tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC September 23, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
that is going to do it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow night. which i have a feeling is going to be just as -- announce time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> good evening we have congressman joining us tonight on those subpoenas from the january six committee, fascinating hard-hitting fast subpoena schedules, you've got two weeks to give us the documents, a week after that
we're going to do your deposition, really sucking them up fast. so we're eager to get to that. but rachel, i just want to, the most common question i get out there in the world, about msnbc 's, how does reach will do? and i always say she's the hardest working person i know. but tonight i don't know how she did it, okay. because i am aware, let's say half aware of how hard you were working today on the arizona story, and how far down that road into the arizona sorry you were, and how late in the game you were on the road. and then your show comes on, and somewhere you made the judgment that you can't use what you found, were gonna wait 24 hours or less.
and wise judgment. but then you just pulled this other show up from somewhere. that fills the whole hour of a tv show, as far as i know didn't exist about a half an hour before you went on tv. and so now i officially do not know. i have no idea how rachel does it. i just don't know. >> you know you're very kind, i have no idea where this was going when you started this line of inquiry. i will say for close watchers of msnbc, if you go back to the handover between chris hayes and me, you will know that at the very beginning of the show, i'm going like this. and i'm offscreen still typing what's going to be on the show in the a block. because everything we did -- we did have an entire show unrelated to completely what we saw on the air, and then all of that stuff broke. including the stephen hadfield stuff, luckily we were able to get jamie both the news from
the january 6th and the breaking news from the cohen investigation because he's on both and the arizona staff has been mr. took wild ride today. you are absolutely correct about that i am going to go sleep in my car. i don't think i can make a home. i'm just a mess. >> if i had a whole show planned and we made the judgment that we can't do that at the last minute, i'd be sitting here reading weather reports, or something. i don't have another show. rachel there's no other show, i don't have another one in my back pocket, i don't. you're walking around with a couple of shows ready to go? we >> know this occupational hazard, i know you've done it before lawrence. you just make it happen. luckily when the news proceeds this fast you just kick something to the curb and let the rest of the traffic you. anyway you are very kind my friend, thank you. >> anyway we are going to be joined by rebecca rios, she's a democratic leader of the leader in arizona.
she's going to give her a preview of what she is expecting tomorrow won the results of this thing that has been called a fraud it in arizona is released. so we will see what she can tell us. >> regardless of what they say, you know that the trump world is going to light itself on proverbial fire, whatever the results are on arizona. whether the match they reported draft occupants that were circulating today, that we have obtained in another news organization, whether there's something totally unrelated, whether they match all the fraud hysteria and all the conspiracy theories wildest dreams, or whether they went blanket the whole thing. either way trump world is going to be absolutely bananas tomorrow. which is why i have to figure out some way to sleep tonight. because we got to be ready for that. >> rachel i don't know how she does, it matter thank you very much. >> thank you lauren. >> well the subpoenas are flying tonight from the special
house committee investigation of the january 6th attack on the capitol, high power trump step furs have been ordered to subpoena documents and documented records to the committee by two weeks from tonight on october 7th. two of them have been subpoenaed to appear a week after that on october 14th, and the other two have been subpoenaed to appear for deposition the next day on october 15th. the committee subpoenaed steve bannon, white house chief of staff mark meadows, former white house daniel scavino and former white house staffer who's move to the defense department in the final presidency kashyap patel. letters accompanying this subpoenas, were signed by many thompson, the letter to steve bannon says that the committee has reason to believe that the government information relevant to understanding important activity that lead to and inform the evidence at the capitol on january six. you have been identified as present at the ward hotel on
january 5th 2021, during an effort to persuade members of congress to block the certification of the election the next day. you are quoted as stating on january 5th 2021, that all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. >> the chairman's letter to mark meadows says quote >> you were with or in the vicinity of president trump on january six, and have communication with the president on others on january six regarding events of the capital. it has been reported that you were engaged in multiple elements of the planning in preparation of efforts to contest the presidential election and delay the counting of the electoral votes. according to documents provided by the department of justice while you were the presidents chief of staff. you directly communicated with the highest officials at the department of justice requesting investigations into election fraud matters in several states. the chairman's letter to daniels give you no says >> as
the deputy chief of staff or communications reporting indicates that you are with the president on january 5th, when he and others were considering how to convince members of congress not to certify the election for joe biden. your public twitter account makes it clear that you were tweeting messages from the white house on january six 2021. and prior to january 6th 2021, you promoted through your twitter messaging the january 6th march for trump. which encourage people to be a part of history. you are with or in the vicinity of former president trump on january 20, and where witness regarding his activities that day you were also of materials relevant to his videotaping and tweeting messages on january six. chairman senator to kash patel says based on documents obtained by the select committee and published accounts, there were substantial reasons to believe that you have additional documents relevant to understanding the role played
by the department of defense. and the white house in preparing for and responding to the attack on the u.s. capital, as well as documents and information related to your personal involvement in planning for events on january six. in addition, you were quoted by a reporter as saying that you were talking to the president chief of staff, mark meadows nonstop that day. >> donald trump released a brilliant statement about the subpoenas tonight it is like all trump statements, idiotic and childish. the only relevant words in the statement are quote we will fight the subpoenas on executive privilege and other ground. >> to read any other line or a new other words from the statement is to spread the demented math this that flows so freely from what is left of the mind of the 45th president
of the united states. who is now clearly a target of the select committee to investigate the attack on the united states capital. leading off our discussion tonight is adam schiff, a member of the house select committee investigating the attack on the capitol on january six. chairman schiff thank you very much for joining us tonight. this, was this set of subpoenas issued by the committee the result of the unanimous vote of our agreement of the committee to do this? >> our committee has been unanimous on all the steps that we've taken, there's a remarkable degree of commonality in wanting to get to the truth of being ready to use whatever tools, tactics, techniques to get to the truth. there is a common acceptance of the fact that no one is beyond the limits of our investigation if they are relevant
information about january six. and we are not fooling around. we are not going to waste time. so you see the subpoenas going out to four key players of based on what we know today, have very relevant information about the run up to january six. iran would have been on the day that have been. >> what is your response to what happened to donald trump saying that they are going to fight the subpoenas on executive privileges? >> well it is more of the same of what we saw for four years when he said they were going to stumble on those subpoenas, it wouldn't be his time to expect anything else. but i think it's an acknowledgment of his belief of his own guilt. and his desire to hide what he is doing on the fifth, when he was doing on the six. but he does not want the country to know. but we knew this already. because he intervened to shut down efforts from the house of senate, to establish a january 6th commission.
and he succeeded. mitch mcconnell did his dirty work. but speaker pelosi from the select committee, and we go forward and we're not going to let the former president stand in our way. >> does the committee have a strategy for dealing with what could be at minimum, a very long procedural delay imposed by donald trump fighting on executive privilege, a legal fight that he may lose but could take as we've seen in the past literally years going through appeals court? >> well we've been strategizing with the general counsel about what would have been if we need opposition. and we have to expect that with respect to some of the subpoenas that we shoot, they are going to be parties that resist. so expedition lee will move as we can, -- we do have tools that we did not have in the last administration that we can also hold people in criminal
contempt that make a referral to the justice department. now during the trump years we had people like bill barr run the justice department. and he wasn't about to enforce the law of the president of the united states, even when people were violating the law. bill barr would do anything up until the very end apparently that the president wanted. but now we have a very different justice department of an attorney general and so we -- . >> given mccarthy has commented about the investigation saying that the only questions that matter is why was the capital seoul left so ill prepared, and how can we make sure that this never happens again. kevin mccarthy is saying that you are not investigating the question of how can we make sure that this never happens again. >> of course we are, one of the central objectives of our committee is to find a comprehensive report with recommendations about how we prevent this from happening again.
but miss mccarthy does not look on how this began with. because they played a role in that and we just want to find out what that world was. we know that this was to [inaudible] the election. but we know a lot about the conversations that he had with the former president than, or with others that lead up to january six, or on that day. but we can see through his actions and his words that he doesn't want to get to the bottom of this. but we will. and we will take a very broad view of our responsibilities. we're going to look into the propagation of the big lie and the role that played in the insurrection. we are going to look at the weight and meadows trying to get to the justice department to present states like georgia to appoint a bogus slate of electors. we're going to look into all of this. and to do less doesn't service the american people. >> will there be another wave of subpoenas coming before you
complete the work on the subpoenas? or will the subpoenas follow what you get from depositions from these witnesses? >> i don't have a specific answer for one of the next subpoenas will go out. but i think they will go out when we're ready. it doesn't mean that we have a sequence in such that we need to hold a deposition of these witnesses before we can do more. i would expect that we will be doing interviews with people who are cooperative. some of those may be very much in the public view and many won't be. we will be working along contemporary lines of investigation, as we get documents, as we identify witnesses, and now we have stepped up greater capacity we can move into long pearl tracks. so we're going to move quickly there is urgency here. both in terms of protecting the country but also making sure that we get these answers and we get them with or without, allowing the kind of delay we did during the russian ukraine
investigation. chairman adam schiff. thank you very much for joining us on this breaking news story. we appreciate. it >> thank you. >> and joining our discussion now, congressional historian john heilemann, national affairs analyst and producer and host of the -- and zerlina maxwell host of the program zerlina, on peacock. zerlina let me begin with you and your reaction to this first flurry of subpoenas, this committee working quickly and according to what we just heard from adam schiff, they have learned the lessons of the kinds of procedural delays that these investigations can face. >> i certainly hope he is right, lawrence, because as you mentioned it was several years before we actually had trump officials able to testify and to give us pertinent information. in this case, it's becoming increasingly clear that january
6th was not isolated, it wasn't some random event that just happened to happened that day, when mike pence, the vice president was certifying the election. it was the culmination of several moving pieces. and as i sit here i am thinking, they had more steps in their plan to steal the election and a coup than they did for covid. it seems like now we have a memo with six points in it, rudy giuliani was running around state legislatures and courts all over the country, lying, in court filings about election fraud. in coand then you have the insurrection warrants. and i think we absolutely need to know what the president said to his advisers during the insurrection, because we need to know why there was a delay in reinforcements. >> john, you know the way the trump inner circle works, and this looks to me like the inner circle. this is bannon, meadows, this is people who really had access
to the president. and, as the committee says, knew what he was doing on january 6th. dan scavino had eyes on him, constant contact with mark meadows. and when you read these subpoena letters, the accompanying leathers, this committee already knows an awful lot about what these people were up to on january six than before. >> yes. yes, lawrence. literally no one in the white house, in some ways, it is closer to donald trump then dan scavino. you think about the twitter feed as being the purest expression of trump's messaging and his politics and his psyche. dan scavino is the only person in the white house who trump would tossed to tweet for him. dance convenient was his voice, his boss well, so to speak. his twitter boss as well. no one closer then mark meadows
then on capitol hill. and of course the chief of staff. and no one on the outside who, for all of the misreporting and misunderstanding about steve bannon being cast out, which was true for sometime. but there was a lot more communication between bannon and trump through the fall than is known now. we are starting to get some of that in bob word words book. the recognition is dawning on people, just how much bannon was in touch with trump. i started hearing about it from october, as the plans for what would happen if trump lost started to come into place. bannon was a crucial agitator. you think about the spokes of the wheel around trump. these subpoenas are, in the most inner circle. and that's not for whom the bell tolls, the bell tolls for donald trump here. this is a clear testament to the thing that we have all been paying attention to over the past months. that this committee is serious.
they are serious. by every indication, they are not going to take no for an answer. they are coming for john trump. >> norm, it does seem that they have learned lessons. you have seen and covered all of the major congressional investigations of our time. and this one comes after all of those. they are starting at the top, starting just one layer down from don't trump and self. and clearly, targeting donald trump, sometimes these investigations begin with a set of subpoenas where you say, well, i wonder where that is going? i wonder what the angle they are going for is? it's extremely clear where this investigation is aimed. >> it absolutely is. and i will mention the one person we have not yet talked about, which is kashyap patel. remember, we had top defense department officials, including the secretary, removed just
days before all of this happened. replaced by these cronies of trump, like kashyap patel, who had formerly worked for devin union is. and we know that there was a deliberate effort to keep the national guard, which had to be authorized by the defense department, from going to help out that undermanned police force. people died as a consequence. so this is really hitting a lot of areas that are extraordinarily sensitive. we know that bannon has come pretty close to incriminating himself here, by saying that he had lots of conversations with trump. conversations about blocking biden from becoming president. that is already a smoking gun on the table. but we also know that we are going to need aggressive cooperation from the justice department. there is going to be resistance. they already have a lot of documents and the documents may be even more critical than the testimony. but we are going to have to have a justice department that
hold these people and their feet to the fire, and a committee that does not allow them to get away with private discussions with staff and with more of these delays. discyou can bring him to the baf justice, and that committee, as john said, is i think very serious. and that's all of them, including cheney and kinzinger, the republicans involved. >> republican participation is crucial, which is why we began the question of how unanimous the approach has been. norm ornstein, zerlina maxwell, john heilemann, the thank you for joining this discussion tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks lawrence. >> coming up the chairman of the house budget committee has had enough. he has had enough of the debt ceiling madness. more than enough. now he wants to abolish the debt ceiling so that republicans can no longer threaten the full faith and credit of the united states. chairman john yarmuth joins us next.
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of congress. and those republican members of congress do not want to cover the debts that they incurred. also covered in a debt ceiling increase would be the ability to pay the deaths that have been incurred by emergency covid relief legislation that democrats have voted for and that president biden signed into law. the democrats want to pay all of our newly incurred debt. and the republicans want to cover none of it. so we are watching another new doomsday developed that we have
always managed to avoid. in the past, the doomsday in which the u.s., for the first time in its history, defaults on instead because republicans say they are willing to put the country into default. republicans say they are willing to take the chance of crashing the economy and creating a depression, which would quickly spread internationally. this used to be republicans most shocking demonstration of their irresponsibility, before republicans became the party that actually opposes democracy itself. here's why senate majority leader chuck schumer said about the debt ceiling today. >> leader mcconnell spinning a tale, a web of subterfuge, deception and outright contradictions that. he has said that he is going to vote no and he urges republicans to vote no. the truth is that we will be voting to pay for the debt
accrued under presidents of both parties, including the eight trillion added under president trump. both sides incurred the debt, both sides should pay it. >> with no progress to report on an agreement with the debt ceiling with republicans, chuck schumer and nancy pelosi reported on a bit of progress in negotiating agreement among democrats on how to pay for the 3.5 trillion dollar piece of the infrastructure package that democrats plan to pass with only democratic votes in the house and senate. >> the white house, the house and the senate have reached agreement on a framework that will pay for any final negotiated agreement. so the revenue side of this, we have an agreement on. >> and legislation, whenever you hear the word framework? that means they actually don't have a agreement on every item that will be in the
legislation. here's the way jen psaki, white house press secretary, put it today. >> we certainly think it is progress. it builds on the presidents meetings he had yesterday with leadership, with moderates and progressives, to talk about the path forward. and an effort to unify members of the democratic party and caucus around our shared objectives of lowering costs for americans and making the tax code there. as leader schumer said, he conveyed what has been agreed to, a menu of options that will pay for whatever the agreement on the investment may look like. so it's a menu of revenue razors. >> a menu of revenue razors is not an agreement on a tax bill. it is an agreement on a menu from which we will make the final choices. there are significant disagreements between congressman richie neil the chairman of the house test ready committee. and senator ron wyden the chairman of the senate cracks already committee, the finance
committee. senator wyden and said quote i think there is more work to do to flush this out but i think we're making progress >> this is one of those rare instances if not the only instance and where the chairman of the senate finance committee is actually advocating a more liberal package of tax increases then the chairman of the house [inaudible] means committee. he's already drafted a proposal to raise 2.3 trillion dollars in new tax revenues. speaker pelosi was asked today whether she would deliver on the deal that she made with house moderates to bring the bipartisan infrastructure bill. that is already been passed by the senate to a vote in the house on monday. >> we take it one day at a time we are confident that we would pass both bills. >> leading off our discussion tonight is the chairman of the house budget committee. mr. chairman thank you so much for joining us tonight, first of all i want to get your view
of what we should be doing on the debt ceiling. >> as you said it makes no sense that we have a statutory debt ceiling, where the only country in the world that has one like this. i think denmark has one that actually automatically escalates as the appropriate more money to increase the debt. so the debt ceiling never impeached their ability to spend more money. i think the national debt in 2017 when the debt limit statute was actually approved was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 billion dollars. so we are now at 28 trillion dollars. so it is obvious that whatever reason they initially created a debt ceiling, it has not in any way-limited the debt that we have. over the last 15 years since
i've been in congress. the national debt has tripled from nine trillion to 20 trail yet. so this makes no sense we braised the congress has raised that million about roughly 100 times in 100 years. it's been a routine. right now the only purpose it serves is to allow the party out of power to hold the economy hostage, and engage in bateman show. which does not serve anybody. >> we need to get rid of it it doesn't make sense and it's ineffective but you know it's tough to ask members of congress to say you're going to eliminate the debt ceiling it's politically tough, but in terms of policy it is the only thing that makes sense.
>> so the 3.5 trillion dollar number that we are talking about now in what we have in the infrastructure legislation was actually written by you in the house budget resolution. it was the agreed upon number that was written into the senate budget resolution. the number was agreed upon with the president of the united states. and every one of the democrat voted for the 3.5 trillion-dollar budget resolution. and now i'm hearing that there are democrats who voted for that number which you put in front of them very clearly, they knew what they were voting on, and now they seem to be saying we are not so sure about that number. they already voted on it. the time to have that debate was back at the budget resolution stage. i've never seen it worked quite this way before. can you see how you get to the finish line from here? >> i can see it but it's not going to be easy. we are going to mark up the
budget resolution on saturday, which will actually smooth the process forward. it will send the bill, all the bills the 3.5 trillion dollars and accumulate spending, and also the revenue measures that there was in a means committee has adopted as part of their process. we are going to set to the rules committee presumably it will go to the floor. but you are exactly right. this was an agreement in the senate. it was an agreement in the house. bernie sanders originally wanted it to have gross spending. and i can't emphasize enough, that this was a compromised position. what we have been focused on and with the biden administration has been focused on, it's not the dollar amount, it's the policy. it's the programs and the benefits that we think we need to give the american people so
that we can create an opportunistic life for all of our citizens and create an economy that is going to serve them, not just for the next year to, but for generations to come. that is what we're focused on. you start with a policy. you start with the question. what do we need to do to serve the american people best? and then you answer those questions. which i think those answers have been in the legislation we're advancing. then you say how do we resource it? the top line number really doesn't mean very much. if you talk about 3.5 trillion dollars over ten years, you're talking about one, a little over 1% of gdp over that period. you are talking about only 5% more spending, gross spending, then we are already going to be spending. and in exchange for that, of
course we do have offsets, we do have the two pool 0.3 trillion dollars in richard neil's committee. that he is drafted. for that you get childcare, you get paid medical leave, you get early childhood education, you get home care for seniors. you get a significant investment for climate change policies. the benefits are just unbelievable, the transformational change. that's where we need to be focusing on. >> chairman john yarmuth, if anyone can do it you're the one who's going to have to do it. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thanks lawrence. >> joining us now is he is a member of the house committee, he sure does the chair of the -- thank you very much for joining us tonight one of the suspense points that we're watching from monday is will there be a vote on the bipartisan
infrastructure bill that was passed by the senate. speaker pelosi basically promised a vote on that to members who wanted to vote on that day. but the rest of the house was hoping to be doing the reconciliation piece at the same time. which does not seem. ready what is your understanding of what will happen monday? >> first of all thanks for having me lawrence, my understanding is that the vast majority over 200 democrats in the house want to get joe biden's completely agenda done. and that agenda is the build back better act, as well as the infrastructure bill. and as speaker pelosi has said all along, we are going to do these two bills together, because together they make up the presidents very powerful agenda for the american families. and i think the date, was really a gold. but as you can tell if we have committees meeting on saturday to get things, done and we're still advancing things, the day is less important than what's in the bills. and i think the things that speaker john yarmuth, talked
about the fact that 40 million american families are going to get a task cut, with children through the extension of the child tax credit, the fact that we're lowering calls for american families through prescription drugs, family care, family leave, and so many other. the fact that we're creating 2 million jobs, and tackle climate change, and the fact that this is paid for unlike the tax that are made for the wealthy like donald trump did. completely paid. for let's get those values completely right because it is so important for the american people, and whether it's monday tuesday or wednesday or the following wednesday, we are going to get the two bills done. because democrats believe in this agenda. but that's what's important, what's in the two bills. >> so we had another republican announced today, his support or house member for the bipartisan bill that has been passed by the sudden, kevin mccarthy is trying to get all of the house to vote against it because he believes that passing that enables the democrats to complete the process that you're struggling with now,
which is that reconciliation bill. but is there any possibility that speaker pelosi would go forward, relying on republican votes to pass that bipartisan infrastructure bill? >> again i think we sat down with the president yesterday and his agenda is the two bills. we have said all along that we are going to do these two bills, and we are gonna do it together. because they are twin bills. and that's how we have to get them done. i hope republicans will do something unusual for them. and actually work with us on something. and that would be great if they voted with us. the infrastructure bill and the build back better agenda. but we have to get those two bills completely right. we have the bills marked up through the house, well over 200 people support that. the vast majority of the senate, democrats support that. really just a couple people in the senate, a handful of people in the house that need to come fully on board maybe show us exactly what they want. but we are really gonna get this done, i feel very
confident about that, and i've been talking to the president yesterday, this is his agenda. he is very engaged on this and this is going to be very important for the people who live back in places like my district, in wisconsin. as a democrat it may not always be pretty to watch the process but our values are really represented in this plan. and i am very confident within the next several weeks that these bills were both get done. >> congressman mark pocan thank you very much for joining, us i really appreciate it. >> absolutely thank. you >> and coming up the results of arizona's fraudit, are said to be released tomorrow.
the democratic leader of the arizona state senate rebecca rios will join us next. s next stereminds her that she has the farmers home policy perk, guaranteed replacement cost. and that her home will be rebuilt, regardless of her limits or if the cost of materials has gone up. (woman) that's really something. (burke) get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. wait, i didn't ruin the ending, did i?
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analysis of the votes for president in arizona. analysis which the arizona secretary of state has called a fraud it. joining us now is arizona state senate minority leader, rebecca rio's, she represents maricopa county one. thank you for joining us senator rios. what are you expecting tomorrow? >> i think it's important to lay the groundwork, that this is basically a conspiracy driven process that has been funded to the tune of five point $7 million by trump supporters. this is a complete partisan audit that was done after numerous audits and hand counts show that there was literally no fraud in arizona. i don't have high expectations, though i fully expect for them to continue the grift. to continue the show. this is essentially throwing
red meat to their base and it should be a full out clown show tomorrow. >> so it's a strange sounding presentation i am reading about. you would expect it to be, since the republicans in the senate, asked for it, you would expected to be asked for it in a hearing environment. but it's going to be a situation where, apparently, all of you are invited to attend, members of the senate. but only the two republican leaders of the senate will be allowed to ask any questions at all. and there won't be any county voting officials who were there to respond to anything that is said. that is what the reporting is about how this will be unveiled. >> that has been how this process has been played out. that will be the third presentation. the first presentation, senate leadership attempted to go in and we were kicked out. but in each of these past presentations, we are not
allowed to speak or have questions. these are not official senate meetings, they are not being held in front of a official committee. in the budget, however, there was language put in that would require a final report to be heard and deliberated on by the elections committee this coming fall. we fully expect that the outcome of that will be for them to justify additional voter suppression bills, and arizona has led the nation in the number of bills that were introduced with regard to a number of voter suppression methods. and i fully suspect they will use this as justification to introduce even more. justific>> do we even know whate total cost of this is at this stage? >> we really don't. the information that the media was able to glean has shown that there has been major fundraising down on this.
oan, the only so-called media outlet that has been been able to get on the floor, they have been raising money. 5.7 million has been raised by trump supporters. this has been a partisan effort. it would be funny except for the fact that they are really sowing distrust in our electorates, and really attempting to undermine democracy. it is hinging on dangerous. and the fact of the matter is that arizona has become the breeding ground for these conspiracy theories and these crazy ideas. what we have seen now is other states, like pennsylvania, beginning to replicate this crazy fraudit idea. and this is an experiment i think they are pulling, to take us, nationwide, as much as they can, ultimately trying to sow distrust and out. but i think it really can destroy democracy. so it is actually rather frightening.
and alarming. >> rebecca rios, the minority leader of the state senate in arizona. thank you very much for joining us tonight. i know you have a big day coming up tomorrow. >> thank you. >> thank you. and coming up. a gunman attempted another mass murder in america today, this time in tennessee. stopping america's mass murderers is the reason our next guest got involved in politics as a teenager. it was not that long ago. 24-year-old was maxwell alejandro frost is a candidate for congress, and he joins us next. ns u next are the things america makes out here. the history she writes in her clear blue skies. the legends she births on home town fields. and the future she promises. when we made grand wagoneer, proudly assembled in america, we knew no object would ever rank with the best things in this country.
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killed himself. stopping america's mass murderers is the reason our next guest got involved in politics as a teenager. maxwell alejandro frost is now 24 years old and he is now running for congress in florida's tenth congressional district, which includes the western half of orlando, currently represented by val demings, running to replace marco rubio in next year's election. maxwell alejandro frost is not yet old enough to be a member of the house of representatives, but he will reach the constitutionally required age of 25 by the time he is sworn in, if he wins his campaign for congress. >> politics started early for me. i have been involved since i was 15. and i remember watching the sandy hook massacre on the news in stunned silence, knowing that my life had changed. i'm my fight for justice never
let up after that. working for the aclu and over the past two years, i have been a leader in the movement to end gun violence as the national director for march for our lives. my name is maxwell alejandro frost. i am an afro cuban young american, born and raised right here in orlando, florida. i'm not a politician, i am an organizer. i have been a leader out here on the ground when others haven't. and now we have a real opportunity for orlando to elect the first bold progressive generation z member of congress. >> joining us now is maxwell alejandro frost, a candidate for congress in florida's tenth district, a democrat. thank you for joining us. i want to begin with white got you into political activity win -- and you do tell the story that it was this gun violence, this mass murder epidemic in
america. and the first thing you did was volunteer and work on the obama murray election campaign. what drew you to that campaign and that candidate? >> thank you so much for having, me lawrence. what drove me to the campaign was seeing someone that looked like me. i remember that day exactly. i was watching television with my dad and i saw the president speaking, i saw him speaking about hope. and how we needed to get together to move forward, to fight for folks. and seeing some of that looked like me, seeing someone who spoke in a way that inspired a conviction and me that change my life, is what drove me to be an intern on his reelection campaign. and ultimately is part of the reason i am here today. >> the march for your lives movement, and the other things you have been involved with, has involved lobbying, especially state government in florida, trying to get gun laws changed. you have had some successes, some not successes.
i won't call them failures because the people involved have not stopped, you don't fail until you quit. what has that taught you about the legislative process that you hope to be engaged in congress? >> why did has taught me is that sometimes things move slow. when i was young i actually got to do a lobbying meeting with marco rubio, our senator here in florida. it was after the shooting. i remember being with survivors and speaking with them. and i remember thinking that we had changed his mind. saying, mom, we changed his mind, and then the next day he voted with the nra like he always had. that has taught me that, number one, folks in office need to be more genuine with people. and we as organizers need to understand that these folks will lie to our faces sometimes. but that's okay. we will continue to fight for
justice because we need to honor those who have been killed due to senseless gun gun violence. >> we saw once again stalemate takeover in congress yesterday. senator cory booker announced that his attempt at negotiations on bipartisan police reform legislation basically came to nothing. with republican senator tim scott, there were democratic house members involves, trying to make that on a bipartisan basis. so the issue that is driving your life so far in politics, the issue that is driven you to this point running for office, is the one that seems possibly the most difficult to get any movement on in congress. what would you hope to bring to cory booker? if you were to get sworn in into the next congress? and you would have a meeting with cory booker? what is the first thing that the two of you could get done?
>> definitely. i think the most important thing is being creative in the way we will advocate for what we believe in. part of the reason why i believe that more organizers and activists need to be elected is because when we come in, we will obviously work within the system and work to get laws passed. but on top of that, when we are working as an organizer, you have to be creative. i remember when i first started with march for our lives, a group of students and i went to virginia to go lobby and speak with legislators about passing gun reform. but we were cut short because there were thousands of armed protesters outside the virginia capital. even some of them causing death threats to us. so we got creative and we found some representatives that let us sleep overnight in the building and we actually came with 13 students the night before. we woke up in the morning and lobbied and with the help of organizations across virginia, sweeping gun reform was passed.
and so we have to be creative, find out other ways that we can push this agenda forward outside of the system as well. >> maxwell alejandro frost, thank you very much for joining, us appreciate it. >> thank you so much and folks can hear more about us at frost for congress.com. >> thank you. maxwell alejandro frost gets his first word on the last word. it will not be his last word on the last word. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. lliams starts now. good evening once again, i'm chris chance-ing, in for brian williams. day 247 of the biden administration. the house committee investigating the january 6th attack has just issued its first set of subpoenas targeting high-level trump advisers, who had communications with the white