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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  August 8, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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first up this hour, new answers for the long-asked question how far donald trump was willing to go to stay in power. can one of his deputies, jeffrey clark, tried to help trump subvert the 2020 election results, by telling leaders to insert doubt in the legitimacy of the results.
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we remember last month when the house oversight committee had handwritten notes by a.g. richard donahue between trump and d.o.j. officials. that pressured the officials to declare the 2020 election corrupt. quote to leave the rest to him and his congressional allies. chair of the judiciary committee senator dick durbin on cnn today, detailing the seven-hour meeting with rosen. >> he was being asked by the white house, the leadership of the white house, to meet with certain people who had wild, bizarre theories why the election wasn't valid. he refused to do it. i don't think history will be kind to mr. rosen. when he was initially appointed, i didn't think that was the case. >> as we learn more about trump's attempts to hold on to power, remember what he and others called themselves, the party of law and order.
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that's what republicans want these days. rubin writes, they pine for a strongman that can wield the power of the state against the maga base. they want a dictatorship, not those that enforce the law against them and the maga tribe. barb, i want to start with the new testimony from the former acting a.g., jeffrey rosen. what does it tell us how close we were to a coup here in america? >> well, it's interesting, first, that he got in the door as quickly as he did. there were efforts to prevent him from telling the story where president trump's lawyers were trying to exert privilege. he ran into the senate judiciary committee.
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he is concerned that there's crimes occurring or significant efforts to commit fraud in the election. saying it was corrupt and leave me to do the rest, giving him the road map to throw out the election and let the republican legislatures select the electors. so far out of the lane of what the justice department is supposed to do. i'm dieing to hear what the details were. i think we've scratched the surface. this system gives us new details about trump's plot to stay in office. >> the president of the united states, then donald trump, mounted a pressure campaign that was absolutely relentless, brutal, personally involved, directly aimed at the department of justice, seeking to break it
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and weaponize it, to overthrow the election. did his attacks on the d.o.j. damage the institution? and what will it take to undo that damage? >> it held because of honorable people like jeffrey rosen and his deputy. we saw in the reports that jeffrey clark, the acting attorney general for the civil division was too happy to try to help. it seems that we narrowly skated away from something that could have been absolutely historic and tragic in terms of a free democracy. the next step is tell the story. they reported this information to the inspector general. the judiciary committee will continue to investigate and uncover the facts. if that was true that president trump was trying to throw the
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election, there's several crimes that are possibly committed there. conspiracy to fraud the united states, voter fraud, and racketeering possibly. i think all those things need to be considered. >> i want to circle back to the piece. she argues a party that turns a blind eye to jump's efforts should not be trusted with power. your sense of how dangerous they are. >> it's important to note this is part of a pattern. what he did with the d.o.j. is something he did with homeland security. having homeland security go after protesters in portland, and completely obliteraing the hierarchy and power. underlining all of this, the
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desire to preserve white male dominance and supremacy, at the expense and the safety and well-being of units of color. whether it's immigrants or black communities. they do not want black voters or latino voters or asian-american voters who were responsible for voting trump out of office. they don't want the votes to count. they don't want the votes to matter. this is a slow disenfranchisement of the communities of color. >> i want to pull up a piece from "the guardian." it says, the right says it believes in free societies, yet in hungary, higher education is under state control so liberals cannot pollute the minds of the
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young. in hungary, they run from a childhood friend to a billionaire. elections are gerrymandered. what do you make of the riing fascination? >> it's rooted in the same desire to vilify and victimize the communities of color. they're fascinated by him because he fights to preserve the white meal dominance at the expense of vulnerable communities' lives. it's part of the same. it's very much fascism. demonizing the press and targeting communities of color and not caring of enforcement of
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laws until it's in regard to black and brown people. and highlighting instances of black and brown crimes, which is straight out of white supremacist and fascist playbooks, where they create the impressions in the minds of normal people that don't embrace racism. they create the impression that black and brown people are more violent. that's completely false. people that otherwise are not evil or racist. this is how they brainwash the masses. >> to tie the threads together, on top of the new testimony, we have the investigation into the phone call between jump and georgia's top election officials. and there are his actions on january 6th. you wrote a piece for "the
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washington post," laying out a road map for the justice department to follow in investigating trump. i'd reads in part, the bottom line is this, now that trump is out of office, the d.o.j.'s view that sitting presidents cannot be indicted no longer protects him. no one, not even a former president can be above the law. what possible charges against trump could an investigation lead to? >> there's a number of them. one is a conspiracy so defraud the united states. that's one that robert mueller brought. that's trying to obstruct the administration government. there's the possibility of obstruction all of an official proceeding on january 6th. there's laws that prohibit
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anyone from committing voter fraud. the big ones are conspiracy and inciting insurrection. those are rarely charged. if the facts suppose those charges, as we argued in that piece, the justice department should not be afraid to bring them just for fear of political a appearances. >> so much to follow. thank you, both. a close eye on the senate, where we could see movement to pass the infrastructure bill. we look at where things stand. two leaders from two different states who are working to mask up communities as their governors refuse to mandate masks, the mayor of miami and the dallas county judge in texas join "american voices" after this break. first, richard with the other stories we're tracking. >> officials in south dakota they the sturgis motorcycle
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rally is bringing in the biggest crowds in careers. the delta variant is a top concern as the country averages 100,000 cases per day, a spike not seen since february. and wildfires in greece, the largest on the island. homes and businesses are now rubble. the prime minister says the heat wave is the worst in three decades. markie post has died. she has battled cancer for four years. she is known for her roles in "night court" and "the kids are all right." more "american voices" after this break. deferring them, paying them.
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a major step back in the fight against covid-19. the united states averaging more than 100,000 new cases per day. new infections haven't been this high since february. and health care workers are on the front lines battling the surge. new data shows 14,000 covid patients are in florida hospitals.
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this comes some florida schools are fighting the governor's ban on mask mandates. local leaders in texas are challenging their governor's mandate band. there's a race to vaccinate the unvaccinated. dr. fauci today, telling nbc news, he is hopeful the fda will soon get the vaccine's full approval. >> i hope. i hope it will be within the next few weeks. i hope it's within the month of august. you will see the empowerment of local enterprises giving mandates. colleges, universities, places of business. i strongly support that. we have to go the extra step to get people vaccinated. joining me live, the miami
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mayor. the latest on the situation in miami. your sense of what you're hearing, how the health care system is holding up. and what po worries you most? >> all of the metrics are up. hospitalizations are up, new cases are up. and percent of positivity is up. we are having a very, very high vaccination percentage in our population. the most vulnerable have seened one dose, and the second dose, 89%. fully vaccinated, almost 70%. the message is resonating that the best defense right now, that anyone can have is to get vaccinated. and the sttszs are demonstrating that this is a pandemic of the
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unvaccinated. 90% of people in our hospitals are not vaccinated. and 99% of people vaccinated, are not feeling serious complications. this is posing other questions for local leaders, such as yourself. the mayor of dade county mandated testing for county workers. >> we did something similar. we did a mask mandate. all of our employees need to wear masks, unless you show that you're vaccinated. we're doing something similar. we want to make sure our employees are safe. we have less people vaccinated. we have to call out when they get sick. we don't want other employees or residents to be in jeopardy.
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a dallas county commissioner is suing you over a mask dispute. can you explain what went down? >> sure. i require masks in the commissioner's court, our council. he refused to wear it. i had him removed and had him vote from his office upstairs. now, the texas attorney general joined the suit to remove me from office at stake is whether or not governorabbott's orders, that ban mask mandates, and ban people from requiring vaccinations are enforceable. i say they're not. you can respond to an emergency. what the republicans are doing
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now, they are not responding. if they fail to respond, they will have challenges. i'm challenging to play out in court. >> what is interesting to me, mayor, what the judge said there, what a lot of what is happening is going to play out in court. that leaves local leaders running up against the limit of what is set di the state government. what do you make on your governor's ban on mask mandates? >> i've been a proponent of masks since the beginning. and i commended the governor for allowing local governments to make the decision.
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he urged people to follow a mask mandate. at the beginning, i thought he did a good job. that's a conservative principal, to allow the governments closest to the people to make decisions. our cities are different. it's hard to have a blanket policy for the state. given the nature of where we are, that's something the governor may want to rethink. >> your sense of why he pivoted? why that change of heard? >> i don't put myself in the minds of any other elected officials. it's something where he and i had conversations at the time. i tried to show him data that the mask mandate had reduced the cases. the governor has his progressor
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the and can make the best decisions. >> "the dallas morning news" looks at the staffing crisis. like hospitals everywhere, heartland faces a pandemic of nurses shortages. some nurses can't find child care. more nurses are giving up because they have given all they can. they are battling not just covid-19, but varying degrees of posttraumatic disorder. what are you hearing from health care workers? i talk to leaders every day. our state says they will no longer help with the staffing shortage, unless the democrats
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come back and vote for a voter suppression bill, they won't help our hospitals. there's a lot of down feelings. and people are doing all they can to keep people up. the enemy is the virus. the mayor and i are standing with public health. when you send kids to school, they have to wear a mask. when people are in the hospital, they have to be vaccinated. we need everybody to come together to do that. as far as efforts are concerned, i feel like other officials, we stepped up, others will follow. you will see more people at the local level saying, enough. >> thank you, both. now, to a family in florida, hoping their story can save lives.
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frank was a cuban father of five, who was passionate about cars and went to the movies. he was a small business owner who never took time away from his store to get vaccinated. he died from covid three weeks ago and his children are telling others to get their shot before it's too late. his daughter writing on instagram, dad was a healthy 71-year-old man with no underlying conditions. he spent the last month of his life in a hospital alone. i urge you, if you are able to, get vaccinated. kelly joins me now. why did you decide to share your dad's story. what has the response been so far? >> thank you so much for the first responders. the doctors and nurses that have been on the front license plates of this virus. they tried all they could to treat my father. he chose not to be vaccinated
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and he is no longer with us. i never expected to receive the response i did. my post received 3,000 shares, which is significant. i work in social media. i'm tracking my metrics. the number of d.m.s i have received. the messages from the touching ones, saying i couldn't get to my father, my mother, my aunt, my ankle, your story did. they got max nated. people sending me selfies. i've had nurses and doctors thanking me because of the e.r.s and covid communities are overrun with covid patients.
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it's been turning my pain into purpose. it's a painful experience. hopefully that we're saving lives by telling the story, that's kept me going. >> help people understand how this far into the pandemic your dad wasn't vaccinated and what you would say to people who are waiting to get their vaccine? >> absolutely. i don't presend to know. his girlfriend said it was a matter of timing, like you mentioned in your intro. he worked six days a week. he was always at his store. he spent six days a week at that store. that was his sixth child. making time for it wasn't a priority for him. i want to be clear, he was not an anti-vaxer. he stated to several people he
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wanted to get vaccinated. and having conversations with my uncle, he was hesitant. my uncle said they shared a conversation. and my dad was concerned about the vaccine changing his dna. he saw a story online or social media or somewhere. i know he was hesitant. he wasn't an anti-vaxer. for me and the family, we're angry and frustrated. it's frustrating knowing there are people out there hesitant. knowing 90 miles away from us in miami, there's so many cubans dying. they would be grateful to have the vaccine. so many places that you can walk in and get that vaccine today. >> i am so sorry for your loss. and grateful for your time.
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thank you for talking to us. an arizona superintendent told teachers and students they must wear masks and he is being sued for it. a live look at the senate floor. senator chris van hollen on where things stand. and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild. but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure. you get both. introducing the wildly civilized all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l
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in half an hour, we'll vote on the amendment. then, under our rules, if the opposition wants, they can continue debate for another 30 hours. we hope they won't take that time. but after the supermajority, no changes can made to the bill. it will be a done deal in substance. we'll wrap it up early tuesday morning. it's not many weekends that we are looking to see if the vote will be taken. last week, the senate passed a deal that you had been pushing. can you tell me why you thought that was necessary?
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>> we. this is important to protect taxpayers and subcontractors on infrastructure projects. when a state enters into an agreement with a contractor, we want to make sure they are on the hook to pay the subcontractors. if you don't have protection, the taxpayers are on the hook. this is an amendment that says you need securities in place to make sure taxpayers don't have to foot the bill. the senator dick durbin said that speaker pelosi has a
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challenge on her hands. what do you think it will take? >> i have confidence that speaker pelosi and the caucus will pull this off. together, they represent the president's plan. it's one piece to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and child care, and extend the middle class tax cuts for families and to do other things to provide every american with an opportunity to get a great education. i think the speaker will balance both of the priorpriorities. at the end of the day, we won't have just one piece back. we'll have the entire thing. the "new york times" is
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reporting that the head of the civil division, jeffrey clark asked jeffrey rosen to send it to georgia legislators. it asserted they should void biden's victory. how concerned can we be that someone this high up got this close to subverting the election? >> this shows how fragile our democracy can be. when you have somebody trying to sabotage the results of election, like the president of the united states, through people that are willing to do his bidding, we should be concerned. the attorney said no. we saw from the notes of the
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acting attorney deputy general, that trump said to them, find that the election is corrupt. it shows how corrupt a president we had. when he was unsuccessful, that's when he unleashed a violent mob on the capitol to overturn the election that way. >> senator, thank you for joining us. ahead, you will meet an arizona superintendent who says teachers and kids must be masked when they get back to class. he is being sued because of it. how the taliban raised fears about what happens once all u.s. troops are withdrawn from afghanistan. ow t
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the taliban gaining ground in northern afghanistan. waiting for a among-long siege of a capital nearby, as u.s. troops pull out. kelly cobiella is in afghanistan with more. kelly? >> reporter: the taliban is now in control of kunduz. this is a city in northern afghanistan, a city of about
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300,000 people, a commercial hub. and really, an important win for the taliban. we understand from an official there was heavy fighting in the city center and at the airport. and the local official confirms that the taliban has control of the city. it's the largest city they have captured so far. it has strong and clear links to other major cities in morn afghanistan. and also a link to kabul, about 200 miles away. this is the third city since friday. the u.s. is providing air support in the south, in helmand and kandahar provinces, trying to prop up troops there, who are fighting a fierce battle with the taliban there.
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as the security situation is changing, the u.s. embassy urged all americans to leave afghanistan immediately. kelly, thank you. next, it is back-to-school time as america sees a setback in covid cases. we'll talk to the superintendent who is being taken to court for trying to prosect students and teachers on his campus. we're waiting for the infrastructure. and ahead, you will hear from alexander vindman, the former official at the center of the first impeachment. that's 8:00 p.m. eastern here.
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new 5g phones when you trade in your old ones. cracked, busted, sticky buttons and all thank you. upgrade your phone. upgrade your network. (laughter) what is your advance for parents as they send kids back to school? >> i would ask that they think about masks.
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this is not a political statement. asking kids to wear a mask is uncomfortable. but kids are pretty resilient. if we don't have masks, it will probably lead to outbreaks in schools. >> the director of institutes of health says shopping lists should include masks. 150 doctors in arizona have urged the governor to roll back the decision, especially the indoor masking for k through 12 schools. that brings us to the phoenix high school district, that did
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require masks last school season. it has led to the superintendent and the governing board to be sued. first, talk us through this mask mandate decision. why did you want to push ahead with the mandate? >> last monday, the 2nd of august, we brought back nearly 30,000 high school students here in phoenix union. we welcomed back recently our 4,000 employees. we're also the high school system for the fifth-largest city of our country, the city of phoenix, with 13 elementary school districts that we partner with. all-told, over 100,000 students, over 10,000 employees and their families. we feel an obligation and responsibility to protect our families. we made that commitment day one.
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we know vaccines are at the top of the list. and masks are number two. >> let's get into the lawsuit. the decision to require masks has no teeth. your response to that? i'm awar the litigation. i can't obviously comment on the specifics of the litigation. but what we can say is this -- we have had a very successful first week of school. we said from day one that when we bring our students back, we want to keep our students back. we spent one year, almost an entire year in remote learning. our students want to be back on campuses. if you see the pictures and the videos of week one in phoenix, our staff and our students are very excited to be back. they've been interviewed by local media, they all have the same message, although they would prefer not to wear a mask, i would prefer not to wear a mask. if it means coming back to our schools, reengaging in clubs and
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sports and activities, it's worth wearing a mask. >> what's been the response from parents? >> parents are excited. phoenix union was expected to be down in enrollment this year. we're up nearly a thousand students. our parents are grateful. we've heard from parents all throughout arizona, throughout our country. even outside of our country. in other countries telling us we are proud of the decision that you made. masks have become really political, but this is about our people, not politics. school systems must play a role, not just in educating our youth, but also playing a role in public health. this is a critical decision. >> part of the reason i wanted to talk to you is over the course of the last hour, we have talked with mayors, we have talked with judges about the way that decisions at the federal level, decisions at the state level impact people like yourself, who are local leaders. i have not thought about this through the per view of a superintendent. when you have the governor of
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your state ban a mask mandate, how do you even process that as an educator? >> yeah, we've said from minute one that this isn't about the governor or the state. it's about the lives that are entrusted to us. listen, here's what we know. we just this morning received news that a girl in our school system passed away as a result of firearm. we also have a boy figfighting his life that was in a car accident. those were accidents. ignoring a science is not an accident. we live in a nation that invests billions and even trillions in science. we have landed rovers on mars, we've cured cancers. yet we have a virus that is ravaging our communities. not just our communities, but our classrooms. we owe it to our students and our families and our educators to stand by the science that we teach and the science that we trust. >> i am so sorry, but for the
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two losses that you referenced there. i also want to ask you, since we're talking about science, and because of the age of the students that you serve, most are eligible for vaccines. has there been consideration of a vaccine mandate? >> in phoenix union, no, we're not in conversations about a vaccine mandate. but we have played a huge role in vaccine dispensing. yesterday, we gave out nearly 1,000 vaccines. since january, we have been hosting pods, vaccination sites here, and given out tens of thousands of vaccines. we'll continue to play a role in vaccine access. we know that is the number one mitigation strategy. as you said, we also have to worry about the systems across our nation. if you are 12 and under, under 12, you don't even get access to the vaccine, which is why masks are critically important. that's the second best strategy. >> what is your message to other superintendents who might find
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themselves in the same position you're in? >> my message to other superintendents is the same i'm giving you, there are times we need to stand up and be courageous for our communities. you have to take bold risks. but at the end of the day, when we have to weigh the consequences of this decision, the legal consequences, maybe the political consequences, at the end of the day, the lives at stake must outweigh those legal consequences. we in phoenix union, and i know other systems across the country, will always choose the people. >> thank you so much for your time. next, a biden campaign promise now reality and historic. but first, a preview of what's later tonight on msnbc. >> hey there, i'm joshua johnson. tonight at 9:00, candidate nikki fried will join us. we'll talk about whether students will have to wear masks
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we couldn't sign off this weekend without shining a light on america's new federal judge. new york lawyer eunice lee was assigned to be in the court of appeals, the only public defender to reach the public circuit. a rarity not lost on majority
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leader chuck schumer. >> we've had very, very few public defenders on that circuit and largely on our federal bench. they tend to be prosecutors and partners in big law firms. we're changing all that and getting people who have different walks of life like public defenders and like people from the aclu and like people from different organizations so we have a new perspective on the bench. and she's a phenomenal person. >> white house deputy press secretary andrew bates wrote, joe biden has won the confirmation of more black women than any president in american history. and it's important no note that lee's nomination is not only a part to counteract hundreds of conservatives mostly white judges but also reshape the federal court systems with diverse judges with non-traditional backgrounds and non-traditional paths to the bench. that is it for today and for this weekend. i'm alicia menendez. i'll see you here next weekend at 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices."
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for now it is time for "the mehdi hasan show" with a special guest host. hi, anand. good evening. i'm in for mehdi hasan. tonight, the infrastructure bill is closer than ever to president biden's desk. we are moments away from a key vote. if it passes the senate, will the house take it up? and will progressives play ball? i'll ask congressman jamal bowman. then is it too little too late? some say the president should have done more for americans facing eviction before the moratorium expired. you will hear from sabrina davis, one of millions experiencing eviction. plus, retired lieutenant colonel alexander vindman came to america to escape authoritarianism, but has it followed him here? he joins us live. and governor andrew cuomo is heading for impeachment. can america shake its habit of toxic male leaders?

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