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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  July 24, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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for another live hour of "politics nation." my colleague, alicia menendez, picks up our news coverage, now. thank you so much, reverend sharpton. hello, everyone. i'm alicia menendez. we are keeping an eye on former-president trump, as he prepares to take the stage in phoenix. not far from where the cyber ninjas' audit is still going down. and his faithful flock, gathering to see him tonight. well aware, and have, clearly, bought into the lie that fraud cost trump arizona in 2020. >> there is just the -- the amount of ballot dumps and everything that were happening in the middle of the night. and i mean, we've seen signature counts not -- not matching up. i am 100% sure that he won the 2020 election. there is no way that joe biden got 80 million votes. he can barely get eight people to show up to his town halls. >> but, you see, feelings are not facts. numbers certified, over and over, again, just don't back up that feeling.
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however, cyber ninjas carries on its very questionable audit. and just yesterday, the man working as senate liaison at the audit site, ken bennet, was kicked out. he was the only person associated with the cyber ninja recount with actual-elections experience. and now, he is barred from the site for allegedly sharing data with outside critics who wanted to check cyber ninjas' work, to see if they are legit. spoiler alert, they are not. but they are, apparently, good enough for trump, who is promoting the audit. and using it to self-serve his own, big lie to supporters. we should note that, according to "the washington post," trump has put next to none of his own money into that audit. instead, quote, the save-america leadership pac, which has few limits on how it can spend its money, has paid for some of the former president's travel, legal costs, and staff, along with other expenses. and the pac has held onto much of its cash, which is telling
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for several reasons. including that the former president has some serious money troubles. according to bloomberg, the trump organization is facing debt worth hundreds of millions, which we will get into more, in a moment. trump is no longer running the company that bears his name, despite being out of the white house, for nearly-six months. new reporting from "the washington post" shows trump recently charged secret service more than $10,000 to house agents in rooms on his properties. and let's not forget how the trump organization is, currently, under indictment for tax-fraud charges. as for those trump-org money troubles? bloomberg and "newsweek" report the company faces a maturing debt of nearly $600 million due over the next four years. and many of the trump organization's properties. they are struggling. for trump, turns out, being in power. much more lucrative than not. as "the washington post" philip bump notes, his own campaign
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committees aren't spending money, anymore. because he's not holding fundraisers at his properties, releasing office space to the campaigns. it also reinforces another reason that trump might be interested in running for president, again. it bolsters his personal bottom line. joining me now, "washington post" political reporter and msnbc contributor, david fairen hold, who won a pulitzer prize for reporting on trump's finances. daviders always good to see you. you wrote about the trump org this week, quote, the company's holdings declined during trump's presidency, as four hotels closed. the trump-merchandising empire shrank. and buildings took down the trump name. the company was hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, by its politically toxified brand and by the indictments of weisselberg and two trump-corporate entities. david, had the company ever seen a loss, comparable to this one? >> really, to look at any time in donald trump's financial history that is comparable to this, you have to go back to the early '90s. that's when he first came on the
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scene. he bought a yacht. he bought an airline. and then, lost almost all of it. didn't go into personal bankruptcy but he was still having a lot of trouble with his creditors and was hundreds of millions in debt. that's really the last time i can see the trump organization was in this kind of difficulty. that doesn't say they can't get out. but as you said, they have a huge amount of debt coming due and that debt is on the properties that, in general, are doing the worst among trump's properties. >> so here is something that i wonder, as i read all this. why isn't trump running him -- the organization, himself, now? >> we have asked a lot of people that. it -- not that he can't. he is allowed to, under the terms of the trust that he set up even though it's not, technically, his own personal property. it's run through a trust. i think it's two reasons. one, it's no fun to be running the trump organization. who wants to be holding that bag now? there is no expansion. this is no branding. there is no prestige. you just got to manage a bunch of properties that are declining and you are trying to grab hold of customers who are fleeing. other thing is i think he finds
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politics much more engaging. politics is his new location and obviously, there is a lot more applause and personal reinforcement that comes out of that and money. so, he seems to be intent on following his career into politics and leaving this kind of difficult problem in the hands of his sons. >> i want you to take a listen to what trump said in march of this year to our colleagues, phil rucker, and carol leonnig, about how his businesses were being impacted by coronavirus. take a listen. >> there were reports that the coronavirus is really hurting your businesses, especially your hotels. >> my businesses? >> yeah. >> sure. >> so is that true? >> i wouldn't say it's thriving. when you decide to close down your hotels and your businesses. no, i would say -- but you know, i am very underlevered in everything so that's good. but is it hurting? yeah, it's hurting me and it's hurting hilton and it's hurting all the great hotel chains all over the world. it's hurting everybody. >> okay. so that was him in march, 2020. you and others have written
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about how the former president took a hit during the pandemic. how big was that hit? and was the personal hit he was taking shaping the way that he was thinking about the public-health approach to this virus? >> well, the first part, i can answer better. certainly, he took a huge hit in a lot of these properties. a lot of those properties had, already, lost a lot of customers. both, individuals and big-ticket banquet customers because of his politics so covid came on at a time when they were already struggling. the one in las vegas closed. they had to lay off hundreds, i think more than a thousand workers. and they are starting to come back but the numbers are still not good. chicago is still, like, in the 20s or 30s in terms of occupancy, from what i have seen. so, that was -- he was really badly hurt by coronavirus. but i didn't really see any evidence that it affected his approach to the pandemic because the way to solve his business problems would have been to just attack the pandemic. to reduce the pandemic. tell people to wear masks and, you know, stay inside and get through this more quickly. it seems like he chose a business -- i mean, a politically-focused strategy, which was basically to deny the
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pandemic existed or that it was a problem. which made the pandemic go on longer. you know, it might have helped his political prospects but i don't think it helped his business, at all. >> zooming out, big picture, what is the state of the trump organization right now? >> it's -- it's a business that's in an existential crisis for two reasons. one, its leadership has been shrunk down to donald trump, jr., and eric trump. they are, you know, the guy, allen weisselberg, who ran the company, day to day, for years and years and years knew what they paid for pens, what they paid for office supplies. that guy is being phased out and it's just trump's sons in charge. that's one problem. they have never been in a situation with that thin of a bench. the other problem is trump organization doesn't really have a reason to exist now. before, to monetize trump's great brand and serve trump's interest. to sort of buy what he was interested in but his brand is toxic now and he's lost interest. so why is it there? what does it do? i think the brothers are struggling with that as they try
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to figure out what do we keep? what do we sell? how do he get through this? as i say, it's going to be harder to sell off a bunch of things and focus on politics because the things they might want to get rid of, the most-struggling properties, also have these huge loans on them. >> all right. david, i know i will be seeing a lot of you as we continue to focus on this. thank you so much for your time. trump's money problems, post presidency, and his history of using the presidency to draw in cash from supporters may be why he was so eager to stay in office. and partially why he encouraged the capitol riot. when it comes to the january-6th investigation, speaker pelosi is prepared to risk political capital to get to the bottom of what happened. despite republicans pulling out of the commission, because she rejected two republicans put forward by minority leader mccarthy, both of whom voted against verifying the 2020 election results. and who voted against creating the january-6th commission, that they would have served on. >> it is my responsibility, as speaker of the house, to make sure we get to the truth on
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this. and we will not let their antics stand in the way of that. all happening, as the first felony sentence was handed to a capitol rioter. a crane operator from florida, hit with an eight-month prison sentence. joining me, now, white house reporter for "the washington post." and kenya, editor for insiders voice of color. kenya, first of all, walk us through pelosi's calculus there. >> well, essentially, what we know is that you are disqualifying two members of congress, who voted in favor of challenging the outcome of the election and the certification of that election. so in their -- in their essence, they are serving the purpose of being distractors. and we know with -- with representative jim jordan from -- from ohio, serving as a leader in this capacity, on this committee. that will serve to derail many of the investigations that democrats are looking to have. this wasn't meant to be a bipartisan committee, at all. in fact, what we see is
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political grandstanding from the gop as we see mccarthy withdrawal all the candidates, all five representatives that were supposed to be on this committee. so what we are seeing here is nancy pelosi taking a stand and saying this is not going to be a distraction. this is not going to be a political football. and so, she is taking a stand with democrats and she seems to have the support, even of fellow-gop member, liz cheney. >> uh-huh. annie, the conversation between pelosi and mccarthy about that rejection of two of his picks, allegedly, got pretty heated this week. cheney and others have accused mccarthy of sabotaging the committee. for mccarthy, is this about anything other than the midterms? >> you know, i think there had been a lot of hope, among -- you know, from a big-picture perspective. i think there had been a lot of hope that this, somehow, could be a little bit like the 9/11 commission where you saw members of congress from both parties coming together to very honestly look for an answer. but, you know, to your point, it does not seem that there is an
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ability for mccarthy to look beyond that date that you just mentioned. the -- the next midterm elections. where you are seeing trump and the republicans grab onto this moment, as more of an election issue, shockingly, than -- than a sort of moment to sit back and think, wow. you know, the united states capitol was attacked. and we -- we ought to do everything we can do. every -- look under every single rock and every stone to figure out precisely what happened and ensure that we can protect that building. >> kenya, we have, of course, learned that speaker pelosi has considered putting another republican congress member on this commission, representative adam kinzinger and clearly with the intention of building the bipartisan credibility she believes this commission needs, in order for there to be a true accounting. in order for there to be true accountability. my question, of course, is can there be bipartisan credibility, given all of the damage
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republicans have seeked to do to this? >> so long as it maintains -- maintains or -- is still politically advantageous for -- for the gop to -- to -- to downplay this committee. to question its integrity, to question its legitimacy. we are seeing, with midterm elections, that it's having an impact. we are seeing, even with trump supporters, as he's able to galvanize and still fund raise off of questioning the legitimacy. and even, you know, peddling conspiracy theories about being able to assume the office, again, even something as early as this summer. with these bombastic notions that seem to be galvanizing the party, it's still effective and what we know is as long as there is this opportunity there for even republicans outside of that committee to question the integrity of this investigation. this -- this bipartisan committee stands to have an uphill battle. >> yeah. annie, i want you to take a listen to what president trump said to your colleagues, carol leonnig and phil rucker about the january 6th attack.
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>> i think it was the largest crowd i've ever spoken before. it went from that point, which is almost at the white house, to beyond the washington monument. it was -- and -- and wide. and -- >> but if you could have waved your wand -- >> and it was a loving crowd, too, by the way. there was a lot of love. i have heard that from everybody. many, many people have told me. that was a loving crowd. the capitol police were ushering people in. the capitol police were very friendly. you know, they were hugging and -- you don't see that. >> annie, is there a sense, among democrats, that they can use trump's own words against him during these hearings? >> oh, absolutely. i mean, that's sort of in the playbook for democrats. you know, since 2015, when he came down the elevator. you know, the question is will it work, right? i mean, that -- those are two very damning comments in sort of any kind of traditional-political framework from the president referring, of course, to a crowd of people who went on to, you know, break into
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the capitol. and -- and threaten the lives of members of congress, from both parties, in fact. from both parties. so, to hear them being described as loving and wonderful is something that, i think, of course, democrats will use. but, you know, you're -- you're certainly seeing, among republicans, this reframing of this event as being something different than it was. i was out in west virginia recently, working on a story about joe manchin. and, you know, i was talking to people who were saying that republican members of congress were coming out to west virginia, and trying to claim that those attacks that you just saw on the screen were happening before trump ever spoke. and that it had nothing to do with -- with donald trump. so, the republicans have been, for the last six months, to figure out exactly how they want to frame this. from we had -- it had nothing to do with trump. and now, what trump seems to be telegraphing is that these are
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my people and these are great people. and i think that's something that, when you look at these images, is -- is really hard for that to be something that would be widely embraced and widely seen as the truth. >> yeah. absolutely. all right. annie and kenya, thank you, both, so much. next, as covid cases slam the south and midwest, a conversation about a reset america may have missed. and later, to tokyo, where it is an action-packed weekend to kick off a summer olympic games. and in our next hour, marching for the right to vote. former-texas congressman beto o'rourke joins us, live, with what he and state democrats are doing next week to fight back against gop efforts to suppress the vote. we're just getting started here, on "american voices."
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with any vaccine. these cases are, generally, mild and oftentimes asymptomatic. which is just more proof that the vaccines work. in fact, unvaccinated individuals account for virtually all, 97%, of the covid hospitalizations and deaths in the u.s. the threat is now predominantly, only to the unvaccinated. >> numbers don't lie. the white house, confirming unvaccinated americans make up nearly all of covid hospitalizations and deaths, in this country. data by nbc news finds a silver lining, however. an uptick in vaccination rates in states battling covid, most. florida, texas, and missouri remain hardest hit. making up 40% of all-new covid cases in the nation. missouri, st. louis county officials are doing what they can. reinstating mask mandates for, both, the unvaccinated and vaccinated. that mandate returns monday.
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in tennessee, statewide vaccine outreach is being reinstated after state republicans closed down vaccination sites geared toward minors. the nfl tackling vaccine enforcement. announcing any covid outbreak, traced to an unvaccinated player or staffer can result in game forfeiture. so far, two assistant coaches in the nfl have quit, rather than get vaccinated. their choice. in alabama, doctors are at a breaking point. one sharing, on facebook, that more often than not, unvaccinated patients are begging for vaccines, as they die from covid. well, it is too late for them, doctors are telling these stories in hopes of getting more shots in arms. alabama's republican governor, clearly, fed up. >> what is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms? >> i don't know, you tell me. folks supposed to have common sense. but it's time to start blaming
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the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. it's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down. >> that statement from alabama's governor brings me to my next guest, who argues in the atlantic that america is missing a chance to remake and reimagine our society. writing, quote, the pandemic laid bare the speed at which societal change can occur when the threat is big enough. conversely, society's re-opening is revealing just how quickly we can slide back into complacency. she joins me now, she is co-host of the truce table podcast. in 2020 for the atlantic, you wrote quote, once we accept and grieve that our old way of life is gone, we can build a better future. and in your latest piece, you write, the world has not been remade and there are no signs that it will be. that is some real talk, as promised. how did you imagine we'd be different, today? and how have you arrived at the realization that we are just not there?
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>> well, you know, alicia, thank you for having me. i don't take any pleasure in being able to be right about these things. i don't want to be right. i'm hoping to prove myself wrong. um, but it -- it -- it just became clear, to me, in -- in a lot of different segments in our society. where it just seems like there is this denialism or this -- this desire to really get back to normal, right? even with the cdc lifting the guidance for masks and -- and -- and backing off of that guidance. from workplaces saying, okay, you all can come back into work. we were just seeing these changes, rapid changes, it seemed, overnight almost. once we had the vaccines. which is a good thing. but it just seemed, to me, very clear to me that, okay, things are not exactly changing, in the ways that we could. and we know that when there's a crisis, there's an opportunity
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for big-wholesale change if we have the courage to do that. and i just -- we haven't seen that. there were promises -- there were some -- even campaign trail promises from president biden who, yes, he's only been in office for a little over six months but one of those things was about cancelling student loan debt. well, i'm in the number of those who have student loan debt and that has not happened, yet. and so, there's just some -- some big things that could actually happen, quickly, that just haven't taken place, yet. doesn't mean that they won't. but we -- we are missing that opportunity. and if we -- if we don't act quickly, that can actually -- the opportunity and window of opportunity can be closed to us. >> yeah. and i want to talk, specifically, about who you are talking about when you're talking about we because it is, both, we, the american people. and we, the american-power system. right? the -- the u.s. government. so i want to share another part of your piece. you write quote, what is obscured by all this excitement
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are two realities that we ignore to our own peril. one is that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. you go on to write, the other reality is that what we thought of as normal before the pandemic was broken, in many ways. it's not just our personal appetite for change, it's congressional response to the moment. right? are you -- are you seeing the federal government sort of say, this is a unique moment, in which we can have systemic, big change? >> yeah. you know, initially, when the pan -- on the -- at the onset of the pandemic, there was a lot of that talk about, okay, this is the time. you know, for us to seize upon this opportunity to make changes. on behalf of the american people. we saw this with even the -- the additional payments that were given for unemployment. you know, as people were losing their jobs, at rapid rates. and that was something that was really good, initially, for -- for people. and then, now, we see, even now, as we -- the -- the pandemic continues to rage on. especially, with the delta variant beginning to really take
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hold here in america. and we're -- we're seeing that unemployment, in many states, is being cut off early. that's -- that's one pretty salient example. i know that the biden administration has passed legislation for child-tax credits, which is great. but what about people that do not have children? right? what about people that are, still, struggling even though they -- they are single. they do not have children. we know that americans have really been -- many americans, maybe not everybody -- but many have been struggling, for some time. particularly, those that have been saddled with all types of debt and have been working, tirelessly, during this pandemic. particularly, our -- our teachers, right? our grocery-store workers. where is the -- the wholesale relief for them? >> right. i share your frustration, and i have come back to the refrain
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many, many times. if there is not the appetite for change now, then when? thank you so much for your time. next, another trump ally accused of being a foreign agent. a look at the case being built against tom barrack, and if there could be wider implications for trump, himself. and later, two cousins using social media to elevate the voices of cubans demanding freedom and democracy. be right back. y. be right back. with voltaren arthritis pain gel my husband's got his moves back. an alternative to pain pills voltaren is the first full prescription strength gel for powerful arthritis pain relief... voltaren the joy of movement ♪ it's grilled cheese time. ♪ ♪ yeah, it's time for grilled cheese. ♪ ♪ after we make grilled cheese, ♪ ♪ then we're eating grilled cheese. ♪ ♪ because it's time. ♪ ♪ yeah. ♪ ♪ time for grilled cheese. ♪ after my dvt blood clot... i was uncertain... was another around the corner? or could things take a different turn? i wanted to help protect myself.
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undeclared ties to foreign interests. joining me now, msnbc national security analyst and former-fbi assistant director, frank figliuzzi. and university of michigan law professor, barbara mcquade. the third highest ever set in the u.s., how much did he actually pay to be released and why was he considered such a flight risk? >> well, he -- his bond is $250 million. it is an eye-popping number. where i practiced, in the eastern district of michigan, the default amount was, typically, $10,000. he did secure it by putting up $5 million, in advance. and so, he didn't have to pay the whole $250 million. but he would forfeit that sum, if he were to fail to return. now, the reason that number is so high is because the -- he is deemed a risk of flight. that is based on a couple of things. one is his access to cash. he is very wealthy. and so, he has a lot of money
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that would allow him to flee using a private jet and living somewhere else, around the world. he, also, has traveled, extensively, around the world. was born in lebanon. he's traveled extensively in the middle east. and so, one could imagine that it would be easy for him to slip out of the country ending up somewhere else, especially when he is facing a significant about of jail time. so, this is to assure his appearance at trial because there will be a painful price to pay, if he fails. >> huge sum of money. frank, the indictments, as barrack called the united arab emirates, quote, the home team in an e-mail. how far did he allegedly go to promote their interests? >> well, i think the facts -- even more facts in this very detailed indictment are going to come out, as -- as time progresses. but this is disturbing because barrack is not charged with the garden-variety foreign agent registration act. he is charged with the same charge used against russian
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agent, maria butina. he not only referred to uae as the home team when he was working on behalf of the uae with the trump administration and gaining what he called victories or wins for, quote, the home team. but also, he is accused in the indictment of providing quote nongovernment information to the uae. so, he's very close to what we called in counterintelligence a double agent. pretending to be aligned with the united states and working for the administration, while he is really, secretly working for a foreign power. and more evidence of that, alicia, is the fact that the indictments says he used encrypted-communication applications to communicate with his handlers, with his client, whatever you want to call them. the charge that he's been hit with is very serious because it -- it says he knew he was working directly for a foreign power. >> barb, i want to hear your take on the charges that he faces. and also, the potential consequences, should he be found guilty. >> yes, as frank said, this is
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the kind of statute that's not used for lobbyist. this is the kind of statute that's used for spies. and so, it is punishable by up to ten years in prison but that's not the only count. there is also a conspiracy count with a five-year penalty. there is obstruction of justice and lying to the fbi for a total of seven counts. i did the math and i think the total statutory maximum is 55 years. now, most people don't serve the statutory max. sentencing guidelines are reviewed to see that but there is a substantial potential prison penalty here. and so, what happens, in those scenarios, is a lawyer for someone who is facing significant-prison time will, typically, try to talk with the prosecutor about working out some sort of deal. if i were the prosecutor, i would be wondering about what he may know about the inaugural committee. he was the chair. there's been reports the eastern district of new york has been investigating fraud in the inaugural committee and so what does he know about that? i would think that could have great value to prosecutors if he is willing to cooperate.
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>> frank, what does all of this mean for america's national security? the fact that this was allowed to happen? >> yeah. i -- i mean, we're at the point, now, where we really have to ask was anybody in and around the trump administration actually working on behalf of american interests? as you said earlier, we have seen paul manafort, the campaign chairman, charged and convicted of being a foreign -- work -- working as a foreign agent. we have seen the national-security adviser, michael flynn, same thing. both of those guys, lying. and flynn, in particular, conceding that he had lied to fbi agents and now, the same with tom barrack. so, the question is, was foreign policy for sale throughout the -- the trump administration? and a bigger question. how much of -- of this did trump understand was happening? were people being paid by foreign powers to do this? was barrack being paid by a foreign power do this? and how much did the president know that, with a wink and a nod, my buddies are getting paid and i'm willing to -- to do this for the highest bidder.
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we don't know. we'll find out. >> barb, i have -- barb, i have to ask you before we go, barrack is going to be back in court monday. what can we expect from that? >> monday, he will appear in brooklyn where the case is actually pending. he had been arrested in this bond set in los angeles, where he is living. and so, at that time, there will be a review of the bond situation. the judge in new york doesn't have to go along with this. but, you know, if he shows up, that is the best argument that he can make that he is trustworthy to return to court when he is required to do so. um, the arraignment will occur. that is the formal reading of the indictment. most defendants will waive that. he is also required to enter a plea, at that time, at these initial stages, most defendants a plea of either not guilty or they just stand mute. and they advise the person of the penalties. that, also, starts the speedy-trial clock. by statute, defendants get 70 days before their trial -- 30 days before it can begin and no more than 70 days before they are allowed to go to trial.
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but most defendants require more time for preparation. and so, typically, seek some additional time before that trial actually occurs. >> barb, i want to say i noticed and appreciated that you underscored that. frank, barbara, thank you both for your time. next, two cousins using social media to elevate the very voices the cuban government wants to silence. >> and later my thoughts on how the future of childcare and moms in the workplace. how the two are intertwined with america's future. and to mark msnbc's 25th anniversary, msnbc daily is featuring 25 days of forward-looking essays on important issues from msnbc anchors, hosts and correspondents. today, joshua johnson writes, on the power and promise of cable news, i will be reading that. join me at msnbc.com/thenext25. . and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein.
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feeling they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, a new generation is rising up. demanding freedom and democracy, in cuba. nbc's morgan radford talks with boys who are raising awareness about cuba's determination to overcome its dictatorship. >> reporter: it was a movement that started organically. out of pain and frustration. calls for democracy and freedom in cuba, unlike anything seen since the country's 62-year-old
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communist regime came to power. calls spreading far and wide. led by a younger generation armed with something new. social media. >> do you think this movement could have happened without social media? >> not at all, no. >> reporter: alejandro and michael have become famous as los peachy boys. two cousins turned social media sensation with more than half a million followers who have been uploading videos to their instagram account from users in cuba so that the world can see what is happening. even when the cuban government shut down the internet to keep images of protestors from getting out. >> the only thing that they have to defend themselves is the social medias. they even cut internet so they control what is happen inside there. >> this movement -- movement started on social media and the young people from cuba are tired of living under a communist regime where they don't have any future. >> i mean, you all have really
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been doing the job of many reporters. getting information from the island to everyone here in this international community. are you surprised by the level of feedback and engagement your social-media posts have received? >> since the media and -- and the press in cuba is controlled by the state, they go out in the morning. they do all the protests. they try to film most things they can at night, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, they send us the videos because that's when they have better signal. every single day, talking to them. and yes, it is a big responsibility but it's a duty. they made us famous. we -- we need to make them free. >> i went back to study and live in cuba, back when i was younger. and when you would talk to people, no one was public in their criticism. and so, now, to see people in the streets is something i could never have imagined, after living there. could you? >> never. >> no, never. >> i never -- and you saying that, now, i am getting goose
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bumps. i always thought cuba was going to be free but i never thought i was going to see it with my own eyes. when we saw that on sunday, we were in tears watching what was going on because you can see rising up, chanting for freedom. >> those memories make you emotional? >> of course. >> why? >> i'm a father. i am a father. i have -- i have two kids. and i would give my life for them. and -- and i don't know what -- what's going to happen for me. if i will see my kids like that. >> reporter: that's why they are meeting with lawmakers to put pressure on the biden administration. calling for change and a roadmap to help cubans on the island achieve freedom. and they're not alone. co-founded roots of hope in miami, and he says this generation and this movement calls for a new approach. his organization is raising funds and awareness to amplify the voices of young cubans. >> the young people, who are the true agents of change, are more
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empowered and more emboldened than ever, before. and i truly believe this is the beginning of the end of this cuban regime. >> why is the younger generation so important to this movement? >> the ones leading this charge and that, to a great extent, have sparked this movement are our afro-cuban brothers and sisters. and they are -- they are artists that are using their art to inspire a new generation. they are not your typical politicians or activists, and i think it's our responsibility to help amplify those voices and make sure that they're not drowned out in this process. >> reporter: and they say, they're not stopping until everyone is free. >> that was nbc's morgan radford reporting. and next hour, why the cuban people are our loudest voice of the week. next, we take you to tokyo where there is some concern about a tropical storm that
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with a rebranding. the team will now be known as the guardians. the new name was inspired in part by the iconic guardians of traffic sculptures on the hope memorial bridge in cleveland. this follows another historic move involving america's favorite pastime. during this week's game between baltimore orioles and tampa bay raise, an all-female cast called the game. these women aren't the only trail blazers. linda bloom became first transgender woman to grace the cover of sports illustrated. nbc's stephanie gosk has the latest from tokyo. >> reporter: there's the pandemic, there's the hot temperatures, and now a possible typhoon headed this way. there's a tropical storm they're worried could be upgraded in the
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next day or so and head morales in this direction. it has affected some of the scheduling. they moved rowing that was supposed to take place on monday to sunday just in case the waters get a little choppy and out of control. but the hope is that that storm stays off the coast and doesn't affect the games. there are 127 cases of covid so far according to the organizing committee, but let's put that into perspective. that's out of tens of thousands of people who are accredited for these games. we've been talking a lot about how the pandemic has affected enthusiasm here in japan as a majority didn't want the games to go forward. there are also people who are interested and excited in these games. we saw that last night at the opening ceremony where you had pockets of people protesting and then you had pockets of people sitting outside hoping to hear some music and see some fireworks. we saw in the cycling event the cyclists had to ride up mt. fuji
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and they were people clearing and chapping. stephanie gosk, nbc news, tokyo. next, hear from a number of asian-american olympians who are turning their experiences of discrimination into motivation. at the top of the hour, a conversation about how the former president's disinterest in gaining control of the pandemic had is coming back to haunt us. a look at the disinformation through social media platforms where they run rampant. what power, if any, does president biden have to regulate social media giants like facebook? that is all ahead right here on "american voices." ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ dream on ♪ - yes! ♪ ahhhhhhh ♪ ♪ dream until your dreams come true ♪ asian-american athletes like other members of their communities have had a challenging year facing racism and discrimination linked to the covid-19 pandemic. but in the face of hate, they have stayed focused, determined to represent the best of america at the olympic games. nbc's vicky nguyen spoke to some of them. >> reporter: these are some of the asian-american athletes representing team usa in tokyo. >> this is something that i've dreamed of since i was a kid. >> representing the u.s. and representing the sport is very special. >> tokyo and japan is such a special place to not only play volleyball, but it's a part of our family history.
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>> it's such an honor, and to do it on a world stage like tokyo is such a cool thing. >> reporter: but even as members of team usa, they are aren't immune to anti-asian hate. in one year, more than 6,600 hate incidents were reported, ranging from verbal to physical assaults. sakura was training at a public park when a man harassed her. >> chinese disgusting -- >> reporter: this gymnast adopted by american parents detailed a similar experience. >> this lady cuts me off and, you know, at the next red light she screams out her window, go back to china. >> reporter: paralympic athlete is chinese american. she says she's been the subject of asian jokes made mostly by people she knows. >> friends have joked to me like, oh, did you bring covid here? that goes to show that people don't really understand the gravity of what they're saying.
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>> reporter: you have conflicting feelings? >> no. i think i'm so proud of the fact that i'm chinese. if anything, it's another opportunity for me to show people what we're capable of doing. >> reporter: growing up in hawaii, these brothers experienced racism. but this year a serbian volleyball player made this racist eye gesture during a match. >> to see someone do that gesture on the biggest stage that volleyball has to offer at the moment was insane to me. it was appalling. i put a lot of things on social media about it and hopefully some things can change. >> reporter: how does it make you feel when people question your identity as an american? >> i feel like me going into the gym seven hours a day is one of the most american things to do, is to grind your heart out every single day to get an opportunity to wear usa on your chest.
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>> reporter: sakura says that april day only motivated her to keep going. >> as athletes, we always tend to use whatever obstacle to empower and keep moving. >> that was vicky nguyen reporting. as we hit a new hour, america's headache. the trump hangover in full effect with the former president on stage in arizona furthering his big lie about the election. as another big lie about covid is stealing lives across republican strongholds. plus beto o'rourke joins us with a march he's leading through texas all to protect the american right to vote. plus, my take on the high-stakes future of child care and why our action on this issue is bound to determine the future of our country. and our loudest voices of the week, the cuban standing up without fear. this is "american voices."

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