tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 2, 2017 11:30pm-12:01am PST
hold first briefing on monday. that does it for in edition "the 11th hour. "hardball" begins rights now. rolling disclosure. let's play "hardball". good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. last 24 hours revealed trump administration officials and the russia ambassador to the united states. last night they broke the story that the jeff sessions met with the russian during 2016 campaign. that story pushed the attorney general to recuse himself.
here is how he said he came to that decision after consulting with his staff. >> they said since i had involvement with the campaign, i should not be involved in any campaign investigation. i have studied the rules and considered their comment and evaluation. i believe those recommendation are right and just. therefore, i have recused myself in the matters that deal with the trump campaign. >> late today, the "new york times" reported president trump's son-in-law taking together this shows disturbing pattern of rolling disclosure among the president's inner circle. here what we know. during convention week of july 18, then senator sessions spoke
with the russian ambassador. the news of meddling was established. the washington most reported that the united states was investigate covert kremlin ban to disrup our election. september 8, jeff sessions met with the ambassador in his private office. obama administration accused russian of interference with the election. that russia tried to help trump get elected. occurring that same month, flynn and kushner with with the ambassador at trump tower. one day after, on december 30, russian ambassador, vladimir putin announced he would not real yate in response to u.s. sanctions.
after the inauguration is when vice president pence learned flynn had discussions on that call. four days later he was fired, now they revealed jeff sessions had communications with the russian ambassador. we learned of additional meeting with between flynn and kushner and the russian ambassador. we are joined with michael smith, i only want to start with this, more about trade craft. greg, you start, it seems, like the trump administration acts on what we read in the newspaper. and it's story breaks, that
flynn met with the russian ambassador, having not said so, something not been told vice president when he asked all of a sudden he has to go. today attorney general recused himself admitted he met with the russian ambassador. all of this odd, tantalizing effort of in the case of collusion only when we discovery thanks to you in the print media, does this administration act and act guiltily. >> that's right. these guys have terrible cases of amnesia. it took sessions seven weeks to come back and clear this up. there were many chance for him to go back and can his staff to say look, what you said, boss,
don't you remember meeting with the russian ambassador in your office. he doesn't do that until today. >> let's look at that tape of him being interview where they asked did you have any meeting with trump and russian. >> is there evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in course of the campaign what would you do? >> i'm nopt not aware of any of those activity. i have been called a surrogate a time or two i did not have communications with the russian and i'm unable to comment on that. >> let's put that together. michael. what do you know about that interview. why didn't he give us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but. >> why with is it we're finding that kushner met in trump tower
with the ambassador. why don't they say here are all the folks, we have nothing to hide. each time one of this comes out -- >> does he talk to the father-in-law, the russia ambassador walked into trump tower and we are to presume the president trump -- what was the relationship and he says he is here, dad. >> now we get into the question of what did trump know when when is it he know it. we are doing this every time. what did trump now, when did he know it. did he know about the meeting. this after moon afternoon there's two more news about trump meeting with the
ambassador. >> let's go to the meeting between attorney general, he recused himself, but he is still attorney general. how do we explain, he called a meeting, hosted a meeting, he had three staffer and junior with him. he put team in the room with him, there's front page story about russian involvement, throwing it in trump, and he was trump number one person in the senate, he acts as if this was the last thing when we went to the russian. he could not imagine russian guy coming to see him. as he recall, he can't remember what the meeting is about.
>> russian ambassador wants to get to know people. this guy is come to see you, he is going to talk about stuff. what you did talk about. this is how the pattern becomes, there's nothing to look at here. we find out more. there's nothing to look at here. soon or later, blames leaker. it's a weird pattern. the behavior suggestions there's something there and nobody wants to answer questions. >> do you think it's possible, if it you want to end disclosure get a list of everybody who worked for him, anybody that worked for him. when you join the peace kor core, they want to know who you are.
empty your pockets, tell me every time you had a meeting with the russian so we can get this over with. >> otherwise it's going to continue to drip, drip, drip. i thought his evidence was spotty in stretches. he talking about fill busting and talking about trip to russia, somehow the subject of ukraine came up. that's why the russian ambassador is in his office. >> leaning on ukraine. >> let's take his testimony off the table. he provided answers back to congress and that stuff is heavily lawyered. >> he didn't disclose the whole thing. >> in his press conference he
said he did not remember any specific discussions about politics whether talking to the russia. >> i don't recall but most of these endorse are gossipy and they like -- this was in campaign season but i don't recall any specific political discussions. >> it was kind of local may bery, with you are all awe shuck, is that for real. there's no country our probably greatest adversary right now. here he is chatting with the guy over cracker barrel as if there's nothing else going on in the universe. >> this guy is a attorney general, he didn't get there about how, i don't know where this is going.
>> where are we going with this? all want this guy out, and he is not going to quit. he is going to recused that leaves his deputy, another political appointment to run the shop who replaced sally yates, who is going to run the -- >> who goes after trump. >> comey may have a ability to do though row investigation. >> coming up next, reactions from capitol hill of attorney general's recusal.
welcome back to "hardball." the attorney general decision's today came over pressure from both parties. attorney general sessions to resign from his period of time at department of justice. here is what leaders nancy pelosi and leaders had to say today. >> the top cop in our country lied under oath to the american people is grounds for him to resign.
this congress impeached a president having nothing to do with his duty as president of the united states. >> because the department of justice should be above reproach for the good of the country, attorney general sessions should resign. >> i'm joined about congresswoman. i want to demur a little from what speaker poe -- let ask you about that. you're former prosecutor. what do you think of this statement about the attorney general when he said i did not have a meeting with the russians now what he saying what i meant was a surrogate for the candidate. >> as senator franken, the one who asked him the question said, at the very least it's
misleading. that's why it's important that we call him before the committee to answer the defensive questions about what did he discuss with the ambassador. answer the questions under oath so we can get to the bottom and make a decision on his future. it's more than that because those questions allows us to go et bigger picture. he had this meeting three days, three days after the president of the united states announced he would not roll back the sanctions against russia. president obama told that with putin and announced to. three days later that ambassador when he didn't meet with other members on during that day, is meeting with senator sessions. then you have the fact that flynn, met with the ambassador,
the exact same day when president obama expanded the sanctions, so i'm interested in this bigger picture issue and how this fits into russian attempt to influence the election as i am what he said before the meeting. >> we went back to look at the headlines, and all they were filled with accusations with the russians involved in the campaign. then he was chief surrogate for the trump campaign, he sat down with thee staffer, he full complement of people in there. no conversation at all relateding to politics and he ask not remember what it was about. that's the part i cannot believe.
he acts like it had not to do with the fact he was number one senator supporting trump in the campaign. it doesn't square up. >> exactly. nor does it fit in with that timetable that obama said to the world that he would not roll back the sanctions. people at meeting know about it that would be helpful to get that information and what the discussions were before and can after the meeting with the trump campaign meeting. that is why this recusing is just a partial one. he doesn't include the time period in the transition when you have general flynn meeting the ambassador and you find out the president son-in-law met with the russian officials.
i think he needs to come before our committee under oath and we need to have independent commission something i called for back in january with senator cardin and others. >> why would someone come into trump tower where he lives and works, meet with his son-in-law and have us believe he doesn't know about it. we now how they trust him to make a big decision. the idea him copping up or whatever he calls him, doesn't he tell him, by the way, i was meeting with the russian ambassador here, i didn't tell you. i didn't tell you he came in. this is why we need the intelligence committee to continue and independent commission what is really at stake is our democracy.
17 intelligent agencies saying there's a attack on our democracy and freedom. when that happens no matter what party you're in we have an obligation to get to it's bottom of this. we want to know what the connections are. >> thank you. >> when we return let me finish with trump watch. this is "hardball" where the action is. when i was a navy seal,
i trained as hard as i could to stay alive. i have more than 30 pieces of shrapnel still in my leg. but i still push myself to the limit. if it weren't for my tempur-pedic, i wouldn't be able to sleep on my left side at all. my unit put in a special request to get one and i realized that tempur-pedic was exponentially better than anything else. it gave me a huge performance advantage,
trump watch march 2, 2017. it's when the newspaper has the story when he decide they cannot hide it any more. it's why politician are trusted to bring you the bad news. the report what the politician would love not to be reported ever. just look at what would have been through the last couple of weeks it has to do with trump. russians and national security adviser spoke with the
ambassador. bingo, flynn resigns. today attorney general recused himself from an yip investigation to do with the russian involvement in 2016. bingo rolling disclosure. because you already do. that's why people don't trust politician. why with don't donald trump or anyone who works for him to list on printed statement all the times with the pleating with the russian. if there many write them down. if there are other meetings or topic take place, we'll know who was hiding. why continue to play cat and mouse.
tonight on "all in" -- >> do you still have confidence in the attorney general, sir? >> total. >> a white house in crisis. >> when were you aware he spoke to the russian ambassador. >> i wasn't aware at all. >> reporter: the nation's attorney general caught deceiving congress about contact with the russians. >> i didn't have -- not have communications with the russians. >> now he's stepping down from any investigation into trump's campaign. >> i have recused myself in the matters that deal with the trump campaign. tonight, mounting calls for his resignation and a criminal investigation. >> attorney general sessions should resign. >> i think he should resign. >> i think he's got to go.