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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  May 26, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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hi there, everyone. it is 4:00 in the east. we are continuing to monitor the breaking news out of san jose where at least eight people were killed today when a public transit employee opened fire on co-workers at a downtown rail yard before taking his own life. we are expecting an update later in this hour on the investigation into this horrific massacre and will bring you details as they come in. we turn to the top story in the world of politics as former president trump continues to grapple with last night's bombshell reporting in "the
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washington post." news that manhattan district attorney vance has convened a special grand jury that is expected to decide whether to indict donald trump. executives at the company or possibly the business itself should prosecutors decide to present criminal charges. that's according to two sources familiar with the matter. one legal expert and forler manhattan assistance d.a. says the prosecutors are convinced they have a case. that's at least how i read it. now warnings like that one may be what's forming the basis for new reporting from politico this morning about a cloud of nerves over the ex-president who added that this feels different than the legal issues surrounding trump because there's pressure on trump org cfo. allen weisselberg to flip. it's his involvement that makes this particular situation feel more real. and that the fact that they're dealing with a numbers guy with
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plain details on business operations makes people more nervous. of course nbc news reported that weisselberg is in the crosshairs of two criminal probes related to the trump o rg and the organization denied any wrongdoing. his former daughter-in-law jennifer spoke out on the air with our colleague ari melber this week says she thinks allen weisselberg will ultimately flip. as "the washington post" reported on this program yesterday weisselberg previously testified against trump. it was a civil probe into his financial dealings described this way by "the washington post." quote in 20178 weisselberg spoke to investigators for a new york attorney general investigation of trump's charity. the donald j. trump foundation. he said that the board never met, that the charity had no policy for demonstrating whether its spending followed laws and
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that the charity had been coopted by trump's 2016 presidential campaign in violation of a ban on mixing charities and politics. the ag later used his testimony against trump in a lawsuit that ended with a new york judge ordering trump to pay $2 million penalty. so fast forward to now. it appears that weisselberg is ensnared in two criminal probes, one convened a special grand jury. last night a six-paragraph screed by donald trump claiming it is all one big witch hunt adding interesting that today a poll came out indicating i'm far in the lead for the republican presidential primary and general election in 2024. of course the invest by democratic prosecutors vance is more than two years old. the former president, the prosecutors who appear to be closing in on him is where we
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start today. andrew weissman is here. he was at the justice department and was a lead prosecutor for the special counsel investigation. also "the washington post" senior washington correspondent phil rucker is here why former congresswoman donna edwards is back. lucky for us all three are contributors. i had not had a chance to speak with you, yet, andrew, but you are the one i think before your book came out and spoke frankly about wishing that the mueller probe has scrutinized the finances more closely that this invest would be serious, that it would potentially represent aletal criminal threat to the president and his businesses. what do you make of yesterday's development? >> yesterday is i think sort of inevitable to happen and i think the most important piece of this is it's a special grand jury to
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exclusively focus on the trump org and meet three times a week which is a lot for civilians to be taking off to focus on this issue. there was a grand jury before but having a general grand jury is very different matter than a special grand jury. we had a special grand jury in the special counsel hearing. it is done when you have big topics to get to the bottom of and here one of the reasons this is so different is the president, that is the former president, no longer has the power to pardon and thus to interfere with people flipping. and has no ability to fire the prosecutor so two huge tools he had are not available to him. he also doesn't have bill barr the head of the justice department because here you have
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independent prosecutors. new york attorney general and in the manhattan district attorney. finally, the subject matter which is money. people tend to do crimes because they're greedy. and if there are crimes here, i think the financial aspect is really what's going to bring down either the trump organization or individuals or both. >> i want to ask you about some of the evidence that's public facing and what the prosecutors do in the room with the grand jury but first a personal question. were you aware of the nasty tweets that trump was sending out during the mueller invest attacking you personally and the colleagues? is it different for this team to send something out through carrier pigeon? >> yes. i was aware. i had friends who would alert me to them and i think i mentioned that the very first time my
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reaction when it was about me is i was surprised that the leader of the free world had the time and attention to worry about a line prosecutor but i have to say at the end of the day it's somewhat a badge of honor and name calling will be irrelevant coming down to the proof. especially since the former president doesn't have the other abilities to thwart what the new york prosecutors are putting together. >> as you said he doesn't have bill barr there to spin the whole thing. i want the show you something that we have all watched together but it is the kind of testimony that i want to understand what is augmented to a grand jury. this is michael cohen in questions before congress with congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. >> did the president provide inflated asets to an insurance company? >> yes.
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>> who else knows that the president did this? >> allen weisselberg, ron lieberman and matthew call mary. >> do you think he need to review the financial statements and tax returns to compare them? >> yes. you would find it at the trump org. >> so since that testimony, andrew, the supreme court opened the floodgates if you will for eight years of the documents that michael cohen says they would need to ferret that out and also mentions and so long ago. cy vance is investigating for two years. what else would you assume would be putt before the grand jury? >> you can be sure that all of those people have counsel and that they are eager or already cooperating or pressure is put on them to cooperate. because you want to follow the
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money and you want to move up the ladder to the more and more culpable. as you do in any classic investigation, a man case or enron or a special counsel investigation and what michael cohen testified to is also classic financial scheme. very similar to what we saw with paul manafort and followed the money there, which is when it is in someone's interest are they inflating the assets to get more loans and favorable treatment by banks but paying the taxes deflating the value of the assets? so those are things that are very classic and i think the reason the manhattan district attorney's office was so tenacious and winning two cases in the supreme court to get the accounting records is those can really open up a criminal exposure because they tell you what's going on inside and what
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insiders are telling their accounting firm about the valuation they're giving to assets and you can chart that out over time comparing what's said to banks, insurance companies, tax authorities. you compare that over time to see the inconsistencies and that's the way you can jam people up if they have been dishonest. >> so, phil rucker, it is my theory that donald trump knows that. that that's why donald trump in the early months of the republican primary mocked mitt romney for releasing the taxes and fought so hard to smear "the new york times" reporters who did the pulitzer prize winning investigation into how he got the money from his father. i think by the end of the administration steve mnuchin was in on it and the supreme court decision he still had a twitter
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account and attacked the supreme court i believe justice roberts by name about the decision. flesh out for me what a big deal it is that they have the keys to all of the paper that explains and tells whatever story there is to be told about his businesses. how's that landing with him? >> not well. the year's long effort that you detailed by former president trump to keep the public and really any authority from seeing his tax returns just underscores how big a deal it is that these prosecutors and investigators now have them. this is the road map if it were to the trump financial organization. it provides the architecture for how he got money, where it was lent from and owes it to, how he enriched himself through the companies. it is a very complex web of businesses that donald trump has had over the years and previous
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investigators and the public of course had little visibility into how the finances work but now these investigators do and that could spell real trouble for the president. it is not only the fact that they have these documents that puts the former president at a disadvantage but not in office anymore without the power and the ability to bully, to intimidate, to badger investigators as he did throughout the mueller investigation and through the two impeachments by congress. this time he is effectively a private citizen. he has the emailed statements but they don't land with a punch anymore and freed up the investigators to do the work without worrying about the public relations fight from donald trump. >> does he have a lawyer, phil?
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>> you know, it's a great question. i don't know who the lawyer is representing him in this particular instance but he has a team of lawyers around him but raising that question i have to think back to the impeachment over the january 6 insurrection when the team of lawyers that he had defending him throughout the mueller investigation refused to work for him after january 6. that included jay secue low. i'm not who's on board to defend the trump business or an individual. certainly he'll have access to some lawyers but the more credentialed people in the orbit left after january 6. >> donna edwards, back to what investigators and prosecutors have the hands on, here's who they brought in to look at it.
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from associated press. a mafia prosecutor was hired by vance's office. quote in recent months hired former mafia prosecutor mark pomerantz and interviewing witnesses including former personal lawyer michael cohen. what does this look like? again, we're not in that grand jury room. this investigation is pretty locked down. what is your sense of what the ex-president and his kids and the company's criminal exposure is as we sit here today? >> it feels to me he is in a world of trouble. when you think about who grand jurors are, they're no different from a regular jury. they're people that come in and when they hear this testimony about financial schemes, about what looks like a mob organization, they'll understand that. they own houses. they have bank accounts.
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they buy insurance. they sold homes and get appraisals. i think that they'll have a real sense with the numbers of how this shakes out and i would say that if i were donald trump i'd have some really good lawyers on my team and i'm not really sure that he can find them. >> i want to talk, too, about what is now so public and andrew weissmann raised this idea of pardons and not having the power to pardon. a way that donald trump at least from the outside seemed to corrupt the mueller investigation was by john dowd reported to have dangled pardons in front of subjects very early on. he can't do that. weisselberg is a grandfather and the exposure detailed by the ex-daughter-in-law who knows what the reality is in terms of his state of mind but not people
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that donald trump can dangle get out of jail free cards in front of why what do you make of the carnage of the way he's operated and the way his presidency exposed everyone who helped him to now criminal liability? >> i think most of these people are probably taking a look at this and they're saying there's nothing that the former president can do for me. i need to save myself and in the case of weisselberg he's demonstrated that he is not willing to engage in perjury to protect donald trump. here we talk about much more serious potentialities for allen weisselberg and so i think that they are going to look to figure out how it is that they can best protect themselves and the way that they can do that is by flipping on the former president. he doesn't have any friends now.
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>> i want to come back to you, andrew. you just did this. how does this play? manafort had this which ip to play with you. you know? he could hold out for a pardon. assume that loyalty will be rewarded. weisselberg has a son ensnared in trump businesses. what do those conversations sound like? >> the conversation when he was president could consist of they can build a really strong case against you but you should remember that if you stay loyal to him that you can pardon. and that worked in the case of let's say roger stone or paul manafort. that conversation can no longer be had. so the conversation with a good defense lawyer is talking to weisselberg about what are the
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potential criminal charges and what's the level of prooch. that is just a classic conversation. the stronger the proof the more a good defense lawyer will say, look, you really need to think about yourself and you need to take responsibility for what you did and if you cooperate you can really end up doing less time in jail if you testify truth think so i think everyone benefits. that's the conversation you have. >> what do you think the criminal exposure is for a person in a job like weisselberg's? he is in every tape that's been leaked and everyone recorded each other in trump world. it's always whether it's hush money or anything else. go ask allen. if it wasn't so sad it would be funny but he is like the trump organization. what kind of exposure could he be facing? >> two things.
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one is exposure in terms of what he did as part of the trump organization and it's very hard to imagine if there's criminality there that he would not know about it because he was just a position. it is like every cfo is always in a precarious position because the job is to know where the money is so it's hard to imagine if there's something wrong he didn't know about it and part of it and personal liability because there were reports that he may have gotten gifts and not reported it on the tax returns. gives him another set of things to worry about. it depends on the amount and how long it went on but for somebody who's older, something i can relate to, it doesn't take a lot of -- to mean to be in jail for a substantial portion of what could be the rest of your life
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so if there's -- on the personal side or the trump organization side, there is a world of pressure on him now to cooperate. >> unbelievable. we need to bring a shrink in on the conversation to understand why people did the things they did. in service to donald trump. andrew, phil, thank you both so much for starting off today. donna is sticking around. when we come back, as republicans on the hill continue to obstruct legislation, the mother of a fallen officer asked republicans to visit the grave to be reminded of the true victims. could republicans end up regretting passing up on the deal on the table? when the benz style select committee takes the place. plus another tragic mass shooting today. we'll go live to california where eight people lost their
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stunning numbers from a brand new poll highlight how deeply disinformation around the capitol attack has taken a hold of the republican base. a majority 54% of republicans believe falsely that left-wing activists were to blame and though it was the former president that incited the supporters to storm the capitol that day. the plurality of republicans 48% of believe that the january 6 protesters were peaceful despite
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a mountain of evidence showing that they were anything but. these numbers provide yet more reason why a bipartisan independent 9/11-style commission is necessary. as the senate inches closer to a show down over setting you will the commission the mother of brian sicknick is urging senate republicans to support a commission saying in a statement not having a january 6 commission to look into what occurred is a slap in the faces of the officers who did their jobs that day. because of what they did, the people in the building were able to go home that evening and be with their families. brian and many other officers ended up in the hospital. i suggest that all congressmen and senators who are against this bill visit my son's grave and while there think about what their hurtful decisions will do to those officers who will be be
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for them going forward. putting politics aside wouldn't they want to know the truth of what happened january 6? if not, they do not deserve to have the jobs they were elected to do. joining us now is senator tammy duckworth of indiana. purple heart recipient and former assistant secretary of department of veterans affairs why it is something only maybe a mom can say. it is a gut punch. it is powerful. do you think it changes hearts and minds on the republican side of the aisle? >> well rng we only need to change about ten of them so maybe it will. i can only hope. although i'm not surprised that republican leaders in both the house and the senate are looking to block the bipartisan commission to look into what happened that day. it is bipartisan. republicans had input into it.
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i hope they listen to officer sicknick's mom and i would not be surprised if they don't. >> this may be a personal problem. i'm still surprised. when kevin mccarthy sent his guy in to negotiate and got everything mccarthy wanted. equal representation. both parties had to approve of subpoenas. i'm surprised that republicans walked away from what leadership asked them to negotiate. why are you not surprised? >> time and again they chose to stand with donald trump and the lies. time and again given the opportunity to do so and when push comes to shove they fold and stand with donald trump and they have shown rather choose donald trump over the truth. they would rather defend traitors and spread lies than defend our democracy. i wish i could say i was surprised but they have done this time and again. when push comes to shove they
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choose donald trump over our democracy. >> so how do you think this ends? do you think that we'll end up with a benghazi-style commission? >> i will say that i do hope that we get ten republicans. that's the best-case scenario. but that's not to say that there can't be a benghazi style commission without the republican votes. i sat on the benghazi -- i was a democrat who participated in the benghazi commission. if you watch in my testimony i was trying to get to what lessons needed to be learned and needed to fix. that's what our capitol police officers want. they want to have the support. they have to be out there every day, right now defending us and need the support and need to have the failures be exposed so
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that we can fix them and not allow this to ever happen again. with or without the republican support i think there can be an investigation and rather it be bipartisan and with everything that representative mccarthy wanted in the commission he got. all of the demands he got and rather be that commission but no reason we can't continue to investigate what happened that day. >> i remember the work that you're talking about. on the benghazi committee. it was in the spirit of post-9/11. and in talking to former national security officials that's what they feel the most urgent piece is here. what did they know about chatter of people going to the capitol preparing for war and where did that alert go? obviously didn't make it to the people protecting the capitol. what about that mccarthy should
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be subpoenaed and has information? do you think it's more than siding with trump? >> i think that if the investigation goes he can be subpoenaed. i would hope that we get to the truth of everything that people bring forward, every piece of evidence they know. you know? i want to know the national guard troops had been loaded up into the vehicles. the d.c. national guard anticipating problems and they had the troops loaded into a bus ready the go and never got the call. they were waiting for hours and never got the call so there's a lot of failures that day to address to fix so it never happens again and anybody regardless of who they are should be coming forward and providing the information that they have. i don't know if mr. mccarthy has additional information but if he does i hope he'll come forward
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willingly or we'll subpoena him. >> we are speaking on the day of another mass shooting in america. tragically, i don't know if it's a new normal but the normal in america in san jose. i believe nine people reported dead from a mass shooter, a transit employee among the dead. he shot them at a rail yard and is there any progress you can share or any sort of signs of life for gun reform legislation? >> there's a bipartisan group here in the senate working on gun reform legislation. there are some pieces of gun reform legislation that 95% of americans support like universal background checks. americans support and would help this. by the way it is a new normal. as of like may 10 we had 194 mass shootings in 2021 alone. on average ten mass shootings a week so it is our normal but it
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is not something that should be normal. we need to fix this problem so the gun show loophole is something to work on. i have a bill with a firearm owner i.d. card that we have in illinois and many things that can be done and people would support. now we just have to get the republicans to vote on it. we need 60 votes in the senate to pass. >> i thought that a point that the president was pretty deliberately trying to make to the broader american public which is pretty enthusiastic about him and about his agenda if you look at the poll numbers, that are available to us at least at this point. sometimes that turns on a dime but he had a 62% approval rating. he made a point in the joint address to congress to say that gun owners support the measures
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you just articulated. what is the obstacle with republicans when they can't say my constituents don't support that? yes, they did. >> they do support it. by the way, a lot of outdoorsman and hunting and the target shooters also support it. the republican party i'm afraid to say is just catering to small interest groups within the party. they're afraid because if they vote for this they're afraid to be primaried and coming to the primary it is the far right wing of the party to mount a major campaign against the incumbent and 'trade of donald trump because donald trump continues to do this. he puts the money and he supports a primary opponent. this is why you see the reasonable republicans willing to negotiate and others to fold
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under and cater to donald trump and the small minority within their party but the american people support something as simple as universal background checks and people say i don't want the government to know i have a gun. you go hunting and have a license. we know that you have a gun with a hunting license. why wouldn't you sign up for a firearm card? >> yeah. they want everyone to use the i.d. to vote now. the depths of the hypocrisy knows no bounds. thank you so much for spending time talking with us. another wild week in washington. thank you. more on the commission and getting to the truth about what happened on january 6. we'll talk with experts on the hill whether republicans could come to regret the decision to block that.
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wound. at this point we have investigators on scene interviewing anybody on scene to see what happened and we have our csi teams outside with
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conjunction federal bureau of investigations assisting. if you are looking for a family member contact the reunification center. located at the isaac new tochb auditorium. we have grief counselors on scene. 408-209-8356. so this incident will take sometime and the reason is we'll use all necessary methods to ensure the public safety for everyone. we had an explosive dog on scene which detected to a material at the crime scene itself. at that point we activated the sheriff's office bomb squad on scene and render any type of spirns package safe at this point. it will take a long time. they have to go through every
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room and every building to ensure that everything is safe. that's bringing in a bomb robot in there and it takes time so i ask for your patience on gathering information from here. it is going to be sometime. we have detectives on scene. we are doing everything we can. but with the training that wechb doing with the active shooter protocol this could have been a lot worse. this is an unfortunate situation but with the training that we have with this protocol this could have been a lot worse than what it was, unfortunately. so that being said i will pass it on to sheriff lori smith to give you further information. >> what from the areas to cover? >> the bomb squad is searching every crevice of the billing to ensure that everything is safe. >> -- >> the vta transit center. a light rail facility pretty much. >> what are the homeland security -- >> you know, we appreciate
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having federal agencies coming out. they come out to provide resources. do you need assistance? they're helping us out. i haven't been in the building but it takes time. >> what are the size -- >> motive? this is still preliminary. all the information i have is to get at this point and getting -- >> is there a search area for explosive devices and any indication that the people killed was specific cli targeted or an employee showing up at work with a grudge and just spraying indiscriminately? >> this is a big building. it's a pretty decent sized building. with regards to motive, i don't know that. this is preliminary. >> the shooting took place inside or outside? >> i don't know at this point if
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it is inside or outside. >> i'll pass it off to sheriff lori smith to take over from here. >> what i would like first to do is tell everyone that my heart goes out to the victims. these were county employees and we're doing we can to help them including the family reuniany case center but i want to commend the law enforcement in santa clara county. several years ago, the sheriff's office with the county fire department began a series of trainings for active shooter and that training has happened throughout the county with law enforcement and higher agencies and why that differs is that at the time there's an active shooter as soon as we can get a team together we go in. the first teams were the sheriff's office and san jose police department and they're my true heroes. there was active shooting going on at that time. tlmp victims shot in two separate buildings.
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but they responded. they responded the way that they should. they took the life in their hands and i know for sure that when the suspect knew the law enforcement was there he took his own life. our deputies were right there at that time. so it's very complex investigation. we now know that san jose is working on the house fire and putting that together but the detectives are on scene and identifying the victims as soon as possible. so their loved ones can know. thank you very much for covering this. we'll continue to give you updates as the invest progresses. >> was the suspect known to law enforcement? >> it's still too early to know but the suspect was an employee also. thank you. . >> i'll pass it on to governor gavin newsom. >> thank you. let me thank the sheriff, the
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mayor, our police chief, captain, the men and women in uniform. you will learn about the heroism of the san jose police to save lives. the deputy sheriffs that ran quite literally moments after, seconds after hearing about this incident without consideration for their lives and did an extraordinary job to save other people's lives. that said, there's a numbness i imagine some feel act this because there's a sameness to this. you know? any where usa. feels like this happens over and over and over again. rinse and repeat. rinse and repeat. wasn't that long ago i was out here talking about the tragic loss of two children, one in a mother's arms, the gilroy festival. just here in this community. down in southern california.
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san bernardino, a few years prior santa barbara. you know? pick a state. and here we are. in the united states of america. we're experiencing something not experienced anywhere else in the world. there's a sameness to this and that numbness i think is something we're all feeling today. looking at this scene. listening to governors, mayors, chiefs speaking similar tone and terms. expression of condolences. all the right emotions and perhaps the right words but begged the damn question what the hell is going on in the united states of america? what the hell is wrong with us? when will we put down the arms figuratively and the hand wringing that produces nothing but more scenes like this repeated over and over and over
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again. i say that not as a governor but as a father of four and a member of this community that cares deeply about it. so we'll have time to work through all of that but one thing to briefly speak to is the pain in those victims. i just spent -- we had the privilege to spend a few hours with the victims waiting to just learn if their loved ones is still alive. dialing the phones. can't find him. trying to go on and find a phone of a loved one. waiting to hear from the coroner, from any of us, just desperate to find out if their brother, son, dad, their mom is still alive. just imagine being in their shoes. i know everybody wants the answers to the questions but there's no more important question and answer that we owe than the victims of this senseless and tragic shooting.
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i won't just express condolences, express the usual platitudes but thank the heroism of the vingts. the fact they can stand up and support one another is remarkable. what a human act. and so, i just want to -- we want folks the know we'll be there for the victims. i want folks to know i'm here for you, mr. mayor and the county. the state. i know we have elected officials of all political stripes that want to be here for the nation but time to deal with the endemonstratic before this pandemic of gun violence that preexisting condition that somehow sort of pushed aside last year and now raised the ugly head again this year. and wake up to this reality and take a little damn responsibility all of us to do more and better this time and move beyond the platitudes and
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the usual rhetoric that tends to mark not just these moments but the aftermath of these moments as all of you go away and fades out of view and then rinse and repiece somewhere in this country. to the victims, to those that lost their lives and the families that lost the loved one, our hearts go out but resolved not to make this meaningless but to bring meaning at this tragic moment in the state and the nation's history. again thank you to the men and women behind me and the courageousness and the incredible, incredible bravery that was demonstratible of the men and women of the san jose police department and sheriff's office. >> what do you say -- >> next we are going to introduce valley transportation authority chair president glen hendrix. >> as you all know a horrible
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tragedy has impacted the vta family. >> an update from law enforcement in san jose punk waited by california governor newsom who said, what the hell is going on in the united states of america? some harsh words for the quote sameness and quote numbness that we have all adopted in covering mass shoot nuggets this country. he said this. we are gathered here, speaking the right words and the right emotions but again what the hell is going on in the united states? called it rinse and repeat. a day like today. authorities gavedy tails of this mass shooting. extraordinary by that analysis. the gunman samuel cassidy, an employee there took the lives of eight people before taking his own life. law enforcement which trained in active shootings at the door about to come in when the shooter took his own life.
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investigators now carefully searching the area for explosive after being alerted to devices in the building and what may be the spengt's home after a fire there this morning. let's bring in correspondent jacob ward live outside the suspect's home in san jose. jacob, we were listening and watching with us, extraordinary moments there and tell us the latest from where you are. >> reporter: this morning at 6:36 a.m. the fire department was alerted to a fire on the block behind me. they showed up and within less than an hour had the fire more or less extinguished but destroyed the structure. set fire to the structure next to it and then the police department arrived and a sea of law enforcement since then agencies. we have everything from atf
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agents to fbi, bomb techs on site. seen dogs in and out of the house. an explosive ordinance suit wearing team go in a moment ago. wearing the suits as you know are designed to protect from blast-wearing suits went in a moment ago. no one will tell us exactly what they are looking for. there is no confirmed sense of whether this house was set fire by the till assailant, but it seems to have belonged to him. we spoke to a neighbor just across the street who had known him since the '90s. she told us he was a nice man. he went to work very early, yet knew very little about him. little more than he lived alone, but at this point, the absolute sea of emergency response you have seen here, and the idea that the fire department went in, and then about halfway through it realized something is wrong here, and called in the police. now this is an active crime
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scene. all of this activity is going to be the beginnings of an evidentiary process, where they're collecting evidence. we've singh a mobile command center, office chairs put in, they're going to camp out here for quite a while to get to the bottom of what happened here, nicolle. >> jacob, striking that the governor at the end of this press conference after local officials spoke about family reunifying after the scene, the governor spoke in pretty raw terms about being there for the victims who were just waiting to find out if their dad or son are still alive. do you have any reporting on the victims? >> reporter: there is no word at this point about the victims themselves. their identities are not being released. we only know their numbers, and they were there at the time. the governor's -- we have spoken to the governor many times here in california. to see him as emotional as he was, as angry as he was about this whatever this is, this
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rhythm we are in of mass shootings, not -- not disagreements between people who know each other, but just strangers shooting at each other in public places, here in california with some of the strictest laws here, we heard the emotion from the governor there. let me bring back into the conversation donna edwards. governor newsom there almost having a bulwark moment, what the hell is going on in the united states, described mass shootings as rinse and repeat, talking about the sameness and numbness going on. he said we all come up here, gather to say the right words, voice the right emotions, but there is a sameness and a numbness, your thoughts. >> well, i was struck by the governor's words because, he
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know, for so long we thought of mass shootings as this extraordinary thing. it turns out in the united states of america, it's actually confide ordinary, and has become quite ordinary. i thought what was important about his response today is he was saying throw away that script that we always use. this is not right in the united states of america. even in california, with those strict gun laws, people can still get guns and they can act out of whatever motive there is, and we're going to learn a lot more about that, i hope. but we're at a moment in the united states where we've got to come to grips with this. we were in a pandemic year and still had record numbers of gun shootings in the country. today, rick abbott -- greg abbott down in texas signed into law a permitless handgun carry rule. what is happening? we're going in a completely the
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opposite direction when it comes to trying to get a handle on what is unique to the united states of america, and that is people kill other people with guns because they can get them. >> every day. i mean, i asked senator duckworth if there was any progress, and she talked about how difficult it is to even reach bipartisan agreement on the kinds of things with 95% public support. i want to ask this delicately. democrats aren't the only people who get shot in mass shootings. this is a whole of america problem. adults aren't the only ones, either. children get shot. why is the most extreme faction of the gun lobby in charge of the entire republican party? >> well, even with a gun lobby that has been horribly neutered over this last year, and yet they still hold such a grip on the republican party, even for simple things, things that
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americans agree with. background checks, that is like the bottom of the bottom of what it is that we need to do to curb gun violence. we can't even get legislation to allow the cdc -- the centers for disease control -- to research gun violence. we're in a state where it passes in the house and then dies in the senate because of the stranglehold of the gun lobby. trust me, they were probably republicans killed in san jose today, sadly. >> just as a partysh to be moving toward criminalizing an errant absentee ballot being sent out, but that you can pick up a gun without an i.d., thank you. the next hour of "deadline: white house" starts
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♪♪ this is nothing more than a griftling scheme for the republicans and donald trump's alous, as well as an attempt to continue to undermine confidence in our elections. it is not an audit. it is the furthest thing from an audit that you can imagine. there's no best practices in place that would around the results that they come up to be replicated. they have upset the chain of custody of battle and equipment.
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we had to sent maricopa county notification today that the office would decertify the eek, because there's been no chain of custody over it. >> hi again, everyone. arizona secretary of state katie hobbes has not been quiet in calling out the sham election audit happening in her state. that was her just last week. now rpg in her state are after her. it is reported that arizona republicans passed a motion on tuesday to strip katie hobbes of her ability to defend election lawsuits, a seemingly partisan retaliation of the controversial election audit, to which she responded, quote -- all year our legislature has worked to undermine our election from a wave of bills to make it harder to vote, to the ridiculous audit taking place at the coliseum. it appears the next step is to
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undermine me from doing the job arizona voters elected me to do. afterward, while open state officials remained silent, we defended that election in countless lawsuits seeking to overturn the will of arizona voters. the fact the legislature has inkled me out in my office for the unjustifiable restrictions, restrictions cha spire at the end of my term, make it clear what this is really about -- partisan politics. the bamboo seeking uv light audit is on its way, and in the wake of another audit popping up, michigan secretary of state doesn't want hers to be the next state. she's talking about the illegality of the ones we're seeing in arizona and how they would avoid machine warranties. the office of michigan secretary
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of state, jocelyn benson said the county boards have, quote, no authority to order audits and instructed election clerks to not provide access. the unfounded audits, the wave of voters suppression bills, the attacks on local election officials all a continuance of the ex-president's big lie, one that is having chilling success in undermining the current presidency. according to a new reuters/ipsos poll, more than half of republicans believe donald trump is the true president. thank god he isn't. 56% believe it was tainted by illegal voting. it wasn't. 61% believe the election was stolen from trump. we repeat, bill barr looked and it wasn't. these claims we know are false. republicans like mitch mcconnell and bill barr told us there was
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no widespread fraud. the dozens of lawsuits put forward by trump and his team yielded nothing. the ongoing war on democracy is where we start this hour. joining us is jocelyn benson. we spoke last with you and secretary hobbs. since then, it feels like this has intensified. i wonder, one, if that's accurate, and two, how do you explain that? >> yes, i think we should anticipate an intensives of the battle around democracy, continues through 2024. that's really what this is about. these are bad actors and efforts to undermine the vote in 2020, that democracy failed despite an insurrection and tragedy in the u.s. capitol on january 6th, but now the same efforts that underline that insurrection are continue to say intensify all across the country with an eye towards changing the rules of
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the game, making it harder for people to vote, and keep alive the big lie, and addressing or impacting or removes the authority of election administrators. >> you know, when georgia passed its voter suppression law, the part in it that disempowered the kinds of people who really walk the line, people like yourself, even more local officials, county officials, it doesn't get as much attention as things like not being able to give out water in the lines, but i wonder if you think it should have. it seems like the most insidual part of these voters suppression laws. >> it truly is. when you look at -- really what 2020 will ultimately become is a case study in how we successfully overcame these
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efforts, to prevail against in future elections. the reason why democracy prevailed is good people on both sides of the aisle, secretaries of state, election administrators, county board, did the right thing and chose to protect democracy against any calls for a different agenda. we need good people to do the right thing. we need people in positions of authority to tell the truth, to protect every vote, regardless of any partisan implications. that's our job. so to make it harder for us to do that or remove and replace those who choose that route is really, really scary. if we had bad people in positions of authority in future elick, there's no telling what could happen when it comes to protecting the vote. if you could just explain what your warning is about, telling them that it is illegal to go ahead and have unauthorized people audit the
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voter machine counts, do you think that is enough? how did they respond when you said that? >> i think it's very important to recognize that audits are a good thing. instead that's why we conducted over 250 transparent, by the book, bipartisan audits in michigan since the 2020 election. it's important to differentiate that between that and what is happening in arizona, which is not an audit by any definition of the work, by just an attempt to gain access to ballots, machines, even voters records, in order to perpetuate the big lie and continue to sow seeds of doubt about the 2020 election. it's become a bit of an industry. people are making a lot of money, off of lie to go people about our democracy. that's why it's so important that chief election officers have been right now to stop these things from happening.
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>> i asked you this a week ago, and i hate to put you on the spot, but do you feel like the good guys are winning? or do you feel like the side that is trying to invalidate? they're basically trying to invalidate in the minds of all republicans the result, and then do their own part to reverse it, it seems like, at least with that audit. which side has the upper hand today? >> i always believe the side with the upper hand is the side of the truth and the facts, and history, all of which is on the side of democracy. the truth is on our side. the vast majority of voters are on the side of wanting to believe and know the truth of our democracy, and history is on our side as well, because every time that good people have stood up to defend or protect democracy, they have won, and they have prevailed. however, what stands in the way of potential enables democracy to prevail again is exactly what we talked about in terms of
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people being placed rules being changed, the big lie being continued. all of that will break through only if we stop being vigilant. even in this quote/unquote off year, even in may of 2021 when a lot of people are not thinking about it, there are efforts to dismantle it. >> what is the next front on this war of democracy in this state for you? >> we're continues to push back against efforts to change the rules of our election. every wednesday there is an elections hearing that my office and others continue to push back on to education the public on how to say rules could potentially change. that is going to be ongoing. we're continues to prepare for and seeing local officials being approached, being pressured by
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partisan protesters seeking to give over access to ballots and other things, to make michigan the next front of this cyberninja attacked we're seeing in arizona. so those are part of it. then, of course, the elections coming up in 2022 will decide not only the -- those decisions will be made over the next 18 months to two years that will impact or ability to defend and protect democracy in 2024. a lot of the pieces that are going to be in place in 2024, in terms of the rules, people and their authority are being determined by decisions being made right now and over the next year and a half and that's where the focus needs to be right now. >> michigan secretary of state, i know you're busy, probably more than effort. we appreciate that you made time for us today. thank you. >> thank you for your continued
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focus on this effort. >> it blows my mind this is happening. let me bring into our conversation some of eugene daniels is back, white house reporter for politico, and luck i don't for us an msnbc contributor. matthew dowd, and tim miller is here, former communications director for jeb bush. i want to start with you, eugene. is there awareness among lawmakers in washington that this is what's happening back home? i'm assuming there is. if there is, where is the alarm? one to ten. if you have to pick a one to ten, depends on what day of the week it is, it was arizona there
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was one issue, and then michigan secretary of state bankly having to issue it warning, don't come play that in my state. i think they're very concerned about it. they know that it all ties back to up here. the problem is there's not a lot they can do other than being concerned we asked adam kinzinger, how are the republicans fixing this? how do you tell people the things being told to them by donald trump in some of his aides and people that really like him, that those things are untrue. it's hard to see, and it seemed like he conceded that it's hard to do that, it's hard to reach out when you're a republican that wants to tell the truth on these things, and yet you don't find an audience. i'm not sure how republicans here in d.c. can do anything about what's happening, and one thing that's important to note is they're usually worried
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behind the scenes, the ouster of liz cheney is being quiet, moving on from the big lie. all of that is part of making sure they don't have to talk about it anymore. >> i mean, tim, i guess you look at the polls, and they don't have to on the republican side adjust. message, because it's working. 56% of republicans don't believe joe biden was legitimately elected. i think an even higher number believe there was fraud. bill barr couldn't find anything. all these recounts think didn't find any fraud. what is the disturbance in the forcefield that they look at an
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arizona voter and say biden's vote count, my eek elects district, that went fine. what is the breakdown in the fact pattern that they believe just the box for president got effed up? >> there are two things in play there, nicolle, based on conversations i've had with, and one is people who are playing a game and they're putting on a show. it's no different from wwe, and donald trump is a wwe professional. in order to protect his feelings, he need people to lie for him and say he won. people who want their political careers to keep going are willing to lie for him. some of these are working in politics, not just voters, but voters are part of a cult now.
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right, you know, they have come up with all these varies rationalization for this. this is the most insidious part. when you said this is working for republicans, that's right, and that's scary. they're looking at 222, and think they're going to win. you know who illustrates is working for is putin? i know it rolls some people's eyes, but you want to undermine faith in the democracy. they have succeeded. there's an entire party now that doesn't believe our democracy is legitimate. that has all kinds of repurr suggestions that what secretaries benson and hobbs were sail, but even in bess aruse, with what's happening? .
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at every level, there's insidious forces on the right field that even the fact they lost in 2020, it was close, and their broader agenda is working. >> matthew, it does strike me that it's working for them. they have succeeded. donald trump's mission from november to now was to undermine people's faith in the election that he lost. at some level he had to have known that he lost but he didn't want people to trust the result. i wonder how you go back in -- to use a san francisco earthquake analogy, how do you go in when everything is shaking and gird the foundations, when all people see is the shaking and, you know, people are already afraid things are already crumbling, thinks are already falling. how do you go in and fortify the
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underpinnings of our democracy? >> that's a very fundamental question, but i would say -- i disagree with the idea that people in washington can't do something about this other than shine a light on it and say this is being k34i9ed around the country. first, adam kinzinger, liz cheney, mitt romney, all who have spoken out need to leave their caucus. by staying in their caucus, all they are doing is enabling the fact that the people who committed the big lie will hold power in 2022. yeah, it's fine to say i have a big problem with this, but leave the caucus. you have to leave the cult in order to disempower the cult. that's the first thing. on biden's party, i don't think they're doing enough. i think joe biden ought to
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appoint a cabinet-level person on democracy. he should say this is the most important issue facing the world day. it's not the pandemic, not infrastructure, free throw redoing taxes, this is the most important issues. democrats relate to that. the third point is democrats need to start making the argument that we can't do any of these things unless we fix democracy. we're not going to be able to get an infrastructure bill or common-sense gun reform. we won't be able to preserve a woman's right to choose. we're not going to be able to make sure social security is solvent. we won't be able to do niche that, because it's contingent on a functioning democracy, and being ability to act in the common good through this. so i think this needs to be raised. 78 many people are speaking out. secretary benson is doing all she can in michigan, but or national leaders need to put it
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on the line and say this, by far is the most fundamental issue that america has faced in over 150 years and the most fundamental issue the world has faced since world war ii. all this stuff over a debate whether or not there will be a compromise on infrastructure and all of that is meaningless, is meaningless if we lose our democracy and we have a segment of our society and one political party that's fully willing to lie and do whatever it takes to keep themselves in power. it starts with right-thinking republicans in congress making a move and saying enough is enough, i'm leaving the caucus. as i said, it's joe biden raising the level of this to a cabinet-level position and saying this is my focus the next 18 months. >> eugene, you're starting in front of that building. i know they know that 56% of republicans don't think he is
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legitimate. but they're focus odd whack-a-mole. when a crisis comes up, do they view the attack on democracy as a crisis? >> no. absolutely. i think every source here in the white house, if you mention january 6th, the things that have been happening, including the restricting of voting rights in different places around the country, they are very concerned about it, but at the same time what they're saying is we also have an agenda that we have to get done, right? we have to do work for the american people we promised and at the same time speak out when necessary. i think it's important that this is happening in one party, right? it's not as if the democrats and republicans are both having issues, so the republicans at this point i think the view is they have to get their own group in order. they have to get their house in order. it's unclear who is going to do that. i think, to matt's point, as we
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get further away from january 6th, as we see certain things like the january 6th commission 23409 lap, not be bipart sandal, because donald trump said it shouldn't be, and shouldn't by a thing, and then republicans backed off away from it, i think the alarm bells will be higher around here. i have not heard anything about the president appointing anyone, bud i do think they're concerned about it. it also makes it harder for them to do their job. like tim was saying, how do you talk about other countries and their democracy, where in this country 51% of the people don't believe the person sitting in the oval office is the president. thank you both for starting us off this hour. matthew is sticking around. on the day of another mass shooting, republicans in texas have veered so far out of mainstream they have approved a radical new gun law.
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another mass shooting today in san jose. while much of the country is calling for an supports stricter gun safety legislation, texas lawmakers are taking the opposite approach. focused on solving gun freedoms, republican governor abbott will sign a constitutional carry bill cleared by the texas house and senate this week, which would allow most adults over 21 to carry handguns without a permit, without a background check and without any training. pushing a bill out of step with the majority of texans, as well as law infers metropolitan in a state with a very recent history of matt shootings. from "new york times" -- v. had been proposed in the last decade, but had no garnered much support. it was largely dismissed as a remote dream of the far right, but the 2020 election changed
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all of that. as the republican party shifted further right and moderate lawmakers feared being outflanked by hard-core conservative. you have written about how unsound this is idea logically and politically for texas, being it seems like it's another scale that seems inhumane. this is a real problem that no one wants to solve. whereas some will even admit to being very eager that doesn't solve a approximate that -- >> another horrible sad tragic day in america, which we keep having, as the governor of california spoke viscerally to it. i'm a gun owner. here, i live in rural texas. there's no, you know, rational reason why this shouldn't happen
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but for a small segment of texas, as you pointed to, the majority of texans want this. what is immensely troubling, is as texas is moving toward becoming more purple, more moderate, more in the mainstream of states in less red, the leaders are actually going in the exact opposite direction. they're going more culturally and more socially conservative. they put restrictions in place on voting rights, immense restrictions that they're finalizing the final bill on. they only allow women to get an abortion after six weeks, so most women who don't even know they're pregnant, you no longer have that choice in texas. now this crazy permitless handgun, where you not only no longer have to have a permit, you no longer get a background
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check and you no longer get training. now anybody can walk into a coffee shop, a hardware store, a grocery store with a haunt gun on their hip. i think donald trump moved tex more into the purple column. it's not there yet, but it's really close. i think all of the social conservative stuff is out of step with most texans. people of faith and that don't buy into it, but it is 25% of the state, just like most of the country that pushes the levers of the republican leaders. the governor of texas, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, all their levers are pushed by a very small element. i think it's up to us texans, we'll have to do this in 2022, and then time and time again, in spite of impedments, but it's crazy. we've had multiple mass shootings in texas.
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in a walmart in el paso, in a church in texas, and we're actually going in the opposite directions. we think it's more reasonable to put restrictions on voting than it is to put any restrictions on texans' ability to carry a gun. it's just ludicrous. i think ultimately mitt cal it will catch up to the republicans, but right now, it's so, so, so insane. it would be laughable insane if it wasn't so dangerous. >> i had the same reaction to govern newsom's comments. they were different. they were raw. there was a tipping point reached for him. i want to play some of them. let's talk about it on the other side. >> there's a sameness to this, and a numbness i think is something we're all feeling, all of us gathered here today, looking at this scene, listen to go governors, mayors, chiefs speaking similar tone and terms,
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an expression of condolences, all the right emotions and perhaps the right words, but it begs the damn question -- what the hell is going on in the united states of america? >> matthew, president biden echoing a very similar theme, issuing this statement. g this st i don't know how to put this into an optimistic frame, so i won't even try. do you think anything will change? >> not in the short term. i'm afraid nothing in the short term. one thing i think joe biden should do -- if i were there, i would say leave the flag at half mast until a gun bill passes.
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don't take it down until a gun bill passes. this is an ongoing tragedy taking places. raising and lowering it? leave it at half mast for however long it takes. first. secondly, i think democrats have been way too shy running on this. i have seen them skirt around it, no, no, no, i want to talk about health care, i want to talk about climate, i don't want to wade into the gun thing. like lucy mcbeth in georgia, who ran on this because of obviously the tragedy in her family, ran on it in a swing district in georgia and won. i think this is a winning issue, a hugely winning issue that democrats in state after state after state -- not just the northeast or the west coast, which people view as progressive, but middle america and southern america who are concerned.
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democrats should say i'm going to run straight into itened and the republicans are stopping any common-sense reform and not be afraid to see it every single stop, every single time. if the democrats do that in the 2022 elections, they may being to win some seats, but until we start taking this on, as a top three issue in america, which it should be since thousands die from gun violence. we don't do a things about it. we just keep moving on as the governor of california said. democrats should take a page out of the lucy mcbeth, and run on it every play they possibly can. >> you are better than anyone flushing out what it looks like. i'm going to ask you to come back and talk about where the campaigns should look like.
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thank you, matthew, as always, for spending time with us today. when we return, tracking the origins of the coronavirus. president biden asking the intelligence community to find out whether the virus accidentally was released from a chinese lab. that story is next. a chinese lab. that story is next can transforr workforce overnight out of convenience, or necessity. we can explore uncharted waters, and not only make new discoveries, but get there faster, with better outcomes. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change-- meeting them where they are, and getting them where they want to be. faster. vmware. welcome change.
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after a new report out this week raised questions about the originalens of the coronavirus,
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president biden ordered the intelligence community to redouble their efforts in the next 90 days whether the virus emerged from an mall or a lab in china. there are two likely scenarios, but have not reached a definitive conclusion. thank you both for being with us . michael, you have read a definitive piece of journalism, and i want to start about that. the first officially documented case was in early december in the central chinese city of wuhan.
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talk about whether that's new information on whether it's just getting a new look. >> well, it's really both. in january 15th, the state department put out a statement about the wuhan institute of virology, and in it said the u.s. government has reason to believe several researchers became sick in autumn of 2019. what i did with my "wall street journal" colleagues, we tried to dig into basis of this assertion. we learned there's an intelligence report that three of these researchers became ill enough that they went to the hospital in november of 2019, which is just before the known outbreak. now, this is circumstantial evidence. it doesn't prove that it's a lab leak, but it certainly points in that direction. we don't know exactly what they were ill with, but this information is certainly renewed interest in the lab leak theory,
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which independently has received scrutiny from scientists. i want to turn to that topic of scrutiny for scientists, doctor, but i want to read more -- there was a visit to china earlier this year, and afterward called a lab accidents extremely unlikely. still with the other originalsen hypothesis, some scientists, some governments and the head of w.h.o. have urged more investigation. were there assumptions made at the beginning that led the whole international community really to not dig into this? does the intelligent community feel misdirected, or is there new evidence? >> well, i mean, first of all, this whole debate, as you know,
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was heavily politicized early on. president trump highlighted the theory. as a consequence there was a lot of pushback on it, but scientists from the beginning have cited this as one of the possible scenarios. it's received additional weight for a number of reasons. the first is the alternative theories that the virus leapt from an mall to a human. it's also unproven. they never found any evidence. they haven't found an mall. in all this time they never found any proof for the alternative theory. second, the chinese certainly have not been transparent. the w.h.o. team that went there were only there for three hours. they haven't submitted the health records of the people that work at the lab, but there's a whole host of data that the chinese haven't
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provided. the very week, the chinese indicated they don't see any further need to cooperate with an investigation within china on the virus, so at this point there's a lot of pressure from the hill and from elsewhere, and president biden to say, look, if the w.h.o. isn't going to get to the bottom of this, doesn't the u.s. intel have to declassify more of what it already knows and make a more determined effort to get to the bottom of this, if they can. >> you know, doctor, michael is right. this did become a very political pillar of i believe the ex-president's earliest pronouncements on the pandemic as it was spreading, mask or no mask and the country was shutting down. this was one of his early talking points. maybe that's why -- it's hard to know why people didn't run it to ground or why there wasn't a bipartisan effort to do so, but just from a medical scientific
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community, it seems like an urgent intelligence priority to get to the bottom of this. >> yeah, nicolle, i think it would be important to know the origins of the virus, so we can build a stronger framework going forward. i think part of the nair fifty to president trump is this was an intentional release. i want to make that clarification. the conversation we are having here, in both of those scenarios, we're talking about the fact it's a naturally occurring virus and at some point it did frump a animals to humans. the question is did it happen in the lab, or could this transmission have happened in another scenario? the reason why that's important, if this report the three worker
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getting sick around the at the same time assignment, it does raise a bit more question about whether there could broadband exposure in the laboratory. i will echo what mileal said, that is not neff. what you have done over the last decade, i ran the response for a maximum containment laboratory. the kind of things we need to do, if we're interested in the scientific origins of this virus, is root cause analysis, was there any report in lapses of laboratory procedures and exposure, and the chinese so far have said there hadn't been. there needs to be more description of the illness that these workers had. did it look like covid? and the third is if there is clinical samples, could there be analysis of those? those are the things you need to
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make that link. michael, it's an honor going to talk to you. doctor, you always enhance our understanding of this. we will continue to turn to both of you as this moves forward. thank you very much. when we returned biden administration under pressure now to step up the investigation into the so-called havana syndrome. that story is next. a syndrome that story is next tonight, i'll be eating fried avocado tacos. [doorbell rings] [doorbell rings] thank you. ooo...
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this afternoon, new pressure on the biden administration to better address the effects of a four-year mystery. a group of staffers are voicing frustration with the biden administration's realizy response and warning that injured workers are still being denied proper care. you may have heard about this syndrome. it's called targeted attacks involving u.s. spies, diplomats and their families both at home and abroad. for them, one minute is fine, the next a sudden excruciating brain injury. experts suspect targeted microwaves. it's still officially an unexplained phenomenon, which is
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a reason why care has inconsistent. most of what i know about this, adam, is from your reporting on this. now through two white houses, explain the syndrome, who it targets, and then we'll talk about what we do about it. >> so, you know, this begins at the end of december 2016. you just had kind of during the transition between the obama administration and trump administration, and you had a veteran cia officer who reports at the embassy in havana to report he felt as though he was walking around his house as if there was a beam of energy that was follow him and causing him pain. so he reported it. you know, frankly everyone was mystified. they didn't know what to make of it. about a month later, a second
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incidents involves the same c.i. officer, and then other cases, and then later state department officials also in havana. frankly they had no idea what this was. what's kind of remarkable about the story is, in four years, you notice, we have more cases that are being described by u.s. government officials, but we really don't have any intelligence that points a finger at any cull print or particular device. there's just speculation and a theoretical hypothesis about what's going on, but really no answers at this stage. >> adam, bring us up to date. aren't the most recent attacks very, very close to the white house itself? >> yeah. so what happens is that, you know, the cia and the fbi frankly are elements of the kriismt and fbi are quite
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skeptical of whether this is real or not. you had two white house staffers who go on a trip, they arrive in london ahead of trump -- this is in may, june 2019. they have have an episode, two staffers in the same hotel room, that is very similar to what was described by the havana victims. they come back from the trip and they report what happened to them to the deputy national security adviser, charlie kuperman who is working for john bolton, the national security officer at the time. he is a big believer in this and he tries to get attention to it but he's having a hard time convincing the cia to pursue it more aggressively. and the two victims languish, much like what you described earlier where the difficulty of diagnosing this made it hard for doctors to decide where to place them. but what starts with those two white house victims is after
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they were removed, in comes a new team. they have another incident which occurs in virginia, northern virginia. after that the nsc decides to take an assessment, to ask all the agencies across the government, are you having any cases that look or sound like this? and that resulted in sort of the opening of the flood gates. and then you had -- you had dozens of additional reports coming in today, more than 130, more than 50 of which involve cia officers and at least four of which involve trump white house officials, including the two i mentioned from london, plus two who worked at the nsc and who had in one case it begins on the white house premises but then continues on the ellipse in both of their cases, which as you know is between the white house and the washington monument. >> and are the injuries described as a brain injury. is it like a concussion or is
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it -- and what is the injury that's described by the victims? >> yeah. so, you know, the -- there are limits in what's known. i mean, from talking to the doctors who dealt with these patients, you know, really in order to truly assess the damage, you have to have kind of two things. one, you have to have a baseline. what was there -- what were their conditions? what were the conditions of their brain before the incident. we don't have this in any of these cases. there was no baseline. there was no mri that was taken of the patients before this happened to them. so it's very difficult to ascertain the nature of the damage because there could be pre-existing conditions. there could be prior concussions or accidents that might have -- might explain some of this that again just muddies the water. what they have done in this case is they have done a study at university of pennsylvania where they had 40 of the havana
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syndrome patients and they put them through a series of tests, incling sophisticated mris. what they found is there was less of what they call -- it's white matter in the brain. this is the connective tissue that is the electrical grid of the brain when they compared the white matter density to the white matter of ordinary unaffected adults they found that in the victims there are -- there is less density of the white matter in their brains. but, you know, there is other evidence that could have been collected in this case that wasn't in part because of kind of bad timing and in another case because of disorganization. they, for example, could use blood tests to look for signs of certain proteins in the blood after an incident. after the initial cases were reported in havana, that's exactly what they were going to do. they drew the blood of several
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of the cia victims. they put it in the refrigerator in the basement of the u.s. embassy in havana and then a hurricane hit and it knocked out the power to the embassy and those samples were spoiled. so that would have been a very potentially very strong evidence if they would have found those proteins in their blood, but that was an option that wasn't possible because of an act of nature. >> adam, as one of the best investigative reporters working in this country, what is your investigative theory of who done it? >> you know, frankly, i kind of liked your last segment about the origins of covid. there is a similarity here. there tends to be a rush to judgment. you know, in that case, in the case of china, the fingers are pointing at the chinese for somehow, you know, being responsible for the introduction of this virus. there is a similar rush to judgment here where people want to point the finger at the
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russians. that has been the theory of top policymakers, whether it's tillerson, mike pompeo, mcmaster, you name it all the way through the current biden administration. that's their theory, but there hasn't been the intelligence to back up that theory, which is interesting in itself because usually, you know, the russians are -- they may be very good at covering their tracks, but usually they make mistakes. and it's interesting and slightly strange that they haven't found anything yet. and the reality is that's where it is. the new administration has tried to -- is planning on redoubling the investment in this collection effort to try to get the intelligence to try to point the finger at somebody. but at this stage, it is kind of too early to say where that's going to end up. >> well, we will stay on it. and now that we have hooked you, we hope you will stay on it with
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us. thank you so much for spending some time with us on your great reporting today. we're really grateful. when we return, as we do every day, we will remember lives well-lived. we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. ♪ usaa ♪
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he was a brilliant force of optimism, as well as a very good man. nor nearly 28 years, michigan state trooper herman brown took a mighty bite out of crime as he used to tell the dispatcher every day. he was of such dependably high character that people he had arrested would often see him in public and thank him. uncle herman volunteered with meals on wheels. even after moves he would go back to visit the elderly folks he used to serve. so often with the sampling of his world famous baked goods. that's right. an exmarine, a bodybuilder who kept secret recipes for chocolate cake and pound cake. colleagues used to joke about sending a piece to the state crime lab just to determine the
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ingredients. and we're devastated to report that this past march trooper brown was hospitalized with covid-19. a short time later, he was gone. keep his entire family in your thoughts this afternoon along with his community and the michigan state police. thank you for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we are grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> hi, nicole. thank you as always for those reports that you do and thank you very much. i want to welcome everyone to "the beat," joining you as legal walls close in on the trump organization. here's what we know right now. the former president's business and personal finances have been under a microscope at the new york da's office. we know they have escalated this case by starting a special criminal grand jury for the probe. and we know both that probe and the new york attorney general probe hitting trump world, as "the washington post" put it in their scoop, both of them

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