tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 2, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
happy friday. thanks for joining us here this hour. we're doing a special two hour edition of the rachel maddow show, and we have a metric ton of news to get to tonight. including new details surrounding a pressure campaign by former president trump and his lawyer rudy giuliani to influence the 2020 election results in arizona. that's all ahead. first, to kick off this july 4th weekend, president biden held the administration's first white house naturalization ceremony today. 21 people from 16 different countries stood in the east room and took the pledge of allegiance and then were officially granted u.s.
citizenship. it's part of a larger push by the administration to expand legal immigration to this country and to reverse his predecessor's policies. july 4th marks the president's self-imposed deadline to vaccinate 70% of all american adults. while the country is on track to fall short of that goal, it's not far from it. according to the cdc, nearly 67% of adults in the united states have received at least one dose and 58% are fully vaccinated. "the new york times" also reports that at least 20 states have reached that 70% threshold. we aren't exactly out of the woods yet. the highly transmissible delta variant does pose a serious risk to those who are unvaccinated. according to cdc director dr. walensky, if you are vaccinated, there's not much to worry about. we can say for now things seem to be looking up. take the economy, for example,
today the bureau of labor statistics, the department of labor, announced that the u.s. added 850,000 net new jobs last month. that's the biggest gain in ten months. a bigger sign that things are running back to normalcy. wages are on the rise. the labor pool slowly but surely is expanding. speaking today, president biden celebrated the jobs report saying, this is historic progress. like i said, we have lots to get to. we start tonight with this list of bills that were sitting on the desk of the new hampshire governor. this is a long list of legislation that passed through the new hampshire statehouse and senate in 2017. they were bills that the republican governor signed quietly. no fanfare. no televised bill signings. at first sight, it's a mundane list. there was a bill setting rules for betting on something called simulcast racing, about setting standards for dissolved oxygen in water, blood testing
disorders. buried in this list of bills that the republican governor of new hampshire signed in 2017 was something more sinister. on this list it was called a bill, quote, relative to domicile for voting purposes. what did that bill do? it made it harder for college students to vote in the state of new hampshire. that new bill signed by the governor required all students and other part-time residents of the state to become permanent new hampshire residents to become eligible to vote. for any student who had a car on campus, that meant they were required to pay to register their vehicle in new hampshire. they would have to go through the hassle of getting a new hampshire driver's license. it was signed in law right before the 2018 midterms. critics argued it would affect college students who are
predominantly democratic voters. going to the dmv, paying to register your car, it takes time and it takes money. most college students barely have the time to do their laundry. many can barely afford a slice of pizza let alone a bill from the dmv for several hundred dollars. let's look at one kid's story. he was attending dartmouth. he said the process of establishing residency in the state took a full month. he needed a letter from his school to prove to the town clerk he actually lived where he lived. he had to drive 45 minutes each way to the dmv to set up his new license. he paid $300 to register his car in order to establish residency in new hampshire. the student likened the tax to a poll tax, the price to access the ballot box. he sued. that student along with a few of his classmates filed a lawsuit to overturn that republican voter legislation in new hampshire which they said
encroached on their right to vote. today, the supreme court in new hampshire agreed. in a unanimous ruling, the highest court in new hampshire overturned that republican voter law of 2017. the court ruled that the law made it more confusing to vote and could deter people from trying to register. they wrote in the ruling that the bill, quote, imposes unreasonable burdens on the right to vote. so they ordered that the law, quote, must be stricken in its entirety. which is good news for college students in new hampshire. it's good news for democracy. because this is the way it's supposed to work. everyone in this country, even if you live in a dorm or drove your car to college across state lines, which many people do, everyone over the age of 18 who is a citizen should have equal access to the ballot box. today the supreme court in new hampshire righted that wrong.
that's not the way these fights are going everywhere. just yesterday, the united states supreme court upheld a pair of voting restrictions in arizona. one of those restrictions calls to nullify anyone's vote that was accidentally cast in the wrong precinct. the other blocks anyone but a relative from helping you turn into your ballot. the legal challenge to those restrictions argued they affected voters of color and violated the voting rights act. the supreme court put those voting restrictions back on the books in arizona. the conservative majority on the court argued that any unequal impact on voters of color was minor and did not violate the law. this, of course, has sweeping implications for anyone living in arizona. this ruling will be felt the way -- it will be felt way beyond the grand canyon state. this year alone, 17 republican-led states have passed bills that make it harder for people to vote. everything from voting i.d. laws, restrictions on mail-in voting, fewer hours to vote in person, most of those laws disproportionally affect access
to the ballot box for people who are not white. this ruling from the supreme court this week is basically a big green light to republican legislatures which are trying to make it harder for people to vote. it is signaling any court challenges that we have seen this year could fail like the challenge to the arizona law just did. if you are on that side of the fight, if you are trying to knock down laws that make it harder to vote, where is your head at right now? joining us now, cecilia wong at the aclu. they filed a brief with the supreme court arguing the arizona laws violated section 2 of the voting rights act. thank you for being with us this evening. i think that's not common language for many people who are relatively well read on the topic. what does that mean? the voting rights act says you candidate make laws that make it harder for an identifiable group to vote. >> what congress meant when it enacted the latest version of section 2 of the voting rights
act is that it wanted to expand the franchise and make sure that voters -- all voters, but particularly minority voters would not be blocked from their polling places through state or local officials. what we saw yesterday was in the last day of the term the supreme court, by a 6-3 vote along strict partisan lines, upheld those two arizona voting restrictions that disproportionally affects native american, latino and black voters. those two provisions, as the navajo nation in its brief and many others explained at the supreme court, really had the effect, after a long history of discrimination against minority voters in arizona, of blocking many, many minority voters. yes, yesterday's decision is a really deep blow to the right to vote in our country. therefore, to the foundationof our democracy. but it could have been a lot
worse. i think that's the main takeaway. >> talk to me about that. it could have been a lot worse? >> the petitioners in the case, including the attorney general of arizona, wanted to gut section 2. the story actually goes back a lot farther than that. in 2013, the supreme court did away with section 5 of the voting rights act. in shelby county, the court said all of the civil rights era cases and laws that congress enacted to get rid of jim crow restrictions that required preclearance by the justice department or by federal court for changes to voting procedures in historically discriminatory jurisdictions, those -- that law, section 5, was no longer constitutional. after 2013, we saw a number of state and local jurisdictions in partisan ways trying to block voters of color. that really stepped up after 2008 when record turnout drove
all americans and particularly minority votes and black voters to the polls to vote for barack obama. what happened since 2008 is you have seen just a rash of these state and local laws and policies that try to block black, latino, native american, other voters of color. what the court did yesterday was to interpret section 2 of the voting rights act, which was another tool, really the main other tool that was left after the shelby county decision in 2013, and just gutted it. but the petitioners in, including the state of arizona, were trying to get the court to say, you can't even get at
discriminatory impacts or affects of these laws, you can only go after voter qualification measures. that would have been an extreme and extraordinary interpretation. even this supreme court majority of six led by justice alito rejected that rule. >> it's an important point. at no -- i have had this argument with a number of people who say, show me where in the books it says that there is something here that is meant to impede the right of people of color to vote, of african-americans to vote, of native americans to vote or people who live in a particular zip code. no law. even in jim crow there were not laws that blatantly designed to say, black people, this isn't for you. >> that's exactly right. what the majority did was
willfully ignore that history. not only the history leading up to the last amendments to section 2 in 1982, but also the history of discrimination against native american and other voters of color in arizona. it also ignored all of the evidence that they brought forth in the supreme court showing what the present day barriers are for votes of color to go and cast their votes under these two policies that arizona has instituted. for example, take the out of precinct rule, where if you vote in the wrong precinct accidentally, your vote is struck and you don't have any chance to cure your mistake in voting in the wrong precinct. why should that be a problem? alito says, no big deal. you have lots of ways to vote. it's not that hard get it right where you figure out where to vote in person. it turns out because of certain factors having to do with lack
of mailing addresses, with having the wrong precinct assigned to you by your county registrar, because of the lack of address, a lot of native americans who live on the reservation, including the navajo reservation, tend to get assigned the wrong precinct, might make that mistake and never have a chance to fix it. their vote is just struck. similarly, this prohibition of on third party ballot collection, alito makes it seem like no big deal. you have lots of ways to vote. if you want to vote by mail, drop your ballot in the mail. turns out, only 18% of native american voters in the three counties that span the navajo nation reservation lands have at-home mail service. this is something not known to a
lot of us who don't live in those areas. that's why it was so disproportionately of native american voters to have these policies in place. those are the things the supreme court upheld. >> for people never faced any impediment to their voting, it becomes difficult to understand that for people who do face impediments to voting, it's enough to make you not vote. thanks for your detail and the explanation you provided for what happened. cecilia wong, the deputy legal director of the aclu. one more thing to know about the ruling on voting rights this week, the plaintiff in that case, the ones arguing that those voting restrictions were illegal, the plaintiff was the democratic party, the dnc, on the national and individual state level. the democratic party has been fighting tooth and nail to roll back these republican-led restrictions on voting. this week was a setback in that fight. the latest challenge in arizona
failed. what is the strategy moving forward? what will be the next battleground in the democratic effort to protect the right to vote? joining us now, jamie harrison, the chairman of the dnc and the texas state representative who in may led a walkout in the texas house in protest of a republican backed voter restriction bill. thanks for being here. let me bring you up to date on what's going on in texas. next week, greg abbott is calling the legislature back in session to take up the voting bill again. what happens? >> we go back on july 8th. the governor is yet to articulate what is going to be on the call. only he can set the agenda. it's our jobs in the legislature to interpret that. we all think there will be a voting rights bill coming forward. it's important to understand that we have a job to do in the texas house.
that's to protect our constituents. breaking a quorum is in our constitution. our resolve and grit and determination to be the voice for our constituents is stronger than it was in may. we are not going to bow down. we're not going to sit down. we're goes to rise up. we will fight a voter suppression bill if it hurts our constituents. >> jamie, this fight is multi-facetted. there are people like representative martinez fisher in state legislatures across this country, there are voting rights activists, there are -- there is congress and the role it should and can play. then there's the democratic party. what's your role in this whole thing? what role does the democratic
party play in both the orchestration and the legal maneuvering? >> listen, we know right now that american democracy is on fire. the matches are in the hands of the republican party. yesterday, john roberts poured a lot of gasoline on it. we can't sit on the sidelines and say woe is me. we have to put out the flames. what the democratic party is going do is fourfold. we have to register folks like we have never registered them before. we have to educate them about what is at stake. we have to mobilize them to make sure that we get them to the polls. most importantly, we have to protect them. we have to protect them so they can cast their ballot. then we have to protect their ballots once those ballots are cast. there's a lot of work to be done. i'm telling my folks, don't get upset. you can be upset, but don't say woe is me, i'm giving up. we can't give up. we have to overwhelm the republicans right now, because they know that they are in the minority. we had a record turnout. we have aunts and uncles and friends that we know who aren't registered, didn't turn out last time. we have to make sure that everybody who can go out and vote and lets kick out the mitch mcconnells and the mccarthys of the world and put in people who actually give a damn about this country and all the people that live in it. >> the world is upside down.
later, i will talk to malcolm kenyata from pennsylvania. republicans are attempting something similar to what they have done in texas, but they are doing it on the basis of protecting democracy and expanding the franchise. there are things happening in texas that would cause people to not vote. it doesn't take away their vote, undo their right to vote, there are things happening in your state that would actually make it impractical for working people to cast a ballot. >> you are right. we have one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country. it's not because people don't want to vote. there's a lot of tripwire on the grounds. republicans are good at criminalizing voting. if you give somebody a ride, it's a crime. if you help somebody with a mail ballot and you don't disclose it another crime.
this is the weekend we will celebrate our democracy. we just can't celebrate that. we have to fight for our democracy. that's exactly what we should be doing in texas and across this country. we need to man up. it's the fourth quarter. we have federal legislation on the table that would normalize voting for everybody across the country. i remember my time visiting with senator manchin to understand how people vote in west virginia would be a dream in texas. given what happened yesterday in the supreme court, it would be a dream in arizona. we need a national standard. we need to make voting easier, not harder. we need to tell people that republicans need to quit cheating when it comes to elections. fight fair and square. when we fight fair and square, i think our country polls in our direction. i will take my chances any day with a biden white house and a schumer senate rather than a
trump supreme court. >> let's talk about that. this fight needs to be understood by a number of democrats as one in which different rules apply because republicans are using different rules. for senators sinema and manchin, they are worried about how busting the filibuster wrecks democracy but democracy is being wrecked. you are an important guy in that conversation. you are the chairman of the democratic national committee. where do you stand on this? what conversations do you have with these legislators who could change history? >> as i said, democracy is on the line. justice keagan yesterday in her dissent basically said that we are pouring old poison into new bottles. our members need to understand that. if they want democracy, this is your time to fight for it. we have to have them do that. i'm in the midst of calling all of the democratic senators right now. i'm almost halfway through calling those senators. i need to speak to senator manchin and sinema and others. i will have conversations and
have all of them understand the gravity of the situation. this is so personal to so many of us. they bled, gave their lives in order to protect this right to vote and gain a right to vote, particularly for black folks. we all have to step up. rome is on fire. our democracy is on fire. it's going to be incumbent upon us to put out the flames. >> how do you get that message across to people who say, i can vote. it's a little inconvenient, but i can vote. the line is long sometimes, but i can vote. how do you convey that this is a slow, sometimes fast, but generally speaking a slow erosion of democracy that will
cost us for decades, maybe centuries to come? >> what we have seen in texas is the rules of engagement have changed. it used to be that two sides would compete for a job, go to the voters and the better person would win. the game today is how one team maximizes their turnout while suppress the votes of their opponents. no matter how you put it, it's cheating at the ballot box. i think that there's one thing in texas which is we are a very proud state. everybody should win on their merit. they shouldn't win because they have alter the wins. that's exactly what these voter bills are across the country. if we had one standard, if we made voting a national holiday, made it easier to vote by mail, had an easy way to absentee vote for anybody, i think it would change tremendously how we vote in america and you would see the outcomes almost instantly. >> making it easy to vote, what a think. thank you for the work that you are doing. you are both at the center of history right now as it's unfolding. thanks for being here. we have a lot to get to tonight.
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tonight, we have new evidence of donald trump's attempt to influence the election in the weeks after he lost the election. the arizona republic reporting that they obtained text messages and voicemails that reveal a pressure campaign led by rudy giuliani, arizona republican party chair kelly ward and the president focused on the board of supervisors, the group that oversees the elections and alleging voting irregularities. the pressure starting before the vote was certified but then continuing well after. among the many texts and voicemails were two messages from the white house to the then chairman of the elections board.
a republican named clint hickman. he let the first call go to voicemail. then deleted it and never returned the call, he says. a couple of days later "the washington post" published a phone call in which president georgia secretary of state to look into the results in his state. the infamous call where trump said he only needed to find about 11,000 votes. that same night the republican elections official in arizona got another voicemail. >> this is a white house operator. i was calling to let you know that the president's available to take your call if your free. >> the official told the arizona republic he presumed trump would try to pressure him. so he never returned that call. this new reporting is the latest to detail a multi-state effort by trump and his allies to undermine the results of the 2020 election, the same effort to led to a so-called audit that's been going on in maricopa
county in arizona since april. run by the cyber ninjas. now the republican playbook on how to overturn the 2020 election is turning a new page, this time in pennsylvania. the associated press is reporting today that republicans in the pennsylvania state senate might be planning their own audit of the 2020 election in their state. that effort is led by republican state senator doug mastriano. he was among a group of gop state lawmakers who just last month traveled from pennsylvania to arizona to so-called observe the ongoing so-called audit of 2.1 million votes cast. this week, he reportedly briefed his fellow pennsylvania state senate republicans on his plan for an arizona-style audit. he does seem to be taking pages right out of the arizona playbook. in arizona, the republican state senate leader used her subpoena power to force the board of elections to turn over ballots. this pennsylvania state senator also runs a committee that theoretically has subpoena power. in arizona, the state senate fronted $150,000 to pay for their so-called audit. the rest of the funding for it
is coming from sources that nobody involved will disclose. this pennsylvania state senator is also trying to secure funding for an audit and has sought advice from a law firm about how to go about using money from a private non-profit organization to pay for vendors, consultants and anyone else. in arizona, all the republicans involved in the so-called audit have been claiming that it's not about overturning the 2020 election. it's about restoring integrity to the state's elections. right on cue in pennsylvania, a law firm tapped by the republican state senator said in a letter that the purpose of such an audit would be to -- hope you are sitting down -- develop legislation which will
enhance voter participation and election integrity. will it happen? more importantly, could it work? joining us now, democratic member of the pennsylvania house of representatives serving a part of philly. he spoke to rachel in september about republican attempts to make it harder to vote in pennsylvania ahead of the 2020 election. representative is a democratic candidate for the united states senate in pennsylvania. representative, good to see you. thank you for being back here. you heard what i said. how real is this potential for an audit, if you want to call it that, of the election in pennsylvania? >> you know, everything that doug is saying has been disproven, has been fully and utterly debunked. now he wants to bring his lying
loser bring gate to pennsylvania to create another clown show around an election where a twice impeached one term president lost. in pennsylvania we're proud of ending the trump presidency here in the keystone state. they really can't let it go. let's be clear why they're doing this. this is about doug continuing to get invitations to mar-a-lago, because he thinks it will help him with his possible campaign for governor. what's so sad is to watch so many of my republican colleagues who know better, who know better, continue to parrot the same lies. i would say to my republican colleagues, you know, what does it profit you to win election and along the way destroy the democracy that you have sworn to protect? >> this audit, this fake audit in arizona, has been unpopular, even republicans don't seem to
get why this is continuing to go on. they are about to get evicted from the high school that they are in because they have been there too long. pennsylvania republicans are taking a risk that people are saying, joe biden won pennsylvania by 80,000 votes. what are we hoping to get out of this? >> yeah. also, let's be clear. pennsylvania has done an audit. we do a risk limiting audit after every election. that was done. what we have seen them do again and again and again is try to limit people from going to the ballot box, because they have bad ideas. they have bad ideas. this is the same party which right now, the gulf of mexico is on fire, and they think we ought to do nothing about the existential crisis of climate change.
we had a $10 billion surplus that we could have used to fund our education. they stashed it away. we have an opportunity to actually help working people by increasing hazard pay, dealing with all the different things like paid sick leave. we could have done that in this budget. instead, what they did was spend all their time on this hb-1300 which i call voter suppression. they called it the voter protection act. all it did was try to protect their majority. what is so sad to watch is that to win a republican primary you have to completely tie yourself in knots, even if it risks breaking democracy in half. >> good to talk to you. thank you for being with us. the democratic member of the pennsylvania house of representatives. thanks for being with us. still ahead, the confrontation in congress over something that should be quite simple, how to investigate an attack on itself. stay with us. to my grandfather...
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the oath keepers are also here. >> we have men stationed outside d.c. >> the group is ready to follow trump's orders and takes members of the deep state into custody. they are organized, staging their equipment neatly on the ground. later, they put on body armor. talk on radios. chat with their supporters on a walkie-talkie app. >> that's part of a new documentary by "the new york times" this week which threads together footage from the january 6 insurrection to try to make sense of it all. at this point, we have seen all the snippets of what happened. it's apparent there's more to
understand than what is on the surface. there were organized groups like the oath keepers showing up with military-style equipment and walkie-talkies and plans we still do not fully understand. today we learned that another member of the oath keepers group has been arrested. this week, we have seen more than a dozen arrests of insurrectionists, including multiple members of groups like the oath keepers. the department of justice is pursuing plea deals with at least 12 of the oath keepers charged so far. as of today, the u.s. government has brought charges against more than 530 individuals for their role in the insurrection. many of them are part of the organized groups like the oath keepers or the proud boys. many of those arrests are in no small part due to the work of hundreds of civilians who have turned themselves into online sleuths to track down those at the capitol that day and tip off the fbi. it really shouldn't take an army of volunteer online sleuths or ambitious projects by news outlets to get us to the bottom of what happened on that day.
that should be out government's job. this week, the house finally approved a committee to investigate the january 6th insurrection. even now, six months later, it was a near party line vote with only two republicans supporting it. while democratic leader nancy pelosi has announced her eight committee members, including republican liz cheney, the republican leader in the house, kevin mccarthy, warned republicans that there would be consequences if they participated in this good faith effort to understand what happened. which is not a good sign considering that he will now hand pick the republican side of the committee. how do we get out of this partisan mess and to the bottom of what actually happened on january 6th?
my next guest is uniquely positioned to know what it's like to navigate partisan waters like these. congressman joe nagoos of colorado was a house impeachment manager who prosecuted president trump for his role in the insurrection. representative, good to see you. thank you for being with us. this is fraught with danger before it begins because specifically of the position that the house leader has taken on who gets to serve on this committee or why. >> yeah, i agree. it's good to see you. i would say that the committee is really incredibly important
in terms of getting to the truth as to what happened on january 6 and the various unresolved questions that still exist, as you articulated, which i think warrant the scrutiny and attention of our federal policy makers. the speaker made her choices. she assembled a team that will put their oath first and will choose country over party, evidenced by the fact that the speaker chose as one of the individuals that she selected representative cheney, the former gop conference chair, in the house, someone who also chose country over party when she voted to impeach the president back in january of this year. whether the minority leader ultimately ends up appointing members or rather making recommendations to the speaker with respect to the five appointments that he is
authorized to make recommendations for, time will tell. i think that the chairman of the committee, someone whom i have served with, who is tenacious, he made clear the committee will move forward irrespective of what mccarthy might do. >> bennie thompson talked about one of the things, this committee will have subpoena power. how do you think that gets used? there are people who say subpoena trump and those around him. sounds like he is going to start with testimony of capitol police officers. paint a picture for me. as somebody who was an impeachment manager, what does success look like for this committee for you? >> well, i would say i would defer to chairman thompson and his judgment as to how the investigation will proceed. it appears they will start with hearing from members of law enforcement who bravely fought to defend our capitol that day and to protect members of congress and the staff and all of those in the complex. i think that's incredibly important to hear from them first and for them to recount their firsthand experiences. at the end of the day there are a number of remaining questions as to decision making within the department of defense on january 6, decision making at white house, conversations between white house officials and folks at the department of defense, conversations between white house officials and the president and members of congress as we know given the statements that leader mccarthy has previously made. i think there's a lot of evidence for the committee to assemble. i suspect they will use the
subpoena power to the extent that they need to in order to assemble that evidence. success to me looks like a comprehensive report that details the facts underlying the terrible events of that day, the insurrection on january 6 and recommendations to the congress as to how we move forward in terms of putting in the necessary safeguards to protect our capitol and ultimately protect our democracy so that what happened on january 6 never happens again. >> good time to talk to you. thank you for joining us. more to come tonight, including the beginning of the end of america's longest war and the rush to keep a crucial promise not to leave behind the people who risked everything to help us. cosentyx. four years clear. real people with psoriasis look and feel better with cosentyx. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen, or if you've had a vaccine or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur. learn more at cosentyx.com. omega-3 from fish oil
fine, no one leaves the table until your finished. fine, we'll sleep here. ♪♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win. after nearly 20 years, the united states military left the air field in afghanistan. the base has been considered by many to be the epicenter of the u.s. war against the taliban, a center of military power from which u.s. forces carried out operations to oust the group and hunt down the perpetrators of 9/11. it's part of the plan to withdraw by september 11th, on
what would have been the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack. a small u.s. force of up to 1,000 troops will remain on the ground, mostly to protect the u.s. embassy and kabul's international airport. the withdrawal is moving faster than expected. today the pentagon clarified saying the withdrawal will be complete by the end of august. that's raising concerns among some military officials who fear a complete taliban takeover. that is well underway. nbc news reporting the taliban claims to have taken over 69 of the country's 407 districts, just since may 1st. now controls a third of the country. scott miller said in a rare briefing this week that gains by the taliban are concerning.
tonight, the wall street journal is planning for emergency evacuation in kabul, but despite the concerns, the today president biden made clear that despite all of these concerns, it is time for afghanistan to handle its own security. >> look, we're in that war for 20 years. 20 years. i think they have the capacity to it be able to sustain the government. we have worked out an over the horizon capacity that we can be value added. but the afghans have to do it themselves with the air force they have. >> with the potential collapse of the afghan government looming
another problem emerges. the united states is rushing to evacuate thousands of afghan nationals who worked alongside diplomats and military forces on the ground for the past 20 years. according to u.s. officials, 18,000 afghan nationals have applied for visas. they are in danger if the taliban takes over. the biden administration is in discussion was the three central asian governments of uzbekistan, kazakhstan and kyrgyzstan to take in half of them. the administration is reaching out to arab governments in the persian gulf. no details have been finalized. democrats and republicans largely support measures to repatriate afghans who helped the u.s. this week the house voted to speed up the process that would allow them to immigrate to the united states. joining us now is nbc news correspondent courtney kube. she covers national security affairs and the pentagon. you have been that, you have seen it, you understand this threat. there are a lot of americans who
think we need to get out at this point and you can understand how they come to that. but afghanistan, after 20 years, is not a secure place. >> absolutely not. and it's only gotten worse. just in these last few weeks, since the biden administration announced that u.s. was leaving. you have to look at this larger threat and look at it from a u.s. homeland perspective. the reality is the taliban doesn't threaten the united states. they don't threaten the homeland. they are very regionally focused. the issue with the taliban is they allow safe haven to terror groups like isis in afghanistan and then of course al qaeda. you know, al qaeda and isis have been finding some safe haven a even in the years the u.s. has been there, they have been
taking counterterror strikes against them. the concern is that once the u.s. and coalition forces leave, that al qaeda will find safe haven, regroup, they will be able to rebuild and they will be able to carry out terror attacks overseas, you know, in europe and against the united states homeland. >> when you heard joe biden say the afghanistan military has to it on their own with their air force, we can be value add, what does that mean to you? >> so, you know, the u.s. and nato and coalition have spent years building up this afghan military. i remember being there in 2010 when they were presenting this plan to built the afghan military to afghan police and military and they were building up their air force. i can say they have built. it's over 300,000.
the commandos are proficient, do a good job working on their own. the air force has come a long way from where they were 10 or 15 years ago. but the overall concern is that many of the rank and file afghan military, they fold at times when the taliban, you know, when they are faced with the taliban fighters. and at times it's not just that they are overrun by them, but they simply surrender and walk away. at sometimes even surrendering their own weapons. so it's -- the afghan military is -- they can protect the country in some places, but the biggest threat that afghanistan faces right now is kabul being overrun. and that's what military officials that i have spoken with are really concerned about, is that the afghan military, even the most elite, the well trained among them will not be able to hold off the taliban from taking back kabul, and that's where you hear concerns of a potential civil war. if the taliban take over kabul, the government will fall.
>> courtney, not optimistic reporting, but accurate reporting. appreciate that. thank you for that. all right. we are going to take a quick break and continue with more on the other side. we have another hour of "the rachel maddow show" coming to you. we'll be right back after this. we'll be right back after this what do we want for dinner? burger... i want a sugar cookie... wait... i want a bucket of chicken... i want... ♪♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win.
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i'm ali velshi. hosting a special two hour edition of the rachel maddow show. we'll hear from reach a leader. but we weekend this hour in panama. until a couple of years ago, if you found yourself traveling to panama city, the capital of the central american nation of panama, you could if you are so inclined, check into the trump international hotel and tower. a 70-story building built to resemble a billowing sale. and containing a hotel managed by the trump organization. but after donald trump became president, the owners of that hotel began trying to fire the trump organization from running the hotel because they said, the trump organization had so