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Latest Trump accuser speaks out. TRANSCRIPT: 6/28/19, Hardball w/ Chris Matthews.

Guests: Yamiche Alcindor; Barbara Boxer; Steve McMahon, Charlie Sykes,Suzanne Almeida, E. Jean Carroll

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST:  Obviously, MSNBC is proud to be a part of it.  Other channels will have their turn.  But tells you this race is well under way for 2020.

That does it for The Beat.  I`ll see you back here Monday Night at 6:00 P.M.  "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews starts now.


Good evening.  I`m Chris Matthews back in Washington.  Well, last night, before a historic television audience, a star was born.  Her name is Kamala Harris.

Also tonight, Donald Trump jokes about Russian interference in the election while sitting with Vladimir Putin.

And later in the show, we`ll meet the woman who has accused Donald Trump of sexual assault.  Her story was backed up by two friends who say she told them about the attack at the time it allegedly happened.

First up, the first democratic debates of 2020 are history now, and the race is now facing a shake-up.  Powered by a dominant performance, Senator Kamala Harris may have upended the democratic field last night.

In the most searing moment of the night, Harris put the current democratic frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, on the defensive using her prosecutorial skills to cut through Joe Biden`s defense of working with southern segregationist senators back in the `70s.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA):  It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.  And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing.

And there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day.  And that little girl was me.


MATTHEWS:  Well, minutes later, her campaign Tweeted out a picture of her, there she was, as a young girl in California.

Biden argued her comments were a mischaracterization of his record.  At an event today, he made a point to address that.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT:  I heard and I listened to and I respect Senator Harris, but, you know, we all know that 30 seconds to 60 seconds on a campaign debate exchange can`t do justice to a lifetime committed to civil rights.  I want to be absolutely clear about my record and position on racial justice, including busing.  I never, never, never, ever opposed voluntary bussing and as a program that Senator Harris participated in and it made a difference in her life.

I did support federal action to address root cause of segregation in our schools and our communities, including taking on the banks and red lining and trying to change the way in which neighborhoods were segregated.  I`ve always been in favor of using federal authority to overcome state-initiated segregation.


MATTHEWS:  Well, last night, Senator Harris said that she respects the former Vice President and does not believe he is a racist.  But The New York Times says the confrontation between the two of them could signal a change in the contest, noting it illustrated both Mr. Biden`s vulnerability and the urgency his rivals feel to start sowing doubts of his candidacy with voters.

For more, I`m joined former Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Steve McMahon, a democratic strategist, of course, Yamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, and Joy Reid, Host of A.M. Joy, author of the new book, The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the unraveling of the American story.  Thank you.  I`ve got Senator Boxer joining us too right now.  Thank you, former Senator Boxer.

I want to start with Joy Reid on this.  Let me just ask you about your reaction when you watched it.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST:  Well, you know, my reaction, first of all, was that throughout the debate, I thought Kamala Harris came not just to play, but to win.  She had the strongest strategy.  She was aggressive not just in going after the current president, but in actually turning to looking Joe Biden in the eye and going after the very popular former Vice President.

And there are two things that I think this signals as a vulnerability for Joe Biden.  Number one, it made it very clear that he is a candidate of the past.  He is a nostalgic candidate.  And the era that Biden and some of his contemporaries are nostalgic for is an era in which the kinds of compromises that could be struck between one white leader and another excluded in a lot of ways people of color.  And it capped Kamala Harris as that generational hinge that obviously was one of the people who suffered as a result.

And the second thing is it punctured the idea that Joe Biden would be the best person to go up against Donald Trump in a debate, because Kamala Harris threw him off.  He didn`t seem ready for the question.  He didn`t seem to have an answer prepared.  He had to have known someone was going to ask, and you would think that someone on his staff would warn him.  The one black person on that panel, the one black woman, woman of color, if she asks it, you better have an answer.

The fact that he wasn`t ready for it shakes, I think, some of this idea that he is this Teflon debater that is going to go at Donald Trump because he really wasn`t ready for her.

MATTHEWS:  I think there are two issues.  One is his record.  The other is performance.  I think both were on target last night.

Yamiche, I thought it was a -- if I were to write another book of HARDBALL, I would put the chapter in, because it with us a combination of prosecutorial skill, which is trained and the personality to go with it.  So with somebody defending their life and the harm they felt as a young kid, as a kid who was being bused and also facing the hatred of those who didn`t want busing.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, PBS NEWSHOUR:  This exchange between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris really went to, I think, the core issues of the Democratic Party and the issues that are at stake in this primary.  She is basically saying -- first, she started off by saying as the only black woman on the stage, I want a minute the talk about race and how to interject in that way.

And then she went and really told a super personal story, looking him dead in his face saying, listen, you need to hear my pain.  This is the things - - this is what your generation did to my generation, while Eric Swalwell was talking about passing the torch.  She was really saying, here are the consequences of your actions.  You could have hurt me as a little girl.

And I think the idea that now her campaign is trying to ride this momentum, they were rolling on all sorts of endorsements today from people from Iowa and South Carolina.  I think what we saw in Senator Harris is someone who is ready to take on Joe Biden and would be ready to take on President Trump.

MATTHEWS:  This was an ambush.  This was planned with the pictures to put out, the appeals immediately for fundraising help to haul in (ph).  There was nothing wrong with it.  This is what politics is, surprise attack.

ALCINDOR:  It showed that her campaign was smart and ready for this moment.

MATTHEWS:  Well, in the spin room after the debate, I asked Senator Harris about Biden`s response to her.


MATTHEWS:  Watching former Vice President Biden, do you feel that he had an adequate answer to you emotionally, intellectually, historically to what you were raising tonight?

HARRIS:  I don`t think that he -- you know, I would like to hear him acknowledge what was wrong about a perspective on busing that was a perspective vote I believe he had at that time.  Busing was part of what was necessary to integrate the schools of America.  And to then fall back on, well, what`s the state`s responsibility versus the federal government, that leaves the need to really address the fact that it was just wrong.

MATTHEWS:  You thought he was hedging?

HARRIS:  Well, I just -- we have a different perspective on it.


MATTHEWS:  Senator Boxer, your thoughts about last night`s performance by your former colleague, Joe Biden.

FMR. SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA):  Well, I think that Kamala, who replaced me in the Senate, showed what a great debater she is.  But I have to say something here.  Everyone is dumping on Joe Biden.  It`s happened from day one.  I haven`t endorsed anyone.  May the best person win.

But I have to say a couple of things here.  Kamala said at one point, it was a great line, she said, the American people don`t want a food fight.  They want us to talk about how to put food on the table.  And then she opened up this very tough fight with Joe Biden, who, in 2019, just won an award for his lifetime of civil rights, who Kamala invited to come to California in 2016, and her quote was the Biden family represents the highest ideals.  So this was planned.  It was an attack.

And the last point I`ll make about busing, because I happen to agree with Kamala on the issue of busing.  But guess what.  If you go back to the polls at the time, which The Washington Post just did a story on, listen to this, only 9 percent of African-Americans supported involuntary busing.  And overall, only 5 percent of the people did.

So Kamala, looking back on it, she has a personal story.  I believe everything she said, but she cut deep into the heart of Joe Biden, who is a good person.  And I think she has opened up a lot of scrutiny on what she did when she was prosecutor, which I`m sure she is ready for.

But I personally -- I just -- I`m hoping that we would turn our fire on Donald Trump.  That`s my view.  I may be in the minority.

MATTHEWS:  Let me go to joy.  Joy, you`re a different generation than me or the Senator, and I want to ask you about this.  Because I do think it`s one of those things, in both cases, you had to be there.  You had to be hurt at six years old in California and to have parents say their white kids can`t play with you in a situation where you`re hated enough because of your ethnicity, people don`t want you going to their schools, they don`t want to go into your schools, have that seared in you.  I asked her last night, do you still feel that hurt from then?  And she said yes.

Biden, on the other hand, was in a situation where at the age of 29 or 30, he walks into the U.S. Senate, and I was working back then.  They`re all segregationists.  The Democratic Party pretending now they weren`t the segregationist party when a third of them were all segies.  All the communities were run.  The food in the cafeterias was southern cooking, grits were everywhere.  It was an unbelievable environment.  And the only way to get anywhere with those old farts was to deal with them.  And Biden hasn`t figured out a way to say that.

But Bobby Kennedy had to do the same damn thing.  He had to put up with those bastards too.  And the way to deal with them was sweet talk them and drink their bourbon, and he had explained.  But I guess it`s very hard to explain that the young people of color who has no idea what it was like to be in that -- you had your challenges, of course, like anybody, like Biden or me, but that that particular challenge was legislative.  You didn`t get a damn thing done unless you kissed up to these awful people like Eastland.  Well, what do you think?  They both had experiences that are different.  Your thoughts, Joy, my friend.

REID:  Very interesting.  Yes, no.  Chris, my friend, it is interesting that you put it way because you can go all back to FDR who had to deal with segregationist southern democrats and adjusted the new deal in ways that African-Americans didn`t benefit from it as much as whites in order the get it through.  And then you look at LBJ who had to go after his own region.  He had to go after white southern democrats because, remember, democrats had a super majority in the House and the Senate.  That history is real.

But I have to tell you, you know, Kamala Harris is only a little older than my sister.  My sister was bussed.  She was one of the first classes that was bussed in Denver, Colorado.  And there was such an antipathy to having little black kids from my little town come into the schools and elementary schools in white parts of Denver.  But they would have rather -- they built us elementary -- I mean, middle and high school to keep us in Montbello.  They didn`t want us bussed out there.  So I even remember growing up the antipathy, and Colorado is not Mississippi.  It`s not like this far-right.  I mean, they`ve had the Klan.

But the bottom line being that the problem that you`re describing, Chris, is that this is a very generational divide.  At the time that Joe Biden was practicing politics in his heyday as a legislator, everyone in the room was white and male.  So whether they were segregationists white and male or anti-segregationists white and male, they were all male.  They didn`t have to deal with the diversity within their own caucus to get things done.  They could do handshake deals among them.  Because at the end of the day, the worst case scenarios would never redound to them, their kids or their grandkids, the things that could go wrong if those deals were bad, if the new deal excluded black people.  They didn`t hurt the Roosevelts.  It hurt people like me.

And so the reality is now what Congress is is a much more multiracial caucus inside of the Democratic Party in Congress and out.

MATTHEWS:  Yes, I agree.

REID:  The Democratic Party is the multiracial party.  And is Joe Biden, who`s heyday was dealing with all the white guys in the room and making deals, is he the right standard bearer for a very different party where those interests are very different and where, frankly, younger generations aren`t going to tolerate handshake deals with people like Eastland.

MATTHEWS:  I want to go back and get Steve McMahon (INAUDIBLE), because I think your points are right.  And I think today in the days of the old days, you had to deal with the Eastlands and the people like that and the McClellans and Fulbrights.  Let`s not forget Fulbright.  He was a segregationist.

Today, you have AOC.  You have a whole different reality of the democratic coalition and the power in the coalition has shifted dramatically to younger people of color, and people to the left, actually.

STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  It`s absolutely shifted.  And what I don`t understand -- I agree with everything that everybody has stated tonight, including Senator Boxer who said democrats need to figure out a way to beat Donald Trump and not just beat up on each other.

Context matters, and you`re absolutely right, Chris.  When you get to the Senate and you`re 29 years old and it`s filled with segregationists, that`s what you have to deal with, not because they`re segregationists but because they`re senators.  And so Joe Biden did that.  But context matters but so does recognizing the change in the Democratic Party and the change in our country.

And he could have easily said it was a different time and I`m not that man anymore.  He could have said that last night.  He could have said, I made those decisions based on the information that I had at the time.  And it was a controversial issue, not just in the white community, but also in the African-American community at that time.  And I would do things differently today.

What I don`t understand is why he doesn`t walk away from some of those things because he could, and he could get the benefit of the doubt because people like him.  48 percent of African-American voters going into last night supported Joe Biden for president.

MATTHEWS:  Okay.  I want to go back to Senator Boxer, because part of this is Joe.  And you know Joe.  Even when he was pretending he was Neil Kinnock in that absurdity, he was giving that British labor speech about using the British idiom.  And he never apologized for that.  Is this one time where he should say, you know what, I shouldn`t have been so friendly with these guys to work with them against people of color in the case of busing.  I shouldn`t have made that kind of alliance.  Why does he want to stick to saying that was the right thing to do now?  He didn`t back off this today, by the way.  Senator?

BOXER:  Well, I did listen to his speech.  And what he is trying to say is, overall, he was pushing hard to make sure that everybody could have fairness and justice and equality.  But it is hard for Joe to say the words that all politicians hate to say, I was wrong.  And the thing is what saved him so far, because remember, every single pundit said he is taking too long to get in the race.  And when he gets in the race, he`s going to go down.  And when he does his first gaffe, he is going to be gone.  He has done three or four gaffes.  We don`t know this.

But I would just say this to you.  People know Joe.  So they`re going to decide.  Are they more annoyed at him because he can`t say I`m sorry or do they still forgive him as they have so far and say we still think he is the best one to pull it off?


BOXER:  Now, I think the key will be, and I think there are other panelists who could talk to this, the African-American voters.  What do they think about this?  And I think it`s going to be fascinating to see what happens in the polls to come.  Because they`re a part of his base, a very strong part of his base.  We have to see what happens.

And guess what?  I don`t know.  I don`t know what`s going to happen.  So I am standing by.

MATTHEWS:  We have two African-American people and I want to hear from them.  Joy, first, you`re ready to go.

REID:  Okay, really quickly.

MATTHEWS:  Because I`ve been thinking all night, is this going to be like Barack Obama was able to beat Hillary Clinton among African-American voters, because they saw him as a potential winner?  Does Kamala Harris look like a potential winner to take all the marbles right now?

REID:  The problem is in this scenario you just described, Chris Matthews, Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton in 2008, not Barack Obama.  This is a generational divide.  Older African-Americans are four square for Joe.  They know him.  They are nostalgic for that Obama era.

MATTHEWS:  But do they think now that Kamala can win?  I want to know if something happened last night.

REID:  That`s exactly it.  Particularly voters -- black voters under 50 are shopping anyway.  And they are now going to look at Kamala Harris and see a president.  That`s exactly what sunk Hillary Clinton.  This book that I just wrote, I looked at all the factors that elected Donald Trump.  It was nostalgia.  So can democrats beat nostalgia with nostalgia or do they need to beat nostalgia with change?  Last night Kamala Harris is change.  Joe Biden is nostalgia.  That`s the question.

MATTHEWS:  Totally political, but only the ethnic piece is a political part of the piece.  Have African-Americans generally took a look last night and said they saw somebody who can knock the block off of Donald Trump?

ALCINDOR:  I think Senator Harris was already someone that people were looking at saying she is qualified.  I think last night made her even more qualified in the eyes of some people.

I will say I`ve talked to some voters who are worried that after Barack Obama, people got Donald Trump, and they`re worried about whether or not the nation is ready for that.  But I think that conversation of whether or not the nation is ready for a woman or an African-American, she put that to bed last night in a lot of people`s minds because she was able to go after Joe Biden in such a hard way.

I just also want to quickly say, when we talk about integration, when we talk about the representation of people of color in the Democratic Party, those issues are not gone away.  There are schools that are definitely not integrated that are definitely still a majority white.

So I think there are a lot of people who are looking at us and saying, my school that I send my child to is still dealing with integration issues.  The Senate is still only one black woman in the Senate.  She is the only black woman in the Senate.  So I think when we look at the power shift, the power is still largely white and male when you look at the Democratic Party.

REID:  That`s right.  And, Chris, can I tell you, last night after the debate, pull up that video.  Who was crowded around Kamala Harris after that debate?  Black women.  She was surround by black women.

MATTHEWS:  I did notice that.  And you noticed that last night too, that physical statement.

REID:  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  There was such a vivid picture last night of Biden putting his head down when he was being whacked by her.  Why was the he putting his head down?  What that all about.

Thank you so much.  We`re all trying to figure this thing out.  And I do agree with Joy most of the time, because I think things are moving in that direction.  I just think Biden didn`t look like he could beat Trump last night.  But that younger woman, the prosecutor with a personal story, which she didn`t have in the earlier fights with Brett Kavanaugh and with Bill Barr.  This time she had a personal witness to bring to it, not just a professional.  And I think that gave her the equipment to win last night like I`ve never seen anybody win.  This is the biggest knockout since Lloyd Bentsen knocked out Dan Quayle.

Anyway, thank you former Senator Barbara Boxer, Steve Mcmahon, Yamiche Alcindor, Joy Reid, her new book, The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story.

Coming up, President Trump apparently finds Russian meddling in our elections amusing.  Isn`t that cute, joking about it publicly with his new pal, well, his old, Vlad, Vlad the Impaler.

Plus, as Robert Mueller prepares to give his first public testimony, one of Trump`s presidential predecessors, Jimmy Carter, I`ll give it away, says Trump didn`t actually win the election of 2016.  He got it because of Russian interference.  Wait until you hear what Jimmy Carter had to say.

Later, E. Jean Carroll, we know her story.  She is going to tell it in person with us.  She`s a former network colleague of mine who is accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault, at least a charge he denies.

Much more ahead.


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

President Trump is dropping new hints that he won`t protect the integrity of this country`s elections, even as we approach 2020.

In a bilateral meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit over in Japan right now, President Trump actually joked publicly about the Kremlin`s attack on our democracy in 2016. 

Here`s what he said when asked by NBC whether he would -- he could put -- he told Putin -- if he told Putin not to meddle in the 2020 election.  Here`s how he reacted. 


QUESTION:  Mr. President, will you tell Russia not to meddle in the 2020 election?


Don`t -- don`t meddle in the election, please.


MATTHEWS:  Well, Trump`s latest comments are reminiscent of his remarks at Helsinki here last year when he contradicted his own government and denied Russia`s interference in 2016 directly. 

It also comes after Trump told ABC News this month that, if offered foreign dirt on a political opponent looking forward, he`d take it. 

But that`s not all.  The president also appeared to commiserate with Putin by knocking the press as the fake news.  That exchange, which is difficult to hear, was captured by Russian state TV before the United States media entered the room. 

Here goes. 


TRUMP:  Fake news, great term, isn`t it?  You don`t have that problem in Russia.  We have that problem.  You don`t have that problem.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT:  Yes.  Yes, we have.  We have it too.  It`s the same. 


MATTHEWS:  I`m joined right now by David Corn, Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones," and Charlie Sykes, editor in chief of The Bulwark.

Charlie, I don`t think you can capture this in satire.  I don`t think anybody has seen anything like it. 


MATTHEWS:  Here he is, a guy who grew up like you, he did, in the Cold War, who knows what the Russians are all about, knows what the KGB is all about.  They know what Vladimir Putin is coming from. 

SYKES:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  And we know what Soviet media is, government-controlled, bossed by the government.  You screw around, you`re dead. 

And there he is chuckling with this guy about our free media compared to Russian state-controlled media, like, you don`t have fake media.  It`s beyond vomit material.

Your thoughts? 

SYKES:  No, it is.

And there is no historical parallel for this.  A lot of us thought Helsinki was the bottom.  But, with this president, there is no bottom. 

So here you have the president of the United States joking and making fun of this whole issue.  Look, this is something that I think we ought to understand, that the president not only thinks that he was vindicated.  He got away -- let me put it this way -- that he got away with the Russian conspiracy, that he was vindicated by the Mueller report, which, of course, he was not. 

And because of that, he`s making light of it.  This is one of the reasons why the Democrats in Congress need to move ahead more aggressively, because this is a president who, number one, is making light of it. 

But he is also sending a signal to the world, and he is sending a signal to Vladimir Putin that, in fact, he is not taking this seriously, that he is treating it like a joke, and that he is not going to aggressively protect next year`s -- the integrity of next year`s election. 

And that in itself might be an impeachable offense. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, here is a couple of questions. 

Making fun of -- how many Russians were indicted by the Mueller report, the whole operation, 25 or something?



MATTHEWS:  So, he is denying all that, that the Russians were trying to screw with our elections. 

CORN:  He`s -- you know, stunned silence doesn`t work well on TV.  So I will have to come up with some words here. 

But he`s been saying from the beginning -- remember, throughout the campaign, even after it was announced by the U.S. government that Russia was doing this, he kept saying, no, they`re not.  He aided and abetted the attack with his own lies and denials, and that comes through in the Mueller report. 


CORN:  And he just simply has never taken this seriously, because, as you said before, he played ball.  He winked at them.  He said, go ahead, get those e-mails.

MATTHEWS:  And he is doing it right here. 

CORN:  And he is doing it right here. 

MATTHEWS:  This is a love story. 

CORN:  Again and again. 

And the thing is, the House Democrats need to do something.  Charlie is right.  And I can`t believe that I always agree with him these days.

But he gets away with this because not a single Republican comes out and says, Mr. President, you are wrong, you need to protect the election, and you`re putting our own journalists at risk too. 

No one complains.  He is leading a cult, and he gets to say whatever he wants to protect himself. 

MATTHEWS:  Charlie, it used to drive me crazy when somebody like "Nightline" in the old days would put somebody on from Russia, so-called media commentator. 

There is no free commentary in Russia.  It`s all controlled by the state.  It`s a communist country, because, when it comes -- they don`t have a First Amendment.  And here is Trump laughing with Vlad about our media like he -- and saying, you don`t have this problem. 

What does that mean? 

SYKES:  Also, keep in mind that, in Russia...


MATTHEWS:  What`s it mean to Republicans?

SYKES:  Well, they murder journalists. 

This is part of the problem of the -- and I`m starting to use the term of normalization, that we have become numb to all of this, we have become numb to this outrage.  We have become numb to how he behaves on the national stage. 

So, in Russia, Vladimir Putin murders journalists.  So this is stunned -- this is absolutely stunning.  At least Justin Amash is the one Republican who has been willing to stand up against this. 

But unless Congress moves aggressively to say, look, we don`t think this is a joke, then the president is going to continue to brush it off. 

And so I`m -- by the way, Chris, I`m glad that you`re devoting a segment to this, so that we don`t spend the entire day, the entire news cycle talking about the Democrats` circular firing squad, because we still have a president of the United States who is not fulfilling his number one constitutional responsibility, which is to protect this country from its enemies. 


Well, you know what?  I would rather celebrate a true Democratic event like last night`s debate than this hell. 

But I want to ask about this MBS thing.  During the G20 summit that is going on right now over in Japan, President Trump had a friendly moment with Saudi Crown Prince, guess who, MBS, Mohammed bin Salman, who appeared center stage with Trump during the traditional photographs with world leaders.

There they are together.  You got another Bobbsey Twin here. 

And "The Washington Post" notes it`s a far cry from the isolation the crown prince faced at the previous summit last November in the wake the Jamal Khashoggi killing. 

David, again asking the question of a free press.  If they don`t like a reporter, they chop them up and put them in boxes or whatever they do with them. 

CORN:  And Trump is fine with that.  He is fine with Duterte in El Salvador, with Erdogan in Turkey, with Kim, of course, in North Korea.  He likes authoritarians.  He likes autocrats. 

Why?  He has no values.  There was a transcript that came out this week of Rex Tillerson being grilled by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 


CORN:  They asked him, what are the president`s values?  Can you describe his values?  He said, "I cannot," because he has one value, Trump. 

And that`s why all this -- he gets away with all this stuff. 


We`re going to get to this later, because we have got E. Jean coming on this -- later in the show. 

But here is a president -- it`s unbelievable, what goes on.  Lindsey Graham said, if Trump denies it, it didn`t happen.  I mean, that`s how the Republican Party behaves, Charlie, right now.  All it takes is a denial, and that didn`t happen. 

SYKES:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  It`s like -- it`s something -- it`s a notion of metaphysics.  It didn`t actually happen because he said it didn`t happen. 

What reality is that, Charlie?  That`s a weird new notion. 

SYKES:  Well, that is a reality -- well, this is what I think Hannah Arendt described as the annihilation of truth, that, after a while, the point of lies isn`t necessarily to make you believe one thing or another.

It`s to make you doubt the existence of truth or the existence -- or your ability to use your critical thinking to determine what is true. 

And that`s kind of -- we are in that moment right now where we`re all part of Donald Trump`s pathology.  But this is not a personality quirk alone.  This is a president of the United States who is dangerous. 

And David`s point about his fascination with authoritarian thuggery is really crucial here, that Donald Trump clearly has this fascination with people like Putin, with people like MBS, and the disdain for our closest allies. 

Look, this has real consequences.  And, at some point, somebody like Lindsey Graham has to understand what this means for our role in the world, because there are consequences to those sorts of things. 

MATTHEWS:  I agree. 

And he is not just a menace.  He is a direction.  Trump is a direction. 

SYKES:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  We`re going somewhere with this guy. 

Thank you so much, guys.  You`re great to have on this Friday, David Corn and Charlie Sykes. 

Up next:  It`s no longer if; it`s when.  Former special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed now to testify before the Congress, two committees, in fact. 

What are some of the most important questions House Democrats should ask?  And will his testimony move us closer to impeachment? 

More HARDBALL coming after this. 


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

After months of negotiations, former special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify to Congress about the findings of his investigation.  It`s a big opportunity for Democrats, who promised to -- quote -- "bring the Mueller report to life, but have failed so far to secure key witnesses. 

Mueller is now set to appear, however, before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees next month, in what could be the most consequential hearings of Trump`s presidency. 

Meanwhile, former President Jimmy Carter made headlines today by questioning the legitimacy of President Trump`s very election. 


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  There is no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election, and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated, would show that Trump didn`t actually win the election in 2016. 

He lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf. 

QUESTION:  So do you believe President Trump is an illegitimate president? 


CARTER:  Based on what I just said, which I can`t retract... 




MATTHEWS:  Well, this comes after Trump spoke favorably of former President Carter in his interview with "Meet the Press" last week.  Let`s listen to that. 


TRUMP:  I like Jimmy Carter.  You know, Jimmy Carter has oftentimes come to my defense. 

I don`t necessarily agree with the way he ran things, and that`s OK, and he understands that, and so do I.  But he came to my defense on numerous occasions.  And he thinks that I was treated the worst of anybody he`s ever seen by the press. 



Well, just hours after Carter`s comment, President Trump made his little joke to Vladimir Putin about Russian meddling in our elections. 


Up next:  The Supreme Court hands down split decisions with potentially huge implications for our democracy.  The court says it won`t stop North Carolina`s or Maryland`s partisan gerrymandering and doesn`t buy Trump`s reason -- at least his reason -- for adding a citizenship question to the census.

Stick with us.  Much more after this. 



SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We need to end gerrymandering in Washington.  We need to end political gerrymandering in Washington.

The court today said they couldn`t do anything about it. 


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

That was Colorado Senator Michael Bennet last night during the debate last night reacting to one of two big decisions coming from the Supreme Court yesterday. 

Many progressives and Democrats generally have said for years that one reason Congress remains under Republican control all these years, even when the national vote has gone to the Democrats, is because of gerrymandering, the partisan redrawing of election maps by state legislatures. 

In a 5-4 vote, the conservative justices on the Supreme Court have ruled yesterday that they were effectively powerless, however, to stop the drawing of such partisan maps. 

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority decision that: "Excessive partnership and distracting leads to results that reasonably seem unjust.  But the fact that such gerrymandering is incompatible with democratic principles does not mean that the solution lies with the federal judiciary."

For more, I`m joined by Suzanne Almeida, redistricting and representative counsel -- representation counsel for Common Cause, whose group was the plaintiff in the gerrymandering case at the center of yesterday`s Supreme Court ruling.

What is the Supreme Court ruling that they will not administer justice? 

SUZANNE ALMEIDA, COMMON CAUSE:  You know, that`s the problem, right? 

The Supreme Court is saying that this is not their fight.  And we live in a democracy, where every vote should count and every voice should matter.  And, quite frankly, the Supreme Court just took the cowardly route here. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, how can the court, after years of doing votes that I grew up with, like one man, one vote, one person, one vote, effectively -- that was getting involved in how we draw maps. 

ALMEIDA:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.

And Chief Justice John Roberts looks at those cases as well in his opinion, saying that they`re different somehow.  But, you know, as Justice Kagan says in her dissent, they`re really not that different.  There`s clear standards that the court can use, and they just failed to do so.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  What`s the politics of this?  Are the courts afraid, or they just Republicans. 

ALMEIDA:  You know, people have speculated for a lot of things, right?

One is that it`s important that the federal judiciary doesn`t get involved in partisan politics, right?  They can`t be picking winners and losers.  So, that`s one. 

Another is that, yes, there are -- there is a conservative branch of the judiciary, the federal court, and there is a liberal branch.  And the conservatives were looking for Republican power. 

Personally, I think that that`s hopefully not the case, but it`s hard to tell. 

MATTHEWS:  Let`s talk about this other court decision about the census and asking the citizenship question. 

What are the president`s prerogatives here at this point?  He says he will just put it off, the census. 

ALMEIDA:  So he can`t do that.  He can do that up to a certain point, but the federal Constitution, the United States Constitution, says that we have to have a decennial census.  That means, every 10 years, we have to have a census. 

The Census Act says that that census count starting in 1980 has to start by April 1.  So he has a little bit of a window. 

MATTHEWS:  Of next year?

ALMEIDA:  Of next year, of 2020. 

But every 10 years, on April 1.  So he has a little bit of window, but not much. 

MATTHEWS:  Who is going to enforce that? 

ALMEIDA:  The federal courts, right? 


ALMEIDA:  It`s always going to come back.

MATTHEWS:  So, he is limited.  He is limited. 


ALMEIDA:  He is limited. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you so much, Suzanne Almeida.  We will have you back, because these things aren`t going away. 

Author E. Jean Carroll, who accuses latest -- who is the latest woman the accuse the president of sexual assaulting her, joins us next. 

You`re watching HARDBALL. 


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

It`s been a little less than a week since E. Jean Carroll, a prominent author and frequent guest on my old show in the old days, accused President Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-`90s. 

In an excerpt from her new book published in "New York Magazine," Carroll describes an incident in which Donald Trump allegedly assaulted her and forced himself on her in a department store dressing room. 

Yesterday, two of her friends went on the record with "The New York Times" to back up her story. 

Lisa Birnbach, an author, and Carol Martin, a journalist, recounted their conversations at the time of the alleged incident with Carroll. 

In this clip, Birnbach explains the initial conversation she had with Carroll.  Let`s listen. 


LISA BIRNBACH, FRIEND OF E. JEAN CARROLL:  "It just -- it was horrible.  We fought."

And I said: "Let`s go to the police."


"Come to my house."

"No, I want to go home."

"I will take you to the police."

"No.  It was 15 minutes of my life.  It`s over.  Don`t ever tell anybody.  I just had to tell you."


MATTHEWS:  Well, on Tuesday of this week, two Republican senators said that the allegations should be taken seriously. 

Utah Senator Mitt Romney told CNN: "It`s a very serious allegation.  I hope that it is fully evaluated.  The president said it didn`t happen, and I certainly hope that`s the case."

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, who recently revealed that she was raped in college, told CNN: "Obviously, there has to be additional information.  They need to be interviewed.  They need to interview her.  They need to visit with him."

I`m now joined by E. Jean Carroll, author of "What Do We Need Men For?" -- that`s a provocative title right there -- which comes out next Tuesday. 

Thank you. 

I don`t mean to be jocular. 

But I haven`t seen you in a while, Jean.  And it`s great to have you on, not for this reason, but perhaps for the book. 

Let me ask you about this.  What do you make of Mitt Romney, who is a hard guy to read sometimes in terms of his values and his politics, coming out and saying, we need to have some kind of look into this case?  He is taking it seriously. 

E. JEAN CARROLL, TRUMP ACCUSER:  Chris, it was heartening.  It buoyed up my spirit.  I love that he spoke out. 

And I`m so happy to see you again, Chris.  We go back to the days, you know...

MATTHEWS: "America`s Talking." 

CARROLL:  What?  Yes, "America`s Talking." 

MATTHEWS:  "America`s Talking."

CARROLL:  And you led us.  You were just brilliant.  You were a columnist.  Remember, you were a writer?

MATTHEWS:  Sure, "San Francisco Examiner" and "Chronicle," yes, those days. 

CARROLL:  And Roger Ailes put you on the air. 

MATTHEWS:  That`s right. 


MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about this -- about -- will you cooperate if you`re called by the Senate, either Joni Ernst of Iowa or Mitt Romney of Utah?  Would you cooperate with the Senate inquiry or any inquiry into the facts of the case? 

CARROLL:  Absolutely, 100 percent. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you a couple of questions of mine. 

Did you -- have you since the incident occurred have in any way contacted or been contacted through mutual friends or whatever?  Has Trump shown any knowledge of this thing happening to you? 

CARROLL:  Pardon me?  What do you mean? 

MATTHEWS:  Has he, through any means, through conversation or say hello for me?  You know how it works. 

CARROLL:  No.  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  Has he bumped in -- has he shown any recognition of you as a human being? 


MATTHEWS:  None?  Zero?


MATTHEWS:  Have you been able to -- when you -- I was trying to think about why you came forward now.  And I was thinking maybe it was in the process of giving advice to women who have had terrible situations, and you have been their counselors. 

CARROLL:  You nailed it.  That`s exactly it. 

Since Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey hit "The New York Times" with the Harvey Weinstein story...


CARROLL:  ... my column was flooded with women asking me if they should go forward and report their boss.  Should they call the police about their son-in-law?  Who do they speak to?  E. Jean, please help me.  I don`t know what to do. 

And then I, of course, felt terrible, because I have had this secret all these years, and have not made a peep about it. 


CARROLL:  And, here, these women are, whom I love.  I love these women.  And I love my correspondents. 

And I just hadn`t been straight with them.  I just hadn`t been straight.  So I had to come forward. 

MATTHEWS:  I`m trying to think about -- and I think I understand.  But I`m just going to guess.  And you tell me if I`m right. 

You`re not nobody.  You`re a prominent -- a figure of -- people know your name.  They know you`re a professional.  You know the media, how it works.  You`re able to go through the ropes of the media.  You knew how to do it.  If you wanted to put this story out, you could have done it. 

Is it because you didn`t want to be known as the woman that was raped? 

CARROLL:  I`m not a victim. 

I`m a woman who went through a very short period of time where an event happened.  And I think of it as a fight.  And so I wanted -- I could have come forward, Chris, flanked with attorneys, maybe famous attorneys who represented women who have suffered sexual violence. 


CARROLL:  I could have, you know, spoken to a press conference, which would have been a horrible thing. 

But I wanted to control my own story.  I wanted to get it down on paper.  I wanted to control every word of it, and then I gave it out.  And I think that is a good way for women to proceed. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, I was thinking what you said about you didn`t -- you wanted to say it was not anything like romance, anything like what we think of as sex positively, enjoyable, let`s say, in that sense. 

It was like you didn`t -- you didn`t want it to seem like Dominique Francon in "The Fountainhead," where she is raped by the guy, and said, oh, this is great.  Remember that scene that Ayn Rand wrote? 

CARROLL:  Oh, it`s emblazoned on my brain. 



It`s -- well, here`s the -- the lead-up to the scene was very flirtatious, delightful.  We were bantering back and forth.  We were telling jokes. 

I was delighted that I had run into Donald Trump, and he had asked for my advice about buying a present. 

And, Chris, to me, it was funny.  It was a funny scene that we would end up in the lingerie department. 


CARROLL:  To me, it was just getting better and better, and I was going to have a great story to dine out on.  And it was going to be, you know -- and then...

MATTHEWS:  Oh, yes, I get it.  I`d watch that. 


MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about Fifth Avenue.  This president has given us two evidence as to why to believe your story, besides the fact that I believe you.

I think the people, the contemporary accounts you gave to other people certainly gives it validity and genuineness and truth, to me.  Truth is the right word. 

But Donald Trump said, I can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.  Here, he committed this sexual assault on Fifth Avenue.  It`s unbelievable. 

CARROLL:  I haven`t thought of that.  That`s exactly right. 

And, you know, I basically was shot in that dressing room.  He basically shot me. 


CARROLL:  Ever since that event has happened, I have never -- I have never been with another man. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes, I read that. 

CARROLL:  And that`s been 25 years. 

So, he shot something in me.  Even though I jumped back up, and my chin is up, and I have been smiling, and I have certainly moved on, he did shoot.  He did -- he did kill something in me. 

MATTHEWS:  E. Jean, thank you. 

CARROLL:  Thank you, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  You are -- you are a survivor and a great person.  And I`m glad you told the story, because if someone of your intellect and media connections and sophistication and savvy is the right word, if someone like you doesn`t come out, what about the -- really the little person who has no connections, no hope...

CARROLL:  Exactly.  Exactly. 

MATTHEWS:  ... no knowledge of how to deal with this?

CARROLL:  Exactly.  Exactly. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you. 

CARROLL:  Thank you, Chris.   

MATTHEWS:  You are great.  You are a great person. 

And I remember the glory days of "America`s Talking."  What a wild time.

CARROLL:  Oh, what fun we had.

MATTHEWS:  And those crazy shows we had.  Anyway...

CARROLL:  Oh.  Oh, my God.

MATTHEWS:  Thank you.  Thank you so much, E. Jean Carroll, for coming on. 

Up next: what the Democratic candidates told me moments after stepping off that debate stage last night. 

You`re watching HARDBALL. 


MATTHEWS:  Last night`s Democratic presidential debate was the most watched Democratic debate ever. 

To get a closer look at the candidates, I got to interview most of them afterwards.  Here are some of the highlights. 


MATTHEWS:  I have got Senator Kamala Harris here for an amazing night in history, I thought, tonight. 

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  If those men, those segregationists had had their way, I would not be a member of the United States Senate, and I certainly would not be a serious candidate for president of the United States. 

JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  An image like that of that father and his young daughter, anybody can relate to that. 

MATTHEWS:  Is the reason nobody attacked Biden tonight is they all want to be his running mate? 

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I would not accept it if a male offered me, because we should have a female vice president. 

MATTHEWS:  And it`s always dangerous for men to be talking about reproductive rights. 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  When he comes out and says, I`m the only one on the stage that has led on reproductive rights, I literally looked at the two other women on the stage, at Elizabeth and Tulsi.  And we were like going -- and that`s when I said, ah, there`s three women on this stage. 


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Our big chance in 2020 is not to try to roll back the clock, not to come up with some small ideas about, we will make a change here and a change over there. 

It`s to make big, systemic change. 


MATTHEWS:  The spin room is heaven. 

That`s HARDBALL for the big week we just had.  Thanks for joining us. 

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.