tv Deadline White House MSNBC October 27, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
subpoena from that committee. it is a decision that will send strong signal to anyone else thinking of stonewalling the 1/6 investigation that committee moving full speed ahead and looking next to subpoena the man that w.h.o. wrote what adam kinzinger coined the blueprint for a coup, john eastman. the "washington post" reporting quote it will happen. it was chair bennie thompson who said that in an interview tuesday about a subpoena for eastman who played a key role in the operation that was run out of the command center at the willard hotel in washington in the days and hours leading up to january 6th. thompson did not provide a time line when the subpoena will be issued. the committee has issued documents and communications related toeseman's legal advice and analysis on how president trump could seek to rover turn the election results and remain in office. eastman wrote the memo first reported in the book" peril"
that outlined a path for vice president pence to toss out the election results on january 6th. the memo formed the basis for the pressure campaign by pence on trump by eastman and others. eastman was just caught on camera defending that memo saying that trump had intended to go to the capitol that day and referring to the insurrectionists who stormed the capitol hags quote, our guys. he was caught by a legal activist lauren windsor who approached him at a event saying she was at the rally on january 6th and that she was a sporter of his. watch. >> all your legal reasoning is totally solid? >> no question. it was a set-up. unfortunately, our guys walked into the trap. >> he would have gone down there if it hadn't been for the violence? >> yeah. >> like he decided not to go because people were engaging in violence and breaking stuff? >> yeah.
>> raises more questions than it answers, doesn't it? nbc news reached out to him, that was eastman, and he had no comment. little fact check here, though, for him, capitol attack of course was not a set-up. you just have to look at the hundreds and hundreds of hours of videos that were shot or the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages of federal indictments that make clear at this point that it was not antifa, it was not the fbi. this was donald trump supporters and right-wing extremist who is stormed the capitol that day. eastman's remarks in that video, though, coming soon after he called the memo, quote crazy only raise more questions about his role in the run-up to the insurrection questions that are crucial to understanding how january 6th came to be. the select committee zeroing in on the coup mastermind. eugene daniels is here. katie benner is also here. and robert costa joins us,
national political reporter for the "washington post" and coauthor the already quoted from book, "peril". robert costa, i start with you. you had this eastman memo in your book. to be honest it took all of us i think a couple news cycles to really digest it and understand its import. talk about eastman's posture since he's been outed at the architect of the coup. >> as bob woodward told me at the start this project, get the documents. because people can have a lot of talk, whether it is john eastman or anyone else who is close to president trump or even president biden. and documents memorialize decisions and discussions. eastman memo is two pages, sick parts. it outlines in vivid detail how pence n the eyes of eastman could try to nudge the election into the house of representatives and have trump win a second term.
eastman has scland himself in so many ways since the book has come out and the memo has been revealed that are confusing, to be frank. at the end of the day what matters to me as a reporter is that he presented this memo to senator mike lee weechlt documented that. this memo was being pushed, the first draft -- the two-page memo was being brushed by the trump white house. most modernly, trump liked the idea, endorsed the idea. eastman and trump confront pence on january 4th, on january 6 eastman is in the willard hotel room with rudy giuliani. >> we have eastman, who spoke at the rally that day. and this is from the eastman memo. pence announces that because of the ongoing disputes in the seven states there are no electors that can be deemed
validly appointed in those states. at this point there are 2 2 votes for trump, 222 for biden. pence then gavels, president trump is reelected. house democrats say 270 votes are required. pence says fine, nobody has achieved the necessary majority, that sends the matter to the house, republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, trump is reelected there as well. the essential flaw of this seems to be there was no fraud, there wasn't a disputed result in the seven states. what does eastman say about that now? >> eastman appears to have acknowledged that there were no alternative slates out there in the states. and that's a fact. there were not. people may have been claiming on social media at the time and state legislatures may have aspired in republican states to have alternative slates of electors, but there were no alternate slates of electors. so the entire scenario, as mike
lee, the republican senator from utah, concludes and others conclude is impossible to pursue. the details in the memo are not part of the political and legal reality. >> there were no alternate electors because there was no fraud. bill barr said so. at one point, mitch mcconnell said so. and d.o.j. ultimately opines that there is no fraud. let me show you the lies that eastman told about fraud on january 6th. >> we know there was fraud, traditional fraud, that occurred. we know that dead people voted. but we now know, because we caught it live last time in real time, how the machines contributed to that fraud. all we are demanding of vice president pence is this afternoon at 1:00 he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it and the american people know whether we have control of the directive of our government or not.
[ cheers and applause ] we no longer live in a self-governing republic if we can't get the answer to this question. this is bigger than president trump. it's the very essence of our republican form of government. and it has to be done. and anybody that is not willing to stand up to do it does not deserve to be in the office. it is that simple. >> robert costa, i watched that a few times. i have two new questions after watching it again today. sidney powell and others are being sued for the lie that eastman tells there, this part of it, how the machines contributed to that fraud, the voting machine companies smartmatic and dominion are suing sidney powell and many others for billions of dollars i believe at this point. does eastman face any legal exposure for that lie? >> he may face a subpoena based on the "washington post's" latest reporting to testify before the congressional committee investigating the insurrection.
to be determined on whether the department of justice will investigate eastman. merrick garland, the a.g., was asked about this today in a round-about way by senator white house who asked if he and the aj would look into the violence. the amount of g. was vague but didn't rule it out. i think what is important is your point about fraud. when you step back and read what we have in the book and talk to key players, this effort, whether it was sidney powell, john eastman or trump to proclaim fraud was not just to proclaim fraud to proclaim fraud. it was to give a cover to republicans in the house if the election got there a fig leaf to say they can now give trump a second term. this was all about preventing biden from taking office. >> predicated on their fraud. let me show you some of this testimony, katie beener, that
robert costa is talking about. this is attorney general garland being questioned by senator white house. >> i'm very limited as to what i can say. >> i understand that. >> we have a criminal investigation going forward. >> please tell me it has not been constrained only to people in the capitol? >> the regs is being conducted by the prosecutors in the u.s. attorney's office and the fbi field office. we have to the constrained them in any way. >> great. and the old doctrine of follow the money, custom is a well established principle of execution is -- >> it's fair to -- >> -- is alive and well? >> it is fair to say all investigative techniques of which you are familiar and some maybe that you are not familiar with because they postdate your time, are all being pursued in this manner. >> so, katie benner, take us behind the scenes. what exactly is the white house getting at? what do you read between the lines from garland in that response? >> sure. the white house wants to know
whether or not the justice department is going to do something basically similar to what the judiciary committee and the select committee is in the process of doing. try to understand who did what and whether or not there were people in congress or in the white house who would have worked with the folks who ended up storming the capitol. if they coordinated it. if it was a planned attack or whether it was a spontaneous riot that broke out of a heated protest. i think the justice department has not weighed in definitively at this point on which scenario was -- which scenario they have found. we have seen nearly 700 people charged with a variety of crimes related to january 6th. but what we haven't seen is the justice department actually make the links between people in leadership and government and the people who attacked the capitol. there have actually only been small groups identified who coordinated in any way according to prosecutors to overturn -- to try to overturn the results of the election. >> katie, your reporting on the
senate judiciary's work does make that link, though. you have the body of reporting, the notes that mr. donahue took from his boss, acting attorney general rosen when on the call with donald trump. trump says what robert costa just mentioned just declare it fraudulent, my republican friends and i will handle the rest. is there any sense that you have that those republican friend are under scrutiny by the justice department. >> you know, i think there are some -- there has been a lot of public scrutiny of people, members of the freedom caucus working with the white house to promote the idea of stop the steal. but i would caution people from assuming that that kind of public scrutiny means there was a criminal investigation on any members of congress. i think what is more important for the purposes of what we think of as a free and fair election and democracy is to really explore whether or not that is the conduct we want to see in members of congress. but, again, members of congress coordinating with the president
to try to overturn the results of the election, that is something we have never seen before. i think what we are seeing is law enforcement grappling with how best to deal these actions and what part of the criminal code to each look to as we try to investigate and figure out what's going on. >> what i hear you saying is don't hold your breath waiting for anyone to look for crimes committed by members of congress. but i wonder what frame you would put around mr. eastman who -- the times has also done incredible reporting on his presence inside the west wing, his architecture of a written out coup plot as coined by adam kinzinger and donald trump reading from it to tell mike pence to go ahead and overturn the vote on january 6th. >> well, when i say that i always err on the side of caution one thing that could change the justice department's calculation is whether or not the select committee or the judiciary committee finds evidence they believe would necessitate a criminal referral that they would then send to the
justice department. one of the interesting things about eastman, he has been asked to testify before the select committee. it is clear based on the reporting out there in the public by the "new york times" and others is eastman had a role, a role that will be scrutinized and will likely be discussed with members behind closed doors as other witnesses come in to testify. there is also reporting that other members of the white house under former president trump are key operating. it puts pressure on eastman to tell his story to the committee because his story is going to be told to them no matter what. >> good point. eugene, we know so much about eastman already from what robert costa obtained, the reporting that the times and other outlets have done. i want to read a passage from "peril" that puts him in the oval office. i have been getting guidance that i can't pence said glapsing at his counsellors. well, you can, eastman said.
his january 2nd memo to lee expanded into a six-page memo. at gist, how mike pence could pause the process. it also asserted there were dueling slates and offered a scenario where vice president pence opens the ballots and determines on his own which is valid. but eastman acknowledged those alternative slates remained goals not something that was legally tangible. you really need to listen to john, he is a scholar, hear him out trump, listen to john. if you listen to john each in this passage it is clear that john knows there isn't an alternate state of electors. talk about what we understand of trump's exploitation of anybody with a fancy degree. >> i mean, that's something that he holds high, right, pedigree. he's talked about that. we've seen that. i time he talks about someone joining the administration,
pedigree is really important to him. but it also means he tries to use it as a way -- as almost a blunchon for other folks. he did with it eastman and pence. "peril" as well as other books, the entire eastman affair reminds us how fragile democracy is, that it literally only works if we just agree that it does. almost no one thought that a president would go as far as trump did trying to use all of the levers of his power to try to overturn an election. i think that is something this committee is looking at. that is something that scholars that care and think about democracy a lot are worried about. because now that this document is out, this eastman document, who is to say the next person that doesn't want the leave office doesn't try to use that as a blueprint to try to do something like this and what if there sent a pence there to say i can't. that's why this committee, this d.o.j., everyone is trying to
get to the bottom of this to send the signal that you can't do this in the united states of america. >> thompson said that a subpoena for eastman is in the very near future. is there any signal that eastman will run the bannon playbook, try to exert some non-existent privilege, will stonewall? do you see this falling down that sort of plot line? or does eastman seem like someone arrogant and proud enough of his intellect to want to come and defend his work? katie talked about it. his story is being told. it has been told in "peril". told over and over again by reporters. i think this is something he is going to want to come to. when it comes to steve bannon, a lot of his connection to trump is he wants to continue to be the leader of the maga movement. eastman doesn't have that pressure. he doesn't exactly have to
follow trump's i guess i have privilege that i don't actually have playbook. i think that is something he is going to have to weigh. they are going to subpoena him either way, if he decides -- if he doesn't decide to come, then he will have to decide what he does. when you look at how they are treating bannon, bannon is going to continue to serve as an example to everyone, hey, you can't do this. and more importantly, it doesn't force them to come in and talk to congress. i think that is why they are using bannon as someone who they already know probably isn't going to tell them much as a perfect example to folks that we will do this and we will pursue you as much as we possibly can. >> good point. bob costa when you hear eastman on tape saying trump was going to go with them, it was certainly something trump said to his supporters, you know, we'll all go. i hadn't heard anyone inside or in the room before say it was trump's plan to go down there, until he thought that it was a set-up. do you have any insight into what eastman's view of how 1/6
turned out? >> there is still more reporting and investigations to be done on were there direct connections between those planning the violence to have an insurrection, a takeover of the u.s. capitol, and those steps away in a suite of rooms at the willard hotel and those, perhaps, each inside of the west wing. id i would add a point from history. eugene makes a great point about history. there is nothing stopping members of the trump white house and others from stepping out and testifying under oath. think back to watergate. john dean -- >> right. >> puts his hand in the air and acknowledges he participated in a criminal conspiracy. and he detailed the criminal conspiracy inside the white house. it took a john dean to really break that open in terms of testimony. nothing is stopping the former trump white house counsels, former top trump white house advisers from going before
congress and saying under oath, here's what happened. as a reporter, i always just say let the truth come out. >> katie, that brings me back to all of your reporting. your body of reporting of this sort of last team to helm the trump era d.o.j., they have raised their hand and have testified to a lot of what we didn't know, we may have suspected from the outside. bill barr sort of exits stage left. these guys take over. trump tries to use d.o.j. to overturn his defeat. what is your spence, in terms of what robert costa is saying, how many more rosens there are? how many more donahues are there? how many more people -- i mean, is the white house counsel someone who might be wrestling with his knowledge of that attempt to overthrow a democratically elected new president? he's reported in another book as to have said on 1/6 he was waiting for trump to get arrested that day.
>> so i think that it is up to the committee to find people to testify. my accepts is that there were a lot of people who served as political appointees inside of the white house, the justice department, and other parts of the federal government who do believe that what happened not just on january 6th but in the weeks leading up to january 6th that the pressure was inappropriate, that the pressure was wrong, and that there was no way that trump was going to be president again. i don't think that there are people -- i don't think they are going to have a lot of problems finding people who are willing to testify. the problem is going to be finding people who actually truly understood the scope of what was happening. so what we saw with the justice department is officials are very willing to testify, but their knowledge was limited simply to what mark meadows, the chief of staff, donald trump, and others were asking them to do. they did not have insight into what was going on inside the white house, inside the roomgs, what kind of planning and coordination was happening around them. so that's going to be tricky because the number of people who actually understand that whole
picture are very few. and one of them is donald trump. >> so interesting. thank you so much for all of your reporting, eugene daniels, katie benner and robert costa thank you for starting us off on today's noose. today, more insurrectionists coming out of the shadows to run for office. as republicans, of course. is anything being done by the establishment republicans to root out these new growing threats? you can guess the answer to that. plus, all eyes on virginia. president biden warning voters there not to fall for a candidate who's clearly disguised as a trump act light. and later in the program, the expresident, who continues to lie about the election he lost putting the lives of those who oversee our elections in real and present danger. the terrifying reality for state officials all over the country. all those stories and more when
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[ eerie music playing ] michael myers survived that fire. after what he's done to my family... i will kill him. tonight we hunt him down. [ screaming ] evil dies tonight. you want your mask? come and get it! nearly a year after a violent mob stormed the u.s. capitol in defense of trump donald trump and his big lie, these same extremists are now becoming part of the republican establishment. the "new york times" is reporting one republican candidate in the state assembly in a county west of manhattan who is an active member the oath keepers militia. he was outside the u.s. capitol during the january 6th insurrection. he is not alone. the gop establishment has sought
to minimize and whitewash and defend the riot and the rioters and the violent paramilitary groups who were there that day, many of them have started to run for office, as republicans. one candidate for congress in pennsylvania posted a video as people surged into the capitol on january 6th. he has been endorsed by mike flynn and spent time with trump on his golf course this summer. another, from wisconsin, has been endorsed by trump and house minority leader mccarthy. the daily beast after analying social media posts reported that he entered restricted area during the riot. another pleaded guilty in september to five charges arising from his entering the capitol during the insurrection. joining our conversation, tim miller, and hear litm -- harry
litman. the words that come to my mind i cannot say on family friendly cable. i will turn this over to you, tim, miller, with a w-t-h. what do we do about this? >> you are going to me for the non-family friendly words, nicole? look, let me just back up just to explain how bad of a problem this is from the top down within the party. because some of these people in the articles you mention ready lunatics. lunatics have been running for office with no chance to win for -- you know, that's a tale as old as time. the problem with the republican party is much more serious than that. if you look at the top level at the senate you have people who have no profiles in courage but when vote came to shove didn't vote to overturn the election. people are retiring. they are going to replaced by josh hawley's and avowed insurrectionists. at the house level, you
mentioned derek van arten. he was in a restricted area on january 6th. he is running in a swing district held right now by a retiring democrat. i would say he is the favorite in that district. another insurrectionist is joining lauren gobert and these types. in other swing districts like this -- i talked to centrist type folks who maybe are fellow republicans who want to run for office, they don't want to run in primaries because they can't because they don't know what to do. you lose on recruiting. you lose on retirements. and then you get down to the local level. and can you imagine just being a normal mom who may be is a republican who is pro-life, who wants to work on the school board and now you have got anti-vaxxers and shirtless people screaming at and you giving away your home address if you don't want to -- if you want their kids to wear masks and be safe in schools? you are going to leave the school board. from the senate all the way down
to the school board, people who are rational, reasonable maybe democrats might disagree with them on issues but who don't want to overthroe the democracy aren't part of a violent mob they are leaving and being released by crazy trumpy anti-democratic individuals. that's happening from the top down. this is going to have a real long-term effect on the types of people who are in public service. >> i guess it raises a whole bunch of questions, and more sort of depressing acceptance of our new normal. but harry litman, i think we thought we watched and covered this unprecedented assault on the rule of law by the expresident with his near daily tie raids against the likes of rod rosenstein, and jim comey and robert mueller and others. but the real assault on the rule of law will be law breakers and lawless members of militia
groups becoming elected officials. no? >> could well be. just to underscore what tim said, the local level -- one thing that trump has been smart about as president was seeding the local level with the sort of folks who might have all kinds of influence over, say, redistricting. the report is ten current oath keepers, by the way their ranks increased, tripled, in the last ten years. half of all the members of congress who were there when trump started have now left. so they are stepping into the vacuum. and, yeah, it's potentially terrifying. the post reported -- i was trying to think of historical precedence n. 1930, there were some -- hundreds of members of the ku klux klan that were senators, congressmen, representative, and they was likewise hidden and they influenced policies in ways we didn't even know about.
to the extent these guys have to be open and defend their views, that's one thing. but to the extent they are part this secret society -- what does oath keepers mean? it means they have sworn an oath to fight back against government efforts to for example, take your guns. those people in the middle of government deciding redirecting, at the school board level, et cetera, is a, i think potential disaster for the republican party, but, b, for the country. it is harrowing, to say the least. >> tim, you talk about people who are disincentiized to run against these people. but what is the choice being presented to voters? are they picking this? are republican voters just picking oath keepers over normal republicans? >> most of the time, republican voters are picking this. that's what's driving it. right? you look at the open primary races. i think that's the best example. places where people retired.
ohio, portman retires. who is running to replace them? it is a competition to be who can be the craziest, the most defensive. mandel and vance they are trying to outtroll each other. there are a couple normal, quote, unquote, normal, but more traditional republicans in that race. you don't hear about them as much. they are not polling very well. so, yeah, this is what voters want. i think there are certain districts, there are certain places where maybe more mainstream republicans could beat off the more right maga voters. but lots of places they are not even trying. look at georgia. if you want to learn how crazy hishl walker is, google, i wrote about him a few months ago. he is mentally unstable. he is running for senate in gentleman, could well win. mitch mcconnell announced today or yesterday that he is endorsing him. in 2014 it used to be mcconnells about bannon.
they have give up that now. so the voters in georgia who i think probably would have went with walker anyway, let's be honest, aren't even getting an option because good people are deciding not the run. and the mitch mcconnell, the republican establishment types decided to throw up their hand and accept that the maga conspiratorial crazy are the kinds of nominees they are going to get. so they are going to endorse them and try to coopt them. >> harry, i keep thinking and wondering, what happens to a country that is sort of a nation of laws on only one of the two sides? how do you -- how do the institutions hold if one of the two parties embraces sort of lawlessness, people who want to shatter and tear down our institutions? i am thinking of donald trump's sort of final appointees to dni. mr. ratcliffe who politicized intelligence. i am thinking of his final appointees to d.o.d. kash patel was doing nothing
good. and thinking how close we came at d.o.j. with his lackey, mr. clark there pushing and trying to topple acting attorney general rosen. i mean, how much more this sort of pushing can these institutions handle? >> look, that is the question, right? how much have we been softened? what could happen -- to go back to your last segment, the next time with the eastman memo. underscore what tim just said. it is not simply the oath keepers in the bowels of government. it's the josh hawleys, and the people who have replaced the previous republicans who are going to be empowering or sympathetic. we have got this what we thought was a bedrock kinds of institutional strength that could never be -- where for example, the peaceful transfer of power could never be questioned. now we saw it could at least be softened up. what everyone is sweating out,
considering, would another strong run, say a smarter trump, actually be able to top telecitadel? who knows. what that we are pondering that question is mind blowing. >> it is mind blowing. and it feels like there should be more we can reveal, more we can do. to be continued with both of you. harry litman. tim miller sticks around. president biden in virginia last night trying to poke the bear, the bear that is donald trump. how the expresident is factoring into next week's big race in virginia even as the republican candidate there tries to pretend that trump at this point isn't part of the conversation. that story is next. conversation that story is next that's why inside every miracle-ear store, you'll find a better life. it all starts with the most innovative technology. like the new miracle-earmini, available exclusively at miracle-ear. so small that no one will see it, but you'll notice the difference. and now, miracle-ear is offering a thirty-day risk-free trial.
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i ran against donald trump. and terry is running against an act light of donald trump. extremism can come in many forms, can come in the rage of a mob driven to assault the capitol it can come in a smile and a fleece vest. >> i will never look at fleece vests the same. if there were any ounce of doubt though remaining before last night it is quite clear now that not only has the race for virginia governor become a naturalized ones but democrats and republicans seem content to feed and fuel and purgt the
perception and reality. you heard president biden there leading into the battle of ideoloies making a direct link between republican junk kin and donald trump. on the other side, republicans have sought to make the whole race about schools. youngkin again this morning promising a day one ban on critical race theory which is a mind boggling thing because critical race theory isn't a thing, it isn't taught in schools in virginia. still, alex wagner talked about it with a parent of from the women's club. >> this is the wealthiest county in the country. there is not a lot of racism. there are silly people that say stupid things, but if you talk about it less, you are going notice that division less. i have seen what the training looks like. they call it culturally responsive training. it is definitely racist.
they are putting down the child for -- >> joining our conversation, alex wagner, co-host of showtime's "the circus" and contributing writer to the atlantic. happy to have you back in these parts. tim miller. >> i want to hear more of what she's trying to say there to you? >> there is lot there to unpack. patty is a woman that we are featuring in that interview. she's a prominent activist on the anti-critical race theory platform, if you will. she's an advocate, she runs the louden county republican women's club. she's a big voice on this. if you unpack what she's against, it's all somewhat incoherent and decidedly racist, right? on its face, critical race theory is an academic sort of line of thought that's taught
largely -- and is not taught in the virginia school system. what these parents, what these advocates, strategists and what the youngkin campaign is seizing on is the notion that a more equitable and inclusive curriculum is being talked about as something teachers might want to do in the virginia public school system in a response to current events and sort of the tide of history. should we be more inclusive? yes. should we be more equitable? perhaps, yes. should we -- zer zern not only to the wlens of white history? decidedly yes. all of these things are signifiers that america is changing, education is changing and that's where you have people like her and youngkin saying don't change america, the way our children are taught, don't change the lessons we are learn being race or racism, don't change the landscape of american politics, american economy, and american society to fashion
something that doesn't have us in priority. critical race theory is largely a cultural battle. that's the essence of it. >> alex, does she know that chriscal race theory is not taught in virginia schools? >> she doesn't really know what critical race theory s. she knows during the pandemic she and other parents started seeing firsthand what their students were learning and what was being taught in class, the dialogue, discussion and reading materials. other parents, activists, stat gists, whoever, started exchanging facebook messages and video saying whoa, whoa, whoa, i don't like the way they are talking about race, specifically whiteness. we don't like the way white seasons being denigrated in the context of american history, whether that's andrew jackson custom the genocide of tribal people in this country or whether it is slavery itself. and they sort of banded together with the funding of dark money conservative groups and the
leadership of politicians like glen youngkin to create an anti-critical race theory movement which has sprouted legs across the country. this is not something that's just being debated in virginia. this is something that's being debated across the country. eight states have passed anti--crt laws. 15 more are considering them. this is the fire fight that republicans want to have, because it courts trump vote who are are intent on waging a cultural battle against woke lab rilism and the progressive elead and it also keeps moderates and independents, for whom education with a lower case e has always been a bread and butter issue in terms of elections. >> tim, it is hard to call things that are malevolent brilliant. but in terms of taking something that isn't happening in schools and sort of building an architecture around the national burning passionate movement, i suppose it is politically brilliant to have pulled that off, critical race theory not
taught in any elementary schools. general milley discussed it is a theory addressed and discussed in theory in law schools f any where. but i want to get to what this is really about. i too, had my son home and saw a year and a half of his curriculum. i was awed by it. what does it say that republicans were horrified by it? >> i think the strategy worked for glen junk kin for a couple of reasons. one is that this sort of gutteral attack against critical race theory in schools has ended up kinds of just being an umbrella for a lot of complaints and frustrations that people have. a lot of people had frustrations over the last year and a half with their kids in schools. some were legitimate. i think some kids not going back into schools quick enough. certain rules parents didn't like. i think there are reasonable people on both sides of how to
handle this crazy pandemic that came out of nowhere and got dumped on folks. i think it brought out some legitimate complaints. then i think there is as alecr exsaid, conservative dark money, people who used to work for the trump administration, supporters of glen junkin combining those frustrations by stoking this culture war around critical race theory by taking a complaint like every conservative parent has had for 50 years, whether their social studies teacher at their kids' school might be too liberal and i go maing it into a massive political issue that people should be upset about. i think that has -- you know, the combination of that frustration that parents have with the bad-faith activism campaign against critical race theory has sort of combined to create an environment where these attacks are working on terry mcauliffe and are making the race closer, maybe, than it should be given the fact that virginia has been pretty solidly
blue for a while now. >> alex and tim are sticking around. the trial of kyle rittenhouse is getting underway. the judge making news already saying the two people rittenhouse killed with an ar-15-style rifle is a loaded word. he refers these words, rioters, loiters, arsonists. yes, that really happened. that story is next. that story is next this is wealth. ♪ ♪ this is worth. that takes wealth. but this is worth.
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the two people shot and killed by kyle rittenhouse are not to be called victims. prosecutors can refer to the deceased as rioters or looters, but not victims. the judge in the trial of the teen facing multiple felony charges of homicide and reckless endangerment in wisconsin saying this, quote, the word victim is a loaded, loaded word, and i think alleged victim is a cousin to it. the trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on monday. he's pleaded not guilty to all charges, arguing the shootings were back in self-defense. alex, i read some of the reports in "the new york times" about facebook being central to the mythology around rittenhouse and around what was happening with black lives matter protests. i wonder what you make. if you think that is related to
this judge sees the alleged crimes and i wonder what do you think the import is of this trial playing out in the information silos we now live in. >> we've talked about this on your show. i interviewed members of the georgia 3% militia before many similar militias stormed the capitol on january 6th and they talked about kyle rittenhouse, even back in october. they saw them as a hero. they named jack kemp and the mythologizing of the geography of kyle was perplexing was something that happened. he is seen add a freedom fighter, true patriot. i think what you're hearing from the judge, language matters. it's a reflection of belief. any writer will tell you that. language is a reflection of our world view. and to say that two men unarmed, one of whom was seriously mentally ill are not victims or
alleged victims, but can be referred to as looters and rioters, tells you what you need to know about where this judge is at and whether or not he has been privy. >> it is such an interesting window, i guess, tim, is all that we can call it at this point. we don't want to get ahead of where this story is. but your thoughts on what we know so far. >> i asked a couple of lawyers and it isn't unusual for people to take the word victim out of the courtroom. some of the other language judge has said about the looters and rioters, he had a situation where there was a 28-year-old woman convicted of retail theft and he said she needed to be publicly shamed and needed to tell every store that she walked into about her criminal past. this seems to be the type of
judge who participates in this kind of thing. the more interesting culture question to me, how did we get to this point? this story is just tragic. you have this kid who travels across state lines because he thinks he's going to be a vigilante hero. this is not a person with like a deeply held, you know, world view, that led him to this. he's a kid. he was -- he's propagandaipropa. turned into a gross to grotesque bizarre hero. i just don't know how as a society you got to a point where we had what we had in kenosha, if you're wearing the red jersey, you have to pick the
side of the kid who walked the state line with his mom and killed two people. what's the connection between that and being for tax cuts? how did we end up in this situation whether it's such a tragedy? it has to be a reflection of our tribalized times. that's the biggest take away for this. the judge being on one side is concerning. >> i remember watching the evening hours of fox news right when this happened and he was lifted, plucked out of relative obscurity and lifted up and celebrated. take a stab at tim's question. how did we get here? >> i know how we got here. we've had politicians, one party that's been advocating violence. either explicitly or implicitly for half a decade. we're talking about an america where school board members are
attacked verbally and attempted physical attack for trying to keep, you know, 6-year-olds safe in school by wearing masks. we're talking about an america where half the country, members of the republican party believe the election was stolen. you listen to what's happening on the ground in idaho or georgia or texas. violence, i mean violence has always been part of the american story, but i think it has been so explicitly porn graphically embraced by the republican party it should come as no surprise that this is the natural end point. taking up arms. yes, that's part of our constitution, part of the inception. that's always been with us and now we're seeing the full malignant following of all of that, this is aided by a number of state actors. >> and there are many echo
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near constant harassment faced by the public servants who administer our elections. nearly every day, they are on the receiving end of abusive phone calls and e-mails. >> hi again, everyone. that is is frightening new reality around elections in america. that is our new normal. violent and menacing threats being made against those who oversee elections after the former lied about his loss, lied about the election being rigged and lied that it had been stolen from him. those comments were part of testimony given by katie hobbs to the is that the rules committee yesterday during a hearing that explored the scary consequences of the disinformation and distrust being spread by the ex-president about his allies. the threats hobbs describes are not limited to one state. one region of the country or even to members of just one political party. just to anyone who stood up for
the truth. here's -- >> i am a republican. for doing my job, counting votes, i'd like to quickly share with you some of the messages sent to me and my family. tell the truth or your three kids will be fatally shot. included our address. included my children's names. included a picture of our home. cops can't help you. heads on spikes, treasonous schmidts. you betrayed your country. you lied. you're a traitor. perhaps cuffs and bullets will soon arrive, provides my address, names my children, rhinos stole the election. we steal lives. there are additional threats my family asked me not to share today because they are so graphic and disturbing. >> seems to be behind these
horrific, heinous, terrifying threats, the goal, the ex-president and his pals stop election workers from carrying out their duties. give them no choice but to hear that and leave and in their place, install loyalists who refuse to administer a certified election because they don't like the result. back in april, the brennan center for justice commissioned a survey that found one in three election officials felt unsafe because of their job. nearly one in five listed threats to their lives as a job-related concern. in the last year, we've seen an exodus of election officials and a focus by trump loyalists to run for state and local positions that oversee elections. so what's the answer? one option currently sits on the floor of the united states senate after being obstructed by republicans. the freedom to vote act. it includes a provision that makes it a federal crime to
threaten or coerce an election worker while engaged in the performance of official due tus. the fact that enduring violent threats to your life, to your kids' lives is now just an accepted, normalized part of the job description for election workers everywhere? it's where we start this hour. some of our favorite reporters and friends. charlie is here, an msnbc contributor. also joining us, clint watts, former consultant to the fbi counterterrorism division. now a distinguished research fellow at the foreign policy research institute as well as an msnbc national security analyst and the former vice chair of the dekalb county georgia board of election. i asked you this before, balki. are you still getting threats? do you feel safe? >> well, our household on occasion, still receives
threats. certainly from my role, but also the fact i have a another member of the household who's on the same elections board. the threats are disturbing. it's reminiscent of what would have happened under daniel ortega as well as vietnam after the communists took over in 1975, but this is again, you know, this is a long game process that's taking place that is fomenting the chaos and it's leading to intimidation on the part of the kai ball of cronies and con artists that are supporting this former president and that is very sad to see, but it's very destructive right now. >> i have often observed the, not from the sort of close up vantage point you have, so i wonder your thoughts on this theory. that trump is a match. but republican silence is the
fuel that spreads it across the country. to katie hobbs, to you, to bennen. what is the role of gop silence? >> well, in its current state, it's the republican party in name only. so for those of us who still believe in the ideals and principles of any for that matter, especially when it comes to the fundamentals of living in a democratic society, then it's disturbing because as you mentioned as obviously secretary hobbs mentioned in arizona, as well as mr. smith up in philadelphia, they are out to driveway and intimidate the folks who are supposed to be the umpires. they're supposed to be the you know, carry out and ensuring fair and secure elections. this is in preparation for perhaps a repeat run in 2024 by the former president and then and so what it is happening in
short-term is you get this continuous, you know, assault on our infrastructure and that's why from a federal standpoint, we need assistance in order to provide the security and the safeguards for the workers. >> it's in the current version of federal voting rights legislation. do you support that? >> on that aspect, i do, absolutely. and i think that we need to come together on that. and i would hope that, right now, i'm -- it seems like it's hopelessly optimistic in this record, but it needs to be reenforced. it needs to be supported by both sides. >> well, charlie, we're about as far as from that as we can get. republicans obstructed, commencement of debate on the legislation that has that safety. making it a federal crime to do
what has been done to balki, to aush wit, to katie hobbs, to election official after election official. today, msnbc reports that a michigan redistricting meeting was delayed for hours by death threats. a meeting in charge of redistricting in michigan was delayed for hours over a death threat. a spokesman said quote, at 1:06 p.m., the commission received notification of a death threat. through e-mail. alerted law enforcement, the second outreach director from the commission said in a next. this is not about 2020, charlie. this is about 2022. 2024. this is about ruining elections so republicans can cheat at them. why doesn't anyone in the republican party care? >> well, look, we have one alarm
another after. it's happening with elections officials, at the school board level. i have to make this point. how many warnings do we have to have that this overheated rhetoric can be deadly? it is october 27th. three years ago today. at the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh, 11 people were murdered by a man who came in and one of the worst mass murders of jews on american soil if not the worst. he was upset. he has been cranked up about immigrants coming in a caravan. this was deadly. what more of an alarm do we need than last year when you had men who were plotting to kidnap and possibly murder the governor of michigan? and all around the country, you're getting these death threats. you're getting these warnings. again, school boards and election issues. look, there are 300 million people in this country.
so let's assume that 99% of them are never going to engage in violence. if 1% of americans are in influenced by this, are whipped up by these lies, these conspiracy theories and this hate speech, that's a lot of people. that's still 3 million americans. so for people who think nicolle, that you're being alarmist about all of this, alarms should be going off in every sector of our society and this is the question i think you're getting at here. you know, you would think that the grown ups in the room, the responsible republicans would say look, we need to dial the rhetoric down. this is getting out of hand. this is not who we are. this is not the way american politics should be down. what example are we giving to kids at school board meetings, to the rest of the world, when we are giving death threats to people who count the vote and yet they're not doing that. you are not seeing the, hey, could we calm it down? and i'm afraid it's going to
take some horrific tragedy to really underline this moment that we're in and the direction that we are going. but it shouldn't. we shouldn't have to wait until there are families that are attacked or election officials attacked or school board members are attacked, but i'm afraid that we're heading there and i'm guessing i'm getting the feeling that the temperature is in fact rising at the moment when we should be pushing back against this, i think that you have people in trump world and others who are, who see this as an advantage to whip this up. to encourage kind of thing. and they are looking the other way. i think we ought to be alarmed. >> i agree with everything you said except one. we're post tragedy. charlie. we're three years from the shooting. remind me who talked about immigrants in a caravan. was it donald trump? >> yeah. >> we're 20 years past a
shooting at a walmart. guy with a manifesto sounded like what you heard at a trump rally. we're two years past kyle rittenhouse. we're post tragedy. so honestly, what can, i mean, tragedy didn't stop it. hang mike pence didn't stop it. do you still believe it can be stopped? >> i don't know. i mean, that's an excellent question. you would think that these tragedies would have been so sobering that we would have been shocked and looked at one another and said, you know, what is happening to america? what are we doing? but, and you've gone through this list of these horrific incidents and they are not even speed bumps. there has not even been any pushback. so i can only hope that the better angels will step forward but we're not seeing that right now and i do think that there's a deep moral responsibility to
the thought leaders on the right in conservative media trusted voices in the republican party that have a serious moral obligation to step forward and say, look, you know, this has already happened. we cannot allow it to happen again, but i think it's certainly an indication of how deep this rot is. that nothing happened, really, in the wake of all of that. that there were no consequences within the republican party for these tragedies and you mentioned pittsburgh and el paso. it's a great question. >> it's a depressing question in the fact that we have no answers even more. let me come back to what's happening on the ground with our elections. we have two next week in virginia. and new jersey. but we'll have a whole lot more than two in another year. let me show you officials describing the exodus of
election. >> 18,000 volunteer workers to run the election in kentucky. we're losing poll workers. >> additional protection is not provided to those who are threatened, many election officials may face the horrible choice of either continuing to receive threats for doing their jobs or leaving the profession. the field is already losing officials at an alarming pace. >> we're already seeing high turnover among election staff and i fear that many more will reach a breaking point and decide this line of public service is no longer worth it. >> clint, i think you know from being on this program, i have a whole law enforcement, hold law enforcement and fbi in high esteem. fbi can't protect every election worker in america. there are 15,000 volunteers in one state in kentucky. there are school boards in every, you know, all over the country. what is law enforcement's role
in this? >> first off, nicolle, they have to have laws. that's where a lot of this breaks down. election bill that you were talking about. we have to have the provisions in the law that enables law enforcement to enforce it. which means they can build cases. they can you know, strategize around how do we build a collection of data, collection of facts that we can use to take cases on scale. going at each one of these as one offs is just not going to work. oftentimes, a verbal threat or telephone threat, that's a lot of investigation for a charge that might be very small over time. ultimately, i think there needs to be centralization. what you don't see behind the scenes, which is what we've seen across extremism over the last two decades is there's a connective tissue. there are social media platforms. there are closed groups. there are television networks and key leaders, the most
prolific actors in this space that are setting the direction that hey, don't go to the capitol anymore on january 6th. go to your local reps. go to your local capital. go to your school board meeting. go to your election officials. if you can't win the game the first thing they try to do is change the rules. we saw a that with a lot of, you know, voter registration issues that we're seeing through the summer. now they've moved on to destroy the referees. can't win the game, try to destroy the referees so the game can't even hardly be played unless it's totally rigged to their advantage. so doing this i think on a national scale takes actually a public and private partnership. one, you have to enable law enforcement with tips and leads that they can build cases. they can't do this on their own. two, a lot of this happens across state borders so it's very hard for local law enforcement. so i think that takes a public partnership to really bring that information together and fuse it to match the network that is on the other side trying to perpetrate this across the country.
>> let me show you what senator klobuchar said about what you're talking about, about federal laws. >> we can all agree that these attacks on election workers and their families are inexcusable and that if we don't act, we can't expect public servants to continue to perform the essential paths of administering our free and fair elections. i think what while a lot of work is done on the state basis, i'm a big believer in that, i think at some point as a federal government, we need to stand up. we need to protect against interference in the counting of ballots. we need to protect local officials from arbitrary and unfounded removal and we need to protect against the mishandling of federal election records. which puts both the personal information of voters and the security of voting systems at risk. >> all of that, much of that is included in the federal voting rights legislation. should there be a law
enforcement argument being made about this? >> absolutely. and i think it really comes down to where do you position these sorts of things. i think the natural fit in many ways is with the department of homeland security. they have cisa, director easterly. she's doing a great job and will continue to, but that's really about resources and really bringing things together in terms of the network. i think the other part is there are associations that are out there. national association of secretaries of state. they do a great job of working with election officials. they have limited funding and limited reach so they need some support to do that as well. i think there are some ways that we can help them essentially be more resilient. i think the last part is just connecting those threats, those actors to some sort of a consequence. people will continue to do this until they see the consequences of their actions. that's the one thing we see with the prosecutions around january 6th. once people do reach that
threshold, being charged criminally, they're losing their jobs, being separated from their families, they will change their minds. right now, they know there's no cost personally. >> i love the dog chime. they get a note from trump and get a promotion. clint sticks arnold. charlie, who is always profound, you really blew my mind today. thank you very much for the conversation. and balki, thank you for being part of this conversation. you have a seat at this table anytime you want it. the near total ban on abortion is the next story. texas governor vowed to eliminate rapists. when we come back, a new report shows just how bad texas has been doing on that front. plus, two dozen white supremacists on trial for organizing a rally in charlotte.
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helping san francisco become the first city in the country to have a universal recycling and composting program for residents and businesses. but it all starts with you. let's keep making a differene together. rape is a crime and texas will work tirelessly to eliminate all rapists from the streets of texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets.
so goal number one in the state of texas is to eliminate rape so that no woman, no person will be a victim of rape. >> that would be good, right? that was greg abbott last month promising to eliminate all rapists. arrest them, prosecute them. crack down on sexual assault and eliminate the need for abortions. that's his way at a press conference of defending his state's near total ban on abortions there. on all abortions after six weeks, which is 85% of the abortions in texas and zero exception for the victims of rape and incest, things that make it way outside of the mainstream of american thought. even on the right. turns out it's a hefty promise in the state where not only the clearance rate for rape cases, typically meaning an arrest or identifying a suspect has dropping from year to year and lags well behind the national
average by almost a third. a review found that in 2019, the national rate was 32.9%. texas' was 23.3%. nearly ten points behind the national average. advocates for sexual assault victims say the concerning data undercuts abbott's excuse. joining us noy now, president and ceo of the national women's law center. >> i don't hear a lot of abbott statements i can get behind, i was behind eliminating all rape. a lot of women tragically with raped by people they know. people on the streets, but sometimes in their own homes. the young girls. some we've read about in the planned parenthood brief to the support. rape by family members, parents, uncles. where's this disconnect coming from abbott? >> well of course sexual violence is a serious, serious
problem and one that it would be good for him to have an agenda around and that would start with probably addressing the culture that tolerates sexual violence, addressing policing. you know, addressing the many, many problems that survivors face when they try to come forward. the numbers don't even tell the story of the many people who never come forward. but the outrageous and inhumane ban that texas has would not do anything to address sexual violence and it would put survivors, it would put rape and incest survivors in a terrible, terrible situation. one that is far worse than the one that they are in with no remedy, no relief, and a really difficult way forward. >> let me share some more of the reporting about the state of rape prosecutions in texas. this is from nbc news.
the lack of rape prosecutions in texas has been of such concern that abbott's office sponsored a study at the university of texas at austin that will be published examining why the majority of sexual assault cases aren't prosecuted. quote, when we say we're going to stop all rapists, that's not even possible, said a houston police detective who works in the special victims division. former sergeant donnegan said i can't say there's anything unique to texas. and let me just introduce one more piece of reporting. this is raquel, rape survivor who now advocates for sexual assault victims speaking directly to this. >> it is stressful and it's confusing and it is one of the most traumatic things probably anybody can experience and so to
add any sort of additional pressure to that situation is just alarming and not fair. it's a little bit of a slap in the face because he said eliminate rape in the streets. it's not really in the streets or the bogeyman hiding in a bush. it's people we know. people who are acquaintances. >> do you think there's a serious interest on abbott's part of understanding rape, people what women know? >> well, all he'd have to do is listen to the many people who have been telling their me too stories over the last couple of years. about the violence that they have experienced at home and at school and at work. and there are a range of policies that can make a difference in people's lives in and outside of the criminal justice system and address the culture that makes it actually hard to come forward.
but truth is that you know, the fact that there's no exception for rape or incest is outrageous and extreme, but banning abortion for anyone who needs it, that, too, is outrageous and extreme. >> indeed. we'll stay on it. thank you so much for being part of our conversation today. when we come back, as the organizers of the deadly white supremacist rally go on trial, we'll speak with the head of the civil rights group spearheading the case about the importance of holding extremists accountable. that's next. holding extremists accountable that's next. ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience, you have the flexibility you need
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tomorrow opening statements are expected to begin in the civil trial of the organizers behind the 2017 unite the right rally that shocked the nation. the violent protests by hundreds of white supremacists in charlottesville, virginia, left one woman dead and 35 years injured. nine residents are suing two dozen white supremacists and hate groups looking to hold them accountable for plotting and planning the violence of that day. joining our conversation is executive director of integrity for america. her organization is backing the plaintiffs from charlottesville who are suing the organizers and hate groups responsible for the rally. clint is back with us. thank you so much for being part of our conversation, amy. i want to read to you from "the
washington post" on who is represented on each side. the plaintiffs are diverse members of the community. they include four people who were struck when a 20-year-old defendant in the case, james a. fields, plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotestors. at least two kkk factions are represented among the defendants who also include jason kessler, the organizer of the rally. richard spencer, who led a march across the university of virginia campus, and matthew heinback. it would appear the stakes couldn't be higher for the country. talk about the legal strategy to hold these individuals. accountable. >> absolutely. at the core of this case is the idea that what happened four years ago in charlottesville wasn't an accident. it wasn't a clash between two sides. rather, it was a meticulously
planned, racially motivated conspiracy to attack people based on their race, religion and their willingness to defend the rights of others. it uses a statute act of 1871, which is what it sounds like. meant to hold accountable racist violence first passed 150 years ago to deal with clan violence in the south after the civil war, but sadly relevant today as we grapple with resurgent white supremacy in this country. the goal here is simple. it's to make clear there will be accountability. financial and operational consequences for those who plan, engage in and celebrate the sort of violence as we saw four years ago. >> it's already been mentioned this hour, but let me just read a tweet from your group today. today marks the three-year anniversary of the pittsburgh attack when a white supremacist murdered 11 jews in a synagogue.
their memories inspire us every day. and certainly this week as the trial begins in our charlottesville case. is another layer of this adding to the tool box, another method, another way, the fbi has hate crimes at their highest level in more than two decades. are you hearing from and coordinating with other folks in other parts of the country? >> what's clear is that charlottesville wasn't an isolated incident. it was a harbinger of the extremism that's followed and so many of these attacks are motivated by the same sort of white supremacist conspiracies that we heard in charlottesville. this idea of jews will not replace us is the same as the replacement theory that motivated the pittsburgh attack, the el paso a tack and has
become normalized with pundits like tucker carlson and right wing leaders giving it a mainstream platform. and so that is happening partially because of the stunning lack of accountablein the aftermath of events like unite the right. so the goal here is to make clear there will be accountability and to show that yes, there is a legal path forward to hold accountable those responsible and we know that civil litigation like this can have major financial and operational consequences. defendants have already talked about that. how this has fanlly impacted them. made it much harder for them to go about their business and certainly if and when our plaintiffs when financial judgments, it can have major impacts. bankrupting disrupting and dismantling these groups and their leaders in a way that will have ripple effects that will extend well beyond the aftermath of charlottesville. >> clint watts, obviously unforgettable moment of an
unforgettable presidency of donald trump when he talked about good people on both sides, but want to put up some data and i want to ask about the political -- and any ties to this data. fbi updated data on monday. the number of hate crimes reported in 2020 was the highest recorded in two decades. involved 11,126 victims. nearly 62 crimes were tied to an individual's race and ethnicity across this country. do you have sort of a theory on the case of why that is? is it more than a political climate, our political rhetoric, our last president? >> no, nicolle. it's our last president. violent rhetoric leads to more violence. during the global war on terror
years, we were very concerned about violent rhetoric from osama bin laden. we see this all the time in our country and comes from political leaders. the more they talk or justify violence, the more they amplify that and continue it and the more they do it around racial, religious and sex. men versus women. the misogynist angle is overwhelming right now and it wasn't even there really four to five years ago. the more they do that, the more you'll see violence over time. it's what's called the ste castic phenomenon. the more the support grows, the smaller percentage. even if it's just 1%, it gets larger over time. >> we will stay on this trial. amy, thank you so much for being part of our coverage of it. clint watts, thank you for spending some time with us today. when we come back, inside america's opioid crisis. danny strong, the writer, producer and creator of the new
and being told it was a psa for pain relief instead of an advertisement for oxycontin and many of them are now addicted or dead from drug use. so we access all use to tesing data to determine if there are other exceptions. >> your honor, statements made by counsel in no way even resemble the facts. my client is aware there have been addiction issues in this part of the world but blaming purdue pharma for this is like blaming budweiser for a drunk driver. it is the fault of the drug abuser and not of the manufacturer. the scope of the subpoena is broad and the information contained in the request is privileged. what these local lawyers don't seem to understand is that there's a national pain movement that is far bigger than my client and its drug.
renowned pain organizations have not only endorsed by client's medication, but the general use of increased opioid treatment. my client should be given a noble prize, not a subpoena, for materials. >> that's just a small clip from the riveting new mini series on hulo, dope sick. it chronicles america's opioid crisis from the company behind the making of oxycontin. the towns across the country that are still devastated from the drug. michael keaton plays a doctor who's sold on the idea that it's a miracle drug for his patients, but soon, he finds out its deadly consequences. >> did more than one of your patients become addicted to oxycontin?
dr. phenix? >> they're good now. >> joining us now is the award winning writer and producer, danny strong, creator and executive producer of dopesick. congratulations. this has been, everything you touch is exquisitely written and crafted and star studded. this feels next level. talk about the project. >> nicolle, thank you so much. it's a really stunning story. it's a really disturbing story. it hits on so many different levels of american society. you've got a pharma company that was pathologically dishonest in their promotion and sale of a drug in which they claimed it was less addictive than other opioids. because this was a lie, it meant that every piece of data, every blood shard, every study they put forward, well, that was also a lie, too. so you have this staggering
trail of deceitful information that eventually led to them pleading guilty to criminal misbranding in 2007. but what i think takes the story to another level is that it ties into the highest levels of the american government. purdue didn't just do this on their own. they were aided or a blind eye was turned, the fda, the justice department, congress, and the show, it takes you to all these different places. >> you said this. the show is a trial that should, the trial that should have happened. the series is the trial that should have happened. what takes the story to profound place is that it's about the dark side of american capitalism where you have the collusion of government and industry. do you hear from people who feel that when they see the show that this is the trial they were deprived of? >> yeah. one of the things that's been so rewarding on twitter and social media is that people are so
grateful that the story is being told. people that got lost in the haze of oxycontin addiction, who lost relatives or years of their own lives to this. it's a very disturbing story. especially when the facts of the section are laid out. for some people, they're just so grateful that others are getting to understand what happened to them. there are so many that have been lost in this world of addiction and they know that they're viewed as quote, junkies or losers. then when this story is told, some people understand for themselves that they're part of a much bigger story and it's in fact a very corrupt story. >> you were shooting during the pandemic and dealing with all of the challenges that covid presented. but opioid addiction was also surging during the pandemic. and i want to read from cdc press release at the end of
2020. more than 21,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the united states in the 12 months, may 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period according to data from the cdc. while overdose deaths were already increasing in the months leading up to the pandemic, the latest numbers suggest a lead up. synthetic opioids appear to be the primary driver of the increases in overdose deaths, increasing 38.4% in the 12-month period leading up to june 2019. did you sense, i know you've reported some of this out yourself and added original insights and reporting to the story that you tell. do you sense any accountability coming in any direction ever? >> as of right now, no. but i do think that there is a
growing voice. especially coming from the show, from people watching the show. that are starting to question why isn't there a criminal investigation into richard sackler? into other members of the family? i would say why isn't there a criminal investigation into curtis wright, the medical review officer at the fda who granted the highly unusual wording on the original oxycontin label that said this drug was less addictive than other opioids, which is completely untrue, then 18 months later, he goes to work for purdue pharma frr $400,000 a year. we've just aired episode five. wait till people see episode seven when they see when the case is brought to the fda and what they end up doing with all of this material that was brought to them by a very dog eddie ver gent agent.
it just keeps getting more disturbing because the story itself never ceases to end to how disturbing it gets. >> did you hear from anyone associated with the sackler family when they knew what was in it? >> we've been hearing from them periodically. they sent a letter to michael stoolbar, who plays richard. that i felt had an edge of intimidation to it, or maybe even more than an edge. but we also get letters from richard sackler's lawyer to hulu. from time to time, they're addressed to me. i personally find them pretty ridiculous. because their stance is basically that they have no responsibility for the opioid crisis and they try and point out statistics and figures that contradict this really extensive public record that's been put together by so many incredible journalists and so many different books. not just beth macy's wonderful
book, but there's empire pain, gerald posner's pharma. painkiller. just goes on and on and on. how well this has been documented. so purdue pharma and the sacklers continued stance that they have literally zero responsibility for any of this, it's so absurd and it's offensive to all the damage that they have caused. >> so let's just add making the sacklers mad to all the reasons everyone should go home tonight and watch dopesick on hulu with new episodes streaming on wednesdays. congratulations and thank you so much for spending some time with us. really nice to see you, my friend. >> yeah, so great to see you, too, nicolle. i really appreciate you covering the show like this. >> thank you. quick break for us. we'll be right back. nk you quick break for us we'll be right back.
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we're grateful. the beat starts right now. hi, ari. >> hi, nicolle, thank you very much. the top story here is a flurry of what looks like real action from democrats because there are reports tonight that they are truly nearing a finish line on the sweeping spending bill that is supposed to define president biden's first year agenda. and by all accounts, the talks have become quite intense. in a moment, we'll be joined live by the chair of the progressive caucus who wrapped up the closed door meeting. kind of a private huddle with the speaker, who is setting a key committee hearing on parts of this bill tomorrow. politico though has right now one of