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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  August 12, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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hi there, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. a dramatic scene unfolded all night long and into the morning in austin, texas, that state's legislators, many appeared op this program in recent days and weeks staked their reputations and jobbed on voting restrictions passing into law in texas. filibustering for a full 15 hour against senate bill one since before the sun went down yesterday, wednesday, on her feet speaking. not allowed to sit or lean
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towards her desk. beto o'rourke tweeted this show of support. unlike the filibuster in the u.s. senate, the filibuster rules in the texas senate requires senatoring a have a al alvarado not able to eat, drink, use the restroom. we're with you. ultimately the senator's long-shot effort ended with this plea -- >> my friends, voter suppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere. as we have drawn this sdougs an end it is my sincere hope that simple acts by everyday texans from the senate floor to the ballot box can help to shed the light on all important issues. what do we want our democracy to look like?
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do we want our state to be more or less inclusive instead of making it easier to vote? this bill makes it easier to intimidate. instead of making it harder to cheat, it makes it harder to vote. >> republicans true to their brazen commitment to rolling back access to the polls and totally impervious to the fact there was no fraud, ignored alvarado's plea and passed the restrictive bill that will make it harder for many including voters in communities of color as well as disabled voters to cast their ballots in texas. the measure still has to move forward in the house. which remains without a quorum, with an unknown number of democrats still refusing to return to the state and to the state house for voting effectively continuing to block the measure from coming to the floor. the texas democrats refusal to accept legislation frantically and maniacally by texas
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republicans stands in contrast at this hour to the posture of washington democrats. in washington, voting rights legislation is dead for the summer. unlike the texas democrats who fled their state, left behind families and young children and now face arrest, washington democrats refuse, at this point, to consider coloring outside the lines in any manner. it's not as though big things, big, hard things aren't possible in today's washington. we're to believe that really big transformational things are very much possible. just look at infrastructure and covid relief. just not -- really big things -- like voting rights. on today's "new york times" reporting, "with deadlines looms ahead with next year's elections the senate adjourned wednesday for a month-long recess with the slimmest of paths left for passing federal voting rights legislation that democrats hope it stop a wave of republican state laws clamping down on ballot access. before dawn wednesday senate
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republicans blocked last-minute attempts to block a trio of election bills democratic leaders say the more votes would be the vest legislaive business when wurning in september." before the people act, s1, that democrats believe will unite all 50 senators who caucus with them. and democrats may have thrown in the towel on a summer push at the worst possible moment for voting rights. the "new york times" reporting on the gerrymandering under way right now on the heels of this census released according to the "times" report expected to set off "the most bruising litigious and consequential redistricting battle in a generation. with control of congress hanging in the balance and gerrymandering threatening to lock in quasi-permanent majorities in state legislatures across the country." let's bring into our conversation john heilemann,
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hosts of the hell and highwater on the recount and david jolly is here. david, start with you. with the florida democrats, what they accomplished seems to be twofold. one, they put a face to what these lawless do. came to congress and explained where drop boxes are removed from largely democratic parts of the state. they came and also said, we don't need the "for the people" act. we don't need the whole thing. we only need an inch. even that modest plea was not something democrats in washington could accomplish? >> yeah. and nicolle, your context is very important, because, look. texas democrats, though the bill may have passed through the senate and ultimately they did not want it to, they did achieve a modicum of success standing on principle expressing outrage. the bill watered down some. small victories in there for
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texas democrats today. and your point's exactly right. looking to washington democrats saying we now need you to protect us the rest of the way. look, i think what you're seeing from senate leadership in particular, they're not sure the votes are there to get the bill through, and the last thing the democrats want right now coming with all the momentum they've had for the past several months is a significant historic loss bringing up a bill that may not pass. that begins to frame the democrats' success in washington this year. rightly or wrongly. it's an issue of civil rights, not politics. so the senate should come back. i think everybody who is fighting for justice when it comes to voting rights and voter protections believe that the senate should stay in session until it gets done. but that's not how washington works. august is a time when they all leave town and you're stepping on precious vacation days and the opportunity for senators and members of congress to travel over seas on taxpayer dime.
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that seems to be more important that's what's happening in texas, georgia, and other states right now. >> i misspoke, david. i said -- florida democrats, of course, talking about the texas democrats. john heilemann, i want to bring you in to this, and i worked for a president whose vacations became sort of a flashing yellow light politically for us. because of the nature of the things happening in this country, clearing brush was always something that he took a lot of criticism for. fairly or unfairly. this seems like a moment where the same kind of criticism about vacations, and i've defended the ideas that politicians are always working. i believe them to be true, but the optics is what we're talking ak obviously. you have texas democrats standing up for 15 hours without leaning on a desk for a battle they know they're going to lose. where is the parallel? even if it's a battle they know they're going to lose where is anyone, as i said at the top, coloring outside the lines in
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washington for this fight? >> hi, nicolle. >> hi. >> they're nowhere, is where they are. and the story here is, we can't reduce it. david praised you for con attacks forwarde in strikes, context. at this moment, a vivid thing happening, right, with the senate deciding to go off on vacation and the texas democrats fighting, but i think on the story of this era, this moment, this thing that you have spent essentially all of your time talking absence january 6th which is this big, the big fight. the generational fight. the existential fight between democracy and autocracy in this country at a slide towards authoritarian autocracy. when that story is told what people will look back on is a period from january until now where no one colored outside the lines.
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not just not going on vacation, but staying, deciding to stay in cision and giving up vacations. it's for all the talk how important voting rights are and for all the talk about the threat that is posed by all of these laws being passed, these measures being bog pursued and enacted in states across the country, the fruits, the poison fruit of the big lie, for all the discussion about that, the democratic party, and i include, not saying every democrat but saying collectively, leadership of the democratic party and the president of united states and, therefore, the leader of the democratic party, have not spent the last eight months focused on this issue with a degree of energy, creativity, focus, commitment, determination. that the issue obviously requires, if we believe it to be as important as we say that it is. and i, i've heard you know, president biden and other democrats, they've given a lot of lip service to this and occasionally it looked as though
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they were going to treat this with the kind of seriousness existential threat to democracy is, but haven't really. never colored outside the line, never broken glass. it's eight months. not just now. maybe the most vivid symbol. to your point, why are we talking about it today? it's vivid at this moment and also because sinking in everybody who's realistic about september and october are going to look like in washington, d.c., is they're not going to get to it. they're not going to get to the it and it's not going to happen because the other "stuff" that matters so much, not trying to talk about infrastructure, but not all-consuming come october. i don't see given size and scale of that effort, that there's going to be space for this one. >> well, because we're old, john
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heilemann, maybe it's the clarity of understanding, it's not just an existential threat to democracy. it's an existential threat to democrats ever existing in this moment again. winning the white house. >> yeah. >> leading the senate and lieding the house. why doesn't that, why doesn't that focus their attention? >> i don't know the answer. i don't really understand it, nicolle. i think because on some level the only analysis you could bring to bear in a situation like this people don't genuinely believe it. our politics is, not a shot at democrats. this is a thing i'd say across the board. our politics is incredibly short termist. so we, you know, for all the talk how democrats or prshs, whoever is in power can walk and chew gum same time. really can't. a hard time walking and chewing gum. because they can barely walk let alone walk and chew gum. what a moment like this comes around people theoretically represent this, understand the
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threat, the thread's not literally about to happen to them right now. all they can focus on what's right in front of their face. that becomes a thing that the other threat, it becomes an abstract thet they don't feel in their core in the way they have to if they started coloring outside the lines, breaking glass, whatever metaphor you want. they don't feel it and it's a huge mistake for the party, for the country and in its political interests. >> i want to show you, david jolly, for better or worse led rallies, marches. he's, i believe, i don't know if he would admit to this, but i believe in close contact with and advises these senate democrats. let me show you what he said. his plea for the president. >> there's no one more powerful arguably on the planet than joe
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biden, and if he channels all of that power towards getting this bill before the people act, doing everything you just enumerated earlier, essentially save our democracy, then this will happen. and i think it would only be fitting, given his speech in philadelphia a few weeks ago, maybe a month ago now, where he called what is happening in our country the single greatest attack on american democracy since the civil war. if that is the case then all of us and most importantly the president must do all that we can at this moment to repel that attack. safeguard democracy and expand the right to vote to every single eligible voter in this country be they republican, democrat, independent or something else altogether. >> so, david, beto o'rourke is making a moral argument but also an argument about intellectual consistency and honesty saying, if this, then that.
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if that speech he gave in philadelphia is what he truly believes what he's doing doesn't match and this white house essential to its brand of anything is competence. look at images out of afghanistan. look at the complete lack of any plan on federal voting rights legislation. i think there is a moral failings but a political risk to doing nothing. >> yeah. nicolle, fascinating. there's a lot at play here. in fact, beto o'rourke tees it up well, because joe biden could be confronting this as the great civil rights issue of this time. right? defining it as fundamental voting rights and civil rights in the united states, but he's not using the bully pulpit to do that. the question is, is it a factor, the fact the bully pulpit is only so big? he needed to use it for covid relief or infrastructure? it begs this question. is anything greater than fundamental voting and civil rights? you look back at how lbj and president tried to bring about
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the civil rights act of '63. voting rights act of '64. he knew in that environment the two needed broken up. he could reeve incremental reform but important always on message about it. that's the frustration from beto. they should embrace this, but to you and heilemann's point, look at it as success of your part down the road. republicans are doing this to elections. republicans no the mother american voters who turn out the more elections republicans lose. they are doing this to deflate and reduce turnout. democrats, if you don't want to approach this as a constitutional issue, approach it as a strictly partisan political one pup get this across the finish line, joe biden, the democratic party begins to win elections for a generation to come. republicans know how to play that game. democrats are faming to do so in this moment. >> i think it's important to point out that -- that these are
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the results of inaction, that you never win an election again. the reason to do it, because in 2021 we shouldn't be talking about voter suppression in the name of a lie. even the republicans acknowledge that there was no fraud. even the states that went out and the looked for fraud didn't find any and most of the people who committed fraud were dead trump voters. so i mean, it's wrong on every level, and i just can't for the life of me figure out why this is a democratic activist issue? why this is viewed as something that the squeaky wheels on the democrat base wants but the vast -- it's a big issue for moderates. democrats in mow peril, the democrats in red states voter suppressed out of being eligible. the inmeasures put in place in georgia, make it harder for tens of thousands to vote based on what happened in 2020 and 2018, based on, of course, the great read of the numbers and measures in that law. so, you know, i wonder -- john
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heilemann, if it should be, you know, not inspired to save democracy, save your own asses. >> hey, you know, i think we're all saying the same thing here and i 1,000% agree, nicolle, the gerrymandering. it doesn't save democrats in safe districts. generally move the lines around to an in-play district. mostly those are safe districts. become a concentration of voters that are hard to break up. it's the, the purple districts. it's the district that are, a swing democrat, that are the ones just on the question of the gerrymandering, redrawing of congressional districts lines. the one most at risk. they all -- i mean, i've seen horrible gerrymandering done in my time, but the ones, you're right, you should be most
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concerned about, the ones who live in, who have to fight for every vote, who care where every single block in their district, where that line falls. who care about the ways republicans can, by moving something in a slight way geographically can get advantage. the ones who, again, every vote counts. they need that, turnout matters most of all for them and the whole other issues talked a lot on the art. the question, who actually gets to gain control of counting of votes? again. >> right. >> it's the at-risk democrats who have the most to lose, but i will say, this is now fallen into, to go back to our previous discussion a second. it's a little bit like, for such a long time and still the problem around campaign finance reform. right? the a process issue. and so for a lot of people, a lot of democrats, they don't feel it in an immediate way and have a hard time, they think they have a hard time, explaining it to voters in their districts. don't have a hard time bringing
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a bridge to their district or explaining expanding the social safety net if it's going to be deliverable. they think because they are uncreative in terms how they make political arguments that it's hard to make the sale to their voters, and especially those swing districts, democrats, they may think it's hard to make the sale to a swing voter that, can campaign finance reform is important or voting rights reform is important but they must figure out a wray to not be afraid of these issues and cast them, dave jolly suggested, large, important moral issues the way country -- make these arguments big. make them, make them existential and things that are about national character and fairness and justice, if you can't do that, you are not going to be able to make the sale on those issues in your district and then be right, that to have walked away. a challenge of creativity not a genuinely solid piece of political analysis if you don't
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seize these are about your individual future for the party itself and individual people. >> it gets to whether or not the democrats can tell a story about a lie that led to a deadly insurrection, forcefully, four officers died by suicide, others by bodily harm and led to the largest disenfranchise of a campaign in modern history. that's out of our hand and up to be democrats. we mentioned gerrymandering. let me read you more from a great reporting in the "new york times." redistricting fight arrives in one. most protracted assaults on voting access since the voting rights act was passed in '65. an effort made the right to vote among most divisive issues in american politics. redistricting will take place this fall without critical guardrails that the voting right acts if it erected. ensuring oversight of states with history of discrimination. the supreme court neutered that
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provision in the 2013 ruling, it could take lawsuits in years to force redrawingal districts, diluting voting power of minority communities. aaron haines suggestion i read, no the all of it, some voting rights act. you know, this -- this -- plank or pillar of it that preclearance ensured oversight of stats with history of discrimination made me wonder if we need a new voting rights act for state with a history of disinformation? where you have republicans admitting to passing laws to enhance competence in the vote when there was no fraud. maybe take all the state that passed voter restrictions and voter nullification laws and anywhere restrictions to the ballot that would impact largely minority communities, which they're not even hiding that that is what all of these laws do. >> yes. >> maybe they need something bigger to get back into that fight? >> yeah. so, nicolle, exactly right.
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fundamental jurisprudence of the court's approach, look, preclearance provisions of generations passed don't apply now. if congress want to do something more they should. democrats deserve a lot of credit for what they're trying to do, but to your point. you have to say, this is the voting rights act that we saw in the '60s. we're now approaches this issue as fundamentally passing a civil rights and the voting rights reform act of this generation. this is not about, this is critical. a fatal flaw. heilemann referred to it. stop accepting the debate on republican terms. right? take provision in the texas bill, for instance. texas republicans said we can't have 24-hour voting because it can't be secured. and what they were doing is targeting the third largest conti in the country that tried 24-hour voting last cycle. democrats, how about take the approach that we need to secure 24-hour voting. don't just say republicans are bad. this will disenfranchise people.
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lead on securing greater access to the ballot box. the way a democrat can take control of this argument and having a debate over technology that's existed 60 years in voting. moved billions of dollars a day on our phone. why are we talking about expanding access to the youngser generation and disparate populations to be able to vote electronically or digitally? i'm not a technology. if we can secure billions a day we can secure a single vote of somebody who can't get to the polls allowing them to do it digitally or on their phone. that's the way you approach this. stop accepting the way republicans are framing this, ultimately you're losing the debates. >> thank you for spending this part of the show with us's grateful to both of you. nice to see you both. when we come back, false claims of election fraud,
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fearing for safety across the kurchtd and the others fearing no one in position to protect our democracy at all. two state officials join us on those threats. later, more troubling details about donald trump's effort, campaign, really, to turn the department of justice into his army for an attempted coup, and take over our democratic system. all of those stories and more when "deadline: white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. mber one in reliability, 16 times in a row. most awarded for network quality, 27 times in a row. proving once again that nobody builds networks like verizon. that's why we're building 5g right, that's why there's only one best network. ♪ when i was young ♪ no-no-no-no-no please please no. ♪ i never needed anyone. ♪
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mr. president, stop inspiring feel commit potential acts of violence. someone's going to get hurt, shot, someone's going to get
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killed, and it's not right. this is elections. the backbone of democracy and all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this! >> remember where i was when i first heard that. georgia elections official gabriel sterling, in the early weeks of the ex-president's campaign to undermine the november vote. describing dangers but they've only gotten worse. "washington post" reporting today not just the top state election officials who have been targets. now even local election officials fear for their lives. trump's push of the big lie are curdling the faith many americans once had in elections and taking a deep toll on the public servants who work to protect the vote. one in three election workers reported feeling unsafe. one in five listed threats to
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tur lives and one in five threatened because of their job. so lucky to have two state officials more than familiar with this environment. georgia, served vice chair of dekalb board of elections until june. he was censured for pushing back gets claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election. of course, there wasn't any. from michigan, jocelyn is back. let me start with you, madam secretary. first, what do you make of the fact there will be no voting rights legislation at the federal level, at least until the fall? >> i'm hopeful there will be something in the fall. i mean, i think what we're seeing in states right now and nationally is a coordinated effort to undermine our democracy. seeing it for close to a year, and this is the time where we need our federal government to step up and protect every
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citizen and vote administrator protecting the very foundation of our government. i still am calling on the federal government to act, recognize they have a responsibility to act and to do so well in advance of next year's elections so that we as election administrators are able to meet demands of new federal requirements and protect voters in compliance with them. >> are you following the testimony given by former acting attorney general jeffrey rosen about the treatment of the u.s. attorney for northern georgia who left on the precipice of being fired because he refused, as you did, to falsify or incorrectly allege there had been fraud in georgia? >> yes, i am, and in fact known the former u.s. attorney here a number of years. just another example of the type of vilification and down right intimidation of men and women of integrity trying to uphold the
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process. i will say that i'm not an alarmist, you know, nicolle, but in this case, the former president is systematically tearing down the seams of rule of law and pillars of american democracy now. right now it's scary, because he's trying to delegitimize the elections process while just yesterday he's trying to legitimize the insurrection, by actually now intimidating the capitol police officers who were trying to protect the constitutional duties that was being carried out on january 6th. >> yeah. i mean, madam secretary, do you see it as all connected? the sympathy for the -- insurrectionists who lost their lives, the maniacal campaign to roll back access to the polls. more insidious aspects of some of those laws in many ways. the changes of the counts, the votes. i mean, what happens if there
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isn't an equally fervent push back and defense of all of our pillars of democracy? >> you know, i appreciate what you're saying earlier how this is a fight not just one side or the other. not just progressives need to get behind but moderates and the every single citizen isn't the country recognizing this is the fabric of our democracy, that underpins everything else that's at stake. so recognizing that the connectivities you point out is key to note. there's two realities here. one, last year's election was a high turnout election, more people voted than ever before and highly secure. multiple experts and all of the data has shown those two things. then another fact is that a lot of people were unhappy with the results. former president being one of them. so the connection now is to use that unhappiness to put people in place, in positions of authority, to potentially overturn election results that they disagree with in the future and change the rules so it's harder to vote and harder for us
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to see or replicate that extraordinary amount of engagement and turnout we experienced in 2020. harder to vote and easier to overturn election results partisan officials don't like is connected to an ex-tense of the big lie, the sort of foundation given rise to not just these two things i just mentioned but also the threats that election administrators are seeing. trying to deter them from doing the bake elements of their job. making sure everyone can vote and the results of our elections are an accurate reflection of the people. >> so i want to turn to the threats that, i know both of you, pressed both of you on this. i want to ask you what the like right now to be someone, of either political party, that has to sort of walk the line and represent the true and honest will of the voters of a district or a state? is that a job that we are basically running good people
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out of and attracting more partisan folks into? or are we simply not going to have enough people to do those jobs? >> even before this year, we already had enough problems, looking for the right qualified individuals, because tends to be the wages were never on par with what we could do elsewhere. that was already an instructional impediment. in this case it hits at the psychological and physical safety and risks they have to face when they do show up. so you know, i'm -- and madam secretary here, she raised something that i really want to support. that is the fact we are exposed to the, we are exposed to the attacks on the system itself right now, and if i were to paraphrase barry goldwater 50 years, exorcism in defense of liberty is no vice.
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in this case of the big lie it's no virtue. we are at a tipping point, and i'm afraid that similar to the tipping point we had in 2008, 2009 with the financial crisis, the fact that psychologically it's a fragile state right now, and all it takes is one small event to create something that's going to be much bigger. and i'm extremely worried. i want to use a sports metaphor of having the correct umpiring team in place and in this case he's actually attacking the umpires. how else are you going -- are we going to maintain a good game when we are actually going out and intimidating and attacking the umpire poos and the rule and the games and rules of engagement? >> yeah. i mean, secretary, it's not just the umpires in our elections. i'm sure you wouldn't quote berry goldwater. i want to know if you see it the same way? it's not just the umpires sort of on the battlefield of
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democracy. it's the scientists, and the doctors, who are vouching for the safety of vaccines and mask wearing. it's the police officers who protected democratic and republican lawmakers in and a republican vice president who trump supporters wanted to hang. it's any institution that can be corrupted. when governor cuomo resigned earlier in the week, it elicits different reactions from the two parties but it is the sort of symptom of a functioning party. the only person republicans have punked or whose head they called for was liz cheney's for refusing to be corrupted by the big lie. can you speak to the broader phenomenon of attacking the umpires? >> exactly what we're experiencing. the losing team didn't like the result so trying to attack those charged with ensuring the game is played fairly.
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you know, the recognition of the connectivity to that attacking those who are promoting science, data, facts across the board from issues of climate change to the health pandemic to structural racism, you know, we are losing our connectivity with data and facts in many ways, and that is striking at the heart of our democracy. when i read that "washington post" article as well you mentioned and michigan a local officials on both sides of the aisle protecting and add ministering elections for decades, really front and center in that article talking about the very specific violent threats endured for months, over a year now. it's important to note two things. one, those threats are an on yog tough reality for us not just in michigan but across the country at the state and local level and, two, there's something folks can do about it. in most cases, you choose who runs our elections. you elect secretary of states of state. voters elect local
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administrators and you can choose and elect people who will stand with integrity regardless of party affiliation. that's important to me. are voters going support election administrators many on the ballot and many of whom head the guard in 2020 and want to do so again. working to make sure they are able to do so again and holding accountable those who don't commit to the same principles of protecting democracy is something every voter can be a part of to help us, too, defend democracy in the future. >> and the last word, but what if voters pick people who further the big lie, and continue this? >> well -- i normally am an optimist. but in this case, i think we all share in the concerns about the malignancy of this cult. and if we go back 50 years, and
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remember the consult under jim jones, appeasement and worship of a cult leader will not end well. in this case i'm extremely worried, too. used to be republicans and conservatives used to carry around the banter of freedom is not free. you're right. freedom means you have a set of responsibilities to your, you know, yourself and well as your community and in this case, they've thrown that out the window in defense of a circus. >> sure have. thank you both. when i read all of 9 headlines today i said if i can only talk to these two and thank you for making that a reality. wonderful to see you both. thank you. when we come back, a win, a little one, but it's a win, for three of trump's most public stooges out there pushing his most dangerous lies lost their bid to have dismissed million dollar lawsuits saying they defame add voting equipment
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emergency planning for kids. we can't predict when an emergency will happen. so that's why it's important to make a plan with your parents. here are a few tips to stay safe. know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. pick a place to meet your family if you are not together and can't go home. remind your parents to pack an emergency supply kit. making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency.
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just daying after filing lawsuits against conservative news network newsmax and oan dominion voting systems granted a huge win against the big lie. a federal judge in washington, d.c. roomed with the voting systems company that its defamation suit against trump associates rg rg, sidney powell and the my pillow guy mike
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lindell can proceed. dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages from the trio who repeatedly issued false claims about the company. accusing dominion of rigging the 2020 presidential election. while this was happening, the guy on the right, the my pillow guy, went on the road hosting something he called a cyber symposium to try to allege once again that the election was hacked and joe biden isn't really the president. no surprise. he had nothing. no offense, nada. and joining us robert gibbs former white house press secretary as well as msnbc political analyst and form are congresswoman and contributing calm lift for the "washington post" donna edwards. we talked about this before. the wheels of justice grind slowly and opaque manner. in this case, $1.3 billion lawsuits from the voting machine company. other lawsuits from smartmatek the other voting machine company
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and dollar amount about the same and haven't hit a legal speed bump yet. >> well, and this is -- you know, one lawsuit against these three individuals, and, of course, there are lawsuits pending against the news agencies that continue to promote this. i mean, this is a way of a judge saying very clearly that you're not going to be allowed to go forward and tell the most outrageous of lies and hide behind the first amendment to do it when it harms, dominion alleged, it harmed them. harmed their profitability, and they were outrageous lies. saying there was an international cabal of conspirators undermining the election, and rigging it against donald trump. i mean, lies perpetrated by these particular individuals were so outrageous that finally there is going to be, i think, a measure of accountability for
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dominion and really for all of us who know that they were, you know, pushing lies across the internet, across the airwaves, and this shouldn't be allowed to stand, and this is one more measure of accountability to undermine that outrageous, big lie, that was perpetrated by the former guy. >> robert gibbs, i want to read some of the legal reasoning. from the judge's ruling. u.s. district judge carl nichols rules there was no blank it protection on political speech and denied argument from two of the defendants that the federal court in washington wasn't the proper venue for the case. "as an initial matter no blanket immunity for statements that are political in nature." written in a 44-page ruling. courts recognize there is hyperbolic statements and political discourse it is simp lip not the law that provably false statements cannot be actionable if made in the context of an election.
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nichols wrote. so what i see in their defense is both this, he speaks to, about political speech, and the other, i think it's just sidney powell's lawyers arguing no one thought she was telling the truth. i mean, lou dobbs and maria bartiromo did. >> yeah. it's pretty stunning. i mean -- it's hard to know where to start. i'd pick up on accountability argument. that the former congresswoman was making. i mean, i think we all want a mesh every of accountability and all hoped for a deeper measure of accountability. but really the gull to watch sidney powell, rg rg, the my pillow guy make these arguments day after day. as the video showed not stopping. my pillow guy is on the road doing this now. continuing to do this going in front of a court saying, oh, everyone knew that wasn't the case. i think it's just -- it's astounding, but i'm excited to see a measure of accountability.
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excited to see that this process goes forward and hold those responsible for exactly what they knew they were doing. making very, very obviously false and inaccurate statements. though i don't know if any of us are going to stop them. sidney powell's own attorney responding to a court ruling, looked forward to being in front of the court and talking about accurate statement she make. crazy, but we're all excited for that accountability. >> i agree we're all excited but just have to point out this is how low the bar is for any of us to feel relief. if the voting rights company that sidney powell and rudy and my pillow guy said that bleep crazy stuff about can sue for defamation, then, yeah, at least someone paid a price. you know?
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unfortunately i guess democracy can't file a lawsuit. doesn't have a lawyer. sticking around. pick this up on the other side of a short break. don't go anywhere. don't go anywhere. now, we all know progressive offers 24/7 protection, but we also bundle outdoor vehicles with home and auto to help people save more! [ laughs ] ♪♪ [ humming ] [ door creaks ] oh. [ soft music playing ] what are you all doing in my daydream? it's better than that presentation.
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of dry eye disease. one drop in each eye, twice a day. don't use if you're allergic to xiidra. common side effects, include eye irritation, discomfort or blurred vision when applied to the eye, and unusual taste sensation. don't touch container tip to your eye or any surface. after using xiidra, wait fifteen minutes before reinserting contacts. talk to an eye doctor about xiidra. inflammation: i prefer you didn't. xiidra. not today, dry eye. don't kid yourself into believing that's why we lost. it's not. it's not. >> you're wrong. >> i'll tell you openly. >> you're wrong. >> i'll tell you, and i'm not wrong. >> yes, you are. i have plenty of proof. i have proof in arizona, pennsylvania and georgia. >> you told me you won five
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different states. >> yes. >> hundreds of thousands of different votes. >> yes. >> you're kidding yourself. >> if you build it, texas republican congressman dan crenshaw heckled at a fundraising event last night for saying the reason they lost the election wasn't because it was stolen. crenshaw has previously chastised the action for being so chaotic. calling to limit mail-in voting. i'm glad to see either one in office at any level, either party, push back against people radicalized by the big lie. but what did they think was going to happen? they never, ever pushed back against the ex-president, not when he wanted to grab women in the bleep, not when he called african nations bleep-hole countries, not when jim mattis was fired and not when he accept the results of an election that was most secure in our country's history. the fact these guys now get guf from their supporters should not surprise any of them. >> no, not at all.
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>> donna. >> i'm with you. >> or, robert, go ahead. >> oh, okay. i'm with you, nicolle. i'm glad they said it, but this is the accumulation of more than four years worth of reengineering what the truth is and reprogramming what their supporters would believe. this is the wave crashing on the beach. >> yeah. >> and so we all read those stories at the end of the election where they said, look, let donald trump blow off some steam for three or four weeks. then after some certification in states, then we will begin to change our messaging. you can't put the big lie genie back in the bottle. this crowd proves that. i wish more people would say that. it is going to take a lot more and it is going to take a long time to change the hearts and minds of people whose minds were reprogrammed, but, boy, this is the culmination of all of that. >> and the political -- the
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republican lawmakers now are hostage to the lies they told their base. in some ways it is karma, it is poetic. in other ways it is just going to incentivize the most heinous conduct as lawmakers, donna. >> well, and i think that their supporters are dug in. this is not something, as robert said, that you can undo. so it is not even clear to me that they're going to be able to reprogram that electorate. i mean they've allowed this to seep in, not just over the election period but really over the last five years without saying anything at all. so how do you undo that? whether it is a genie in the bottle or humpty-dumpty, it is not going back together again. >> it is not indeed. robert gibbs, donna edwards, thank you both so much for spending some time with us today. the next hour of "deadline: white house" starts after a short break.
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♪ ♪ there is no foreign power that is flipping votes. there is no domestic actor flipping votes. i did it right. we did it right. this was a secure election. >> hi again, everyone. it is 5:00 in the east. the twice-impeached ex-president governed like he had a policy attention deficit, flitting from one policy to the next, infrastructure week became the next infrastructure week and never any infrastructure legislation was passed. but in one area he was very
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focused, dogged, relentless, engaged regularly with his cabinet. that one issue, overturning an american election deemed the most secure in history by the gentleman you just saw, chris krebs, his handpicked lifelong election, most security official. also deemed free of fraud by his subservient a.g. bill barr. today we are learning more deeply troubling details about donald trump's efforts to manipulate doj and turn it into an arm of his coup attempt. "the washington post" is reporting on revelations by former trump acting a.g., jeffrey rosen, on the pressure campaign by the ex-president on his own justice department. quote, former president donald trump's last attorney general has told u.s. senators his boss was persistent in trying to pressure the justice department to discredit the results of the 2020 election. in closed-door testimony saturday before the senate judiciary committee, jeffrey rosen said he had to persuade the president not to pursue a different path at a high-stakes
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january meeting in which trump considered ousting rosen as the nation's most powerful law enforcement officer. the post adds this, the testimony is part of a trough of information that congressional investigators are assembling about trump's frantic efforts to reverse his dpeet by democrat joe biden and use the justice department to stay in office. we're also learning by the time rosen took over as a.g. team trump's many lies and election fraud conspiracy theories were already causing chaos inside doj with some officials deeply concerned by any perception that the justice department was casting doubt on the election result. e-mails obtained by "politico" show that, quote, during donald trump's final weeks in office top justice department officials wrangled over how the fbi should handle a particularly wacky voter fraud allegation promoted by the then-president and his allies. the allegation in question? a baseless claim that election workers at the state farm arena
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in atlanta were pulling ballots out of suitcases and committing election fraud when, in fact, the suitcases were just standard ballot containers with wheels. the allegation had already been debunked by the time trump mentioned it at a rally in december, on december 5th, leading the justice department official in charge of the unit that investigates voter fraud to push back against an attempt by the fbi to investigate. according to "politico", the head of the public integrity section, corey eamonson, wrote in an e-mail, quote, secretary of state investigators have already conducted recorded interviews of the individuals at issue and such interviews reportedly revealed nothing to suggest nefarious activity with regard to the integrity of the election. the fbi re-interviewing those individuals at this point and under the current circumstances risks great damage to the department's reputation, including the possible appearance of being motivated
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bipartisan concerns. he was ultimately overruled. "politico" notes that the fbi's investigation, quote, ended up playing a role in torpedoing the president's narrative. the resistance within the trump administration to the former president's attempt to overturn the 2020 election is where we begin this hour. some of our favorite reporters and friends. betsy road rough swan is here. her byline is on the political report we've been reading from. frank figliuzzi joins us, former director for counterintelligence, host of the broadcast "the bureau." and host of "the political playbook, eugene daniels is us. lucky for us, all three msnbc contributors. betsy, start us off with your reporting. >> these e-mails are really revelatory and surprising to read. it is almost like reading the script to a fictionalized movie about just how crazy things can get within the justice department. we have three extremely senior law enforcement officials essentially duking it out over
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one of the wackiest episodes in recent american political memory, which was this viral video that came out of atlanta, being almost immediately debunked by the top election official in that state. but despite that, getting the attention of the outgoing president and getting the attention of state legislators in georgia. so the doj officials had to decide, do we continue investigating this video and perhaps in add vert ently give credence to this very bizarre situation or do we say, this is debunked and it doesn't rise to the level of something that deserves the fbi's attention. what these e-mails show is that bill barr himself specifically handed down orders that the fbi look into this particular video. barr explicitly said that he warranted fbi agents doing interviews related to the contents of this video, and that came several days after he said publicly that there was no meaningful election interference. if it were the case that trump's
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appointees at the justice department were trying to find evidence of election fraud that trump could use in order to, you know, cook up some wacky plan to stay in office, the opposite of that happened because the fbi broke with precedent, jettisoned its norms and investigated these conspiratorial theories. it is up to history to decide whether or not the decision that barr made is going to be something that is lauded in retrospect, but we can say with confidence that the impact regardless of the intent was that these fbi investigations ultimately ended up increasing american's confidence that there wasn't fraud in these elections. of course, it didn't change the president's opinion or the opinion of the people around him. but for the broader public it was very important that barr and his allies at the justice department were able to say, yes, we're aware of this wacky
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video, yes, the fbi looked into it and, yes, it is not a thing. >> frank figliuzzi, do you agree with this thing? because it seems most of the americans didn't have doubts about the veracity of the election result and the ones who did don't believe in bill barr anymore or the fbi. >> precisely. so, first, kudos to betsy for some real insights in this reporting, and i have to tell you with my background and experience when i read through this i just imagined the angst at fbi headquarters and the hand wringing on this because it is truly a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. i'm sure they're looking at this going, look, here we go again, we lived through the comey era of damned if you do, can we quietly look into it in the atlanta area? no, if we do it will leak out. if we look into it, can we get
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rid of the fraudulent notion there was fraud down there? no. moving forward, and i know i bring up administration, but protocol and process is important. once again the trump administration has broken all of the rules and protocols. the bureau and doj have to figure out things like when is an allegation too wacky to look into. when should we look into it? when is it too early? when the vote hasn't even been certified by that state yet, do we truly risk, you know, further fuelling a conspiracy theory? when do we do it? when do we don't? trump causing them to rewrite the rules. i think they did the right thing here, but i have to tell you it is only through almost luck that it came out the right way. you are right, nicolle. we are now in an environment where, for example, the fbi could announce tomorrow they've put the name donald j. trump in the subject line of a corruption case and an electoral fraud case
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because of what we know he tried to do with doj, and half of the nation would go "amen, this has to happen" and the other half would go "deep state political hatchet job." that's where we are. >> frank, explain to me more why you think it is the right thing that trump sends some video he sees on twitter to bill barr and bill barr tells the fbi to investigate, why is that a good thing? >> well, i don't know what -- i can't get inside bill barr's head and figure out what his intentions were, but the outcome as betsy explained was actually that there was no fraud found. that may have enabled barr and others to go back to the white house and say, it ain't here, we don't have it. the bureau looked at it, and you are going to have big trouble if you try to push this any further. i think for that reason it is helpful. did it -- the intangible here, did their presence fuel further conspiracy that this was real or the fbi wouldn't have looked at
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it in the first place? but i'm looking at the outcome, nicolle. >> so here, i want to play this for you, eugene, and then i want to read some more of betsy's great reporting. this was the ex-president on the phone with raffensperger about fraud in the state of georgia. >> the ballots are -- are corrupt and they're brand-new and they don't have seals, and there's a whole thing with the ballots. but the ballots are corrupt, and you're going to find that they are -- which is totally illegal. it is more illegal for you than it is for them because you know what they did and you're not reporting it. that's the thing, you know. that's a criminal -- that's a criminal offense, and, you know, you can't let that happen. that's -- that's a big risk to you and to ryan, your lawyer, that's a big risk. >> so in the time this call came out it was the sunday night before the insurrection, eugene, and it was ghastly to hear the ex-president threatening georgia's secretary of state,
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lifelong republican. in the context of what we now know was going on inside the justice department and in the context of what we now know from rosen was a sustained campaign to get doj to overturn the result in georgia, talk about how this is being used to build a case or to sort of guide an investigation by the congressional committees investigating january 6th. >> yeah, and all of this information as it comes out is exactly who is looking for it, who is excited to get more of this information, folks investigating january 6th and folks just looking into things all of the time, right? so shout-out to betsy and nicholas, my colleagues for this amazing reporting, and the other reporters who continued to let us know exactly how far trump and his allies were willing to go and the positions they put the fbi and the doj in, right, because what it tells us is that they were willing to do just about anything. you know, we all listened to
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that call with raffensperger that leaked from raffensperger because the president tweeted -- the then-president tweeted and lied about their conversation, and it is a reminder the reason all of the tools of pressure on just about anyone who could be pressured to do anything to get rid of and to flip the selection. luckily, people didn't do that and these investigations, like was said, it is good. the end result of this investigation into this weird georgia video turned out that way. however, if it can come up inconclusive, then what, right? then trump has more to say, you know, they don't know what happened. so all of these things as the fbi and the doj continue to try to shore up the career folks that were in there and kind of clean out the ways in which all of this pressure happened and make them believe in the work they're doing again, that is also a part of what is happening right now. and as congress investigates, they're going to keep looking for these things, these conversations are going to continue, and they are going -- they're going to have to decide,
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you know, do we bring donald trump in. they said before that they are not above that, not before trying to call donald trump in and talk to him about this, which, you know, not just being unprecedented it would be one of those things that his lawyers have always hated, trying to get him in front of people and talk because we know that, you know, he is someone who lies or doesn't tell the truth or however you want to say it when he is having these conversations and talking about these things. >> i think his lawyers use the word "lies" when they made sure he would never sit before robert mueller. i want to come back to you, frank. i don't know why this is sitting weird with me, but i mean is it not the essence of corrupting law enforcement for the president to order a political investigation and the attorney general to say, yes, sir? >> it is the essence of corruption if, indeed, there is no valid reason to do it.
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here is the thing. do we want the doj and fbi to just take the word of a state electoral official, hey, we've got this, we've looked at, there's nothing here? that's important information, but, look, in this environment we're in, would you take the maricopa county, arizona, official's word that there's a problem here? no, you would want the fbi to independently verify there's a problem or decide that this is so nonsensical we're not even going down. so this threshold has to be examined. the timing threshold has to be examined. i'm very concerned about the close proximity to the election that this happened in because it really ran the risk of tainting people's thinking on the electoral voting in georgia. but i would say here this was -- this was right on the line, right. okay. there's a video. it has gone viral. people are looking at it. it is catching on and can we put this to rest?
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and they did put it to rest. my concern moving forward is do we now have a precedent where some fbi flight team is going to have to get on a plane every time someone throws something out about an election fraud? no, we don't -- we don't want that happening. so they've got to sit down and work out the whole protocol for response or nonresponse. >> yeah. i mean i guess just to play the devil's advocate for one more beat here, if joe biden sees a video of donald trump's video boogying to "gloria" minutes ahead of the deadly insurrection and sends it and says, check this out, why were they excited over "gloria," were they excited overhanging mike pence, would that be an investigation to open? >> i don't like the notion of the white house dictating any investigation, period. i think the biden administration has taken the extreme here, whether he's involved -- whether not getting involved in cdc
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decisions, doj decisions. he's hands off, right. >> right. >> and that's the way i think it needs to happen. but i also think something needs to happen here, and merrick garland may or may not be looking at this. i will just end with this note on something needs to happen. the evidence is there. the gun is smoking. the only thing we are officially aware of is the doj ig looking at what happened at doj. >> right. >> and i'm here to tell you and you know this. the doj ig doesn't have any authority over non-doj employees. i don't see any current doj employees in this picture. it is time to move on with a criminal referral and get a real case started. >> betsy, i'm going to give you ten seconds to think about that while i read another chunk from your great reporting. so you also write that barr had told donoghue that the fib needed to conduct some interviews about the state farm allegations rather than relying on the investigation as frank is saying. it may well be that the georgia
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sos is correct in what happened, but the fact is that millions of americans have come to believe, rightly or wrongly, that something untoward took place, and it is incumbent to conduct an investigation to assure the american people that we have lead at these claims. do you have a sense of how many, how many inputs like that went from doj? because we've seen reporting about the lasers and there's been reporting about all sorts of -- and so wacky was a threshold that met opening an investigation, do you have a sense if there were more and how many? >> it is a great point. i don't have a sense of how many times this happened, but just from looking at these e-mails themselves you can tell that this was an ongoing tension between career officials in the criminal division at doj, one of whom is cited in this e-mail chain, and political leadership at the top of the justice department and rich donoghue who you just read from mentions that earlier in one of the e-mails there. he specifically says, this is
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something that we've sort of been disagreeing about, we've been at loggerheads over this issue, but then he says the a.g. gets to decide. everyone has a chain of command for a reason. essentially, donoghue brings down the hammer on behalf of bill barr and says regardless of the position that the long-time career lawyers in this department are taking, we will be investigating this video. i think it is very safe to assume from the fact that he was so unequivocal and emphatic about having the fbi look into this video that without question the fbi would have looked into multiple other wacky conspiracy videos that came out and other different allegations. part of the reason that we can feel comfortable making that assumption is that the president and his allies were pushing so many of these nonsensical conspiracy theories. just about anything that they could use to form a complete sentence, arguing that voter fraud happened, they were arguing for and barr made it clear that he wanted the fbi looking into all of these examples of voter fraud even if
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they appeared to be incredibly far fetched and nonsensical, as they all were. so i think it is safe to assume that a significant amount of the fbi's resources in those crazy final weeks of the trump administration were dedicated to investigating and shooting down these conspiracy theories. >> it is just unbelievable, especially in light of what happened on january 6th. it is a really important piece of the puzzle, especially in that timeline. betsy woodruff swan, we're really grateful to have you to talk about it. frank figliuzzi, always grateful to have you to help us understand inside the fbi. eugene daniels, thank you for joining us again and for starting us all off today. when we return, trump allies are running into a few road blocks as they try to push a sham audit of the 2020 election in pennsylvania. among those road blocks, the state's attorney general who has been at the forefront of the fight against the big lie in his state since before january 6th. he will join us next. plus, why a possible investigation under a law designed to fight organized
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crime is one step closer to finding out maybe how and where donald trump got the money to buy his golf courses in scotland. and a menacing scene after a school board meeting in tennessee. parents there threatening medical professionals who all they did was recommend a simple measure to save lives, that kids wear masks. "deadline: white house" continues after break. don't go anywhere. but eventually, with spring comes rebirth. everything begins anew. and many of us realize a fundamental human need to connect with other like-minded people. welcome back to the world. viking. exploring the world in comfort... once again. [relaxed summer themed music playing] ♪ ♪
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...we get unlimited for just 30 bucks. sweet, i get that too and mine has 5g included. that's cool, but ours save us serious clam-aroonies. relax people, my wireless is crushing it. that's because you all have xfinity mobile with your internet. it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. this week the big lie and phony attempts to uncover something that doesn't exist from the 2020 election are facing some fresh pushback from republicans in pennsylvania. the ap is reporting three tales
quote
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of pennsylvania county commissioners, two of them republicans, are calling out attempts by gop state senator and trump ally doug mass tree awn owe to bring a sham audit to his state, creating unnecessary chaos demanding his end his call for an arizona-style review. he wants that audit despite any evidence of fraud and the fact those two counties voted to not comply. from the ap's reporting on this, quote, the people of this county have nothing to hide and mr. mastriano knows it. in fact, the only one who has made himself scarce since he made this blunder without the authority of his committee or the senate is doug mastriano. here to discuss the ongoing threat, pennsylvania's attorney general josh shapiro on the show. you have been saying it loud and clearly from the beginning that there will not be an arizona-style audit if you can have anything to do with it. they will have to go through
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you. are you still confident you can block it? >> oh, 100%. i mean, look, we have talked a lot about what this one lone insurrectionist state senator is trying to do, and that is to undermine the privacy of the citizens in these counties, to cost the taxpayers literally tens of millions of dollars because the sham audit would result in invalidating these machines, and it would really just create chaos as those county commissioners mentioned. it is important to know that the county is a red republican community in pennsylvania, and they're standing up to the state senator and others. look, we had a safe and secure election here in pennsylvania. we've also had two legally required audits in these counties already. what they showed was that joe biden won this election in pennsylvania by about 80,000 votes. it confirmed the will of the people twice during those
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audits. >> is he really -- is mastriano on as much of an island because it strengthens your hand as other republicans think it is chaotic and ill-advised. >> look, some brave republicans have stood up to this state senator, including the head of the government affairs committee in the state house who has jurisdiction over this. but, sadly, too many republicans have capitulated to him and the big lie, are doing errands for donald trump. they're distracting us from educating our kids, keeping people safe from covid, dealing with infrastructure, and, instead, focusing on the big lie. so while some have stood up and tried to stop him, too many i think are following the big lie. >> i want to share some reporting from my colleague ken
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dilanian from yesterday warning about potential violence fuelled by false election claims which would add, i think, to the heightened security climate we have talked about before should he -- should mr. mastriano prevail somehow. he reports this. false claims of fraud in the 2020 election are fuelling calls for violence on social media. the department of homeland security is warning local police departments. dhs has seen an increasing but modest level of individuals calling for violence in response to the unsubstantiated claims of fraud related to the 2020 election fraud and the alleged reinstatement of former president trump. that's according to a dhs spokesman. it is sort of amazing that here we are, what, nine months after the election living in a state of heightened threat and heightened risk of political violence, and that an audit is still being proposed. do you see a tipping point politically for republicans like mr. mastriano or is he playing for the little slice of the
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trumpiest republicans in your state? >> look, the violence and that we are feeling out in the communities is a direct response of the spoon-fed lies of the modern day republican party to the public. for months and months and months donald trump and his enablers like that state senator have been lying to the good people of pennsylvania, have been lying to the people across the united states of america. so that has created this chaos, the kind of chaos that those county commissioners talked about. look, this is the modern day republican party. understand that this state senator who is leading the charge on the sham audit is literally the leading candidate for governor amongst the republicans. so you have to ask yourself what is happening with the modern-day republican party. they seem to be the party of insurrectionists. they seem to be the party -- >> yes. >> -- that continues to perpetuate the big lie instead
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of meeting the needs of the good people of pennsylvania. >> i wonder if i can ask you about the new reporting since last saturday, last friday and saturday. the ex-acting attorney general jeffrey rosen testified before the doj ig and then before the senate judiciary committee and yanked the curtains back more than i think we had ever really understood. you were someone we turn to all the time to try to understand what would happen. you were confident in the counts. you were confident in local election officials, but what is your reaction to seeing the chaos that donald trump was sowing within his own justice department while all of that was going on on the ground? >> look, we are a nation of laws, laws that are upheld by individual women and men. what we see from this reporting, what we see from the facts of what was occurring at doj in those final weeks of the trump presidency is that individuals did step up. they imposed the rule of law and
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they ensured that we had this transition of power. not a smooth one, but a transition of power. i think what it should reaffirm to all is that our democracy is precious, our democracy is fragile, and it is going to take each of us doing our part. not just people who have titles in the department of justice, but each of us making sure that we are speaking truth, each of us doing our part to participate responsibly in our democracy. i'm pleased that some of those professionals in the department of justice stood up to this president, but make no mistake, we came very, very close. we must now heed the lessons of what occurred that led to january 6th. understand, the big lie led to january 6th. january 6th has now led to state lawmakers across this country not just pushing sham audits but trying to restrict the right to vote. all of these things are connected, and the american people, we need to make sure rise up against that type of conduct being perpetuated by
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those pushing the big lie and speak out for our democracy, speak the truth, and elevate people to positions of authority who are going to respect the rule of law. >> we should point out that you have gotten into steve bannon's head, and that is a good thing. he views you as one of the obstacles to importing a maricopa-style audit there, which i will tell you i think that's a good thing in the real world. maybe not in his word. thank you for spending time with us today. we will check back with you. we also continue to follow a story we told you about here yesterday. as taliban fighters race through afghanistan, the pentagon today announced it is readying thousands of marines for the possible evacuation of the american embassy and u.s. citizens in kabul, the country's capital. the taliban have been relentless in their advance since the withdrawal of u.s. troops, capturing 11 provincial capitals in recent weeks. two nor critical cities are on
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the verge of falling today, and now the biden administration is bracing for the collapse of the afghan government within 30 days. we will continue to keep a close eye on that. when we return, a judge's ruling in scotland could make the disgraced ex-president's legal problems even worse. i will explain next. ne the joy , by giving every customer a new 5g phone. old customers. new customers new 5g phones when you trade in your old ones. upgrade your phone. upgrade your network. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ hey google, turn up the heat. ♪ ♪ ♪
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well, the twice-impeached ex-president and his legal team are very busy with multiple investigations into his dealings
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here at home. there's a new ruling in a case overseas that may represent a threat to one of the ex-president's most-prized businesses, a scottish judge ruled in favor of an online campaign group which is looking to investigate how donald trump was able to purchase two scottish golf courses while at the time he was reporting substantial losses on his tax returns. from "the new york times", quote, the scottish government had resisted pressure to demand financial details from trump through an unexplained wealth order, a powerful legal instrument usually deployed against leading figures in organized crime or drug trafficking. but on wednesday a judge ruled that avaaz, an online campaign group, should be given the right to challenge the government's rejection of calls for such a move. joining our conversation is tim o'brien, senior columnist at bloomberg opinion. joining us, host of the podcast "on brand with donny deutsch," our friend donny deutsch is here. you are two perfect people to
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talk to. first, what are the theories where the money came from to buy the scottish course? >> there is one theory and it is russian money. we said many times he couldn't get money from banks and deutsche bank was the only one to lend him money. he would have had to get rid of all available cash and there's no logic to do it. the money doesn't add up. when you go back to trump tower and the apartments there and so many other dealings and, you know, his complete bromance love for vladimir putin which we could never understand, it all comes back to one thing, russian money laundering. i'm curious what tim has to say about this. >> tim, same question to you but let me talk more from "the times" reporting. unexplained wealth orders were introduced in 2018 to strengthen the government's armory against organized crime. those subject to them can ultimately be forced to for fit their assets if they're unable
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to explain satisfactory howl they were purchased. this feels like one of the most aggressive legal tools that has been deployed against donald trump. >> and if it is going to be effective they're going to have to look at his finances going back to the mid 2000s, nicolle, because he bought the scottish properties around 2006. he sunk around $300 million into both of those properties. they've never been profitable. at the same time in the mid 2000s he went on this shopping spree that totaled about $400 million. he got invested and engaged with the trump soho hotel in lower manhattan at that time. we know that his partners in that project, one of his primary partners was career criminal with organized crime ties. donald trump, someone who never, ever used his own cash to purchase real estate, suddenly starts spending it in the mid 2000s.
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eric trump says, well, we used our own cash to buy the scottish golf courses, but they never documented that as a fact, it was their own cash or what particularly attracted them to those two properties. it is obvious with turnberry, one of his two scottish courses, it is a championship course, a course prized by anybody who is a golf aficionado. the other course he has in aberdeen, and i have been to both and reported on both from scotland, the aberdeen course has been awash. it is in a very almost god-forsaken location. it is a beautiful golf course but it never panned out and there's a real question as to what he was trying to do with that golf course and how he thought financing it was rational. the question being asked by the scottish court or the scottish legislature is just that, where did donald trump get the money to buy these courses, what were the courses actually being used for if they didn't make great business sense, and what can the trumps do to document the
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provenance of all of that funding? and it is dicey for them. >> what are they likely to pursue in terms of financial records? we know that his taxes are something he is still fighting to sort of keep from becoming public. arguably, we know that new york investigators have them, but what else will they be looking at? how do you figure out where the money comes from, tim? >> bank records, property agreements, his tax filings around his real estate partnerships at the time. now, there's going to be a huge jurisdictional nightmare for the scots to try to get their hands on some of this stuff because it is going to be all over the map quite literally. but if the trumps really wanted to make this go away they could come clean, just document it, explain to everyone where the money came from and offer that up. but i suspect, like donald trump's tax returns, they're not going to be forthcoming with any of that because they have something to hide. >> donny, is it something
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michael cohen has ever talked about, where the money came from for the scottish courses? >> you know, michael, what michael continues to come back to is what i have talked about in terms of it, that it is all coming from the russians. it also goes back to russia. the numbers don't add up. as far as these golf courses, don was giving himself loans with no-interest payments and not paying them back. it is all funny business, monkey business. look, this is just one more example that trump is a criminal organization. it is going to come out. i'm hearing also that a lot of the investigations with cy vance's office are starting to really narrow in on the children. i think things are going -- my kind of tummy meter and things i'm hearing is there are imminent things coming when it involves the family. >> tim, donny dangled that. i have to ask you. are you hearing anything about the kids and interest in them from investigators in new york? >> i don't -- i don't know how
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the children aren't going to wind up part of everything that they're looking at in terms of the trump organization's dealings. eric trump has made a number of public statements about how the. the looked at. whether or not they're culpable we will have to see. you know, the other issue on their funding is we know from litigation around the trump soho that tons of money poured into that project from eastern europe. the countries weren't identified. it was just to a great extent, but it was suspected that some of that money might have been from russia as well. so there's been a lot of pecking around these things, but it goes way back in time and it is going to be a high hurdle for investigators to unearth some of that. by the way, neither congress nor cy vance is going that far back yet. you know, congress has only sought tax returns going back eight years.
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cy vance is more or less the same time frame. it is unfortunate robert mueller didn't look into these things, but they really want to get into it, they're going the need to get his financial filings, his bank statements, his bank records and his tax returns going back to early 2000s. >> it is amazing. we'll keep watching and now we'll have to monitor goings on in scotland. tim o'brien, thank you for stand. we'll explain next.
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and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. afternoon in the first legal test for vaccine mandates and the increasingly hostile political resistance to them. today the united states supreme court shot down the first legal challenge against one such vaccine mandate. justice amy comey barrett rejected an attempt to block indiana university's requirement that students receive a covid vaccine to attend classes in the fall semester. there were no noted dissents from other justices. joining our conversation, dr. kavita patel. lucky for us, donny is still here. let me start with you really quick, donny, on the supreme court. it seems now that this clears the way for any legal questions, if there were any, because i remember when the federal judge first ruled in defense of
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indiana university's policy of a vaccine mandate, and now any resistance as you and i have discussed, political. >> yeah. you're going to start to see dominos fall. we are seeing it with private enterprise. we are seeing it with the government and various institutions -- not the government. the government, yes, when it comes to government workers, what not. this is what is going to continue to happen, and this is the only -- you know, it is interesting stat. 86% of biden voters have gotten vaccine and only 50% of trump voters. so it is political at this point, and the politics on the end of anti-vaccine is going to lose out. >> dr. patel, there's so much going on around the politics of covid. we know from the white house and the president and all of the maps that we're always looking at that this is largely a crisis where hospitals are really strained and the most unvaccinated parts of the country. i wonder if you can speak to what is a sad side effect, which is the hostility breaking out
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against parents, against advocates for masks in schools. speak to that. i know you have tweeted out the video of that horrific scene in tennessee. >> yeah, nicolle. i mean i actually just talked to a colleague who is in tennessee, a pediatrician who was not at that meeting but a similar school board meeting, and her husband has implored for her because of their young children to high private security. it is because a lot of us -- i mean my work address, a lot of my information is public because i have a medical license, so do many of my colleagues. i think what is unfortunate is that somehow, like humanity has really just -- it is as if the same attrition to our sense of democracy and decency that is attacking voting rights and what we're seeing playing out in other settings in exactly what is happening around masks. i never not having a civil conversation about why we should have our children and staff wear masks and here is the logic and the reasoning behind it would devolve even in, nicolle, i
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would like to say it is just in red states. it is not. it is really becoming a flashpoint. unfortunately, it is a very vocal few. i think that what i have seen, it is kind of what my parents taught me about bullying. there's a very small minority that is outsized and very loud and, honestly, i think many of us are kind of reeling from it. add to that the fact that, you know, in florida, in some of the counties in texas and some of the counties they're asking people not to call 911 because they're overwhelmed. it feels like we are going backwards in time, not forwards in progress. i think these are just kind of cataclysmic, you know, events that are colliding, and i do worry. i will say this. i really do hope that coming out of this, i would like to say we'll kind of be better for it. what i think we will is have more immunity, whether it is by natural infection or by people being urged to get vaccinated. we can't lose sight of the global fight we have to fight, and that's where, you know, there are days where i think, okay, i just got to keep my eye
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on that. we got to get the world vaccinated, and i can talk sense to some people and i can't to others. but i'm not going to kind of fall prey to literally, literally it is bullying. you have seen it on videos, and that's just the cut of the surface of it. law enforcement are being put in as -- they're using law enforcement to divide side against law enforcement trying to keep peace but being made to feel pro and anti-mask and that's not fair to them or the children. >> we have been talking about the pandemic and the country and i think other than the day the in coming president did the memorial service, i don't know if i have sort of heard you articulate and report so much distress about where we are. i just want to press a little bit about the universal desire to have all our kids in classrooms. i interviewed dr. carly simon
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yesterday whose school district in florida had none of the five-tools the cdc recommended. they don't have mandated weekly or twice weekly pool testing. they don't have the ability to have students in pods. they do not have three-feet or six-feet distance. right now it is over defying that governor's mask mandate. now this also feels like moving backward. there are schools that did those five things. obviously well funded and not a lot. schools did those five things were in school all year and results in those low transmission numbers. how are we having a conversation of sending kids back without any of those five things. >> it is amazing, is it? >> i have talked to parents who are opposed to mask and they
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don't site any rational reasons other than you can't force my children to do something that's not your right. is it all of our obligation to keep them safe? nicole, it reminds me how i felt after sandy hook. it reminds me how i felt in these critical moments when i say okay this is the time where things will change and i saw the pediatric cases rising and friends of mine begging for people to wear masks so they won't get infected. it is an unnecessary percentage. we all want to do it and we don't want children in hospitals and to see what's playing out revealed to me one of the many reasons i worry about our democracy failing but we'll persist, we have to. we kind of have days where it feels really, really hard and today is one of them. dr. kavita patel, thank you
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thank you so much for letting us into your home again. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hi, ari. >> hi nicole. welcome to "the beat." the u.s. sent 3,000 troops to afghanistan. covid surges in places where republican leaders opposing safety measures. take mississippi where hospitals are closed to failing. we were going to play something there. we don't have it. let me tell you

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