tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC June 22, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT
the rachel matter show starts right now. good evening rachel. >> chris hayes, how is your father's day? >> it was utterly delightful and it was almost destroyed by a travel delay and i came very close to a, like, just full breakdown in an >> it was almost destroyed by a travel delay, and i came very close to a just full breakdown in the airport. i felt it slipping away from me because i was already rolling the dice, but then that got fixed and i did get to have a lovely father's day dinner. it was awesome. >> fantastic. i'm glad your meltdown moved the world so that everything could be in place. well done. thanks. good to have you back. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. happy to have you here. all right. so, it's ten years ago -- it's 2011 -- in the nation of iceland, and a businessman from iceland decided to launch a brand-new venture in his home
country. and he was a businessman in a very interesting position. his relatively young. he had retired from his previous job at the ripe old age of 43 after he got very, very, very rich from selling his previous company. but still in his early 40s, he decided he hated being retired, decided he wanted to get back into the business world. and for a real challenge, he decided that what he wanted to do was use his own money, all the money he made on his previous venture, to launch a brand-new business of a totally different kind. he wanted to launch a brand-new business in a business sector that he had zero experience in. but credit where credit is due, this young icelandic businessman may not have known very much about his new area of business. but he definitely knew something about getting people's attention. ♪♪
♪♪ >> wow air. and credit where credit is due, it is actually kind of hard not to say, wow, when you get to the end of that ad. wow airlines, a brand-new icelandic budget airline. while, yes, that was the theme from "top gun" played by a man in a butt-hugging purple sparkle suit with a cartoon tasmanian devil on his head, if that does not want to make you hop onto a plane painted in a weird color to frolic in island, i don't know, how do you get better than that? maybe you get better than that when the airline is officially
inaugurated and officially blessed by an icelandic bodybuilder and priest. i'm not selling you that is the body builder on the right and the priest on the left. that is the body builder and the priest on the right. she is both. this is how she gave wow airlines her blessings, something involving scissors and diamond jewelry. this is not an everyday thing at any one of 100 different levels. but this is kind of how it went. the businessman who founded wow airlines told iceland review how he chose the name for the airline. he said, quote, wow is, of course, just wow. and we have said that we simply find iceland to be wow! also, if you turn the name upside-down, it reads, mom, and everyone wants to be cuddled by the mom. so, perhaps you are getting the vibe of wow air. "top gun," purple sparkly suit, hair band guy, priest
bodybuilder, and who doesn't want to be cuddled by the mom. wow! okay. wow airlines founded in 2011. eight years later, wow airlines want belly up all of a sudden. it was a thursday in march of 2019, and the airline very suddenly ceased all operations and cancelled all of its flights, leaving wow airlines passengers stranded all across europe and north america, including people who were in the middle of multi-part trips. wow airlines eventually went into complete bankruptcy and sold off its entire fleet of planes. that might have been the end of the story of little upstart wow air. but then six months after wow air abruptly canceled its flights and left all its passengers stuck all over the place, this lady turns up, an american. she showed up in iceland, and she said that she was bringing great news.
she was bringing wow air back to life. she held a press conference in a hotel conference room in september 2019. she announced at that conference room that her company, which was called u.s. aerospace associates, she announced they had bought wow air's assets and new wow air flights were going to start up between washington, d.c., and iceland in october of 2019. this is in september of 2019 she was holding this press conference. so she was saying that wow air, which as of that moment, no longer existed, it would be flying again in a month. in a month? really? even at the time it did smell a little weird. i mean, wow had sold off all of its planes. this person was all by herself at this big table. only wow's lawyer was there with her. and you can see they tried to make it look official. they set up little icelandic and american flags like maybe she was some kind of diplomat or something. she put a plastic model of the
wow airplane there with the flags. that honestly was what was left of the wow airlines fleet, just toys, just models, which would be hard to fly people around in even the best of circumstances. the other sign that something might have been a little wrong here was that nobody was entirely sure of this woman's name. local media at the time covering this press conference, which was big news, wow air is coming back, local media describing the press conference didn't know how to describe how to name the woman who was making this pronouncement about wow air. they described the press conference as being held by, quote, michelle roosevelt edwards, or michelle ballarin, as she is often known. oh, is she often known that way by a totally different name? why is she often known by a different name? which is the name?
please meet the new owner of your novelty discount icelandic airline. she goes by many different names. don't worry too much about it. anyway, flights will be resuming next month. have you seen the toy? flights did not resume the next month or the month after that or the year after that or to this day. and, you know, if you are interested in aviation and airline deregulation and the proliferation of interactional discount airlines, i mean, this is an interesting business story about the collapse of an airline and its weird apparent but perhaps mythical resuscitation. if you're in iceland, though, it's quite a big story. tour i is huge in iceland. it's not that big a country. here's one whole airline, a relatively hay-profile airline going under. if it's not going to fly again, what happened there? what was that? so, a few months ago, journalists and investigative tv news program in iceland decided they were going to figure out what was going on. they, too, had trouble nailing
down the name of this american woman who said that she was going to revive wow airlines, quote, michelle ballarin or michelle lynn golden or michelle roosevelt edwards, as she now calls herself. ultimately the icelandic reporters threw up their hands and decided they would just call her michelle. quote, the businesswoman has operated cargo flights in africa, owns an arms company in the united states but also a restaurant. she engaged in real estate business and ran her own investment bank, or so she says. but when it comes to wow air, quote, not much has happened. wow is not up and running or flying, although, michelle has repeatedly announced news, reported high-level appointments in iceland, russia, and italy.
discussed how wow will also be flying from italy and even her involvement in the restructuring of the italian airline al tal i can't. yes, one thing they discovered is that michelle -- choose any of the last names you would like -- was not just doing this in iceland. she claims to be doing something with other airlines in other countries. from "the icelandic report," she claimed a large announcement on a new project was due, the restoration of the airline, and she would be involved in the project at the request of the italian government. an italian newspaper discussed these plans in a sarcastic way. outlined ideas similar to those she has for a new wow. two months later there was no news, and when the italian government announced the end of it at the end of the year, there was no mention of michelle being part of the new carrier. meanwhile, while all that was happening, michelle roosevelt edwards or michelle whatever her name is, has been trying to convince people that she also owns a big chunk of iceland's
other airline, its flag carrier, the major national carrier, iceland air. and she said that she will eventually be merging iceland air and wow air into one even bigger airline. well, that, again, is very exciting if it bears any relationship to reality, but the icelandic journalists found that her bid to buy shares of iceland air was rejected, reportedly on the claim there was no money behind the bid. her claim to own any shares of that company appeared to be totally false. and, again, you know, maybe this seems like kind of a weird sidebar story if you don't have any skin in any of these games, right? but for iceland, for that country where the whole population of that country is half the population of washington, d.c., and its airlines and its tourism is the only lynchpin for the country -- fishing and tourism -- it's worth figuring out who was messing with them like this
because this is a really, really important rt of their national economy and their international standing. so, the journalist from this icelandic tv news show, they started by trying to chase down the actual name of this american woman making claims about their country's airlines. they got quickly from the there's no answer to the name question to the closely followed on revelation that there was more than a little three-card monte going on here. they started to treat the story like they had basically hit upon an american con artist. so, this icelandic news crew went to meet her. they flew to the united states to find her and interview and get to the bottom of this. for their visit, she welcomed them to this sprawling estate, a historic 22-bedroom mansion on over 1,400 acres in virginia. she gives them a tour. she tells them it takes 11 people employed full-time just to manage the grounds.
she shows them the three kitchens. she says they are all in operation and the chef is on duty. but instead of a chef actually preparing any food that they can see, there was a guy in a chef hat setting out dunkin donuts coffee for them. that was what the chef did. nice hat though. and this woman proceeds to deflect all of the reporters' questions about wow air, saying things are happening soon and she can't reveal all her plans. but flights are going to start any minute now and they're going to be great. and then this just absolutely remarkable thing happens at the end of the interview. just watch this. >> before we wrap up because we started with the tour of your home, when i was looking over where i should go in a search engine, stuff that came up was all real estate listings and said this place is for sale. is it for sale? >> no, it is not now. >> how long have you been here? >> this is a recent acquisition for us.
>> it just struck me when we were walking around, there were no on vest personal items. you obviously have a deep love for your late husband and your son. >> yeah. >> but no personal effects, no pictures. >> oh, i didn't take you into every corner of the property. >> you took us to your bedroom. >> yes. >> you don't have them on the mantle. >> no, i don't happen to put pictures on my nightstand. >> it's very sort of -- it's very formal. it's almost like walking into a rented property. >> no. it's not rented property, i can assure you. >> so, this is where you live. this is your home. this is your property? >> yes. >> you sure? are you sure about that? are you really? be honest. because this is from the "washington post" this weekend. this is just amazing. so, "the post" watched that p swrid video, and they went and
confirmed, in fact, that that giant house in virginia really genuinely is for sale and it definitely does not belong to that lady. it does not belong to michelle roosevelt edwards or any of her many, many aliases. that mansion in virginia, quote, was then and is now owned by a company formed by david b. ford, a retired financier who died in september 2020. mr. ford's widow said in an interview that she did not know michelle roosevelt edwards. "the post" showed her the footage of ms. edwards inside the property. the widow told the "post," quote, she's in my house! how is she in my house? how is she in my house? it turns out that michelle roosevelt edwards, in addition to her many other ventures happens to be a licensed realtor in that part of virginia. so, maybe that's how she got in. maybe all the realtors in that part of virginia have to wear outfits like that for all i know. maybe it's a weird regional real estate uniform or something. reached by "the post" about what
seems to be a circumstance in which she is pretending to own a gigantic mansion in virginia, and sort of pretending to be reviving multiple iceland dic airlines, she declined to comment saying, quote, i am not giving media interviews at this time. why not? the last one went so well. we reached out to ms. edwards we have not heard back. we live in hope. but as far as the whole wow airlines thing goes, it does make you feel a little bit embarrassed nationally. if you know somebody who is from iceland and they relayed this story to you, and especially in terms of what it means in their country, this is a sad thing to have to explain. ah, man, i'm sorry it went this way. we have a lot of con artists in our country. i'm sorry this happened to you. but you feel a little national defense around this. but this woman, michelle roosevelt edwards, in addition to playing a bizarre role in that sort of business pages
story and that international relations story, in that icelandic journalism story, she's actually a livewire in terms of something going on in our country. thanks to the current republican party, i mentioned that "the washington post" this weekend had done digging on her interview with the icelandic news crew and the house that does not appear to be hers. here's why "the washington post" went digging that direction in the first place. quote, late last december, december 2020, as president donald trump pressed senior officials to find proof of election fraud, white house chief of staff mark meadows emailed acting attorney general jeffrey rosen, emailed him a letter detailing an outlandish theory of how an italian defense contractor had conspired with u.s. intelligence to rig the 2020 presidential election. the letter was printed under the letterhead of usa aerospace partners, a little-known virginia company. in early january 2021, a second virginia firm, the institute for
good governance and a partner organization released a statement from an italian attorney who claimed a hacker had admitted involvement in the supposed conspiracy to rig the 2020 election against donald trump. according to the conspiracy, which has now become known as italygate, people working in coordination with cia officials, they used military satellites to switch votes from trump to biden and swing the results of the election. that was all on this letter head for this little known aviation company. what "the washington post" discovered about these two organizations, u.s. aerospace partners, whose letter head was atop the letter that the white house chief of staff forwarded to the attorney general and also the press releases promoting italygate conspiracy, what "the
post" discovered about both of those organizations is they're both run by michelle roosevelt edwards who was formerly known as michelle ballarin but changed her name last year. you'll remember u.s. aerospace partners. that is the company that bought wow air or at least bought that little model, went to a hotel to proclaim that they'll be flying again. apparently that company and its founder have a side business in promoting crazy pants election conspiracy theories. and good to know about her. and if it only went as far as her and her facebook friends, okay. but how did the fake mansion bow-tie lady's letter about the italian satellite stealing the election from trump or whatever, how did that make it into the white house? according to reporting from both "the washington post" and
from talking points memo, it may have been this woman, who you see doing multiple right-wing radio show interviews here. she runs a conspiracy website who's url is -- i kid you not -- italydidit.com. that's her web address, italy didit. she claims to have gone to a christmas eve party at mar-a-lago last year after the election whereupon she had the opportunity to tell donald trump personally and directly about the italygate conspiracy. and the italygate conspiracy from the lady who pretends to live in that big mansion who says she's going to revive wow air. yeah. and at one level this is, like, the definition of ridiculous and stupid. at some point, frankly, if you're feeling empathetic, it
implicates personal concerns or stability concerns about some of the people involved. scams are one thing, sure. but totally delusional fantastical thinking and projections of grandiosity and all of this stuff, you kind of almost start to feel bad for people in circumstances like this. but then you see how this isn't an isolated thing. it just makes you worry about the people involved. then you see how this actually fits into what's going on in the republican party right now and what it's done to -- the whole idea of republican governance. these documents that were generated by these companies belonging to the realtor, the bow-tie lady was pretending that the mansion was her house and she's about to launch an icelandic airline out of thin air in the next five minutes, these documents she created, ended up getting stovepiped to the very top of the united states department of justice. those documents were sent literally personally to the attorney general by the white house chief of staff. who was telling the attorney general that the justice department must investigate
these things. and as crazy as that is and as much of a conundrum this now poses for the people who are in charge of the justice department who have to figure out how much trash in their workplace they're going to have to dig out and how much can lay around stinking and maybe it'll dissolve, the fact remains that this kind of stuff is the foundation, is what has led to this fantasy on the right, and this pretext in the republican party that there was something gravely wrong with the election, this is the same type of thinking, the same types of conspiracies that are running the arizona audit, run by the cyber ninjas. i'll just point out one other element of this. the lady with the fake house. remember she was michelle ballarin and then she was michelle lynn golden and she's michelle roosevelt edwards.
that kind of thing seems to be a thing among these folks, the adding of impressive old-timey american names to whatever they started out. the arizona circus, one of the key people involved in that with the magic technology we're not allowed to see, that's examined the paper that the ballots are printed on that can see the fraud by looking at the paper, he's gone through a name or two himself in recent years. the most recent iteration of his name uses pulitzer. the most recent iteration of her name uses roosevelt. i'm sure those things make them feel very important. in arizona today it was washington state republicans from the washington state legislature who were the latest republican state officials to tour the arizona mess in order to try to copy it for their own state. so, you know, get ready. there's probably some qanon activist renaming himself einstein in spokane, washington, right now who's going to be leading the effort up there because he's got money and have you read my translated documents?
it is -- part of me struggles with, like, is it worth figuring out who all these people are and what it is they're promoting? but then you see how it's being used, and you sort of can't afford not to follow it. it's really -- it's something to have to balance on the one hand the cheap low-rent, hilarious, bananas conspiracy, fantasy, con artistry stuff here from italy gate to the qanon conferences that mike flynn is making money at now to the arizona cyber ninjas thing to the one they want to do like that in georgia. i mean, it's one thing to notice how low rent and cockamamy this stuff is and the grifters and con artist and -- forgive me -- crazy people who are involved with all this stuff.
balance that, though, with how this is being used with the republican party as a whole to justify a mass crackdown on voting right because of the hysteria, the vague and incoherent hysteria that's been bolstered by all of these conspiracies about what nefarious thing happened in the election. this is the stuff that builds on which the republican party is building its current platform, a takeover of election administration procedures for their party alone wherever they can do it, a draconian and wholesale rollback of voting rights and ballot access everywhere they can control it in the states. but as crazy as all this stuff is, that's what it's being used for. and the democrats are going to take their biggest shot tomorrow afternoon at trying to stop it when the democrats tomorrow bring their big voting rights and election protection bill to the senate floor for the very first time.
and in the beltway press, expectations are not high for whether or not they're going to be able to pull it off. but it is their best shot at heading off what the republicans are doing, even though the undergirding and the pretext for what the republicans are doing lies in territory this insane. what the democrats are up with with that bill tomorrow, it's as real and as dangerous as its pretext is absolutely cockamamy and bananas. and that's where we are.
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this was the headline in the "washington post" in 2016, the day after donald trump was elected. "obamacare's future in critical condition after trump's victory." within just a few months of trump being sworn in, the republican-led house had voted to repeal the affordable care act. that same day they took a victory lap at the white house
that obamacare was going to be killed off. they thought they had it in the bag. but something else was happening far away from washington, d.c., in auditoriums and school gyms. people started showing up to town hall meetings with their members of congress demanding answers as to why congress was going to take health insurance away from millions of americans. here's what that looked like in arkansas with senator tom cotton. >> i can tell you three member of my family including me that would be dead -- dead -- and homeless if the it was not for aca. [ cheers and applause ] i'm an angry constituent. you work for us. [ cheers and applause ] >> that's in arkansas, right? senator tom cotton is like, oh, this is not how things usually go. in the end, despite the long odds, republicans failed to get
enough votes in their caucus to repeal the affordable care act. tens of millions of americans have insurance today they would not have had because of the law. one reason people started showing up in those town halls well organized and in big numbers was because of a grass roots group called indivisible. what made indivisible different from other grass roots groups at the time was that it was started by former congressional staffers who knew what kind of pressure worked on individual members of congress because they had experienced it firsthand from the other side. they started from the key insight that people should only call and contact and pressure their own member of congress, their own senators. they help people follow the simple path of doing that, calling your member of congress, showing up at his or her office, asking for hometown town halls, getting lots of people to go to town halls to express themselves, writing papers.
senators and members of congress getting pressed hard and consistently locally by people who were definitely their own constituents. that was their secret sauce. now indivisible is trying to do it again. by now you have probably seen the same sort of gloomy headlines we saw in 2017 about the affordable care act that are being written this time about voting rights, about the for the people act that's coming up in the senate tomorrow. but indivisible is still around, bigger than ever, and they're trying again. again against the odds they're calling on people to call their senators, record personal videos about voting rights, write letters to the editor in their local paper, visit congressional offices, show up at town halls and at rallies to keep the pressure on congress. they're kind -- their kind of low-key high-impact activism and
organizing has been effective over the past few years. whether your senators or members of congress are with you or against you on the issues, according to indivisible the key is to stay focused because you are their constituent. the democratic effort to backstop voting rights for the for the people right is about to fail. it's about to hit a brick wall and there's no way over or under or around that on either side. but, you know, here's president obama and eric holder holding a national tele-town hall on it today called "all on the line." here's "the washington post" editorial board saying democrats should change the filibuster to pass the voting rights bill with only their votes. that is not a "washington post" editorial board kind of position, but they feel like they're up against the wall. and here's indivisible again pulling out all the stops asking people to turn up the pressure in every state in the country, again targeting your own senators, your own member of congress. they have been effective at changing the odds in congress.
tonight on the eve of senate finally taking up the voting rights bill, it's worth checking in with them to get their prognostication on how this is going to go. joining us now is ezra levin. co-founder of indivisible. mr. levin, it's nice to see you. thank you for making time. >> great to be here, rachel. >> what do you think is going to happen tomorrow? >> i think we're going to see us get off to the races tomorrow. look, we are not headed towards a brick wall. we're headed towards a little bit of a speed bump, but this is all part of the plan. so, we've got to put tomorrow in context. there were several steps to this dance of legislation coming up. first the for the people act had to pass the house. it did that. then it had to go through the senate process, go through the committee process, go through markup, go through vote. it's done all that. now, the next step in this process is we have to debate whether there will be a debate. that is what the vote is tomorrow. the vote tomorrow is not the for the people act. the vote is should the senate consider the for the people act. this is what we're sure is going to happen.
mitch mcconnell and the entirety of the republican caucus is going to say, nope, we don't want to debate voting rights. we don't want to debate voting rights. despite the avalanche of voter suppression happening across the country, we don't want to debate that. and that's the filibuster. they're going to use the filibuster to cap it. we do not expect the filibuster tomorrow. that is not what we expect. instead what we expect is for the bill to tabled. the democratic caucus is going to go into a room by themselves, talk to each other, and then they're going to go on congressional recess. they're going to go back home to their districts over the fourth of july holiday. they're going to figure out what they're going to do when they come back. and, look. politicians have a very scientific method for figuring out what they're going to do. they lick their finger, they stick it up into the air, and they see which way the wind is going to blow. and that's how they're going to determine what happens in july. and if we are successful in changing the way the wind blows over the course of july 4th recess, they are going to take this up again.
they're going to amend the filibuster, and they're going to pass these voting rights reforms. >> the discussion about whether democrats can find a way to pass this, as you say, is about whether or not they can amend the filibuster rule so they can essentially pass this with the majority vote. they can pass it with 50 democratic votes. i feel like the coverage of that is often sort of black and white, light switch on or off. you're either going to have the filibuster or you're not. it does seem like if this is going to happen, the more likely outcome is kind of more of a dimmer switch than an on-and-off light switch. they could find a way to strengthen the filibuster or reform the filibuster or alter the filibuster or have a carveout for the filibuster in the way they've done on nominations, judicial nominations and other things in the past, specifically to protect voting rights.
do you think that is the way this will likely go if it does go forward, that they'll find a narrower path to doing this? >> i think that's exactly right. they're going to debate how they can quote/unquote strengthen the filibuster in order to have this quote. i think there are a lot of ways to skin this cat, rachel. we've seen proposals to lower the voting threshold from 60 down to 55 down to 50. we've seen proposals to allow vouchers for democracy bills. there are a lot of ways you can make amendments. it's really not black or white right now. but ultimately the guide for whether or not this reform to the filibuster will work is does the majority -- does the senate majority have the ability to call an up-or-down vote on a piece of legislation, or does mitch mcconnell and the senate minority have the ability to straight up veto as they're going to do tomorrow, or do they have the ability to delay for months and months and months? so the senate with just the 50 democratic votes has the ability to change that rule. they can change it to whatever they want. and over the course of the 4th of july recess, we don't need to get into the weeds of this reform or that reform. what we're calling for is american democracy to continue functioning. we're calling for a voting rights reform that is wildly
popular, that 70%, 80% of americans in some states support. so, for you going out to your senator's town hall or your congressional office this weekend, next weekend, the weekend after that, you don't need to get into the details of procedural rules in the senate. you just need to say are you going to pass democracy reforms or not? if not, why not? and don't talk to me about procedural vote issue. pass this bill. i'm going to be watching you. that's important whether you're in a red state, whether you're in a purple state, or whether you're in a deep blue state. we need every single senator to be hearing from their constituents, to be feeling that fire from their constituents. that's how they change their minds. that's why the deadline for democracy is so important. that's why the events that pro democracy groups around the country are holding. we hope everybody is going to join. this is not professionals doing all this work. this is normal school teachers, i.v. technicians and nurses
standing up saying, i guess i've got to do this. that's exactly right. it's up to all of this to do this in this moment. that's why it's called the deadline for democracy. >> ezra levin, co-founder of indivisible. keep us apprised of these next few weeks. we'll speak to you soon. thank you. >> thank you, rachel. joining us next is the lead sponsor of for the people act in the senate. that's live next. stay with us. ith us you can sell your policy, even a term policy, for an immediate cash payment. call coventry direct to learn more. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized that we needed a way to supplement our income. our friends sold their policy to help pay for their medical bills and that got me thinking. maybe selling our policy could help with our retirement. i'm skeptical, so i did some research and called coventry direct. they explained life insurance is a valuable asset that can be sold. we learned that we can sell all of our policy or keep part of it with
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reducing polling hours in polling places, how is that about election integrity? how does that reduce voter fraud? mandating that every precinct, no matter how large or small, have the same number of ballot drop boxes, a county of a million and a county of a thousand, the name number. how does that reduce fraud? don't give them water. don't allow them to have a drink
as they're waiting in the hot sun in lines to vote. what does that have to do with voter fraud? it has to do with cruelty. it has to do with nastiness, and it has to do with suppressing the vote. removing student i.d.s from the list of valid forms of identification. that's election integrity? bunk. we know what you're doing. you don't want students to vote. yeah. don't let students vote. turn them off to the whole process and make america even more alienated. delaying the hours of sunday voting until the evening, which, coincidentally or not so coincidentally by these republican legislatures, makes it harder for black churchgoers to participate in voter drives after sunday services. how despicable. does that sound like jim crow, my republican colleagues? it sure does to a lot of us. i challenge my republican
colleagues. i challenge you, republican senators. come to the floor. defend these policies. tell us how they secure the vote. we know what you're up to. america knows what you're up to. and not to debate this? are you afraid to debate it? >> senate majority leader chuck schumer today on the house floor. tomorrow he will put the for the people voting rights act on the senate floor, and there will be a vote on whether or not it gets debated. joining us now is senator merkley. i appreciate you being here. i know it's a big night. >> thank you, rachel. good to be with you. it's a significant event tomorrow. >> what are you expecting to happen tomorrow in the senate? >> well, i anticipate and i hope that we will have 50 votes to proceed. i want democrats to be united. we've had engagement from every member of the caucus and engagement from joe manchin working hard to lay out a vision of how we protect these
fundamental values in our constitution, the right to vote, the ability to keep billionaires from buying elections, the ability to keep politicians from gerrymandering districts to attack equal representation, how to make sure there aren't conflicts of interest so public servants serve the public, four core values in this legislation important to every american. it's why this bill has such bipartisan support across the country everywhere except in the senate. >> i'm struck by the very high levels of support in public polling for the legislation both as a whole and when you break it down into its constituent parts. our previous guest was talking about how it was getting 70% or 80% support across the country. nowhere is it unpopular. the stark contrast with it having zero republican support. no republican senator saying he is or she is going to vote for it or potentially vote for a motion to debate it.
does that surprise you since you first introduced this back in march that it hasn't picked up any republican support? >> it hasn't surprised me too much in that we've seen this mitch mcconnell play before. it's kind of that split between principle and power politics. on the principles, republicans across the country, supermajority echl brace this. they believe in this. they believe in defending the ballot box. they defendant in billionaires not buying elections. but in the senate, mitch mcconnell is all about winning the next election. and the next election will be funded by dark money, so he wants to defend dark money. he wants to have gerrymandering in place so the house is more likely to be a republican house rather than a democratic-controlled house. and he certainly wants to get his members elected. and that means putting obstructions and barriers in the way of folks who tend to vote democratic. black americans, communities of
color, maybe american tribes, and college students. and this really is horrific. this is pre-1965. this is undermining the most fundamental vision of citizens participating in their democracy. so, it is shameful. and i would hope that a number of my republican colleagues would like to vote to say, yes, we should have this bill on the floor. but they're facing the intense power politics of mitch mcmcconnell, and they're wilting under that pressure. >> senator jeff merkley, the lead sponsor of the for the people act getting that first key vote tomorrow afternoon in the senate. good luck, sir. we would love to have you back once we see what happens in that important vote. thank you. >> thank you very much, rachel. >> we've got more ahead. stay with us. ry antiperspirants. the new provitamin b5 formula is gentle on skin. with secret, outlast anything!
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band pro-trump conspiracy theory promoting company called cyber ninjas has been pawing through ballots and even the voting machines from arizona's 2020 election. today though, the intrepid reporter jen fyfield got word that the siper ninjas expect to be done this week. they expect to be done by thursday. the company says they have come to the end of their ridiculous slip shod counting method for the most of the 2.1 million ballots they were given access to. these are the things they've been spinning on different colors of lazy susans. right now they're taking pictures of all the ballots for whatever reason. they say they'll be done with that by thursday as well. so all the stuff happening on the floor of the convention center, this arena in arizona will stop. then at some point, cyber ninjas, again, a one-man band,
will present its, their, his report of, you know, all those spinning lazy susans and all the ballot pictures that tell us whether the election was legit or not. guess what they'll say. today a spokesman said to expect the cyber ninja's arizona election report in late july or early august. remember, august is now when former president donald trump is saying he will be reinstated in the presidency. i'm sure that's just coincidental timing, right? meanwhile in the great state of georgia, there is a court case we've been keeping an eye on that's sort of adjacent to this. it's about absentee ballots that were cast in fulton, georgia, in the 2020 election. trump lost georgia by about 12,000 votes. fulton includes most of the city of atlanta. that's where democratic votes come from, and it's been the focus of election fraud fantasy for months now. there are reports that it shouldn't count and they can figure out a way to say.
last month a judge actually agreed that these conspiracy theory-promoting trump supporters should get to have a look at absentee ballots from fulton county. he ordered that they be allowed to look at the images of the ballots and even to inspect the original ballots. unlike alabama, they would not be allowed to just hand the ballots over. that was the initial ruling. today the judge held a hearing at which election officials tried to get him to dismiss the case before it goes any further. the judge heard arguments for about three hours. he did not rule. he said he needs time to think about it but will rule as quickly as possible. the reason we're watching is that, you know, maybe we'll hear that the judge shut the door completely on republican fantasies trying to overturn the 2020 election in georgia already. or maybe he will let them have their so-called audit of them and the cyber ninja people will
that is going to do it for us tonight on this, the longest day of the year. i'll head straight out of the studio and see if it is still light enough to go fishing. i'll see you this time tomorrow night. about this. in the aftermath of an insurrection with our democracy on the line and many of the same republican senators going along with the notion that somehow there were irregularities and problems with legitimacy in