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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  November 30, 2016 8:30pm-9:01pm PST

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>> stoop to conquer. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. while the transition effort rolls on and with it over the last 24 hours comes a series of new announcements from the president-elect about his cabinet, his agenda and not least of all his sprawling business empire. last night, mitt romney who is under consideration for secretary of state met with reince priebus eating frog legs and scallops at a restaurant in one of trump's hotels. in his remarks afterwards, the former trump critic struck a notably deferential tone. here's romney. >> it's not easy winning. i know that myself.
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he did something i tried to do and was unsuccessful in accomplishing. he won the general election. >> well, not too long ago he, romney, was singing a different tune. here's romney in march. >> donald trump is a phony, a fraud, his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. >> last night, the trump transition team also announced the president-elect had selected his campaign finance director and former goldman sachs banker steven mnuchin to serve as treasury secretary. in advance of his thank you tour planned for tomorrow, trump said on twitter he had reached a great deal with carrier corporation to keep roughly 1,000 jobs in the state of indian indiana. "fortune" magazine is reporting in exchange the company, carrier, will get $700,000 for a period of years in state tax incentives. early this morning, the president-elect also said he would leave his business amid mounting pressure to separate the interests of the trump
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organization from the trump administration. in a series of tweet this is morning trump wouldn't say how he'd do it and said he wouldn't make the official announcement for another two weeks until december 15. i'm joined by jason miller trump transition communication director. jason, you're a political guy and i respect that because i used to be one. one thing you have to judge is people's word. four years ago when mr. trump was available with all his money mitt romney was available to curtsy to him, genuflect and kiss his but day saying you're a great guy. we'll show the tape. when the campaign was out there and trump was fighting for his life and in big trouble mitt romney dumped all over him, really treated him like nothing and said he was almost like a disease. now he's kissing up to him again. you've worked in washington. there are people who kiss up and kick down. it's not a nice character trait. why would donald trump trust mitt romney now that he has
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something to give him? why now? why trust him when he's done this 360? >> chris, thank you for having me on and i think one of the things this goes to is the fact that mr. trump is trying to put together almost a team of rivals or looking together to pull in a number of different view points and ideas as he starts to form this administration and as the president-elect one of the things where he's impressed people is he's reaching out to folks who haven't been with him but folks who've been against him and saying who are the best and brightest? it's a technique the president-elect used as a successful businessman over the years governor romney is one of four finalists that the president-elect is considering for the secretary of state position and he's going to go to whoever he thinks is the best but this shows whether it's governor nikki haley from south carolina -- >> you changed the subject. you changed the subject. does he trust mitt romney to be mitt romney and which mitt romney? the one that dumps on him when he's down or the one that kisses him when he's up?
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you can always be nice to a guy who was just elected president but when he looked like he was losing he dumped all over him. why does mr. trump look like he's looking at the real mitt romney. why does he trust the guy who's all dressed up, looks nice, he behaved nice, he's memorized the right things to say. it's going to be groundhog day saying all the right things to win the love of donald trump, doesn't he know he just wants the job and that's how he's behaving this way? >> well, look in politics and especially in campaigns you have -- there's a little bit of political theater that goes into it and in all fairness the president-elect was critical of governor romney at various point s. but now they've had two closed doors meeting. there are several folks under consideration so we don't know who the president-elect will choose but these closed-door meetings and knowing each other is critical and we have confidence that the
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president-elect is going to pick the right person here. >> i think people voted for trump because he acted no matter what he said, no matter how o outrageo outrageous, he clearly wasn't one of them, some two-faced politician and why he's bringing another two-faced politician looks like he's playing ball with the team he beat. steve mnuchin is a former goldman sachs banker but donald trump ran an ad against hillary clinton that portrayed lloyd blankfein, goldman sachs ceo, as part of a global power structure. let's watch. >> it's a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put thatoney into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities. >> steve mnuchin, does he fit the bill of somebody who's anti-wall street? he's part of it. >> he is someone who will come in and take mr. trump's message of economic pollism will and turn that into how we'll reform
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the tax code. one thing that folks might not realize is that steve mnuchin largely wrote president-elect trump's tax plan. who came up with the plan of how we're going to bring rates down for everybody. you have to get folks who know how the system works and how to turn it around, and we have wilbur ross, recommendation for commerce secretary and he'll do the same things on the trade deal to make sure we have trade deals that work for the american workers. >> but this isn't what trump ran on. he said he didn't want strings attached. this is a guy who raised him all this money. he's now giving him a reward. it's called spoils, the spoils of victory but it's not what trump ran on to pick some wall street guy who made money on wall street as he runs ads against wall street paid for by the money mnuchin raised for him. don't you get the absurdity of this? >> i have to push back. steve mnuchin, the gentleman who largely wrote the president-elect's tax plan when we talk about this message of
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economic populism, how we get the money away from the wall street power centers and get it back to people. we talk about wilbur ross who crafted the president-elect's trade policies of how we're putting together deals that work for american workers. these are the president-elect's view points, that's what they'll be executing and these guys have been winners wherever they've gone so they've gone out and created jobs. you talk about steve mnuchin has been successful as a finance year, abacker, even a movie producer, you talk about wilbur ross who's made more good deals than hmm anybody out there. heck the president-elect talked about the art of the deal and the fact that wilbur ross is the embodiment of that because we'll make good deals for american workers and the fact that someone like wilbur ross who was the only steel company executive -- >> i know you have to say this but you're basically defending the very stuff trump ran against, whether it was bob rubin under clinton, or my
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friend jack lew under president obama, it's another guy from wall street and you said you'd run against that and you advertised in the campaign to regular people in youngtown, oh ohio, you weren't going to be part of that and you are dressing up your administration with the same kind of guys. >> these the guys who wrote the policies that the president-elect campaigned on. >> you've said that. in a series of tweets mr. trump said he and his children will hold a press conference to explain how he will remove himself from his business empire. "i will be holding a major news conference in new york city with my children to discuss the fact that i'll be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make america great again. while i'm not mandated to do this under the law i feel it is visually important as president to in no way have a conflict with my various business. hence legal documents are being crafted which take me out of business operations. the presidency a far more important task." the u.s. office for ethics tweeted to trump "as we
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discussed with your counsel, divest schur iture is the way t resolve these conflicts." having that big dog and pony show with his children, does that suggest that the children will be the run to run the company? why put them on the stage if they don't have a role in this divestiture, this shift of power to whom? i assume to the kids. >> and the president-elect has made clear that his sole focus will be president of the united states and he'll be moving business efforts to the children and obviously that takes time. that doesn't happen overnight. >> who's going to own this when? >> well, that's what they're working through right now, the exact structure of the way it's going to go and that's why they'll do the press conference. i think you'd respect and a lot of folks at home watching who realize when you have someone who is a multi-billionaire -- >> i understand all this. >> however they move that away from being under his control. >> again, sorry to interrupt you but -- you give long answers.
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the fact is he did promise a blind trust and i don't see how it can be a blind trust when he's standing there with the stage with his kids he's running the company to. >> chris, you have to give him until the press conference to put it together. >> well, i'll remember. >> it's a perfectly reasonable amount of time. wee talking about someone who has been the most successful businessman in our nation's history and it takes time to do that. >> time doesn't pass that quick. i don't like to remember what people promise in campaigns. that's what i'm holding you to. thank you for coming on. i'm joined by heidi przybyla. you saw what i was running through looking for inconsistencies. let's start with mitt romney. mitt romney trashed this guy as something below life. he didn't say i disagree on issues, he said this is a disease and following what he did back in 2012 when he was needing trump's help and asked for it then. so this is a 360. i'll kiss him when i need him, dump on him when i don't, kiss him again.
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it seems like a stage show. >> what he's doing to me, chris, is he took maybe the first initial appointments he made with sessions, rewarded the loyalists and now if you look at the line that runs through the appointments it's rich guys, it's basically the people he respects are the millionaires and billionaires. the card-carrying members of the global elite he railed against. and mitt romney, one of the biggest downfalls he faced in his senate campaign and presidential bids was his record as a private equity manager. ted kennedy ran a successful ad against him in his senate bid that hurt mitt romney about this closing of a paper mill plant. and to see now it's not just the personal chemistry between these two but the more global picture of how he's staffing up his cabinet is basically taking that rhetoric from the campaign trail and turning it on its head.
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>> the people who voted for him in l wilkes-barre, they voted for him because he was different now he's bringing the people who voted for him with him. >> of course he is. and the piece of evidence that's supposed to assuage concerns of the white working class voters who supported trump is that well, look at his policies, look at the policies that steve mnuchin has put forward in terms of tax plans. those are no better. those primarily help the wealthy. he went on cnbc this morning saying they won't help the wealthy but of course they are. you can just do the math. so -- >> let's go to this third point, the carrier thing. he's getting good ink, a lot of it he's creating for saving that company from going -- at least half going to mexico. now it turns out the reason half the company is sticking around, tremendous tax concessions from the state. lot of money. $800,000. >> trump wanted a symbolic deliverable, he's having a tough transition, carrier got beat up
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a lot by him and hillary clinton during the campaign but there's no structural or policy or even moral reason why the company did this with trump appealing to them. it was because the state government that is by the way still run by his running mate gave them an incentive, a payoff. >> and this is a terrible precedent, too. this gives an incentive to every other semicompetent ceo to shake down the government every time they threaten whether they're bluffing or otherwise to leave the country. it's as one of my colleagues put it, it's like turning these various ceos into nfl team managers, oh, we're going to le leave unless you build us a great stadium. we'll leave unless you kick us hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money. >> as long as they give him the photo-op, he won't mind. >> apparently not. >> we have to keep seeing through this stuff. thank you, heidi and catherine. you saw mitt romney call donald trump a phony and a fraud this
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past march. fast forward to today and romney has changed his tune completely as he vies to be trump's secretary of state. that's next. this is "hardball," the police for politics. this is lulu, our newest dog.
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mom didn't want another dog. she said it's too much work. lulu's hair just floats. uhh help me! (doorbell) mom, check this out. wow. swiffer sweeper, and dusters. this is what i'm talking about. look at that. sticks to this better than it sticks to lulu. that's your hair lulu! mom, can we have another dog? (laughing) trap and lock up to 4x more dirt, dust and hair than the store brand stop cleaning. start swiffering.
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here's a big name that might be in a mix in a job for the trump administration, sarah palin. nbc news is reporting she's been in touch with trump transition officials and is interested in a job. palin has the connection in trump's inner circle. back in 2011 steve bannon directed a film about her and her rise from small-town mayor to governor of alaska. one landing spot for palin could be at the department of veterans affairs. we'll be right back. the real gift isn't what's inside the box... it's what's inside the person who opens it. give your loved ones ancestrydna, the simple dna test that can tell them where they came from -by revealing their ethnic mix.
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>> every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to president trump. it's everyone who's ever doubted donald, who ever disagreed, who
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ever challenged him. it is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe. >> that's pretty dramatic. that was donald trump supporter omarosa manigault suggesting that donald trump might get revenge on his harshest critics. among republicans there was no harsher critic than mitt romney. the 2012 presidential nominee called trump a dangerous phony, he sang a different tune after dinner with trump last night comparing romney in march to romney last night is a case of political whiplash. watch this. >> donald trump is is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. >> i had a winderful evening with president-elect trump. >> if we republicans choose donald trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly dimini diminished. i happen to think america's best days are ahead of us.
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you'll see america lead the world in this century. he's not of the temperament of the kind of stable thoughtful person we need as leader. his imagination must not be married to real power. these discussions have been enlightening and interesting and engaging. i've enjoyed them very, very much. his domestic policies would lead to recession. his foreign policies would make america and the world less safe. the last few weeks he's been carrying out a transition effort and i have to tell you i've been impressed by what i've seen in the transition effort. this is the very brand of anger that's led other nations into the abyss. all of those things combined give me increasing hope that president-elect trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future. >> this is why people don't trust politicians. i'm joined by republican strategist john feary and ron reagan. ron, i have to go with you.
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if there's any justification for trump winning, and i know you don't think there is much, it was that he wasn't one of them. he wasn't one of the politicians who would say anything to get the job they want next. not even thinking ahead. that i want job as secretary of state. i will gravel, kiss this guy, do anything to get this job. your thoughts. >> listen, i think back to my father and george h.w. bush. he asked george h.w. bush to be his vice president even though bush had termed his economic policies voodoo economics. but there's a big difference between taking umbrage at somebody's policy prescriptions and the sort of critique that romney engaged in prior to the election. he wasn't attacking trump's policies as such, whatever those might be, actually, he was attacking the man. he was attacking his character. he said he's a fraud, a phony, and, you know, a 70-year-old man doesn't just stop being a phony after a few months to the question is why is mitt romney
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doing this? >> i think he wants to be secretary of state. >> do you think there could be a patriotic element in this? i'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that people have said look, a real adult has to be part of this administration or we're doomed. so you're it. i don't know. i don't know. >> they could give him a lesser position to test his patriotism. what do you think john? is this the same old political donkey act or whatever? what is this thing? >> on romney's part. if romney still believes he's dangerous it makes sense to serve in this administration. >> carry out his orders. >> well to be part of the team of rivals jason talked about earlier. and from trump's perspective he wants someone who has that wing of the party covered and i don't think it's a bad idea. obama -- which romney does he believe? the one that trashed him when he was down or kisses him when he's up. i would believe the one that dumped on you when you're down. >> i don't think it matters. trump is trying to assemble a
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cabinet that can bring separate views and bring the party back together and i don't think that's a bad idea. >> let's watch the 360, in all fairness, to anderson cooper, 360. because back in 2012, mitt romney had nothing but praise for trump when he was seeking his endorsement. lett's watch that. >> being in donald trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight. i'm so honored and pleased to have his endorsement and of course i'm looking for the endorsement of the people of november november. >> that was the first run through, the turnstile run, then he trashed them all over again. it's not like he's been saved politically, he was up, down, who's to think two years into this administration he won't find something objectionable about the new jefe? >> indeed. and imagine the risk for romney or anybody being trump's secretary of state. imagine mitt romney or anybody in a very delicate negotiation with china or russia or iran.
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it's now gotten to that tough point where things are on the edge but they'll pull off the negotiation and all of a sudden donald trump, our puerile president wakes up at 3:00 in the morning at the white house, tunes into fox fuse and the next thing you know he's on twitter blowing the whole thing up by saying something unfortunate about the country we're negotiating with. >> thank you ron reagan. that's "hardball," thanks for being with us, join me tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern. see you then. diabetes can be a daily struggle,
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happy wednesday. usually they do it to promote a specific thing. usually it's for a cause. so take september 1919, world war i had just ended. he had met with european leaders whose countries had suffered such devastating losses in that unprecedented world war. european leaders agreed with him that there needed to be some kind of international body, some kind of international group to try to stop future conflicts before they turned into world wars again. but wilson had a problem. however much world leaders liked his idea about some new international body, at home he couldn't get anybody behind it. after world war i, congress wanted less to do with the rest of the world, not more. they were just superclear with him that even though he was the president and he had this league of nations idea, they were not going along with him on this issue. congress didn't like it. president wilson said, okay, then, fine, congress, you don't like it.