Show: HARDBALL Date: January 29, 2019 Guest: Elliot Williams; Mike Quigley,Cheri Bustos, Sherrod Brown, Bill Nye
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: That does it for THE BEAT. I will see you back here at 6:00 p.m. eastern.
But don`t go anywhere because as you know, HARDBALL with Chris Matthews is up next.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Stonewalling. Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
There`s a lot of news tonight. Roger Stone makes his first court appearance today. The cost of Donald Trump shutdown is tagged at $11 billion. Democrats announce who will give the party`s answer to President Trump`s state of the union. And in just a few minutes Senator Sherrod Brown will join us here on HARDBALL. He is on a countdown, I think to 2020.
We begin with some big developments in the Russian probe with the head of the justice department. Acting attorney general Matt Whitaker saying the Mueller probe is quote "close to being completed." The lingering question for special counsel Robert Mueller remains. Will he deliver on his mandate to unearth any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia?
And today, the most recent Trump associate to be in snared (ph) in the Russian probe, Trump advisor Roger Stone pleaded not guilty in a Washington courthouse. It comes as Stone continues to lever a full-court press of media appearances. Giving at least 10 TV interviews, five press conferences, and no fewer than catch this eight costume changes, all since his arrest on Friday.
In fighting charged of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress, Stone is due back in court on Friday and set to appear before the same federal judge who presided over the case of Paul Manafort.
This after comes after acting attorney general Matt Whitaker said yesterday that he has being fully briefed on special counsel`s investigation and thinks it`s being close to complete. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT WHITAKER, ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL: You know I have been fully briefed on the investigation. And you know, I look forward to director Mueller delivering the final report. And I really am not going to talk about open and ongoing investigation otherwise. But right, you know the investigation is, I think, close to being completed. And I hope that we can get the report from director Mueller as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: A little of stumbling there, but close to be completed.
Anyway, since the outset of the probe, the special counsel has brought charges against 34 people and three companies. Again, the question now is whether Mueller, in his final act as special counsel, will deliver what he was set to find, a conspiracy between Trump and itself and Russia.
But a prosecutor Glenn Kirschner argues that Stone in the Stone indictment already contains the building blocks of the conspiracy and could foreshadow more charges to come. That`s because the Stone indictment replete with reference to the alleged misconduct of other carried out in a concerted effort to obtain and exploit and stolen DNC email in order to help Trump. That DNC mail came from Russia.
I`m joined right now Democratic congressman, Mike Quigley of Illinois who sits on the House intelligence committee, Julia Ainsley is a national security and justice reporter with the NBC News and Elliot Williams a former federal prosecutor and former senior DOJ official.
I`m going to start with Elliot because I want to get a sense of this. A bang or a whimper? Are we going to get what we went to find out? Did the Russians cooperate? Both ways, Trump and the Russians, did they work together on this winning election in 2016?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, here is a thing. I think everybody wants one answer. Like is the President going to get indicted? Are we going to find out something critical about the Russians?
Look, 30 people have been indicted. Look at all the charges, look at all information that`s already come out. This has been a hugely successful prosecution.
MATTHEWS: Sure. But will he answer the question in the mandate? Did Trump collude with Russia?
WILLIAMS: Trump himself may not have colluded with Russians. Now it`s clear from paragraph 12 of the indictment that individuals on the campaign were trying to direct, you know, interactions with Russians and interactions with WikiLeaks and so on. So they got close. Now whether this is something they can be charged with, it`s just not clear. But --.
MATTHEWS: OK, Joy. That opens the question which I don`t really is a question that Trump is some kind of mister -- criminal mastermind that he is able to undermine - to oversee a criminal enterprise that brings dirty stuff on Hillary Clinton from Moscow with their help, does exactly what the investigation is supposed to prove he did do and he never got his fingers on t ever once told somebody to do this ever.
JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER: We know, it was a very centralized campaign in that paragraph that Elliot referenced. It says that is senior campaign official was directed. So we could maybe think that anyone higher than a senior could be --.
AINSLEY: But let`s also point out what is not in this charging document in the indictment. It does not say -- Roger Stone himself is not charged with conspiracy with the Russians. It doesn`t even say in there that Roger Stone knew for sure that this information from WikiLeaks was coming from a Russian hack. So how can we with expect then, I mean, unless there`s more work which of courses there is, there`s so many Stones still unturned.
AINSLEY: Ha. I didn`t even realized I would do that. But still, it could be that, you know, if they can`t make that connection from Roger Stone to the Russians, how can they make it from the campaign to the Russians?
WILLIAMS: But here`s --.
MATTHEWS: Congressman. We go to congressman in here. He is on the committee.
Congressman, you put all this together. It`s like wheel of fortune when you have to complete the word to the whole phrase, you know. The quotation, you see a few words and you got to fill it in. Where are you on this? Where are you in seeing a connection between President Trump now, President Trump, candidate Trump then and the Russians?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: A couple things. First I don`t believe there are any coincidences that existed in this. And then I think we have to quote Steve Bannon who once said that there is zero chance that the President of the United States did not know about the Trump tower meeting. And that the sun didn`t go straight to the dad and tell him what took place. We know he dictated that falsified response to that meeting.
It`s a very hard for me to believe that the man with this personality central to the campaign wasn`t engaged and involved in directing people to have this coordination.
MATTHEWS: Especially, Congressman, to remind us all, he said I want the Russians now on television to go get the Hillary emails. I mean, he said it.
Anyway, in plain sight. In his multimedia appearances over the weekend, Roger Stone repeatedly denied a central allegation revealed in the indictment filed against him last week. That he quote "was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future release by WikiLeaks." Stone says that nobody from the campaign approached him about the leaks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONE: The allegation that two campaign officials instructed me or inquired of me about WikiLeaks is false. I suspect that they could induce somebody to say that. But they would be people either with an ax to grind or seeking a reduction in their sentence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Why would a guy that was just arrested, put in shackles, thrown before the court and have to pay big bail money show up at nine different costumes including this (INAUDIBLE) costumes that he has got? What is going on here? And you dealt with defendants. What`s the escapade about?
WILLIAMS: The escapade is a pathological liar who can`t get his story straight. That is what is going on here. This is an individual, if you read the indictment, you know, a number of instances of lying, of tampering with witnesses and so on. And he is just trying to put on show and throw people off the scent of his wrong doing.
And so, what`s going on here? He has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back. I can`t explain what`s going on with him. But it is clear, you know, it`s a public relations stunt to try to undermine the investigation which actually someone else we know has done and he is President of the United States. They are all trying to attack the fundamental integrity of the investigation because they know they don`t have a decent legal argument otherwise.
MATTHEWS: Well, a denying contacts with the campaign to discuss WikiLeaks, Roger Stone has borrowed a page from the President`s play book. As we have seen on multiple occasions, the President has accused witnesses of fabricating stories about him to please prosecutors. Now Stone is doing the same thing about others.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONE: I`m mindful of the special counsel`s ability to induce people to say things that are not true, particularly people who are seeking a reduction in their sentence or people of an ax to grind.
People can have their testimony composed particularly if they are looking for a reduction in their sentence. But there is no proof here.
It appears to me that they have composed testimony for someone, perhaps Rick Gates, perhaps Steve Bannon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: You know, Roger Stone jumped, I`m going to go to the Congressman on this. Roger Stone jumped around a lot in the media. He showed off the fact that he knew that it was going to be John Podesta`s time in the barrel, to use his infamous (ph) phrase. Now it`s his time in the barrel. And I don`t understand, he seems like a guy that wanted to look guilty, wanted to flirt with disaster and then when he came up in court and he is dancing away from it. But the guy hasn`t, even now, doesn`t seem to act normal.
Congressman, what do you make of this suspect, in fact this witness in this case that could be the prime witness in the Russia connection?
QUIGLEY: I was one of three that questioned Mr. Stone. And I did ten years of criminal defense work. I have never met anyone quite like him. It is half show, half Barn and Bailee. I just absolutely can`t make it out. It`s one thing when you read the transcript and the exchanges that were in the indictment. It is another thing to be in the room when he is doing the testifying. I don`t think anyone in their right mind would believe him for a seconds.
MATTHEWS: Wow. Well today, former governor Chris Christie who briefly ran Trump`s presidential transition says that Mueller doesn`t look he is finishing up. We are going to talk about that quest. Here we go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Matt would know better than anybody since Matt supervising it. But I can just tell you that, you know, the thing about this Mueller investigation is there has been no leaking. And you just don`t know what they are up to. So Matt probably knows more than anybody else in the country other than Bob Mueller about it. So I`m going to take matt`s word for it. But Bob Mueller doesn`t feel to me he is almost done. I don`t think he`s ending on Roger Stone but could might be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s a good question. Does it logical -- everybody here, same question to everybody. Is it logical he will end with a crescendo, like they said they build up to the top guy, whoever that tough guy is probably the President, build up, build up, bring the Roget Stone as the lieutenants, the commanders and finally to the top guy. And does that suggest that we are getting near the end or not? The governor seems to be questioning that.
WILLIAMS: You don`t always get the top guy but that doesn`t mean the investigations hasn`t been successful. And even if you can`t charge the President or Junior or anybody senior at the campaign with crimes, there`s conduct that they shouldn`t have been doing. This is unprecedented behavior.
MATTHEWS: Can you impeach a guy for that?
WILLIAMS: You have, so you can impeach for some of it, depending on what it is and depending on what they find. But if the President is directing a foreign actors to medal in our election to try to skew the outcome, of course that`s an impeachable offense. But, you know, we just have to see what he finds. But again, it is just shady behavior. It may not be something you convict him of.
AINSLEY: Well, another clue today, and I`m curious how you would read on this, Elliot, is that there are now D.C. prosecutors present in the prosecution team in the courtroom against Stone. The attorneys who are on Mueller`s team already have license to practice in D.C. So it is not clear why they needed those.
I wonder if this would be a plan in case Mueller either wants to conclude this report or if it us failsafe thing if case he gets fired. That he could spin that off. If there is a way we could get a Mueller report and this would be probably very unsatisfying, where he ends his probe but there are numerous strands still to pull, whether it could Trump organization or various other associates and aids of his who could still be criminally charged in the months to come.
WILLIAMS: And that`s you have in the southern district in New York. That`s how Michael Cohen ended up getting charged, too. It got spun off to a U.S. attorney`s office up there.
MATTHEWS: Following up what Elliot said there, Congressman. Can you imagine now, you are on the committee, that somewhere we look at this like a RICO charge, like the President, this President as a candidate in transition and in office was running a criminal enterprise. He had all kinds of people doing criminal things under his supervision. And even though you come for his fingerprints on them, they were doing it because they were serving his purposes.
Can you do that to a President without proving he was on the phone? Like the Nixon thing went down because he was on the phone with (INAUDIBLE) and he was telling him tell the CIA to get in the way of the FBI on this. That`s pretty cold evidence. Can you do it without that kind of evidence?
QUIGLEY: It is very difficult. It is, you know. Look, we are in uncharted territory. I think what`s troubling today is the fact that Mr. Whitaker`s talking like this. He has told by his ethics attorneys to stay far away from this investigation. Play no role. What he is saying yesterday was very, very troubling. He was basically messaging potential witness and witnesses that hey, this is almost over. That is disturbing. And the fact that he knows all about this is concerning in the fact that he might share it with someone that White House or the Trump legal team.
MATTHEWS: Wow. Well, take it together the evidence from Mueller`s court file. Paint a damming picture for the Trump campaign. The allegation that Stone lied to cover up his contacts about WikiLeaks is the latest revelation suggest the Trump campaign may have colluded in 2016.
There is also the news that during the election of Paul Manafort lied about giving campaign polling data to a Russian intelligence operative. Then there is Michael Cohen who lied about trump`s effort to build a Trump tower in Moscow. At the same time Trump was running for President. Michael Flynn lied about discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Kislyak. And finally George Papadopoulos lied about learning that the Russian had dirt from Hillary Clinton`s emails.
Elliot, Julia and then to the Congressman, why do they lie about anything to do with Russia? And apparently, I was listening to your network all day today. There is a pattern here. They don`t regularly lie, these people. They are not just liars but they lie about Russia.
WILLIAMS: And lied about Russia`s two federal agents, two judges, two courts, and two Congress. These are all serious crimes.
MATTHEWS: Are they afraid that they broke the Logan Act which is never enforced. What made Michael Flynn just lie about a conversation of sanctions with Kislyak? Why they lie about going to a meeting when there is nothing came of that meeting apparently? They lied about everything.
WILLIAMS: They are trying to lie to protect themselves, they are lying to try to protect the President or lying to try to protect the President`s campaign. It`s just it is self-interested and you see it in defendants all the time. It is either they think they will get away with it or they think that they would get caught, they just won`t get in trouble for it.
AINSLEY: Or they will get pardoned. I mean, I think that is why we have to listen to what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the White House today to some of our won correspondents as she would not rule out the President pardoning Roger Stone. It just seems like an easy answer to have at this point.
MATTHEWS: Well, she doesn`t have license to say that because he may well do it.
Thank you, U.S. congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois.
Thank you, Julia Ainsley. And of course, Elliot Williams on my left here.
Coming up, Ohio Democrat and potential 2020 candidate Sherrod Brown, United States senate from Ohio reelected again joins me next to discuss the fall out of Trump`s disaster shutdown which we now know caused the U.S. economy $11 billion. And by the way Trump said he is still considering another shutdown.
And Donald Trump once again mocked the scientific reality of climate change today saying we need global warming. Bill Nye the science guy will be there respond to our denier in chief.
Stay with us.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Donald Trump`s 2016 presidential road to victory was paved through Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. And tomorrow, Sherrod Brown, the Democratic senator from Mansfield, Ohio is set to launch his dignity of work tour, bringing his working class progressive message to Iowa, to New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, fuelling 2020 speculation.
Asked last week whether he plans to run for President, Brown said we will make that decision in the weeks ahead. But given the Democrat stinging defeat in those great lakes states and given Sherrod Brown`s commanding victory in that state in Donald Trump won by eight points in 2016, Democrats have got to ask is Brown the guy that could bring the Midwest states back into the fold?
For more I will joined - I`m joined right now by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
Thank you, sir. Senator, earlier today three of the President`s top intelligence officials, including FBI director Christopher Wray, CIA director Gina Haspel and director of national intelligence Dan Coats presented an update to the Senate intelligence committee about their assessment of global threats. At times they directly contradicted President Trump. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, ISIS is nearing territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria, the group has returned to its guerilla warfare roots while continuing to plot attacks and direct ts supporters worldwide.
ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we have won against ISIS. We have beaten them, and we have beaten them badly.
COATS: North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities, because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival.
TRUMP: We have made a lot of progress that has not been reported by the media, but we have made a lot of progress. As far as denuclearization is concerned, things are going very well with North Korea.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Not only have the Russians continued to do it in 2018, but we have seen indication that they`re continuing to adapt their model and that other countries are taking a very interested eye in that approach.
TRUMP: I have President Putin. He just said it`s not Russia.
I will say this: I don`t see any reason why it would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Senator, this -- this is pretty disquieting, I mean, the fact that the president of the United States doesn`t buy the information given to him by our top intelligence people.
On ISIS, he says it`s gone. They said it`s alive and dangerous, even in that area down there in Iraq and Syria. North Korea is dangerous.
Trump seems to think everything`s calm up there. And Russia is still interfering with our elections.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Well, you see -- you see a couple things on this show that you talk about a lot, Chris.
This president clearly has trouble with the truth over and over and over again. He knows he`s lying. He lies about all kinds of things. And the other thing is, it`s always a president -- he`s always a president who wants to distract from what other things are happening.
For instance, a big part of the government shutdown is, the president demonizes immigrants, so you`re not thinking about how he betrays workers in Youngstown, Ohio, and he won`t engage when GM says they`re going to close a plant with 5,000 workers.
I mean, consistently, the president is -- tries to distract from the things that are not going well, so that we talk about immigrants, or we talked about the caravans, or we talk about things abroad, where he brags generally in a way that`s simply not true.
MATTHEWS: No argument here. Thank you.
Donald Trump was elected on the promise, however, that his administration would refrain from stupid wars and reckless regime change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They have dragged us into foreign wars that have made us less safe.
Our new foreign policy is going to always put America first.
Unlike my opponent, my foreign policy will emphasize diplomacy, not destruction.
Sometimes, it seemed like there wasn`t a country in the Middle East that Hillary Clinton didn`t want to invade, intervene in or topple.
We will abandon the policy of reckless regime change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: That`s what I liked about his campaign.
Despite that, the Trump administration last week officially recognized an opposition figure as the acting president of Venezuela.
And, yesterday, the president`s national security adviser, John Bolton, startled reporters when he appeared in the White House Briefing Room with a yellow pad that had a scribbled line on it that read "5,000 troops to Colombia."
When asked about the note, the White House told reporters that all options are on the table.
That language, Senator, all options on the table, is scary. It`s the kind of neocon talk, and it`s been brought into this White House, if not by Trump personally, by this character John Bolton, who does want to invade every country in sight.
What do you make of this?
MATTHEWS: What happened to the guy said no more stupid wars?
In the clip you -- Trump himself used the word reckless. And in this behavior in Venezuela is reckless and irresponsible. You don`t -- you don`t start off by -- by in any way threatening military action. You work with your allies, another thing the president rarely does, whether it`s tariffs, or whether it`s working on -- in Iran, or whether it`s working on any kind of international diplomacy.
The president rarely works with Canada and the E.U. and our allies around the world. And this is a time -- we want free and fair elections in Venezuela, of course. And we bring our allies into this, not with threats of military action, but with good diplomatic skill. And that`s the way to move forward in this.
I mean, you look at the president`s views of institutions that we believe in, from NATO to things such as the Paris climate agreement, all of those kinds of things that we should be part, and this president has pushed away, obviously.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about a Democratic proposal.
Senator Warren, your colleague from Massachusetts, is talking now about a wealth tax on people that have wealth of over $50 million. What do you make about that approach for the Democratic Party?
BROWN: Well, I think you`re going to see a lot of those kinds of proposals.
I -- clearly, we need to make the wealthiest 1 percent pay more. Look at what the Trump tax cut -- the Trump tax cut provided 70 percent of the benefits in the $1.5 trillion tax cut went to the wealthiest 1 percent. So, there`s good evidence and good reason to do that.
But it`s the other end of it is what matters. That matters, but what really matters is where these dollars are spent. Are you spending it on infrastructure? You spending it on medical research? Are you spending on public education?
I met with Ohio school board members today, about 25, 30 of them. And we`re talking about the Individual with Disability Education Act, that it`s so underfunded from the federal government, and these schools are struggling financially to take care of disabled children, which they want to do, but they simply aren`t getting the federal support.
So, when we do a better tax bill and a better tax system in 2021, with I hope a Democratic president, Democratic Senate, Democratic House, one of the things we do is as a fairer tax system. We roll back a lot of these corporate tax cuts that have gone to companies and giving incentives to outsource jobs and giving big tax cuts to the rich.
We make a fairer tax system, and the revenue obviously should go to infrastructure and those kinds of things in education and health care.
MATTHEWS: Well, I`m with you on that, if it matters. I`m with you, because I think the infrastructure betrayal -- and that`s what I call it, a betrayal by this president. He said he was going to do it. He spent the money on the tax cuts.
And that $1.5 trillion went to people at the top and corporations to buy back stock, which all it did was screw the workers and fire people.
Let me ask you about your tour. It clearly is tracking, the tour, of the early caucuses and primaries starting in Ohio -- Iowa, rather -- Iowa, then going to New Hampshire, then South Carolina, Nevada, California.
Tell us what you want to try to find out on that trip.
BROWN: Well, I -- when you love your country, you fight for the people who make it work.
And I`m concerned that what -- the message I want to come out of this is, I want whoever the Democratic nominee is to make the centerpiece of their campaign the dignity of work.
And I -- you talked at the outset of the show about winning Ohio, a state that Trump won by almost double digits. Too many Democrats, I think, look at the electorate as, you either -- you either talk to the progressive base -- and I have been a progressive for -- from voting against the Iraq War, to opposing -- supporting marriage equality for 20 years, all that.
You either talk to the progressive base, or you talk to working-class voters. And you got to do both. And I want the dignity of work to be the centerpiece there.
And that -- it`s -- we have seen, Chris, for a couple of decades now people are working harder, corporate profits are up, executive compensation is exploding, productivity is up, yet workers` wages are flat.
And one of the central parts of the next -- the next presidency and the next Congress needs to be focusing on work, so when people work hard, they actually get ahead. And that simply is not happening enough in this country. And that needs to be the message for any Democrat who runs in 2020.
MATTHEWS: I`m thinking about the campaign poster right now, and I`m thinking about what would look good.
And I`m thinking about your name, which is a very common American name, Brown. And I think about another name that is pretty common, Harris, and I`m wondering whether a Harris-Brown or a Brown-Harris looks good to you, because both of you guys are progressive. You`re from different parts of the country, probably different tones to their -- to your ideologies, but probably similar in product, in terms of pragmatics.
What do you think of that ticket, one way or the other?
BROWN: Well, I don`t know. I`m not going to comment on a ticket.
I will just say, I like Kamala. I was amazed that somebody called her un- American today for a proposal she had on health insurance, that -- one of the billionaire candidates for president.
So, I stand with her on that. We have stood together on a number of issues. And I think very highly of her.
MATTHEWS: Do you think we`re better off having a two-person choice for president, so there`s none of these straggling five or six million votes to go out there that really don`t help any candidate?
Well, they help a candidate sort of in reverse, because they take away votes from somebody those people would have voted for. Are we healthier with a two-party candidacy or a three -- with three candidates running, with that third one spoiling somebody`s win?
BROWN: Well, I think we`re healthier when I see -- we -- when I think about a billionaire running as an independent, we tried -- we tried a billionaire in the last election, and the billionaire won. And look where we are.
So, I -- if you`re asking about an individual candidate, yes. I just think that I want a choice between Trump and a progressive Democrat. We`re going to have that.
And I think it -- we have got to win the Industrial Midwest, the Heartland, the Great Lake states, and a state you grew up, Chris, in and a state that I represent, and we change the country.
I think this third-party possibility is a little too caffeinated for me.
Thank you very much, Senator Sherrod Brown.
BROWN: Thanks, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Good luck on your tour.
MATTHEWS: I agree with you.
We have a Catholic phrase, orare est laborare, laborare est orare, to work is to pray. We believe in that. Thank you so much.
BROWN: Pope -- sounds like Pope Leo XIII. Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Exactly, but the encyclical, which is that great one, which is Rerum Novarum, which I loved. Anyway.
BROWN: The labor pope. Yes, Rerum Novarum, exactly.
BROWN: Coming from a Lutheran here, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Well, a lot to do with the New Deal and the Fair Deal and everything else came out of that papal encyclical.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, up next: How much did Trump`s 35-day government shutdown end up costing the U.S. economy? A new tally from the Congressional Budget Office may stun you.
We`re back after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: It`s good news that our federal employees are back to work. There`s still impact to the Trump shutdown.
I hope this serves as a lesson to President Trump and all of my Republican colleagues: no more shutdown. President Trump touched the hot, hot stove. And, hopefully, he won`t do it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was Senate majority leader -- Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the consequences of the five-week government shutdown, $11 billion lost.
With the government back open now, we`re learning more about the larger economic toll. It resulted in a temporary loss to the American economy $11 billion, some of which will be lost permanently, just lost economic activity.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers will meet tomorrow to begin working on a deal for border wall funding, ahead of a February 15 deadline. That`s three weeks altogether. President Trump has been -- ruled out the possibility of another shutdown over a border wall -- he won`t -- or the possibility of declaring a national emergency to start wall construction.
At a congressional hearing on worldwide threats, the chiefs of U.S. intelligence agencies made no mention whatever of what the president has deemed a crisis at the southern border or for a need for a wall.
These guys in charge of protecting this country see nothing there to really worry about.
But, last night, FOX News host Sean Hannity came to the president`s defense over attacks from his -- quote -- "conservative friends."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Do you believe for one second, do you really believe the president has stopped his full-on fight over the border wall that he has promised?
Has he not shown he is a tenacious fighter when it comes to keeping his promises? Don`t let what is a -- what I believe to be a shift in strategy fool you, because I don`t have any doubt at all that the president is going to fight as hard, if not harder, for the money for the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Wouldn`t you like to have a friend like Sean, who will defend anything you do?
Anyway, I`m joined right now by Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The Washington Post."
I want to ask the same question to you from different perspectives. I want to start with Bob.
I know how has a Senate conference works with the House. You get together in the room. You spend days doing it sometimes. You try to find the common stuff. Then you try to find how to work the other side. And you try to get everything included, but sometimes things don`t get included because they`re only being pushed by one side.
A conference tries to find common ground. Both sides, Democrat and Republican, House and the Senate, say they want stronger border protection.
Why can`t they find some way of calling a fence a wall, because we already have a lot of fence? Is there a way we can get past this and bring the government back and make people feel a little bit better about the border and end this for a couple months, or a couple years even?
ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: (AUDIO GAP) easy seen here at the Capitol.
I have been talking to senators on both sides ahead of this Wednesday meeting. They say too many ideas are being floated. It`s not just about a narrow package on immigration and border security.
Senator Lindsey Graham`s talking about adding a debt limit extension onto this whole immigration discussion. Other senators are talking about spending cuts. Democrats are talking about, what about dreamer protections? Could they be part of a broader immigration deal? But they don`t want to include any funding for a wall.
A lot of disagreements before they have even met.
MATTHEWS: This has begun -- they begin -- I`m sorry -- the president mainly, but also someone on the other side -- beginning to talk like people the Middle East. Let`s argue about whose historic right is to this wall, this brick here, or this fence, or this -- we`re finding over it in religious terms.
Can`t you just say, we already got a hell of a lot of fencing down there across the border? Anybody who has been there has seen it. Fix the fence, do something, and call that the wall. I don`t know.
I know I`m not -- I`m not ideological about this thing. I think it`s something we`re arguing back because we want to argue.
REP. CHERI BUSTOS (D), ILLINOIS: Well, in the meantime, we had 800,000 workers not getting a paycheck for 35-plus days.
But, yes, we absolutely can. And we -- Chris, last time you and I spoke, you said, what is the plan and what`s the dollar amount attached that plan?
We do have a plan. It`s a four-point plan. We do have dollar amounts attached to that. That will all be worked out in conference.
MATTHEWS: You`re talking about border protection?
BUSTOS: Well, we`re talking about hiring the -- we have 3,000 openings for custom agents.
BUSTOS: We`re talking about radar. We`re talking about technology. We`re talking about making sure that every vehicle that comes into our country, we have a way to check that.
MATTHEWS: For drugs.
BUSTOS: For drugs.
We have got the ports of entry, where most of the drugs -- 90 percent of the drugs are coming into our country through those ports of entry. So we have got specific plans, including -- now, if you look at the president`s proposal, 2,000 miles of a wall? It`s not even practical.
We would have to go in...
MATTHEWS: Yes. How many miles we have now?
BUSTOS: You know, I don`t know the answer to that.
MATTHEWS: See? See? We`re arguing about stuff.
BUSTOS: But the people...
MATTHEWS: But we have already have -- people tell me, down in Texas, there`s wall. There`s fencing down there. There`s fencing. I have seen it down in below San Diego.
I know you can`t stop -- 2,000 wall -- you can`t cover 2,000.
BUSTOS: You can`t do that.
MATTHEWS: But -- so we`re arguing over what percentage of the wall is going to be built or has already been built?
I don`t -- I know the importance of it to Trump. He has to say a wall.
BUSTOS: It`s a symbol.
MATTHEWS: Like it`s a -- like the Chinese wall.
BUSTOS: Yes. It`s a symbol, where he talked about it 200 times on the campaign trail.
But we can get this done, Chris. If you have reasonable people sitting around the table, we can get it done.
MATTHEWS: That`s an if.
Meanwhile, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced yesterday the new date for the State of the Union speech will be next Tuesday, February 5. And, today, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Schumer announced Stacey Abrams -- there she is -- former Democratic governor for -- down in Georgia, would give the Democratic response to Trump`s speech.
Let me go.
Do you know how that person was chosen? I think I know why. Why do you think she was selected, this great woman?
BUSTOS: I mean, the strongest base of Democratic support is African- American women.
Look what happened in the Senate race in Alabama. Doug Jones would not have won without African-American women. Wouldn`t have happened; 97 percent of African-American women voted for him. That is why we have a Democrat as a U.S. senator in Alabama.
Stacey Abrams is the future of our party. She`s a superstar.
MATTHEWS: I agree.
BUSTOS: And I`m very, very happy with that decision.
MATTHEWS: I`m hearing from that so many people.
Go ahead, Congressman -- I mean, Robert Costa. Your turn.
COSTA: Another reason Stacey Abrams was selected was that Democrats are being strategic. They`re looking at the map for Senate races in 2020.
They see a top target in Senator David Perdue, an ally of President Trump. Senator Schumer, by making this selection, along with the House speaker, he`s trying to say to Ms. Abrams, get in that race in 2020.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Good for you.
COSTA: If Democrats can win in Alabama with Doug Jones, they`re going to try to win in Georgia where Abrams came close in `18, with her in `20.
MATTHEWS: I think that`s true, and politically wonderful. And I understand why they got to push that Purdue race.
I also think there`s a sense of righting the boat, because with all the publicity about Beto O`Rourke and he lost his race, about still being a big national leader, a big Democrat now. I think they have to do with the other person who lost a close race, certainly in Georgia, and the fellow that lost, Gillum who lost down in Florida, they need the same publicity and the same respect that Beto`s been getting and I think this is, I hope, part of that effort.
Thank you. You know all about this stuff. Thank you, U.S. Congressman Cheri Bustos, one of he leaders of the Democrats, the chairman of the DCCC; Robert Costa, the great Trump listener.
Up next, I was going to say -- you`re not a whisperer, you`re a listener. Thank you. A great reporter.
COSTA: Reporter, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I know, that`s what you are. That`s what I`m saying.
Up next, America`s denier-in-chief is at it again, tweeting misinformation about climate change that shows he just doesn`t get the science behind our warming planet. He gets, he`s just selling to the yahoos.
Bill Nye the Science Guy responds to President Trump. That`s next. Stay tuned.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Right now, millions of Americans across the country are bracing for a once- in-a-generation arctic blast that could bring wind chill temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees. That`s the latest example of extreme weather around the world. And last summer, ranked as the fourth hottest on record in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the fourth worst. And that factored into the increased drought conditions obviously that led to the most destructive forest fire in California`s history last year, taking the lives of 85 people.
And there was historic flooding throughout the parts of the country, following major hurricanes like Florence. And despite all of that, the president, Donald Trump, last night mocked the rule of climate change in response to the sub zero temperatures facing the Midwest.
He tweeted: What the hell is going on with global warming? Please come back fast. We need you.
One of the Trump `s own agencies felt the need to correct the president. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted out a cartoon image with the caption "winter storms don`t prove that global warming isn`t happening." In fact, his own administration has released multiple reports showing the drastic role climate change is playing now.
In 2017, 13 federal agencies unveiled a report that found humans are overwhelmingly to blame for climate change. And last year, another report was released by the administration, laying out the devastating effects climate change will have on the economy, health and the environment. And just this month, the Department of Defense released a report that called climate change a national security issue.
Nevertheless, President Trump has long denied climate change. And he`s not alone. Some of the most outstanding rationales put forth by prominent deniers come up with next, along with my special guest, Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Large parts of the country are preparing for the coldest temperatures seen in decades. President Trump has continued to down play the role of climate change in all this, and he`s not alone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TOM MCCLINTOCK (R), CALIFORNIA: If global warming is caused by your SUV, why is it we are seeing global warming on every other body in the solar system? As you know for the last decade or so, the Martian south polar ice cap is conspicuously receded, Pluto is warming about 2 degree Celsius over the past 14 years.
REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: What about --
BROOKS: -- the White Cliffs of Dover, California, where you have the waves crashing against the shore lines, and time and time again you have the cliffs crashing into the sea? All of that displaces water, which forces it to rise, does it not?
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: We keep hearing 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I asked the chair you know what this is? It`s a snow ball and that`s just from outside here. So it`s very, very cold out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I`m joined now by Bill Nye the Science Guy, author of "Everything All At Once."
Bill, why do people do this? Why did they come up with this comical excuses to deny the science?
BILL NYE, "THE SCIENCE GUY": Well, it really starts with the fossil fuel industry who has been working very hard to introduce the idea, that doubt, that scientific uncertainty, plus or minus 2 percent is the same as plus or minus 100 percent. In fact, they`ve hired the same people that the cigarette industry hired.
And there was -- Luntz, the pollster, who said doubt is your friend. He coached Republican presidential nominees that to introduce the idea that there`s doubt about scientific uncertainty. So, therefore, there`s doubt about the whole thing, that`s patently wrong and it`s very frustrating for those of us in the science education community on the fact-based science.
MATTHEWS: What can you say to the people on the ground, the grave majority, almost 2/3 of Trump voters say it`s not an issue with them personally? Whatever you make of that, that`s what they say. It`s not an issue with me personally.
NYE: I think it really is. If you ask any farmer, any professional in agriculture. The pests and parasites are showing up earlier in the growing season and they`re sticking around longer and this makes farmers have more what we call inputs, more pesticides, more herbicides, more mechanical removal of rogue weeds and stuff -- and this is very expensive. So, it will add to the cost of food.
And the other problem is growing in North America, which is the bread basket of the world, even now, the agriculture in North America is going to have to move north into what would normally be Canada.
NYE: And we don`t have the infrastructure. We don`t have the railroads and roads to get food from that area to where we need it around the world. And, of course, it can be built but the longer we mess around and not address the problem, the more difficult it`s going to be.
I claim that the people in rural areas are affected perhaps even more than people in urban areas and they`ve been hoodwinked, they`ve been led astray by this group of like minded people who feel the economic effects of getting away from fossil fuels are going to be catastrophic. But that`s just simply not true.
MATTHEWS: You know, every time I see a Koch Brothers ad, I think these guys ought to get a tax write off of this. And that would be a sick thing to do obviously, but it`s in their economic interest, isn`t it? The Koch Brothers, that industry, the fossil fuel industry, gas and oil, to deny? To deny, it`s in their economic interest to deny science and that`s why they run all of these advertisements. Yes.
NYE: That`s their perception. So, if everybody -- I`m not a member -- I`m not on the board of directors of the solutionsproject.org, but check it out, these are civil engineers who have done an analysis of our electrical grid and they believe, quite reasonably we could go 80 percent sustainable, renewable in 15 or 20 years and 100 percent in about twice that.
And this would change the world. We wouldn`t need -- the United States wouldn`t need to get its energy from overseas. It would be domestic energy and, of course, some of the people that are very concerned about climate change are in the U.S. military and they would welcome not having to protect oil fields on the other side of the world.
NYE: The overreaching effect of climate change is a problem that a lot of people have trouble with, because it`s happening and it would seem like slow motion and it is literally global.
MATTHEWS: I see it in Africa, people in these parts of land with the growing Sahara Desert and Sahel, and there`s no more arable land left, there`s no trees left, and people are moving north into Europe. And in our country, in our hemisphere, it`s people from Central and Latin America moving north because how much is climate related to the migration pattern?
NYE: Well, that`s not clear about Central America but it is clear about Florida. People are going -- you know, there`s two cities. There`s Miami and there`s Miami Beach. People in Miami Beach are quite wealthy and they can afford to have so-called mitigation sea walls and so on.
But middle class and lower income in Miami cannot afford to have their cars flooded once a month or wheel wells flooded once a month and they`re going to move north in Florida. Where are they going, and where are they going to -- are they going to abandoned their mortgages?
NYE: What is the economic effect of that? This is -- it`s far reaching. And it -- I understand it`s very troubling for a lot of us to think a human species, just a few people on the earth can somehow change the climate of the entire world but we`re doing it.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Bill.
NYE: And if you live in the rural area -- well, the effect may be less apparent because your neighbors are so far away but it`s happening. Thank you, Chris.
MATTHEWS: We should have you back regularly and we will.
Thank you, Bill Nye the Science Guy, teaching us all.
Coming up, two Trump people are now talking about life inside the White House. Back in a minute.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Donald Trump, it`s been reported, has list of people in the White House he doesn`t trust, an enemy`s list. And based on the record, Trump is right to keep such a list. In fact, I`ve never seen a White House so quick to attack the inside operation from the moment they clear the door.
Cliff Sims will be here tomorrow, has a new book where he describes life inside the Trump bubble, describing Kellyanne Conway as a relentless leaker. Well, this race to publish isn`t normal. People working the White House don`t normally leave and immediately trash the place.
There are exceptions. I was present years ago for a debate between an historian and a famous presidential speech writer. The historian said, we owe our loyalty to history. The speech writer said, we owe our loyalty to the president we`ve come to serve.
That`s HARDBALL for now.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
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