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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  November 17, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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tuesday night, with our thanks for being here with us. on behalf of all our colleagues at the network of nbc news, goodnight. c news goodnight. tonight, on all in, you >> within this warming states, if you wanted to you could take military purple and place them in other states and basically re-run an election in each of those states. >> new details on the lengths the trump team went to pressuring the pentagon to steal the election for him. and pushing bonkers theories about the head of the cia and a server in germany? >> it is so myth related to this, but i do not know where the good guys caught it or the bad guys got it. >> and democrats move to censure republican paul gosar for his threatening anime video, as republicans try to kick moderates to the curb. plus, we >> are running for governor and i want to tell you why.
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>> but -- takes on greg abbott in texas, he'll join me live tonight. and we have an exclusive interview with nikole hannah-jones on her private groundbreaking -- project book. when all in starts right now. good evening from new york i'm chris hayes. i'm gonna sketch out for you tonight a conspiracy theory that was apparently floating around the former president the united states, and the upper echelons of power in this country. in the aftermath of the 2020 election. now, i gotta say, it's a conspiracy so outlandish an experience -- at the fact that anyone with a line of communication to the commander-in-chief believed it is honestly shocking and is deeply -- but here we go. all right? >> according to the theory there is a computer cuter server in germany which contains evidence that a shadowy deep state cabal, used rigged voting machines to change millions of votes during the 2020 election in order to steal the election from donald trump and handed to joe biden. here is sidney powell, one of
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the lawyers who worked with trump to attempted coup, discussing this mind-blowing conspiracy just over two weeks after the election. >> there is reports that -- hardware possibly a server kept in germany. is that true? and is it related to them? >> that is true. it is somehow related to this. but i don't know whether the good guys got it or the bad guys got. it >> okay, that's strange thing to ask out of context and to answer in that way. i don't know if good guys got or bad guys got, it what are you talking about? now that claim is outlandish enough that there is a server that is a smoking gun evidence that the election fraud didn't happen. that -- but it gets so much weirder. okay? according to this theory, then cia director, gina haspel, travel to germany to destroy the smoking gun server with all the evidence, the conspiracy stealing the election from trump, but while she was there the conspiracy alleges something went wrong. hospital was injured, possibly during a special forces raid
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and again depending on who you believe, she was either killed or detained at guantánamo bay on treason charges, or still being held captive in germany. keep in mind, gina hospitals just chilling in virginia. she's not anywhere, she's just there. but that's with the theory says. now, you're probably thinking this is the kind of unhinged, paranoid thinking -- anonymous forums, reality is much we are doing that. according to reporting in john carl's new book, betrayal, we've learned sydney powell, donald trump's lawyer who we play for your moment ago, not only believe there was a secret server in germany with proof of a rigged election, she said there also was -- the part about the cia director being held as a political prisoner for her role in the cover-up. again, according to the book, sydney powell, that woman you saw there, the presidents lawyer, reached out to a senior trump intelligence official who worked in the pentagon, a guy named as rick cohen, she knew him through the ritual associate michael flynn, so she calls as were cohen who she
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thinks is gonna be a reliable ally. and demand he take action, quote, gina hospital has been hurt and taken into custody in germany. powell told cohen. you need to launch a special operations mission to get her. carl goes on to right, powell believed hospital bit had embarked on the secret mission to get the server and destroy the evidence, in other words, the cia director was part of the conspiracy. okay, just take it second and drink that in. calls up someone, high-ranking official depending on the say, yo dude, got to launch a special forces mission to go and get back this ei a director who's been captured because she was trying to get back the secret server that has evidence -- what? i mean, donald trump's lawyer, i mean one revelation would -- focus conspiracies to some of the election. according to this reporting, she was a true believer. calling up allies in the department of defense to rescue the head of the cia whom she believed was guilty --
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then, remember, this woman had the ear, the trust of the former president, the most powerful man on earth. a man who when she made that call still had control of the nuclear codes. it's also worth noting here the man she called, as we're cohen, was not just some random trump official, in fact it kind of makes sense why sydney powell would think he would be sympathetic to her conspiracies. you see, during the early days of the administration, cohen was one of the sources who leaked information to houston -- about the incidental surveillance campaign officials by intelligence agencies over their communication with foreign officials. you may not remember this, it was a big thing on fox, the so-called unmasking scandal, which infuriated trump. it dominated much of his attention over the next three years. so that's what cohen is most known for, being kind of a loyal soldier there. it was first brought into the fold under the wing of michael flynn, must trump's first national security adviser, flynn was only on the job for 24 days before he was fired, ultimately pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi as part of the
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russian investigation, only to receive a full pardon from trump. while, after flynn was pushed out, again this guy cohen, he bounced around a number of positions but in the administration, he was a trump guy, first he goes to the justice department, then the department of defense, and it's there in the pentagon, in the waning days of this administration that he gets a call. the presidents own lawyer, about the crazy germany's a cia conspiracy theory, you gotta go wrestle gina haspel. you can you imagine the situation that would make the case that the cia director was kidnapped in germany, and the way that the defense official found out was a call through the president's lawyer. that's not the only call legal like that, he got a second separate frantic call from his old boss michael flynn. who like powell also fell down the fringe right-wing conspiracy rabbit hole, according to carl's book -- wall as your goes on a trip to middle east. quote, flynn told him to cut his trips short and get back to the united states immediately because there were big things about to happen, according to the book.
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carl writes that flynn told cohen, we need you. and told the doj official that there was going to be an epic showdown over the election results. cohen, to his credit, then called his foreign friday across critter for admitting defeat rather than pushing these conspiracies. again, still, serious attempt, foreign administration official to, get the department of defense to go along with the run up to the insurrection. and cohen was not the only person flip was talking to -- he also got into trump's head about potentially having the doj use the military to impose martial law and quote unquote re-run the election. and idea trump's advisers also ultimately shot down. but again, what does it mean? that something like that was being considered in the west wing. because these conspiracy theories with right-wing brain poisoning, had access to a president with similar brain poisoning. who was desperate to do
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anything to stay in power. even if it meant plunging and a knife into the heart of american democracy, and in the final days that seem to concern some of the cabinet members. carl reports that trump secretary defense, mark esper's goal, was to prevent the use of the military against american citizens during the days before the day of, the day after the election. think about that. that's his chief goals as head of the pentagon. let's make sure that we don't turn the military on our own people, and he was ultimately pushed out in the waning days of the administration after trump's enforcers inside the white house issued a memo, which accused him of insufficient loyalty to trump. in part because he wouldn't do that. because during the protest against protests police brutality in the summer of 2020, he objected to using military forces against protesters. -- course vaunted for the new york times where she covered as were cohen's work in the department of defense under the trump administration, and maybe we could start with --
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a look, i mean in any country that is experiencing you know, essentially democratic backsliding or problems with its transition of peaceful power, like the military is going to be a key player. however they come out. and one of the things that's clear, from the accrued reporting, and i'd like to hear your perspective, is that people in the presidents inner orbit, and in the pentagon saw the writing on the wall about the inevitability of the pentagon attempting to be roped into this kind of thing. >> hi chris. thanks for having the. that was definitely a big worry at the pentagon in the last year of the trump administration and sort of the last 6 to 7 months of the trump administration. starting, as you suggest, with the black lives matter protests. the moment that president trump sort of got mark esper, the
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defense secretary at the time, and general mark milley who is still chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to walk across lafayette square with him so that he could do that photo op holding the bible in front of st. john's church. the pentagon went on red alert, if you may. both general milley and mark esper were pushing back very much against the presidents efforts to invoke the insurrection clause. to upset the military against these black lives matters protesters. and that will set the stage for president trump to end up firing mark esper, the defense secretary, as soon as the election day had passed. during the months, a so we're going back and thinking about this -- that's all of these guys were talking about. top generals and a lot of the officials at the pentagon was about keeping the military out of the election process.
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you get on the phone with them and they'd constantly were saying we're going to stay out of it, this is not our role. there is no role for the military. what they meant like that, the translation is, they were afraid that the president was going to try to use the military to sink on civil rights protesters. he would try to invoke the military in some sort of way around the election protests. which is why this ended up leading to the reticence that we saw on january 6th when you had the capitol riots and the military -- you had a pro trump mob storming the capitol and the military was floor to respond than they normally might have been. that's partly because for months these guys kept saying, we're going to stay out of it. we're going to stay out of it. we don't want to be roped into this. looking back at this presidency, particularly in the last year,
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former president trump really managed to turn the pentagon into knots. >> in some ways, one way to look at it is the call from michael flynn, sidney powell, is evidence of the fact that they were getting anywhere through the actual chain of command. the fact that sidney powell has to call ezra cohen, which is a truly nutty thing to say, what was cohen's role in the pentagon in the last days. because he gets put over there and a lot of heads turned when that happens. as erekat smic dismiss. cohen and patch patel are over there. there's a feeling of what exactly is trump up to over at the pentagon? >> there was. there was so much questioning about. that because trump had brought in in the last few weeks, a number of newcomers including kash patel. ezra cohen game in a few months before. once esper left there were a
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bunch of new people who came in who were widely viewed as trump acolytes. he'd been in various jobs in the trump administration. the white house when michael flynn was national security adviser. when flynn was fired or resigned, or whatever he did, he then worked for hr mcmaster. but mcmaster cannot stand him. assuring him out he's then resurfaced. dhs. he ended up at the pentagon in the last administration. in the last year of the trump presidency and was looked on as, this is a guy they've known. they've dealt with before. because he has the intel background but he was definitely viewed as a trump guy. in the end, by the time we got to the craziness between november and january, as cohen
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like many others, including to a certain extent, the new defense secretary -- acting defense secretary, chris miller -- found themselves in a situation where they're basically trying to -- >> say no. >> push back the real out their claims from michael flynn, who used to be viewed as just your traditional general. and went down that rabbit hole as you suggested. and the sidney powell on the whole gina haspel being kidnapped -- i just know -- i can't even get my head around. that >> i can't either. i think that was probably was ezra cohen was thinking. helene cooper, as always, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> a lot still ahead tonight. beto o'rourke is here for his first national television interview since announcing his run for the governor of texas. last nikole hannah-jones on the newly expanded 1619 projects. trust me, you don't want to miss. stick around. k around
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quote
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to vote on a resolution to censure republican congress paul gosar in consider a motion to remove her from the house oversight committee. last week, the arizona congressman posted it altered video of hit depicted and animate -- with his head to burn post-killing another character with democratic congresswoman alexandria -- cortez's head. the video then showed gosar's character attacking a character with president biden's head. without showing the actual
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video because as a threat of violence, and at an animated version of goes our kills's colleagues. well that's all very disturbing, congressman goes our head not apologized for the video, in fact he's dug and saying quote, it is a symbol like cartoon. it is not real life. congressman gaga is our cannot fly. the hero of the cartoon goes after the monster, the policy monster of open borders, i will always fight to defend the rule of law, securing our borders, and the american first agenda. just tonight, speaker of the house nancy pelosi addressed gosar's actions and why they're going to vote on centering him. >> he made threats and suggestions about harming a member of congress. that isn't also, not only an engagement of that member of congress but it insulted the institution of the house of representatives. we cannot have members joking about murdering each other as well as threatening the president of the united states. >> michael steals, former -- and he joins me now. i thought, pelosi statement,
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cannot have members joking about murdering -- each other when you put it like way, it's a little hard to disagree with that about a general poll about how you're gonna connect any institution, whether it's and workplace or -- >> yeah, i think that's right, chris. but i think there is our broader reality that nancy pelosi and others are trying to deal with. and that is, just the slow -- and sometimes fast roll into the space. this downward spiral. into this sort of personalized -- and antagonism outright violence towards each other as members of the house. arguably from the republican side towards democrats. so, i think a lot of this is nancy's way of saying look, we've really got to be serious about this and take this seriously. particularly on the heels of january six, i think absent all of those things, you probably could but --
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most members would probably look at it as a one-off and go, oh yeah i, you should have done that. and you would probably have a little bit more relaxed approach. but not in this environment. you cannot be relaxed when goes are deliberately puts this into the public space as a sitting member of the united states congress. >> totally agree with that, which is why i found this sort of we are defensive it's so lame, because yes in another context one could say it's a cartoon, but -- this is what goes our tweets, i think this is still up. this is 12:05 on to january 6th. biden shouldn't concede, i want his concession on my desk tomorrow morning. don't make me come over there. with a mob that within stormed the capitol. like that's antagonizing the guy who's one of the coordinators of the stop the steal. that mentality, which was understood by the crowd as basically a show of force,
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violent show forced to stop the peaceful transfer of power. is the context that hangs over all of us. >> well, and what's important about that feeds right into what the january six commission is trying to get to the bottom of. how much of evidence like that, attitudes, behaviors that, were put out into the public space, that riled up people on the heels after the election, and certainly before january six. so to set the predicate moment -- for what ultimately occurred. so, yeah, i mean you have a member -- okay, i'm gonna wait to find what goes our thinks about the election. no. i'm gonna put on his desk? no. but it feeds into a broader storyline that had been perpetuated by president trump for over 40 years. and specifically, chris, going back to the spring and early summer of 2020 when the president made a very clear, if i don't win the election it's because the other side she did.
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because there was fraud. so, if all of those dots connect and goes are willingly or unwillingly continues to provide further evidence of the january six commission to complete his work. >> so, you've got a censure vote, some of the reporting i've seen sean suggested a closed-door caucus meeting, mccarthy urges an oval, we've got a stick together. but stick together is not the operative principle for other folks. so liz cheney of course is getting essentially disowned by the wyoming gop to longer recognize her as a republican. and which again, she serving on this committee, she voted for impeachment, she's output spoken about trump. trump is adored by the base. the one -- is even more wild is john katko, who has not been targeted. he's a ranking member on homeland security, he'd been the chair of the next congress if he took over. and -- basically calling for him to
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lose his chairman ship, not for anything other then voting for that infrastructure. >> yeah, this from the committee -- member of the caucus that doesn't even have a committee assignment, it is not even a recognized official is a member of the house. so, really, you know, marjorie taylor greene and others speaking out in this matter is not serious. but what makes it problematic is that the republican leadership is not serious about dealing with it. the fact that you're sitting here saying, well let's stick together guys, in the face of something that is so of noxious as what gosar did, so appalling as stripping down the leadership of louise cheney. to me, just speaks to how -- to be polite, chris on this evening, wayward the party has traveled from its moorings.
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i mean, the wyoming party telling, we no longer recognize you as a republican, well, okay, i don't remember seeing your signature on my voter registration card. or application when i signed. so who gives a wraps petunia which you recognized, you don't get to make that decision. and that's that counsel culture that has grown inside the gop. where they want to cancel who you are as a republican. that's the problem. >> the enunciation, i mean will see the primary voters of that state will get a say in this and that will be very interesting to watch. michael steele, as always, thank you. >> you've got it. >> don't go anywhere i'm gonna ask beto o'rourke about his campaign to become the first democratic governor in texas in over 25 years. how he plans to turn texas blue after this. how he plans to turn texas blu after this after this 'tis the season to break tradition in a cadillac. don't just put on a light show—be the light show. make your nights anything but silent.
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george bush all these years, i figured you needed to know what a real texas accent sounds like. [laughs] >> that was then texas state treasure ann richards, true legend, giving the keynote speech of the 1988 democratic national convention. her speech, like many conventions, helped propel her political career. just years later, 1990, she was elected governor of texas. that was the last time the state elected a democratic governor. in fact, no democrat has won a statewide race there since 1994, nearly 30 years ago. 2018, one democrat did come pretty close. it was beto o'rourke, who was then congressman of el paso, who nearly defeated senator ted cruz. he captured nearly as high as sheer of the vote as and richards did when she. one now beto o'rourke has decided to run for governor releasing this announcement yesterday. >> i'm running for governor and i want to tell you why.
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this past february, when the electricity grid failed and millions of our fellow texans without power, which meant that the lights wouldn't turn on, the heat wouldn't run and pretty soon the pipes froze and the water stopped flowing, they were abandoned by those who were elected to serve and look out for them. >> joining me now for his first national television interview as candidate for governor, texas beto o'rourke. good to have you with us. first, i want to ask about what was the moment when you decided to run for this office? and why governor, when previously you've been a member of congress. you've run for senate. you've run for president. why this office, why now? >> they're such a great opportunity in texas to bring the people of the state together and do the really big things that most of us care about and want for our families. like making sure that the best jobs in america are created right here in texas. or that we have world-class
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public schools for our kids to go to. or that we make some progress on some pretty common sense issues like expanding medicaid, which would allow hundreds of thousands more texans to be able to see a doctor. and would do a world of difference to our property tax bills. it's also about getting past this woman where greg abbott has brought us to such a small place. that bounty placed on the heads of texas woman who want to make their own personal health care decisions. the permit-less carry law that allows anyone to carry a firearm without a background check or any training whatsoever. and these transgender bathroom bill bans or deciding which girls can play which sports in this state. we have to get past that small, need vision of texas and get back to the big things. we've got to make sure that everyone can come together and allow this state to reveal its potential. i'm pretty proud of texas and want to make sure i serve a state as its next governor. >> obviously you're not a political analysts.
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your politician yourself. but i imagine when you're sitting with your advisors, your thinking about possibly the campaign. people said look, 2018, you had one of the best performances of any statewide democratic candidate and years, in the state of texas. but in a pretty favorable macro environment. 2018 generally favorable. looking ahead to next year, you've got a democrat in the white house, you've got a country that is still trying to get out from under this once in a century crisis. there's a lot of people who must have been telling you, you're going to get -- this is hard enough. but at the environment of this, you are really looking down the barrel of a difficult, difficult task. >> that might be the case, but that's not how we feel here in texas. i'll tell you why. beyond that build big, bold vision that we want to get back to. beyond getting back these extremist, if isis politics of greg abbott. there's also basic things we
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need to make sure we get right. like our electricity grid. under greg abbott's watch, the energy capital of north america, the state of texas, lost power for millions. not only was it an inconvenience. not only were many homes ruined when the pipes first froze and then burst. we lost the lives of hundreds of our family members and neighbors, including an 11 year old boy, chris, who froze to death in his bed. those are the consequences of greg abbott and that is not lost on the people of texas. 72,000 have lost their lives under this pandemic, throughout his administration, because he's rejected the science. and the best guidance from public health experts. in fact, he wouldn't allow local school school districts to require masks in the classroom. so as of september, we lead the country and the number of childhood covid cases and deaths. the people of texas know that we need change. they understand the costs and consequences of keeping greg abbott in office. i think you're going to see that in the turnout in this election and the participation
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of voters here, in communities like laredo, we're and spending the second day of this campaign. a community that has so much to offer this state and the rest of the country. i want to make sure we reflect that pride that we see here in the rideau. we also protect the lives of the people here in the rideau and across the state of texas. i think that gives us an extraordinary opportunity to make that case and to win this election. >> i want to know that the polling on the governor's job approval rating has gone down considerably. so, there is a thing fair to say widespread disaffection with him. it's quite notable since 2020, he's five points underwater. there's also point polling showing you and him tied in the head to head back in october. he has spent a lot of time, the governor, talking about the border. a bit has brought governors from other states down to the border. he has not he is got pressured from his right flank to deploy
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more of the national guard there. what do you think about the governor's approach to the border? >> i'll tell you, as someone who was born and raised on the border and my wife amy raise our three kids in el paso. and someone who chose to come to the readout on this second of the campaign, also on the border. if we want to know the answer to the questions we have to ask the people who actually live them and experience and them and understand them. that begins with ensuring that those who represent us, whether in congress or in the white house, actually make progress on rewriting our immigration laws. and in the meantime, we come back to these communities and ask what it is that they need and how we can better support them. we also need to reflect that flak fact that we are a state and in this case, laredo, a community of immigrants. their presence here makes a stronger, makes us more successful and makes a safer than we would be otherwise.
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this is a really great thing that we have in texas. the fact that so many people from around the world have chosen to make this state their home and make it so much more successful by their very presence. but the last thing we need to do is what greg abbott has been doing. he's been calling this an invasion. he's been asking texans to take matters into their own hands. those are literally his words. and it's that kind of dangerous rhetoric that inspired somebody, a little more than two years ago, to drive 600 miles from allen, texas, with an ak-47 and open fire on people and el paso. killing 23 of them claiming he was there to repel a hispanic invasion of texas. that's also the cost and consequences of greg abbott. that is not a texas value, not for republicans or democrats alike. that is too extreme, too radical into dangerous for the state. >> you had supported some kind of assault weapons ban. reinstating it perhaps. even a mandatory gun buyback of some weapons. the state basically saying no one will be able to have those
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weapons. they wouldn't be grand five fathered in. you said at one point a referring to what had happened in your hometown, hell, yes. we're going to take your achy 15 or ar 47. we're not going to be allowing them to use against your fellow americans anymore. and you still support that? >> i do. it is because most of us in this state that has a proud, long tradition of responsible gun ownership. we lived in the or rock household, my uncle raman who is a sheriff's deputy, taught me my sisters how to shoot. and also the responsibility that comes with winning and using a firearm. we don't think people should have weapons of war. we should have to wear about friends, family members, neighbors being shot up at the grocery store, the movie theater, or in our schools or at church. what we do know is there is a lot of consensus and common sense solutions like an assault weapons ban. or like background checks. universal background checks. that would save the lives of our fellow texans. what we don't want is what greg
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abbott has just. and he signed a bill into law that allows any texan to carry a loaded gun in public, despite the fact that 35,000 licenses to carry a firearm requests were denied by law enforcement in this state in the last five years. all those people can now carry a loaded gun in public, as can the tens of thousands who knew better than to even apply for a license to carry. that's why police chief, law enforcement, we should be supporting in this state, back to the begged of the governor not to sign those law. those texans understand that. so we're good work together to make sure we have common sense gun legislation and protect the second amendment here in texas. >> beto o'rourke, running for government in the state of texas. thank you for your time tonight. it's been over two years since the release of the 16 19 project and it continues to report reverberate through schools and politics. tonight, nikole hannah-jones on the newest entry to that run baking body of work. but go anywhere. o... arthritis. here. new aspercreme arthritis. full prescription-strength? reduces inflammation?
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1619 project, marking the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery in this country. it was conceived by staff writer nikole hannah-jones with a goal of reframing the discussion around american history, putting the consequences of slavery in the contributions of black americans at the very center of the conversation. the project turned a great deal of praise. nikole hannah-jones won the pulitzer prize for commentary. but it also received lots of criticism and became a widely controversial object of scorn and derision on the right. >> the 1619 project with the new york times, or the democrat party is trying to reeducate american youth to tell them that our founding fathers were criminals, slave owners who are trying to create a sleeve state. >> let's be real about this. and 1619 they were exactly 20 slaves in america. so, the idea that these 20 guys were essential to the american economy or the building of america, is nonsense.
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>> the whole project is a light. i think certainly if you're an african american, slavery is at the center of what you see as the american experience. but for most americans, most of the time, there were a lot of other things going on. >> next year, donald trump launched a special committee to lot counter the 1619. he called it the 1776 commission. >> today, i'm also pleased to announce that i will soon sign an executive order establishing a national commission to promote preacher arctic education. it will be called the 1776 commission. [applause] it will encourage our educators to teach our children about the miracle of american history and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary i love our founding. >> the commission included no professional historians then issued a report claiming that historical revision is shaming americans and is intended to
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manipulate opinions. joe biden terminated the same situation the same day he was inaugurated. the battle had begun about how slavery has destroyed american and how we understand our nations trajectory in light of that history. that battle predicated the ongoing backlash we're seeing now. as many on the right is this that kids receive what trump once called a patriotic education. last week in north dakota, republican governor doug burger from signed a law banning the teaching of so-called critical race theory, which the law defines as quote, the theory that racism is not merely the product of learned individual bias or prejudice, but that racism is systematically embedded in american society and the american legal system to facilitate racial inequality. not teaching that lisa a lot of material. this is not just happening in north dakota. according to education week, so far this year 28 states have introduced bills or taken other steps that would restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism. virginia, the newly elected
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governor campaign on banning critical race theory. now, nikole hannah-jones is expanding her argument in a book published today titled the 16 19 project, the new origin story. nikole joins me to talk all about all of it next. when you really need to sleep you reach for the really good stuff. new zzzquil ultra helps you sleep better and longer when you need it most. it's non habit forming and powered by the makers of nyquil. new zzzquil ultra. when you really really need to sleep.
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my hygienist cleans with a round head. so does my oral-b my hygienist personalizes my cleaning. so does my oral-b oral-b delivers the wow of a professional clean feel every day. >> two years, ago the new york
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times magazine decided to publish the 1619 project. this deep examination of racism and slavery in this country. an essential ot to the spine of
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american history. it was quite an even. the magazine issue with so popular, just look at this line of people standing outside the new york times building, waiting to get their hands on physical copy. when those ran out, copies of the issue we were reportedly signed for $100 on tv. what a remarkable moment. now, there's a book which expands on the groundbreaking journalism of the original piece. nikole hannah-jones cover civil rights and racial justice for the new york times magazine. she's the creator of the 1619 project for, which she won a pulitzer prize in 2020. and the new book called the 1619 project, a new origin story. nicole, it's great to have you. on congratulations on publication. this has become such a part of the american discourse. i think to a degree that i imagine you didn't necessarily anticipate becoming quite the central axis of the national debate. i wonder if someone comes up to you and says i've heard about
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it, i've heard about the 1619 project, what is it? what is your summary to someone who may? what is the project? what does it mean? >> thank you for having me on. your absolutely right. i couldn't have predicted any of this. what the 1619 project does is the year 1619's the year that the first africans were sold into the colony of virginia. that marks the beginning of american slavery. what we argue in the project, which commemorated the 400th anniversary of that moment, was that slavery is so foundational to the united states that its legacy can be seen all throughout aspects of modern american society. so, in capitalism, in our highway systems in our educational systems, our incarceration, in our culture. and that these connections can be drawn in many surprising ways, including the very
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democracy itself. so, through a series of essays as well as pieces of short fiction and poetry, we really try to center slavery in the narrative of the american story and the contributions of black americans, which have largely been treated as astricted. i want to read from the essay that was first published in the book as well. when you talk about patriotism. your father in the opening scene hosting the flag. you say my father, one of those many black americans who answered the call, knew what it would take years to understand. that the year 16 19 is as important to the american story as 1776. that black americans, as much as those men casten alabaster in the nation's capital, or this nation's true founding fathers. and that no people has a greater claim to the flag than us. i keep coming back to the sentence because it seems to me there's a strong version of that claim and a weaker version, or a more provocative and less provocative.
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right? in the language, you see that year is as important to the american story and 1776. my interpretation of the meaning of this project is, we know 1776 is important. that's the foundational moment. that's the story we get. here's a story that should be on equal footing. this yin yang of what our story is. they're people who are saying, or think here saying this is the fundamental essential truth about the nation. this is more imported some ways than 1776. curious to hear you talk through how you think about it? >> yes, that language is written that we on purpose. what we are really arguing is that so much of what makes america unique in ways good and bad, right? the societal tensions. the greatest divides, our polarization, but also our culture, our language, our music, our cuisine. again, democracy itself. that is so much of that begins
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with that decision in 16 19 to engage in african slavery. so, is really saying how could we better understand our country if we consider 16 19 as the origin point? as you said, we all know the story of 1776. that is a story of these intrepid columnists who decided they needed to break off from the british empire so they can have freedom and liberty. and so that they can create a society based on individuals i given right. but the truth is, in 1776, one fifth of the population in those 13 colonies was enslaved. they lived in absolute bondage. so, that narrative of freedom is not enough to explain our society. we are a country that was founded both on the ideas of freedom and the practice of slavery. so, we say if you want to really understand that, these defining tensions, you have to go back to 1619. >> i want to read for you a passage of a new north dakota
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bill that has become law. it is, like a lot of legged just leash and passed throughout the country, particularly arab republican controlled states, that has attempted to target what the bills authors call critical race theory, but a term that has become amorphous, i think. they give a specific definition, i think it's useful in elucidating. here's what this law says it is banning. for purposes of this section, critical race theory, which is what they want to ban, means that racism is not merely the product of learned individual bias or prejudice, but that racism is systematically embedded in american society and the american legal system to facilitate racial inequality. the bill that bans instruction related to that belief. systematically embedded in the american society strikes me is actually a pretty good summation of what you have and that the 1619 project kind of grows out of. and needs a little bit of the fundamental fight here about
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whether or not it's going to be taught. >> yes, one can we just acknowledge that it is insane that a state legislature would say that you can't even teach the concept of structural racism. not that you're even saying we have it, but that you can't even teach the concept of it. we all as americans should be outraged and very worried about whether you like 1619 project or critical race theory at all. we need to understand what they're saying. it is in arguable that our country was founded with racism in the law, with racism in the courts, with racism in every structure of our society. one only has to look at the constitution, which labels in sleeved people three fifths of a person. you'd only have to look at the sleeve codes and the black clothes. and the fact that i have two books that are biblical links that are just a listing of the
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ways that all black people were discriminated against. this was an arguable. we had legal segregation in this country until a decade before i was born. that said you could segregate against black people and housing schools, in the courts, you can discriminate against black people when it came to employment. whether they could go to the public library or public swimming pool. all of these areas of life lead you can discriminate against black people from 1619 all the way up until 1968. so, it is ludicrous to say that you have to teach an understanding of this country and says it's only individual actors, there's nothing systemic here. that clearly, chris, is a response not just through the framing of the 1619 project. which of course argues that racism is embedded in the structures of our society that was founded with one fifth of the population in sleeved. but what it's also saying is it's a response to the racial protests of last year.
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where people were saying it's not just about in individual bad cops. it's not just about policing that we have a society that is built to be fundamentally unfair and we are dealing with the ramifications of that. so, this is seeking to turn as away from thinking like that and instead to say it's just about individual white people who may have prejudice. and it's about making white people as a recent feel guilty and bad. and it's neither of those things. >> yeah, i've got to say that north dakota legislature -- and somewhat grateful for the clarity with which they enunciate precisely what the actual philosophical stakes here about a. again, this is instruction relating to that. as you quoted. just talking about is now banned in the state of north dakota. the book is called the 1619 project: the origin story. it has a bunch of fantastic essays. including -- and other wonderful rioters. it is out today. nikole hannah-jones, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> that is all in.
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the rachel maddow show starts right. no good evening, rachel. it has been a busy day in the news today. a lot of news continuing tonight. we happy to have you here. it has been a busy news day and a lot is continuing tonight. we got word late this afternoon, feels like evening, we got word that the fda looks like it's going to move this week to approve booster shots for all adults. the previous approval had just been for high-risk adults to get boosters, but a bunch of states have basically ignored that and started making booster shots available for any adult that wants one. it's moving tonight that that should be the national standard by the end of the week, booster shots approved for all u.s. adults. that's good news. it's at least sort of simplifying news in terms of the rules and formal government advice about vaccinations. that news comes on the same day, we've learned, that pfizer is

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