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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 31, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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relief to people across the state. we have our badger bounceback. it's going to provide relief to communities, schools, businesses there's more work to do at home. >> fair enough i had to try lieutenant governor mandela barnes, thanks for making time tonight. >> thank you. that's "all in" on this wednesday night. rachel maddow show starts now. good evening rachel. >> good evening. well done. thanks to you at home for joining us at this hour. congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez is going to be here with us live tonight. i'm looking forward to speaking with her in just a moment. one of the highest pro file civil rights lawyers in the country is going to be here tonight to talk about what could be a big development in the voting rights fight. a development that unfold in the surprising ways over the day today. we're going to start tonight, though, with a little bit of an update on that bananas story that we had to unexpectedly shift gears to cover at this
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time in the show last night when "the new york times" published late-breaking news about the republican congressman who is probably the most high profile fanatical trump supporters in congress, republican congressman matt gaetz "the times" published the news that he's under investigation by the u.s. justice department for very serious allegations of child sex trafficking. now, i swear i'm not going to spend more of my life than i need to following every twist and turn in this somewhat nauseating story, but because we gave you the sort of back story and context on this last night, i feel the need to update you tonight. because the sheer bizarreness of this story continued to advance across the court of today and tonight at what appears to be an accelerating pace. this started off weird it's getting deep space weird. all right, first of all, there's this guy
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local republican elected official in seminole county, florida. his name is joel greenberg he's relevant to the story because his own considerable criminal troubles appear to at least have dove tailed with the newly reported criminal investigation into meat gaetz. he was tax collector in seminole county in november 2016. as we discussed last night, mr. greenberg immediately set out upon a course of behavior that started off like a fire hose of scandal and ended up like a tsunami of scandal. i mean, i can't even cram all of it into another lengthy news segment here but just in rough chronological order, just looking at the high points, local investigations and audits found that starting basically as soon as he took office, he spent millions of taxpayer dollars on contracts and payments to his personal
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friends and some business p par partners, including six different people who had all been in his wedding several month bs before he got elected. six member of his wedding party just happened to get hundreds of millions of dollars in deals from the local tax collector's office, right after their buddy joel, the groom from the wedding they were in, took over that office what a coincidence six people from the same wedding, huh a county audit found that mr. greenberg then spent tons of taxpayer money, like over $1 million on guns and ammunition and body armor and drones drones it's like a little tax collector army or something he and all the team who worked in his office, under his leadership, all started wearing guns at work again, this is not like a department of the police it's not even like an office
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that goes after poachers, people who keep too many fish or something. these are literally the people to whom you pay your license fees but they all started strapping guns on their hips at work, and also wearing badges that if you squinted they looked like sheriff badges they weren't, they were tax collector badges but still. mr. greenberg was arrested for em pirs nating a police officer when he used his tax collectors' gun and badge to pull over a woman he used of speeding. he put on flashing lights in his tax collector car and pulled her over because he thought she was going too fast they was tax collector there's a lot more it does go on and on and on and on i mentioned last night, the allegation that brought federal authorities to mr. greenberg's door and initially got him arrested and charged with multiple federal felonies, which ultimately led, we think, to the
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involvement of congressman gaetz -- the initial federal allegations which became the federal charges against mr. greenberg came after somebody in seminole county had the nerve to run against him for tax collector in seminole county mr. greensberg then sent nine letters to the school where he worked, the guy who was running for tax collector. he sent nine letters purporting to be from students accusing the guy who was going to run against him accusing him of inappropriate sexual activity of the students what the school whr he worked. the allegations were completely made up, but it ended up being in the a problem for his opponent it ended up being a problem for mr. greenberg, because what happened was federal authorities ended up getting brought in to investigate this here's how "the orlando sentinel" wrote it up at the
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time between november 10th and 15th, greenberg mailed the letters to trinity prep school officials first turned to letters over to the seminole county sheriff's office, but investigators determined the letters weren't written by students they were written by an adult. because the letters were delivered by u.s. mail, the case was turn over the federal investigators with the u.s. attorney's office. assistant u.s. attorney roger handberg said in court this week that joel greenberg's dna and finger prints were ultimately found on the nine letters sent to the school where his opponent works. so nine different letters all purporting to be from students, all purporting to document terrible, terrible sexual misbehavior by this guy who was going to run against joel greenberg. greenberg leaves his dna and finger prints all over those letders according to prosecutors. a criminal genius at work here, obviously, if what prosecutors say bears out. he also set up fake twitter and
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facebook accounts in the name of the same guy running against him and in the name of other people who worked at the same school. those fake accounts had their own finger prints. they were traced back to an ip address on a computer at joel green berg's house he used his own computer to set up the fake accounts in which he set his opponent were a segregationist and terrible person genius at work not difficult to trace those back to joel greenberg's house, according to prosecutors but the problem with this criminal genius at work in these alleged crimes is because of the way these things were done, federal law enforcement was brought to bear here this ended up not being a local issue. this was not handled by the sheriff's office these are now federal charges. there's federal investigators involved that leads to his first indictment
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it gets way worse from there they turn up to arrest him on the first indictment when they turn up to arrest him, it turns out he has a whole ton of fake i.d.s in his backpack, in his car, in his wallet. that's going to be more federal charges. they ultimately charge him for stealing people's identities for stealing i.d.s turned into the tax collector's office and to make fake i.d.s. what does he want to make fake i.d.s for? that's the next set of charges they decide what he's using the fake i.d.s for is sex trafficking of at least one minor and other sex related crimes and so he faces multiple succeeding federal indictments -- superseding federal indictment as these charges continue to mushroom in
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florida, in seminole county. nbc news reported today that that latter part of the tax collector guy investigation, the part where they looked at his devices and decided what was going won with the fake i.d.s through his office is he was using fake i.d.s to facilitate criminal sexual acts, including sex trafficking of underage persons. that part of the investigation into this tax collector guy ultimately led to what are now the newly reported details of this federal criminal investigation into republican congressman meat gaetz, who is also accused of sex trafficking of a minor mr. greenberg, the seminole county tax collector guy and gaetz are reportedly close there are several pictures of them together and now investigators are looking at whether congressman gaetz may end up charged with sex traffics of an underaged girl but while we were absorbing that
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detail of the story here, right, not just that these two guys are -- one of them facing charges, one of them facing similar allegations that led to a criminal investigation, but the connection of the sex trafficking charges against the tax collector guy to the sex traffics investigation of the congressman, while that was singing in today that the investigation of gaetz may have come out of what they discovered with this tax collector guy, while that was coming out today, big surprise, today, that tax collector joel greenberg was hit with yet another federal indictment what timing. since he was initially arrested and charged last summer -- again, started with the stalking of the guy running for office. since those charges federal prosecutors keep adding more
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dr crimes they have added three indictments including one today for a whole new set of crimes we nevada heard of before in this new indictment today, the tax collector guy is charged with embezzling $400,000 from the collector's office he used that to buy cryptocurrency andmemorabilia. things signed by kobe bryant and michael jordan why? also, this is incredible, the indictment alleges the tax collector guy, after he was initially arrested and out on bond, while he was out on bond, he committed a whole new crime prosecutors say in this indictment today on top of everything else while he was out on bond after being arrested and charged with the first slew of federal crimes, he decided that would be the perfect time to start a whole new chapter of his criminal behavior, that would be the perfect time to describe someone who worked at the small
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business administration so that person would process fake loan applications for him so he could use fake businesses to my for fraudulent covid relief funds. and so they charged him with that today, too. the fraud stuff and the bribery of public officials in order to get it done. seems like a gem, right? you add it all up, and the four successive federal indictments this guy faced since last summer and he's now facing 33 federal felony charges thus far, mr. greenberg has pled not guilty to the charges that he's had a chance to plead to. his attorney has not commented on the latest ones other than to say he wasn't surprised by them. but as i said, this is the criminal case in florida that appears to dove tail with what's going on with trumper ific matt
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gaetz. "the new york times" is reporting part of the investigation against joel greenberg is the same investigation that led to a sex trafficking investigation of mr. gaetz. we don't know if reenberg is cooperating against gaetz. as far as the status, politico flushed out the detail of trump attorney william barr. he was reportedly briefed not once but multiple times on the federal sex trafficking investigation into congressman gaetz. politico reporting part of the reason barr was briefed on it a lot is because he was very concerned for himself. he didn't want to accidentally end up at an event where congressman gaetz might be while this investigation into congressman gaetz was ongoing. politico announced one publicly announced meeting between bill
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barr and the judiciary committee got called off, pulled off it of he said publicly he would go do it and the reason he pulled out of it was because congressman gaetzrsvp'd he would attend. as for the scope of the investigation into the congressman, abc news is reporting tonight that -- reporting today that the investigation includes allegations that he had a sexual relationship with, quote, at least one minor. at least one underage person but maybe more than one. abc is also reporting the investigation is looking not just at theth to the congressman's alleged conduct in florida, but federal investigators are looking at his alleged conduct in other states as well. now, congressman matt gaetz denied any sexual relationship with anyone under age. he continued to advance his
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claim that his rich family in florida was targeted with what he says is was an extortion effort in parallel with this investigation. he said his family was extorted by someone claiming it would help congressman gaetz survive if his rich father funded an effort to find an ex fbi officer, robert leavenson who has been missing in -- for a decade fund it, be successful, gaetz would look like a hero because his family funded it, so then he wouldn't be prosecutored for child sex trafficking? i don't know the fbi is reportedly investigating that bizarre alleged extortion scheme as well as the child sex trafficking allegations against congressman gaetz. but these are separate matters whether or not somebody was
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trying to pressure him and his family over how much trouble the congressman appears to be in for the sex trafficking investigation, it does appear that the congressman is under serious federal investigation for sex trafficking of at least one child in at least one state. and that investigation started months ago and was approved of and regularly briefed to the highest levels of the trump justice department, including trump's attorney general bill barr oh and just one last point on this. and this is something to watch, because i'm sure this has to change i'm sure this is a mistake the republican leader in the house of the representatives is of course congressman kevin mccarthy he today was asked about this reported justice department investigation into congressman gaetz. kevin mccarthy said he didn't know anything about it, hadn't talked to the congressman yet. but added if he does get indicted, would that be cause to
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remove him from his committee assignments? if he gets charged with child sex traffics are republicans in congress going take him off his committees and stuff kevin mccarthy said, actually, he would only plan to remove matt gaetz from his committees and congressional responsibilities if he gets convicted of child sex trafficking. a federal indictment for sex trafficking that would not be a big enough deal. they would leave him in his committees, keep being a congressman and all that stuff really i think that might be a mistake. i would not be surprise in the he cleans that up in coming days we have quite a bit of experience of congressman being indicted while in office hi, congressman collins, congressman hunter you can make a list of all the congressman who have been indicted while in office because trump pardoned them all before he left office as president. but because we've got a lot of recent experience with this, the standard in the republican party
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used to be that once you got indicted, well, now you're under federal criminal indictment. you get taken off your committees, get relieved of congressional responsibilities even if they don't at that moment expel you from congress that is how they've dealt with other republicans who have been indicted but according to kevin mccarthy, that's not the plan in gaetz gets indicted for child sex trafficking. that's fine with kevin mccarthy if and when that happens just have to wait to see if he gets convicted i can't imagine he meant to say that but we'll see. we'll cross that bridge when we hopefully never come to it so, like i said, i feel responsible to update you on how that story has evolved from last night. i didn't think it could get weirder, but it is a truly bizarre story evolving with accelerating weirdness over the course of the day today. if it gets weird an over the course of this hour i will try
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to ignore it unless i have to. also today "the new york times" broke the news that state prosecutors in new york subpoenaed the personal bank records of a man named alan weisselberg who for decades served as chief financial officer at the trump organization he appears to be under intense pressure in new york state prosecutors to tell them what he nose about the allegations of tax fraud, bank fraud, and insurance fraud that prosecutor's office is pursuing against trump and his company. "the times" also reporting that state prosecutors are looking at the hush money payments scandal, the campaign finance felonies for which trump lawyer michael cohen went to prison and in which trump was described by sdny prosecutors as individual number one according to "the new york times" tonight, state prosecutors in new york are investigating how those payments were laundered through the trump
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organization's books and whether any such laundering might itself be a prosecutable crime. that reporting today from "the new york times" just adding to the increasingly tall pile of legal worries faced by the former president as we reported here last night, former president trump is facing not one, not two, but three federal lawsuits for him allegedly inciting the january 6th attack on the u.s. capitol the latest one filed by two u.s. capitol police officers who were injured in the attack. also within the last day, a new york state court let a defamation case against the former president go forward. this is the case brought against him by a former contestant on "the apprentice," summer zervos who said he essentially assaulted her. because that's going forward, the former president may end up having to be deposed under oath in that case the case was stalled for a
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while. it is now moving a once again. also, the president lost a high profile bid to enforce nondisclosure agreements that he made all his campaign staff sign in 2016. a former trump campaign staffer named jessica denson made sexual harassment and discrimination claims against the 2016 trump campaign as a separate matter related to that, she litigated the validity of the nondisclosure agreement that she and other trump campaign workers were made to sign in 2016 well, she won that part of it. a federal court has now said that the nda is not binding on her. if the federal courts decided those things are toilet paper that is going to open up a whole new chapter of potential --
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guess what in terms of the former president that's jus, like, the last 24 hours. the last 24 hours of news from tr trumpville how's the post presidency life going for the president and his most loyal minions i mean, man. and then for contrast, there today is the new president, president biden, unveiling what he hopes and expecting to be the signature legislative accomplishment of this presidential term, a huge new investment in american infrastructure, one of the most popular issue areas among the american public -- investing in the stuff we all use what biden is proposing is a $2 trillion investment -- roads, bridges, airports, ports, school buildings, the electric grid, water systems, broad band nationwide and more.
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the biden administration and the president himself today in a major speech in pennsylvania calling this the biggest investment in infrastructure in this country since world war ii. and it looks like they've got a path to get it passed, and it will be even more popular than the covid relief bill that they have passed, which is not only wildly popular among the american people left, right, and center it's driving 70% plus approval ratings for the this president on the issue of covid specifically, which is driving record high approval ratings for this president overall that's what the biden administration learned from the first big thing they got through congress that "a," you can get it done, and "b," the american people don't care that much by the process by which you get it done as long as you are passing something that takes a big bold track cal approach to everything in common. turns out the american people like that. what they're going back for now as they go for their second
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legislative lift is something more popular than the covid relief bill was when you break it down into its constituent parts but it's a big ask congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez of new york is going to join us on that next stay with us
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it's not a plan that tinkers around the edges it's a once in a generation investment in america, unlike anything we've seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago in fact, it's the largest american jobs investment since world war ii it will create millions of jobs, good paying jobs it will grow the economy, make us more competitive around the world, promote our national security interest and put us in a position to win the global competition with china in the upcoming years it's big, yes. it's bold, yes, and we can get
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it done. i'm convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people are going to look back and say, this was the moment that america won the future historically, infrastructure had been a partisan undertaking. many times led by republicans. it was abraham lincoln who built the transcontinental railroad. de dwight eisenhower, the republican, built the interstate system i don't think you'll find a ho republican in the house or senate that doesn't think we need to rebuild our infrastructure system. i truly believe history is going to look back at this time as a fundamental choice having to be made between democracies and autocracies. there's a lot of autocrats in the world who think the reason they're going to win is
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democracies can't reach a consensus anymore. it's a basic question -- can democracies still deliver for their people can they get a majority? i believe we can i believe we must. >> i believe we must president biden speaking in pittsburgh today, unveiling his proposal for a nearly $2 trillion in investment in infrastructure in this country and most of the first day stories about this newly revealed plan are talking about the price tag and the politics of how it can get done and also the big ticket headline items here -- roads and bridges and a sturdy electric grid for the first time in our country's history, and 500,000 electric vehicle chargers around the country. there's other pieces in it that we found today being celebrated by people surprised to delights to find their needs being addressed as a big part of this bill for instance, $45 billion in this bill to replace all of the
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lead pipes around the country in our water systems. you know more than viewers of any other show about the lead poisoning crisis in flint, michigan there's lead service pipes all over the country this would replace 100% of the nation's lead pipes and service lines. also, a $400 billion investment in expanding access to what's known as home or community based care and in layman's terms that means, like, home health aides or a room in a group home if you're an elderly or disabled person this country we have a gigantic backlog for those services elderly and disabled wait five years to get the services they need this would not only exnand access, it would increase pay and working conditions for the people who work in this incredibly critical, critical,
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but understood funded and often out of sight, big portion of the american economy we reached out to one of the country's foremost disability advocacy groups, the arc, to ask just how much impact this kind of an investment could have. their senior director of public policy there told us, quote, it is major with major in all caps and two exclamation points them thinking that would make this big of a deal, that group in particular, that means this is a big deal. biden's plan also includes $20 million to address historic inequities in transportation infrastructure that means in blunt terms undoing wrongs that were committed in the creation of a previous generation of infrastructure things like tearing down predominantly black neighborhoods to build highways there instead. this would be $20 million earmark in the biden's plan to reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments in infrastructure
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biden's infrastructure plan is a big plan it is full of big ideas. but a lot of the most interesting stories are in the g granular details but again, this is the opening gambit what happens now is in the hands of the congress. joining us one of the most influential member of that body, congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. thank you for being here tonight. >> of course thank you for having me. >> so, as i know you saw the president's speech today, and we've all been reading about and learning about what the president is asking for in this american jobs plan, what do you think of it? >> you know, i think that the vision that president biden and the administration has laid out, you're right, has surprised a lot of us in a positive way, and in the detail and the thought that's here, the scope of it is really encouraging except i think the how
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that $2.2 trillion, $2.25 trillion over eight years, i have serious concerns that it's not enough to realize the very inspiring vision that biden has advanced and so i believe that those of us here, especially as progressives within the democratic party, we know that there is so much more opportunity here, and in order for us to realize this inspiring vision, we need to go way higher and that's what's going to help us actually deliver on this really promising and inspiring vision the president laid out today. >> and when you say that it should be bigger, do you want the numbers associated with the things the president wants done just to get bigger, just do more of the things he's saying he wants to do, or are there whole new categories of policy you'd
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like to see folded into this bill that aren't there now >> i think there's -- there are a couple of areas there. one is that, first of all, this is $2.25 trillion over eight years. for context, because these huge numbers are hard to understand, for context we passed an almost $2 trillion covid relief package that's supposed to last us one year with some provisions lasting up to two years. so, the $1,400 stimulus checks, that big package we felt in our lives were deployed on a shorter time line. i think that we need to really have some shorter time lines, some urgency, greater urgency in this package, and i think some of the investments need to be greater. so for example, let's take public housing this plan, this build back better plan, it advocates for a total national investment of $40 billion in public housing nationwide sounds great, right?
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except when you consider the fact that the new york city public housing system needs $40 billion alone just to get up to code. during the winter time, people run out of heat. they don't have hot water. they don't have electricity sometimes. there are holes in people's walls. the new york city public housing authority needs $40 billion alone just so that its residents can live in dignified housing because they have been starved by republican administrations for so long s so for us to actually invest in national public housing infrastructure, we need to do way more in order for us to deliver on this promise in terms of a pricing to there. in terms of scope, i think, again, i really do have to commend some of these investments that are in here and some of these details, like exclusionary zoning, are things
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that progressives have been talking about for a long time. so there is a lot of credit there. but on climate, we can also go more we can go deeper and we can have a more integrated approach in how we push on this issue. again, i do commend the administration in its scope, but in order for us to meet that vision, i don't -- i have real concerns that $2.2 trillion isn't actually going to get us there, so we're going to have to make deeper investments to actually renew public housing, to repeal the fair cloth amendment, to increase our housing stock in the united states you know, and this -- at the end of the day is one of the greatest sources in income inequality in the country. it's rooted in housing and real estate >> in terms of how this is going to move, obviously this is the biden administration's second big legislative lift, and i think we have to think of them as a living breathing organism that learns lessons along the
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way. clearly i think a lot of what was going on with the covid relief bill is they were thinking about things they wish they had done better or handled differently under the obama administration now i think they're going to be approaching this infrastructure bill, learning the lessons that they just learned for what happened with covid relief and it was i think a surprise to many in the beltway when joe biden said for covid relief he wanted $1.9 trillion. everybody assumed that would get whittled way down and some much smaller package would ultimately pass it didn't. it did get cut down a little bit, but not that much it was basically a $1.9 trillion plan sounds to me like what i hear you saying tonight is biden in pittsburgh saying, i want $2.2 trillion, but when it lands in the house, you and your colleagues may say, 2.2 is a starting point, but this needs to get larger before the senate gets a look at it. is that a fair way to expect
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that's how this goes >> absolutely. if we could wave a magic wand and progressives in the house were able to name any number and get it through, which obviously isn't the case, but if we're looking at ideals and what we think is the actual investment that can create tens of millions of good union jobs in this country that can shore up our health care, our infrastructure, our housing, and doing it in a way that draws down our carbon a figures to help us get in line with ipcc standards we're talking about realistically $10 trillion over ten years. and i know that may be an eye popping figure for some people, but we need to understand that we are in a devastating economic moment millions of people in the united states are unemployed. we have a truly crippled health-care system and a planetary crisis on our hands and we're the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.
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we can do $10 trillion that's a thing of political imagination. however when you break it up into those two parts, what's important to remember is this actually isn't a progressive versus a moderate issue. you have some of the most conservative members of the democratic caucus, like joe manchin that have even signalled support for a $4 trillion infrastructure plan which is double in the numbers. so i think that there's some key dynamics that have changed here, which explains some of this. one is that there is genuine built power in the progressive caucus, within the democratic party, but also just progressive ideals in general in the country that, you know, that power has built very significantly, and we are in a fundamentally different political moment but on top of that is that even when you look at more -- at what comprises more moderate views i the caucus, economic populism
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that works and centers working class people is popular. and i think republicans kind of run on that aesthetic and democrats talk about it, but we actually are about it. so, but i think that the country shift -- people really i think are starting to understand that these issues are no longer fr fringe progressive demands but they are consensus builders. we need to build the housing stock. we need to stop making it an investment for corporate -- for corporations to gobble up our housing stock and an actual thing that we use and live in and enjoy and don't have to fear that our kids won't be able to afford a home, a place to live, and make a family. so those kinds of investments, that's what this is about, not
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to mention rural broadband, roads, bridges, mass transit, and a truly national system of ev vehicles and a full electric -- federally electric fleet. >> new york democratic congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. it is a real pleasure to have you here thanks for helping us understand really happy to have you here. >> of course thank you so much. all right, much more ahead tonight. stay with us and from mochaccinos to merlot, your smile will always be brilliant. crest 3d white brilliance. 100% stain removal, 24 hour stain resistance to lock in your whitest smile. crest. the #1 toothpaste brand in america.
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look at this today's printed edition of "the new york times" included this full page ad, a letter, public letter signed by dozens of the most prominent african-american ceos and business leaders in the country. their letter urging other ceos, the rest of corporate america to stand up against the new anti-voting law in georgia, and the dozens of laws like it under consideration in other republican-controlled states and maybe it was that full page ad, the public letter, maybe it
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was the threat of boycotts of big georgia companies for not doing enough to stop the voter suppression law before it passed, but today was a day of big shifted. today we saw an abrupt change in tune of some of the biggest corporations in georgia. the ceos of delta airlines and coca-cola both came out and called the georgia anti-voting law, quote, unacceptable delta's ceo wrote a letter to employees saying they did work with the legislation to make it less bad but said he now realizes the law enacted is, quote, wrong, and based on a lie about voter fraud. georgia's republican governor brian kemp responded today that delta never raised these objections before kemp signed the bill into law. he said the statement by the ceo stands in stark contrast the our conversations withal company like, oh, they're super against
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it announcement they didn't tell us that when they talked about it before i signed it. here's the question -- with delta and coca-cola and ceos belatedly stepping up, they didn't understand the magnitude until the georgia bill was passed, does that mean these companies are alerted now to the danger of this kind of legislation that they are ashamed now enough about their late reaction in georgia, that they're going to be willing to play a role to get voting rights protections passed in washington because that's how you could actually make a difference in georgia right now. there is a live bill in d.c. right now to protect voting rights, including to block some of the worst provisions in the georgia bill but that voting rights protection bill in the u.s. senate needs help getting through the u.s. senate right now, and some of those biggest corporations in the country, if they have now got religion on this issue, their help could
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the most prominent african american ceos and business leaders in the country published a full-page ad in "the new york times" urging corporate america to take stand against the new voter suppression laws like this in georgia, the head of the naacp legal defense fund responded on twitter by saying, quote, trust me, this is huge. sure enough, a few hours later, huge georgia-based corporations like delta and coca-cola were feeling their oats on this issue for the first time coming out slamming the georgia voting law for the first time, late, frankly, since the bill already passed something really did shift today on this front in the battle against these voter suppression
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laws joining us now is the clairvoyant president and director council ever the naacp legal defense fund miss eiffel, great to have you here thank you for making time. >> of course >> why was this -- why did you see that letter from black ceos and business letters as huge what do you make of the impact it had just today? >> well, a number of advocates, local advocates in georgia, had been pressing these corporations over weeks, black voters matter, the georgia naacp, the new georgia project really pushing these local corporations to take a stand against what was clearly going to be a disastrous bill. and these are corporations that are synonymous with the state of georgia. coca-cola is synonymous with georgia. so a number of groups on the ground had been pushing. i had been in conversations with these corporations asking them to stand against these provisions we felt it was important for the
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business community to speak up, including the chamber of commerce, the georgia chamber and the metro atlanta chamber. and it is true that they were behind the scenes hoping they could make the bill better, i think, and i think, actually, at the end they think that what they did, at least they thought what they did, was sufficient, that there was some terrible provisions that were removed from the bill. but the bill that passed is still terrible and their failure to speak as themselves, as georgia corporations, they were beginning to feel the heat when these ceos came out this morning, these are heavy hitters, rachel. these are not people who are silly, who are fly-by-night. these are men and women when they call, you take the call, and business leaders across the country know that. they know these names. so when this came out this morning, a full-page ad in "the new york times" and you saw the ceos on cnbc and the other channels that people in finance watch in the morning, it was clear to me that this was a game
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changer and i think that with the pressure from the local groups and, of course, there have been threats of boycotts, it did make a difference >> do you think that this may translate -- that this will remain focused on georgia, or do you think this may translate to these ceos, these corporations, others perhaps who may find themselves in the same frame of mind, that they might work to pass s-1, the federal voting rights protection and the john lewis bill as well that would afford federal protections it that would neutralize some of the worst impact of these state bills like the ones in georgia >> i know that's an explicit ask of local groups. an ask that they stand up in other states, where copycat bills are being planned. i did say to the ceo of coca-cola people drink coca-cola in texas, too, and texas is setting about trying to pass some of these bills as well. but hr1 and hr4 are critically
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important. local groups are have been make that request to these companies to understand the importance of seeking a federal solution we are playing whack-a-mole across a variety of states we are seeing these laws proposed in florida and texas and michigan and states around the country. and so we really need that federal legislation. it's going to be a test to see whether corporations are willing to stand up. these are corporations willing to stand up against anti-lbgtq q legislation, which is vitally important. they have spoken out on climate change they have spoken out on gun australia. now we need them to speak out on this race issue. it's a democracy issue and i have been really distressed over the last few weeks, concerned that the business plan of many american corporations appears to be agnostic about democracy when you try to deny citizens the ability to vote and participate in the political
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process and punish them for turning out in record numbers as the georgia legislature did with this bill, you are enaged in anti-democratic actions. that's a space where corporations in my view are compelled to speak because they benefit from our democracy and i think after january 6th, we recognize that we need all of the segments of our society to stand together to protect democracy. >> it's really good to see you thank you for being here it's an exciting day today to watch this unfoamed. thanks for helping us deunrstand. >> thank you. we'll be right back. stay with us [sfx: psst psst] allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops
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i said earlier that congressman kevin mccarthy, the house republican leader, could not have meant it when he told fox news this morning that congressman matt gaetz will only be removed from his committee assignments in congress if he is convicted of child sex trafficking, that potentially being indicted on the charges is enough that's what he said to fox it turns out late this afternoon he did change his mind on that, as i thought he might have, and he gave kmcomments to nbc's lei ann caldwell which i he made clear, yes, if he does get indicted for child sex trafficking, that will be enough to remove him from his committee assignments. i thought that sounded wrong when he said it this morning turns ou


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