tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 9, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
one. at the same time these -- the republicans are actively trying to disenfranchise a vast majority of americans who he is space progressive policies, believe in climate change, who do believe that we should be talking about race, and recognizing there is implicit bias. that's the challenge. they have a lot of power and they are using it in strategic ways that we will fall victims to if we don't sound the alarm and saying the house is on fire. >> i'm now imagining what a taylor swift actual struggle session would look like that. i'm trying to conjure that. i will think about that over the weekend. thank you all for joining us. that is "all in" for this week. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> have a fantastic weekend, my friend. thank you. and thanks for you for joining this hour. a few days after the 2020 presidential election the lieutenant governor of the great state of texas, dan patrick,
announced a cash reward, a cash bounty. lieutenant governor dan patrick was ready to pay up to $1 million to anyone who could find evidence of the supposed voter fraud that president trump said had cost him the election. and this $1 million prize was not just for people in texas. it was an offer valid in all 50 states. quote, whistle-blowers and tipsters turn over their evidence to local law enforcement. anyone who provides that leads to an arrest and find conviction of voter fraud will be paid a minimum of $25,000 but up to $1 million. wow. and wouldn't you know it, soon after texas' lieutenant governor dan patrick threw that chum into the water. he got a bite. oddly, he got it from somebody who has the same job he has in a different state. the lieutenant governor in
pennsylvania, john fetterman, said he had taken on the challenge frommen dan patrick and, bingo, instantly he hit pay dirt. he said he had bang-up sure-fire evidence of a instance of real voter fraud in the 2020 election in his home state of pennsylvania and it was maybe not the kind of voter fraud his texas counterpart was hoping for, but john fetterman tried to collect just the same. he said, quote, hey, lieutenant governor patrick, it's me, john fetterman. i'd like to collect your handsome reward for reporting voter fraud. i got a dude in 40 fort, pa who tried to have his dead mom vote for trump. as far as we know, pennsylvania's lieutenant governor did not receive any of that reward money despite forwarding that information in response to patrick's claim. he didn't get his money. even after he pointed to additional evidence of voter
fraud again in his home state. yes, there was the dude in forty fort, pennsylvania. he was arrested for forging an absentee ballot in his dead mother's name. but he was not the only one. there was another pennsylvania guy. this one in delaware county, pennsylvania. he filled out a voter registration application for his dead mother as well, although his mother had been dead for, like, a dozen years. the guy then requested and submitted an absentee ballot in her name with a vote for donald trump for president in 2020. when the state of pennsylvania flagged his mother's voter registration as belonging to an obviously dead person, this guy ended up signing and sending back a letter to the state swearing in fact she was still alive. he did that in order to deliberately cast a single fraudulent vote for donald trump. he pled guilty to it in court. but wait, there is more. there was a fwu in chester county, pennsylvania, another
registered republican, who went and cast his ballot at his local polling place but then 45 minutes later he came back wearing sunglasses. and in sunglasses he cast a ballot in his son's name. somehow an alert poll worker saw through his blil sunglasses disguise. if you don't want to pick on pennsylvania, there is a guy in ohio, an actual elected local republican official in his town in odes. he voted twice in 2020, once for himself and once by forging his dead father's signature. again, an elected republican official in ohio. voter fraud is very, very rare in our country. but there are a few instances of it here and there. usually affecting a single vote. and the few instances that turn up from time to time are usually ridiculous. and all of those instances that i just described from 2020, all of those republicans, all of
them got off with basically a slap on the wrist for their crimes. the dude in forty fort pennsylvania prosecutors dropped the most serious charges against him. the guy who voted for his dozens years dead mother swearing she was alive, he got five years probation. the local republican elected official in ohio who voted for his dead father, he got jail time. he got three days in jail and a $500 fine. and it is worth keeping that context in mind when you also remember the case of crystal mason. we have talked about crystal mason. in 2016, she went to her local polling place in tarrant county, texas, to vote. she voted her name not on the voting rolls there. at the suggestion of a poll worker, miss mason filled out a provisional ballot. she was told basically we are not sure what the problem is, but fill this out. if there is any real problem here, we won't count it but provisionally you can cast this
vote in case we can sort out whatever seems to be the matter. a few months after that experience she was arrested and charged with illegal voting because when she filled out that provisional ballot she was on supervised release after completing a prison sentence for federal conviction. and she thought because she had served her time in prison that she was eligible to vote. she didn't know under texas law you are not eligible to vote unless you have also completed any probation or supervised release after release from prison. she did not know that. even though that was a technical misunderstanding and even though she cast a provisional ballot and her provisional ballot was never counted, she nevertheless was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. five years hard time for illegal voting. so if you are a republican white guy engaged in an elaborate
premeditated scheme to deliberately cast a dead person's vote for donald trump, even though you know that person is dead and it's illegal, forgiven, probation, perhaps a small fine. but if you are crystal mason in texas, trying to vote because she doesn't know she is not eligible, she is only not eligible or a technicality, and in fact her vote is never counted five years in prison. now, you may remember us talking about miss mason's case. it's egregious in context. now it looks like again in the state of texas it may be happening again. this story starts on primary day in texas last year. so not the general election. this was actually super tuesday, the day that 15 different states and territories held their presidential primaries, including texas. march 3rd last year. the turnout on super tuesday last year was massive.
harris county, texas, home to houston, they were not prepared for the huge turnout on super tuesday last month. there were crazy long likes at polling places, particularly in heavily minority communities. people in those communities had to wait hours to vote in many circumstances. and that was when the mention met her voice rogers. mr. rogers was the last person in line at the polling site on texas southern university's campus that night. that's him, bald guy in the white shirt on the other side of that glassdoor. he got to the poll site before 7:00 p.m. in the end, it took him 6 hours and 20 minutes to get to the front of the line and cast his ballot. he finally walked out of that polling place after 1:30 in the morning. according to some reports, he may have been the last person in texas to cast a vote that night. he wait inside line more than six hours. he told reporters it was worth
it and he felt good. he also said he had been there so long, he had to get ready for had his next shift for his next job. >> what's next for the night? >> well, get ready to go to work. >> got to get ready to go to work. after six hours in line to vote. so a couple of things came out of that 2020 primary day in texas. hervis rogers became the story of the day, a one news cycle mini celebrity because of his persistence and dependscation so impressive, and no american should have be to so persistent and dedicated in order to just cast a vote. the other other thing that happened was the county clerk who oversaw that voting debacle super tuesday in texas, apologized and resigned. harris county commissioners appoint add new clerk, an energetic, ambitious enthusiastic young man. he changed the amcation of voting machines and extended voting hours.
he convinced harris county officials to approve millions more doll toers pay for poll workers and drive-thru voting and mail-in ballots to try to ease the bottlenecks that led to long lines during the primary. we spoke to him. you might remember the first day of early voting for the general election last year when his hard work paid off. that day, the first day of early voting, hashz county had a record smashing turnout. almost double the early voting turnout in 2016. harris county continued to marsh smash early voting records. it also recorded the highest voter turnout in decades in large part because harris county made voting so easy and accessible. vote at more times in more places, vote from your car, vote by mail. texas republicans looked at that, they looked at record voter turnout in their largest city and they said, oh no, we cannot let that happen again. than is why texas state
legislators are back in the state capitol this week called back by the state's republican governor for a special session to, among other things, try to pass some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. and what the republicans did fashion this legislation honestly seems like they looked at all the things that harris county implemented last year, the measures that made voting easier, more accessible, led to record turnout, they looked at what harris county did and wrote a bill making all that illegal. all of those things, you know, helped people vote in harris county. did we find things that help people vote in harris county, made it easy and convenient to vote? whatever that was, make it illegal. and just as republican legislators gather in the texas capitol now for the special
session to roll back voting rights and to make it extra special, adds former president donald trump and trump-esque republicans from across the country gathered up the road in dallas for the annual cpac convention, just as that is happening in texas, today comes word from texas that hervis rogers has been arrested by the republican attorney general of texas for illegal voting. turns out when hervis rogers waited over six hours to vote in march of 2020 on super tuesday he was a few months short of the end of his parole for an old burglary conviction in the '90s. he has been out of prison for more than 15 years, but his parole did not technically end until last june. remember he voted in the primary in march. texas attorney general has charged hervis rogers with two counts of illegal voting, alleging he voted in the 2018
general election as well. we don't know at this point whether in was an honest mistake. perhaps he didn't know he was not allowed to vote. we don't know. that said, perhaps it was a deliberate premeditated scheme to wait over six hours in line to vote in a democratic primary to break the law on purpose. muah! we don't know what mr. rogers has to say. we can't ask him because the attorney general of texas has locked him up. has locked up hervis rogers on $100,000 bail. he is in prison tonight unable to pay $100,000 bail. bail is set at $100,000. what? because he might escape and vote again? also, i should tell you this. hervis rogers lives in harris county. the big diverse county that includes houston that i just told you about. he voted in harris county.
but the texas attorney general has chosen to file these charges against him in neighboring montgomery county. we asked the attorney general's office why they filed these charges in that other county. they told us essentially because we can. they said the law allow them to file the charges in any county that abuts harris county if they want to. they wouldn't tell us why they picked montgomery county. i can tell you that according to the most recent u.s. census data, of the eight possible counties that abut harris county, of the eight counties they have legally charged hervis rogers, which they have the option of drawing a jury pool if this case goes to trial, montgomery county is just about the whitest. it has the lowest proportion of african american residents of any of those counties. i can't tell you for certain that is relevant, but it's true. the attorney general's office, we went back to them again, they will not tell us why they chose this county.
i'll also tell tu that the aclu of texas put out a statement, quote, the arrest and prosecution of mr. hervis rogers should alarm all texans. he waited in line six hours to vote to fulfill his civic duty. he is locked up on a bail amount that most people could not afford. he faces potentially decades in jail. hour laws should not intim date team from voting by increasing the risk of prosecution for mistakes. we will continue to fight for justice and mr. rogers and will push back to efforts to further restrict voting lights. only he had been a white guy casting a vote in a name of a dead relative for donald trump, right? can't we all agree that's the way that -- i will also tell you that the texas attorney general has put out his own statement, sort of. at least he tweeted. he refers to local public radio news article that broke the news of hervis rogers' arrest as,
quote, this liberal npr article. he says, quote, hervis is felon rightly barred from voting under texas law. i prosecute vetoed everywhere we find it. kim paxton prosecutes it whenever he wants to, as well, it would seem. and wherever he wants to. the alleged illegal voting, hervis rogers is aof, took place a year and a half ago. it's not like he was hiding. it he was a national media figure for a hot minute because he had to cast his vote after that six-plus-hour wait before heading off to his other job. but apparently this is the moment to arrest him, to lock him up on $100,000 bail and to bring charges against him that put him in jail for decades. this is the moment. for some reason, now, had to happen today. as republican legislators gather in the texas state capitol to make it harder for texans who look like hervis rogers to vote.
and just in time for kim paxton to give his headliner speech at cpac this weekend in dallas before donald trump takes the stage there. i should also tell you texas attorney general kim paxton himself is under indictment on securities fraud charges in the state of texas. has been for years. texas attorney general kim paxton is under fbi investigation for abusing his office to allegedly benefit a wealthy campaign donor, a scheme so egregious and over the top seven of paxton's top deputies in the attorney general's office reported him to law enforcement authorities. texas attorney general kim paxton, currently under investigation by the texas state bar to determine whether his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on bogus fraud claims amount to professional misconduct that should result in him loosing his law license. remember when he tried to get the united states supreme court so toss out other state's
presidential votes for biden and declare donald trump the winner? yeah, you know, forge your dead parents' signature in order to vote for trump. slap on the wrist, maybe. try to overturn a whole democratically decided election? you get to be attorney general of texas, even if you are already under indictment. but wait in line for over six hours to cast a vote a few weeks before your parole is up, you get locked up with bail you cannot possibly pay, charged in a county designed to ensure an all-white jury four, threatened with decades in prison. seems to be where we are tonight. joining us is texas state representative nicole collier, she represents part of fort worth. thank you for being here. >> i appreciate being here. >> obviously, i am talking about a couple of things that are happening at once here. this case of mr. hervis rogers, his arrest, potential charges
against him, and the texas special session right now to try to restrict voting rights across the state. let's start with the second one of those first. what is at stake in this special session, and do you think that there is any hope of holding off changes to texas law? >> well, the republicans have created barriers. they have filed bills that will create barriers to voting. we had one of the highest voter turnout rates in the last general election and our former republican-appointed secretary of state said that those elections were smooth and secure. let me tell you what's on the line. your ability for free and fair elections are on the line. and what they are trying to do is limit your voice. one of the higher voter turnout rates in texas, but also overrepresented in the criminal justice system. so when you create laws that are going to create new criminal
penalties, it's going to impact people of color more. in fact, the aclu did a report that showed that the texas attorney general's office targeted people of color 72% much the cases they filed against black and latino people, especially most of them being women. we have reason to be concerned. we need to make sure that we turn out to oppose any further further assault on our right to vote. >> i know you called on texas residents to come make themselves known at this special session, to come to austin, to come to the state capitol, to come to these hearings as republicans try to pass new laws to make voting more restricted in texas. i know that we are expecting a considerable rally at the texas state capitol for people trying to fight these rollbacks of -- these proposed rollbacks of voting rights. has this captured the attention of the people of texas? has this captured the attention
of black and brown communities in texas who, as you say, are particularly targeted by these types of voting rights attacks? >> there has been a concerted effort. the churches are getting involved, making sure. this is reminiscent of what happened in the 1960s where we were fighting for equality and we're still fighting for equality today, but now we have more support in the business arena and with our churches back at it again making sure that people are organized, that they are prepared because we have to stay ready. always be ready because they are chipping away at our right to vote. so, yes, i believe that there are more opportunities for people to speak, but we are just outnumbered in the texas legislature. there is only 67 democrats. that's not enough to overcome this oppressive bill. so we're going to have to use
all the tools we have, whether that's parliamentary procedure by filing amendments or putting points of order up there. we are going to do everything we can to stop this bill being forward. >> texas state representative nicole collier, chair of the sliver black caucus. thank you. i know this is a really intense time. thanks for keeping us on track here and up to date. i appreciate you being here. >> thank you. >> all right. much more to get to. busy friday night. stay with us. us who dares to be s even when her bladder leaks. our softest, smoothest fabric keeping her comfortable, protected, and undeniably sleek. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you. ♪ all by yourself.♪ - oh. - what? rain. cancel and stay? done. go with us and get millions of felixble booking options.
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last month republicans in the michigan state senate publish add report laying out the results of their months-long investigation into claims by former president trump and his support their the election in michigan was somehow rigged. that joe biden didn't really win michigan by more than 150,000 votes, that somehow the voting in michigan must have been
tampered with or burgled by the hamburglar. somehow trump must have won. they looked into all of it deeply and what they found was butkus. i quote, this committee exhausted every resource available to it to thoroughly and faithfully dpam inour elections process in michigan and drill down on claims speck to the 2020 election. no evidence of widespread fraud. a detailed examination of all evidence presented an undeniable conclusion, there is no evidence to prove either significant acts of fraud or that an organized wide scale effort to commit fraudulent activity was perpetrated in order to subvert the will of michigan voters. wawa. again, this was a review by republicans in the michigan state senate. no fraud or irregularities.
turns out biden won michigan. full stop. at the top of trump conspiracy theories is a totally bananas set of claims about one michigan county, an tropical storm county. and the republican senators who investigated the conspiracy theories found the claims about this county were actually the stoop he had exist of them all. the conspiracy theories were indisputableably false. in fact, the michigan republicans found that the claims being made were so outrageously false so egregiously and, obviously, divorced from reality, they found the people pushing those claims might be motivated by something other than misunderstanding. they might be motivated by something worse than just ignorance. the senate republicans in fact wrote this into their report. quite, the acquit recommends that the michigan attorney
general consider investigating those who have been utilizing misleading and false information from antrim county to raise money or publicity for their own ends. it's actually the only fraud that michigan senators said they found when they looked deeply and carefully into all the trump conspiracy theories about the voting in michigan. the only fraud they were able to find was the fraud committed by the trump folks trying to sell this untrue totally debunked fictional fairy tale about antrim county for profrt. >> this is from "the detroit news." in an interview senator mcbroom, chairman of the oversight committee, said his panel found what appeared to be potentially fraudulent activity among some individuals who had been making false claims about the election. mcbroom said if you are profiting by making false claims, that's pretty much the definition of fraud. well, here's some news for us today. michigan's attorney general, dana nessel, announced she
accepts that request and challenge from these state senators who did the report debunking the false fraud claims about michigan. she said today her office will investigate what they're asking her to investigate. her office said today that the attorney general's office and the michigan state police will investigate people who are profiting off making these trump world false fraud claims about the michigan election. and it seems like it might not be hard to know where to start. the detroit news pointing out in fact one of the main proponents. the fake election fraud claims has an election fraud defense fund. a fundraising page which says that he has raked in over $384,000. the detroit free suppress points out another prominent republican proponent of the fake fraud claims his website making these false fraud claims also solicits financial donations for himself. there is also this, which we
found today on the telegram channel promoting the cause of an arizona-style election audit in michigan. they are apparently holding an event in michigan two weeks from now where you can learn about the confirmed existence of election fraud, why they need a forensic audit there. learn all about it off you cough up 20 bucks to get in the door. we tried contacting the organizers to find out where that 220 bucks goes if you decide to hand over your hand earned money to attend the michigan fraud fest. we have not heard back from them. we will keep trying. another thing to watch is happening early monday morning because it's not just grifty potential fraud suspects in michigan who have been pushing the false election fraud claims in michigan. in late november trump attorney sydney powell and three other lawyers filed a federal lawsuit in michigan trying to push these same claims. the lawsuit tried to force the
state of michigan into awarding its electoral votes to trump even though biden won the election. the federal judge hearing that case in late november not only dismissed the lawsuit, she nuked it. she wrote in her ruling in early december, quote, plaintiffs ask this court to ignore the statutory scheme established to challenge elections and ignore the will of millions of voters. this the court cannot and will not do. people have spoken. the judge said, quote, this lawsuit seems to be less about achieving the relief plaintiffs seek and more about the impact of their allegations on people's faith in the democratic process and their trust in our government. ow. that was december, federal court ruling. well, on monday morning this upcoming monday bright and early that same federal judge has demanded the presence of those trump lawyers who brought that dumpster fire lawsuit. she is demanded the presence of
all of them at a hearing to consider, quote, motion for sanctions. motions for disciplinary action. motion for disbar. referral. motion for referral to state bar disciplinary bodies. that's where the trump lawyers who filed that lawsuit will be monday morning in michigan. two weeks ago rudy giuliani lost his license to practice law in new york state thanks to his alleged lies and misrepresentations to the court in his own dumpster fire legal efforts on behalf of trump's false claims that he secretly won the election. that was just two weeks ago. this week mr. glooul lost his license to practice in washington, d.c., for the same reason. monday morning sydney powell and the other trump lawyers who played that game in michigan, they will have their reckoning as well. while the michigan state police and state attorney general start investigating anyone who is making money still trying to sell this disproven malicious
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think of the 26-year-old employee at a company. she is a star worker but isn't being treated right. she is underpaid, passed over for promotions. kmet competitor across the street knows it, wants to bring her in to a higher wage s she can't do it. her company threatens legal action over a common compete clause. she can't afford a lawyer for help so she is locked in. imagine if you are in her shoes. and feel powerless. disrespected, bullied, trapped. that's not right. workers should be free to take a better job if someone offers it.
if your employer wants to keep you, he or she should have to make it worth your while to stay. >> president biden this afternoon before he signed a new executive order designed to increase competitiveness across the economy. and i'll tell you, this seems like kind of a big deal. it's at least got big aims. making things worth the american people's while, whether as an employee or customer. but it touches on so many different parts of the economy, it's hard to get your head around it. reining in noncompete clause toss make sure americans can leave their jobs for better offers. it orders changes to make drug prices more competitive by americans to buy canadian drugs, paying for hearing aids. right now hearing aids can cost
thousands of dollars. that could bring them down from thousands to hundreds of dollars. this executive order has a line in it, i kid you not, about forcing cellphone manufacturers to let you get your phone repaired by a third party rather than making you come back to them. i mean, who hasn't been annoyed by those weird rules in the past? there is another line that would make it so if you paid for wifi on a flight and it didn't work or you checked a bag and the airline lost your bag, the airline would have to give you your money back because they didn't provide those services. all those specifics, but then there is big broad changes, too, to very big things like merger and antitrust law. there is in fact so much here that i wanted some help breaking it down from somebody in a position to know. joining us now is deputy director of president biden's national economic council. it's a pleasure to have you here. thanks for making time tonight.
>> thanks, rachel. >> is it fair to say that people getting treated more fairly, either as a customer or as an employee, ought to be thought of as the unifying idea here, the unifying theme here? >> yeah, the common thread through this entire executive order and the 72 specific actions that are called for in it is reviving competition in the american economy. and that's going to do three things. lower the prices that people pay for goods and services they buy every day. it's going to raise wages for workers and it's going to promote innovation and dynamism in the economy. to give an example, noncompetes, talked about that, 60 million workers in this country are subject to noncompete agreements. these are not high-level executives who as the president said know the secret formula for coke and you don't want them to go to pepsi. these are hotel workers, construction workers, one in five workers without a college
degree is subject to a noncomplete agreement. i heard the other day about yoga teachers being subject to them. by banking these, we allow workers to find a job better for them. it will give people better options, maybe better benefits, more flexible hours. that's the kind of economy that the president wants to build. >> how much of this can be done by executive order? obviously, legislation is always the sort of more permanent way and the more difficult way to get stuff passed. i am struck by the fact that the word edge kurjs appears a lot in this executive order. is some of this the president laying out the way he wants the economy to operate, or is some of this enforceable and stuff that can be changed by virtue ever the president's signature today? >> no, there is a lot that is going to change because of this executive order today. there is a set of orders towards what are called the executive
branch agencies health and human services, the department of transportation and so on where there are clear directives to take action within a certain timeline. that hearing aid change, that is directed to happen in 120 days. as you note, there are portions of the order that talk about encouraging or urging agencies to do things. that's because some of these agencies are independent agencies like the federal trade commission, the federal communications commission and so on. in those cases we at the white house have talked to those agencies. they are onboard with the changes we are talking about. so we hope and expect over the next months to see a series of changes that are going to make concrete improvements in people's lives. >> let me ask you specifically on that hearing aids point. i have been fascinated with that issue for a long time. it's so easy to understand, when you look at that parallel with reading glasses, which you can get over the counter and made reading glasses so much more affordable for the tens of
millions of americans who need them. president trump signed legislation, i think it was a bill, in his first year in office that was tee zbliend to accomplish that same goal but of course it never happened. why didn't it happen then and why will it happen now? >> yeah, as you know, this was a bipartisan proposal from senator warren and senator grassley to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter. it passed in 2017. by law, the food and drug administration was supposed to include regulations to allow the hearing aids to be sold over the counter by 2020 of the trump administration didn't take action on it. president biden wants to make sure as soon as possible folks can get hearing aids over the count earpism would note 50 million americans suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss and one in seven of those folks have hearing aids. the reason for that is because it can cost up to $5,000 a pair. with these changes folks will be able to walk into their local drugstore and pick up a pair of
hearing aids like they buy a thermometer and it will cost a few hundred bucks instead. >> this is a big deal. thanks for helping us understand all those pieces of it. thanks for being here tonight. >> thanks. more ahead. stay with us. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein. (upbeat pop music in background throughout)
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yep... everything hurts. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engle, is in kabul, afghanistan right now, as u.s. troops complete their withdrawal after 20 years of war. today richard met with a guy who worked for years as a translator for u.s. troops there. >> reporter: in kabul i met tom, which is what u.s. troops called him. did you hear president biden's promise? >> i got a lot of news, a lot of announcements, but they are no action. >> reporter: he lived in close quarters with u.s. troops and has reams of recommendation letters. he helped translate for and sometimes defend u.s. forces on
150 combat operations. >> he told me, hey tomorrow, get behind me and show me the enemies. >> reporter: you are pointing out where the taliban is? >> with yeah. >> reporter: the his commander vouches for him. >> we owe a debt in the just to translators like tom who served alongside us. >> reporter: tom has been waiting for his visa for four years. >> this process is really hard. >> you help the u.s., now the u.s. needs to help you, simple as that. >> yeah, yeah. that time the u.s. need help so we helped them. right now, we need help, so u.s. army, the u.s. government has to help us. >> seems reasonable. >> he went on over 150 combat missions with u.s. troops. think about that. over 150 combat missions. the u.s. promised we would keep him safe in exchange for him helping our forces there. but in his case, so far we are
blowing it. as you heard richard report there, this young man applied for a u.s. visa to get out four years ago. but still, nothing. this translator who richard spoke with today told him that people he knows who translated for british forces or for french troops in afghanistan, they have had their applications to get out processed and okayed and they have been flown out. it's all been done quickly and safely already. those people he knows who worked with forces from other countries, they're out and safe already as the taliban now forms a ring around kabul and has claimed responsibility for -- has claimed coverage of more than 85% of afghan territory. so for some reason, if you served british or french troops, you've been taken care of already. but if you served american troops, you're still just sitting there. as time starts to run out and the taliban closes in. president biden has pledged that the u.s. is going to do the
same, that there is a home in the united states for these folks if that is where they want to be, that we will stand by them as they stood by us. he has made that commitment crystal clear but honestly, there isn't a sign of it on the ground. one of the proposals that's been floated for how to help get the u.s. translators to safety in the very near term which is when they need to get to safety is for the u.s. to fly them to the u.s. territory of guam. we have done that before. guam has served as a safe landing place for tens of thousands of evacuees from previous u.s. wars. that's where they have come first as their applications for u.s. visas are processed. guam knows how to do it, they say they are ready to do it again. last night on this show the governor of guam told us she and the island of guam are basically ready and waiting for somebody in the u.s. government to reach out to her so that guam can make this happen for these translators to whom america owes a debt of gratitude. guam is happy to do it, they're ready to start putting plans in motion but they haven't heard anything from the biden administration.
what's going on? what's the holdup? we got some insight into that today. wednesday this week, i interviewed matt zoeller, an afghanistan veteran organizing to get translators evacuated. when i asked him why nobody is arguing against this plan but still it's not happening, he said this. >> homeland security. we're told it's career officials who want to do that whole, oh, we can't bring them here, they might be bad people. this program has existed for over 13 years. in that time, not a single nefarious individual was ever snuck through. these people had to be vetted to work with us overseas. so they've already gone through that just to be able to serve alongside u.s. forces. >> he said, we're told it's the department of homeland security. that answer caught my attention when matt zoeller told us that a
couple of days ago on the show. now today some new reporting from our colleagues at nbc news appears to confirm that assessment. nbc news reporting today, quote, biden administration officials have been locked in an internal debate over plans to evacuate afghans who worked for the u.s. military with some officials arguing against taking the evacuees to u.s. territory where they would have more legal rights once they arrived. in the administration's discussions on the issue of getting these translators to safety, some official at the department of homeland security and the state department have voiced misgivings about evacuating afghan partners to guam or other u.s. territories where their visa applications would be reviewed. according to two congressional aides and three people familiar with the matter, that's five sources. those officials believe there are additional legal issues you encounter when you bring them to u.s. territory, said one congressional aide. if an afghan's visa request were denied on u.s. territory, the applicant would have recourse to appeal the decision under american immigration law. but if instead the applicant was
in a third country, he or she would have virtually no grounds to appeal any rejection of a u.s. visa request or an order to deport that person back to afghanistan. all right. it is worth pointing out here again that these are translators who risked their lives to help american forces in afghanistan and they have already been vetted by the u.s. military in order to carry out that work. let me just say this clearly. if in fact there are random officials who are not the president, there are random officials at homeland security and the state department who are worried that if those translators end up at a u.s. territory like guam, they'll have too many legal protections, they'll have too much due process while their claims are evaluated, and that's the holdup for evacuating any of them at all? that's a problem. that is so backwards, it's almost inside out. i mean, heaven forbid they get
due process from us, after all they have sacrificed for our country. the risk is that some of them might get too much due process? so we're not evacuating any of them? president biden appears legitimately committed to getting this done. but for whatever reason, the government he runs is not getting it done. the holdup appears to be at the homeland security department and according to this nbc news report today, also at the state department. officials at homeland security and the state department are blocking this from getting done and it is getting to be too late. the president says he wants this done. getting this done means it has to be done quickly. the dithering and hand-wringing here is blocking any of the evacuation effort from actually starting. somebody high up has to unclog this.
that is going to do it for us tonight. happy friday. i'll see you again here on monday night. now it's time for "the last word" where mehdi hasan is in for lawrence tonight. good evening, mehdi, it's good to see you. >> good evening, rachel. it is friday night. can you confirm for the viewers that you have a fun-packed weekend ahead? >> umm, no. not at all. i'm just going to be, you know, reading transcripts and stuff. definitely not doing any fishing. >> sunday afternoon, you must join me virtually at least and watch england