t have a -- a racial problem like we do because they don`t have a history of slavery like we do. We never really got race right in this country. It`s the original sin of this country. It`s a fault line that we`ve tried to cover up.

Every time something racial happens, people act surprised. I just watched that recent documentary on O.J. Simpson. And it`s -- it`s hard to believe that back then, every white person in America was like, Well, of course he`s guilty, and no jury could ever find him anything but guilty. And they were shocked when a jury did not.

MATTHEWS: I was, too. I was on the air.

MAHER: We were all shocked. OK. And -- and black folks were all applauding, not because I think that they thought he was really that innocent, but because for once -- for one time...


MAHER: ... a black guy beat the system after the system had beaten black folks so many times. So that`s the beginning of it.

Now, when it comes to the police -- look, there`s never any excuse for what happened, for shooting a policeman. Of course, we all condemn that. There`s no ands, ifs or buts. I don`t condone it, but I do understand it. We have...

MATTHEWS: You understand that guy?

MAHER: Well, I understand the motivation, yes. I mean, how many videos can you see, how many years can go by when this is going on, when -- when black people are brutally assaulted? I mean, the latest one, the guy was just right on the ground and he put a slug in him.


MAHER: I`m surprised some of...

MATTHEWS: Well, try and explain that...

MAHER: ... I`m surprised somebody did not fire back sooner.

MATTHEWS: You don`t -- well, what do you think of these motives? I think the motive is different in every case. But I think you`re the guest tonight. What do you think causes all this?

Now I see the common nature, white police officer kills black person, apparently without justification. What is that -- what else is going on? Is it prejudice?

MAHER: Well, I interviewed a policeman once on my old show and he said, When I worked in the black neighborhood, I hated all black people. When I worked in the Latino neighborhood, I hated all Latino people. And when I worked here in the San Fernando Valley, I hated the white people.

I mean, when you`re a policeman, you do basically come up against not the good people. That`s who you`re dealing with. That`s your job.

MATTHEWS: So true.

MAHER: You`re -- you`re a policeman. You know, you deal with criminals. So there is some of that.

There is also something very wrong with police culture. Now, once again, we`re not indicting all the police. And certainly without the police, this country would look like that movie, "The Purge"...


MAHER: ... every night.

MATTHEWS: You know, I was a Capitol policeman for a while, which is not really dangerous work. I was going into the Capitol building. But one thing they taught us in the short training we had was that when you go to approach a stopped car for a traffic violation -- it could be a taillight, whatever -- you never stand directly next to the -- the driver`s seat. You don`t stand right there...

MAHER: Right.

MATTHEWS: ... at the window...

MAHER: Right.

MATTHEWS: ... because you could get plugged right in the stomach.

MAHER: Right.

MATTHEWS: So you always approach from the back door...

MAHER: Sure.

MATTHEWS: ... and go in sideways. And (INAUDIBLE) always looking in sideways. So police are basically worried, if they stop anybody, about who`s in that car.

MAHER: Yes, of course they are.

MATTHEWS: And that may explain some of this trigger happy or whatever it is.

MAHER: But -- but it is a dangerous job. I mean, by the way, there are statistics on this, how dangerous it is. I don`t think it actually cracks the top 10...


MAHER: ... as far as how many deaths. I think cab drivers are killed more than police -- policemen. I think electricians, fishermen.


MAHER: This is not to say it`s not a dangerous job. But it is a job you signed up for if you`re a policeman.


MAHER: You`re not conscripted into it. So the answer, when you feel nervous about your life, can`t be just right away to shoot...


MAHER: ... which seems like it happens way too much. Again, is it most cops? Probably not. But it`s way too many. It got -- it gets on film a lot.

MATTHEWS: That`s what I want to ask about. When you see these guys, like the guy running across a field 100 yards away from a guy, and he just plugs him from behind, that`s not self-defense. That`s not nervous.

MAHER: But it`s -- it`s cowardice.

MATTHEWS: Are -- are we missing something in the tape sometimes?

MAHER: I don`t think you`re anything -- missing anything in that tape. I don`t think we were missing much in the Rodney King tape.


MAHER: I mean this goes back all the way to that.

MATTHEWS: Yes, it does.

MAHER: I mean, no matter what Rodney King was doing, once you have him on the ground and you have six guys just whaling him -- on him with batons, that cannot be justified.


MAHER: And again...

MATTHEWS: Or the chokehold guy, selling loosie cigarettes.



MAHER: Yes. I mean, again, this is a job you volunteered for. So when -- it says protect and serve on the side of the car. That`s to protect and serve us, not you.


MAHER: We`re not protecting you. You have to understand that, yes, there is an element of danger in this job. and you have to accept that if you want to do it. And by the way, I think most policemen like their job.


MAHER: Yes, there`s danger in it, and there`s also a lot of perks, you know?


MAHER: Police...

MATTHEWS: Anyway, this weekend, Donald Trump Tweeted, quote, "Look what`s happening in our country under the weak leadership of Obama and people like crooked Hillary" -- Hillary Clinton. We are a divided nation."


MATTHEWS: Do you think the president of the United States, at any given time, has an influence on these kinds of very immediate situations of black and white? Do you think the president`s leadership does anything to forestall this kind of tragedy?

MAHER: I think...

MATTHEWS: Could they?

MAHER: I think this -- well, I don`t think he can forestall them, but I do think this president is awfully good about talking about them...


MAHER: ... and about racial issues. You know, there are lots of black folks on one side who say he doesn`t do it enough.


MAHER: There are people like Cornel West.


MAHER: Even Michael Eric Dyson, I know, sometimes says...

MATTHEWS: I know. I hear it from both of them. Yes.

MAHER: Yes. And of course, we know what the right-wing thinks of him, is that perhaps he`s an illegitimate president just because he is black. So he`s got...

MATTHEWS: But you know, I think -- I think I know why he`s doing it. I think he`s really trying to be -- I`m not saying not black. Of course, that`s stupid, but to be someone who is seen as an overall leader and he doesn`t want to become sectarian.

MAHER: Yes. It`s a -- it`s an almost an impossible position...


MAHER: ... that he`s put himself -- that he put -- that he is in. But as -- as much as a president can calm the nation, he is calm. You know, all these people who think Donald Trump is going to be great for their pocketbook because he`s rich -- he`s going to be horrible for their pocketbook because he`s the opposite of calm.

MATTHEWS: He says he`s going to be...

MAHER: The stock market hates nothing more than volatility...


MAHER: ... and he is walking volatility. They all pretend that they don`t like Obama because he`s a Democrat and a socialist, and this and that. He was great for the stock market because he`s calm and they love calm, and Trump is going to be horrible for...


MATTHEWS: You know the old line, if you want to live like a Republican, vote like a Democrat.

MAHER: Right.


MAHER: I don`t, but that`s great. I`ll remember that.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Donald Trump called himself the law and order candidate this week.

Let`s watch him.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Too many Americans are trapped in fear, violence and poverty. We must maintain law and order at the highest level or we will cease to have a country 100 percent. We will cease to have a country. I am the law and order candidate!


MAHER: That`s what Nixon said.

MATTHEWS: Yes, Agnew.

MAHER: In `68. Yes, I mean, that...


MATTHEWS: Where do you think he`s taking sides there?

MAHER: Well, first of all, it`s a very fact-free assessment of what`s going on in this country. Actually, crime has been down...


MAHER: ... the last 10, 20 years. It -- it`s the -- that`s not what it looks like on the evening news because...

MATTHEWS: But you can feel it in New York City.

MAHER: ... when it bleeds, it leads. You can feel what?

MATTHEWS: That crime is way down for (INAUDIBLE)

MAHER: Of course. Right. But that`s not what the media likes. They like sensationalism. So people think things are actually worse, things are actually probably better. And statistically, they are shown to be better.

But that`s now how you win votes, and that`s not -- I mean, Trump can only win by scaring people. That`s his...

MATTHEWS: Yes. But if you`ve got kids like I do, living up in New York, you`ll feel a lot better about the city than you would have 30 or 40 years ago.

MAHER: Absolutely.


MAHER: I lived here in the late `70s...


MAHER: ... and the early `80s. It was ridiculous.

MATTHEWS: Giuliani says that the Black Lives Matter movement is inherently racist. He says black parents should teach their kids to respect the police.

MAHER: Oh, God. Really?


MAHER: He really said that?


MAHER: Well, Republicans wonder why they don`t get the votes of minorities when they make comments like that. Black Lives Matter is not inherently racist. It`s -- it is exactly what it is. Black lives should matter, and when we see them being gunned down in -- in the street, when they`re not deserving of that, it`s -- is it not obvious that -- that some movement had to rise up to protest against that?

MATTHEWS: Well, then to debate your point, Newt Gingrich, who`s on his best behavior, he said it`s more dangerous to be black in America not just because of crime on the street, but because of the police. He put it together, both -- both threats to black youth.

MAHER: You know, the...

MATTHEWS: So what do you think he`s up to?


MAHER: Well, he`s up to wanting to be vice president, but I don`t think that`s going to happen. But these -- these Republicans who are so alarmed by Donald Trump, and many of them are appalled even though they`re sort of getting behind him, what did they think they -- was going to happen?

I mean, they spent all these decades pursuing a strategy of race-baiting, anti-intellectualism and conspiracy theories, and then when a Donald Trump emerges, they`re surprised about it?

They shouldn`t be surprised. I mean, the one different thing about Donald Trump is his temperament. Certainly, we`ve had people who followed that strategy before in the Republican Party. We`ve never had anybody with this kind of temperament. If he became president, it would just be government by snit. Every day, it would be about tweeting and getting even with people who didn`t...


MAHER: ... do exactly what he wanted.

MATTHEWS: Do you think his call that Obama was somehow the product of a strange personal conspiracy by his mother, that she was a white American woman from Kansas and she went over to Kenya to have a baby and she married an African guy who wasn`t exactly the best stand-up guy -- he wasn`t going to be around very long -- and then she somehow got it posted in the Honolulu newspapers that her baby was born, and then she gave him the name Hussein Obama, Barack Hussein -- and he`s...


MATTHEWS: ... you know, he`s a mixed race kid, and did all this so he could be president 35 years from -- I mean, why did he say that -- it can`t be anybody believes him.

MAHER: Of course not! This is why he sued me because this is the issue that I was making fun of him about.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, it`s -- it`s incredible if you talk it through.

MAHER: Of course it is. And he is -- I mean, that is racism. I know they hate to hear it. That`s the one thing they hate to hear, and I would never say that all Republicans are racists. But if you are a racist and you`re looking for a political party, this is the obvious choice.

MATTHEWS: Well, this is the mousetrap (ph), at least. I mean...

MAHER: Right.


MAHER: But -- but -- and it -- but it`s not just Trump. I mean, if you watch the Republican debates, they all followed this script of, Restore America, I want my country back.


MAHER: It`s -- it`s -- it`s subtle, but it`s not even that subtle. They talk about Obama and his presidency as if it just never even existed. To me, there`s something racist there. They say things like, We`ve got to put America back to work. Yes, did that. That actually happened. We put America back -- We`ve got to rebuild our depleted military. We didn`t deplete the military. It went up under Obama like it went up under every president!

MATTHEWS: You know, my explanation for birtherism, if there is one, is that he`s playing to people who want to believe that somehow, you can put an asterisk next to Obama...

MAHER: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: ... that he wasn`t really...

MAHER: Right.

MATTHEWS: When you show that little book of color pictures of presidents to kids...


MATTHEWS: ... when they`re first learning about civics and you go through all the pictures from John Adams all the way through, and William Henry Harrison, and they all look white.

MAHER: Right.

MATTHEWS: And then you get to this guy. They want to be able to say, like -- you know, like...

MAHER: No, they -- they just don`t like the idea of a black family eating off the White House china. They can couch it any way they want...


MAHER: ... but it just did not go down well with them. And -- and this is their answer to that. It`s just a...

MATTHEWS: That he really wasn`t president.

MAHER: ... really wasn`t president, and of course, they were hoping that he would be a terrible failure because then it would never happen again.

Bush, to his credit, George W. Bush, on Obama`s first day in office, stood there with him and said, We want you to succeed. That was not the attitude of most Republicans. And I`m sure that they hated the fact that history will judge this presidency as having succeeded.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I think he`s in the top couple tiers, at least.

MAHER: Yes, absolutely.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Bill Maher is coming right back.

We`re going to talk about his (sic) wild presidential race going on right now and -- not his, but this -- and much more about the rise of Donald Trump. More with Bill Maher after this.

You`re watching a special education of HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MAHER: Who gets more hysterical than Lady Donald Trump, seeing Mexican racists everywhere! Oh! Let go (ph). Let go (ph). We must build a wall, a giant wall and ban all the Muslims! He makes Lindsey Graham look like Vin Diesel!



MATTHEWS: We`ve got some breaking news just in. Donald Trump`s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, says that Trump will announce his VP nomination, his choice, on Friday in New York. That`s Friday in New York, Donald Trump`s pick for VP. Stay tuned for that on Friday.

Back with Bill Maher after this.



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are proud, deep down, of our diversity, the fact that people come from all over the world to become Americans and contribute to our country.

MAHER: And some of them marry Donald Trump.



MAHER: Right. Me, too. I get my news from Porn Hub.

I always say this. I find her slogan, ready -- "Are you ready for Hillary?" to purposely capsulize how I feel about her. Am I ready for Hillary? Yes. Am I excited? No.

Here are some of Ted Cruz`s funny (INAUDIBLE). I spent my entire freshman year of high school stuffed in a locker.

Mirrors don`t show my reflection.

The Republicans are ramping up for their big convention. They have one little problem. No one wants to go and no one wants to speak.



MATTHEWS: We`re back with Bill Maher. He`s had a busy year covering this historic campaign.


MATTHEWS: The race now comes down to -- of course, to a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And that`s it.

Did you see the number the other day, 39 percent of the country says they`re independent now? It`s the highest percentage of people.

MAHER: First of all, that`s a myth. They`re...

MATTHEWS: Why do they cite (ph) it?

MAHER: There aren`t independents anymore. They`re -- they -- they dived into this -- they`re usually right-leaning independents...

MATTHEWS: You think they`re Ross Perot people?

MAHER: I think they -- I think they have a side. They just don`t want to admit it. Bill O`Reilly says he`s an independent. And he always votes Republican. I`m an independent. I haven`t voted for a Republican in a very long time.

MATTHEWS: So`s George Will as of last week.

MAHER: That took guts.


MAHER: I mean, he earned a lot of admiration from me from doing that.

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you -- let me ask you about the show business quality to these conventions because the conventions haven`t been known for their show business quality for years now.

MAHER: Not for a while.

MATTHEWS: The last time, I think, Wendell Wilkie in 1941, the guy came in and run up -- he won it -- just by a big crowd in the galleries, he won it.

MAHER: Really?


MAHER: Well, you don`t remember that.

MATTHEWS: I`ve been told.


MAHER: You`ve been told. But I do remember, as a kid, 1968.

MATTHEWS: Oh, that was the best one.

MAHER: Yes, the Chicago mess.

MATTHEWS: I wasn`t there, but that was...


MATTHEWS: I never missed a minute of it.

MAHER: So that kind of drama is the kind of drama we may be facing again.

MATTHEWS: Yes, Uncle Walter that night -- one night, I was watching the -- my -- my grad school roommates and all. And I`m looking, and he said about 10:30 one night, Get some sleep, I`ll be back in the morning.


MATTHEWS: It was like you were tucked in with the guy.

Let me ask you about Trump. He`s Mr. Ballyhoo. He`s got Cleveland. He`s got all four days out there, Monday through Thursday next week. What`s he going to do to make it razzmatazz?

MAHER: Razzmatazz?

MATTHEWS: Ballyhoo, excitement?

MAHER: Well...

MATTHEWS: Honky-tonk.

MAHER: ... ballyhoo and excitement is not his problem. It`s the -- it`s the opposite, don`t you think?

MATTHEWS: OK. How does he make it a -- a compelling bit of political theater?

MAHER: Well, I think they`re going to make that for him because I think there`s going to be a movement to unseat him from the nomination.


MAHER: Well, yes. I mean, according to some people that they are not happy with this nominee. They -- they feel like this is a zombie candidate...


MAHER: ... that he`s destined to failure, and they don`t want to ride him. And also, I mean, I -- I`ve been saying that the best thing that the Republicans can do is punt. The only way they`re going to win in November is to lose. It`s not the worst thing in the world...


MAHER: ... to have Hillary Clinton for four years.

MATTHEWS: People like to kick.

MAHER: Oh, right. They have a great -- it`s like...


MATTHEWS: ... field.

MAHER: ... in defense -- in football, if you have a great defense, you punt. Let the defense -- they have a great defense. They block legislation. They`re obstructionists. This is what they do best. And by the way...

MATTHEWS: Let her have the ball.

MAHER: Yes, let her have the ball. She`s not really that horrible to them, when you think about it. She`s not some sort of far-left person.

MATTHEWS: On that point...

MAHER: She`s a centrist...

MATTHEWS: ... do you worry somewhat that she may well be far right on some issues, like war?

MAHER: Well, I definitely...

MATTHEWS: Is she hawkish?

MAHER: She`s too much of a hawk for my taste, absolutely. Yes. And I...

MATTHEWS: Do they want that?


MAHER: I don`t blame her as much as other people do for the Iraq vote, because I think people forget that was a -- a vote to give George Bush a badge and a gun. It wasn`t a -- a go ahead and go in there shooting and blazing.

And also, you know, we had just been attacked, and, blah, blah, blah. It was the wrong country, a little thing like that.

But -- but she is too hawkish. I -- I worry about that. One reason why it was great to have Bernie Sanders in the race, or Rand Paul, if he had followed what his father used to say, was that you at least had a voice in the debate saying, we should not be in all these countries.

I mean, the president talks about how, well, if you say the wrong words when you`re referring to Islamic terrorism, that`s what`s going to stir up trouble.

MATTHEWS: How do you explain what happened to a guy like...


MAHER: But, probably, it`s droning. It`s probably droning...


MAHER: ... that is causing more of the hatred around the world.

And -- and I -- I`m not even sure if that program is -- is worth it. I don`t know -- I don`t know if that doesn`t create more terrorists than we`re wiping out.

MATTHEWS: Well, the president prefers droning to war, to battlefield war. There`s no doubt about that.

MAHER: Well, of course, yes, obviously.


MAHER: You know, I have always thought we have to do something. We can`t just do nothing. Obviously, troops on the ground fighting a war like we did in Iraq was an extremely stupid thing to do.

But I don`t know anymore. I read an article in the paper last week that said -- and I think the administration even admitted -- we don`t know how many people we`re killing.

And whenever there is a terrorist attack, what does the person say?

What did the guy in Orlando say?

What did the bombers in Boston say?


MAHER: What do they all say?

Get out of Muslim lands. Stop bombing Muslim people.

So, I wonder if it`s the language or maybe the bombs dropping from the drones that`s more of the problem.

MATTHEWS: You wonder about, you know, for all these years, since the first Iraq War, we`ve been killing Muslim people on international television. That`s what we`ve been doing.

MAHER: And, also, sometimes...

MATTHEWS: I don`t know if we`d do it to any other group.

MAHER: We`ve also been saving many.


MAHER: We also do this on behalf of them, like in Kosovo.

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s the argument, yes.

MAHER: In Kosovo.

MATTHEWS: Yes, that`s the argument.

MAHER: Yes, but look, we would just probably be better off not to be so involved.

I mean, one thing I will miss about the Obama administration is no new wars. I wish we could have gotten out of the ones we were in a little faster and a little more completely.

But at least we didn`t ramp up. And they were trying to egg him on to go into Syria.

MATTHEWS: You know, I think you might be a little nicer to Hillary than you want to be. She wanted us to go into Iraq. She supported the authorization. She didn`t come back and say, why did he use the authorization?

MAHER: Right.

MATTHEWS: I`m so sorry he did it.


MATTHEWS: I thought he would only bluff. He wasn`t going to do it.

Well, you can argue that maybe, but it doesn`t work after the fact.

She also supported getting in, along with the other two people...

MAHER: Yes. MATTHEWS: She was for -- Rice and Power for getting us into Libya.

MAHER: No, I agree.

MATTHEWS: And she seemed to want to take out Assad, Bashar Assad, pretty much.

MAHER: Look, I...

MATTHEWS: She has had a pattern of wanting to be regime-changing.

MAHER: Women have patterns, in the modern era, when they get to be president of countries, of being hawkish, because they obviously have to burnish their macho credentials, because...

MATTHEWS: Are you profiling here?


MAHER: I`m just observing.

MATTHEWS: Just be careful.

MAHER: I`m just observing. Indira...

MATTHEWS: Is that always true?

MAHER: Indira Gandhi was pretty tough. Golda Meir was pretty tough.

MATTHEWS: Theresa May over in Britain, she`s going to be a...


MAHER: Well, we`ll see. I don`t know anything about her yet. But I`m just saying...

MATTHEWS: Golda Meir, I`m thinking of the hawks.



MAHER: No, I`m just saying you know, women are looked at...

MATTHEWS: Thatcher.

MAHER: There`s a -- there`s a suspicion from men, from the men who voted to begin with, oh, are you going to be tough enough?


MAHER: And what we really need from women is what women are, more cooperative. And I think Hillary will be that, too, and, as she says, more...


MAHER: ... more kindness and...

MATTHEWS: Reagan -- Reagan showed his toughness with the with the -- what was it called...

MAHER: Air traffic.

MATTHEWS: The air traffic controllers.

MAHER: Sure. Yes.

MATTHEWS: Yes, that was his way of doing it. It worked. I heard from Tip O`Neill when I worked for him that...


MATTHEWS: ... the word got back from Russia that they were impressed.

MAHER: Oh, yes.

MATTHEWS: They liked that stuff.

MAHER: I`m sure.


MAHER: I`m sure they were. Lots of people in this country were impressed.


Anyway, Bill Maher is sticking with us.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MAHER: And I feel I should say something about a growing movement called Bernie or Bust, where Bernie supporters pledge that, if it`s Hillary, they`ll stay home or go to the Green Party. On their Web site, they say they`re revolting against the plutocracy.

No, actually, you`ll be helping elect a plutocrat who`s revolting.



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

President Obama met earlier with members of law enforcement and civil rights leaders to discuss community policing issues.

And Donald Trump and members of his family visited Indiana Governor Mike Pence at his home this morning. His campaign manager says Trump will announce his running mate decision on Friday in New York -- back to HARDBALL.


MAHER: You famously said in one of the first debates with Hillary Clinton, oh, I`m tired of hearing about the e-mails.

And, you know, for -- for a long time, I was tired of hearing about the e- mails. And I still don`t think she committed some horrible crime. But that story has moved a little bit, has it not?


But this is what I also think. There is enormous frustration on the part of the American people with the way we do politics in this country. People want us to talk about their lives and their issues, and not just spend their whole lives attacking our opponents.


MATTHEWS: We`re back with Bill Maher, the host of "Real Time" on HBO, of course.

He introduced Senator Sanders in May, before the California primary.

What do you make of Sanders?

I mean, it`s a one shot for him. He`s too old to go back again next time, so he`s not going to make as sweet a deal as Hillary made when she, you know, pulled out last time.

MAHER: Well, first of all, I object to that. That`s ageism. I don`t know why...


MAHER: I don`t know why we automatically assume that somebody 78 years old is over the hill, seriously.


MAHER: There are places in the world called blue zones. Have you ever heard of this?

This is where people routinely live to be 100 and older. That`s the norm.

MATTHEWS: Yes. So you think he`ll come back again the next...

MAHER: No, I`m just saying, you know, especially people now, Chris, you and I are both over 35. We should...

MATTHEWS: You`re going to out-P.C. me here, aren`t you?

MAHER: We...

MATTHEWS: You`re going to do it, aren`t you?

MAHER: I mean, just on this issue...

MATTHEWS: I don`t think Bernie is going to run again.

MAHER: I -- I -- you know who should be -- has a hat in the ring for the Democrats? Jerry Brown. Jerry Brown...

MATTHEWS: He`s great.

MAHER: Exactly.


MAHER: But why doesn`t he? Because of ageism. Because people just think when you hit...

MATTHEWS: Well, he`s term-limited now.

MAHER: Yes, I`m just talking about in national politics.


MAHER: I mean, he`s done so much to turn around California.

MATTHEWS: You`re -- you`re making your point.

MAHER: OK. The -- so...

MATTHEWS: You won. You won the argument.



MATTHEWS: You won. Jerry Brown is...


MAHER: Yes, we`re all individuals. Some people are very, very -- they`re -- and completely together at 80.


MAHER: And some people aren`t. Reagan was in office, and he wasn`t. I`m sorry.


MAHER: This is the truth.

MATTHEWS: Well, Donald Trump is also taking criticism for his nickname for Senator Warren, Elizabeth Warren.

Let`s watch that.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton has somebody -- did you ever hear of Pocahontas, huh?

It`s Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren. She`s a total failure. She said she was an Indian. She said because her cheekbones were high, she was an Indian, that she was Native American. And, you know, we have these surrogates, people like her, total failures.



MAHER: I`m so tired of that...

MATTHEWS: Pocahontas.

MAHER: I`m so tired of that voice.

MATTHEWS: I thought it was funny. I hate -- I`ll admit, the first time I heard it, I thought it was funny. Then it lost a lot of value as he kept doing it.

MAHER: You know, we did a piece on our show, and the theme was, I am so tired of the two standards in this election, that he can get away with all this stuff, and Hillary Clinton cannot. There are two standards.

And we went and showed tapes from other presidential elections of what people did that was beyond the pale.


MAHER: George Allen, remember, called somebody a macaca?


MAHER: I had never even heard the word.



MATTHEWS: It`s African.


MAHER: Goodbye.


MAHER: Trump, what he does racially, are you crazy?

That -- I mean that stuff would have anybody else out of the race. We showed Al Gore...

MATTHEWS: So you think Pocahontas was -- was nefarious? It was a bad word?

MAHER: I think it`s nefarious.

I`m just saying everybody before Trump had to play by one set of rules, and he plays by these different set of rules, calling McCain not a -- not a war hero.


MAHER: The thing with the Mexican judge. Trump University.

MATTHEWS: Well, he`s not gotten off on that. Everybody thinks that`s against him. I mean, Trump University is not a plus or a neutral. It`s a negative.

MAHER: What about exploiting the veterans and not giving the money that he promised for -- for charity?

I mean, if Hillary Clinton did that...


MAHER: ... she would be out of the race tomorrow. There is a completely different set of standards for this man.

And I`m glad -- I said a long time ago, I am glad this election is going on for a long time, as opposed to countries. We see Britain.

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s talk about why the election is pretty close, because we did a poll recently that showed that four -- in a four-way race, with Jill Stein getting a handful of votes, maybe more, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld getting perhaps close to 10, in a four-way race, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were even, about 39.

Look at this, Hillary Clinton -- the reason I think, is this. She recently talked about her trust deficit with voters.

Let`s watch Secretary Clinton.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A lot of people tell pollsters they don`t trust me. Now, I don`t like hearing that, and I`ve thought a lot about what`s behind it.

Maybe we can persuade people to change their minds by marshalling facts and making arguments to rebut negative attacks.

But that doesn`t work for everyone. You can`t just talk someone into trusting you. You`ve got to earn it.


CLINTON: So, yes, I could say that the reason I sometimes sound careful with my words is not that I`m hiding something. It`s just that I`m careful with my words.


MATTHEWS: What do you think?

MAHER: Look...

MATTHEWS: It`s a hard thing to -- for her, I think, especially, anybody to explain the fact of why you`re not credible with people when you`re running for president.

MAHER: But it also is true that she has been demonized more than anybody else for the last entire quarter century.

As far as the e-mails go, I think mostly what that is, is an elderly person -- and, again, we`re not bashing the elderly here. They have every right to run for president

MATTHEWS: I`ll tell you, Bernie for reelection, you`re selling it.

MAHER: But, as far as technology goes, they`re not great at it. I`m not great at it.

So, I think she probably just didn`t understand that much what she was doing.

MATTHEWS: Do you think that`s the reason...


MATTHEWS: ... it shows a low number there?

MAHER: I think the important thing is, what was the intent with the e- mail?

Was -- was -- was the intent something nefarious? Of course it wasn`t. In fact, most of the people in the State Department used a private server because the government server wasn`t efficient. She needed a private server to get her work done, because Democrats do work, government work. They don`t hate the government. They actually want to get it done.


MAHER: She`s a wonk who needed something that worked.

MATTHEWS: That`s pretty good. I don`t believe it, but it`s good.

Let me...

MAHER: You don`t believe it?


MAHER: You think something...


MAHER: ... nefarious was going on?

MATTHEWS: I don`t think -- no, no nefarious.

What I think was that -- and this is legitimate -- Hillary Clinton had just run for president. She had personal contacts with tens of thousands of people in the country who were her political army. She wanted to keep that army together. She wanted to keep in contact with it. She wanted to help people get their kids in certain schools, perhaps, stay in touch on holidays and things like that.

She had to maintain a political network which was nationwide.

MAHER: Sure.

MATTHEWS: She didn`t want that getting subject to FOIA or anything like that. She wanted to keep that all separate.

So, I do understand the need for her to have a separate, legitimate world in which she could operate, right?

But the law is the law, and I`m just learning it, like we all are.

MAHER: Yes. Yes.

MATTHEWS: But, by the way, why is everybody in Hollywood so un-nuanced?

Every time we get a Hollywood person on, they`re either very liberal and occasionally conservative.

Doesn`t anybody go, you know, there`s things you could say on both sides here.

MAHER: Well, the...

MATTHEWS: This is a tricky one.

MAHER: You`re not talking about me?

MATTHEWS: I`m just raising the question generally.

MAHER: I mean, if anybody is always telling liberals they have spinach on their teeth, it`s me.


MAHER: So, don`t throw that one at me.

MATTHEWS: I didn`t throw it. I just put it up there for consideration.


MAHER: I -- I take more crap from liberals...

MATTHEWS: OK, since you were getting to my left on everything.




MAHER: But could I say one more thing about this?


MAHER: The e-mail thing?

If you look at all the issues...

MATTHEWS: And you have always taken this position about the e-mail thing. You never thought there was a problem there.

MAHER: I -- I -- as I said to Bernie Sanders, I think there`s a little more of a problem than I thought to begin with, but I still don`t think it`s a giant issue.

MATTHEWS: Neither do I.

MAHER: And if you look at all the issues that animate the right wing, e- mails, Benghazi, voter fraud, Planned Parenthood, building a wall...


MAHER: ... who can go to the bathroom where, what do they all have in common?

They`re imaginary. They`re not real. They don`t affect anybody`s lives. They`re not actual issues.


You know, just before we break here, tell me, this is where -- I don`t like to say both sides are guilty, because it sounds too easy. Somewhere during all the Benghazi stuff, where people got killed there, you know what, I always wondered why -- Hillary Clinton, who is a very smart person and very good on the law, would have just said, let me explain to you what I did from the moment I heard my friend Chris Stevens was in trouble. And he was my friend, not -- you don`t even know the guy. He was my friend.

And from the moment I heard about it, I went to the Army, I went to the CIA, I went to all the forces we had at -- available to us at -- at State. And I followed that thing hour by hour, hour by hour, until we heard he was definitely gone, that he had been killed.I made a point of doing everything I could. You can do the ticktock on this.

And yet, when you watched the hearings, they never said, what did you do this minute, what did you do that? They never kind of asked her the kind of...

MAHER: Right.

MATTHEWS: ... questions to get that kind of narrative. All the people wanted to hear was, she did her best. That`s all they wanted to hear.

And the Republicans never gave her a chance to show that she had done her best. I didn`t understand. It wasn`t very helpful, the whole thing.

MAHER: Also, no one has the guts to say that Chris Stevens, brave, but that wasn`t a smart thing to do.

MATTHEWS: It was his call.

MAHER: It was his call. There wasn`t enough security there.

MATTHEWS: I think they were hoping she would say that at some point.

MAHER: And, you know...

MATTHEWS: Blame it on him.

MAHER: ... you`re not going to hug it out with the jihadis and win it that way.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know.

MAHER: It`s a little...

MATTHEWS: Well, we were counting on local militia to protect us, because it was a revolutionary country. And I just wish that Congress was capable of a clear-cut hearing, where you actually learn something.

We`ll be right back with Bill Maher.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAHER: The president is coming to the last six months of his term, which, after seven and a half years in office, must seem like those final few months of high school. As president, that means doing some things just for fun now that it`s the end, like, you know, legalize pot. (APPLAUSE)

MAHER: Put Beyonce on the nickel.


MAHER: Invite RuPaul to take a transgender leak in the Rose Garden.


MAHER: Did I mention legalize pot? (END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: There`s nothing I like more than new rules, by the way.

MAHER: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: I love new rules. That`s yours, isn`t it? You own it.

MAHER: I own it.

MATTHEWS: You own that franchise.

MAHER: People have tried to rip it off, but they can`t.

MATTHEWS: You had seen me go crazy when you do it.

Anyway, welcome back to HARDBALL.

More than 320,000 people recently signed a petition on the White House Web site for President Obama to appear on "Real Time." The White House responded that they would keep in mind the invitation. And they said, "Plenty of us around here watch `Real Time` because we admire Bill`s passion for studying the science on climate change, asking tough questions about money in politics and trying to burst the bubble where some of our politicians and too many of our nation`s critical political debates exist."

Anyway, thank you.

Let me ask you about, do you want to add something for the -- I`m pretty much pro-Obama, so this isn`t new to anybody watching. But what would you like him to get done between now and like next January? MAHER: Well, legalizing pot would be great. MATTHEWS: Nationwide. Do you think we`ve had enough test of it yet?

MAHER: I mean, he can`t do it single-handedly but he could come out strongly for it. And he should. I mean, he was a pothead himself.

He -- I`m sure -- MATTHEWS: He used. MAHER: No, he was a pothead and he`ll tell you that. MATTHEWS: A regular user. MAHER: It`s called the Choom Gang. You never heard of that? MATTHEWS: No. MAHER: That was the -- oh, yes, back in Hawaii, the Choom Gang -- yes. And a -- MATTHEWS: But it didn`t kill his ambitions?

MAHER: It didn`t kill his ambition, but if he had been convicted of it when he was young, he would not be president today. And he must know that there are people serving time --


MAHER: -- and/or for the -- their future is foreclosed in many ways. I mean if you`re convicted of just smoking pot, you can find yourself not able to get into a college or not, get housing. Lots of stuff -- problems with your kids. So -- MATTHEWS: So that`s it, huh? MAHER: Well, I just -- that`s not the only thing. I don`t even think that`s the most important thing. But that would be a great last thing for him to do, because I`m sure as he goes down that list of stupid things in America, as he went -- now let`s get -- open up Cuba, let`s have a climate deal -- MATTHEWS: Yes.


MAHER: -- a nuclear deal with Iran. These -- these are the kind of things that he just seems to be checking off. And that one is a no-brainer.

But he has an attorney general who`s very, very, very much against legalizing pot, which is a shame. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about what he`s likely to do -- it has nothing to do with the rest of mankind`s history, but with his legacy -- knocking off Trump, in some ways, politically. The danger of his very sting like a butterfly, whatever, float like a bee, float like a butterfly, sting like a bee thing, he`s been very good at that, like at the Correspondents` Dinner a year or so ago. He knows how to sting the guy and then pull back. Does he, at some point, risk getting pulled into the mud by -- by Trump? MAHER: I don`t think so. He`s too smart for that. I mean, he doesn`t get down on Trump`s level. Trump -- nobody gets down on Trump`s level. Trump fights in a completely unique way. Trump never lost his inner bully -- MATTHEWS: Yes. MAHER: -- from childhood. You know, this he -- he always -- MATTHEWS: "Lying Ted." "Crooked Hillary." MAHER: -- branding people, right. MATTHEWS: "Low energy." MAHER: Or just saying the thing that makes people nervous about themselves. Remember he talked about Kasich the way he was eating? He`s disgusting when he`s eating. Or, you know, talking about menstrual cycles and all this kind of stuff that -- MATTHEWS: Didn`t you know him in high school? MAHER: I`m saying, this is the high school bully. And he never ever lost that. And it`s very effective. MATTHEWS: He`s talking about something we grew up with. Of all the things we`ve made progress on, this sexual identity, sexual orientation in our lives, (INAUDIBLE) I was watching a movie the other night. It wasn`t that old of a movie, 10 or 20 years. And you could still tell jokes about people being gay. It was like a -- MAHER: Sure. MATTHEWS: -- a funny punch line. MAHER: Yes. MATTHEWS: That`s gone. There`s no joke there anymore. And the setup doesn`t work. People don`t have that hostility or that -- even that discomfort. What do you think about the pope saying that church -- the Roman Catholic Church owes an apology to gay people? MAHER: I think it`s great. You know, the pope is a different kind of cat than any pope we`ve ever had before. Now, on Catholic doctrine, he`s pretty much down the line -- MATTHEWS: Yes. MAHER: -- as has been every pope we`ve ever known. I think American liberals have a feeling he`s more liberal than he really is, but at least he makes this much of an effort. I`ll tell you, I will always loves this pope just for the fact that he went to Washington last fall and lectured the Republicans on climate change. MATTHEWS: Yes. MAHER: I mean, climate change isn`t even on his beat. He`s the pope. He doesn`t even have to address this issue. But he took it upon himself because he`s a smart guy and he said I am going to put this on my agenda. And that`s... MATTHEWS: It is sort of pro-life, when you think about it. MAHER: Yes, it is. Yes, I mean it`s a -- MATTHEWS: Save the life of our species and everything else -- MAHER: Right. MATTHEWS: -- on this planet, every other being. MAHER: But -- but for him, the pope, the excuse me, Grandmaster Flash of ancient fairy tales, to go to Washington... MATTHEWS: What does that mean? MAHER: Well -- MATTHEWS: Grandmaster Flash of ancient fairy tales? MAHER: Well, Chris, it`s -- it`s an insult to religion. MATTHEWS: Oh. MAHER: So I don`t want to -- MATTHEWS: Because that`s your beat. MAHER: -- I don`t want to -- I know. That`s my beat.

But to lecture Republicans on reality -- MATTHEWS: Yes.

MAHER: -- on what`s real, on getting real. Of course, it didn`t work because Republicans have not moved one inch on that issue. But I thought it was pretty amazing and it made me really, really love that man. MATTHEWS: Why -- why is climate -- you know, in real terms, it`s not just that Kilimanjaro doesn`t have snow on it anymore, it`s that Miami Beach is about five feet -- MAHER: Yes. MATTHEWS: -- above sea level now. It`s going to be Venice down there. We face a -- there`s islands disappearing right now. It`s not in a -- it`s not a theory anymore.

MAHER: No, of course not. And --

MATTHEWS: Climate is affecting us.

MAHER: And how about the fact that the Pentagon has been on this page for the better part of a decade?

The Pentagon has been saying this is a national security issue. And the Republicans in Congress have told them don`t tell us that. So, I mean, it`s all --

MATTHEWS: Why are they afraid of science? Is it that they`re afraid of admitting there`s evolution or? MAHER: Well, obviously, I think the main reason is because they get contributions from people like the Koch brothers, who want to -- MATTHEWS: Yes. Who don`t want to believe in it because they want -- MAHER: Because that`s where their... MATTHEWS: -- fossil fuels. MAHER: Yes. MATTHEWS: Yes. MAHER: Because they only have $80 billion, Chris. What if they don`t make any more money? How are they going to eat? It`s ridiculous. I don`t understand rich people and climate, because you can`t have private air.


MAHER: You just can`t. And you can`t escape all this toxicity in the water, the food supply. And it`s going to get you all. Don`t they -- don`t they connect the dots between the toxicity that is pervading the atmosphere and the sickness that they must see all around them, in themselves, in their family, the rates of cancer, the -- I -- I mean America, in general, causes this sickness because we are so toxic. MATTHEWS: Well, they don`t have your conscience. Much more ahead with Bill Maher. This is HARDBALL and the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: You can play hard ball all week long online. Follow the show on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook. You`ll get access to interviews, videos and behind the scenes photos, as we hit the road covering this wild presidential campaign of 2016. Back with Bill Maher in just a minute. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We have to be so strong, we have to fight so viciously and violently, because we`re dealing with violent people, vicious people. Folks, there`s something going on that`s really, really bad, all right? It`s bad and we`d better get smart and we`d better get tough, or we`re not going to have much of a country left, OK? Muslims are the ones that see what`s going on. The Muslims are the ones that have to report them. And if they don`t report them, then there`ll have to be consequences to them.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Donald Trump has called Hillary Clinton`s reaction to terror "weak" and he`s criticized President Obama and other Democrats for not using the phrase, "radical Islamic terrorism." Does he have a point?

I`m back with Bill Maher.

What is the issue of language here? They seem to think they have got Obama on the hook there, by not using the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism". MAHER: Well, here`s the thing. I think the question we have to ask is, can you defeat "radical Islamic terrorism" or the war on terror -- that`s not a great name for it, but for better -- for lack of a better term -- without reforming the religion itself? That`s a question I think Americans need to ask themselves. I would say no, you have to reform the religion itself before you get to the war on terror. And you can`t reform the religion if you can`t talk about it, if you can`t be honest about it, if you can`t criticize it. Every time somebody says Islamophobia, they give cover to the religious bullies who are making life miserable to all the Muslims in the world who want to live in the 21st century as opposed to the many who also want to live in the seventh century. And we have to come down on the part of the people who want to live with our values.

But Donald Trump`s solutions are abhorrent. I mean he`s a fascist. The answer is not to ban all Muslims. I think the answer -- I -- well, like when they elected the -- a mayor -- a Muslim mayor of London.


MAHER: I said, that`s a great thing. We need more of that, because when Muslims are in places like that, mayor of London, they have to speak out plainly and they have to come out plainly for the values that we all share, separation of church and state; equality for women; freedom of speech.

These are not always rife in the Muslim world.

MATTHEWS: What about the argument about the language, though, back to that? "Radical Islamic terrorism" -- Democrats don`t want to use the phrase. Trump says they don`t want to use it for some murky reason. You know what he`s saying. MAHER: I mean, the language you -- (CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: -- that they`re somehow on their side. You know what he`s up to. MAHER: Of course, I know what he`s up to. But the language is not the main thing. But it is part of it and I`ve been saying this for a long time. MATTHEWS: You have. MAHER: If there is an attack in the months before the election, I think it will probably help Donald Trump, although he has an amazing ability to sabotage his own cause. We saw that after the Orlando shooting.

MATTHEWS: What are the odds of him right now, do you think? MAHER: Look, I want -- MATTHEWS: Here in July? MAHER: I want to scare people into coming out to the -- MATTHEWS: How many out of 10? What are the odds? Two out of 10 chances, five out of 10?

MAHER: People say this to me all the time, can he win?

Yes, he can win. I want people to be very scared until November 8th. Don`t get complacent. Anything can happen in this country.

They -- people have dumb ideas about what makes a president. They say things like, well, we need to run the country like a business, he`s a businessman. As long as they believe that, anything is possible.


MAHER: And, again, a terrorist attack could help him and they don`t like Hillary either. So, it`s always possible.

So, be scared. Be very scared. The zombies are in the mall. Go out and vote. Don`t think this is in the bag. It`s not two out of 10. So, let`s say it`s five out of 10. MATTHEWS: Wow! Fifty-fifty. MAHER: I don`t really believe that, but I want to tell people because I want them to be scared, right? MATTHEWS: OK. But what do you really think? MAHER: And they need to stay scared. MATTHEWS: What do you really think? One in 10? MAHER: No. I think it`s higher than that. MATTHEWS: Yes. MAHER: But it`s going to be tough because, obviously, the demographics and -- and -- and the more people see him, the more they hate him. MATTHEWS: Yes. MAHER: For obvious reasons. He`s abhorrent. He`s a -- MATTHEWS: His one great strength is he`s out and Hillary is in. That`s what I think is the one. It`s a change. MAHER: And his great weakness is he`s an insane racist in orange grease paint. And people -- the more they see it, it took them a long time. We`re not a -- a country that, you know --

MATTHEWS: Yes. MAHER: -- is really that quick. MATTHEWS: Yes. Back with more of Bill Maher. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: We`re back again with Bill Maher. His HBO show, "Real Time," will be airing four live specials during the weeks of the Republican and Democratic Conventions. Bill, what do you most hope happens at these conventions? MAHER: Well, I hope there`s a challenge to Donald Trump. I think that would be great. We need a Republican Party. We need -- we need more than two parties, really. We need at least two. And they -- maybe they could find their soul again, if they were to challenge this man, and hopefully, I don`t want him to get hurt.


MATTHEWS: OK. MAHER: But I`d like to -- I`d like to see some -- some fisticuffs down there on the floor.

(CROSSTALK) MATTHEWS: You want `68. MAHER: Just shut me up now. MATTHEWS: You want 1968 Chicago. Anyway, Bill Maher, thank you. MAHER: All right. Always a pleasure. MATTHEWS: And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.