Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript 12/2/2016

Guests: Susan Page, Karen Tumulty, Francesca Chambers, Eli Stokols, Al Cardenas, Tim Daly

Show: HARDBALL Date: December 2, 2016 Guest: Susan Page, Karen Tumulty, Francesca Chambers, Eli Stokols, Al Cardenas, Tim Daly

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Battle of the bands.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

It`s been nearly a month since the election, but for many, it`s clear there`s more than a little bitterness out there. Last night, Donald Trump held a thank you rally in Cincinnati. Amid chants of "Lock her up" from the crowd, Trump reminisced about how much fun it was battling Hillary Clinton.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I`m going to discuss our action plan to make America great again. We`re going to discuss it.


TRUMP: Although we did have a lot of fun fighting Hillary, didn`t we?


TRUMP: Right?


MATTHEWS: And then there was the remarkable sight on the campus of Harvard University yesterday at a forum featuring top Trump and Clinton aides. It`s an event held every four years, and usually a civil affair where former rivals come together to get debriefed about the election.

Well, this year, it devolved into shouting matches over the popular vote, the media, and the race itself, or the issue of race, especially when the topic of Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon came up. Listen to this.


DAVID BOSSIE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: He gets held to a standard that none of these other folks do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let me -- let me...

JENNIFER PALMIERI, CLINTON CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIR.: If providing -- Dan (ph), if providing a platform for white supremacists makes me brilliant -- a brilliant tactician...


PALMIERI: ... I am glad to have lost. And one -- give me a minute, David -- I am more proud of Hillary Clinton`s alt-right speech than any other moment on the campaign...


PALMIERI: ... because she had the courage to stand up -- I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.

CONWAY: No, you wouldn`t.


CONWAY: That`s very clear today. No, you wouldn`t, respectfully.

Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform? You going to look me in the face and tell me that?

PALMIERI: It did! Kellyanne, it did!

CONWAY: Really?



CONWAY: Do you think you could have just had...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys are pathetic!

CONWAY: ... a decent message for the white working class voters? Do you think this woman, who has nothing in common with...

PALMIERI: I`m not saying...


CONWAY: ... over 200 counties that President Obama won and Donald Trump just won?


MATTHEWS: So let`s get into it. "You guys are pathetic." That`s a great line. Donald Trump`s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway -- just heard her there -- accused the Clinton team of being sore losers. Let`s listen.


CONWAY: Guys, I can tell you`re angry, but wow. I mean, hashtag he`s your president. How`s that?


CONWAY: I was asked a hundred times on TV -- they`re all here -- maybe a thousand times, Will he accept the election results? Will he accept? Will you? Will you ever accept the election results? Really, will you tell your protesters he`s their president, too?


MATTHEWS: Well, we`ve got a lot more sound from yesterday`s event (ph), really wild sound. I`m joined right now by NBC`s Kasie Hunt and "USA Today`s" Susan Page, who were both there last night, and the HuffingtonPost`s global editorial director Howard Fineman. Thank you.

The tenor of this thing -- this is usually some little intellectual thing, where the sit around among the swells from Harvard and talk about the intellectual -- this is raw, bitter, gut-fighting, gutter-fighting.

KASIE HUNT, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Usually, this is polite. Polite would be the word. It was not polite yesterday. The Trump people were in the room because they wanted acknowledgement that they won this election. They didn`t really get it beforehand. They didn`t get any credit. And they, if anything, came to gloat a little bit.

And the Clinton people were just downtrodden. They were there to defend her honor. It was very clear that they all felt very emotionally invested and devastated and were not past the election.

You could see the culture clash that was on display throughout the entire campaign was on stark display in that room, even in the panels that were focused on the Republican primary, where you had people who worked for Republican candidates who might have sat across the table from Hillary Clinton and had a discussion like we`ve seen in past years.

MATTHEWS: It`s rough stuff, but I can imagine the people that lost felt bad. They didn`t like the looks. They didn`t like David Bossie sitting there telling them he won. He`s an arch-right guy, you know? He`s pretty nasty in politics. We all know that. And they looked at him and said, You`re the winner and you`re the leader of our country? And I can imagine what Jennifer Palmieri felt.

SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": You know, the -- in past ones, it sounds like they`ve been -- I wouldn`t say polite, they`ve been civil. And it`s not like they`ve been friendly because this forum always takes place about three weeks after the election, when fumes are still pretty high.

But the Clinton people thought they were going to win. And for them, they`ve had three weeks, and they have not yet come to terms with...

MATTHEWS: That`s what I write about. (INAUDIBLE) the end of the show tonight.

PAGE: ... with why they lost.

MATTHEWS: That I think is it. Howard, it was too soon for an election which happened too quickly. The results came too quick for everybody. Nobody knew what was going to happen (INAUDIBLE) I don`t care -- the Trump people didn`t know. Nobody knew this was going to go the way it did.

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST GLOBAL EDITORIAL DIR., MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, part of it is the shock of that defeat, as you say, that the Clinton people haven`t come to terms with. But I`ve been going to these things since 1984...

MATTHEWS: And they`re for the students.

FINEMAN: ... and I`ve moderated some panels. They`re for history, as well as the students. They`re to lay down the first draft of history from the sources.

And I was there when the whole Lee Atwater controversy over the Willie Horton ad in...


FINEMAN: ... in the campaign of `88. That was raw. And yet people -- I moderated that panel. And yet the situation was civil because there was a feeling in the room that, You know what? We`re all in this together. This is one country. And as Barack Obama said somewhat naively on election night, and soothingly, this was an intramural game.

Well, the attitude at this thing, from everything I`ve seen, and the people I`ve talked to on both sides, was unforgiving. It`s like we`re not even part of the same country.


FINEMAN: And we`re -- and it`s more like after a college football game, let`s say between Ohio State and Michigan. They hated each...


FINEMAN: They hated each other before the game...



FINEMAN: ... they played the game, and now they hate each other afterwards, and that`s...

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) school up north, Ohio State...


FINEMAN: And the lack of civility in the campaign is reflected in this.


HUNT: Look, the Clinton people believe fundamentally that Trump is going to tear the country apart.


HUNT: This is apocalyptic.

FINEMAN: Yes. Right.

MATTHEWS: It isn`t like George Herbert Walker Bush taking over. Anyway, on the topic of Hillary Clinton`s e-mails, Trump adviser David Bossie faulted the Clinton team`s approach. Let`s watch this. It gets rougher.


BOSSIE: They made a calculated mistake. If they had put out all of the e- mails that Judicial Watch and Vice News and Citizens United and others had demanded out of the State Department and FOIA requests for the two years prior -- two years prior to this campaign -- they would have solved their own problem. But instead, they used the old Clinton playbook from the `90s. They drip, drip, drip, held it all internally. They...



BOSSIE: Yes, a winning -- winning -- it was a winning strategy, I guess.


MATTHEWS: So they said, Why didn`t you do the same thing on the tax returns? Well, this is the weird thing about the thing last night. I thought that the Trump people -- or the Hillary people accused the media not being for Hillary. Oh, I`m sorry, assuming Hillary was going to win, and therefore being tougher on her than they were on Trump. This is kind of odd.

FINEMAN: Yes. It was totally mixed up. And I also think, in the past, the media, I know, having been at a lot of these, is kind of a passive observer thing. We weren`t the story in the past. But I gather here, both at these events and at the dinner the night before, the media coverage and where the media stood on this became one of the central issues of this whole -- this whole debrief, which is fascinating.

PAGE: That`s really (ph) right. And there were no defenders of the media in...



PAGE: The Democrats thought that the press had been unfairly harsh on Hillary Clinton and too soft on Donald Trump. And the Trump people felt that the media never took Trump seriously, didn`t give him a fair shake, treated him in a dismissive way.

And you know, the Clinton people haven`t come to terms with their loss. The Trump people did not play the traditional role of gracious winners.

HUNT: That`s the (INAUDIBLE)

PAGE: They -- and both of- neither of them had gotten off their campaign stances, even though the election is over.

MATTHEWS: Is this because these people, unlike -- well, we covered it for two or three years. They`ve lived it in the bunker for two years. The people up in Brooklyn, like Robby Mook, that`s all their life is. And then they see a new life emerging which isn`t the one they`re in. All of a sudden, there`s a world where Trump wins. It`s a world they don`t know.

You know, (INAUDIBLE) say suicide comes to people not from, you know, horror stories in their life, but from something completely different than they ever expected was going to happen. They can`t take it. It`s almost like they can`t take the reality of today. And I guess I understand it.

HUNT: When I started covering Hillary Clinton`s campaign six months ago, I went to Brooklyn and I talked to all of her top staff. And one thing I heard over and over again privately was, We feel an enormous weight to not screw this up because if we screw up this campaign, then Donald Trump is going to be the president of the United States. And their view of that was, as you said, very different from what if it was Jeb Bush or if it was Marco Rubio.

And the reality is, they`re still sorting through -- remember, this was a campaign managers` forum about what was going on in the campaign. Do they have to blame themselves? Where...

MATTHEWS: You`re right. It`s a good Freudian...


MATTHEWS: ... only blame is this one. Anyway, the Trump and Clinton aides also battled over the significance of Trump`s popular vote loss. That`s an argument, by the way, everybody`s having right now. Let`s watch.


MOOK: I would just say Hillary did win the popular vote.


MOOK: So we`re talking about a majority...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But she didn`t win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, just purely factual.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, God, you guys!

JOEL BENENSON, CLINTON POLLSTER: Listen, you guys won. That`s clear. You won the Electoral College.


BENENSON: Be honest. Don`t act like you have a popular mandate for your message.


MATTHEWS: This is just fighting words here. As you said, Ohio State against Michigan, they haven`t changed.

FINEMAN: But to Clinton`s point of view, the Clinton camp point of view, actually, what`s going to end up happening is the pre-election night polling which predicted that Hillary would win by 2 or 3 points...

MATTHEWS: Is true.

FINEMAN: ... is true!


FINEMAN: It`s just she didn`t win in the right places.


FINEMAN: From the Trump side, look, they were branded as illegitimate, that they didn`t deserve to be in the race, that Trump was something completely outside of politics. So they -- to continue the football analogy, they`re spiking it in the end zone repeatedly...


FINEMAN: because after having been told that they didn`t know what they`re doing, that they didn`t deserve to be in politics, that they were unqualified and disruptive in a way we`ve never seen in American politics before, they won. So what is Kellyanne Conway`s answer to every criticism? We won.

MATTHEWS: Which drives...

FINEMAN: It`s almost like...


MATTHEWS: It`s so interesting. At a separate panel at Harvard, also yesterday, Trump`s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski -- he`s back -- had a message -- by the way, the guy that never got paid, Fabrizio, he was there, too. He never got paid. (INAUDIBLE) comment about the media. We shouldn`t have taken everything the candidate said so literally, he said. This is a new kind of journalism. Don`t listen to the words, think through what he really meant. Let`s watch.


COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FMR. TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: This is the problem with the media. You guys took everything Donald Trump said so literally. And the problem with that is the American people didn`t. And they understood it. They understood that sometimes when you have a conversation with people, whether it`s around the dinner table, or it`s at the bar or it`s wherever it is, you`re going to say something, and maybe you don`t have all the facts to back it up, but that`s how the American people live.


MATTHEWS: Well, this is a new challenge in journalism, Susan. I`m not -- we have to be able to figure out what the parable meant. So if he says, something, like Jesus in the bible -- well, what he really meant was -- he didn`t mean this, he meant that. How do we report that?

PAGE: Well, it`s hard to report. And we need to take things literally because when presidents are -- when people are president, their words matter.

But I actually think the analysis, which I first saw in the article in "The Atlantic," that voters took Trump seriously but not literally. Reporters took Trump literally but not seriously. I think that`s about right. I think...

MATTHEWS: But how do you do it?

PAGE: Voters were -- because you`ve got to -- you`ve got to understand that voters were less consumed with when he said things that were...


PAGE: ... demonstrably untrue than they were about the approach...

MATTHEWS: OK, let me...


MATTHEWS: Let me try that out. When he said Obama wasn`t really an American citizen, he snuck in from another country, he`s basically an illegal alien who`s totally here as an impostor, how are we supposed to translate that to what he really meant?


PAGE: No, we`re supposed to say that`s not true. He was -- that`s a discredited theory. But we`re supposed to also understand how it`s resonating with some voters.

FINEMAN: Well...

PAGE: You got to do both!

MATTHEWS: Well, how`s the -- how -- what is the message he`s saying that we should report on? Just tell me.

PAGE: The message that we should report on is that there continues to be an effort by people who are so opposed to President Obama they`re willing to peddle a discredited theory, which by the way...

FINEMAN: The probably with that...

PAGE: ... a significant number of Republican voters...

FINEMAN: The problem with that...

PAGE: ... say they believe.

FINEMAN: Of course, the problem with that is it allows Trump to have it both ways. He`s the guy on the bar stool -- I`m going to get off of Jesus and compare him to the guy on the bar stool.


FINEMAN: OK. He`s the guy on the bar stool declaiming, That`s going to be -- that guy`s going to be president? No, don`t pay any attention to that guy. Pay attention to the guy who has the action plan.

Well, when Trump says he has an action plan to make America great again that he just said in Cincinnati, does he mean it?

MATTHEWS: Yes. Does he mean...


MATTHEWS: He didn`t really mean rapist. He meant -- what? I mean, what is the interpretation? If we`re at the U.N., we got to translate it, what`s he want us to translate?

FINEMAN: I think the real story here is that people were going to go for Trump as an instrument to bash the establishment...

MATTHEWS: I agree with that.

FINEMAN: ... no matter what he said.

MATTHEWS: I agree.

FINEMAN: That`s the real (INAUDIBLE)

MATTHEWS: Kasie, you were there every day.

HUNT: In the panel that Corey Lewandowski made these comments in, one of the Republicans who lost to Trump said, Look, Americans -- they didn`t care what your policy was, to fix anything or do anything. They wanted to burn the house down and then figure out what to do with the ashes afterwards.

FINEMAN: Who said that? That`s a...

PAGE: Sarah Huckabee.


PAGE: Well, you know, there was another quote that I thought was great from David Kochel (ph) of the Bush campaign. He said that Trump was like Godzilla walking into the power plant and he touches the third rail and he touches the fourth rail and he touches the fifth rail, and he just got stronger.

HUNT: Didn`t matter.


MATTHEWS: I love these metaphors...


FINEMAN: Jesus, the barstool and Godzilla.

MATTHEWS: I think barstool`s the smart one. Anyway, thank you very much, Kasie Hunt, Susan Page and Howard Fineman, a great panel for a great Friday night.

Coming up, Trump`s victory rally last night in Cincinnati was a sign of things to come for the next four years. He spent the night blasting, of course, the media as a way of preemptively discrediting any sort of coverage of his presidency. It`s called riding the ref, and he`s already doing it. And that`s ahead.

Plus, back to that hot fight between the campaign staffs of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The battle of the bands I`m calling it. The HARDBALL roundtable will be here with more on that, why things got so raw last night.

And it`s clear during this transition that Trump is relishing the theatrical aspects of the job. Actor Tim Daly (ph) is with us tonight to talk about the presidency in the age of reality TV.

Finally, let me finish with "Trump Watch" for tonight, December 2nd.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Well, President Obama is handing Donald Trump an economy that`s in solid shape after today`s job report. The economy added 178,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate a 9-year low- it`s down to 4.6 after all that he came in with Anyway, an average -- on average, the economy has added about 180,000 jobs each month this year.

And we`ll be right back



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: These are very, very dishonest people! Oh!



MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was, of course, Donald Trump last night attacking the media at his thank you rally in Ohio. It was really a no thank you rally to the media. While it`s been nearly a month since he won the presidency, Trump has continued to rail against the mainstream media, now mocking them -- us, I guess -- for wrongly predicting the outcome of the election. As Politico reports, Trump`s number one message is, I told you so. Well, here`s a look at what the president-elect had to say last night.


TRUMP: How about -- I mean, how dishonest -- how about when a major anchor who hosted a debate started crying when she realized that we won!


TRUMP: How about that? Tears! Oh, tell me this isn`t true! I mean, think of it. We won in a landslide. That was a landslide. And we didn`t have the press. The press was brutal. Remember? You cannot get to 270! Dishonest press.


TRUMP: And that person is doing the math! And that person was saying for months that there`s no way that Donald Trump can break the blue wall, right?


TRUMP: We didn`t break it, we shattered that sucker!


MATTHEWS: Well, in effect, Trump`s continuing the rhetoric of the campaign. However, it now appears his attacks are intended to -- as kind of a prebuttal against the media in order to lower expectations for his incoming administration`s press, the kind of press it`s going to get.

I`m joined right now by MSNBC political analyst David Corn, Washington bureau chief of "Mother Jones," as well as Al Cardenas, who`s former chairman of the Republican Party down in Florida.

Al, it seems to me -- it`s called riding the ref. I mean, he`s now saying, Whatever you hear from "The New York Times," which he maybe fairly despises, of course, would like to see go out of business -- whatever you read in there from now on, don`t believe it because they`re out there to crap all over me, and that`s the way it is.

AL CARDENAS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, a few conclusions, right?

Healing the country is not yet a top priority in the incoming administration. And, two, you know, this is it. I mean, he wants to make sure that he can talk to the populist crowd in their language. This rally stuff is his elixir. It`s an addiction. I think you will see more of it even during his term in office.

You are going to see constantly these rallies feeding the needs that he may have. But, look, the optimist in me says, as long as they can govern right with the right people in place, I will live with the aggravation of the populist aspect of it.

But it won`t heal the country. The country needs more than that.


DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: He has no interest in healing the country, unfortunately.

He came to prominence pushing a racist conspiracy theory. He ran a campaign of hate and fear, misogyny, bigotry. And he is going to govern or rule as president in the same way.

He, according to every fact-checker, lied so much more than any other politician. He broke the record of all politicians for telling lies. So he doesn`t want the media to pay attention to him. He wants to keep, you know, dismissing it, which is a play out of the conservative playbook.

MATTHEWS: OK, let`s talk about the logic here. Is he trying to destroy the fact-checking? Because if he can destroy -- he would like to see no print newspapers. I think that`s fair.

CORN: Right.

MATTHEWS: Because not a single newspaper in the country whose editorial page endorsed him that I can think of. So, the newspapers...

CORN: Well, Sheldon Adelson.


MATTHEWS: OK. You`re just making a joke.

CORN: Well, no, that was one.


MATTHEWS: He doesn`t like print reporters.

CARDENAS: You will you will find out that he believed he got his message out in the digital media world.

And he believes that you and the traditional mainstream media are a nuisance. But he doesn`t need you. And so if he discredits you, he believes he has got this other outlet that got him to the presidency. I think, at some point in time, this thing is going to...


MATTHEWS: Live coverage of his rallies helped him a hell of a lot.

CORN: Well, yes, the live coverage, which were unfiltered, and often unevaluated, particularly in the first few months of his campaign, things that other Republicans were shouting at Jeff Zucker about at the event in Harvard last night.

He doesn`t want to be called on the fact that he doesn`t care about facts.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s check the facts last night. He said he won in a landslide. What does he mean?

CORN: No. He lost the popular vote. And if you look at the list of...


MATTHEWS: They cheered him, because I think it`s like -- let me -- I`m not a media critic.

At FOX, they say things, we`re fair and balanced. And everybody knows that`s not what they mean. They mean we balance out the liberal media. We know what they mean. We report, you decide. No, we decide.

Look, they know what -- I get the feeling there`s like a -- it`s not a dog whistle. It`s like, you know what they`re really saying. You know what I mean? Trump talks in this language of, we won in a landslide. It`s not that he really did. It`s screw-you language, like, of course I didn`t win in a landslide, but I`m going to say it.

CORN: No, no, but there`s a difference.

MATTHEWS: And they`re going to cheer that.

CORN: There`s a difference here.

MATTHEWS: Do they think he won in a landslide?

CORN: I think some of them do.

MATTHEWS: Oh, come on.


CARDENAS: Hey, you could say, I won 30 states and more. But that`s not she he said.

CORN: No, but here`s your case study, Chris. The other day, he said millions of people voted illegally in the race.

Now, that`s not true. His campaign cited studies that didn`t say that. The people who wrote the studies said it`s not true.

MATTHEWS: Pew didn`t say that.

CORN: And then on CNN yesterday, had this wonderful video -- I hate to tout a competitor -- in which one of the reporters talked to some Trump voters. And they all said, yes, of course he`s right.


MATTHEWS: OK. Can I ask those voters who are watching right now, if there were three million illegal, I assume Hispanic, voters that voted in California, right? That`s where largely the big plurality was for Hillary. How come didn`t they vote for Loretta Sanchez? How come Loretta Sanchez didn`t roll it up, roll it up? She lost.

So, there weren`t three million illegal people voting up there.


CORN: But the point is...


CORN: This gets back to your question. He said it. His people believe him, despite any evidence. They even say, we heard it reported on CNN, when it wasn`t reported.

This is a big challenge of the media and the rest of us.

MATTHEWS: That`s why he`s doing what he is doing.

CARDENAS: His biggest problem is three-fold.

One, he`s got a shrinking base if he keeps this up. And that`s not good for the party.

MATTHEWS: Older whites. Older whites.

CARDENAS: Number two, he`s appointed -- 80 percent of his appointments so far have been pretty reasonable people. He`s going to get closed in with his own Cabinet and governance into being a straighter shooter, or else he can`t keep these good people.

MATTHEWS: Do you think he will put...

CARDENAS: Betsy DeVos is not going to put up with things which are not appropriate.

And so he`s going to get closed in by good people.

MATTHEWS: She`s the new education secretary.

CARDENAS: That`s correct.

And, number three, there`s going to be a lot of pressure out there for people seeking reelection, seeking governorships and Senate races in `18, and that`s going to have another...


MATTHEWS: You`re a very sobering effect. But you`re not Donald Trump. And you never will be.


CORN: That`s a compliment.

MATTHEWS: By attacking the media as president-elect, Trump is signaling that he will continue to use this kind of rhetoric once he`s in the White House.

Here`s a look back at the way he slammed the press during the campaign.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: The biggest rigger of the system is the media. The media is rigged.


TRUMP: They`re bad people. They`re bad people. And they`re dishonest people. They don`t tell the truth. They don`t write the truth.

I love it. We just took the press credentials away from the dishonest "Washington Post."

Crooked CNN. CNN is so disgusting. CNN.


TRUMP: We have a newspaper that`s failing badly. It`s losing a lot of money. It`s going to be out of business very soon, "The New York Times." OK?

Every story they write is a hit job.

It is a failing newspaper. It`s third-rate people. I`m telling you, third-rate, bad people, bad people, sick people.

You know what you have to do with the media? You have to bull your way through it. You just bull, bull through it.


MATTHEWS: There he is describing his approach. You have got to bull your -- listen, David, what does he mean by that, I`m going to bull my way through it?

CORN: You know, Donald Trump knows no shame.

And a person who knows no shame is a dangerous person, because if you report these that he`s lied or made a mistake or that he doesn`t know what he`s talking about, it doesn`t harm him. He just says, you`re wrong, and he feels that "The New York Times" is sick.

"The New York Times" may be wrong, but they`re not sick people. We know people who work at "The New York Times." And he knows even better, too. But he uses his demagogic language. And that`s only word for it, because it goes to turn his base...


CARDENAS: His predicate is to discredit the press, because he knows that he`s going to have an ongoing contentious environment.

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

CARDENAS: That`s all it is. So he`s...

MATTHEWS: So, he`s taking the refs, and saying, don`t trust the referees.

CARDENAS: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: They`re crooked.

CARDENAS: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: This is rigged.

CARDENAS: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: In other words, his presidency is going to be rigged. He`s going to say, no matter what it says in the paper -- but I think he especially hates the print newspapers, hates them.

Not a single newspaper endorsed him. I`m sorry. I have never heard of a presidential candidate who nobody endorses in the press.

CORN: Well, there was good reason for that.

And a lot of the best reporting, when I don`t think there was enough good reporting, came from the investigative reporters at a couple of newspapers. And that`s kind of what he doesn`t like.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know what I figured about this show years ago? People that watch this show and shows like it read newspapers. And he`s going to have to contend with facts, because the next day after he talks, somebody`s going to correct him. Thank God they`re going to correct him.

CORN: That happened a million times during the campaign.

MATTHEWS: Truth will out.

CORN: Well, I hope...

MATTHEWS: Truth will set you free.

CORN: I hope that`s true,Chris.

MATTHEWS: OK, thank you.

Al Cardenas sir, thank you for coming on.


MATTHEWS: David Corn.

Up next, back to our big story tonight, the battle of the bands, the hot, red-hot fight last night between the aides for Clinton and Trump and those campaign managers. The campaign may be over, but there`s a lot of anger and bitterness. It`s real. It`s real, and it hurts.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


RICHARD LUI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I`m Richard Lui in the MSNBC newsroom.

Deadlocked jurors resume deliberations Monday in the trial of former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager. The judge twice telling them to keep trying for a verdict. Slager is accused of killing Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, in a 2015 traffic stop.

A suburban New Orleans sheriff says the shooting death of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight was a road rage incident. The sheriff being criticized after the shooter, Ronald Gasser, was released from custody without bail. Cops saying Gasser fired three rounds at McKnight, who was standing outside of his vehicle -- now back to HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Well, last night`s forum at Harvard University`s Kennedy School of Government is normally a civilized postmortem on the election. But, as we told you earlier, last night was anything but that. It was a bruising bloodbath fueled by acrimony and anger. At best, it was entertaining. At worst, it was cringe-worthy.

And it seemed to highlight the deep divisions many feel not just from within the campaign, but throughout this country right now. And you all feel it.

For more, I`m joined by our panel tonight, Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for "The Washington Post." Francesca Chambers is with "The Daily Mail," and Eli Stokols is national political reporter with Politico.

Karen, I want you to start.

Your strongest memory of last night. You were there.


And as it so happened, I was seated facing the whole Clinton team, and the Trump people having their backs to me. And their faces had the exact same expression, every one of them. It was anguish. It was shock. And as they looked at the Trump people, it was contempt.

And you sort of saw them working through all those emotions. Interestingly enough, the person who was able to take the most clinical look at it was Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager.

And one of the things that was really overlooked was his description of precisely what went wrong for them in those last few days, how they needed to get over 60 percent among young people. They only got into the high 50s. He said, as a result, we lost, how, in the last three days, the undecideds completely broke for Trump, in part because of the first Comey letter, which resurrected the doubts people had about Hillary Clinton, and the second Comey letter, which really energized the Trump voters.

There were a lot of things that happened at the very end.

MATTHEWS: I agree with you. And that`s why Trump dumps all over the polling and dumps over us. He was surprised at what happened the last weekend.

Go ahead, Francesca.

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, "THE DAILY MAIL": So, speaking about Robby Mook as well, what I found really fascinating about the discussion was he said that they seemed to misread the polls almost, that they recognize that it was a change election.

But what they zeroed in on was the risky bet. Donald Trump is a risky bet. And so they thought, if they could convince voters that he would be too risky, that they wouldn`t vote for that change in the end.

MATTHEWS: That`s a big mistake.

CHAMBERS: And it ended up being a very big mistake.

MATTHEWS: Why do you think he made the mistake? What was right that he had wrong? Did he miss the fact that they cared so much about change, they were willing to take the risk?

CHAMBERS: That they cared so much about change.

But, as Kellyanne Conway described it, they saw the same poll. They read into it that voters thought that Hillary Clinton was completely untrustworthy, and that that was more important to voters. And that seems to be what...


MATTHEWS: And I think it was the Rust Belt.


ELI STOKOLS, POLITICO: Well, I think what was amazing was the sort of smugness and the sanctimony that you felt, especially from the Trump people.

Usually, you get a bunch of consultants and campaign operatives in the same room, they have all been through the trenches, on opposite sides, but after an election, they can kind of put themselves in the losers` shoes and say, this is really hard. Not going to rub salt in your wounds.

And you saw a lot of that last night, in terms of gloating and taunting, especially for a campaign -- even if the Clinton people could feel the ground shifting beneath their feet over the last weekend of the election, I don`t think the Trump people in Trump Tower really felt all that confidently that, we got this in the bag.

They were surprised. They didn`t act like they were surprised last night. They acted like they knew it all along and like the Clinton people...

MATTHEWS: That`s so dishonest. They didn`t know they were going to win.

STOKOLS: But I`m just saying, the amount of celebration and self- satisfaction was really remarkable.

MATTHEWS: I know. Why don`t they just say, well, we lucked out, we won in the ninth round or the 10th inning or whatever?

STOKOLS: But the bitterness, that`s our politics now.


Anyway, during the event, Robby Mook, the chairman -- or the manager of the Clinton campaign, criticized the media for its coverage of Secretary Clinton.

Let`s watch Robby or listen to him.


ROBBY MOOK, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: There was a sense that Hillary was likely to win this election.

And I think, as a result of that, a lot of the treatment and the reporting was such that, if there was something suspicious on the Trump side, it would largely go uncovered, but if there was even the slightest suspicion on Hillary side, it would be blown up quite a bit.


MATTHEWS: Explain.

TUMULTY: Well, first of all, there was something that everybody agreed on, which is that they all thought the media had been unfair to their candidate.


TUMULTY: They were unanimous on this.

Basically, Robby made the point that, for instance, he did not believe that the question of Trump not producing his tax returns was prosecuted as vigorously in the media as Hillary Clinton`s e-mails.

But to hear it then from Kellyanne Conway`s point of view, she said -- what she said literally was: I had that vomited at me on television every single night.


I think we probably, as the media, gave up on the tax return thing at some point. We just were tired of saying it, whereas the e-mail thing got reignited by James Comey`s two announcements near the end. This case is still alive. You know what I mean?

CHAMBERS: Right. Well, that`s exactly -- and then Donald Trump was on stage bringing it up constantly about her deleted e-mails. And so that was the reason that it continued to stay...


MATTHEWS: What was it? Anybody here can help me with this, as we get about the last comment on this campaign.

What was so evil, explain, worst-case scenario, about the e-mail story? What does it say about Hillary Clinton as a disqualifying factor in her candidacy, Eli?

STOKOLS: Well, I Trump always paints with a broad brush.

MATTHEWS: What is the worst you can say?

STOKOLS: This was about portraying her as someone who was not truthful, who was careless, who had something to hide. That`s it.

It was a big, broad-brush theme, the lock her up chants, everything else. It was all about, you can`t trust her. Maybe she did something illegal. If we`re supposed to take him literally, that`s what he was saying.

But I think the big picture was, she`s not trustworthy. And this is from a guy who didn`t tell the truth over 50 percent of the time.

MATTHEWS: I ask you for an explication for the kids we have, and grandkids, and great grandkids, how do you explain to Hillary how she messed it up, if she messed up?

I don`t quite -- it`s almost like Whitewater. It ended up being nothing. It wasn`t anything, or the Travelgate story. These Clinton stories are always faux scandals. They`re not quite scandals.

TUMULTY: Well, the fact is, Jennifer Palmieri was very emotional, to the point of tears almost, saying, she thought they made a mistake by legitimizing this as an avenue of inquiry.

And that is the one thing she would go back and do over again. I think it spoke to misgivings people already had about Hillary Clinton.

MATTHEWS: Yes. And they just looked for a hook.

But what is it when she said -- and I think Palmieri is a real pro. Why did she say last night the media secretly didn`t like her candidate, or she said there was sort of anti-Hillary bias? I don`t know where -- I don`t see that.


CHAMBERS: And then you, of course, have Donald Trump saying the whole entire time that...


MATTHEWS: Yes, but I understand that, because he`s an outsider. But she`s an in -- why -- where is this secret anti-Hillary hostility? I don`t see it.

CHAMBERS: It seemed to be, based on what they were saying, that they didn`t think that the media did a good enough job holding Donald Trump accountable for his taxes, for a lot of the things that he said.

MATTHEWS: I think we talked about it 100 times here.

CHAMBERS: And I was going to say, I felt that we talked about that quite frequently as well. So...

MATTHEWS: Anyway, I still have some skepticism about where the there -- where the there in the e-mail thing? What is it?

I know she didn`t want everybody to know about all her campaign business, because she still was running for president all those four years when she was at State. And she had all that business to do politically.

It`s not evil. It`s political business. She didn`t want it out. Why didn`t she just say that, that was political business I wanted to keep to myself?

STOKOLS: Well, she didn`t have Trump`s ability to create your own reality, your own reality.

MATTHEWS: Yes, your own narrative, your own narrative.

STOKOLS: Forget the facts. Hammer in this narrative. And whether it`s true or not...


MATTHEWS: You can write about the way these narratives are written.

Anyway, the roundtable is sticking with us.

And up next, these three will tell me something I don`t know. And I`m learning a lot already.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.



Karen, tell me something I don`t know.

KAREN TUMULTY, THE WASHINGTON POST: I touched on it a bit, and that is the degree to which all the smart guys and their analytics had this all wrong. And it was really young people in the end, despite all of Clinton`s outreach to celebrities and stuff. Young people at the end decided to go with third-party candidates and that could have been the deciding factor.

MATTHEWS: That`s what Robbie said. I`m amaze at that. You didn`t hear any pro-Trump. It`s just that I wasn`t thrilled by Hillary.


FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, THE DAILY MAIL: President Barack Obama is heading to Tampa on Tuesday. He`s going to be giving a big counterterrorism speech at MacDill. This will not be the final policy speech necessarily of his presidency. And it might not be the final domestic trip that we`ll see him take. But the White House is saying, it will be a final opportunity for him to explain why he took the strategy that he did.

MATTHEWS: I`ve got to get an interview with him. We only have a little time left.

ELI STOKOLS, POLITICO: You`ve covered this earlier in the show, the rally that Trump did in Ohio last night, that he`s going to be doing more next week, a victory tour. And because maybe all these conflicts of interest around his presidency, we`ve been getting a lot of questions about who`s paying for all these rallies? What`s going on?

Well, we found out and we found out from sources inside the transition that they thought about, and Trump said let`s use transition money for it. And after some deliberation, they decided, no, we don`t want any confusion, any gray areas. So, they are using presidential campaign money left over for the rally last night and for the rally --

MATTHEWS: So, it`s still going on. The engine is still running.

Anyway, thank you, Karen Tumulty, Francesca Chambers, Eli, who`ve had a great campaign.

When we come back, the reality show "President". Actor Tim Daly is with us for the performance art, as he got to call up Donald Trump.

And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Next week, join me for a special hour of news leading to a big hour of HARDBALL. Starting Monday at 6:00 Eastern, we`ve got a pre-game hour, with news and headlines from around the country. And then at 7:00 Eastern, you want to stay tuned for the big hour of HARDBALL with all the fire and heat from the day in politics. That`s next week.

And we`ll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And polls have officially opened, what is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic American elections in recent memory. For the first time in nearly 200 years, we may be looking at a deadlock in the Electoral College for president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s not toing to lose. I told you, he`s not going to lose. He`s going to win, today. He`s totally going to win in the House of Representatives in a couple of months.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which again makes no sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it`s tricky. But Evans has alienated a lot of people in his own party. So, in a contingent election, Bolton should emerge as a compromise candidate.


MATTHEWS: We`re back.

That was a scene from CBS`s "Madam Secretary", currently in its third successful season. The real-life Madam Secretary Hillary Clinton is a huge fan we`re told.

The lead actor in the program, Tim Daly, knows a lot about political drama.

Come January 20th, Donald Trump will make history himself becoming the first reality TV star to be elected president. And just because he`s in the White House doesn`t mean he will give up on dramatics. This is Trump last night.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: We did have a lot of fun fighting Hillary, didn`t we, right? We will have two simple rules when it comes --


They don`t know that Hillary lost a couple of weeks ago. They forgot.


MATTHEWS: Joining me now is that actor and president of the Creative Coalition, Tim Daly.

Tim, thank you for coming on.

TIM DALY, ACTOR: Thanks for having me, Chris.

MATTHEWS: I wonder what it was like shooting your latest episodes during November, as in real-time, and it was real-time for you as well-being an American to shoot scenes from a dramatic series about a secretary of state as a woman, a smart woman, and at the same time maybe model it after Hillary at the time the campaign came down to a conclusion which we never expected.

DALY: Well, it was, you know, very interesting, and for a lot of people very difficult. I think it was no secret that I was a supporter of Hillary. And I Hillary and I worked for her. Little did we know when we were making this political show that our actual political situation in this country would be more dramatic and maybe more farfetched than anything we do on TV.

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s the truth. I`m wondering. Ha!

This is still concerning to me, because I still get up in the morning and I go, Clinton lost. I don`t know -- whether that`s more powerful in my head or that Trump won is still powerful in my head. I had these competing realities. I have a very recent memory of people figuring out, who`s going to be ambassador to Paris, who`s going to be ambassador to England, who`s going to be secretary of state, who`s going to be this, and all those jobs are now in the hands of Donald Trump.

And all those people that thought they have a future all figured, including Robby Mook and Joel Benenson and the rest of them over in Brooklyn, that experience, that reality isn`t true any more. It`s a whole new reality. It just is.

DALY: Yes. I mean, you know, there`s an enormous shift in the country, and I think that, you know, it`s something that we`re going to have to come to grips with. And, you know, as an artist and president of the Creative Coalition, I think now is the time for artists to really get busy, because there`s two things we do really well. One is, we cause trouble, we stir up controversy. And the other is, we create a lot of empathy.

So, it`s time for us to get busy as writers and actors and musicians and reflect back to us, who we actually are as a society. So that we can come to grips with this, and figure out how we`re going to move forward.

MATTHEWS: Do you believe -- this is a loaded question, which you might expect from me, Tim. When you see those last minute rallies -- now, Springsteen is different, because Springsteen appeals to working people, Allentown, the whole thing, Youngstown. He has a real connection to regular people.

Carole King gets on, Bon Jovi gets on, the rest of them, Rob Reiner, anybody Hillary Clinton, Streisand, anybody she hangs -- do you have a sense when they get together with Hillary Clinton, in the campaign, that sent a message of inclusiveness, of come on, join the team? Or does it send the message of, we`re the winning circle here, you`re not in it?

I wonder if it doesn`t hurt that too much celebrity around you, when you`re running for president of the United States. I don`t know if it`s true, I have a hunch it is true. Your thoughts?

DALY: Well, I don`t know, I mean, I remember eight years ago, there was a big cry among the Republicans that Barack Obama was just a celebrity, and he had all these celebrity friends. Meanwhile, the Republicans elected Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood and Ronald Reagan who were all celebrities themselves. They were the people who elected celebrities. And we have another election of a celebrity now. So, I don`t really know.

What I do know, is that a lot of artists -- Bruce Springsteen included, myself included -- come from a place that is not exulted. You know, people -- most people I know aren`t born into a successful career as an actor or singer. They come from some place more humble, and they have a success story, much like Hillary Clinton.

And I think it`s interesting and ironic, that a billionaire who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth, in the city, managed to somehow connect with the Rust Belt of this country, people who -- bear a lot more in common with Hillary than Donald Trump.

MATTHEWS: How did he do it?

DALY: I really don`t know. I think that maybe he -- you know, he made -- look, I think that there are a lot of people in the Rust Belt and in the middle of this country who are left out, and who feel it, and want to be seen and heard. And somehow he managed to make them feel scene. And apparently the other party did not. So --

MATTHEWS: How does the Democratic Party -- you`re a political guy. How does the Democratic Party get back to Bobby Kennedy, in the `60s, where you`re able to have a candidate who appeals to both the working class whites, Irish Italian, Polish, whatever, and also the African-Americans and Chicanos, well call them back then Mexican Americans? And how -- he was able to do that. How can you do that again?

Democrats can`t do that anymore for some reason. Why not? What are they going to do to fix that problem?

DALY: I don`t know, but I think they have to start by talking to everybody. And making sure that, you know, that when we`re talking about, you know, as Democrats, we`re talking about being inclusive, that we`re including those people that we seem to have left behind, or to ignore for some reason.


DALY: So, everybody, if we`re going to talk about being inclusive, we have to make sure we include everybody.

MATTHEWS: Yes, a friend of mine used to say, in terms of male and female relations, he said, people don`t mind being used, they mind being discarded. I think we have to think about that politically. It`s serious business.

Tim, it`s great to have you on. I`m a big fan.

DALY: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: When we return, let me finish with what happened last night at Harvard confab between the Trump team and the Clinton team. It was something.

And you`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with the event last night at Harvard, the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics which hosted the forum last night, featuring the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaign managers is usually a more convivial affair.

Last night was anything but, and there`s a reason for it. The reason is the campaign didn`t turn out the way it was supposed to. Nobody had reason to believe Trump was going to win. Not even the top Trump people believed he was going to breakthrough the firewall and grab Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and then Michigan, which by then they didn`t need.

So, the losers didn`t, haven`t had a chance to digest what happened, no, not even almost a month later. It takes time to realize the world you imagined through two years of hard campaigning isn`t the world you`re leaving in. Feelings are raw, for minorities who hated what they heard Trump say on his way to winning the election. For women who feel he got away with words that should never be spoken, for people with physical handicap, for immigrants, for a president he accused of being an illegal one.

I can live with a little bitterness after all that, I`m glad to live in a country that when confronted with these offenses against the civil society do more than say "ouch" and forget about it.

That`s HARDBALL for now, for Friday, December 2nd, 2016. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.