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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  April 1, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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only escalates the cost and risks of aging infrastructure systems. so, governor kristi noem, you are the absolute worst, for being a whole governor who doesn't understand what infrastructure is and for going on tv to criticize biden's plan instead of doing your job, working to insure the needs of south dakotans are met, and that is tonight's "reidout." "all in" with chris hayes starts now. >> tonight on "all in." >> voter suppression in georgia is alive today. >> the ever expanding republican effort against democracy. >> this is jim crow on steroids, what they're doing in georgia. and 40 other states. >> tonight, the antivoter bills in state houses across the country, i'll ask beto o'rourke what's being done to stop them. then -- >> when he was no longer
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offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint. >> derek chauvin's supervisor takes to the stand, and admits chauvin used unnecessary force. >> plus, the latest on the matt gaetz investigation and the republicans leaving him out to dry. >> then, as the president rolls out his investment plan, the new head of biden's economic council joins me live. >> and a study in contrasts between the first biden cabinet meeting today -- >> i'm going to ask you all to report back to me the next cabinet meeting, and now we have a lot of business to do. >> and what cabinet meetings used to be like. >> mike? >> thank you, mr. president. and just greatest privilege of my life. >> when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from washington, d.c. i'm mehdi hasan in for chris
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hayes. we are in the midst of a war on democracy. launched by the republican party. and fueled by the big lie that the last election was stolen from donald j. trump. it wasn't. he lost. but just look at these new numbers. according to the brennan center for justice, as of march 24th, legislators have introduced 361 bills with restrictive voting provisions in 47 states. that's 108 more than the 253 restrictive bills tallied as of february 9th, 2021. a 43% increase in little more than a month. 43% increase. as an aside, congratulations to delaware, ohio, and vermont, three states that have not brought in any restrictive bills yet. we talked yesterday about the increasing backlash to georgia's recent voter suppression law with the ceos of both delta and coca-cola, two of the state's largest employers explicitly condemning the legislation, and
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the fallout continued today. park cannon, who was arrested last week while knocking on the office door of governor brian kemp as he signed the voting bill into law, spoke for the first time today since she was handcuffed and removed from the state capitol building. >> when the late congressman john lewis took my hand, marched with me to the fulton county government center, and voted with me in 2016, and helped me understand why that was so important, i'll never forget it. but unfortunately, today, the only thing etched in my mind are two things -- why were they arresting me? why were they doing that? and the photo of six all white men under a photo of a plantation taking away black and brown voters' rights. as well as all voters' rights.
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>> and while coca-cola and delta eventually did the right thing, they are still under pressure for their delayed response. today, standing in front of the weld of coca-cola, a group of faith and community leaders announced a national boycott of those two companies as well as home depot for their failure to speak up before the legislation was passed. state republicans are also furious at delta and coca-cola for what they claim is a partisan and ill informed attack on the law. last night, republicans in georgia's house of representatives outrageously passed a bill stripping delta of a multi-million dollar tax break before the measure stalled out in the senate. the atlanta journal constitution described a scene that showed how personal things had gotten. quote, moments after gaveling the legislative session to an end early thursday, house speaker stood before a bank of tv cameras and admitted something that many lifelong georgians would never say publicly. he purposely cracked open a pepsi. it wnt be a surprise if either
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company doesn't have a seat at the table when it comes to policy decisions going forward. i mean, currently the two most famous companies in georgia, does the hypocrisy of these snowflake brigade know no bounds. they lecture us for being too thin skins, on the need for free speech, so why this ridiculously hostile response to the delta ceo's freedom of speech? they're probably not going to be happy that other corporate leaders are also exercising their right to free speak, like tim cook who said today american history is the story of expanding the right to vote to all citizens and black people in particular have had to march, struggle, and even give their lives for more than a century to defend that right. gosh, i wonder what made him say that. to be clear, georgia republicans aren't the only ones doing everything they can to make voting harder. today, arizona senate republicans hired an advocate of
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the stop the steal movement who repeatedly alleged the election was rigged against donald trump to, yes, you guessed, examine the results of the 2020 election. while republicans in the texas senate followed the footsteps of their georgia colleagues, passing a package of election bills that would ban overnight voting hours and drive-through early voting while restricting mail voting. these are not random changes. these restrictions impair the exact tools that helped harris county, texas, the home of houston, a multicultural democratic party stronghold, turn out over 1.6 million voters in 2020. a 25% increase on 2016. more than 127,000 people around houston used drive-through early voting. and more than half of those voters were black, latino, or asian, so democratic state senator. as usual, there is no fact-based reason for these changes because the big lie is just what it sounds like, a big lie.
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the houston chronicle reports the texas attorney general's office spent nearly twice as much time working on voter fraud cases this year as it did in 2018, logging more than 22,000 staff hours. yet resolved just 16 prosecutions. half as many as two years ago, records show. 16. 1-6. texas republicans are not doing this to stop voter fraud. they're doing this to stop people of color from voting. republicans know they are going to lose texas at the presidential level very soon. they already lost georgia, and they want to make sure texas never enters swing state territory, whatever the cost to american democracy. i want to bring in bapto o'rourke, former democratic congressman from the state of texas who is the founder of powered by people, to mobilize democratic voters. thanks so much for coming on the show. what is your reaction to this new voting bill in texas and what can people in texas do about it? >> well, it's pretty bad.
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and i'm saying this from the perspective of a state that is already the hardest in which to register to vote and to cast your ballot. we rank 50th of the 50 states. so on top of 750 polling place closures over the last eight years, more than any other state, concentrated in the fastest growing black and latino neighborhoods, on top of the racial gerrymander, on top of the most restrictive voter i.d. laws in the country, we have this legislation that we're just reporting on now, which limits voting hours in the manners in which people can vote, whether that's 24-hour voting or mail-in voting. it gives so-called poll watchers free reign inside the polling place to include even filming voters as they attempt to cast their ballots, which is going to be another avenue of intimidation. especially against lower income voters, mexican-american voters, african-american voters. and new criminal penalties, and
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this may be the most insidious part, because when you look at what our twice indicted attorney general ken paxton has done with his election fraud unit, 72% of the actions they have taken have been against black and latino voters in the state of texas. well out of proportion to the representation within the population. this is targeted at certain voters, namely voters of color in texas. >> so that's what i wanted to ask you about. the republicans want us to believe this is all about election security. integrity, they say. but isn't it really about demographics and race and how republicans know they cannot hold on to states like texas going forward given they rely so heavily on old white voters? >> the incidence of voter fraud in texas is .00004%. you are more likely to be struck by lightning in texas than you are to encounter voter fraud. and when asked, the chairman of the house committee that's currently holding hearings right now as you and i speak, when he
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could not cite a specific instance of voter fraud, he said, well, people are concerned about it, and we polled them. they're concerned about it because he and others and the president, the former president who trafficked in the big lie, have stirred this up. and now, they seek to be the firefighter and the arsonist at the same time, trying to solve a problem we don't really have that they made up in the first place. and we don't lack for problems in texas. 50,000 dead of covid so far, and counting. nearly 200 dies in the winter storm a month ago. this was a 92 number from the reporting at the houston chronicle. folks who froze to death in their beds. people who died of carbon monoxide poisoning because the state that is the energy capital north america could not find the power to turn the heat and lights on. there are real problems in texas to pursue. voter fraud isn't one of them. >> so it's great that corporations like delta and coca-cola are finally speaking up about this. but if there's one thing we have learned about the mitch
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mcconnell senate, it's that republicans don't care what other people think about them. they don't care about that. they care about donations. if corporations are speaking up in georgia, shouldn't they also be doing so in texas now? i know american airlines based in ft. worth has. who else should? which other companies do you want to see speaking out? and should they be pulling their donations from politicians backing the voter suppression laws? >> they absolutely should. you know. is at&t on this? these big companies, corporations and businesses, these are their customers who are being affected, intimidated, suppressed, and who will not be able to participate in our democracy, which as you pointed occupant, whether it's service members on the field of battle, whether it's civil rights marchers and freedom riders, people have given their lives in order to protect and promote the right to vote, and that's being taken away from our fellow texans, our fellow americans at a level not seen since the voting rights act passage in 1965. this is the greatest coordinated
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attack on democracy we have seen in our lifetimes. and it's happening right here in texas, right now, ground zero. >> so i'm glad you're describing it in such blunt and direct terms, because that leads me to my next question. what do you do about it as a democratic party? what do you do at a federal level to stop this great threat, this since the 1960s, the biggest threat? doesn't this all come down to getting rid of the filibuster ini have to ask you, how can kyrsten sinema of arizona, joe manchin of west virginia, how do they sleep at night knowing sr-1 has to get passed, you need to get rid of the filibuster to pass t as quickly as possible to protect black and latino people in texas, in georgia, in arizona, and elsewhere? >> right now, as you and i speak, there are texans who drove from all over the state to our capitol to testify against house bill 6, the companion bill to the senate bill that passed earlier today. groups like move, the texas
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civil rights project, other grassroots organizations are doing the important work in texas right now. we need to support them, but you're right. in the united states senate, we need to amend the rules to the filibuster so we can pass democracy bills on a simple majority. and here's my opinion on the senators manchin and sinema. i believe ultimately they'll put country over party and put our democracy over any self-interest. they will do the right thing, because i think they also understand that this is the single greatest attack on our democracy in their lives. at least in their political lives. and they're going to do the right thing at the end of the day, but they need to hear from all of us and especially their constituents in west virginia and arizona. >> i do hope you're right. we'll have to leave it there. beto o'rourke, thank you so much for your time tonight. >> thank you. the backlash to georgia's repressive voting law extends beyond the words of a few
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corporate ceos. today, following the major league baseball players association saying they would be open to moving the all-star game from georgia. president biden voiced his support for the players. >> i think today's professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. i would strongly support them doing that. the very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports. and it's just not right. this is jim crow on steroids, what they're doing in georgia. >> jemele hill is a contributing writer for the atlantic where her latest piece argues for moving the all-star game out of georgia. she's also the host of the spotify podcast, jemele hill is unbothered. and she joins me now. thanks for coming on the show. stacey abrams is calling for companies and leagues to hold off on boycotts for now. what is your argument against that? >> well, i definitely understand where stacey abrams is coming
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from, and obviously, given her role in getting georgia to become a blue state, i can't go unnoticed or certainly can't be dismissed. however, i would love to enter into evidence what the track record has been in sports already. in 1991, as i point out in my column, the nfl announced it was moving the super bowl out of arizona because arizona refused to make dr. martin luther king jr.'s holiday a paid holiday. just recently, the nba decided to move the all-star game out of charlotte because of the controversial quote/unquote bathroom bill. so throughout history, we have seen instances where sports has chosen to get involved in very specific cases. so that people can understand the gravity of what is happening. we're talking about a game. one game. i mean, i wasn't calling for the braves to relocate, for the dream, the atlanta dream, the
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wnba team to relocate or for the hawks to reloeblth, but i think this would be a powerful symbolic gesture to show georgia legislators, republican legislators, that their actions have consequences, and one of those consequences is you shouldn't get to have a banner signature event in your state when this is the type of disrespect that you show your constituents. >> that's a very good point. and well argued. let me ask you this. we heard georgia representative park cannon tonight talking about restrictions on sunday voting. have a listen. >> sunday voting is not just about voting on sunday. it's about voting in a place where you feel safe, where you know that you have access to accessibility ramps, where you can get some water, maybe you can actually take a nice stop at a garden while you are protecting your community. and unfortunately, senate bill 202 takes away the rights of
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georgia voters to vote on sunday because it limits it. it says counties must choose saturday or sunday. and we say no. we're not going back. >> what do you make of the fact that here is a state representative making some pretty eloquent arguments there. when she goes to try to witness the signing of the bill, this state representative, this black woman, is dragged away by police, arrested and charges in 2021? >> well, i hope people are thinking about this image of this lawmaker being taken out, this black lawmaker, this black woman, by male police officers, and think about it in the context of what we witnessed at the capitol. that on january 6th, we saw a bunch of white people, some of them armed, being let into one of our most sacred places of which they destroyed, and they
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disrespected, and they -- if they had it their way, they would have done something far more nefarious than what actually occurred on government grounds. so the white people were allowed to storm the capitol. this black woman, who is a paid elected official, was disrespected and thrown out, just from wanting to witness what was happening in her place of work. and so i just find this to be one of those examples where we as a country have to ask ourselves, what are we doing and what are we really about? because if you're this proud of this bill, if this is about election security, as brian kemp has claimed, the governor of georgia, then why wouldn't you allow her to witness it? if it's so up and up. but this is also about -- >> exactly. >> this is about continuing to intimidate people of color, especially black people, showing force and showing intimidation, even for those who are elected officials. >> jemele, i'm going to jump in because we're out of time, but i
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have to ask you briefly, you called donald trump a white supremacist in 2017. you got in trouble with espn. people slammed you for it. do you wish more people had been listening to journalists like yourself, like me, like other journalists of color when we were saying this is all about race? >> i wish they would have listened because the extension and what we're left to deal with now, i mean, we're just dealing with the aftershocks of what was the earthquake. and i hope people understand that donald trump did not invent racism. we're not going to give him that much credit. he was the exteng of things that were already there, and what we're seeing now is the extension of all of the ugliness he brought to the surface, and one of those things is continuing to restrict black and brown voters. >> yes, it is, depressingly. jemele hill, thank you for your insights tonight. appreciate it. coming up, the white house may nod neat any republican support for their new massive infrastructure plan, but the
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question is, do they have enough democratic support? i'll talk to one of the architects of the plan, top biden adviser, about the criticism from the left, too, after this. , after this calling all brick masons and boiler makers. steel workers and steam fitters your country is calling you to rebuild america. to create a cleaner, safer, more prosperous future for all. tackling climate change, this is the job of our lifetime. it's time to build back better. let's get to work.
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no, no. i'm definitely not watching basketball. right... ( horn blaring ) this week, joe biden unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. it's big, it's bold, it's historic. it's popular. the question is, why didn't donald trump do one? wasn't he the infrastructure guy? the guy who liked to build things, or at least slap his name on things?
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and yet, infrastructure week was something we waited for for four long years. time and again, trump pitched trillion dollar plans. time and again, house democrats said they would work with him. but it never happened. as "new york times" columnist ezra klein pointed out yesterday, it's become a punch line that it really is remarkable that trump didn't do an infrastructure plan in his four years in office. particularly at the beginning. he could have peeled off scared democrats. the country could have roads and bridges with his face on them. is it remarkable, though? it's donald trump. he wassant interested in governing, only performing. infrastructure was just a punch line for him, because as ezra himself acknowledged, he just didn't want to do the work. exactly. you know what trump did want? he just wanted to be on tv. all the time. ideally being praised, adored, cheered, whether it was at rallies or even his own cabinet meetings. >> mike. >> thank you, mr. president. and this is the greatest
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privilege of my life. and to serve as vice president to a president keeping his work to the american people. >> alex. >> mr. president, my privilege to be here. deeply honored, and i want to thank you for your commitment to the american workers. i can't thank you enough for the privilege that you have given me and the leadership you have shown. >> i want to thank you for getting this country moving again. and also working again. >> on behalf of the entire senior staff around you, mr. president, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing you have given us to serve your agenda and the american people, and we'll continue to work very hard every day to accomplish those goals. >> i think i feel my lunch coming up. i think you have your answer as to why we never got an infrastructure week. it was just a reality show presidency. a pretend administration. by contrast, joe biden used his first full in-person cabinet meeting today to insure that
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every was on the same page when it came to pushing his infrastructure plan. >> i'm asking five cabinet members take special responsibility to explain the plan to the american public, working with my team here in the white house, these cabinet members will represent me in dealing with congress, engage the public in selling the plan, and help work out the details as we refine it and move forward. >> okay. sounds serious. sounds like a plan. for more on that plan, let's talk to one of its architects, brian deese is the director of the white house's national economic council and one of joe biden's top advisers. thank you for coming on the show. $2 trillion is obviously a huge amount of money. but there is a huge job to be done as well. some people are arguing this money is great, but simply is not enough. have a listen to congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez last
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night. >> 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 $1400 stimulus checks, that big package we felt in our lives, were deployed on a shorter timeline. >> brian, doesn't aoc have a point? >> it's great to be here, and i would say this is a historic plan. it's the larjest, single largest investment in jobs in modern american history. and its goal is to do something a bit different economically than the rescue plan. the rescue plan is intended to speed relief to families and businesses right now. this jobs plan is a capital investment plan in america. and so the design is really intended to allow us to build,
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rebuild, repair, and position the country for the future. so this is a big and bold plan, but to your intro, the details matter, the specifics matter. we feel really good about the fact that targeting things like upgrading all lead pipes in the country, making sure everybody has access to high-speed internet, the largest investment in r & d in the nation's history, rebuilding 10,000 bridges across the country, these are the kinds of concrete goals we need to do, and it's spaced out right over time. >> one of the goals, brian, is to fight climate change, an existential threat to humanity. there are a lot of climate activists who say, again, great start, good money, but they worry it doesn't do enough to address the danger. a lot of climate activists have criticized you for working for the investment giant blackwell. they say if the administration seriously believes, if you, brian, genuinely believe that climate change is an existential
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threat, then a few hundred billion dollars over eight years is not enough and we don't have the time. what do you say to those critics? >> well, look, i would say if you look at this plan, every element of this plan is designed to both build to the resilience of the future, where climate change is affecting every element of our lives, but most importantly, is investing in the foundations of moving our transportation sector, our power sector, our industrial sector in a low carbon, zero carbon direction. so again, i think the specifics matter. but what's so important and exciting about the plan, i think the president made clear, is that this plan will allow us to fight climate change while creating millions of clean energy jobs. jobs upgrading our nation's power lines, jobs transforming the transportation sector and investing in electric vehicles and making sure we build those components, we build that new power and transportation sector here in the united states.
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>> and brian, we all want more clean energy jobs. we're glad it's in the bill, but "the new york times" is reporting on union concerns, and quotes one staffing firm as saying, a standard project would employ about 250 workers for just under a year. about one third make $30 or more an hour, and others make less than $20. by contrast, the construction of a gas powered electricity power plant employs union members who make $75,000 a year or more. how do you convince them they can still support their families under this package? >> you design and put a plan out just as joe biden did in pittsburgh. you heard joe biden explain, he's a union guy. and this plan reflects the reality that we need to invest in good jobs. and as we make federal investments, we need to make sure that they're connected to requirements that we're improving job quality, giving people an opportunity to join a
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union. you know, you mentioned the cabinet meeting at the top. one of the things we talked about in the cabinet meeting today was the issue of buy american. as we make these significant investments in america, we have to make sure that these investments are tied to u.s. production and u.s. jobs. it's not easy, but i think the way you do it, the way you bring everything along is you show that these investments can actually have benefits to our communities as they are going right at the existential threat of climate change, and i think you have seen from the uaw to the ibew and others, there's energy around the prospects of making this kind of historic investment in building things and rebuilding things here in america again. >> i hope so. i truly hope so. one last question, brian. back in the day, there democrats, especially under bill clinton, were obsessed with balancing budgets. you yourself in the obama days used to talk about fiscal discipline. is it fair to say the democrats have moved in a more progressive direction where deficits aren't inherently evil, where government spending is a good
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thing, something to be proud of? >> i think what you have seen from president biden and his whole economic team is a view that we are in a historic moment. this crisis has exposed big weaknesses in our economy, and what we need to do is we need to deliver with big, bold solutions for the american people. the american rescue plan was a case in point. we made the case that we needed the risk of doing too little far outweighed the risk of doing too much, and this is going to more than pay off in terms of growth for the economy. look, we need do this smart. we need to invest well, but now is the time to do big, bold things for the country, and i think you see that reflected in the american jobs plan. >> well, i for one am glad to hear you say that. we have to leave it there. great painting behind you. don't know who did it, but thank you for making the time tonight. appreciate it. >> absolutely. it was my daughter. >> good on her. next, george floyd's girlfriend takes the stand.
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we'll play you her moving testimony and talk about the strategy we're seeing from derek chauvin's defense team after this. skin? not with new olay retinol body wash. which improves skin 3x better. from dry and stressed, to bright and smooth. so, i can feel my best in my skin. olay body. fearless in my skin.
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of derek chauvin has wrapped up, concluding with damning testimony from the man who was chauvin's supervisor who said chauvin should not have continued using force on george floyd as long as he did. we also heard deeply moving testimony from george floyd's girlfriend of three years, courteney ross. she told the court the story of how they met in august of 2017. ross was visiting a salvation army shelter. she was upset, and floyd who worked there as a security guard, tried to comfort her. >> floyd came to me. floyd had this great, deep, southern voice, raspy.
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and he's like, sis, you okay, sis? and i wasn't okay. i said no, i'm just waiting for my son's father. sorry. he said, um, said can i pray with you? i thought, i was so tired. we had been through so much, my sons and i. and this kind person, just to come up to me and say can i pray with you, when i felt alone in this lobby. it was so sweet. >> rachel is a former u.s. attorney for the district of minnesota. now a professor at the university of st. thomas school
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of law. and she joins me now. rachel, thank you for coming on the show. former officer chauvin's supervisor testified that chauvin should have stopped restraining george floyd when he was no longer resisting. basically that chauvin used excessive force. have a listen. >> do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of mr. floyd should have ended in this encounter? >> yes. >> when is it? >> when mr. floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint. >> that was after he was handcuffed and on the ground and no longer resisting. >> what does testimony like that mean for this case, for the defense? >> well, the defense worked hard to keep that particular testimony out. and now we know why. the fact that derek chauvin's own supervisor testified that based on his review of the factual evidence in this case, and his understanding of city policy, as well as his
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understanding of reasonable use of force as a former line officer himself, are all incredibly legally significant. the jury will regard his testimony as both credible and authoritative. i think it's particularly significant in a police brutality case where frequently we have seen that the blue wall of silence has prevented prosecutors from obtaining convictions. >> very good point there. what do you think about the defense and their arguments, their approach? do you think the defense is guilty of introducing certain stereotypeinize to this case? the angry mob, the drug addicted black man? >> i have been very disturbed by the stereotypes that the defense has been relying on since the beginning of this case. if you look at the video, it is baffling to me that a group of seven or eight onlookers including four children, one wearing a t-shirt saying love, could constitute an angry mob. unless what he's really
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signaling is it's a mob because it's people of color. it's strange to me that his complaint about the off-duty firefighter who tried to render aid was really this bossy woman who should have compliantly submitted to the authority of the four men on the scene who were choking the life out of a human being. it's really strange to me that the points he wanted to illicit from mr. floyd's girlfriend today were that she was a drug addled addict, as well as he, who had frequent run-ins with abuse. i find it really baffling that when one of the onlookers repeatedly tried to intervene and plead with the police to show humanity, that he tried to characterize that witness, mr. williams, as an angry black man. all of these bring out really disturbing stereotypes. that i think are designed to appeal to very base instincts and really have no place in the
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courtroom. >> and that witness, of course, pushed back against that description. you are minnesota's first asian-american u.s. attorney. keith ellison who is black is the ag now. he brought the case. what impact if any do you think having more diverse prosecutors have on issues like police violence and institutional racism? >> i was proud to serve my country, but the truth is we have a lot of work to do on racial justice. and we have a lot of work to do specifically in minneapolis, where we have seen some of the most disturbing statistics on african-american unemployment, housing, education. and so i hope that people like the attorney general and me bring to our jobs the daily perspective of what it's like to deal with implicit bias, and the knowledge that racial discrimination in this country is real. and it is un-american, and it is illegal. >> indeed it is. we're out of time. yes or no question at the end. another good day for the
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prosecution? >> i think it was a good day for the prosecution. and i think they're moving forward on advancing this case. >> thank you so much for your time and your insights tonight. i appreciate your time. >> the rest of you, don't go anywhere. the latest on the investigation into florida congressman matt gaetz and the new reporting that republicans have been waiting for a gaetz scandal to break. that story just ahead. feeling d down? it could be a sign that your digestive system isn't working at it's best taking metamucil everyday can help. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. it also helps lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so you can feel lighter and more energetic metamucil. support your daily digestive health. and try metamucil fiber thins. a great tasting and easy way to start your day.
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a, quote, less than sterling reputation among this congressional colleagues. who would have guessed? which gaetz himself seems to confirm, as for the hill, i know i have many enemies and few friends. but he does have some friends including former arkansas governor mike huckabee, who dismissed "the new york times," which broke the story, as a, quote, joke. as well as representatives jim jordan and marjorie taylor greene, with greene decrying what she called a witch hunt in gaetz's home district in florida, one local official said people are deeply skeptical of the reporting. quote, everyone's like, oh, another smear job. there's a slight problem with that argument, though, which is that the gaetz investigation reportedly began not under joe biden but under donald trump. trump, of course, was a close ally of gaetz, and gaetz was always eager to defend the former president. according to numerous reports, not only did bill barr's department of justice and barr himself sign off on the investigation into gaetz last summer, barr himself as a.g. then sought to avoid gaetz,
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according to politico. at one point, barr was scheduled for a meet and greet with republicans on the house judiciary committee. but doj canceled an appearance at the event when they saw that gaetz, a member of that committee, had rsvp'd for it. remember when i said to you last night, after gaetz's disastrous fox news interview, if you're a republican and you can't win over tucker carlson, you're in trouble. that goes double for bill barr. this is a guy who shamelessly shilled for trump, helped george bush, sr. cover up iran contra. ordered the removal of peaceful protesters from lafayette square. inyou're a republican and bill barr is avoiding you over a legal issue, you should probably be worried. very worried. when we come back, we'll have much more on this story and an interview with a reporter chasing some really eyebrow raising allegations against gaetz for years. that's next. tide pods child-guard pack helps keep your laundry pacs
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into republican congressman matt gaetz for possible sex trafficking involving a 17-year-old girl, which he adamantly denies, has led to some really fascinating reporting about his reputation as a congressman. the "daily beast" has a striking new story which includes that numerous lawmakers have discussed his proclivity for younger women and it's well known that gaetz of dating a college student well over the age of consent. she came to college as an intern. gaetz did not directly address the claim to the "daily beast." we called his office seeking comment. he did not get back to us. i want to bring in senior politics editor matt lamont. you said you had been chasing allegations of gaetz for years. why have you been working on
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this for so long? what is it about his reputation that drew you to him? >> this started for me almost exactly three years ago. we had a tip that he was dating an intern not in his office, in another office. i sat across from that intern, i asked her questions. she later confirmed to me that, yes, she was dating him. she was over 21 at the time. we had some other concerns about the story, but the truth is we never ran it because we knew there was a better story right around the corner. i think you're seeing a lot of this coming out ma there's so many rumors that have been swirling around matt gaetz for years. there have always sort of been questions about what he's been up to in his extracurricular life and it's been a white whale for me. i heard all the rumors. members love to talk about matt gaetz because nobody really likes matt gaetz. he doesn't have many friends on
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capitol hill. >> when you say members love to talk about matt gaetz, you're not talking about democrats, you're talking about republicans. >> i'm talking about republicans. he didn't make friends here. he attacked republicans for insufficient trump support. he's one of the guys that came to congress right with donald trump and he came here to be an ally of the president, or now the former president. and he made that -- no mistakes about that. he went on cable news every night and called out several republican colleagues. he did this most recently with liz cheney. he went to her district, the gop conference woman, and started a campaign to have her lose her job in the republican conference. this is not a man who is very well liked in the republican conference. >> i just want to show our viewers what he did when he went there. have a listen. >> if liz cheney wants to assemble her supporters, i invite her to do so. i'm here to be the mast head for
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the america first movement going forward. >> do you think liz cheney is partying tonight? >> i don't know about partying. i think for every republican, this is a little bit -- first of all,ly allegations here are extremely serious. if true, he was victimizing a 17-year-old. we haven't confirmed that. i can tell you that, yes, i know that he dated women who were much younger than him, in their early 20s, but the justice department probe, that still remains to be unverified, at least by us, at this point. i think it's certainly telling that republicans haven't jumped to hids defensement he has this sort of insane theory about extortion, but there actually are a lot of indications that some of this might be true, at least he has a patina of truth here, but republicans aren't jumping to his aid. he put together this whole
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scheme about a $25 million plot, and somehow this disappeared cia agent has reemerged in the story somehow. but republicans are not jumping to defend matt gaetz, and i think many of them are hearing these allegations and saying, well, i think that kind of rings true. >> he's got madeleine and jim jordan on his side. >> i guess jim jordan in some ways is one of his closest friends in congress. he is the ranking member on the judiciary committee. matt gaetz is in the freedom caucus, and matt makes no bones about disagreeing with others. >> gaetz will be looking to
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leave congress early to work for the right wing media. fox news said in a statement yesterday said, no one with any level of authority has had conversations with matt gaetz on any platforms. we have no interest in hiring him. >> i think the interest there would have dried up pretty immediately when you have this probe hanging over you. on this same day this came out that he was looking to leave congress and take a media job, frankly part of his congressional career has been going on tv defending the latest trump outrage. i don't think it's an accident that he was looking for his exit plan, because if this is, you know, proving to be true, these allegations, he's not going to be able to stay in congress. there's obviously criminal ramifications for his actions, but there are also congressional ones. speaker pelosi said today it wouldn't just be him being removed from committees, the ethics committee would go after him. and if it's true he's having a
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sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, i imagine he would probably be expelled if he fought this. >> of course. the committee thing is not enough if that's the case. we'll leave it there. matt fuller of "the daily beast," thank you for your reporting. appreciate it. >> thank you. that is "all in" on this thursday night. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, my friend. much appreciated. thank you for joining us this hour. it is april 1st, which is always a special day here on "the rachel maddow show," because april 1st is the birthday of paul manafort which, for our country, or at least ought to be, perhaps, an annual sort of solemn civic reminder that the immediate former president of our country had to pardon his campaign chairman and he had to pardon his campaig

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