Show: HARDBALL Date: September 14, 2016 Guest: Paris Dennard, Debbie Stabenow, Karen Weaver, McKay Coppins, Katty Kay, Mark Penn, Deana Bass, Ron Suskind
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Bedside manner.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
Well, this afternoon, that oddly matched pair of Clinton and Trump competed to show their medical reports. Only in a campaign this bizarre -- this campaign from Oz -- did one of the candidates show up on Dr. Oz to perform the medical equivalent of a striptease -- Maybe I won`t show you. OK, maybe I will. Yes, I will.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MEHMET OZ, HOST: If your health is as strong as it seems from your assistants (ph), why not share your medical records? Why not...
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, I have really no problem in doing it. I have it right here. I mean, should I do it? I don`t care.
TRUMP: It`s two letters. One is the report and the other is from Lennox Hill Hospital.
OZ: May I see them?
TRUMP: Yes, sure.
OZ: So these are the -- these are the reports from...
TRUMP: Those were all the tests that were just done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Reality TV. Anyway, according to the people in that audience -- do you believe this? -- the television doctor was very impressed with Trump`s health, other than that itty-bitty issue of his weight, Trump`s weight.
Anyway, Trump`s physical was conducted by Dr. Harold Bornstein, the same man who wrote a letter last month that he later admitted was completed in five minutes. In it, the doctor said, "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." That`s an authoritative report there.
And here`s what he told NBC after the letter was released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any medical concerns about him?
DR. HAROLD BORNSTEIN, TRUMP`S PERSONAL PHYSICIAN: Medical concerns about him? I guess you have the same average medical concerns that you have for a 70-year-old man.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How could you know that he would be in the best health of any president in the history of the United States?
BORNSTEIN: I like that sentence. I like that sentence, to be quite honest with you, and all the rest of the (INAUDIBLE) We`ve had everything as president, people with dementia and people with tumors. We`ve had everything as president. We`ve had psychotic and paranoids, and we`ve had -- all in my own little lifetime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Everybody wants to go to that doctor.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, this afternoon, Dr. Oz gave NBC his assessment of Trump`s health.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OZ: As a doctor, if he was my patient, I think the results were good for a man of his age.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Meantime, the Clinton campaign released what it called a comprehensive letter from Clinton`s physician. It described her medications, lab tests and vitals. Her doctor concluded her physical exam was normal and she is in excellent mental condition. That`s strange.
For more on this day of dueling disclosure of competitive good health reports, I`m joined by NBC`s medical contributor, Dr. John Torres.
Doctor, I`ve got three questions. What`s new here? What`s important here? And what`s missing?
DR. JOHN TORRES, NBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: What`s new here -- we`ll start with Hillary Clinton. What`s new here is we`re finding out a little more information. And her doctor`s released two letters over the last few months, and in those two letters, we`re getting more of an idea, more of a picture of what`s going on with her health.
In this latest letter, we`re finding out again, like you mentioned, good mental health. She has excellent mental health. Also, we find out about her vaccinations. And we find out about some of the testing that went on with the pneumonia that she had and how it was a mild pneumonia, that she`s on antibiotics for it. She seems to be recovering from it. And like you said, she`s resting right now.
There are a few pieces missing in there, but those pieces I think are minor and I think are small pieces.
On Donald Trump`s end, what we`re finding out is that we don`t have a lot of things that we know about, and there`s a lot of pieces to the picture that are still missing, and we need to get some of those filled in. You know, Dr. Oz had this thing on his show that came on and showed us a little bit of information of what he`s going to show tomorrow. Hopefully, we`ll find out more information about that.
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about Secretary Clinton here. I`m trying -- I`m not a doctor, obviously, and I`m trying to figure out from what others have reported here. This Sunday, Hillary Clinton had a spate or a spat (sic) of dehydration. Fair enough. It was a hot day. A lot of people needed more hydration, more water. They weren`t drinking enough water. She wasn`t drinking enough. That led to fainting, and it led to her being helped into the car in a near collapse situation.
In 2012, another case of dehydration leading to fainting. In that case, it led to her falling and having a concussion, and then the blood clot. So was this a case on Sunday that if somebody wasn`t there to catch her that she would have fallen and potentially suffered the same reaction, which is a concussion, as she went through before?
Dehydration, fainting, concussion -- what does that pattern tell you?
TORRES: Well, it tells me a couple things. One, it tells me that she doesn`t take very good care of herself, especially when she`s on the campaign. And she works, you know, extra hard, like she says, but she`s not drinking the water and she`s not listening to her doctor as far as, You need some days of rest to make sure you get over this. She`s getting out there and trying to do these things.
The other thing it tells me is that, you know, from the tests she`s had in the past, especially the tests concerning the blood clots, it looks like they`ve done a fairly full evaluation of those. She`s on blood- thinning medication for that right now. You know, the concern there, if she does hit her head, it makes it more likely that she could bleed in that area. So you have to be extra careful with that.
So again, I think my main message for her would be, Listen to your doctor. Take better care of yourself before you go out and hit the campaign trail. And I do understand this is the hot and heavy season right now on the campaign.
TORRES: But you still have to take care of yourself.
MATTHEWS: So the blood clots are what they -- because that`s the phrase that grabs me, blood clots. Is this something that`s chronic now?
TORRES: It`s something that she`s had three different episodes of these blood clots. She`s on a blood-thinning medicine. That`s the coumadin the doctor talks about in the letter. The blood-thinning medication prevents other blood clots from coming on or forming...
TORRES: ... assuming she`s at the right levels. They seem to be checking her levels.
They also, in a -- an earlier letter talked about she doesn`t have any -- she did what`s called anticoagulation studies, meaning that what they`re looking -- they`re looking for syndromes that might cause her to coagulate a little more to get these blood clots. They didn`t find any of those. And so we still don`t have an understanding of why she`s getting these blood clots, and we may never because science hasn`t advanced that far. But they`re on the -- she`s on the medicine now she needs to be on to prevent that from happening.
MATTHEWS: What about Trump`s doctor? I mean, you can`t call somebody a quack, but to say that he`s the healthiest person ever to run for president is clearly meaningless, undocumentable -- there`s no medicine equivalent to what we have today 200 years ago. We can`t go back and check John Quincy Adams to see how he is in this head-to-head race. It`s an absurdity to say he`s the healthiest guy to run for president.
MATTHEWS: ... with all that long hair. He looks a little bit strange. What do you make of a doctor who comes out and says healthiest guy in history?
MATTHEWS: ... he`s leaning on his arm -- he`s leaning on his arm while he`s talking for some weird reason.
TORRES: Exactly. From a medical perspective, if he came to me, if I called him and said, I have this new patient. His name`s Donald Trump. Tell me what he`s like. And he says, He`s the healthiest person I`ve ever seen, I`m, like, OK, that doesn`t tell me a single thing. Give me some more information. Give me some background. Give me some history.
MATTHEWS: Yes. What have you got from Trump right now, from what we`ve got publicly?
TORRES: What we have, basically...
MATTHEWS: A little overweight, 230-something, I don`t know what else.
TORRES: Right. He`s overweight. The 230 puts him in an overweight category bordering on obese category. So I don`t know that I`d call him a healthy weight.
We don`t know much about his history beyond that, though. We know that he`s on an aspirin. He takes that every day. Why does he take the aspirin? Is it preventative? Did he have issues in the past?
We don`t know a lot of his picture, and that`s probably the biggest concerning thing here is that -- I talk about it being a puzzle. We have all these pieces we put together. In his case, we have a couple of pieces of a large puzzle that we haven`t...
TORRES: ... been able to put the rest of the pieces together get a complete picture.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you so much. You`re a great guest to have on, Dr. John Torres, for coming on.
I`m joined right now by "Mother Jones" Washington bureau chief and my pal, David Corn. He`s an MSNBC political analyst. And David -- Paris Dennard -- I don`t know where "David" came -- Paris Dennard, a Trump surrogate and former adviser to President George W. Bush.
Let me ask you guys something -- a question I`ve been thinking about. You know, we have this presidential commission on debates. It`s not actually a commission. It`s a private group put together, and everybody thinks it`s very straight and it`s very objective.
Why don`t we have a commission that says, No more pussyfooting around. If you want to run for president of the United States and you make it into the final rounds, at some point, April 1 or something, you got to give -- you got to submit to a medical exam and stop this nonsense. We ought to know -- shouldn`t we ought to know the health of our president when he runs, or she runs?
DAVID CORN, "MOTHER JONES," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you can do that. You can do a financial exam. You can have accountants look at...
MATTHEWS: I don`t mind that. I don`t mind...
MATTHEWS: You`re changing the subject and...
CORN: I`m saying you can do a psychiatric evaluation, as well. The question is whether -- I don`t think you can impose this. There`s nothing in the Constitution that says someone has to be sane and healthy.
MATTHEWS: Well, there`s nothing that says you got to go to the debates.
CORN: No, you don`t. That`s a choice. That`s a choice. So candidates -- I think you could set something up like that, and if candidate said, Get lost, he or she may pay a price for that.
CORN: But I mean...
MATTHEWS: Maybe that -- maybe, I think, Paris, a standard set of questions that doctors have to answer about you so the public knows...
MATTHEWS: Paul Tsongas was in very bad shape when he ran. I mean, it does happen.
PARIS DENNARD, TRUMP SURROGATE: I mean, we`ve had past incidences where -- you know, President Kennedy, we had FDR, and their health was a concern. It was concealed from the American people. So I think there`s some validity to the American people...
MATTHEWS: Roosevelt lasted a few months, or a month.
DENNARD: There`s something validity to the American people wanting to know and having the desire to know about it. But I think at the end of the day, there are bigger issues that people around the kitchen tables right now after Labor Day are concerned about. And I don`t know if it`s Mr. Trump`s colonoscopy or Mrs. Clinton`s -- Secretary Clinton`s pneumonia. I think there are bigger issues that we should be focused on.
MATTHEWS: Are you saying we shouldn`t talk about health?
DENNARD: I don`t...
MATTHEWS: That`s what you`re saying.
DENNARD: I`m saying that...
MATTHEWS: I`m talking about health right now, OK?
DENNARD: I think there`s bigger issues...
MATTHEWS: This is what I`m talking about right now, is health, OK? You want to say, I`m not interested in this topic, fine. But that`s what I`m interested in.
DENNARD: No, I...
MATTHEWS: They both went to the trouble today, guys, of putting out their -- some medical material...
MATTHEWS: ... because they think the public wants to see it. You disagree.
DENNARD: I don`t know if the public wants to see it. I think the public wants to hear about policy. The public wants to hear about deeper issues.
MATTHEWS: Well, we`ve been talking about policy for years, sort of.
MATTHEWS: OK, but you think the tax thing. Let`s talk about taxes now because this is death and taxes, almost. Trump has gotten away with it. Bernie Sanders got away with it. He went right through his campaign, and somebody said, Where`s the tax returns...
CORN: Well, Bernie Sanders...
MATTHEWS: ... he chose not -- he`s not a rich man, obviously. They`re not that (INAUDIBLE)
CORN: Well, Bernie Sanders never became the nominee. I think he would have had a harder time not releasing his taxes, were he the nominee.
Now, today we also have a piece out in "Newsweek" talking about the Trump organization`s financial ties to overseas players...
MATTHEWS: Can we just stay with one thing at a time?
CORN: No, no, wait a second...
MATTHEWS: We`re talking about -- no, really.
MATTHEWS: I want to talk about taxes, stay on taxes.
CORN: I will stay on taxes...
MATTHEWS: What is Trump hiding?
CORN: I think one of three things, if not all three things. He may not make as much money as you would think a 10 billionaire would.
CORN: He may not pay a high tax rate, or even a modest tax rate. He may still have -- make -- you know...
MATTHEWS: What would hurt him?
CORN: ... use deductions. And he may not give anything to charity...
MATTHEWS: That`s (INAUDIBLE)
CORN: ... which is even...
MATTHEWS: Why do you think Trump`s hiding it?
DENNARD: I don`t necessarily (INAUDIBLE) Mr. Trump is hiding it. I think...
MATTHEWS: He`s not?
MATTHEWS: President Obama said yesterday he`s hiding his tax returns.
DENNARD: Well, just because President Obama...
CORN: He could release his taxes!
MATTHEWS: Is he not hiding it?
DENNARD: Mr. Trump has said that after his audit is done...
DENNARD: ... he will release the taxes. He released his...
MATTHEWS: How do you know he`s having an audit right now?
DENNARD: Why do we have to assume everything he says is not true?
CORN: Why does he have to wait for to the audit to end? Richard Nixon...
CORN: Richard Nixon had an audit...
MATTHEWS: ... because he said he`ll release his taxes if Hillary releases her medical information.
CORN: It is a choice.
DENNARD: Well, you know what?
MATTHEWS: Just a minute. So it`s up to him, and he`s chosen not to do it. That`s what I`m saying.
DENNARD: I think he said that after the audit is complete, he will release it. And we should take it...
CORN: Well, if he doesn`t release it before...
MATTHEWS: ... anybody running for president say the same thing?
DENNARD: They surely could.
CORN: If he doesn`t release it before the election, it`s meaningless. The only point to release these taxes is to let people know very important details about a guy who wants to have his finger on the nuclear button. He can release it, if he wants to.
DENNARD: Governor Pence released his tax records, and what did that tell you?
CORN: Well, his...
DENNARD: No. Governor Pence released his taxes...
DENNARD: ... because it was a choice and because he...
CORN: Well, wait a second. He...
DENNARD: ... probably because he wasn`t under audit.
CORN: Wait a second! When he...
DENNARD: And it didn`t tell us anything.
DENNARD: ... tell us that his ability to be president or the vice president.
CORN: When -- when Pence...
DENNARD: It is a choice.
MATTHEWS: When you say...
CORN: Chris, when Pence was being vetted by Donald Trump, he gave Donald Trump his tax returns. So Donald Trump says, That`s good enough for me that I need to know about your tax returns, but Donald Trump tells the American public, Forget about it.
DENNARD: That`s not what he said.
CORN: I do not have to give it to you. I do not have to...
DENNARD: That`s not what he said.
DENNARD: ... after the audit, I will release my tax returns.
CORN: That is the biggest BS (INAUDIBLE) excuse!
MATTHEWS: Who`s auditing him?
DENNARD: I don`t know the auditors. And I don`t...
MATTHEWS: What institution?
DENNARD: Whoever audits (INAUDIBLE)
CORN: He could get taxes from five years ago. He could do this. It`s his decision. He`s hiding behind the audit as an excuse. That is clear to anyone...
MATTHEWS: Well, he can certainly document the fact he`s having an audit right now, if he wanted to.
DENNARD: He certainly could.
MATTHEWS: Do you accept my rule of politics? It`s this. If it`s better than it looks, they`ll show you. If it`s worse than it looks, they won`t. That`s what politicians do! They show you anything that makes them look better, hide anything that makes them look worse. That`s what politicians do.
I just think anybody that who keeps away from the public something that they`re proud to show tells me that they`re not really proud to show it.
CORN: There`s too much information here that he probably can`t put (ph) up with. Otherwise, you`re right. He`d get it out. And he can even give us the first page, how much you make, how much you paid and how much you gave to charity. He doesn`t have to give us all...
DENNARD: ... the Clinton campaign...
CORN: Not on taxes. She`s done taxes for 30 years.
DENNARD: ... hiding and deleted e-mails and...
CORN: It`s not the same thing.
MATTHEWS: I think it`s common practice right now to show your tax returns. I gave Bernie`s people a hard time on this...
DENNARD: And we should take Mr. Trump at his word that after the audit, he will do it. Let`s just do that.
MATTHEWS: You`re taking him at his word there is an audit.
DENNARD: I do. I happen to trust public officials. I happen to trust our leaders.
CORN: That`s crazy.
DENNARD: And I want to trust them.
DENNARD: That`s crazy to wait that long.
MATTHEWS: We`ll be right back to -- actually, David Corn, thank you, who doesn`t trust, and I don`t trust...
CORN: I don`t trust any of them. I want to see it.
MATTHEWS: Paris Dennard, thank you for coming on, a very trusting man, I think. We haven`t had this much trust here in a long time.
DENNARD: I trust you, too, Chris.
MATTHEWS: OK -- well, in this case, you`re right.
Hot stuff. Wait until you hear what Colin Powell (INAUDIBLE) you really want to know what Colin Powell`s thinking, you got to check that e- mail. Hacked e-mail shows the former secretary of state blasted Donald Trump, calling him a "national disgrace." He goes -- wait until you hear on this birther thing. I`ve been waiting for Colin Powell to talk about that. And part of the quote -- "racist," he called it, on this birther movement. Powell says there`s more where that came from, and that`s head. Pow, as Jackie Gleason used to say, right in the kisser.
Plus, Trump goes to Flint, Michigan, but critics say he`s just using the water crisis there as a campaign prop, especially after he had nothing to say about it during the Republican primaries.
And tonight, the HARDBALL roundtable will put us to the tests on Democrats` claims that Hillary Clinton is held to a different standard than Donald Trump. We`ll get to that with some interesting results.
Finally, my "Election Diary" for tonight, September 14th, as Hillary Clinton gets ready to reenter the fray tomorrow.
This is HARDBALL, place for politics.
MATTHEWS: We`ve got new polling from some key battleground states. Let`s check the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."
Catch this -- Ohio, where a new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows Donald Trump now with a 5-point lead over Hillary Clinton, 46 to 41. Next to, Florida, in the CNN/Opinion Research poll shows Trump with a 3-point lead, 47-44. Next, to Nevada, where a new Monmouth poll shows Trump now leading Clinton by 2, Trump 44, Clinton 42. Clinton led by 4 in the Monmouth poll back in July.
In Virginia, a new PPP poll shows Hillary Clinton holding strong. She`s has an 8-point lead over Donald Trump. It`s Clinton 50, Trump 42. Finally, to Michigan, where a new poll from Fox 2 in Detroit has Clinton leading by 5 points. It`s Clinton 47, Trump 42. Last month, Clinton led by 10.
We`re seeing how Trump is moving up in states in Florida, Nevada and Ohio, not quite doing well enough to catch in Virginia or Michigan.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Personal e-mails sent by retired four-star general and former secretary of state Colin Powell have been leaked on line by hackers with suspected ties to Russia.
And some of those e-mails, first reported by Buzzfeed news and later confirmed by NBC News, reveal Powell`s disdain for Donald Trump. In one e- mail, Powell slammed Trump for perpetuating the birther conspiracy that President Obama was not born in the U.S. Powell writes, quote, "Yup, the whole birther movement was racist."
And in an exchange with a former aide in June of this year, Powell goes so far as to call the Republican nominee a "national disgrace" and an "international pariah."
Other e-mails, which have not yet been verified at this time, include one in which Powell calls Benghazi a "stupid witchhunt." He adds that Ambassador Chris Stevens exposed himself to unnecessary risk. Quote, "basic (sic) falls on a courageous ambassador who thought Libyans now love me, and I am OK in this very vulnerable place."
But Powell also had some criticism for Hillary Clinton, who he called greedy and expressed his frustration with being dragged into the stories about her e-mails.
The site that released the e-mails to Buzzfeed, DCLeaks.com, is believed to have obtained the e-mails from Russian hackers. General Powell told NBC News: "The hackers have a lot more," a warning that carries added weight in light of recent charges that Russia is meddling in the American election.
I`m joined right now by McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed itself, as well as Katty Kay, anchor of BBC World News America.
But let me start with McKay.
What do you make of this -- well, let`s go to the substance. What do you think the power of this news is that probably the most respected -- well, let me just put it, the leading light African-American certainly in the Republican, the one that everybody in the country seems to trust, not just in that party, but one of our really renounced leaders in this country, was so open in his secret private correspondence about what he thinks of Donald Trump, what he thinks of birtherism, calling it racist, and what he calls Hillary Clinton, greedy? (LAUGHTER)
MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED: Well, it certainly is not good for Donald Trump, first of all.
Look, you`re right that this is somebody who is considered a statesman by a large swathe of the country. And the fact that he has not up until now inserted himself publicly into the presidential election very much adds I think gravity to his criticism of Trump and the birther movement as racist.
I think the fact that he is so viciously critical of Trump in these private e-mails suggests that this is not -- this is not partisan positioning or posturing. This is what he really feels about his party`s nominee.
Let me go to Katty, because we all watch Colin Powell all time for signs. He is sort of the one back in `08 went for Obama, `012 went for Obama. I said, well, that`s going to matter with moderate Republicans. This guy`s voice matters.
KATTY KAY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it does matter.
And in these e-mails as well that have been leaked, he also talks about people in the Republican Party as idiots.
MATTHEWS: The Cheneys.
KAY: The Cheneys, talks about.
He also says that the party left him a long time ago. And he is pretty scathing about the Republican Party as well in an e-mail, for example, to his daughter. I actually think that the more surprising thing in these is e-mail leaks is what he says about Hillary Clinton, who he says is a friend of his, but then goes on to say that she is greedy, not transformational and overly ambitious.
That`s pretty damning.
MATTHEWS: He said something about her hubris, too. Like, it`s like...
KAY: That he has no hubris. Oh, that she ruins everything through her hubris.
MATTHEWS: Messes up everything.
KAY: Yes. Yes.
And I would -- and I`m surprised that he is that critical of Hillary Clinton on e-mail. I think everybody in Washington now is learning what you say on e-mail is probably going to be public fairly soon, thanks to Russian hackers.
MATTHEWS: Isn`t it funny, McKay, because I`m like most people on this. I have a certain view of the guy. I treat him like -- almost like an older brother. Not that much older.
But I got to tell you, I look up to the guy. I didn`t he did -- I think he got bamboozled by the bad guys going into the Iraq War and he should have -- that he is more of a salute guy than a politician.
MATTHEWS: But I do think when you hear that he think the Cheneys are as bad I think they are, that makes me happy. That makes me mirthful, because I know who they are.
I think they`re the biggest hawks in the world. But here is a guy who is not -- he is a soldier, a general. And he believes you get into the wars when you have to and you figure out a way to get out of them before you go in them, common sense.
COPPINS: Yes. Right.
I think it`s interesting the way that he attacks the Cheneys. He says they`re idiots. He was criticizing the book that he -- Dick and Liz Cheney wrote together. He also takes on Rumsfeld.
He and Condi Rice are actually in private e-mails between each other. They say Rumsfeld and the Pentagon messed up the nation-building after the invasion of Iraq. He says the boys in the band were brain-dead. That`s one comment that Powell makes.
MATTHEWS: That`s such a great idea to begin with. Give me a break. The whole idea we`re going to go in and recreate -- we`re trying to figure out Newark and Detroit. We got lot of cities we`re working on this country. Oh, we`re going to go rebuild Baghdad to our liking.
Let me ask you this about this election. This is a Chinese water torture. This is slow leaking, leaking, leaking, and nobody thinks it is going to stop until Election Day. Are we get some incredible, wow stuff coming in, holy cow stuff coming in, in October?
KAY: We don`t know exactly what is coming. We know what Colin Powell has said today, that there is a lot more out there.
We know that Julian Assange has said that just ahead of the first debate, he is going to release more stuff about Hillary Clinton. So, one can only assume that. And I think that`s the biggest story here, isn`t it, Chris? It is not the inside beltway of who said what, because so far there have been no stunning surprises in the leaked e-mails.
MATTHEWS: But confirmations.
KAY: Even at the DNC.
MATTHEWS: Confirmations, not surprising.
KAY: Confirmations of things that you and I might have suspected. But there is a real attack going on.
MATTHEWS: We have got an expert with us.
McKay, you know more what is going on more than either of us know. We`re just sort of mainstream types here.
Do you think there`s going to be a real waterfall coming in between -- a October surprise of information from the e-mail train?
COPPINS: Look, I don`t see how there couldn`t be.
I have to say, look, you have Julian Assange. You have the Russian hackers. You have all these people saying -- promising to deliver more. They`re not bluffing. And I think the fact that even Colin Powell is saying that the hackers have a lot more suggests that he is nervous about what is still going to come out.
COPPINS: Look, my colleagues at BuzzFeed are still sifting through the e-mails that D.C. Leaks is providing right now. There could many, many more in the coming weeks. And I think that both campaigns need to be ready for that.
MATTHEWS: Well, I will be popping in at midnight looking at my phone to find what out what is new.
Anyway, thank you, McKay Coppins, for coming. And, Katty Kay, thanks for coming back.
Up next: Donald Trump visited Flint, Michigan today. I guess it was a goodwill visit. But critics say he`s only there to make a campaign issue out of the water crisis, the bad water there. We are going to talk to Flint`s mayor about Trump`s trip next.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Milissa Rehberger. Here`s what`s happening.
Ford announced today it will move its entire small car operation from the U.S. to Mexico over the next two to three years. The company will focus U.S. production on pickups and SUVs.
Tropical Storm Julia bombarded Florida`s East Coast with 40-mile-per- hour winds and heavy rain. Much of the area is under a tropical storm warning.
And a judge denied bond to a man accused of intentionally ramming his car into three police officers in Phoenix. He faces an attempted first- degree murder charge -- back to HARDBALL.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It used to be cars were made in Flint, and you couldn`t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are made in Mexico, and you can`t drink the water in Flint.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Good joke, bad timing.
Welcome back to HARDBALL.
With less than 60 days to go before the election, Donald Trump toured Flint, Michigan, which has been plagued by a public health crisis ever since lead was discovered.
Of course, we all know the story in the city`s drinking water -- Rachel has done great work on this -- back in 2014.
Of course, at a campaign event back in January, Trump was asked about Flint. But he didn`t -- well, he said he didn`t want to comment on it. But Monday, he told "The Detroit News" -- quote -- "This a situation that would never have happened if I were president." He doesn`t explain how, in fact.
Both the mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver, who is with me right now, and Michigan senior Senator Debbie Stabenow have called this a belated photo- op, accused the Republican nominee of exploiting the crisis.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, made Flint a focal point of her campaign during the primaries. She`s visited the city twice. Trump`s visit is aimed at reaching to communities with large African-American populations, of course.
And joining me right now is Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, the aforementioned, and also the aforementioned Flint`s deputy -- actually, Democratic Mayor Karen Weaver.
So, what do you think?
Michael -- Michael -- what is it, Michael Moore is one of these guys who has been out there in that city for decades talking about its economic plight. What do you make of the newbie?
KAREN WEAVER (D), MAYOR OF FLINT, MICHIGAN: Well, you know what?
MATTHEWS: Does it help at all?
WEAVER: Well, the only good thing is, there is attention on Flint.
And we need to keep this story front and center, because it doesn`t need to go away until the issue is resolved. But this emergency declaration was declared back in December of `15, back in December.
So that`s almost 10 months now. And to come into Flint now, you know, it is interesting timing, because it`s almost time for people to start getting absentee ballots.
WEAVER: It`s time for the vote. MATTHEWS: It`s finally time.
We know the politics.
WEAVER: Right. Right.
MATTHEWS: Ms. Mayor, we are familiar here at HARDBALL with politics. WEAVER: Right.
MATTHEWS: But let me ask you this, just so people know who do care. And you have raised that point.
The water now that the people are getting out of their taps in their bathrooms and especially their kitchens, that water that comes out, has that got lead in it?
The water is still unsafe for us to drink, yes.
MATTHEWS: So, you`re drinking bottled water, if you can afford it.
WEAVER: While our water is getting better, it is not at a point where we can drink it. We are still on bottled water and filtered water.
SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: And just think about that, Chris.
We`re talking about going on two years for folks that have been bathing in bottle water and cooking and are still drinking bottled water. The good news is that, today in the United States Senate, we finally broke the gridlock and the roadblock for the last eight months, and we are providing help that will help fix those pipes and replace those pipes.
But I want to go back to...
MATTHEWS: But that`s what we have to do, right? Pipes are ruined.
STABENOW: You have to replaced the pipes, absolutely.
MATTHEWS: All the pipes leading into your house or the ones on the mains, all the pipes.
STABENOW: Well, and the thing is that...
MATTHEWS: I mean, seriously.
MATTHEWS: You have to get rid of your own plumbing.
STABENOW: And the reason that was done is because the governor of the state wouldn`t spend $100 a day to treat the water for corrosion. And so that`s how we got there.
MATTHEWS: Well, we have got -- we covered that here.
MATTHEWS: While in Flint, by the way, Donald Trump visited the Bethel United Methodist Church. He also delivered some prepared remarks. But when he began attacking Hillary Clinton, the pastor of that church stepped in to clarify the purpose of his visit and the invitation to come in.
Let`s listen to the pastor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Everything she touched didn`t work out. Nothing. Now, Hillary Clinton...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for...
TRUMP: Oh, oh, oh, OK, OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not to give a political speech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: What did you think of that? She was quick off her feet, wasn`t she?
WEAVER: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: That was -- that`s the kind of moderator, by the way, we don`t want in the debates.
Anyway, Trump also promised, if elected, to help the city.
Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The damage can be corrected, and it can be corrected by people that know what they`re doing. Unfortunately, the people that caused this tremendous problem had no clue. They had absolutely no clue.
So, it`s an honor to be with you. Pastor, it`s an honor to be with you, and I appreciate it, Armstrong.
And I will say -- I can only say in the strongest of terms that we can fix this problem. It`s going to take time. It`s amazing, the damage that`s been done. But we will get it fixed. And it will be fixed quickly, if I am elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk politics for a second here. You`re both politicians. You have both been elected. You know how to turn a crowd on.
Not much pizzazz there, was there, not much connection, chemistry, was there?
STABENOW: No, not at all.
WEAVER: No. And that`s been the problem. People have wondered, what has taken so long if you were so concerned about the citizens of Flint?
One of the things that we have said is, look what Senator Stabenow has done. She has worked in the Michigan delegation. But they have worked tirelessly and effortlessly. And she has worked across the aisle to get with Republicans to help get this passed through the Senate. If he is very as concerned, as he says he is, then we need him to do that same thing.
MATTHEWS: So, what do people in that church, which is a black church, what do they think when a guy shows up a couple weeks before the election they never met before?
And that was the question. What took you so long? And where have you been?
STABENOW: You know what? He is irrelevant in terms of helping Flint and in Flint.
People -- it means nothing that he`s there. I think, though, it is important to say, though, when he talks about who he is attacking for this problem, he is attacking a Republican governor who ran as a businessman who had never been involved in government, just like Donald Trump.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let me ask you both a question. Why is Michigan so strongly and solidly Democrat? Because I`m looking at Pennsylvania. Maybe, on the best day of his life, Trump could win. I don`t think -- I believe he won`t. Same with Virginia.
He may carry Ohio. That`s more Republican. He may carry North Carolina. It`s more conservative. May carry Florida. But Michigan is almost untouchable. Why for a Republican?
STABENOW: Well, first of all, Michigan understands what President Obama has done with the auto industry, what we need in terms of...
MATTHEWS: When Mitt Romney gave up on it.
STABENOW: Well, he said let it go bankrupt. So did Donald Trump, said let them go bankrupt. And, by the way...
MATTHEWS: Did Donald Trump say let it go bankrupt too?
STABENOW: And, by the way, when he talks about trade, I`ll take him seriously when he stops making his ties in China and his suits in Mexico and his furniture in Turkey and everything else. And so he has no credibility when it comes to jobs.
Thank you, guys. Thank you for both coming on.
I know you well.
I have met you now.
Thank you so much, Mayor Karen Weaver and Senator Debbie Stabenow.
Up next, when we return, the HARDBALL roundtable on whether Hillary Clinton actually is being held to a higher standard in the campaign than Donald Trump or not. We are going to get a real fight here.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (BOOING)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don`t boo. Vote. Don`t boo. Vote.
Booing is easy. I need you -- I need you to vote.
He calls himself a business guy. But America has got a lot of business men and women who succeeded without hiding their tax returns or leaving a trail of lawsuits or workers who didn`t get paid, people feeling like they got cheated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was President Obama yesterday in Philly taking shots at Donald Trump in a rather lighthearted way about not releasing his tax returns. He has an interesting phrase of Trump. He said he is hiding his tax returns, not disclosing them.
Anyway, Trump has so far defied a decades old tradition of candidates releasing their tax returns and their detailed medical records as well.
Hillary Clinton has released hers going back to `77. Well, that`s 23 and 13. That`s a lot of time there, 29 years. Over a year ago, the Clinton campaign released detailed health records of Clinton`s medical history and they released even more information earlier today, late today actually following her reason diagnosis of pneumonia.
But is Clinton being held to a different standard of transparency than Trump? One medical expert says so. Here he is -- she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. NATALIE AZAR, NBC NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: What I will tell you is that the Clinton campaign and the Hillary Clinton, Secretary Clinton herself has been very forthcoming about her medical history, particularly in the past couple days, so much so that we now know she gets dehydrated often. It`s a very interesting detail and I would argue that a little bit of a double standard. I think we`re holding her to a different standard of disclosure at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s bring in HARDBALL round table to figure this one out. Mark Penn is former chief strategist for Hillary Clinton, Deana Bass is former spokesperson for Dr. Ben Carson, and Ron Suskind is director of Investigative Journalism Project up at Harvard Law School.
Mark, this question, first of all, I do think it is a question about a person who gets dehydrated to the point where they faint. This has happened now twice. At one point, it led to a concussion, the blood clots. Hillary was caught this time before she fell.
When you faint even a few times, you have to wonder what is causing it. Apparently, it is dehydration. But then why? Do you think that`s relevant?
MARK PENN, FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST FOR HILLARY CLINTON: Look, obviously, it`s relevant. Obviously, because millions of people have seen this video. People would question, what was really happening? I think absent the video, they wouldn`t have been kind of concern. I think they dispelled it. I think she`s going to get a huge welcome tomorrow when she goes back on that stump, and that`s going to be the end of it.
MATTHEWS: The end of it.
DEANA BASS, FORMER SPOKESPERSON FOR DR. BEN CARSON: I don`t think it`s going to be the end of it. I definitely believe that she disclosed this because of the video. We wouldn`t know about it if it were not for the video. But when you talk about, are they being treated fatherly. Donald Trump has not been passing out. Donald Trump has not been winded or been described over and over again as looking unhealthy.
And so, people are raising these questions about Hillary. So, that`s one of the reasons why people are pointing towards her. I don`t think it has anything to do with her being a woman or being -- these arguments --
MATTHEWS: Do you think, Rudolph Giuliani has been put on this show rather rabidly discussing this is doing it only because he saw her cough sometimes?
BASS: No, I think that they are clearly --
MATTHEWS: They weren`t working this vein beforehand?
BASS: Clearly, there are people who are partisan, who want to raise these questions because of partisan biases.
But Hillary Clinton is the one who almost passed out in front of a camera. So, the fact that she`s the one who looks unhealthy, who keeps passing out, that`s one of the reasons why --
MATTHEWS: Well, she passed out once before and hit her head. But you say, as of this Sunday, it`s more fair game.
BASS: I think it is definitely more fair game.
MATTHEWS: Ron, my friend?
RON SUSKIND, HARVARD CENTER FOR ETHICS: Well, the fact is that you saw her waver there and held up. That seems real to people. That`s a burst of reality. Oh, there it is. That`s not to show they`re giving that something real, that`s why they hold on to it.
There is a general assumption out there that what they see on television is crafted and not real. So, moments lying this live on and that`s why it`s going to live for a while, before people say --
MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s try to step back and pretend you`re the most pristine journalist that ever was, who has no political ideology and no biases moving he or her in any direction and you`re looking at right down the middle. We`re talking about tax returns. We`re talking about health reports.
Is the media standard consistent here?
SUSKIND: Definitely. You know, the part of it is this --
MATTHEWS: Speak to me with your eyes here, which way is the media leaning here, against with or whom?
SUSKIND: Hillary is playing traditional playbook, traditional rules. You disclose. You may fall back a little bit. Here`s the facts.
Trump`s playing a whole different game. He gets chops, he gets points by thumbing his nose at the establishment, what he`s doing with his tax return and his --
MATTHEWS: So, you don`t believe he is under audit?
SUSKIND: No, no, I mean, he might have something in there. But the fact is, his numbers have been good during all this period and actually going up. He likes this -- thumb his nose at the establishment. That`s the core of his support.
MATTHEWS: I think you`re right. I do, I think the "not me" buddy is part of his thing.
SUSKIND: He loves it.
BASS: I think he should disclose his tax returns, but I don`t that there is some sort of bias and that she`s being treated unfairly. She`s been in the public eye for 25 years or more. So, you know, deep investigations into what she`s doing with the foundation and all these things and how that may relate to her role as secretary of state, all of those things I think are -- that is fair game. So, he`s been -- he`s not been in the public eye in that way.
MATTHEWS: Why the critics of the Clintons said, I understand some of this certainly, I`ve watched them, too. I`ve been a critic too. Why is it always the person they go after, not the politics? The critics of the Clinton really seem to focus on the being themselves, this soul, there`s something wrong with that person, rather than I disagree with them or she is too far left or too far conservative? It`s always the person they go after.
BASS: I don`t know that they`re going after the person. I think they`re going after this Clinton machine, this thing that seems impenetrable.
MATTHEWS: You know all of this. You were on the inside. Now, you`re on the outside.
PENN: Look, first of all, there is only one standard and I think Hillary is basically meeting the standards. She put out her tax returns. She has now put out enough medical information. He is not meeting the standards.
MATTHEWS: Is she getting knocked around more than he is?
PENN: Look, I think she took a knock on the health. But I think he`s taking a good knock on the tax returns. But remember, we`re in the final run of this campaign.
I think what you said earlier, if we`re going to make these disclosures, not traditional but real, we ought to do a commission and say, here`s your tax returns, not just this form about your finances, here`s your health report that has to be filed. And let`s do away with this nonsense, because remember, this is a close race.
MATTHEWS: At a rally in Canton, Ohio, Donald Trump took another shot at Hillary Clinton suggesting she wouldn`t have the stamina, that`s a key word, to deliver a long speech. He`s already projecting what she`s going to say tomorrow. Here he is, Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don`t know, folks. Do you think Hillary could stand up here for an hour and do this? I don`t know. I don`t think so. I don`t think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUSKIND: Just look at that, look at that. The man is an entertainer. He knows how to do this and so to deliver a line and everybody is just guffawing. She doesn`t do that.
MATTHEWS: Come on, you want all politicians, may be not that kind of swagger, but you want him to have an ability to connect with wit occasionally to lighten it up a little.
BASS: And to connect with the people. This is bottom line. Tomorrow --
MATTHEWS: You want Al Gore back, don`t you?
SUSKIND: Well, I don`t know about that. You know what? Here`s the thing, here`s the thing -- look, Clinton was good, you know? He can do that.
MATTHEWS: Bill can do that.
SUSKIND: But, you know, Trump is an entertainer. He`s got a whole set of skills that no other politician in the landscape has had forever.
MATTHEWS: I hate to break it you, they`re all politicians.
Yesterday, a very big Obama guy, I got to tell you. I thought yesterday was fantastic. But for whatever reason he thinks all Philadelphia people have to drop their Gs. Get rid of all the Gs. George Sr. used to do it. George Bush, they all do it. Bill, Hillary.
Why do they all talk down to some dialect they think the average person talks in decent dose, and if you can talk like that with the people, you`re one of them. Why do they all do it?
PENN: Look how far that has gotten Trump. Look, I actually don`t --
MATTHEWS: He doesn`t drop his G`s.
PENN: Well, yes, he kind of talks -- his own dialect, which is barely English. I don`t think that is the most appealing. The real question here is who`s going to -- who`s qualified for president. He hasn`t been able to knock her out and he is trying to push this health thing. And to just to paraphrase, what difference does it make? She obviously has been the first lady, secretary of state, senator, and obviously, he has run (ph) through this campaign --
MATTHEWS: What do you make of Colin Powell saying in his email the other day that she always messes things up because of her hubris? You work with her.
PENN: Look, I think she could have handled this thing over the weekend better. But now, she`s in a good place. The information is out. It`s done. She`s going to -- I think in this upcoming debate.
MATTHEWS: Why didn`t she hire somebody? Maybe you play this right, I don`t know if you did. Who just says, boss? Madam Secretary, you`ve got to do it. I know this like eat your, whatever, your spinach. But you`ve got to do it. You`ve got to come out with this.
This is the time to do it. Not an hour and a half from now. Two months from now. Joe Pat (ph) used to say, it`s like fish. The longer you hold it, the longer it rots. You got to get the terrible -- the hardest thing in politics is to confess the truth ahead of the press.
PENN: This is a tight, close race. This game here, no one wants to give any advantage to the other side. She didn`t want to give this advantage. It got out there. It`s over.
I think it was a big mistake on Trump`s part. She`s going to be strong and vigorous tomorrow.
MATTHEWS: By predicting she`ll have a bad tomorrow.
PENN: Absolutely. That`s a huge mistake.
MATTHEWS: Bad politics.
Thank you so much. You`re a smart guy.
The roundtable is sticking with us. Notice how I stuck that in there?
Anyway, all three are going to tell me something I don`t know. They have been doing that.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: More fresh polls out today among likely voters nationwide. Hillary Clinton still leads Donald Trump in this case 48-43, according to Quinnipiac National Poll. Five point spread there.
Clinton`s lead was down compared to 51-41, a lead that she had in the previous poll three weeks ago. She`s losing the big lead. She still got one.
And when you add third party candidates to the race, results are even tighter with Clinton at 41, Trump at 39, just two points back. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson at 13. He`s creeping up toward 15, where he has to be to get in the debate. And Green Party candidate Jill Stein still down at low single digits at four.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL round table with "tell me something I don`t know".
And Ron, you first.
SUSKIND: So, the feel good summer movie, life animated. Stars an autistic spectrum young adult, happens to be my son. At a Q&A recently, he endorsed Hillary Clinton, said Donald Trump reminds of Gaston, that he is handsome, but insecure.
MATTHEWS: It`s a great movie. It`s a doc about your son who`s autistic kid who has been able to connect through watching lots of Disney movies. It`s such an amazing novel movie and it`s wonderful.
SUSKIND: He`s the first autistic spectrum leading man. He`s changing the culture.
MATTHEWS: I think he`s fantastic.
BASS: Well, the president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim will be reappointed in the next week or so. Even though his term doesn`t expire until June of 2017, why is he being reappointed? Because if Donald Trump wins, he will not be reappointed. If Hillary Clinton has the opportunity to reappoint him there will be questions raised about the World Bank`s connection to the Clinton Foundation.
MATTHEWS: OK, great.
PENN: Sixty percent, that is the percentage of Americans who think Donald Trump is not qualified to be president, according to the last "Washington Post" poll. That`s the only number you really need to focus on for the rest of this campaign.
If that is close to 60, he cannot win. The undecided will break against him. If he can get that 50 below --
MATTHEWS: Even anger won`t get person to vote for somebody they don`t think is qualified.
PENN: No, I think that is absolute critical number to follow.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you.
Anyway, Mark Penn, who knows his stuff, Deana Bass, thank you. And Ron Suskind, with that appropriate plug.
When we return, my election diary on where the race stands right now as Hillary Clinton gets ready to get back on the campaign trail tomorrow.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Election diary, Wednesday, September 14, 2016.
The oldest pair of presidential candidates in history today competed to see who was healthier. A strange campaign suddenly began to seem even stranger. Are we wrong in suspecting that all the medical papers that went flying out the doors of these campaigns today was carefully vetted to assure nothing on them has anything to diminish our confidence in the candidates` ability to do the job? Because if it contained an iota of bad news, does anyone watching right now think the candidate would have released it? Do you really think in this gladiatorial test of turf that either Trump or Clinton would give us information we don`t have or that could hurt them?
And this is the nature of this campaign, it`s called "rolling disclosure", and it was out there today on full parade. Rolling disclosures is when a candidate tells you something you already know because you already know it. It`s a practice of keeping back anything that any way harms the picture they`re carefully presented of themselves, until someone else, the media, a rival candidate or both does it.
It`s the reason why the American people don`t trust politicians. They know that every time they hold a press conference, it`s to announce what we already know, either that or to put out something that glorifies them in a manner that has not yet become obvious to us all.
Expecting to tell a difficult truth, a painful truth, a politically unsettling truth is like thinking you`ll find a hope diamond in your next Wheaties box.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
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