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tv   Velshi  MSNBC  July 10, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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trump's continue ed peddling of the big lie is being used against capitol riot suspects in court. plus, the growing evidence that the next january 6th is being planned right in front of us. then, the battle is on in texas where a special legislative session is officially under way, called specifically by the republican governor for the purpose of forcing through new voter suppression measures. democrats walked out once to stop the attack on voting. we'll ask a texas democrat if they're prepared to do it again. and the former grifter in chief is still at it. we'll talk about the tactic our former president is using to continue to bilk the american taxpayer. "velshi" starts now. good morning, it is saturday, july 10th. i'm ali velshi. we have plenty of news to get to, let's get to it. according to health experts, we are headed for a dangerous fall season. with the highly contagious delta
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19 variant spreading through unvaccinated pockets of the country and putting the whole country at risk. and disturbing news out of louisiana where 27 fully vaccinated people have now died from breakthrough covid infections. and acting against a different kind of threat, president biden spent an hour on the phone with the russian president vladimir putin warning him to do something about cyber criminals launching ransomware attacks from inside his country against crucial american industries and institutions. meanwhile, senate majority leader chuck schumer is warning lawmakers that they may have to work through their summer vacation if they can't get an infrastructure bill through the senate before august. we'll have much more on all of those stories coming up. right now, we've got newly released body cam footage from the justice department that shows yet again the extent of the capitol violence that officers faced during the deadly january 6 insurrection. in this video that we're about
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to show you, one of the rioters yells at the police, "you're going to die tonight." these videos are part of the government's evidence against capitol riot suspects. i want to warn you, they are disturbing to watch. >> you're going to die tonight! >> this is another newly released video that shows a police officer being dragged into the frothing maga mob. it's among several new videos from the day of the attack. officers like that were attacked while protecting the capitol from insurrectionists may be at risk now of having their pay cut. vermont democrat senator patrick leahy issued a dire warning yesterday saying as i have warned, if we do not act, the capitol police project will deplete salary funds sometime in august and they already exceeded their projected overtime because
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of activities resulting from january 6 in late june. videos like what we just showed you along with a trove of other evidence could become part of a massive database. politico reports the justice department has agreed to pay $6.1 million to a technology contractor to create a massive database of videos, photographs, documents and social media posts related to the capitol riot as part of the process of turning relevant evidence over to defense attorneys for more than 500 people chasing criminal charges in the january 6 events. speaking of charges, federal prosecutors have just charged five floridians for their alleged role in the capitol attack. according to newly unsealed documents, prosecutors accused one suspect of thrusting a flag pole into the chest of a police officer. they charged another suspect, jonathan pollack, with dragging two police officers down a set of stairs and ramming a stolen police shield into an officer's throat. four of the five have been arrested and pleaded not guilty. one has still not been
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apprehended. now the justice department says the delusional former president, his claims that he will be reinstated could have more violence from his supporters. federal prosecutors are citing the inflammatory rhetoric as a reason for denying an alleged capitol rioter's request to remove his ankle monitor and discontinue his gps tracking. in the filing prosecutors write the former president continues to make false claims about the election, insinuate he may be reen stalled as president without another election and minimize the violent attack on the capitol. the defendant in this case is not a good candidate to be out in the community without electronic monitoring to ensure the safety of the community and the safety of democracy in the current environment. prosecutors are right to sight insurrectionist former president trump's violent rhetoric. after all, he was kicked off most social media platforms for inciting the january 6th attack. the twice impeached
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ex-president's favorite megaphone is still unavailable for him to amplify is delusions of grandeur so he's going back to his old playbook. he is now leading a pretty much dead on arrival class action lawsuit against facebook, twitter, google and their ceos. however, as with almost everything associated with him, this frivolous lawsuit appears to be mostly about raising money off the backs of his supporters. cnbc reports, quote, shortly after the news conference wrapped, trump's political entities started sending out fund-raising messages that touted the lawsuits in their appeals for money. on a similar note the former grifter in chief appears to be making money off of taxpayers. the new report from "the washington post" reports his golf club in bedminster, new jersey, charged the secret service $10,200 for guest rooms used by his protective security detail during his first months at the golf club. that's not even half of the amounting that the defeated president has bilked from u.s.
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taxpayers since he left office in january. joining me is the reporter behind those new allegations, david farenthold. he's done extensive reporting on the trump family and its businesses. david, good to see you again. tell me about this charging of the secret service for accommodation at mar-a-lago and donald trump's golf courses. what are the other options? what are the ways in which donald trump can get the security to which he is entitled without this consistently being another big bill for taxpayers? >> well, he could just give us to us for free, the taxpayers. so the secret service is supposed to go wherever its protectees go. since trump sent all of his time within the walls of his own golf courses or his own clubs, that means they have to be inside those walls too. trump controls that space. he could give them any space he wanted for free, let them put up a tent or trailer for free but he's chosen to charge them.
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at mar-a-lago he was charging them $400 a night for a room after he left office. at bedminster he's charging $567 for a cottage the secret service uses. trump can charge whatever he wants. it's more of an ethical question. if this guy is a billionaire, why is he charging the people who protect him? >> anything that can be done about this other than be frustrated that our tax dollars are going to that degree of expense to protect the president? >> this is unprecedented with one exception. joe biden when he was vice president charged the secret service for a cottage they rentinged on the grounds of his house in delaware, but there's been nobody before or since and the scale of trump's charges are far greater. biden's charges were $171,000 over seven years. trump exceeded that in his first
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three months as president and is now above $2.5 million total he charged government. let's talk about the indictments against the trump organization and allen weisselberg, its cfo. where are we with those? >> last week as we talked about, the trump organization and its cfo were indicted on felony charges in state court in new york. mostly the charges deal with allegations of tax evasion. allen weisselberg and the rest of the company ran a scheme that allowed them to hide taxable income from the irs. allen weisselberg personally evaded $900,000 plus in taxes. the investigation the prosecutors say is ongoing so i guess the big question for us now -- well, two big questions. will allen weisselberg flip and begin cooperating against trump? and will there be charges against trump's children, his coo, matthew calamari, or trump
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himself. >> david, thank you for joining us this morning. i want to point you to what's going on at the bottom of the screen. this is happening right now in the city of charlottesville, virginia. it's in the process of tearing down a controversial confederate statue. the statue you are looking at is one of general robert e. lee. you can see it's currently coming down. the city will also take down a monument to stonewall jackson, thomas j. jackson. both statues were key rallying points for the violent unite the right rally in 2017 that left one person dead and 19 others injured when a car slammed into the group protesting the rally. as you can see, we are watching it right now. they are removing that statue. there is some discussion as to what happens to those statues. there is discussion about them going into a military museum or a civil war museum. the plan is not to destroy them but to put them somewhere other than in a public park in charlottesville, virginia. we'll continue to stay on that
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story. joining me now is democratic congresswoman chrissy houlahan. she also is a veteran of the u.s. air force. representative, good to see you, that you for being with us today. >> good morning. thanks for having me. >> i want to start with this january 6 commission which is getting ready to get under way. it's been populated from the democratic side. it's actually had a republican populated from the democratic side, liz cheney, a republican whom kevin mccarthy and others seem to be claiming is becoming some sort of a pelosi-loving liberal. i don't know how well you know liz cheney but i think i've got a better chance of growing hair than liz cheney becoming a liberal. but kevin mccarthy has five chances. he's got five people he can put onto that committee. he can put nobody on if he wants, to he can put five good people who will help get to the bottom of what happened on january 6th or put five obstructionists on the committee. what do you think happens?
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>> well, gosh, i sure hope he does the right thing, and the right thing would be to put five good people on that committee. i believe five good people exist in his caucus and that's where i hope he goes. where he actually goes i can't certainly predict. i can tell you that you're right, i know liz cheney relatively well and i think she's -- we don't see eye to eye on almost anything but i think she's a very, very good pick to serve on that committee. >> i think that's the point. you don't need to see eye to eye on these things, you just need to make some commitment to get to the bottom of what happened from a security perspective, from an organizational perspective, from a motivational perspective and how to stop that from happening again. >> 100%. i think fundamentally you just have to love this country that we're all serving. >> let's talk about afghanistan. i'm sort of amazed at the degree to which the kudos for the afghan pullout and the criticism are evenly divided. there are people who are in favor of the pullout who are democrats and republicans and
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people who are against it who are democrats and republicans. you are a veteran, and there are -- i've been getting a lot of concern from veterans about how we are leaving and what we are doing with the men and women who are interpreters to u.s. forces while we were there, some of whom remain stuck there and may soon be under taliban control. >> we should be concerned about that. you know, those people served us in a remarkable way and they are now in peril, their lives and their families lives are in danger right now. we owe it to them to find a way to bring them to safety. that's one of the things that we're working pretty aggressively on, on the house and senate side, is to push and make that happen. i worry about the afghany women and children left behind. a lot of the progress that had been made over the decades we had been there i worry will be erased very, very quickly as well and that's something to
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watch for too. >> the president made a point of saying there are 300 afghan armed forces and an air force versus 75,000 taliban. the impression that the president gives is the taliban are a bit of a ragtag group, but they are perhaps the most effective ragtag group in the history of the world. they have done a couple of things. they're highly destabilizing and allow other forces in, at least they did before 2001, who were then able to launch the attacks on the united states. they're more effective than they look. i mean that's i think the bottom line with the taliban. they look rag tag. they do not look organized. they drive other people's stolen cars and trucks. but they are a real threat. to those people you mentioned, the women and children, they don't get visa protection by americans. we're not looking to put them in guam or the emirates or bring them to the united states. they're kind of stuck there. >> you're right, and we should never underestimate the ability of the taliban. they are very innovative and
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they are very sophisticated despite appearances. that's something that we should be thinking about. it's one of the reasons why i'm fortunate to serve on the foreign affairs committee and have the opportunity to continue to press on my concern for women and for children in that community who don't have the opportunity as you mentioned to leave. >> you are on the foreign affairs committee and you have a president who is substantially more familiar with foreign affairs and has more experience in it than his predecessor. what's at the top of your mind in terms of the things we have to deal with? obviously we're dealing with russia and its expansionist views and its cybersecurity, we're dealing with an expansionist china who has major human rights issues and is crushing democracy in hong kong and having forays into taiwan. i didn't even mention iran. there's a lot going on in the world right now. what do you want congress and the president focused on? >> so all of those things are things that we should be focused on. the malign efforts on the part of china, iran and russia as you
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brought up. cybersecurity, biosecurity, artificial intelligence and the emerging threats that surround all of those are things that we should be concerned about. as you mentioned, president biden and this administration has an enormous amount of experience in bringing along our allies. i think that's something that we also need to be focused on as we figure out how to be safer as a nation is bringing our allies back into the fold because that makes us stronger. that's something that all of those other malign influences don't necessarily have. >> congresswoman, i appreciate your time this morning. democratic representative chrissy houlahan of pennsylvania. don't go anywhere, "velshi" is just getting started on this saturday morning. is president biden's withdrawal from afghanistan going to do more harm than good? i'll ask jason crow of colorado. plus, democrats in pennsylvania are trying to thwart an arizona-style sham election audit. i'll speak with the state's attorney general, john feterman, on the attempt to counter the
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big lie. all the events you're watching unfold have the markings of one thing, another january 6th just waiting to happen. that's next. you're watching "velshi" on msnbc. shi" on msnbc. this may look like a regular movie night. but if you're a kid with diabetes, it's more. it's the simple act of enjoying time with friends, knowing you understand your glucose levels. ♪♪
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increase energy, fuel desire, and improve performance. rush to walmart for test x180, the #1 fastest-growing testosterone brand in america. local action equals national impact. take responsibility for your school committees or boards, get involved in the education of our children, run for local, state and/or federal office. no more excuses. this is a quote featured atop a leading qanon forum that calls itself the public face of q. it is actually attributed to michael flynn, the insurrectionist former president's former national security advisor whose become something of a hero to qanon adherence. new reporting from benecolins says the far right group of conspiracy pushers is now planning to run candidates for school boards and local offices to spread the gospel of q. in a normal world, this would
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officially be the scariest thing happening in america right now, but we don't live in a normal world. voting rights are under ak at that. republicans in states across america are actively trying to overturn a legitimately won presidential election. far-right militias are infiltrating small towns. a guy that sells foam pillows on tv claims that the former president will be reinstated into the white house on august the 13th of this year. no sooner and no later. and the twice-impeached former president himself is holding rallies and press conferences, essentially calling revenge, calling for revenge for his election loss. in recent appearances over the last month, donald trump has said the election was, quote, the crime of the century saying we won the election in a landslide and you know it. we'll never stop fighting for the true results of this election. am i in the twilight zone? or maybe this is just deja vu
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because it sounds like the big lie that led to the january 6 insurrection. i wish we could just dismiss people like the foam pillow guy, and the ragtag bunch of people who spread bonkers conspiracy theories that no one with the basic ability for critical theory should take seriously. but that shipwrecked crowd has convinced most of the republican party that joe biden wasn't properly elected president. if joe biden wasn't rightfully elected, then we are not living in a democracy but rather under occupation which must be fought off violently if necessary. lies are spread and perpetuated among the weak, among those most susceptible to disinformation. and they lead to an actual insurrection against american democracy. the weak-minded, they are listening. if we're not careful, it's only a matter of time before something like january 6th happens all over again. it doesn't help that our
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republican lawmakers minus just a precious few continue to downplay and deny that first wednesday in january. the shattered glass, the clouds of smoke, the blood, the sweat, the tears, they have been cleared from the halls of congress. even the fencing around it is coming down. the place will within days look normal again. but the part you can't see is the threat. it is alive and well and playing out around the country with sham recounts and audits despite not a shred of evidence of widespread or organized voter fraud. you cannot sweep that away nearly as easily. we need to crush the nonsense or it will crush the democracy that people have fought and died for in america. dog. no, these are pants, dog. no way. my pants are pants, dog. pizza on a bagel—we can all agree with that. uhm whatever those are, they're not pants. [ ding ]
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and they are both equally anti-democratic. two campaigns undo the vote that's already happened and suppress the vote that is yet to happen. in texas we're seeing examples of the latter. a new special legislative session began on thursday aiming to revive a republican-led effort to pass yet more voting restrictions. today texas lawmakers are expected to hear directly from voters about the impact of these new election bills. the gop voting restriction proposals are pushing to eliminate programs that were used last year designed to help people vote during the pandemic. eliminating provisions that made voting more accessible, you know, in the name of election integrity. texas republicans want to get rid of drive-through voting, 24-hour voting, late night voting and absentee ballot drop boxes. they want to require partisan poll watchers. if a person helps three or more people to whom they are not related get to the polls, they must provide contact information. to what end?
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no one knows. programs like all-night voting and drive-through voting helped make it easier for everyone to vote but were used predominantly by voters of color during the 2020 election. so voters of color will disproportionately feel the effects of these tightening restrictions. let's not forget, it's already really difficult to vote in the state of texas. in fact texas was ranked dead last in a voter access study done by northern illinois university in november of 2020. why? largely because of its declining number of places to vote. joining me now is democratic state representative rhetta bowers of texas. representative, thank you for being with us. this voting place issue is a big one because in some parts of texas, the place in which people vote, and in some places those are places where there are large concentrations of black people, the place in which you vote is some distance from where you live, which means it is not
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convenient to vote before work or during lunch or after work. so the idea of pooling or going with other people to vote and extended voting hours is in some cases the difference between people being able to vote and not being able to vote. >> well, that's the actual reality. people are dependent upon rides. as we know, the lines were very long in the last election cycle and so people -- sometimes it's not just about going on your lunch hour. you're there for hours on end. in previous election cycles, we have passed out water, passed out snacks, and it isn't just a matter of when in some cases your polling location was right around the corner from your home. it is not that for everyone here in texas. >> right. so when people say everybody should vote on the same day in
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the same way, that assumes everybody is the same. but in fact the supreme court last week said some of these changes may have the effect of disenfranchising certain groups, but hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles. >> absolutely. and that is why we know that this is voter suppression at its best. i should probably change that to voter suppression at its worst. it will make it harder for people of color, black people and brown people and yellow people to vote. it will make it harder for people, whether that's what we call souls to the polls and them not being able to vote on sundays with the time change. and i think the time change on sunday, we may see something better in the new bill hopefully on that. >> why was it wrong to have
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souls to the polls? why was it wrong for people who gather in a place like church on a sunday to then get on a bus and go vote? to whom is that bad? >> well, it's bad to our opposition. it would be bad to the republicans because the truth of the matter is souls to the polls is a day -- it is a day that really brings african-americans out to vote. you know, busloads of people from churches. african-american churches are right after church, everybody is invigerized and ready to go to the bowls. that means that the turnout is going to be greater. the numbers -- some people that i know i'll tell you dedicate
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that time of voting. and it is significant -- it is significant that they vote on souls to the polls. some people say -- some people, whether it's the only time they have to vote because they have work or caring for children or caring for loved ones, but some people it's really that they want to make sure their vote counts and they know they did it and they went with their church family to the polls. >> state representative rhetta bowers, thank you for you and your colleagues doing what you're doing. we'll stay close to it through the course of the next few days as new legislation goes through the texas legislature. democratic state representative rhetta bowers of texas. let's take a look at what's going on in charlottesville, west virginia. this is -- charlottesville, virginia. this is the statue of general robert e. lee that is being removed from a park.
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this has been going on for the last few hours, but you can actually see it has been put on a platform and is being removed right now. there are two statues that are being removed. one is of general jackson, stonewall jackson. that is also being removed. i'm not clear on whether they have decided on a place for them but they will likely go into a civil war museum or somewhere else like that. of course charlottesville, virginia, was a hot spot in 2017 for a unite the right rally that turned violent in which one person was killed. you are watching the removal, the slow removal from downtown charlottesville of a very controversial statue, one which was a rallying point for right-wing demonstrators in 2017 and one that is now being removed. you can see crowds having gathered around there to watch this removal. this will be continuing a little later because we will have the removal of the statue of stonewall jackson as well.
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we'll stay on top of that with you. talking about voter suppression, pennsylvania is on the flip side of the anti-democratic coin. a senior state lawmaker and loyal supporter of donald trump is launching an audit all on his own in the hopes of overturning pennsylvania's 2020 election results. remember, i said in some states they are making it harder to vote. in other states like arizona and now pennsylvania they want to actually overturn the 2020 election. this follows the blueprint of the sham audit in arizona that is, by the way, somehow still ongoing. joining me now is the democratic lieutenant governor of pennsylvania, john fetterman, whom we should note is currently running for the united states senate. lieutenant governor, the arizona thing, kind of a mystery that your state senate republican leader went down there to actually look at it and try to emulate it in pennsylvania because, a, it's horrible, it just isn't going very well. they have been counting or
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auditing ballots for several months. number two, it's not particularly popular even amongst republicans because it seems to be exactly what it is, a nonsensical, fraudulent audit. see, even the lieutenant governor is speechless about this whole thing. there we go. got your audio back. >> i just want your viewers to understand that the people that are involved in these kinds of audits in pennsylvania are not the sharpest knives in the gop drawer. no one is taking this seriously. i could issue a letter on my office's letterhead to the pittsburgh steelers saying i demand i be installed as the starting left tackle for the upcoming season and that could generate some news stories, but it's not going to go anywhere and neither is this. our department of state has already shut down this ridiculous audit request. this is not the best and brightest of the gop attempting this, and it's not going
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anywhere, just like their snake handling in the ramada ballroom in gettysburg in november. it didn't go anywhere and none of this is going anywhere. >> there is a belief among mainstream republicans that either there was some real election fraud or why shouldn't be put all of the laws in place to prevent election fraud from taking place. i suppose one could agree with that intellectually that we should have things in place, but they should be in proportion to the problem that we're trying to solve. one thing that you have done is you have studied very carefully in pennsylvania the proportion of fraudulent voting. as i saw in a tweet that you sent the other day, we haven't even reached double digits. i don't know how many ballots -- there we go, 7 million ballots cast in pennsylvania and the number of voter fraud instances are not yet at ten. >> that's true. and that's what i keep trying to emphasize. the grand irony in all of this,
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of course, is that the voter fraud that we did have in pennsylvania was all republicans voting, having their dead relatives vote for donald trump. and the bottom line is simply this. and here's another fact, is that republicans that i talk to in pennsylvania, they don't believe there was any election fraud. i mean of course there's a segment of people -- if you're already following or listening to a dude that sells pillows on tv, you know, you're kind of beyond reaching. but republicans don't want to run on this in '22. they may be forced to, but senator mastriono is just sending out love letters to the former president in the hopes of getting his endorsement to run. that would be a good thing for democrats in pennsylvania because he would get -- we'd mop the floor with with him. >> yeah, it isn't popular. it's not even popular amongst
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republicans in arizona. however, there's something nefarious here but they are asking for ballots and equipment to be handed over audit style. that's what caused the department to say you are endangering the sanctity of the process. once you start handing ballots around to other people, particularly nongovernmental people and ballot machines, you've now tainted the process. so you've thrown doubt into the system and then you've mucked up the machines. now no one will ever get a real answer. that audit in maricopa county will never, ever end because they just keep shuffling the same ballots around. >> sure. thankfully in pennsylvania that's never going to happen because the counties in question have already said no. our department of state here in pennsylvania has already shut that down. there's no path for this audit to continue. this is just carnival barking at
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its lowest, and they're going to continue to try to do this because that's all they have to run on. but i just want people to understand, like i said, this is not an elite group of insurrectionists that took over the nokatomi tower in diehard. this is weird snake handlers trying to jockey for an endorsement to run for governor. there's nothing more to this than that. >> i do appreciate the "diehard" reference on a saturday morning. lieutenant governor john fetterman of pennsylvania. and he is a senate candidate for the united states senate. good to see you this morning. thank you, sir. >> thanks for having me on. the fate of thousands of afghans who worked with the yuds military hangs in the balance as the taliban resurgence has already begun. more on the american withdrawal, next. more on the american withdrawal, next water? why?! ahhhh! incoming! ahhhahh! i'm saved! water tastes like, water. so we fixed it. mio.
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in a galaxy not so far, far away, they are ushering in a new era of space flight. tomorrow if things go as planned richard branson will pull ahead in the private space race. tomorrow morning virgin galactic plans to launch its first fully crewed flight of its spaceship with branson, two pilots and three mission specialists on board. if successful, he will beat jeff bezos to the milestone by a cool nine days. listen, this launch is about much more than an ego trip to the edge of space by a billionaire. there's a deep history of space missions and plenty more to come and it could change space exploration as we know it. i will have all of this covered and more during our special coverage of virgin galactic's space launch starting tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. eastern. i'll be joined by former astronauts leland melvin, scott kelly and dr. mae jemison as
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well as a scientist just to name a few. it's going to be a blast. again, tomorrow, 8:00 a.m. eastern. for now "velshi" continues after a quick break. "velshi" continuer a quick break. [ chuckles ] don't get me wrong, i love my rv, but insuring it is such a hassle. same with my boat. the insurance bills are through the roof. -[ sighs ] -be cool. i wish i could group my insurance stuff. -[ coughs ] bundle. -the house, the car, the rv. like a cluster. an insurance cluster. -woosah. -[ chuckles ] -i doubt that exists. -it's a bundle! it's a bundle, and it saves you money! hi. i'm flo from progressive, and i couldn't help but overhear... super fun beach day, everybody. and i couldn't help but overhear... there's interest you accrue, and interests you pursue. plans for the long term, and plans for a long weekend. assets you allocate, and ones you hold tight. at thrivent, we believe money is a tool, not a goal. and with the right guidance, you can get the financial clarity you need, and live a life rich in meaning, and gratitude.
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crepe corrector lotion... only from gold bond. we did not go to afghanistan to nation build. it's the right and the responsibility of the afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country. >> after nearly 20 years in afghanistan, president biden remains steadfast that pulling out of the middle east country is the correct way forward. right now the withdrawal of american troops is ahead of schedule. the biden administration says the pullout is 90% complete and that the mission will terminate at the end of august instead of september 11th. however, are troops leaving spelling trouble for the afghan government? the taliban has been making significant territorial gains and on friday its leaders claim they now control 85% of
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afghanistan. a pentagon spokesperson did not deny the claim but added it's time for afghan forces to step up and defend their country. one area of increasing concern is what will happen to the thousands of afghans who worked for the u.s. military, who will be in harm's way once the u.s. leaves. american officials indicated that talks were ongoing with several third-party countries to take in those still awaiting a decision on air special immigrant visa applications. records show there's a backlog of about 18,000 applicants who include translators, drivers, security guards and others who aided the u.s. effort. the taliban considers all of these people to be traitors. with more on the fragile situation in afghanistan, here's nbc's chief foreign correspondent, richard engle. >> 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 there is no action.
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>> reporter: tom 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 like, hey, tom, just get behind me and show me the enemies. >> so you're pointing where the taliban are. they're over there, they're over there. >> yes, sir. >> reporter: tom's former company commander vouchz for him and wrote a letter endorsing him. >> we owe a debt not just to tom but the interpreters that fought alongside us. >> reporter: tom has been waiting for his visa for four years. >> this process is really hard. >> you helped the u.s., now the u.s. needs to help you. >> yep. >> simple as that. >> yeah, yeah. at that time the u.s. need help so we help them. right now we need help and the u.s. has to help us. >> reporter: ali, tom told us he reached out to the u.s. embassy through the website and was told
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his visa is in administrative processing. still, he says translators have already been killed, including a colleague killed on his way to pick up his visa. >> richard engle in kabul, afghanistan. president biden has a warning for russian president vladimir putin. hack our companies and there will be consequences. that's up next. be consequences that's up next fip here. ♪♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win. this may look like a regular movie night. but if you're a kid with diabetes, it's more. it's the simple act of enjoying time with friends, knowing you understand your glucose levels. ♪♪ there's an america we build and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild.
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yesterday president biden had put vladimir putin on notice warning the leader that the united states will, quote, take any necessary action to defend people and critical infrastructure from cyberand ransomware attacks by russian based hackers. biden's pressure on putin comes after the largest ransomware attack in history. the a group called r evil affected at least two hundred american companies. putting it in perspective. it wasn't a hacker in the mom's basement fishing for personal information. this took down an entire town down in maryland. took it off line. when asked if he would respond to more attacks originating from russia president biden said yes, without ee labbing. but biden said he was optimistic about his call with putin. joining me is clint watts, former fbi special agent a distinguished fellow at foreign
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research institute. and author. good to see you my old friend. i was speaking to one of your colleagues the other day who suggests that this is -- this needs to be called what it is, cyberterrorism. it may not be the russian government doing it. but it's russians doing it completely with the sanction of the russian government. and that the russian government if it wanted to could stop this. >> that's right, ali. the code that they are using for the ransomware is designed to not attack computers that are communicating in the russian language. that's for not inside russia. and when you look just more broadly, over the past five years we've consistently seen that russian criminal actors have been working part and parcel with russian intelligence actors when it comes to hacking. there is some curious timing with the breach we heard about related to the republican national convention in terms of russian intelligence outlets at the same time we see the criminals.
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it's a two-prong attack. when you put it together russia has a firm grip on our cyberspace. they are -- they are in no way afraid of violating our cybersovereignty. and i think that's what president biden's callias yesterday, signaling we would do the same or be in the same step with them moving forward. >> let me play a little of what frank talked to me about the other day what the u.s. can and should be doing about this. >> it's easy for us to say we need a tougher response. and yes we do. but exactly what that response are and should be and what the repercussions will be, i'm in the sure have been played out. i'm not sure the american people understand that we are quietly going to war almost every day. >> what do you think of that? what should the response be from the united states given that frank says we're quietly going to war each and every day in. >> frank is right. every day in cyberspace we're at
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war. i don't think americans entirely understand that. there is concepts called defending forward, essentially putting sensors out forward. those things have been underway for many years. part of the lag in the system and american knowledge of this is the last administration acted as if there was in cyberspace at all. you really couldn't hear about it. the best person on it tom bossert did not stay in office very long. and was removed. when you look at what's out there now, there are options. but they are more risky. as frank said, they have not been played out before. that's where the u.s. is a little bit nervous. we have more surface area, more targets in the united states that can be attacked. the consequences for the united states of going off line or having industries go off line is dangerous. but at the same time if you are vladimir putin you wouldn't stop at all, because nothing has ever happened to russia for this. i think offensive cyberattacks simply focused on the russian criminal activity, if they are
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not respecting our cybersovereignty we don't need to respect theirs. i think the meeting three weeks ago and the call yesterday are indicative of president biden saiding you have to police your turch if you don't we'll do it. there is no other option at that point to do some sort of attack against the russian criminal groups. >> can that be done? as a novice at this it strikes me that there is communication when there is a cyber hack, a ransomware attack. there is money, cryptocurrency changes hands, there are accounts. is this traceable? >> to a degree, ali. i think in the last attack was the first time we really saw the fbi went into some digital currency wallets and retrieved the money for the colonial pipeline attack. that's not something we can rely on. right now the prove it's for doing ransomware attacks are so incredible any criminal will
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move in and replicate that. separately it's the issue of where do you think the servers off line? and what other countries? a lot of times the servers used, the infrastructure being used is not necessarily inside russia. it can be in a third country. so if you're going in and doing offensive cyber operations or trying to eliminate the infrastructure, what other infrastructure of other countries is tied up in there? how can you nimably do that? a way the think about it is each time the u.s. government wants to do something like they have to design a osalma bin laden raid but in digital space so they don't create collateral damage across other countries. oh or even in russia. you can do after the criminal group but the criminal group operates in a town. what are the effects that causes in terms of the infrastructure of an entire country or parts of russia? it's a very complicated task, whereas the russian cybercriminals, they don't think about it at all. >> clint, always good to talk to you about in.
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clint watts ab, a former fbi special agent. author of "messing with the enemy" surviving in the social media terrorists. much more on "velshi" including a conversation with representative jason crow and all things afghanistan, insurrection and the trouble in trump world. the next hour of "velshi" begins right now. good morning, everyone. it's tuesday -- i'm sorry it's saturday, july 10th. i'm aljudge velshi, we're 24 hours away from entering a new era in the space raise. tomorrow the british billionaire and founder richard branson will attempt to fly to space aboard his company's rocket powered vehicle. this flight would mark the culmination of 17 years of work by his space tourism firm virgin galactic. if successful he would eclipse
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fellow billionaire and founder jeff bezos's attempt to make a launch into into orbit. i will cover it tomorrow. with dr. may gemsen the first black woman in space. scott kelly and leland melvin. tomorrow morning starting at 8:00 a.m. back on earth, the fight over voting rights is heating up especially in texas and houston. we got a problem because republican lawmakers are reupping efforts to make it harder to vote. hearing on newly proposed voter restrictions are scheduled to begin this morning. the new bills would place new restrictions on absentee voting expand authorities for poll watchers ban drive-through voting and 24-hour voting and make it easier to overturn elections. similar to texas republicans initial legislation prompting democrats to walk out in protest. harris county judge leena hidalgo told us last night that texas governor greg abbott is
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unfairly trying to push lawmakers to pass restrictive bills. >> he is trying to extort the legislators saying he will not fund the legislative branch, notal salaries or staff salaries unless they pass the bills that are allowing poll watchers to get as close to voters as they want, that make it a crime for poll workers to ask the poll watchers to leave, that ban drive-through voting, a 24-hour voting. i mean, the situation is urgent. this is happening right now in texas. and we need everybody to pay attention. >> and it seems that president biden is paying attention to texas and a number of other republican-led states that passed or attempting to pass new voter restrictions. the president is set to give a speech in philadelphia next tuesday without giving specifics the white house says biden will discuss what is needed to protect access to the ballot box. the president, however, did deliver a very pointed message to russian president vr


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