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tv   Katy Tur Reports  MSNBC  January 19, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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good to be with you. i am katy tur. this afternoon, major legal confrontations and, in one case, a revelation for donald trump, his allies and his children. first, new details revealed by new york's attorney general about her investigation into the former president and his family business. letitia james says her civil probe has uncovered evidence of fraud for financial gain. and now she wants to talk to trump and two of his adult children, don jr. and ivanka trump, filing a motion to compel their testimony. in a court filing she asserts there is evidence that trump and the trump organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple
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assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions. that includes banks, insurance providers and the irs. in one case james says the organization inflated the size of donald trump's own apartment in trump tower. it claimed the home was 30,000 square feet when previous documentation that donald trump signed put it at 11,000 square feet. the difference allowed the trump organization to overvalue the apartment by $200 million according to former cfo allen weisselberg who himself is under indictment for tax fraud. james says this inflation along with others allowed for a rosier picture of donald trump's finances which could have equalled more favorable loans. the trump administration's response says in part, the only one misleading the public is letitia james. now, at the same time in washington, a revelation. the national archives is about to hand over some of donald trump's white house records to
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the january 6th panel. it is just four pages, but donald trump is still trying to stop it from happening. we're going to explain why these pages are being released while others, hundreds of others, are not. the committee is also subpoenaing more trump allies. this time trump lawyers rudy giuliani and jenna ellis and sidney powell who helped try to overturn the 2020 election, as well as former trump campaign adviser boris epshteyn. committee chairman bennie thompson said these were four individuals who had direct contact with the former president about steps to stop the counting of electoral votes. joining me now is nbc news investigations correspondent tom winter, "washington post" national political reporter and msnbc contributor carol leonnig, and former house impeachment inquiry majority counsel and msnbc legal analyst daniel goldman.
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so tom, letitia james' investigation, she wants to talk to don jr., she wants to talk to ivanka. why those two in connection to this civil probe? >> because those two, she says, have had a role in overseeing the financial filings of the trump organization or their filings and representations to, say, banks or insurance companies, namely ivanka trump she specifically points out and says she was responsible or at least oversaw the handing over of financial documents to deutsche bank, the president's primary lender, as we've discussed now for years, and some of those documents in fact were not accurate. she's kind of keyed in on both of them, and it's part of the three of them in totality that she's hoping to speak to, the former president, of course, included in that. that's why we're here, katy, the whole reason we're here is because she asked for depositions from all three. the trump side of the house, their attorneys came back and said we've got an issue with that, you've promised to
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investigate us since you were even elected, we've got an issue while there's an ongoing criminal investigation. so either one of two things, katy. the trump side proposes you can either do away with this entirely or you can wait until after the criminal investigation. and the attorney general office's says, we don't normally do this but we're going to tell you exactly what we believe we've found so far in an effort to sway the judge. >> daniel, talk to me about this strategy. the trump team on one hand is saying this is all politically motivated, they're pointing, as tom just said, to the statement that she was going to investigate him even before she was elected. do they have any ground to stand on with that? >> unlike almost every other legal claim by donald trump, this one actually does have some legs. and it is a legitimate motion. and the attorney general is going to have to show that her investigation was independent and was grounded in fact. and i think that's largely why
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she laid out in such detail the facts and evidence that the investigation has uncovered to this point, to combat that argument that this is all a political effort, and it's using the criminal -- or the investigative process to -- for political ends. separately, tom makes a very valid note as well, which is, it's very unusual and often prohibited for investigators or prosecutors to use a civil investigation to gather evidence that could be then used in an ongoing and parallel criminal investigation, which the attorney general has in conjunction with the manhattan d.a.'s office. so there are actually two quite legitimate claims, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. but it very well may be that these depositions are delayed
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significantly. >> so what about the fact that she laid so much of it out in this filing that she put out there today? why be so explicit? >> because she has to show that this was not and is not a politically motivated investigation. in order to beat back that allegation, she has to demonstrate that there's ample evidence, objective evidence to show that this investigation is grounded in the facts and evidence and is not just simply a political -- or an effort to get a political foe. so it is unusual to lay it all out. and i don't think it's just because it's highly entertaining that donald trump said that his apartment is valued at $327 million, which i believe would be the most expensive residence in the world. >> what about for the criminal investigation, the one that's happening concurrently?
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by revealing the information that tish james says she has, does that give us any hints as to what might be happening on the other side of things? >> it absolutely does. i think there's sufficient public reporting out there to believe that the criminal investigation that is ongoing, and apparently, according to donald trump's lawyers, is involved with an active grand jury, relates to these financial misstatements, the same ones that letitia james has outlined. so it does give the defendants and, more importantly, future witnesses a bit of a roadmap as to what the evidence that the attorney general has and what there might be that they need to face or that they need to address. it is very unusual for this to happen. ordinarily, and i've had
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criminal investigations with parallel civil investigations, and generally speaking the criminal investigations go first for a variety of reasons. so it is quite unusual to push these depositions now and to lay all this out. and i think if i were the prosecutor on the case, i would be a little bit annoyed. >> yeah, i mean, when we look at what we cover here, usually we cover a criminal case first. and depending on how that criminal case goes, or sometimes regardless of it, there will be a civil case that follows it. carol, let's talk about the revelation out of washington, the national archives handing over four pages from this tranche of documents from donald trump's white house. why does the national archives believe they're able to hand over these four but will not yet be handing over the other hundreds of documents they currently have possession of? >> you know, katy, i'm going to actually say something that most people don't say on television, which is, you know, i have not
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read the details of this so i can't answer that question. i can tell you the anxiety in washington. and in and among court watchers, which is that there is very little legal ground to stand on, to hold back any of these records. the rules, the statutes, the laws, they all err on the side of president biden, the current president, making this decision. and as this goes to the supreme court, there is great anxiety in washington that some of the supreme court justices may come up with a reasoning for why these records can't be turned over to the committee, and that that will lay bare an ideological and political element or at least give the strong, strong impression that some of the justices are really on a political side. i would like to also just, if i may, revert for a second back to the earlier topic about letitia james and the unusualness of what she's done.
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not only, as daniel and john mentioned, the unusualness of the order of things, civil versus criminal, i can't think we can understate how dramatic it is for a civil proceeding to claim basically that donald trump defrauded the irs. the irs, as far as we know, has not begun or has not shown any signs, i should say, of its investigation. but those are serious federal crimes, evading taxes and evading and misleading intentionally the irs. another thing i think we should keep in mind about letitia james is, all of this work began in 2012 when -- forgive me, 2019, when michael cohen basically testified to the world that donald trump had inflated and deflated values depending on how it would make him money, whether with reducing his taxes, getting loans, getting insurance.
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he said this was a pattern. and the thing letitia james has on her side, defending herself against the idea that she was political, although her statements during her campaign certainly don't look very good for her, but her defense can essentially be, he was investigated before for this exact thing criminally by the manhattan d.a., and at the last minute that investigation folded at the pleading of donald trump's lawyer. ivanka and donald trump jr. are under investigation for the identical thing, overstating and understating values to make money on a hotel condo development. so it's not like this is a new thing of the trump family to be confused of. >> i think that was trump soho, correct me if i'm wrong, carol, and i think you're correct to say michael cohen is the one who brought this up, testified to congress that trump did this, one of the major revelations that came out of his testimony. daniel goldman, what more
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question about what the january 6th committee is doing, since now you have so much experience in washington as well as general prosecutor experience, the committee wants to get testimony from a number of trump allies including some of his lawyers right now. rudy giuliani, jenna ellis, sidney powell. how complicated does it get when they're trying to speak to donald trump's lawyers in a matter such as this? >> as complicated as it can possibly be. you have the normal issues of executive privilege, which is in the court right now, as carol pointed out, related to the archives but also mark meadows and others have claimed executive privilege. but you add on a layer of attorney/client privilege, it gets legally complicated. the congress does not recognize, technically, attorney/client privilege, because that's for
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the courts and not in the constitution. but it hasn't been litigated. there are many exceptions to the attorney/client privilege including the crime fraud exemption, meaning if they're in furtherance of a crime or fraud, they're not covered by the privilege. there needs to be a neutral arbiter who will decide whether or not the privilege applies, assuming that there is a privilege. and that's a mechanism that requires congress to go to the court. i will add, though, that to the extent -- and the committee mentioned this, to the extent that there were communication with anyone other than donald trump, those would not be subject to executive privilege and they would not, as far as we know, be subject to attorney/client privilege, including members of congress. so there is no leg to stand on for any of these witnesses to argue that either executive privilege or attorney/client privilege would apply to those conversations and that information, which then leads us to the final issue, which is, at
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least guiliani and sidney powell are under criminal investigation based on public reporting. and so they might also have a fifth amendment right to not incriminate themselves, which could be another hurdle for the committee to get their testimony. so i think it will be very difficult to get that testimony, certainly in the near term. >> it's kind of off-subject but not really, just one thing to remember with donald trump's lawyers, back had they were filing these lawsuits about the 2020 election and donald trump kept saying there was fraud, there was fraud. we still hear from a number of officials that there was fraud, there was fraud. when these lawyers were filing their lawsuits, sidney powell, giuliani, et cetera, they weren't claiming fraud in court because they had no proof of fraud and you can't lie to a court. everybody, thank you so much. tom winter, carol leonnig, daniel goldman, fascinating conversation. as with everything, it seems, lately, it all depends on what
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the courts decide, we'll see how that goes as it winds through the legal system. coming up, tonight republicans continue to push new restrictions on voting at the state level. we'll bring you to the battleground of michigan where it's happening. plus we'll look ahead to the president's first formal news conference in nearly a year. with all the major problems this country is currently facing, what is the president focused on? he lit up a blunt in his first campaign ad. gary chambers tells me why he's running to oust senator john kennedy in louisiana. >> every 37 seconds someone is arrested for possession of marijuana. since 2010, state and local police have arrested an estimated 7.3 americans for violating the marijuana law. 3 a violating the marijuana law.
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whether to advance voting rights legislation, after two days of impassioned debate. that legislation is still set to fail. when it does, majority leader chuck schumer says he will move forward with a proposed rule change that would carve out a filibuster exception specifically for voting rights. that does have the support of every democrat, although every democrat not named joe manchin or kyrsten sinema. while we wait to see what happens on capitol hill, lawmakers across the country are trying to push new restrictions. michigan's election board is considering a republican-backed effort that calls for new voting laws. joining us from capitol hill is punchbowl news co-founder jake sherman and nbc news correspondent vaughn hillyard. does chuck schumer have the votes to change the rules? >> he does not.
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manchin has said this consistently for the last for our five months, he will not change the senate rules with just democratic votes. that's called the so-called nuclear option. he wants any rule change to have republican support. now, of course the catch, katy, is that no republicans support changing the rules. so that's the box he's put himself in, in that he is not going to consider any changes to the rules without republican support. to take it a step further, he is not for weakening the 60-vote threshold. so changing that 60-vote threshold to either get out of a filibuster and what chuck schumer is proposing is when you filibuster this bill, the voting rights package, you must be on the floor, holding the floor, and if you relent, it's a 51-vote threshold for final package. manchin is not for that substantively and he's not for the mechanics of changing it
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with just democratic voters. schumer's point is if you're waiting for republicans, you're waiting until you're blue in the face, they're not going to be for any voting law changes. schumer is gearing up for a necessary defeat, meaning he's going to lose, he understands that. he sees it as a long term policy prerogative that he does this now. i will say one other issue, katy. there is a bipartisan group that's talking about a scaled-back voting package that deals with things on a much narrower scale, that if this fails, when this fails later today, they might be able to get some energy around that. >> i want to talk to you about what that package would look like and whether these packages address what vaughn is going to report on. vaughn, tell us what you're seeing in michigan in terms of these new voting laws to restrict access. >> so at the same time now you're seeing that action at the state level by gop-backed efforts here. right now the election board of canvassers here in michigan are discussing the potential ballot
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language of several initiatives that could be on the ballot this november. one of them is called audit michigan, which essentially would transfer the authority for audits from the secretary of state and county clerks and hand it to this new so-called forensics audit board which could then hire outside private contractors much like what we saw in arizona with the so-called cyber ninjas and what was a sham audit there. another initiative is currently under way in which signatures are being gathered, and that is secure michigan, which would in part take away the secretary of state and county clerks' abilities to send unrequested absentee ballot applications to voters here across the state of michigan. and so without those lack of federal protections there, you see, just on the audit, for example, katy, it explicitly says in the freedom to vote act that the audit authority lies with the secretary of state, that individual who oversees elections.
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when you're talking about michigan state law, i think even more concerning for democrats is the fact that there is this quirky provision in state law that would allow the republican-led legislature here to pass those initiatives and it would not be subject to the veto of the governor who, here in michigan, is democrat gretchen whitmer. take a listen to my conversation with mark brewer, a lawyer here representing a pro-voting-rights group here. set up for me what your outlook here is in 2022 and its significance to voting rights in michigan. >> i think we'll see the same type of effort we saw in 2020. we claim close in local counties of not having our elections certified in 2020. all these maneuvers, new laws, election officials, et cetera, republicans are setting the stage to do the same thing again. they learned their lesson in 2020 and now they're manipulating and subverting the system, attempting to do the
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same thing. >> furthermore, katy, legislators including in michigan are going into session around the country and we can expect bills, voting restrictive measures, to be put forward in the winter and the spring. i was at the rally at which former president trump spoke in arizona, he was explicit that he was pushing republicans to ban ballot dropboxes and call for an end to absentee or mail-in voting unless you're in the military or, quote, extremely sick. >> let's talk about the appoint ing and electing of election officials. any of the bills in congress right now, any of these two bills, the bills that may come, do any address that issue specifically? >> the bipartisan bill does not. the bipartisan bill which has a
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chance of becoming -- probably i would say the best chance of becoming law deals with three general planks, number one, the electoral act of 1887, which deals with how the votes are certified at the capitol. tangentially that one does, and protecting election workers and election grants. the democratic bill is much more expansive and deals with mail-in balloting to dropboxes, it's a comprehensive rewrite of the nation's election laws. but this remains a big issue. these are state laws that mandate, that allow people to appoint politically motivated electors. the democrats are going to try to combat some of that but that's going to be difficult to get through law. >> jake, it's taking everything i have within me not to ask you more about the filibuster and why the talking filibuster is no longer. but literally as i speak, my executive producer is telling me that we have to move on. so we will save this
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conversation for another day. >> any time. >> jake sherman, vaughn hillyard, thank you very much. this afternoon the president will hold his first formal news conference in a year. with his approval ratings so low now, what is he planning to do to reset his agenda? also ahead, how you can get your hands on the free covid tests and the free masks that are being mailed out or handed out by the government. the gove? the open road. i have friends. [ chuckles ] well, he may have friends, but he rides alone. that's jeremy, right there! we're literally riding together. he gets touchy when you talk about his lack of friends. can you help me out here? no matter why you ride, progressive has you covered with protection starting at $79 a year. well, we're new friends. to be fair. eh, still. to make my vision a reality
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dayquil severe for you... and daily vicks super c for me. vicks super c is a daily supplement with vitamin c and b vitamins to help energize and replenish. dayquil severe is a max strength daytime, coughing, power through your day, medicine. new from vicks. in a little more than an hour from now, the president will hold his first solo domestic press conference in nearly a year. it is a critical moment for his administration, as he heads into year two of his presidency. joe biden faces a number of challenges. the omicron surge, a standoff over voting rights, and a legislative stalemate over his fdr-style social overhaul, not to mention, according to polls, an erosion of public trust in his administration. joining me now is nbc news white house correspondent carol lee. carol, there's a ton of questions for the president right now. his approval ratings are low, certainly not where the white
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house wants them to be. what do we expect them to be focusing on today? >> yeah, katy, this is definitely not where the president wanted to be at the year anniversary of him taking office. what we're told is, obviously the president will deliver an opening statement and then take questions. as part of that opening statement, we're told from white house officials that he's going to talk about what he sees as the successes of his first career in office. so not so much leaning into what he hasn't done but what he believes he has done and accomplished for the american people, and that, according to officials, includes things like the number of vaccinations that have occurred since he took office, the unemployment rate going down, as well as legislation that he passed including that infrastructure plan that passed on a bipartisan basis. now, that's what he wants to talk about. the questions he's going to get are about everything you said, covid. the president is under pressure to lay out what he's going to
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do, is he really going to defeat this virus as he's promised and how is he going to do that. and foreign crises, russia on the border of ukraine, a potential looming crisis with iran on the horizon. the questions are pretty much endless. it's been a little bit since he's had one of these formal press conferences at the white house, as you mentioned. so there's the part where he talks about what he wants to talk about and then he'll get into it in terms of what questions reports have about these other issues that he may not want to talk about so much. >> how is the white house feeling right now? do they feel like they are able to break through with their messaging, given the media environment we're in, given all the challenges we have? he can try to mitigate the virus by sending out tests and sending out masks but the virus is not something that this administration can control. it's not something anyone can control. >> yeah, and white house officials say he will level with the american people about that.
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one of the things that we know from our own reporting is that they are looking at how to reach americans more, how the president can talk directly to them. white house officials are saying he doesn't want to necessarily be seen as the legislator in chief, so he doesn't want to have these images of him out there just meeting with lawmakers and getting in the weeds on legislation. he wants to take his case directly to the american people and engage more. so look for that in the coming year as well. >> carol, thank you so much, carol lee at the white house, or outside of the white house. ahead of today's news conference, the white house announced its plans for free tests and free masks. the administration says it can distribute 400 million n95 masks to the public as early as next week, free of charge. they'll be available at pharmacies and community centers. it will also send out 1 billion, billion with a "b," free covid tests. you might be asking, how do i
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get mine. nbc correspondent chris jansing joins me how. chris, how do you get one? >> basically you log on. when obama rolled out, that didn't go so well with the website. the biden administration was determined they were going to make this simple. you simply go to and you fill out a form. that will allow you to order four tests per household. the kind of tests that were so hard to get during the holidays of i did it, i went online at 7:00 and wanted to see, okay, would my grandmother be able to do this, would somebody not tech savvy to be able to do this. it took me a grand total of 40 seconds. all it involves is putting in your name and address and there you have it. i think one of the main things
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about this is that there was so much criticism of the administration because there were those hours-long lines, you'll recall, around the holidays when people couldn't get any masks. there are other alternatives, there are some 20,000 free community test sites. there will also be an opportunity for folks to call in, if you don't feel comfortable going online, they'll release that information. these home test kits that were so hard to come by, in some places they still are, that cost 20 to 25 bucks, now they'll come to your door. they've hired extra workers at the post office, they hope to get those from the shipping into your mailbox, in one to three days. >> and i believe -- >> a total of ten days to two weeks. >> oh, okay. that's something. if you don't have an internet connection or don't want to order them online, you can call, there is a phone number, right? >> there is, there's that call
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line, there's, as i said, 20,000 test centers you can go to. if you're worried about being able to do it yourself. >> chris jansing, chris, thank you so much, appreciate it. coming up next, utterly irresponsible. the head of an international airline lashes out as international flights are canceled because of the 5g rollout. it is quite a mess. i'll be joined by the senate candidate who lit up to light up his campaign for the united states senate. upt his campaign for the united his campaign for the united states senate. ♪ oh, oh, oh ♪ ozempic® is proven to lower a1c. most people who took ozempic® reached an a1c under 7 and maintained it. and you may lose weight. adults lost on average up to 12 pounds. in adults also with known heart disease, ozempic® lowers the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. ozempic® helped me get back in my type 2 diabetes zone.
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the faa announced most planes will be safe to fly during the 5g rollout. the agency previously expressed fears 5g could interfere with technology used to land planes, especially in bad weather. those fears caused dozens of delays and cancellations today. at&t and verizon agreed not to turn on the service near airports before today's launch because of it. joining me now is nbc news correspondent tom costello.
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tom, there is still some confusion going on. why the cancellation of some international flights? >> well, there's a lot of confusion. to boil it down for you, the faa has cleared 62% of the u.s. airline fleet to fly or approach airports with 5g sites activated. they are right now not activated but they're in the process of allowing the planes to go into these airports and for 5g to be switched on at these airports. as for your question, why are flights being canceled into the united states, these are international flights coming in from long haul destinations, india, united arab emirates, japan. they're flying mostly the boeing 777. boeing has told the airlines we have concerns about potential interference with 5g on our altimeters on the 777 so we don't think you should fly into the united states right now and
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approach u.s. airports while this is still very much a question that's up in the air. and so you've had japan airlines, emirates air, you've had i think it was one of the -- somebody out of india, air india i think, said they're not going to fly with the 777 into the united states. that's the workhorse plane going into the country and doing international flights. so at the moment, that's pretty much the type of flight that we're seeing that is not coming into the united states. keep in mind, this is the slowest period of the year for air travel. most other planes are now methodically being approved to go in and fly and come into u.s. airports. and the sooner they get this done and improve the atimeters in these planes, the sooner that he can turn on 5g around the airports. >> let's figure it out, get it all approved, get it all done safely. nobody wants an issue with planes not being able to land safely, especially in bad
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weather. tom, thanks. louisiana has a jungle primary system, that's what it's called, where the entire senate field competes head to head. if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, there is a runoff. so far three candidates are challenging republican john kennedy and one of them, progressive activist gary chambers, is out with a campaign ad that is a first, to put it bluntly. >> every 37 seconds, someone is arrested for possession of marijuana. since 2010, state and local police have arrested an estimated 7.3 million americans for violating marijuana laws. over half of all drug arrests. black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people. states waste $3.7 billion enforcing marijuana laws every year. most of the people police are arresting aren't dealers but rather people with small amounts of pot, just like me. i'm gary chambers.
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i'm running for the u.s. senate. i approved this message. >> joining me now is the candidate behind that add, democratic senate candidate gary chambers of louisiana. gary, thanks very much for joining us. thank you for allowing us to use all our really terrible puns as well. but in all seriousness, why come out with an ad like that, why introduce yourself with that issue? >> well, i think it's to help us settle the noise to be able to talk about the real issues american people face. when you're in a race in what is considered a deep red state, you've got to make sure people know this is a winnable race in louisiana, the demographics of louisiana are similar to georgia. but also that cannabis legislation is unjust and inequitable in america right now. if you've got 19 states that have legalized recreational cannabis, but other states have prohibitions, like louisiana, it prevents people from being
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treated equitably in the justice system. it impacts people's ability to get jobs. and it's something we need to deal with in this country and something that the u.s. senate and the president have to do something about. >> so you're saying this issue down in louisiana is a major issue for constituents. why do you think getting this legislation changed, getting it legalized in louisiana will change so many lives? >> i don't think just in louisiana, i think it's nationwide that it's necessary. we shouldn't have a different set of rules in different states, especially when it comes to people's freedom, when it comes to people's criminal record. you can go to california and grow in your backyard but in louisiana if you're caught with a joint, you can get a citation now because it would be criminal. in other states, you would be in jail. there's still people in the penitentiary for basically what amounts to multiple possession arrests. that's unjust and inequitable.
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louisiana ranks 50th in crime. we have record breaking homicide, car thefts and things of that nature. the way we solve that is by allowing our police officers to address the real problems of crime, the problems that we're reading about in the newspaper. i don't think the american people are concerned about who smokes a joint or not. and that's no matter whether you live in baton rouge, new orleans, or whether you're in nashville, tennessee. there are people who are still dealing with this in a way that they shouldn't be. >> this is the first issue you're tackling, obviously. how else will you be speaking to voters down there? >> louisiana ranks 50th in the nation overall, 47th in infrastructure. the environment, 49th in the economy, 50th in environmental quality. there's a whole host of things we can talk about about. we have senator foghorn leghorn
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who represents us currently in the senate who is not doing well by the people of louisiana. you want to expose that to people in this country so people can see the same thing that happened in georgia can happen in louisiana. we're going to use the platform we're privileged to have to spread that message and hopefully continue to talk to the country about what's possible in louisiana. >> i assume you're talking about senator kennedy there. no democrat has won statewide office in louisiana other than the governor who won in 2015. >> 2019 also. >> 2019 also, you're right about that. gary chambers, thank you so much for joining us and good luck out there. we appreciate your time, sir. he was going to say thank you. anyway, we asked senator kennedy -- i hope he was going to say thank you, at least. we asked senator kennedy and candidate luke mixon to join us. senator kennedy declined and we hope to have candidate mixon on soon.
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coming up, a russian invasion of ukraine might be imminent. f ukraine might be imminent
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11:52 am's draw a map feature helped us find what we wanted, where we wanted. so we could finally buy our first "big boi house." big boi house. big boi foyer! big boi marble. big boi quartz. word? to each their home. don't let moscow divide you. that means that leaders inside
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and outside of ukraine's government have to put aside their differences and work together to prepare for what could be difficult days. but in doing that, the united states wants you to know this. as you stand up to efforts to divide, to intimidate, to threaten, the united states stands with you. >> secretary of state anthony blinken -- antony blinken is in kiev today, making another attempt to soothe tensions between russia and ukraine. russia already has more than 100,000 troops deployed at ukraine's border. blinken says that number could double in what he's calling relatively short order. and although russia insists it does not have any tension to invade, experts say the troops are gearing up to attack at any moment. richard engel is in kiev with the latest. >> reporter: katy, what we're seeing is really on/off diplomacy and it's back on again. last week, there was a flurry of diplomatic activity, but it
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didn't produce any obvious result. both the united states and russia and nato remained far apart with the u.s. trying to contain the situation, convince russia to pull back its troops from the ukrainian border and the united states offering what russia considered minor concessions. more advanced notice about military drills. discussions about missile deployments in europe. while russia is demanding far, far more, it wants guarantees that ukraine never join nato. that georgia never join nato, and that nato expansion that has happened since the collapse of the soviet union, be rolled back. that nato effectively give up much of eastern europe and the baltics, which nato has said is a non-starter and has gone so far as to say that the russian demands are so unreasonable, that perhaps putin is fishing for a war.
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that's where we were over the weekend, and suddenly, we are seeing this new round of negotiations, with secretary blinken coming here. he told u.s. embassy staff here in kiev that it was a last-minute arrival. and he thanked them for their hard work to scramble to make this trip happen. and then he's going on to germany and on to geneva, where he will meet with the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov, who he already spoke to on the phone. so we're seeing another attempt to achieve what apparently was not achieved last week. now, the other side of the equation, of course, is what is happening on the potential battlefield. the military component of all of this. u.s. officials, ukrainian officials are saying that now it's not just a theoretical threat, that it's not a future warning that russia is building up forces. the u.s. is saying that russia
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could launch an attack at the time of its choosing. russia has troops, over 100,000 troops on three sides of the ukrainian border. it has also moved tanks into belarus. it already has troops positioned in pro-russian enclaves in ukrainian territory. so it could move in, should it decide to move in, in very short notice and secretary blinken told embassy personnel that if something were to escalate, it could happen, quote, on very short notice. >> richard engel in kiev. richard, thank you very much. and that right there is going to do it for me today. hallie jackson picks up our coverage next. today. hallie jackson picks up our hallie jackson picks up our coverage next. go to to get started. we handle your insurance, coordinate with your doctor, and text you when your medication is ready. all you have to do is schedule delivery.
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in just 60 minutes from now, we expect to see president joe biden stepping in front of cameras at the white house, taking questions from reporters for his first solo news conference there since march. the pandemic, the economy, foreign relations, all of it and more are on the agenda for him. we've got our team of correspondents and analysts standing by here live with what they're watching for. at the white house, we are on the hill, we are around the world this hour, with the split screen today highlighting the drama or maybe lack of it on capitol hill, where we expect the president's push to reform voting rights to


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