updated 11/25/2015 10:48:23 AM ET 2015-11-25T15:48:23

Date: November 24, 2015
Guest: Yamiche Alcindor, Simon Marks, Greg Miller, Jeff Mason, April Ryan,
Sabrina Siddiqui

STEVE KORNACKI, GUEST HOST: Chicago`s mayor calls for calm after the
release of a videotape of a white police officer shooting and killing a
black teenager.


Good evening. I`m Steve Kornacki, in for Chris Matthews.

Breaking news tonight. Chicago is bracing for protests after the
release of dashcam video footage that shows Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke
shooting and killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in a deadly and disturbing
confrontation last October. Officer Van Dyke has now been charged with
first degree murder for shooting McDonald without legal justification.

The dashcam footage has been known to reporters and local activists
for some time. They`ve been seeking its release for months now, and a
county judge ruled last week that the video must be released to the public.
Prosecutors describe the video as, quote, "violent" and "chilling."

There is no audio on this recording. What you will see is graphic.
It does not have sound, though. It is graphic, however, and it may be


KORNACKI: What you just saw there is a portion of what authorities
have released tonight. We have stopped the video after those first shots
were fired.

Now, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police superintendent
addressed the volatile situation in a press conference that wrapped up just
in the last hour, Mayor Emanuel urging his city to remain calm.


MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: I understand that people will be
upset and will want to protest when they see this video. But I would like
to echo the comments of the McDonald family. They have asked for calm and
for those who choose to speak out to do it peacefully. They say they do
not want violence to be resorted in Laquan`s name, but let his legacy be
better than that. It is fine to be passionate, but it is essential that it
remain peaceful.


KORNACKI: And NBC`s Morgan Radford joins me now from Chicago. So
Morgan, this video had to come out. There was a court order saying so. I
know the mayor earlier this year had not necessarily been in favor of that.
Now people, as our viewers -- as we all are, just digesting this for the
first time. Set the scene for us, what`s going on in Chicago right now.

MORGAN RADFORD, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, we`re bracing
because this is a city on the edge. We`re bracing for protests tonight,
and again protests that are scheduled on Friday.

But Steve, I want to walk you and the viewers through this video that
we saw just released now. In it, you see Laquan McDonald standing almost
eerily in the center of the street, and then you see him clearly walking
away from the police dashcam video.

Then suddenly, you see him spin. You can`t tell if he`s spun by his
own volition or he`s spun by the power of the bullet because immediately,
you see him drop down in the middle of the street and see smoke rising from
his body and his body suddenly jerking.

Again, this is a video, as you mentioned, that the Chicago Police
Department did not want released for months. But in fact, the family of
Laquan McDonald also didn`t want this video released. They have called for
peace on the streets of Chicago tonight. And you even heard Mayor Rahm
Emanuel just an hour ago saying, We understand that it`s fine to be
passionate, but it`s essential to remain peaceful.

Meanwhile, right behind me, 37-year-old Officer Jason Van Dyke is
behind bars, and this is the courthouse where he was charged today with
first degree murder. Again, this is one of the few times in Chicago`s
history that an on-duty police officer has been charged with such a crime,

KORNACKI: All right, NBC`s Morgan Radford in Chicago, thank you for

And joining me now are MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid, MSNBC
law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh and national reporter Yamiche

Jim, I want to start with you, but first, I want to make sure to get
in here -- this is a statement -- we saw the video, we saw portions of the
video for (ph) you (ph). Here is a statement from the attorney for the
officer who`s charged here, Officer Van Dyke. This is what he is saying
about the video.

Quote, "The video by nature is two-dimensional, so the problem is it
distorts distances and distances, and depth perception are important. The
most critical problem is that the video does not depict what my client was
seeing. It is not a video from the eyes of my client."

So Jim, the lawyer for the officer here is basically saying, Look, if
you had a video camera from the perspective of this officer, you`d be
seeing something very different right now. How does that sound to you?

the argument that the officer`s attorney is going to make, certainly that,
you know, he saw maybe he thought he was coming toward him.

But one thing that`s telling in this video is you can see the white
lines of the street, so you can see where Laquan McDonald is and you can
see where the officer who fired 16 rounds at him is standing, as well. And
you can pretty well, you know, figure out that distance. And I`m sure the
detectives and the Cook County DA did that.

Also, this is not a shoot situation. I disagree with that assessment.
This man has a knife, and you have distance. He`s on a deserted street,
and you have multiple officers. You also can get the protection of your
vehicle from a man with a knife.

And you do -- it`s you back off. There`s a fence on the side, and you
try to keep him penned in toward the fence. If he advances on an officer,
aggressively advances, certainly, you could have the right to shoot him and
continue to shoot him until he stopped advancing, even multiple shots.

But in this case, the man`s walking parallel to the officer. The
officer could take a step back. There was already distance between them.
And of course, shooting him on the ground, I mean, just outrageous. I
mean, first degree murder is what the DA said. I mean, I think the video
is going to be very difficult for the officer to overcome.

KORNACKI: Yes, Joy, on that point there, first degree murder -- a lot
of people -- again, we showed a portion of the video there, but a lot of
people surprised not so much that the officer is being charged but that the
charge is first degree murder. So unusual to see that charge brought
against a police officer. What do you think of that?

JOY REID, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and I think that the cynics would
suggest that first degree murder is such a high bar that it might be
difficult to actually convict on it, unless Chicago -- unless Illinois law
provides for lesser included offenses that the prosecutor then argues for
at the closing of that trial. So I think there are legitimate questions
that are raised in these cases, what level of charges are brought.

But I think the other big question here is the time that it took
because while we are just seeing this video for the first time as the
result of a lawsuit, a freedom of information lawsuit that was filed by an
independent journalist, the Chicago Police Department has had this video
for a year. This shooting took place in October of 2014. So the Chicago
Police Department, and presumably the city of Chicago, the DA, they`ve
known the facts of this shooting.

And as Chris Hayes, our colleague, has been discussing on the air in
the hour before this one, the fact that that was known did not prompt these
charges to be filed six months ago or eight months ago or ten months ago or
a year ago.

So I think that what the public is looking at is a situation where
cities remain incredibly reluctant to bring charges against police officers
even when such blatant facts are known to them. And I think that`s what
people are out there protesting about, not so much about whether or not
they can see a videotape.

KORNACKI: Yes, and Yamiche, we`re talking now about protests
presumably starting tonight in Chicago, the city bracing, Mayor Emanuel
calling for calm here, calling for nonviolent protests.

Obviously, I think back, you know, a year, a year-and-a-half ago to
Ferguson. I know you covered that. There were a couple days there, we
would get to about this time of day and we would start asking the question,
Well, what does tonight hold? This video, as we -- again, just out,
everybody`s digesting it for the first time. What do you expect Chicago`s
going to look like tonight?

common with the other cities where we`ve seen things either get a little
bit dicey or things get even sometimes violent. I think, though, that
Chicago has all these leaders and all these people in the family of this
young man urging for peace.

And I think that in that regard, we`ll see, I think, peaceful protests
in Chicago because Chicago is a place that people know that these things --
that officers -- it`s hard to charge officers, that they know that violence
prevails (ph) that city. They know that there`s segregation blacks and
whites -- between blacks and whites in that city. It has a long history of
racial issues.

So I think that`s to say that this one issue is -- this one video
might push people over the edge could be naive, this idea that this city
knows issues -- you know, that they had that little boy, the little 9-year-
old get shot for what police were calling a gang shooting. All those
things have been happening in Chicago, and we`ve been talking about Chicago
for years now.

So I can`t say that this video of this young man, while tragic -- and
myself watching it was kind of overwhelmed with grief and really sad for
that young man`s family, no matter what happens for that officer, whether
or not he`s actually ultimately convicted or not, just the fact that you
can watch somebody`s life end, someone who`s only 17.

But I think what you have these people asking for peace, asking for
calm, kind of like Trayvon Martin`s family did, kind of like Michael
Brown`s family did, it`s going to be up to Chicago how they take this.

But I`m kind of of the thought that Chicago`s going to be able to
protest peacefully. They`re going to be able to get their words out. And
when I say peaceful, I mean they`re still going to be passionate. They`re
still probably going to be yelling at police officers` face. There might
be still -- they might still be something that`s hard to watch.

But I think -- and when I think of peaceful, I think of -- I don`t
know if we`re going to see looting. I don`t know if we`re going to see
cars burning. So that`s what I mean by peaceful, but I think the passion
will still be there.

KORNACKI: Well, Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, was adamant in
tonight`s press conference that Officer Van Dyke does not represent the
culture of the Chicago PD.


EMANUEL: Anybody who is there to uphold the law cannot act like
they`re above the law. And that is both (ph) a principle that is used to
make sure it reflects the culture in the police department. And I want to
say one thing. There are men and women, both in leadership (INAUDIBLE) and
rank and file, who follow and live by that principle every day.


KORNACKI: All right, so Joy, you have the mayor there appealing to
the community, saying, Look, you know, don`t judge the police department by
this one officer, urging calm.

What do we know about the relationship between the black community in
Chicago and Rahm Emanuel? Is he -- and his police department. Is he in
position right now to make a statement like that and be viewed credibly?

REID: Yes, I mean, I don`t think that just based on, you know, my
understanding of Chicago politics, that he is overwhelmingly popular with
African-Americans, Mayor Emanuel.

But I think that what will be most dispositive in the way that people
view the Chicago police will not be this video, it will be the comportment
of police officers during the protests because I think we need to have a
bit more nuanced understanding of what takes place when masses of people
take to the streets in these Black Lives Matter protests.

I covered the 40,000-person-strong march in New York, which was
entirely peaceful because police officers, whatever people were chanting as
they were walking through the streets, however passionate the protesters
were, did not react to those protests, whereas in Ferguson, you had a
highly militaristic reaction. You had pepper spray being used. You had
tear gas being used. You essentially had a military-style response to
peaceful protests that heightened the tension.

I think that much of what happens in Chicago tonight is up to the
Chicago Police Department, quite frankly. The protesters that are out
there are not protesting a non-indictment. They`re not out there
protesting what they see as a lack of justice. In this case, from the
point of view of the family, justice has been done. There`s been a
settlement in this case, and there have been charges.

So I think that what you ought to expect is that people will exercise
their 1st Amendment rights and that the city of Chicago`s public safety
department will simply keep public safety. And I think if there`s no
confrontational sort of stance between the two, I think that things will be
peaceful and fine.

KORNACKI: All right, thank you, Joy Reid, Jim Cavanaugh and Yamiche

And we should note, there are at this moment that we know of no
protests going on on the streets of children. We will wait to see what the
night brings as people digest news of this video.

We`ll have much more, obviously, throughout this hour on the reaction
in the city of Chicago.

And coming up -- President Obama and French president Hollande plan
their strategy against ISIS, but their plans to build a broad coalition to
fight the terror network took a hit today when Turkey shot down a Russian
fighter plane. That`s ahead.

Plus, don`t look now, but here comes Ted Cruz. With two months to go
before the Iowa caucuses, Cruz is soaring in the polls while Donald Trump
is getting blasted for, quote, "racist lies."

And the focus on terrorism is causing voters in New Hampshire to give
Chris Christie a second look. Can the New Jersey governor make an
improbable comeback on the campaign trail?

Finally, the HARDBALL roundtable will surprise us all by telling me
something I don`t know. It`s actually not that very hard to do.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


KORNACKI: We are coming back with the fight against ISIS, President
Obama and French president Hollande today vowing to destroy the terror
group, and much more on the release of that videotape showing a Chicago
police officer fatally shooting a black teenager in Chicago.

Back after this.


KORNACKI: And welcome back to HARDBALL. Eleven days after ISIS
terrorists murdered 130 people in Paris and France`s government vowed
merciless war against the group, that country`s president, Francois
Hollande, met with President Obama at the White House this morning to
discuss the fight. Both leaders said the countries were on the same page.


declare that the United States and France stand united in total solidarity
to deliver justice to these terrorists and those who sent them and to
defend our nations. This barbaric terrorist group, ISIL or Daesh, and its
murderous ideology poses a serious threat to all of us. It cannot be
tolerated. It must be destroyed. And we must do it together.


KORNACKI: But trying to build a broad coalition to defeat ISIS just
got a lot more complicated. Earlier today, Turkey`s air force shot down a
Russian fighter jet, a dramatic event that was captured on videotape.
According to Turkey, the Russian plane ignored repeated warnings not to
enter its airspace.

Russia has denied that. Not surprisingly, there was a combative
reaction from Moscow. According to NBC, quote, "Visibly furious, Russian
president Vladimir Putin responded to the Turkish version of event by
calling the event a stab in the back by terrorist helpers."

President Obama said Russia`s actions in Syria have made this kind of
conflict more likely.


OBAMA: I do think that this points to an ongoing problem with the
Russian operations in the sense that they are operating very close to a
Turkish border and they are going after moderate opposition that are
supported by not only Turkey but a wide range of countries.


KORNACKI: Jeff Mason covers the White House for Reuters, Simon Marks
is chief correspondent for Feature Story News, and Greg Miller is a
national security correspondent for "The Washington Post."

Well, Simon, let me start with you. You`re sort of an expert when it
comes to Putin and Russia. So this military plane being shot down today by
Turkey -- Putin obviously very mad about it. The question is, what is he
going to do about it?

SIMON MARKS, FEATURE STORY NEWS: Well, look, I think, Steve, that it
provides him with a major opportunity to continue down the path that he`s
on. Look at what happened today. For the first time in 50 years, a
Russian fighter jet was shot down by a member state of NATO, and then
Turkmen rebels -- Vladimir Putin will argue allied with the United States -
- killed the two pilots as they were parachuting to what they thought was
safety by shooting at them with small arms from the ground.

If you`re Vladimir Putin, you will certainly communicate your fury
about this. And you will also say that this demonstrates why the United
States is absolutely on the wrong track in Syria, and that`s why you will
reject overtures by Francois Hollande in the Kremlin later this week to get
on board with that coalition.

KORNACKI: And President Obama sending sort of the exact opposite
message about Russia today. He called Russia the outlier in the war
against ISIS.


OBAMA: We`ve got a coalition of 65 countries who`ve been active in
pushing back against ISIL for quite some time. Russia right now is a
coalition of two, Iran and Russia supporting Assad. I think it`s important
to remember that we`ve got a global coalition organized. Russia`s the
outlier. We hope that they refocus their attention on what is the most
substantial threat and that they serve as a constructive partner.


KORNACKI: Well, Greg, if Russia is the outlier, it`s a pretty big
outlier and it`s very active in Syrian airspace right now. If you`re going
to have a united front against ISIS, something that does include Russia,
how would it be possible to get everybody on the same page right now?


And what happened today just shows how combustible things are around
Syria. As chaotic as they are inside that civil war, where you have so
many different factions fighting one another, the players involved now on
the outside reaching into Syria, it`s also extremely complicated.

You would have thought, after the Russian airliner was downed by the
Islamic State, that that would have given Russia abundant motivation to
begin targeting the Islamic State and not the enemies of Assad as
obviously, but this just frays whatever potential there was for some
agreement between Russia and the rest of the coalition that Obama just

KORNACKI: Now, Jeff, in terms of the United States in France, because
that was the meeting at the White House, those two presidents getting
together, they claimed they pledged joint resolve to go after ISIS. I know
Hollande basically said he didn`t want a commitment of French ground
troops. President Obama certainly hasn`t been interested in American
ground troops.

Did you see any strategy, a specific strategy emerge from this meeting

JEFF MASON, REUTERS: Well, I think the first bit of a strategy that
they articulated is that they want to coordinate more. That`s something
that President Obama made a point of saying in his opening statement. They
want to share intelligence better. And they want to work together to bring
a coalition together that is strong and that can fight against Islamic
State, or ISIS.

In terms of ground troops and any sort of a strategy there, you`re
absolutely right. Both presidents said they do not intend or desire to
send troops from the United States or from France on to the ground. And I
don`t expect to see that changing any time soon.

KORNACKI: Yes, Jeff, I guess that`s the question then of ground
troops. You certainly have others, particularly on the Republican side,
who are talking about larger commitments of ground troops. Obviously, you
couldn`t have a Republican president for more than a year, if at that.

But what would it take at this point to shift the discussion to
actually putting ground troops over there? Is that something that you
could see on the horizon at all?

MASON: I don`t see that on the horizon under the Obama White House,
absolutely not.

Remember, this is a president who came to power on the back of a
promise to take American forces off of the battlefield. He did that in
Iraq. He did that in Afghanistan, or is doing it, and he`s certainly not
eager to start sending more troops back on to the battlefield in the last
year that he`s president.

On the other hand, he`s sensitive to the criticism that he`s not doing
enough. And that`s why he`s continuing to articulate the fact that this
broader strategy, piece by piece, and getting a lot of countries in on it
together, and also showing the solidarity that he showed today with
Hollande is the way to go.

KORNACKI: All right.

And, Greg, you recently reported on the ISIS propaganda machine inside
Syria. You talked to defectors and prisoners. And you wrote -- quote --
"What they described resembles a medieval reality show. Camera crews fan
out across the caliphate every day, their ubiquitous presence distorting
the events they purportedly document.

Battle scenes and public beheadings are so scripted and staged, that
fighters and executioners often perform multiple takes and read their lines
from cue cards.

You`re describing a very sophisticated propaganda machine here. Tell
us a little bit about that.

MILLER: It`s -- one of the defectors that we talked to described it
as an army of propagandists, that this is a -- this exists as a special
class within the Islamic State that has privileges that even fighters don`t
enjoy, including better cars, better homes to live in, better salaries.

It`s that big a priority for the Islamic State. And what you just
alluded to is this level of control and scripting and orchestration that
happens inside Syria. And then this group takes advantage of the chaos of
the Internet and social media to get its message out to followers in a very
broad, global way.

KORNACKI: All right.

Jeff Mason, Simon Marks, Greg Miller, thanks for your time.
Appreciate that.

And coming up, Ted Cruz is on the rise, while Donald Trump is getting
skewered by "The New York Times" for spreading what they call racist lies.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


KORNACKI: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

New numbers out of the crucial state of Iowa may soon change the
dynamic of the Republican race for president. The newest Quinnipiac poll
of likely Republican caucus-goers shows that Senator Ted Cruz has
skyrocketed into second place with 23 percent. He is just two points
behind Donald Trump. That is within the margin of error.

That is a 13-point gain for Cruz in Iowa just since last month. And
that gain appears to be coming at the expense of Ben Carson. He has seen a
significant 10-point drop in the state in the same time. In many ways,
Cruz is tailor-made for the electorate of Iowa, where roughly six in 10
Republican voters identify themselves as evangelical Christians.

He`s conservative. He has got strong evangelical appeal. And despite
holding elective office, he is still anti-establishment. Throughout this
race, Ted Cruz and front-runner Donald Trump have avoided direct attacks on
each other, but Trump did issue a warning to Cruz earlier this month on


and very supportive of everything I have said, more than anybody else, and
we will see what happens. If he catches on, then I guess we will have to
go to war. But so far, we haven`t.


KORNACKI: And I`m joined now by NBC`s Hallie Jackson, Robert Costa,
national political reporter at "The Washington Post," and NBC`s Katy Tur,
who`s at a Trump event in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, that`s going on
behind her right now.

Robert, let me start with you just on this poll out of Iowa now and
where this Republican race stands in Iowa.

So, it looks like, is this as simple as, the evangelicals who are such
an important part of that Republican electorate in Iowa, they`re giving up
on Carson and they`re moving to Cruz?

ROBERT COSTA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I wouldn`t say they`re giving up
on Carson. They`re certainly starting to fade away from the doctor.

You see people Cruz connecting as someone who is a movement
conservative, who has roots on the right. When I was there with Cruz over
the weekend, he was connecting with them in a visceral way, talking about
his faith and the future of the country.

And he`s avoided attacks from Trump for this entire campaign, but they
could be coming as he continues to ascend.

KORNACKI: Yes, Katy, that`s something I`m starting to notice with Ted
Cruz. He made a kind of opaque statement over the weekend, saying that
some in the Republican Party, he refused to name names, but he said some of
the rhetoric has not been helpful on immigration.

He talked about how tone matters. He is saying he doesn`t think
Donald Trump will win Iowa. And Donald Trump saying he is not going to put
up with it. At what point does he start turning on Ted Cruz, do you think?

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, they have had this unofficial
alliance so far, but he has said repeatedly that he`s only a

So far, Ted Cruz himself hasn`t warranted a counterpuch from Trump.
But then again, Carson didn`t really punch Trump, and Trump started
punching him quite hard, mercilessly criticizing him when he started to
beat him in polls in Iowa, just being mercilessly -- being merciless with

I`m sorry. It`s so loud back there, it`s hard to hear myself think.

So we do expect that if anyone is going to start punching first, it`s
going to be Donald Trump. It`s unclear what he`s going to punch Ted Cruz
on. He`s not quite as vulnerable, certainly, as Ben Carson was.

KORNACKI: Yes, I think Donald Trump considers it a punch if you move
ahead of him in the polls. That`s the lesson I learned from the Ben Carson

Anyway, Trump today was pressed -- over last night was pressed about
the inaccurate statistics that he retweeted on Sunday. These are
statistics that falsely suggested that African-Americans are responsible
for a majority of homicides against whites.

Here`s how Trump explained himself to Bill O`Reilly.


BILL O`REILLY, HOST, "THE O`REILLY FACTOR": I never saw any racism
from you.

However, when you tweet out a thing -- and this bothered me, I got to
tell you -- you tweeted out that whites killed by blacks, these are
statistics you picked up from somewhere, at a rate of 81 percent. And
that`s totally wrong. Whites killed by blacks is 15 percent. Yet you
tweeted it was 81 percent. Now...

retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert...

O`REILLY: Yes, but you don`t want to be...


TRUMP: ... and who was also -- a radio show.

O`REILLY: Why do you want to be in that zone?

TRUMP: Well, hey, Bill, Bill, am I going to check every statistic? I
get millions and millions of people.


O`REILLY: You got to. You`re a presidential contender. You got to

TRUMP: I have millions of...

O`REILLY: Don`t do this. Don`t put your name on stuff like this,
because it makes the other side, it gives them stuff to tell the ill-
informed voter that you`re a racist.


KORNACKI: And Trump also tripled down on his claim that he saw a
video of thousands of New Jersey Muslims celebrating on 9/11.

And in a scathing editorial today, "The New York Times" compared
Donald Trump to demagogues like Joe McCarthy and George Wallace, writing --
quote -- "America has just lived through another presidential campaign week
dominated by Donald Trump`s racist lies. In the Republican field, Mr.
Trump has distinguished himself as fastest to dive to the bottom. If it`s
a lie to vile to utter aloud, count on Mr. Trump to say it often. History
teaches that failing to hold a demagogue to account is a dangerous act.
It`s no easy task for journalists to interrupt Mr. Trump with the facts,
but it`s an important one."

Well, Hallie, let me ask you about that, because the principle "The
New York Times" is talking about there is certainly a well-established one.
At the same time, there`s a school of thought out there that if the media
in general and an outlet like "The New York Times" in particular with such
a reputation on the right for being a liberal organ, that if they try to --
quote -- "hold Donald Trump accountable," it only makes Donald Trump`s base
rally around him that much more, no matter what they`re saying.


And when you`re reading this op-ed from "The New York Times," this
editorial piece, all I can think is, Donald Trump does not care what "The
New York Times" has to say about him. And if he does care, it`s so that he
can hold it up in front of his crowd of thousands, so that everybody can
jeer "The Times" and jeer the rest of the media.

This is something that Donald Trump has done well, that Ben Carson has
does well. They have taken questions about some of their rhetoric, about
some of their incorrect claims, and they flip it around. They make
themselves into essentially the victim. They portray themselves as victims
of a biased and liberal mainstream media.

It works with their supporters. I spoke with one woman over the
weekend in Iowa. She`s an undecided voter. This was just a couple of days
ago. And I asked her about some of these claims that Trump is making. And
she said, "Yes, they may not be right, but I don`t trust the media to tell
me that they`re not right."


So, Robert Costa, I`m trying to play this out a little bit. We have
Ted Cruz moving up in Iowa right now, this one poll showing almost a tie in
Iowa right now. For the Republicans who are looking to trip Donald Trump
up, I guess the scenario would be, you would need Cruz or somebody, but
let`s say it`s Cruz, to knock him off in Iowa.

Then you would have to go to New Hampshire, Trump right now ahead in
New Hampshire. He`s basically doubling up his nearest competitor. When
you look at New Hampshire, who`s the biggest threat to him there? If it`s
Cruz in Iowa, who`s the biggest threat to Trump in New Hampshire?

COSTA: Well, in the polls, Trump is way ahead in New Hampshire.
Christie`s trying to come back with town hall meetings. Rand Paul has a
libertarian base there. You see Senator Graham is taking trips, talking
about his hawkish views.

And I think Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio`s campaigns are making a real
play for New Hampshire. At the same time, there`s a reluctance, Steve --
and I have spoken to many of these establishment donors today -- to take on
Trump. They`re not funding the anti-Trump super PACs. They`re not putting
the big money against him.

One of the reasons is, they think, if they engage, everyone else who
has done so has stumbled. The other reason is, if they take out Trump,
they think Cruz will rise, and Cruz will become even more formidable.

KORNACKI: Yes. Excuse me. Yes.

And, Hallie Jackson, Robert Costa, Katy Tur, thanks for joining us
tonight. Excuse me there.

And when we come back, we will go back to the breaking story out of
Chicago, the release of that video of a black teenager shot and killed by a
white police officer.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


what`s happening.

President Obama has awarded the Medal of Freedom to 17 recipients,
including Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand, as well as baseball great
Yogi Berra, who was awarded the medal posthumously. It is the nation`s
highest civilian honor.

An explosion on board a bus in Tunisia has killed at least 12
presidential guards in the country`s capital. No group has claimed
responsibility for that blast. Two deadly attacks earlier this year were
claimed by ISIS -- and now we`re going to take you back to HARDBALL.

KORNACKI: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Now back to our top story tonight. Protesters are in the streets of
Chicago after the release of a disturbing video showing a Chicago police
officer shooting and killing a black teenager. Jason Van Dyke, the white
Chicago police officer who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald to death in
October of last year, is facing first-degree murder charges tonight.

Just a short time ago, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police
Superintendent Garry McCarthy pleaded for calm.


protest, people have a right to free speech, but they do not have a right
to make criminal acts.


KORNACKI: And joining us now is the HARDBALL roundtable, April Ryan
is White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, Sabrina
Siddiqui is a reporter for "The Guardian", and here in New York, we have
MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber.

Well, Ari, you`ve been following this very closely. Let me start with
you. What do we know on the terms of the timing of all of this? I know
there was a court order that the video had to be out by tomorrow. Some
people look at this and say, what I do this at night if you could have
waited until tomorrow morning?

answer to that, in the start of the video, which people can view online at
MSNBC.com, we`re not showing all of it because it`s so graphic, but in the
start of the video, the police basically put up the notation that says,
this officer was indicted on first-degree murder. You get the impression
that the timing of the release of the video was synced, A, to a court
ordered deadline tomorrow, and, B, trying to get it out only after there
was some prosecutorial action on this case, although first-degree murder
caught everyone by surprise. That`s very high and unusual. It hasn`t
happened in Chicago for decades.

All of this, of course, was for a long time just rumored and no action
was taken because the prosecutors hadn`t moved legally, and the video was
basically being held back. Mayor Emanuel himself not saying he wanted it
out yet. They said that was to help the investigation to run its course.

As you and I have been talking about throughout the day, Steve, the
big question was, why the investigation like this when the underlying
incident is all on video, why would it take over a year?

KORNACKI: And what about that charge? You were saying, first-degree
murder so unusual, when you were talking about this a little bit earlier in
the year, first-degree murder against a police officer is so unusual. How
hard in a court of law is that going to be to prove?

MELBER: It would normally be very hard. It goes above and beyond
misuse of the weapon and or what we call excessive force and goes into the
officer`s mental mind state of saying that he was essentially trying to
have a premeditated intentional killing for no reason or justification
whatsoever, or that he had sort of a depraved heart, you know, complete
lack of regard for human life.

Now, look, I just watched the whole video in its context in the
newsroom. It is hard to watch. It is graphic. It is a mowing down of a
human being.

We don`t have all the words to really express what it is, but I can
tell you that those 13 seconds that have been referred to, that the
prosecutors reference as part of the reason she went for the first-degree
murder charge are agonizing, because 13 seconds of this individual,
McDonald, on the ground, barely moving, and bullets flying in, in, in, 16
shots, in a row. It is legally, completely unjustified. That`s all on

KORNACKI: April, let me ask you about the reaction that we`re seeing
here, the handling of this by Rahm Emanuel, by Garry McCarthy, the police
superintendent in Chicago. We`ve seen incidents that are somewhat similar
here. Baltimore, Ferguson, over the last year, other places. When you saw
the mayor, saw the police superintendent, when you listened to them, what
do you make of how they`re handling this?

surprised that Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, had not seen the video
that was getting ready to be released. It did not seem like he was
operating from a stance of power and understanding fully, by not seeing
that video to understand what was so compelling to the police department to
request calm. That`s one of the things that stood out, and Ari is exactly

But I also find something very interesting about this whole -- timing
of everything. Ari is right about -- they pushed it up to the deadline, to
release this video. But I also think about the time when this happened,
October 2014. This was just months after Ferguson, New York, North
Charleston, and, you know, some other places.

So, there was a climate in this nation that would not have allowed for
this video to come out without there being unrest. I mean, we saw what
happened in Ferguson, we saw what happened in New York and in other places
and Baltimore. So, this is a very interesting situation and you just have
to wait --

KORNACKI: That`s interesting. Do you think it was a wise decision,
then, to wait to release this video?

MELBER: Are you asking April or me?

KORNACKI: April. It sounds like that`s what she`s saying. Is that

RYAN: What I`m saying -- I`m not saying they made a wise decision.
What I`m saying is that the timing -- this was October 2014. Before that,
just months before that, you had Ferguson, which was a hotbed. You had New
York, with Eric Garner. Then you had North Charleston. You had issues
going on, and what I`m saying, I`m thinking the mind-set there was, OK,
we`re going to push it up to the very end, but also this nation is a hotbed
with this right now.

So, I`m not saying that they were justified in what they were doing,
but I`m looking at the timing and trying to understand as a journalist why
they would wait and why this was, when it first went out in the news, it
was a story about 200 to 300 words.

MELBER: Just to jump in, I think April makes a very understandable
point, because of those public safety implications. But, again, this is
not only about those kind of decisions. There is a legal process, and
there is freedom of information. That is the law that justified this

RYAN: Right.

MELBER: The idea being -- and I`m sure we`re in an agreement
generally, I understand you`re talking about what the officials have to
think about. But, again, in the courts, this is public information.
That`s why it`s out.

RYAN: Right.

MELBER: And the citizens of Chicago have a right to view this type of
material and make up their own mind. Whether there were charges or not,
once that process plays out. And so, I think it`s understandable we`re
seeing a so far, peaceful protests and everyone hopes they remain peaceful
from people saying, this is information we are entitled to. This is how we

RYAN: You`re exactly right, Ari.

KORNACKI: It`s been 90 minutes so far by the city of Chicago and the
rest of America, a lot of the world, for that matter is digesting this
video and we`ll be reacting so it certainly tonight, tomorrow, and in the
days ahead. The roundtable is staying with us.

Up and next, voters in New Hampshire seem to be giving Chris Christie
a second look.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.


KORNACKI: Can Chris Christie be the next comeback kid in New
Hampshire? Be right back with the HARDBALL roundtable.


KORNACKI: Chris Christie has emerged as a dominant force on the big
issue on the campaign trail, terrorism. Front page of "The New York Times"
reports that the issue has breathed new life into his struggling
presidential campaign.

This weekend in New Hampshire, Christie spoke personally about
confronting terrorism.


folks in this race, the results of radical Islam are theoretical, but not
for me. You know, I was named U.S. attorney for New Jersey on September
10th, 2001.

When you asked me, do I believe it`s legitimate to call it radical
Islam? It is murderous radical Islam. And we need to come to grips with

I live in and see the world the way it is. And as president, I`ll
govern a world as it is. Not as I wish it were.



KORNACKI: And Christie also told the crowd that he feared for his
wife`s survival on September 11th. She worked two blocks from the World
Trade Center.


CHRISTIE: While we were on the phone, the second plane hit the second
building. And she said to me, "I have to go. They`re telling us we have
to evacuate to our basement. I`ll call you as soon as I can."

For the next 5 1/2 hours, I didn`t hear from my wife. I was thinking
about, not having my best friend, I was thinking about what I was going to
tell my children. I was thinking about what kind of single parent I would
be. And at 2:35 in the afternoon, the phone rang. And it was my wife.


KORNACKI: And we`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable -- April,
Sabrina and Ari.

Sabrina, we talked earlier in the show about Iowa. The story in Iowa
right now is that Ted Cruz powered by evangelical voters really moving up
out there. How about Chris Christie in New Hampshire?

He`s doing this the sort of traditional New Hampshire way. We saw
that town hall footage a few weeks ago on addiction. Now, he`s in the same
setting talking about terrorism. I`ve always though, he`s particularly
strong in the sort off the cuff settings, fielding questions from the

Is there space in New Hampshire for Christie to do what Cruz is doing
out in Iowa?

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: Well, Chris Christie is certainly
putting all his eggs in the New Hampshire basket. That`s where he spends
the most amount of time. And certainly, like you said, he is strongest
when he gets personal, when he`s able to personalize an issue playing out
on the ground. He did it with heroin, now with terrorism.

What`s interesting is that story he`s telling about 9/11 is a story
he`s been telling throughout the course of his presidential campaign. I
heard him tell that story in New Hampshire two months ago. But the thing
is, that in the wake of these terrorist attacks in Paris, it`s really
hitting home for more a lot of people. I think there`s a lot more potency
to the story when he tells it now versus over the summer when there wasn`t
a lot of conversation around ISIS in the same way that we`re having it at
this moment.

I also think that, by and large, the Republican candidates have more
or less the same strategy when it comes to ISIS, that the administration is
already putting into effect right now. So, they need to find ways to
differentiate themselves. And for Chris Christie, it happens to be the
fact that he has lived through the greatest terrorist attack in this
country. And so, he`s kind of playing into the emotions of the people in
this particular campaign.

KORNACKI: And, you know, April, New Hampshire is different than Iowa.
Iowa is dominated by evangelical Christians in the primary. New Hampshire
is a very secular state, even in that Republican primary. I think only
about a fifth of the voters in New Hampshire Republicans are evangelicals.

So, if there`s going to be somebody who moves up on Trump, there`s
that lane, I guess, Christie, Bush, Kasich, Rubio, there`s room for one of
them to emerge.

RYAN: Well, like you were saying, New Hampshire is more secular. I
think Chris Christie has a lot of secularism to him but at the same time,
he is capitalizing as Sabrina said on this momentum. You know, he touched
a tangible chord right now because of what`s happening in Paris and the
fact that there is an ISIS threat.

And he also, you know, to push it even further, he`s been talking
about the fact that he was the New Jersey state`s attorney at the time he
prosecuted terrorists.

You have to already remember, this is the peace. It was al Qaeda at
that time. Al Qaeda has been degraded severely. Now, we`re dealing with
ISIS who is this administration says has been degraded by 25 percent, but
you still have the 75 percent out there.

But when you say that you have dealt with the terrorists, that does
strike a chord that you`re a fighter. But we`ll see how much any of the
states, the early voting states and the caucuses will really believe and
put the power of the vote behind him.

KORNACKI: All right. The roundtable is staying with us.

Up next, they tell me something I don`t know.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


KORNACKI: All right. We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.

April, here`s a challenge for you. Tell me something I don`t know.

RYAN: All right. All right. There is an effort in the House
Judiciary Committee to push the no-fly for foreign terrorists bill out of
the committee by Christmas. What it will essentially do is basically put
these young, new terrorists that go from here that are built here and going
to fight over in the caliphate, basically, they are not able to come back
to the United States, fly back or any kind of way. So that`s what they`re
trying to do.

KORNACKI: All right. I didn`t know it.


RYAN: I`m glad you didn`t.

SIDDIQUI: Well, you were talking earlier about the ISIS propaganda
machine. I was actually on the campaign trail in Iowa with Marco Rubio n
the last few days, and I spoke with him on Saturday.

He told me this weekend that he actually thinks that we should counter
the propaganda machine by conducting high profile raids on ISIS that we
publicize. He wants to show the world that they`re not invincible. And as
part of that, he said, you know what, put it up on YouTube if you have to.
The world should see them suffer defeats and counter this narrative they`re
somehow invincible.

KORNACKI: All right. And, Ari?

MELBER: There`s Randy Moss news in Washington, and it`s not football.
That`s the name of the Obama appointee who will be the judge in the big
Benghazi case against Trey Gowdy. That was news as of today. We`ll see
what happens.

KORNACKI: All right. If it was the football player, I might have
known. But I didn`t know that.

Thank you to my roundtable tonight. April Ryan, Sabrina Siddiqui, and
Ari Melber.

That is HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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