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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  April 5, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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headed to testify before the u.s. congress next week and then you have this other story tonight, other countries, including the uk and india cracking down on the social media giant as well. a story we'll be watching well into next week. that does it for "the beat" tonight. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. heating up the temperature. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in new york. frustrated by the realities of governing, emboldened by rising poll numbers and spurred on by fox news, donald trump is raising the heat, in the past week he's picked a fight are china over tariffs, told reporters he wanted to pull u.s. troops from syria and announced he was sending national guard troops to the mexican border. >> we have to have strong borders, we're going to have the wall. the military is going to be building some of it but we'll
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have very strong borders and we have to change our laws and we're working on doing that. we had a trade deficit of almost $500 billion last year with china. we can't continue to allow this to happen where hundreds of billions of dollars is taken out of our country and our system. i want to get out, i want to bring our troops back home. i want to start rebuilding our nation. we will have as of three months ago $7 trillion in the middle east over the last 17 years we get nothing, nothing out of it. >> talk about going back to campaign mode. today he resurrected comments that launched his campaign. let's watch. >> remember my opening remarks at trump tower when i opened, everybody said oh, he was so tough. i used the word rape and yesterday it came out where this journey coming up women are raped at levels that nobody's ever seen before. they don't want to mention that.
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>> trump seems to be returning to the guiding principle that got him into office in the first place -- he alone can fix it. >> they've given you nothing. i will give you everything. i will give you what you've been looking for 30, 40, 50 years. nobody knows the system better than me. which is why i alone can fix it. >> i alone can fix it. according to several sources who spoke to the "washington post," the president's telling advisers that he's finally expediting the policies that got him elected and is more comfortable without a number of aides around him who are tempering his instincts. he's feeling more confident in his job than at any other point in his 14 months as president and feels empowered to act upon things he has long wanted to do. part of that confidence comes from recent polls. according to the associated press and the cnn polls the president has seen a seven-point increase in popularity since february. however, some of his actions
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have had unintended political consequences. brewing talk of a trade war with china could devastate rural voters who backed trump, providing an opening for vulnerable democrats in red stateth sta states. for more, i'm joined by eugene robinson, column list for the "washington post," and an msnbc news contributor. michael steele, former chairman of the republican national committee and, ashley, let's start with the news analysis here. trump seems to be thinking if i raise the heat, it's good for me. is he riding off of his higher poll numbers? what's about this steaming up of his politics in every direction no china, mexico, everything. >> well, the president is coming into his own as the president. he was a little tentative and hesitant at the beginning and he would defer more to his advisers, especially on issues that weren't gut visceral issues for him.
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now west wing aides tell us he feels more comfortable, he feels emboldened and this is someone who always wanted to play to his base. if there was ever a debate or a question of where he's going to go, he's going to go to that read meat, that base, those lines that got him huge applause during rallies and that's what we're seeing right now. >> is there any difference between him and his base? in other words, is he honestly against stupid wars? a phrase a lot of us liked hearing back in '16. is he really for tough trade policy? is he really against illegal immigration from across the border to the south? does he feel those issues as well as his base does or is he playing to his base? >> all of those issues you've mentioned are the three core issues where trump is not particularly ideological but on those three issues, especially immigration, and especially trade these are things he, like a lot of his base, feels at a gut core level and it's not stuff he started talking about on the campaign trail but stuff he's been talking about for decades. so if there's any ideology to
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him, it's on these issues. >> gene, he's going back to steve bannon country. this is economic nationalism, ethnic nationalism if you will, certainly on the big three we just talkeds about, stupid wars, china and immigration, it's pure trump. >> it is. in terms of management style, he's starting to run the white house the way he ran the trump organization which is basically a one-man show. now i don't think you can run the united states of america like that but he seems determined to try. >> and what can go wrong? well just these core issues can backfire on him, if you look at the trade issue, he is -- he has his view of our trade deficit is that such that is basically launching a trade war with china and china is going to target its retaliation, already has, specifically at those groups that form trump's base so they
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will know how to inflict pain, political pain, on the president. this is going to be fascinating and i don't think this is a great idea for him. >> the chinese, i wouldn't underestimate them, they're long-term planners but when they go after the soybeans, tell me about that. when you go to a chinese restaurant in this country you have soy sauce or whatever. you have soy sauce, but do you think they picked that out because it was a way of getting at the iowa voters and screwing trump in the iowa caucuses in 2020? >> absolutely. absolutely. it absolutely is a way of screwing trump. china is a big importer of u.s. agricultural products and soy beans is -- that's a big deal. so if you look at the whole line of items on which china is retaliating are like a political map of the trump base and clearly and obviously and very smartly designed to cause himmi
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people behind trump wanted to see he has the same attitude or they care about results? are they happy if he just screams and shows he doesn't like illegal immigrants from across the border from mexico, if he screams against the chinese and acts tough and tries to get us out of the middle east, it's just the exercise of trying to do those things, do they win votes and keep votes with him and his base? >> i think that's partly right, yeah. there is this desire to reconnect with them when the wheels seemingly come off. we saw that just this past week with his daca position being exposed, if you will, to the base by ann coulter and others who were blowing a gasket of where the president seemingly was ending up on this daca thing. what did he do? he doubled down, the rhetoric heated up and it was his way of reassuring his base through his
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words that i'm still with you. here's the test, though. the test will become one of action with respect to the border, daca, for example and on maybe other economic issues like instruct possibly. they turned that corner a little bit, chris, on tax reform, but that's had mixed results so far because of what the president has said on trade and other things impacting the economic progress that has been made. so the president is sandwiching himself in between his red rick and the actions he knows he's going to have to take on some of these thorny issues, which is why you've seen the reread ttre and renaming the border wall looking at a fence going, well, that's a wall, too. >> ashley, you covered the white house and this whole political whatever it is. when i keep hearing people on the progressive side or even the
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moderate side of politics, center right or center left and they're giving public advice in their columns to trump, i keep thinking they don't like trump, they want trump to fail so why should he take their advice? he s he skeptick -- is he skept people who don't like him and -- what does he think of the advice he gets from the left? >> it's an interesting question because he's someone who is very skeptical, for instance, of the republican establishment in getting advice from them. he's almost likely to willfully disregard it but at the same time he takes advice from very unlikely people, people who aren't necessarily qualified to advise him on policies. he'll talk to an old friend, a long-time billionaire, someone who has been quite successful but may know nothing about border security and he'll take their advice. he talks to celebrities or fox news personalities. so he'll take advice from a wide
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range of areas but they're not traditional ones and they're rarely the mainstream or even the republican establishment. >> according to the walk, president trump is discovering that the policies he once described as easy fixes for the country are more complicated in reality. look at donald trump the candidate versus donald trump the president. >> you're going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost. and it's going to be so easy. now, i have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject. nobody knew that health care could be so complicated. if china does not stop its illegal activities i will use every lawful president -- hey, look, this is very easy, this so easy. the wall is peanuts. that's going to be one of the easy negotiations, believe me. we intend to get along with china but we have to do something substantial about the
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trade deficit and with that nothing is easy. >> reporter: have there been any more efforts to get mexico to pay for the wall? >> well, yeah, i believe that mexico will pay for the wall. as you know we're negotiating nafta, we'll see how that goes. i do well with congress, i've worked with politicians all my life. they're easy. i said to the republicans -- and these are good people, they really want -- and i know they get hit hard, the senators, the congressmen, but they're all working hard, it's not so easy. it's complicated stuff. >> gene, he came in like the man on horse back, the frightening figure of the right we've always been afraid of. the guy who comes in and says i'm going to solve all your problems, just give me all the power. >> i think on some level he did think it would be easy and that comes from his having had zero experience in government and zero experience with the issues and, frankly, zero inclination to learn the issues in any sort of depth or details so he still
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doesn't know immigration policy in detail. he still doesn't know what it would take to actually negotiate getting his wall. he had opportunities to do that and he couldn't do that and part of it is just unfamiliarity with the issues. >> well, the president's remarks just today about rape harkening back to comments he made when he launched his campaign. let's listen to this stuff. >> when mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists and some i assume are good people. >> ashley, he's back to that. >> yeah, he is, i mean, that was sort of the basis -- i mean, it was as you said, that was how he launched his campaign. it was the basis in part of his rise. those comments, offensive
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comments about barack obama's birth certificate and when in doubt the president often returns to those read meat lines that really riled up his base. he has a couple metrics for success. one is the stock market but another is remembering what it felt like to stand in front of huge crowds at rallies and get that thundering applause. that was one of his lines so it's not surprising to see him returning to something he's comfortable with and gets him adulation from a certain core of supporters. >> that's well done. gene, both you and michael, talk about how much of this is the standup comic or anyone who performs before crowds just wanting to hear that feedback, that roar of approval and how much of it is calculated to get himself reelected? he'll need to be in the high 40s to be elected? >> he needs the roar of approval. he feeds on that. how much is calculated to get him reelected? he desperately wants to get reelected.
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he doesn't do calculation in terms of a long range plan or strategy. i think he does see in -- not in a programmatic way but in a real way i think he sees some of -- where he has to be politically to get reelected on some level but it's not like he has a step by step plan for what to do today, what to do tomorrow, what to do in six months. >> i think for him it's all visceral. it's a gut check, a gut feel. he has an inextricable link to his base supporters as ashley and others who cover this president know. it's intangible in many respects. he senses when they need him. they sense when he needs them and that works, but the broader question you ask as we get ready to go through the 2018 cycle, chris and into 2019 and 2020 is how do you build and grow that? because republicans right now need not just that base.
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they're going to need the center left, center right voters to come out this november if they want to hold the house and grow a seat or two in the senate and that's got to be the setup for 2020. the president, while he may have this instinctual relationship with his base, he has to grow that instinct for the rest of the country as well because he'll need that 48% to get out there. >> does he need an elizabeth warren or the memory of hillary clinton or the pocahontas number of his and all that -- something his people will have a nasty attitude towards for him to win? >> he will. but who is that going to be? . there's a short shelf life for an elizabeth warren and certainly i don't think there's much left in beating up the hillary clinton -- making that case so there's got to be someone else who steps in and that's why democrats i think at this point, chris, have been holding back not getting out in front of the whole presidential bid because they don't want to be the fall guy, they don't want
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to be the pincushion for this president at this point. >> i agree. smart, because he has to have a foil. he has to have somebody to beat up, thank you eugene robinson, michael steele and ashley parker. coming up, the russia investigation. new reporting about a key cooperating witness in the mueller probe, george nader. remember him? he helped set up that secret meeting in the seychelles between the russians and a top trump adviser, that sneaky meeting in the indian ocean. tonight we're learning much more about him and his very deep ties -- guess what -- to russia? plus as epa administrator scott pruitt is on the chopping block, it looks like it despite the bad headlines. he's holding on but trump's recent comments about pruitt aren't exactly a vote of confidence. and with republicans facing a potential wipeout this november, party leaders are sounding the alarm. senator mitch mcconnell says the party could be in for a category
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five hurricane at the poll this is november. is the situation as dire as it seems for republicans? i think so. finally, let me finish with what i think and how i expect things to end this year. this is "hardball," where the action is. ine, but we know a lot about drama. from scandalous romance, to ridiculous plot twists. (gasping) son? dad! we also know you can avoid drama by getting an annual check-up. so we're partnering with cigna to remind you to go see a real doctor. go, know, and take control of your health. it could save your life. doctor poses! dad! cigna. together, all the way. dad! (birds tweeting) this is not a cloud. this is a tomato tracked from farm to table on a blockchain, helping keep shoppers safe. this is a financial transaction secure from hacks and threats others can't see. this is a skyscraper whose elevators use iot data and ai to help thousands get to work safely and efficiently.
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welcome back to "hardball." new reporting today sheds additional light on the collusion part of the russia probe and may explain robert
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mueller's interest in a mysterious international businessman with ties to the middle east. the developments center around george nader, a lebanese-american adviser to the united arab emirates who's cooperating with the special counsel in exchange for immunity. as we reported last month, nader is best known for setting up a key meeting in the remote indian ocean island of the seychelles just before the inauguration in january of 2017. that meeting brought together trump adviser eric prince with a russian oligarch reportedly for the purpose of establishing a back channel between the incoming trump administration and the kremlin. well, that same month, nader met at trump tower with steve bannon, jared kushner, and according to the "new york times," a hedge fund manager with business ties to kushner and the uae. the "new york times" reports that nader has more previously unreported ties to moscow. quote, nader's dealings with russia date at least to 2012 when he helped broker a
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controversial $4.2 billion deal for the government of iraq to buy russian weapons. while the dell fell through, mr. nader has returned frequently to rush on behalf of the'm ratty government, even has his picture take within mr. putin. in an indication that as a cooperating witness nader could be more valuable to mueller than we previously knew. i'm joined by barbara mcquaid, a former federal prosecutor and msnbc legal analyst and shane harris, an intelligence and national security correspondent with the "washington post." shane, put this together when you put this set of characters together. connect these dots. george nader, was he setting up the meeting between the russians and the trump guy, eric prince? >> that's what i think bob mueller is looking at. and if you look at the meeting in the say shells, you have people from the united arab emirates, you've got a russian, you've got eric prince. what's the connective tissue? it might be george nader. he knows the trump people, he
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works for the emirites and that's what mueller is focusing in on is what nader's roll was in the seychelles meeting which has been reported and may have been a back channel set up between the transition team and the russians as a way of communicating outside of normal channels. >> barbara. back to the collusion front, there's a lot on obstruction but now we're back to the collusion with russia during the campaign. what does this teal us about a deal or conspiracy involving the trump folks and the russians? >> i don't know that we know yet but mr. nader seems to be a key person. often times you can tell a lot of things from documents, getting bank report, phone records, other kinds of things that can help you connect people. in the end you need a human witness to explain how the dots are connected and it could be mr. nader is providing that role for robert mueller. >> why do you think he got
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immunity? >> well, he may have some exposure, he at least perceives he has exposure. immunity comes when someone says i'm going to take the fifth when you ask me questions because i believe i have criminal exposure so immunity is given in exchange so you say i won't use your statements against you, tell me what you know. so he at least perceived he had criminal exposure. >> now comes this, a cnn report that according to sources familiar with the probe, mueller's team has taken the unusual step of questioning russian oligarchs who have traveled in the united states, stopping at least one and searching his electronic devices when his private jet landed at a new york area airport. they reported that investigators are asking whether wealthy russians illegally funneled cash donations directly or indirectly into donald trump's presidential campaign and inauguration. shane, i guess that's the gold pot -- the pot of gold if you're investigating the trump operation, if they were taking money from not just overseas to
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win the election but from russia. >> that would be an absolutely huge revolution if that were true. and there have been rumblings about this. we've seen this in previous reporting and talking to my sources, the intelligence community becoming aware in the spring of 2016 that russian money was somehow making its way into the u.s. election. we've never exactly known how that happened, what were the conduits, precisely where it was going but when you see this cnn report that mueller's team is stopping russians at airports and looking at their electronic devices, what are you getting? possibly e-mails, texts, records of phone conversations. we know what we can pete together about somebody's contacts by looking at their phones. i think this is a significant development and tells you robert mueller has some very specific questions he thinks these individuals that were stopped can answer either by telling him or searching their equipment. >> barbara, how does this operate? people working for mueller had
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the help of the fbi, obviously. is that -- does the fbi have the ability to stop somebody at the airport with a russian name at kennedy or anywhere else and say i want to look at your laptop? >> actually, there is border search authority to look at electronic devices without a search warrant, it's one of the few exceptions to the search warrant requirement and the idea is i can look into anything you're bringing into the country because it might contain contraband. they can do a basic search, they can't hook it up to machines and analyze it but they can look through it as shane just said, looking for e-mails and the like so we're seeing this tactic which is very aggressive but we're seeing this tactic by mueller's team to catch people by the element of surprise when they're arriving in the country and minimizing the risk and searching their electronics. >> so they say igor, give me your password? is it that aggressive. can you just say i want to go through at the airport a little side room, i want to take the
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clothes off your operation in terms of your social media. can you do that? you say you can't go deep, how far can you go into somebody's laptop? >> you can look. you just can't make an image and analyze it. if the person doesn't want to show it to you, the remedy is you can turn them away and so go back home. >> that's a requirement of admission to be available for that kind of search in. >> yes. >> this is serious business. thank you barbara and shane. every time i hear more about the bob mueller operation the more i think of the iceberg. deep, big, really powerful and we have no idea how big it is unless it surfaces. up next, will epa administrator scott pruitt will the latest trump official to get axed by the administration? he's mired in scandal. lots of drips. and trump isn't exactly giving him a major vote of confidence. this "hardball," where the action is. little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla.
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welcome back to "hardball." epa administrator scott pruitt is trying to save his job amid a barrage of bad headlines over his unusual housing arrangement. pruitt leased a condo from the wife of a top energy lobbyist, paying just $50 a night, which is cheap in washington, i can tell you. pruitt defended himself in an interview with fox news. let's listen. >> is draining the swamp renting an apartment from the wife of a washington lobbyist?
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>> i don't think that that's even remotely fair to ask that question. >> okay, so why did you then accept $50 a night to rent a condo from the wife of a washington lobbyist. >> let's talk about that. that has been reviewed by ethics officials here, they said it's market rate. >> you're wenting irenting it wife of a lobbyist. >> who has no business before this agency. >> that's kind of a sweetheart deal -- >> no, it's not. >> the epa's top ethics official clarified his initial signoff saying he lacked some key facts when concluded it didn't violate gift rules. the epa inspector general is now reviewing the allegations. the daily beast reports during a call to pruitt on tuesday, chief of staff john kelly impressed upon pruitt that though he has the full public confidence of president trump for now, the flow of negative and damning stories needed to stop soon. here's what the president himself said about his epa chief earlier in the week.
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>> reporter: scott pruitt, sir? >> i hope he's going to be great. >> going to be great. today trump went further saying i think scott has done a fantastic job, i think he's a fantastic person. meanwhile, late today came more problematic news for pruitt. the "new york times" reported at least five officials at the environmental protection agency, four of them high-ranking, were reassigned or demoted or requested new jobs in the past year after they raised concerns about the spending and management of the agency's administrator, that being scott pruitt. should trump change his mind and fire pruitt, he wouldn't be the first member of the greatest cabinet to be fired or forced out. health and human services secretary tom price was removed last year, secretary of state rex tillerson was reportedly fired by a tweet last month. and v.a. secretary -- that's veterans administrator david shulkin was forced out just last week. for more i'm joined by howard fineman, msnbc and nbc news analyst. howard, this is a very busy
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guillotine very busy and the president is madam dufarge here. how does pruitt look? >> i've been talking to peep yay people and here's the bottom line. i was told by somebody very close to the president that it's not a question of whether with scott pruitt but a question of when whenning it sounds like to me they know more than has been made public, that they're concerned about what other things can come out. the bottom line is this, chris. it's not really about any corruption in office per se. it's not even i think the thing with the lobbyist and rental on the hill is less important than the fact that scott pruitt has been behaving like a sun king. he's got the 18-person security staff. he's got sirens when he goes across town.
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he's got valvish spending in his office, he's got his own pre-presidential campaign going that made it on the front page of the "new york times" last year in a family business named trump and an administration named trump there can be only one sun king. there can be only one person acting like that and that's donald trump, not scott pruitt. the scariest thing i think and the most annoying thing to the president about scott pruitt is he's behaving like a man with his own agenda, with his own career ahead of him, with his own base in the hard right and that he's the only guy who can bring changes in the epa. the president doesn't want a cabinet of people who say they're the only ones who can do it. remember what donald trump said at the beginning when he was in cleveland at the convention, he said i alone can do it and scott pruitt is not behaving the way donald trump wants him to. >> it seems almost like one of the things you learn in physics
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where the same charges repel each other. >> exactly. and it takes a guy with trump's ego and need to spot another guy like that in his cabinet and from the beginning scott pruitt has been otouting himself, touting his own role. yes, praising the president when necessary but talking about what a great epa administrator he is, going to conservative republican gatherings and touting himself, telling stories about how he might want to run for governor or senator of oklahoma and then president. put on top of that the turmoil within the epa that the "new york times" is talking about, that's been going on for months and months, really from the beginning. the spending on his office, the spending on his travel, the spending on his security detail and gaving raises through a technicality in the epa water law to two of his trusted advisers against the specific judgment of the white house, he
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tried to get those raises approved through the office of personnel management and the white house. the white house said no, pruitt did it anyway. that kind of thing signals to trump not so much corruption as the threat of another ambitious person in the circle. >> unmatchable analysis, howard, thank you so much. i have nothing to add. great man, thank you so much for that great analysis. up next, senator mitch mcconnell is sounding the alarm bell about a potential wipeout, you know, wipeout, like a tsunami coming at the republicans this november. but can democrats get enough momentum to actually do it for 2018? can they get to the 218 they need in the howwhite house to impeach this president? everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..."
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what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future. our republican majority is one of the most successful in the history of the united states congress. now we must work to keep our
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majority in this election. we are fighting to win and we are going to win. just no reason why we shouldn't win with what we've done over the last year. no reason whatsoever. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president trump last month telling republicans that there is no reason for them to lose in 2018. but not everyone is so optimistic. let's listen to what senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said this week. >> if you look at the history of off-year elections, particularly two years into a new administration, remember clinton lost the house and senate, obama lost the house and almost lost the senate, we know the wind will be in our face, we're not sure if it's a category three, four, or five. but i'm hoping we can hold the senate and the principal reason for that, even if we were to lose the house and be stymied legislatively, we could still approve appointments, which is a
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huge part of what we do. >> after liberal candidate rebecca dahlet won an election for the supreme court, the first victory for a liberal who season an incumbent, republican governor scott walker report that tonight's results show we are at risk of a blue wave in wisconsin. the far left is terrific by anger and hatred, we must counter with it optimism and organization. let's share our positive story with voters and win in november. how likely is that risk of a blue wave in the 2018 elections? we'll look that next with the "hardball" round table. whether it's a big thing, small thing, or something unexpected, pnc will be right there when you need us. because when it comes to your finances, if you focus on today, tomorrow has a way of working itself out.
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welcome back to "hardball." 44 republicans are giving up their seats in 2018, creating an opening for democrats who need to pick up 24 seats to win a majority in the house of representatives. since world war ii, the president's party has lost an average of 29 seats in his first midterm election and when that president's job approval rating has fallen below 50%, his party has lost an average of 44 seats. in the latest nbc news "wall street journal" poll 50% of registered voters say prefer a democratic congress while 40% want a republican congress. democrats probably need to be ahead by at least ten points in order to win the house. will 2018 follow historic trends or could bit a nonsoon of democratic voters like it was in 2010 the other way when republicans won 63 seats?
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let's bring in tonight's round table, elena schneider, donna edwards and radio host chris birskirk. make your predictions right now. how many democratic seats will the democrats pick up in this november election, elena? >> we're seven months out but i would say it's likely to very possible that democrats will flip the house. more than 24. >> they need 24, how many do l they get? >> more than 24. 24 plus. donna? >> i'm in the 35 to 40 range. i think this won't be a wave but a tsunami. >> chris? >> 12 in the house and republicans pick up three in the sena senate. >> let's go to you, chris. why do you think it will be such a short advantage for the democrats when there's so many open republican seats now. 44 either retired or running for something else creating vacancies and therefore an
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opportunity. the fact that the pattern has been that when the president is under 50 they pick up 40. why do you say it's only 12? >> it's structural. i think republicans have a good story to tell. the economy is growing, wages are rising. the other part structurally is that if you look at these districts themselves, when you start to drill down, they have republicans b in terms of registrations. when you look at the numbers of the whole country that tells you one thing but not what happens in the district itself. >> that was the sunny side of the street. would you give me an alternative of how they look? they're only going to lose 12 would still be a shockeroo. your store thought? >> you have to look at the races of v.a., pennsylvania, and washington and down the line in these sections where you have seen democrats outperform
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republicans in republican-held districts and states and that's just a bellwether for what's going to happen in november. democrats are targeting 70 seats held by republicans and there are thousands of candidates running up and down the ballot which is fuelling the energy in the party but this is going to be a bad look for republicans. they can't run with donald trump and they can't run without him. that spells disaster for them in november. >> elena, who has the most enthusiasm? the numbers i've looked at suggest democrats have the edge. they want to vote against trump. >> i think you're right. we keep seeing in special election after special election that democrats are energized and they want to vote. take pennsylvania, the specific there, this is a place that trump won by 20 points and a democrat was able to flip that seat in part because democrats in the suburbs showed up for him. in wisconsin this week we saw that as well. democrats are excited to vote and that's not a surprise in a first -- midterm year in which
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the opposite party is in power. >> let me go to chris on this. i read that great interview between frank bruni of the "new york times" and ann coulter where she whacked trump on not being tough on building the wall across the mexican border. is there a dis-ease on the heart right against the trump base? >> there's an issue there. this puts her finger on the pulse there which is to say that if the president is not able to appease his peace, his base, meaning just fulfill some of your promises, it doesn't have to be all of them, particularly the big ones. if you undermine the confidence then i think you start to look at the numbers that everybody else is talking about 20 or 30 losses. if trump can shore up his base, i think he can do better in the midterms. >> i guess that's the question. i want to go back to elena to figure this out. what is the republican base? are they hawkish or dovish? trump ran as a guy against stupid wars but i get the sense
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there's still cold war thinking in the republican party that loves to go to war with russia, loves to get active in the middle east, very pro-israeli, almost to the right on those issues and are they trump -- what is the republican base on foreign policy? is it hawkish or dovish? >> i think the trump base is what trump promised them which was to put america first. to focus on their issues to protect them on the -- in the global marketplace to renegotiate trade deals to protect them. >> we're still in syria, still in afghanistan and still in iraq. >> and i think at this point it's not clear whether or not it's going to be motivating people or demote separating people. >> donna, let me ask you about the democratic base, you know it well, you're campaigning for county executive in prince georges county in maryland. tell me about the women, for example, do you find it easier to get people not just to contribute money but to get out there and work on saturdays and go around and canvass? are people ready to go now? is this too early. >> i think they are and i think what you've seen is the movement among women who are fleeing
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donald trump for a lot of reasons. for his personal character but also because we know that he also doesn't have any ideology at all and so you see women fleeing and i think that's what you saw in you saw in the conor lamb race in pennsylvania, it's what you've seen in these special elections, it's what you've seen in those races all through virginia. and frankly, you saw it in alabama in that special election, as well, for the u.s. senate. s so i really see the women are going to be the dreciders in ths election and those are the same people who moved to donald trump and they'll move back in every district. do not mistake serenity for weakness. do not misjudge quiet tranquility with the power of 335 turbo-charged horses lincoln mkx, more horsepower than the lexus rx350
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we're back with the "hardball" roundtable. elena, tell me something i don't know. >> middle tennessee state university released a poll today about the tennessee senate race where senator bob corker is retiring. and they revealed that phil bredesen, the former governor, is ahead of marsha blackburn by ten points. this is a state that trump won by 26 points in 2016. so this is -- granted, it's a poll, and the caveat is that phil bresddesen is well known, t it's another proof point to show that democrats are really enthusiastic, even in the heart of trump country. >> i think it's bredesen, i was just down there, and i think he's going to win. donna? >> the census bureau is being sued if by more than a dozen
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states because they think they're going to ask a citizenship question on the next 2020 census. and the reason that this is important is because many think that it's designed to scare away immigrant voters from participating in the census, which could have a deep impact on resources and everything else that goes into states and communities. >> chris? >> i'll tell you two things. one is you're going to find out that the trump base, the republican base is still deeply suspicious of the neoconservative agenda of unwinnable foreign wars and overseas innovation. the other thing we'll find out is because china has such a large trade deficit with the united states, it doesn't have as much leverage it thinks it has. >> thank you, elena, donna, and chris. when we return, let me finish tonight how we can expect to end this year. my political predictions for november. you're watching "hardball."
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let me finish tonight with how i expect we're going to finish this year. this november, the entire house of representatives is up for election. and i think about the entire body being dissolved and the question of its future thrown back to the people, the american people. the u.s. house of representatives we have this time next year will be entirely the result of what we the voters decide this fall. so with that, i dare to make a fairly acute prediction. i say it on this fifth day of april, with all the possibilities looming this summer and early fall, i believe the democrats will carry the
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house. they will take control of the speakership, the chairmanship of all the committees, and most importantly perhaps the power of the subpoena. they will claim to an enormous amount of power, and with it, i believe an enormous amount of responsibility. a word first about the math. as i said earlier in the show, the democrats have control now of 194 house seats. they need to pick up 24 to get to the 218 majority. history suggests and the level of this president's popularity suggests they will pick up more than the average 29 seats the party opposing the president gets in the first midterm election. i believe they'll do better. somewhere comfortably between 30 and 40 seats picked up. and so hold me to that. hold me to that. hopefully i will narrow it down within that range the week heading into the election. 30 to 40-seat pickup. again, the great question is how the democrats will use this new power to convince voters they have the commitment and judgment to challenge and check president trump on the vital national issues in a way that provides those voters with a vision of what the democratic party
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believes in, in its guts, what it sees in its mind and what it's willing to fight for with its soul. we need two political parties in this country, and right now looking at the republicans, we barely have one. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> i can't speak to the future of scott pruitt. >> engulfed in scandals, trump's epa chief is on thin ice. >> you're renting from the wife of a lobbyist. >> who has no business before this agency. >> hold on a second. >> tonight, new reporting on what that lobbyist was up to and whether pruitt can hang on. >> have you made mistakes? >> i think this is something that needs to be corrected. and then the president's first comments on stormy daniels. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> why that denial could create more problems for the president. >> michael's my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> plus, new details from robert mueller's investigation and


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