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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  April 2, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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>> the company that operates these homes, sequel youth and family services gave us this statement, in response to kate's reporting on that death. quote, the actions shown in the video were in clear violation of policies and training on the appropriate use of emergency safety interventions. staff were swiftly terminated for their participation in the restraint. kate snow's reporting on this, as i said, has been going on for more than two years. it is part of a special that you should absolutely see. it is hard, particularly in light of the george floyd trial that has transfixed the country for this past week, and will into next week, i think it is absolutely critical. the special is called "children that pay," it's going to air this sunday night at 10:00 p.m. eastern time, on msnbc. it's well worth your time. all right, that's going to do it for us tonight. thank you again for bearing us with through our technical difficulties at the start of the hour, when we see you again on monday when everything will run perfectly, now it's time for
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"the last word," ali velshi in for lawrence o'donnell tonight. ali velshi, my knight in shining armor. good evening. >> we've got the squirrels under control, rachel, which is good and glad we were able to get you back. have yourself a happy belated birk, maybe get a little celebration in this weekend because it's going to be another busy week next week. >> thank you, my friend. and thank you, thank you, thank you for rescuing me, i really appreciate it. >> always my pleasure, friend. have a good weekend. thank you, rachele. >> thanks. and thank you, to you at home, today the defenders of the united states capitol were attacked again. just 86 days after a pro-trump mob invaded the capitol in an attempt to stop congress from fulfilling its democratic duties. today's attack was much smaller. but it was as tragic. because the united states lost a martyr for our democracy in this new attack. that's how house speaker nancy pelosi described the police officer welcome billy evans who
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died heroically protecting the capitol, a martyr for her democracy. officer evans died of his injuries after a man rammed his car into the north barricade of the capitol into officer evans and another officer, who remains unidentified in the hospital in stable condition. police say the suspect, 25-year-old of indiana, exited his car with a knife and began lunging at the officers. at least one officer shot the suspect who later died. police do not believe the attack was related to terrorism. so today, with the capitol insurrection still fresh in our collective memory, another family mourns the loss of their loved one and the nation mourns with them. officer evans had been a member of the united states capitol police for 18 years. today, officers paid their respects as a police procession escorted officer evans' body from the hospital to the medical examiner's office. officer evans is now the fourth police officer to have died since the capitol insurrection, less than three months ago.
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you will remember officer brian sicknick died the night after the january 6th attack. capitol police officer howard lebengood, and metropolitan police officer jeffery smith died by suicide days after defending the capitol. they are all martyrs for our democracy. today president biden ordered flags to be ordered to half-staff and he acknowledged the heavy burden faced by the capitol police officers who were understaffed and had been working overtime to protect congress. in a statement, the president said, quote, jill and i were heart broken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on u.s. capitol grounds. evans, officer evans of the u.s. capitol police passed away today. and the president marked that passing by ordering flags to be flown at half-staff. today, the acting capitol police chief had this to say about the police officers who were attacked today, and asking the
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nation to pray for the defenders of our democracy. >> i just ask that the public continue to keep u.s. capitol police and their families in your prayers. this has been an extremely difficult time for u.s. capitol police, after the events of january 6th, and now, the events that have occurred here today. so i ask that you keep our u.s. capitol police family in your thoughts and prayers. >> that was the acting chief of the u.s. capitol police, joining us now capitol hill correspondent lee an caldwell, i was watching your emails as this was developing today, it was tragic, what ended up happening and it sent a wave of fear through people at the capital and throughout this nation as to what was under way. >> that's right, ali. when i was in the rotunda, which
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went under lockdown right when this happened, my first thought was what now? what again is happening. of course, this is in the aftermath of january 6th, where nerves are still raw, security is still hyper-alert, and the national guard still has a presence around the capitol and that fencing, the inner perimeter of the fencing anyway still exists. and then when the helicopter descended on to the grounds of the capitol, that was something that i had never seen before. but we're learning a little bit more about the suspect. we're learning a little bit more about billy evans and his family, the fact that he has two children, speaker pelosi acknowledged them in her letter to colleagues that she sent out just moments ago. senate majority leader chuck
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schumer said that he spoke with officer evans' family, and sends his condolences on behalf of the entire senate. this has come when capitol police have been through an extremely trying time. the morale has been really low. they have been working extra hours overtime. very few days off. and in order to meet the needs of the security rush situation on the capitol. there's a report by retirement general honoree, that speaker pelosi had dispatched and it found that they are understaffed, and as far as january 6th is concerned, they were underprepared. and so this is just another instance, and a very, very trying time for the law enforcement that just lost another person. and the reason there is a security debate that is currently happening on capitol hill on what to do about
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security, a debate that has become very highly partisan, and this is definitely going to influence how that debate moves forward, ali. >> russell honoree calling for an additional 8 a 4 positions. there are currently 233 positions open at the capitol police so when you say understaffed, that is an understatement. that's not a few people. it's a lot of people. leigh ann, i'm very glad to see you safe. i saw your email when you said that a helicopter has landed on the capitol grounds. you know, and you're doing your job as a reporter, but i think anybody looking at this today, their first thought is what is happening, that was your first thought, too so i'm glad to see that you're safe, leigh ann cald wem from the capitol. there is still much that we do not know about this attack, and the motivations of the suspect or why he chose the capitol building today. we do know that less than two months ago, the nation watched on television and in realtime, as a mob breached the capitol
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for hours at the behest of the then president. that was on the minds of many people as they watched the news today. it was on my mind. the threat of violence and fear of violence is something that members of congress, capitol hill staffers and employee, capitol police officers now must reckon with every single day. joining us now, democratic congressman adam schiff of california. he's the chairman of the house intelligence committee. congressman schiff, good to see you. let me just start, because one has, to like i was saying to leigh ann, one has to check on how everybody is doing, what their psyche is after yet another attack and years gone by, you could have put it off as sort of an isolated incident and you can't do that anymore. >> no, you can't. and it's just a heartbreak for all of us that are a part of the capitol hill working community. these police officers, we get to know them, those of us that have had security details from time to time, they get to know our families, and to lose another officer, have another officer
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also injured, it's just devastating, and you know what, i think we had had hoped that maybe some of the fences could come down, we want to try to strike that balance between security and accessibility, but clearly, we're not ready to take the fences and all of the barriers down. the capitol is still very much a target. we don't yet know what the motivations of this man were. but of course, when you see something like this, an attack like this happen, it's hard not to harken back to january 6th. >> and it's hard to know that some people are still not taking this seriously, what happened on january 6th. you and i have heard over the last couple of months, particularly people on the other side of house, and the senate, making comments about how they weren't scared, this wasn't particularly serious, but what we saw today, in a "washington post" article is, another connection between the old
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keepers and roger stone, and i just want to read a little bit of this. oath keepers founder stewart rhodes, his deputy and three members who guarded roger stone exchanged nearly 20 phone calls over three hours on january 6th coinciding with the first assault on the u.s. barricades protecting the capitol and spanning the time those breached the building. and some charged oath keepers were seen acting as body guards for stone earlier in the day. i imagine the answer is, no but are you satisfied that everybody around congress is taking this connection between the prior administration and these extremist groups seriously now? >> no, not at all, and you know, i think many are pushing back, suggesting that anyone who makes a connection between the president's calls to march on the capitol, or fight this rigged election, that anyone associated with that is somehow tarred with the brush of being a terrorist, that's the way
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they're trying to pe juroratize, if you disagree you're calling them a terrorist. but look, these people who attacked the capitol are guilty of domestic terrorism and we have a real right nationalist domestic terror threat that now eclipses the threat from international terrorism and we darn well need to take it seriously, and i think it's really shameful, in the light of all that we've experienced, and the lives lost, another one today, that anyone in congress could treat this with anything but the utmost seriousness. >> what's your sense of general russell honoree's recommendation that there are 233, i believe, openings right now, in the u.s. capitol staff. he is calling for an additional 854. that's a massive increase in staffing. what's your sense of the level of staffing and the level of work and the appropriateness of how many people there are guarding the capitol? >> well, i think we are
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dramatically understaffed and one of the things that he also points out in his report and this is something that members feel acutely, and that is it is not just about security around the capitol. it's also about the lack of security around many of our district offices out in our home states. and of course. so state capitols are at risk. so i do think there's going to have to be a dramatic expansion of the capitol police. we're going to have to resolve security issues not just at the capitol but in other venues as well. and we're going to have to strengthen this, this was another of the general's funding, the intelligence operations of the capitol police department, to make sure they're gaining good information about threats to the capitol, that there's good communication between capitol police, metropolitan police and the national guard, and that we can get response in a timely way. there's a lot that's going to need to change if we're going to avoid further violence at the
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capitol. >> i want to ask you about another matter, this is about threats to the country, outside of the capitol, something you dealt with a lot in the last few years, and that is the relationship between the united states and ukraine, and in fact, the fraught relationship between donald trump and vladimir slenski. today, president biden had his first call with president ze lenski and it went very, very differently than donald trump's last call, there wasn't threatening, there he was cajoling or an attempt to dig up information but there was apparently some reassurance that america stands by ukraine in its continued efforts for survival particularly under the attack from russia. >> that's exactly right. and it's so refreshing and frankly after four years of something quite different, it's so novel even to get a read-out of a presidential call with a foreign leader and feel good about it. here, president biden, doing exactly what you would expect the american president to do,
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express solidarity with our democratic ally, in the fight to preserve the geographical integrity of ukraine, with russia occupying large portions of ukraine, a very important show of confidence for ukraine at a time when russians are once again amassing troops in and around ukraine, and so very important message being communicated, and likewise, the president's call with vladimir putin, pushing back against russia's maligned activities in ukraine, pushing back against russia poisoning critics like the gentleman who was poisoned and almost died and now is -- navalny, yes. >> exactly. >> and the president doing exactly what he should and it's wonderful to see. >> it's a different world. congressman, good to see you as always.
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chairman adam schiff of the house intel committee. thank you for joining us tonight. coming up, the pressure from voting rights groups and from business leaders is working. today, major league baseball announced it's pulling the all-star game from atlanta to protest the new voter suppression law. cliff allbright from black voters matters joins us next. voters matters joins us next the bonds we build... should never be broken. ♪♪ because it's that strength that finds the courage to make something good, truly great. ♪♪ how great is it that we get to tell everybody how liberty mutual customizes your car insurance truly great. so you only pay for what you need? i mean it... uh-oh, sorry... oh... what? i'm an emu! no, buddy! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪
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do you feel that? you might not. you're watching tv. this is not an interactive experience but all the same there is something you might be sensing. it's the corporate world taking action. major businesses condemning restrictive voting laws being pushed by republicans at the state level. some are doing more than speaking up. some are taking action. today, major league baseball announced that the all-star game will be moved out of atlanta because of the state's new republican voter restriction. the republican governor who signed that legislation underneath a painting, i'm not making this up, of a plantation, on which there were slaves, was
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outraged by the decision, and he blamed, creatively, liberal cancel culture. it is not cancel culture to respond to democracy weakening legislation. stopping georgians from voting is actually cancelling something. major corporations based in georgia are condemning the legislation, including coca-cola and delta, and in an historic open letter, 72 black executives led by former american express ceo ken chenault and outgoing merck ceo ken frazier called on all corporations, no matter their location, to oppose these voting restrictions. and some did. including microsoft and amazon. and the outcry is spreading. as other state republicans make similar pushes to restrict the right to vote. american airlines and southwest airlines, both based in texas are speaking out against restrictions being pushed by texas republicans. let's make clear why all this is happening. this is happening because of
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activists who care about protecting the right to vote. activists pressed georgia-based businesses to publicly oppose voting restrictions for weeks before those restrictions were signed into law, then they called on people to boycott those same companies when they failed to speak up. and they did fail to speak out. it didn't take long for those companies to change their tunes. joining us now are cliff albright, co-founder of black voters matter and tom smith a professor and sports economist at emory school of business. good evening to both of you. thank you for joining us. cliff, on one hand, i'm a business reporter, right, so i would like to point out the fact that when american businesses decided to do the right thing, they're starting to have an impact. but they didn't really decide to do the right thing in time. they were warned of these anti-democratic things. delta and others, you know, made statements that sounded like it's okay, they'd fix some of these law, they're not as bad as they were, only now have they come out and called these laws what they are, and decided to
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take action. >> right. and you know, we hear in the coalition have been pushing for this. we like to think that it is never too late to do the right thing. and so, what we need them to do is the master of strong words and strong statements, late statements but still strong statements and we need them to match it now with strong actions. we need to match it now with doing in other states that georgia is in solidarity with like texas as you mentioned where i was earlier this week, like michigan, like arizona, we need them to step in and do in those states what they failed to do in their home state in georgia. we need them also to step up and support voting rights legislation like hr-1 hr-4, the john lewis voting act. and they can step back and call for the repeal of the law passed in georgia. there has never been a law that has been passed that can't be unpassed. would he just repealed a law in the state of georgia, a citizens arrest law which was used in the death, the murder of ahmad
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arbery, as many people know about, so it can still be undone so that's what we're asking companies to do, and through our pressure that they stepped up and now we need some answer. >> professor smith, let's talk about this. obviously, pulling the all-star game is a big deal. it's actually going to affect some people negatively in georgia. particularly some struggling businesses. but we've seen this before. we've seen first of all, the players putting pressure on the league to do this. and we've also seen places where short-term pain is worth long-term gain. but it certainly gets tricky when you start talking about sports. >> it does. we did see this in charlotte, in 2017, when the legislation passed, what was it trans-gender bathroom bill and the nba all-star game, we don't want to be associated with a state that is going to pass legislation that might be less inclusive. and so i think it is going to hurt some companies, especially
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the companies that are in and around the battery, which is the complex where the stadium. is i feel bad for these companies but sometimes you have to take a little bit of pain in order to do the right thing. and i think the right thing is for major league baseball to protect their brand, for them to back away and say, look, we don't want to be associated with a state that's going to put, for lack of a better term, a black mark on our brand, on what major league baseball should stand for, and i think it is also incredibly ironic that, you know, at the major league baseball off their game, they were going to do a very nice contribution to hank aaron, for, because he just passed away this past year, and so it's, you know, major league baseball has no choice, they got to say, look, we can't, you know, say, look, let's honor hank aaron, while we're in a state that is not honoring let's say the votes of african-americans.
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>> cliff, let's talk about, i'm a little surprised at the lack of sophistication that came out of the governor of georgia, who by the way is in the process of getting canceled by donald trump and his crowd, but they both come out, the former president has come out with a statement as well tonight, and they're all carrying on about woke culture, and cancel culture, and at some point, the ark of history is pointing in a particular direction and georgia republicans and a lot of republicans in state legislatures around the country are on the wrong side of that piece of history. i'm not sure the anti-woke, cancel culture argument is strong enough to withstand a movement of people who are trying to get civil rights applied fairly. >> no, it's definitely not strong enough to withstand that. just like the voter suppression that we saw in 2018 was not enough to stop the wave that we saw in 2020. at the end of the day, governor kemp, you know, he's been saying things like knee-jerk reactions. at the end of the day, the facts
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remain, the only thing that's been canceled in this situation is that they're canceling voter access, they're canceling days of early voting, they're canceling locations where you can return drop boxes. yes, they are canceling days of early voting in spite of some of the stories that have been put out to kemp's statements and each some journalists that have wrongly reported, is actually a reduction on early voting, particularly when you look at runoff elections here in the state of georgia. the only thing that is being canceled is the access to voting but at the end of the day, we're confident just as we were able to out-organize in 020, we're going to out-organize now, and we're going to get this law repeal and we're going to expand voting rights all across this country. they can't stand in the way of the wave of history. >> cliff, thanks for joining us. cliff albright, the co-founder of black voters matter, and john smith is, a professor and sports economist at emery university school of business. thanks to both of you for joining us. coming up, today,
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now is the time to sign up. covered california. this way to health insurance. enroll now at coveredca.com. the first week of the derek chauvin trial has been a lot to take in. there were witnesses who cried on the stand, wishing they had done more to help george floyd. other witnesses testified about george floyd the man, who was called by his middle name, harry, not george floyd the murder victim, and others said derek chauvin's actions were out of line. that all continued today. and remember the case is still in the hands of prosecution. when the senior-most member of the minneapolis police department testified that derek chauvin's use of force against george floyd was quote totally unnecessary. derek chauvin kept his knee on the neck of george floyd for what we now know is nine minutes and 29 seconds, lieutenant zimmerman classified that as
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deadly force and said there was no reason for derek chauvin or the other officers on scene to feel threatened once george floyd was in handcuffs. >> what's your responsibility with regard to that person from that moment on? >> that person is yours. he's your responsibility. his safety is your responsibility. his well-being. and it's your responsibility. >> what's you handcuff somebody, does that affect the amount of force that you should consider using? >> absolutely. >> what is your view of that use of force during that time period? >> totally unnecessary. >> here's what terrence floyd, the brother of george floyd told nbc news after court adjourned for the day. >> it's wonderful to hear, because you hear them saying it on the side to you but for them to say it in the courtroom for
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everybody to hear that, twas actually wrong, it was like a yes moment. >> joins us now is he did roars jones brown founder off the center on race, crime and justice and a board member for policing equity, she is a former prosecutor. ms. jones brown, thank you for joining us today. there is a concept in policing that is not well understood from those of us who get our information, you know, from tv shows, but it's care in custody. when someone is in your custody, when you have taken someone into their custody, whether or not they are thought to be criminal or not, you are as police responsible for their care as well, and the prosecution is arguing that these police officers, including derek chauvin had no regard for the care of mr. floyd. >> and i think that the police department agrees with that concept, and i think that even the defense attorney for officer chauvin agrees with that concept, and that is why his defense is going to be that his
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action did not cause george floyd's death, that it was the drugs in mr. floyd's system, his injury to himself while he was in the patrol car, and that, and his prior medical treatment is all of that, or medical conditions, all of that contributed to the death, or the cause of the death, rather than his actions. >> and ultimately, this is a trial about the death of george floyd, so those matters, those technical matters are going to be important for the jury to consider. what about the other part of it, the fact that we have now seen, i don't know, ten or 12 different angles of exactly the same thing, and none of them are exculpatory, none of the different angles suggest that the police were doing anything other than what we all saw with our eyes? in the end, derek chauvin looks like a man who was heartlessly killing a man under him, regardless of what the medicine or the drugs might show.
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how does that affect the outcome of this trial? >> the legal question will be one of, i think chauvin fully realized that what he did was barbaric, the department understands that a man died for $20, and that is indefensible. and so the only possible way out of this, what should be a homicide conviction, whether it's murder or manslaughter, is to try to argue that the cause of mr. floyd's death was not the action that we saw on the video. >> so there's another matter here, and it is again, it speaks to the idea of his health, and the care that was provided. this lieutenant richard zimmerman who we heard from earlier, he is one of the senior most member was the minneapolis pd, he was, i just want to play this exchange with the prosecutor, matthew frank, that took place today. let's listen together.
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>> once a person is cuffed, the threat level goes down all the way, you know, to, they're cuffed, how can they really hurt you, you know? >> well, certainly there are circumstances when a cuffed person can still be combative. >> oh, absolutely, yes. but you getting injured is way down. that person is handcuffed, you know. and they, the threat level is just not there. >> delores, one of the things that the defense is going to argue, they told us this in their opening statement, is that the knee on the neck was approved procedure, and that he was trained, derek chauvin was trained in doing that, but what we are hearing is testimony from police who say there was no need to do that. if he was cuffed and under control, they were applying more
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force than necessary. is that relevant or does it still go to that idea of did it not cause george floyd's death? >> i think i've lost the connection with delores jones brown. delores jones brown is the founding director of the john jay college center on race crime and justice. we'll see if we can get her back. until then, let's do a pop quiz. this one's especially relevant in the pandemic. what is a word that means a new day care in or near your office, bigger and better spaces at your kid's school, how about being able to work remotely from anywhere, or start an e-business anywhere? what's the word for being able to go halfway across the country by lunchtime, without ever standing in an airport line? what's the word that encapsulates all of those things? i'll give you the answer after the break. things
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you have to move now. because 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. >> the american rescue plan is about recovery right now, then the american jobs plan is about the future, president biden's infrastructure plan is focused on one idea, what this country could be if we invested am it. now, there are important investments to repair roads and bridges in his plan. that's the stuff you think about when someone says infrastructure. but many of the proposals are far more holistic. because they're investments that look toward making america a more competitive and current global player. like investments to expand broadband access to rural communities and investments to increase the risk of cellular
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networks and a massive push for clean forms of power for american homes and businesses and factories so we're less dependent on fossil fuels. president biden mentioned china six times during his speech unveiling his infrastructure plan. china invests heavily in infrastructure, ten times the amount the united states does. a few years ago, i took a train from beijing to shanghai, 800 miles, in four hours and 18 minutes. that's by the way the same distance as new york to chicago. or new york to atlanta. a trip in the united states, it would take about 20 hours by train. and where there is good, fast transportation, and communication, there's commerce, and where there is commerce, there are jobs. at some point in the not so distant future, if america doesn't pick up on this, we're going to be left behind on the global stage, if we don't step up and invest. joining me now, nick class kristoff pulitzer winning columnist for "the new york times," joining us from his family farm in yam hill, oregon which is poetic for this
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discussion, because yam hill oregon, is a place during the new deal, during franklin dell know roosevelt is electrified and like a lot of rural man was and thankfully you can talk to us because of that. >> and if i freeze, that's because an owl jumped in front of the dish we have here and it will underscore the importance of improving broadcast around the country. >> and broadband, your point is broadband is in fact the new electricity. that's one of the things we got to be thinking about. >> exactly. exactly. and you know, in a quarter of rural residents around america, don't have reliable broadband. and you know, here in yam hill, there are some kid who at home have neither broadband internet access nor cell service. so you know, how did they do remote education? and as you suggested, this area was transformed by fdr's rural
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electrification, and it wasn't just that it improved well-being, although it certainly did that, but it also vastly improved productivity. and so that people, you know, could compete, and could contribute to gdp, and support the nation. and these days, broadband is the equivalent of electricity, and we need to make sure that everybody around the country has it, both as a matter of equity and social justice, but also as a matter of that's where the highest return investments are. >> so it's probably relatively easy for our viewers to imagine broadband as the new form of infrastructure, when we think about the gnaw deal, and we think about the highway act, you know, that built all of the highways, this is the new version of it, but a really important point that you make is that big infrastructure investments in u.s. history might not be exactly what you think they are. you mentioned things like the land grant college system, support for state universities, community college, the g.i. bill of rights, things like that, the
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education that came with the g.i. bill of right, the idea that investment in human capital is a form of infrastructure and one that this bill tries to tackle. >> yes, and of course, many of the human capital investments will be in the second phase of this bill, as you know. but look, we think back and we think of infrastructure and we think of the transcontinental railroad, and yes, that was immensely important, but you know, indeed it was land grant colleges that helped educate america. we think of eisenhower in connection with the interstate highway system, and that was pivotal, but so was the investments in secondary education and tertiary education. and i've got to say that as i look around at america, and how it lags vis-a-vis china, then you're absolutely right, that we lag in terms of our rail system, you know, we lag in terms of our airport, but i think what has
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struck me the most is that we lag in investments in human capital. we're the country that invented mass high school education and yet we rank number 21 worldwide right now in high school attendance. my high school was actually built, funded by the $27,000 from the works administration in the 1930s, so that's an example of infrastructure investment that also created human capital. >> joe biden makes a point in 50 years we can look back at this and see it as a point where americans grabbed the future. i never really understand why infrastructure is as partisan as it is. i would think that no matter where you are in the political spectrum, you can enjoy the idea that the government prompts spending in many cases by the private sector, sometimes on the government, on its own, but that improves our lives and creates a return for decades to come. >> yes, and i think so much of the criticism has been based on the cost, but i think we need to
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think of this not as an expense but as an investment, and that's obviously true in the case of bridges and some of these things, you know, one of the elements of this infrastructure plan is to change lead pipes so that we don't have more than half a million american kids each year who surfer lead poisoning, and you know, investing in america's kids, so that they won't be compromised intellectually, they'll be able to get more school, so they'll be able to do better for decades to come, for their entire lives, that's not an expense, that's an investment in their future, and our country's future. >> good to see you as always. we're grateful that the area is electrifyed so we're able to see you tonight and let's make sure that we can get broadband throughout the whole country. nick kristof is a pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the new york times." coming up new details in the
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investigation of matt gaetz for possible self trafficking in regard to a minor. one reporter says he has been working the story for three years and we've only scratched the surface. scratched the surface.
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such a skeeze, that is how one former campaign satisfier described matt gaetz. the justice department is looking in to whether gaetz had a sexual relationship with a minor and paid for her to travel with him. they report that the communications director quit quote out of principal. it's not clear what the principal is here. but the daily beast reports that republicans have been waiting for years for a matt gaetz scandal to break. why? well, cnn reports that gaetz used to show nudephotos of women he slept with to colleagues on
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the familiar of the house of u.s. representatives and he took part in a game that scored female sexual conquests. he denies that he paid for sex or had a sexual relationship with a minor. he is not charged and the investigation is ongoing. joining us is the editor, and a former prosecutor who specialized in sex crimes, cynthia is on the phone. matt, you have been reporting on the story and following it for a long time and you suggested that we ain't seen nothing yet. >> yeah, i think we have got a glimpse of maybe end game a bit when the new york times reported that the justice department probe may be centered around basically a sex trafficking ring with the friend of his, joel greenberg, another florida republican. this tax collector. and seminole county. it is an insane story. this is a very serious, these are very serious allegations.
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matt gaetz has denied almost everything here. he keeps on saying he has never had sex with a 17-year-old. the last time he sex with a 17-year-old, he was 17. this doesn't seem centered on a relationship with a minor. this seems centered on a potential involvement in this sex ring. this is something that joel greenberg has been indicted for. and this, this story is just, it's crazy. he is this greenberg character was making fake i.d.s, they were potentially paying these women to have sex with them. and you know, again, i think that the initial story here was just the tip of the iceberg and now we are seeing the fall out from this and the potential ramifications of this, and the criminal ramifications are enormous. cynthia. this story is bisantize, it's so complicated to follow what is going on. it's mystifying that regardless
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of the legal liability that matt gaetz may face, the fact that he continued to be a bombastic political person out there in the public eye, if any of these allegations turn out to be true. you have prosecuted cases that have looked like this in the beginning, what do you make of this? >> well, i don't know, and i mean, it's hard to unraffle it all at this point. but if he was showing pictures under age girls on his phone naked, on the house floor, what i don't understand is why other house members were not doing something? i mean it's not just an anthony weiner story, he was on the house floor. and apparently many of these house members knew he was a problem and yet he sits on the justice subcommittee. so, for me, it's not just a story about his criminal involvement. which cheerily it's going to be.
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but also, why they did nothing to stop him and to keep him in a position of authority. >> and matt, you wrote about this had. in the daily beast, that republicans have been waiting for a matt gaetz scandal to break. their office had an informal rule not to allow their member to appear next to gaetz during tv hits because of the fear of a scandal breaking out. it was not the best kept secret. >> no, i would say that republicans did know-- did not know that he may have been involved in a sex trafficking ring or something, butthey knew he a taste for younger women. when i say younger women, i mean women in the early 20s. seems like the woman that he was showing these naked photos of, it seems that she'd is have been
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21 or 22. you know, i don't think republicans thought matt gaetz was a up standing morale citizen. i think they thought he was drinking and they speculated of his drug use. i don't think any of them also thought he was, to this extent that it went this far down. again, i, this is a lot of new reporting. and a lot of it is just sort of breaking now. we don't flow the truth. and a lot of it is unverified and it has to be sorted out. justice department probe aside, this doesn't mean he is necessarily guilty. but we do know he is probably guilty and republicans know he is guilty of questionable morals. >> we have been hearing that the department of justice has known this for a while and they are going over something that bill barr was briefed on. how does the process work its way through. what do you think is happening right now?
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obviously this appears to be an ongoing investigation. matt gaetz had tried to say he was a subject, not a target to an investigation. he could have been a witness to his friend, who is charged 33 times. what do you make of what is happening in the justice system? >> i think it's correct to highlight that this investigation began under barr so we don't have the oh, no, the department of justice, the bide know department is going after gaetz, this is really the trump justice department that began this investigation. that's number one. two, that barr would absolutely have been briefed on what was going on because gaetz is a high profile person in the country. my guess is what's happening is his friend has been charged with 33 felonies. he is facing trial this summer. and my guess is there's an ongoing efforts to flip him. and to get him to testify against gaetz, who is up higher up the chain. i mean that's the way things
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work, right? and my guess is, he is sit engine jail. he is sitting in jail he is not out on bail and that does tend to focus the mind on how to save ones self. and there's an aggressive investigation in florida and the surrounding states and out of the fbi office in d.c., and they are working together to see if they can get, if there's a case that has to be put together. i mean, he is facing just by the reports that we have a couple of serious things. the sex trafficking, there's, did he use the internet or phone lines to do so? is he would up the penalties? is there a child pornography portion of this for girls under 18. is there a prosecution for transportation. are there drug offenses. ecstasy is a schedule one
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product. so there's multiple, i would guess, there's multiple fbi offices that are working together to try to come up with something at the same time somebody else is trying to flip his compatriot. >> for all the stuff we have talked about over the last four years i cannot believe we are having this conversation. what a wild story. thank you matt for your great reporting. as you said, it's a story that is unfolding right now. thank you, cynthia for your wisdom on this. a former federal prosecutor and msnbc legal analyst. you can catch me tomorrow morning on velshi, the "11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. good evening, i'm in for brian williams, day 73 of the biden administration, nearly three months on to the day after the deadly insurrection at the u.s. capitol. a n

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