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tv   The 11th Hour With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  June 14, 2022 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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gets tonight's last word. the 11th hour with stephanie ruhle starts now. >> tonight, new details on the pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election, as a possible future criminal case against the former guy comes into view. then, another big primary night. the trump endorsement once again put to the test, as more than 100 republican primary winners embrace the big lie. is this the future of the gop? plus, the fleecing of america. outrage over out of control covid relief spending, this stunning amount of money that may have been awarded to fraudsters, as the 11th hour gets underway on this tuesday night -- >> good evening, once again, i'm stephanie ruhle, live from washington, d. c.. tonight, the january 6th committee made up for delaying its originally scheduled hearing for tomorrow, by releasing damning new testimony
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from an attorney in trump's white house. in a tease of sorts for next week's hearing watch this -- >> in our next hearing on thursday, the select committee will examine president trump's relentless effort on january 6th and in the days beforehand to pressure vice president pence to refuse to count lawful electoral votes. as a federal judge has indicated, this likely violated to federal criminal statutes. to. that's heating up the comment, the committee's newest bombshell, a portion of the deposition from former white house lawyer, eric herschmann, who describes a colorful conversation the day he had after the insurrection, with lawyer john eastman. the lawyer wrote memos arguing the vice president could in fact overturn the election. >> he started to ask me about something dealing with georgia, and preserving something, eventually, for appeal.
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and i said to him, are you out of your effing mind? i said, i only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on -- orderly transition. and then i screamed and said, i don't want to hear and the other effing words coming out of your mouth no matter what, other than orderly transition. repeat those words to me. eventually, he said, orderly transition. i said good, john. now i'm going to give you the best free legal advice you are getting in your life. get a great effing criminal defense lawyer, you are going to need it. and i hung off on him. >> now that was a tease. as mentioned, the committee today postponed tomorrow's hearing. it was supposed to detail trump's attempt to use the justice department to deny biden's victory. the washington post has new reporting on that very effort, concerning an epic confrontation in the oval office just three days before
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the insurrection. according to the post, former doj official jeffrey clark was there, lobbying to get trump to sign off on a plan to reverse the election results. and appoint him the attorney general. then, attorney general jeffrey rosen and his deputy heard about clark's mission, and they reportedly raced to the oval office. clark's boss is then manage to convince trump not to go along with that plan, which they had already rejected, warning trump that mass resignations might be the result but it is no surprise -- some people in the administration were trying to help them overturn a legitimate election. trump's former attorney general, bill barr, testified about trump's detachment, not just from reality but, in many, many cases, the truth. so, i want to hold on here. bill barr making his argument that trump was detached from the truth and that's why he had to make a stand, it doesn't make very much sense. because the truth is, trump has been detached from the truth and pushing falsehoods since
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the beginning. i want to remind you trump repeatedly claimed he one man of the year award in michigan years ago. guess what, that award never existed. then, year after year he overstated his personal wealth so he could get on to the forbes 400 list. we should never forget sharpiegate, were trump pointed to an incorrect map to try to prove his own incorrect hurricane forecast. those are just three little examples. the washington post has over 30,000. so, while bill barr standing up for the truth under oath now, neither he, nor the rest of the administration did it thousands of times before. there is a lot we've got to cover tonight. so, let's get smarter with the help of our lead off panel, pulitzer prize-winning congressional reporter, luke broadwater. for the new york times. and neal katyal, department of justice veteran and former acting solicitor general during the obama administration, who's argued dozens of cases before the supreme court court, and
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frank figliuzzi, former fbi assistant director for counter intelligence. i have a lot to cover guys. luke, to you first -- how significant is that t's tees clip that the committee released tonight about john eastman? a lot of f bombs. >> i think it's extremely significant. here you have one of the white house attorney saying he believes there was a crime committed, where that certainly he believes this criminal exposure here for john eastman. and we all know what john eastman was doing. he was plotting along with donald trump to overturn the election. but i do think it showed a certain gall on the part of john eastman, to call the next day after the january 6th violence where so many people were injured and where blood was shed on the capitol grounds, to still try to push a legal stretchy tovey trendy election the next day. i think that's quite galling. i do think it sets up this meeting or this hearing on thursday. where i am told we are going to
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see very explosive new evidence. we've reported some of that in the new york times, some of the other fine journals have reported what we should expect as well. but some of the other revelations coming from marc short's testimony, out of greg jacobs testimony, some of the things john eastman was doing and saying i think those will all be on display. and some of the things that trump himself was saying, those will all be on display thursday afternoon. >> luke, earlier tonight, chris hayes asked committee members zoe lofgren about delaying towards hearing and whether there is something else going on, witnesses backing out, more fact gathering, and i want to play what she said. >> we are constantly learning new things, but this is primarily logistical. >> primarily? >> i'll just leave it at that. >> primarily, what do you think about that, luke? you are the reporter on hand.
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what i've been told repeatedly by the committee is that this has been nearly an issue on the staff side, about getting the hearing ramped up, the presentations, going through this voluminous transcripts and video evidence they have. some of the doj lawyers sat for several sessions, hours upon hours long. and we are given the best clips of those. i've heard some of the rumors about, maybe there's going to be a big supreme court ruling tomorrow. and the committee wanted to stay clear of that. i don't know how they would know that. that's just a rumor that is going around on capitol hail, probably more speculation than anything. but from one effort from actual reporting, are some issues on the staff side, in the presentation, getting ready, and they are going to postpone until probably next week, having officials come to testify. >> neal, you had an editorial
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tonight in the new york times, the future criminal case against donald trump. different committee members are saying different things about a criminal referral. i want to share with jamie raskin said. >> there is not a general catch all federal statute that allows for congress to make criminal referrals to the department of justice. we have the power and the authority and, i think, the duty to publish all the information we have about crimes that have taken place. we have even already committed ourselves to the proposition that crimes have taken place. >> how would you go about making the case against trump? >> i wrote this piece today, outlining exactly with that would be. and i don't know that i'm a great effing criminal defense lawyer but i am a criminal defense lawyer. and the criminal case against trump is incredibly strong. close observers knew that before hearings. and the question has always been, why has the justice
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department -- why haven't they done anything, at least outwardly? and the idea in this piece is to say, merrick garland, looks like he may have decided on the strategy. and the strategy is rooted in the fact that this, stephanie, that this is not a normal investigation. in a normal investigation, the justice department goes first. but here, we always knew, everyone knew garland knew, that congress would be investigating after all, that seat of government was attacked, that branch of government was attacked, those police officers were attacked. so, in a world in which garland know, as congress is already going to investigate, and with a bipartisan committee, it makes sense to have them generate the evidence put it before the american public, and then acclimate the public to what close observers know, which is that the facts here looking credibly damning for trump, both on obstruction of an official proceeding, and on conspiracy. with respect to both of those, the case looks really quite strong against donald trump.
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and we as americans can't have a world in which that kind of high level wrongdoing goes unanswered. i mean, you and me, steph, if we commit a minor crime, we get sent to the slammer. the idea that merrick garland wouldn't prosecute this i think is unthinkable. and what i think congress has to do is get that evidence before the people, so more and more people see it, and get socialize to the fact that this indictment, which no attorney general has ever done -- no attorney general has ever indicted a former president in our history. but we've never had a president like donald trump in our history. >> and that's kind of the thing neal, isn't it hard to prove intent? we've seen time and time again, trump roles mobsters style. he doesn't write texts, he doesn't write emails. isn't it hard -- he knows how to say well i didn't actually know. remember michael cohen? remember he said, trump -- took a note and actually tore it up and ate michael cohen went to jail, trump didn't.
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he never sciences. name >> big difference, stephanie, between the [inaudible] this could be a criminal prosecution, and criminal prosecutors know very well, [inaudible] mob people in jail, where they decided that's what they wanted to do, before there had the fortitude to do it. and here i think the evidence, which the hearing is unfolding -- like bill barr saying that trump's claims were bs, and that he told trump that, over and over again. if you are an idiot -- if you are willfully blind to the facts on the bland ground, that's not a defense to a criminal charge. and that's all trump's defense, at the bottom, looks like. which means all the [inaudible] i know some of it seems tedious, but it's all [inaudible] incredibly useful in a criminal prosecution, and we've never seen that against trump. because frankly, some of these prosecutors in the past, including well respected people like mueller flinched. >> speaking of the american people we often hear people don't care about these
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hearings. but they do, 20 million people, they watch the first primetime hearing. 10 million people reportedly watched the second one. that took place in daytime there is a huge audiences. do you think this investigation is breaking through? >> i think it is. look what we are talking about. look at -- let me say one network are talking about, stephanie. when people are talking about around the country is what? whether or not there might be a criminal charge or two or three against the former president here. and a lot is being written about this in the last 48 hours, 72 hours. that's penetration. you know the other side that this is penetrating? pressing the right buttons and having an impact -- would i used to use in my own fbi days to measure and items and trials were actually on the right path doing the right thing -- was the extent to which a defendant feels it necessary to start ranting and raving around the courthouse steps or in the
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media. and what are we seeing from people like steve bannon roger stone the former president who responds with a 12-page rant diatribe where he actually starts confessing? he says in a tweet i was responsible for the events on january 6th? it was the rigged election that was responsible. he's weighed himself to a falsehood. so, when we used to say back an fbi was, please keep doing it please keep talking, please [inaudible] it helps, it helps from the public perception of you. and it helps prosecutors get their job done. >> how about all the people that he convinced it was a rigged election? we learned yesterday, neal, that trump raised 250 million bucks for the stop the steal defense fund, a fund that didn't even exist. so, are we going to start to see civil suits class action suits, against this fund, for people who want their money back?
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>> i think we could. and somewhere steve bannon was -- finally took his advice. because remember, bannon was invited for exactly this kind of seem. and pardoned by trump for this stuff, you can't take money from one thing and use it for another. that's both wire fraud, in a criminal context. and steph, as you say, it's a civil lawsuit as well. and the facts look like, from the evidence yesterday from the committee, that that's what happened. trump said he would deliver he then we spent the money and then absconded with the rest of the money. the only thing i can tell that makes this any different from the trump organization is that the trump kids haven't yet come around to collect their consulting fees. but it is the trump mo once again take the money and run. >> it's the trump memo once again, but they've never been in trouble for, it neil. remember for months and months we talk about all that inauguration money. they are gonna get in trouble
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for it spent. they haven't gotten in trouble. >> yes i do think stephanie, the difference is that these are criminal prosecutions, investigations, by the justice department, but the last four years, we've had a smattering of different attorney generals, bill barr, whitaker, -- that protected the president in every turn. barr going so far as to shut down essentially the mueller investigation and say you can't indict a sitting president. now we've had a year into the garland administration, garland justice department, i do think keith is methodical, careful, the fact that he hasn't ended it yet doesn't tell me that he wouldn't indict in the future. and again, things like these hearings are a way to try to acclimate the public first, to just how bad the evidence is against trump and those around him. and then, have the criminal prosecutor come later. that's at least, obviously the most optimistic scenario for those of us who care about the rule of law. but it's one that i think we should be putting out on the table, because the hearings are providing such compelling
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evidence, stephanie, of wrongdoing by the presidents and it is really unthinkable. in this country, that we would let that go unanswered. >> frank, january six is not just a thing of the past, i know you are focused on clear and present danger and focus on extremist groups, and their risks now, over this past weekend, 31 members of patriots front, they were arrested in boise for allegedly targeting a pride at that. i know we are trying to get to the bottom of january 6th, but it still seems like a lot of the off options of that group are still plotting. how concerned are you? >> i'm concerned dhs more importantly is concerned enough to have issued a statement a week ago that we are in a heightened threat environment for the next few months. that is their quote. we are halfway through pride month, stephanie. we have seen something fortunately taken down in court al ain, idaho, but i am concerned that it took, thankfully, a citizen spotting these guys, loading up into a
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u-haul, to call 9-1-1, and then it wasn't in an intelligence operation, on the coverage, informants, monitoring social media. people came from 11 states to do this. to idaho, yet it took a citizen, thankfully, to call 9-1-1. what does that tell us? the challenges that law enforcement are facing now are unprecedented in terms of the threats, environments, and the cultivation of this anti-trans, anti-gender nonconforming, sentiment, is turning violence. it's the new chance, the new mantra, that i am seeing in private. violent extremists. >> tells you that the private citizen is a great american hero. gentlemen thank you so much for getting a smarter, and starting our evening. off broadwater, frank figliuzzi, and neal katyal.
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this is also primary night in america, four different states today, nevada, north dakota, maine, and south carolina. yet again, donald trump's endorsement power is being put to the big test. looking for, as steve kornacki is back at the big board, steve where do we stand right now? >> well here is the biggest one for donald trump. i think even more the most tonight, we can say, he got it. he got his candidate, russell fry, to victory, in the seventh district in south carolina. republican primary here, trouncing republican incumbents, tom rice. one of the few house republicans who voted to impeach donald trump. following the events of january six. this was the first time in fact, during this lengthy primary season, that we have seen a republican come before republican primary voters after voting to impeach trump. and face a trump backed challenger. here is the verdict from the voters of the seventh district of south carolina, more than 2 to 1, russell fry state legislator, crushing tom rice, again, this is a 50% role here, the only suspense tonight was if fry would clear 51%. witness, outright avoid a runoff. he has, russell fry winds in south carolina. seven and we see now projecting that nancy mace, also targeted by donald trump, republican incumbent, nancy mace, will
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survive her primary challenge. trump had been backing katie arrington, the challenger in this race, miss looks like she's gonna fend off arrington. make the not go as far as tom rice did, when speaking out donald trump, she did not vote for impeachment, she did not for the formation of the bipartisan january six commission. she did know, in the initial wake of the january six attacks, make critical comments about trump, about his role in that, she spent the rest of her first term here in congress though, in many ways, trying to make peace with trump voters. politically that maybe just enough to help or survive. she is going to win tonight. nbc news now projecting that, one other notable house was all to tell you about. in texas, and a special election in texas. in a district that has only going to have this for a few more months, but it's significant because of this conversation we've been having, about hispanic voters, potentially shifting towards the republican party. in the last couple years. look at, this the 44th district
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in texas this is as current as it's currently constituted one of the most hispanic districts in the country. and in the special election tonight, the republican mayra flores you can see is leading with most of the votes in. she is leading her closest democratic competitor again, this district is going to be reconfigured, she will be running in a different looking district this november, but this district right now, is one that voted for barack obama, with more than 60% of the vote. voted for hillary clinton by more than 20 points. this is part of that story that we have been telling since the 2020 election. especially along the border, in south texas, the rio grande valley, massive, massive shift towards the republicans. among hispanic voters. a story that has extended outside of taxes. too south florida, to other areas of the country, and it's a big one to keep an eye on this fall, midterm elections, the hispanic vote perhaps up for grabs in ways we haven't seen in recent elections.
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this result in texas tonight underscoring that stephanie. >> underscoring the, that all politics are local. this district, that is actually at the border, turning red. and the trump test? >> one win, one loss. steve kornacki, thank you. coming up, all those people people who are out there voting today, we were gonna get into what has the most fired up. spoiler alert, it's the economy. ahead of a major decision for from the fed tomorrow. and later, ahead of so much anxiety -- comes accountability. a fleecing of america update on the hundreds and millions of dollars in covid funds, gone for good. the 11th hour just getting underway on this very busy tuesday night. temperature balanc ing, so you both stay comfortable and can help you get 30 ing, minutes more restful sleep per night. save 50% on the sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. plus, 0% interest for 36 months. ends monday
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break free from the big three and switch to xfinity mobile. i know there's conflicting information about dupuytren's contracture. i thought i couldn't get treatment yet? well, people may think that their contracture has to be severe to be treated, but it doesn't. if you can't lay your hand flat on the table, talk to a hand specialist. but what if i don't want surgery? well, then you should find a hand specialist certified to offer nonsurgical treatments. what's the next step? >> jobs are back, prices are visit today to get started.
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still too high. covid is down, but gas prices are up. our work isn't done! but here is the deal, america still has a choice to make. a choice between a government by the few, for the few. or a government for all of us. >> president biden reassured americans, he is prioritizing his inflation, his message, republicans in congress are doing everything they can to stop his plans to bring costs to families down. but politico is pointing this out -- quote, with midterms rapidly approaching, voters patience appears to be running out. biden and democrats are poised
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to pay the political price. so let's discuss. with us tonight to experts from states primary tonight, former senator heidi heitkamp, north dakota's first elected female senator. he served on the senate banking committee and she's also the founder of the one country project, a group that helps rural communities, and let's also welcome msnbc political analyst jon ralston, ceo of the nevada independent, covering politics in that state for more than 30 years. heidi, we gotta start with inflation. it is a huge issue. and the truth is, the president cannot do that much. the only tool that we really have is the federal reserve. they are going to announce the rate hike tomorrow. but here's the thing, a big fast rate hike is going to help us recover sooner, but if you have a really big hike, that causes immediate pain. what is worse for the biden administration? >> well stephanie, you are not old enough to remember the volker time, the recession is, coming the recession is coming. this is exactly the situation that jimmy carter was in.
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basically wanting to make the corrections that needed to be made to curtail inflation but you risk the recession, you risk pouring a lot of cold water on a economy. so, this is a tough field for the president. unfortunately, if there is a mistake, denying that and inflation is going to be a problem over six months ago, it's probably something that the administration wishes wasn't on their record. and you know, and i, know a lot of what is driving all of these costs are high energy costs. those are so difficult when you are looking at whether it is electrical rates going up dramatically, especially when the heat is at 100 or whether it's, in fact, gas prices, or natural gas prices, we're at a very high energy economy, cost economy, right now. that's going to make it very difficult to curtail inflation. >> okay, but then, heidi,
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president biden is planning to go to saudi arabia to address oil and gas next month. there are a lot of democrats angry with him. because it is saudi arabia that's committed all sorts of atrocities. is it the right, practical move for biden to go there? yes, we wish we were completely independent but it's not like we can turn the spigot on and produce, produce, produce. we need these prices to go down tomorrow. is he making the right move talking to saudi arabia next month? >> i don't think he's making the right move making it such a public discussion -- >> well, he's not going in secret. >> i hope, but remember when president trump, went hat and in hand to try to get the saudis to basically -- because oil prices had collapsed, and we are suffering as a result of it. >> we cannot ignore the huge impact that opec has on energy prices. but by the same token the message to american domestic producers needs to be more
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consistent and -- needs to be more -- does not want to deal with domestic production. and investment in infrastructure and domestic production. we've got to have an energy and policy that is pro climate. has got to say, we don't want you dealing with a dictator. but it doesn't necessarily have to be anti natural gas and anti-oil. >> heidi, covid devastated nevada's economy. your unemployment number was bigger than the national average. the economic recovery has been slower than in the rest of the country. so, when you look at voters going out in your state is the economy their number one issue? >> i think it is, stephanie, and very difficult, because as you mentioned we were so far down that we have come back a long way. and that's with the democrats, including the governor who was up this year, steve cisa lac and others have been trying to tell people. what you think about politics being local -- people feel it in their local pocketbook, right? so, they don't necessarily buy
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that argument. so, biden's numbers are terrible here. he's being blamed for a lot of this. and so republicans here are tying the governor and every other democrat to the problems in the nevada economy which, of course, as you alluded to stephanie they are worse than most places because we are still a one trick pony with being reliant on those few miles callous vegas boulevard south a las vegas strip -- >> border those republicans offering a different economic solution? i get it, things are really painful right now and biden is the guy in the white house. but come november, the issues that plague our economy -- supply chain issues in china, the war in ukraine -- they are not going away. so whatever republicans offering other than don't vote for biden, he is a [inaudible] ? >> oh, you want substance in a political campaign, stephanie? >> exactly. >> of course they have no answers.
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and they are experts in 2020 hindsight and they see an opportunity, that the so-called red wave is coming. but they are going to use whatever shiva they can think of, to try to [inaudible] the democrats for being responsible. and they have no ideas of their own, and mostly at the top of the ticket to, when you talk about the gubernatorial race or you talk about the u. s. senate race here with you know is pivotal, stephanie, as [inaudible] masto was considered one of the more vulnerable senators. they are tying her to biden. of course they're not presenting any kind of alternative to fix the economy. because that would entail them actually presenting a substantive debate. i don't see that happening. those of us in the media here are trying. >> well, they always say, it's the economy, stupid. but the thing that smart would be to offer an actual economic solution. heidi, talk to me about north dakota. trump won your state by more
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than 35 points. it's not a question of will the state go red. does north dakota need to go trump red? these hearings are not good for him. are people in north dakota watching? >> i think people make the mistake thinking that people in north dakota like donald trump. a lot of them did not like donald trump they didn't like how he behaved they didn't like the lies. but they did pretty well in the trump era. so, they said, look i don't like him but i like his policies. and that's really the hill that biden has to put on. they like him personally -- or they liked him a lot more before. but they don't like his policies. and they blame him because they looked at their 401(k) s when donald trump was president. it looked pretty good. they looked at the gas prices when donald trump were president, it looks pretty good. >> right. >> [inaudible] >> you could say that when
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obama was president and they didn't feel good about him. >> but stephanie, i want to point something out that doesn't get enough national coverage. the reasons i'm watching right now in north dakota, they're races for the school board. we've had a couple attempts that recall elections. people wanting to banned books, people wanting to bring a whole different dynamic to schools, really curtail teachers. and we are not seeing those people being reelected or getting elected to school board positions. we aren't seeing the city elections going completely red and pro trump. so, i think we need to be a little more nuanced in how we look at a lot of our states, like mine, and look at where the victories are. and i think beyond tonight, there's a school board election up and brad force north dakota that's really for [inaudible] common sense and a victory for when i think our north dakota values. not trump values. >> heidi, my mom was my school board president for years and years and years. i've always got time to talk about those elections.
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heidi heitkamp and jon ralston, thanks for your time, we really appreciate it. coming up, a disturbing time an election so far this year. dozens and dozens of primary candidates running and winning on, guess what, the big lie, when the 11th hour continues.
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when you need help it's great to be in sync with customer service. a team of reps who can anticipate the next step genesys technology is changing the way customer service teams anticipate what customers need. because happy customers are music to our ears. genesys, we're behind every customer smile. trump's big lie is now playing a key role in the republican party. the washington post reporting that 108 republican primary
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winners have embraced trump's false claims of election fraud. so, let's discuss. and bring in michael steele, former chairman of the republican national committee and former lieutenant governor the great state of maryland and democratic strategist, my dear friend, lis smith. we have not seen here in a while. she's been busy writing her new book, any given tuesday: a political love story. it's coming out july 19th. mr. steele, at this point, anyone inside and outside the trump administration full well knew he was lying. he knew he lost the election. yet 147 house republicans still voted against certifying the election. at this point, do all those lawmakers have egg on their face? they knew they were lying. >> no. no, they don't. it's what their base wants. it's what their base wants. it's where the money is. it's where the votes are. that's the bottom line. as the hearings are showing us
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there is a lot of gritt that took place and continues to take place. and it's how these candidates are allying themselves in primaries. the test, though, at the end of the day, stephanie, is going to be, how do they win a general election? and what do democratic undepent voters think of them? along with other republicans who didn't necessarily participate in the primary. because you know those tend to be much more the extreme right and left. how does that resonate in a general election? that is where the mitch mcconnells in the party, who were counting the eggs and hoping they are chickens inside. recognize that some of those chickens maybe stillborn. so, there it is. >> but lis don't these hearing change any of it? you've got all sorts of people running right now who are election deniers. you are a democratic strategist. would you not just run bill barr, it's bullshit, it's bullshit, it's bullshit, on loop from now until november? >> well, first these candidates have to get their primaries. and being an election denier,
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in a republican primary, it's not going to hurt you at all. in fact -- >> even after the hearings? >> yes, even after the hearings. >> yeah. >> stephanie, let me give you a couple of examples. not only is it not a liability, i would say that having been at january 6th, having actually been there physically and having to storm the capital capitol is one of the biggest status symbols that you can have in a republican primary today. you know the hottest club in the gop is being part of that mob that stormed the kick capitol on january 6th. and we see that in two key examples. one is in the michigan governor's race. last week, ryan kelley, one of the front runners to be michigan gubernatorial -- gop gubernatorial nominee, was arrested, charged with four federa counts for storming the capitol. and he was a liability, didn't disqualify him? no. he is doubling down on it and
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running, he is raising money off of it. he went to steve banons radio show and bragged about it. in pennsylvania, you have doug mastriano who is doing the same thing and is bragging about how, as governor, he will use his pin to decertify election results. and these guys are running for governor. they are not running to be members of congress. they have say over the elections in their states. and michigan, pennsylvania, that can determine -- >> stop, stop. are they not going to be crushed by independents come the general election? 20 million people watched the first day of the hearing. and the club doesn't have a velvet rope. it's going to be a prison cell. >> well -- yes, so, i would hope so. you would hope so. but we have seen extreme candidates in bad years overcome and go along with the wave and be carried by the way. i think that should be a fear of every democrat. but yes, democrats are going to run very hard against this. but we do have to reckon with
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the fact that the number one issue for voters is not necessarily electoral integrity or what happens in 2024. it's inflation. so, democrats have to put forward a compelling argument for why we are the party that is best equipped to handle the economic pain that people are feeling, while making sure that we do not let republicans off the hook for the fact that they want to hijack the 2024 election. >> then michael, given all that we just laid out, is all of this a big win for mitch mcconnell? because the hearings are bad for trump and mcconnell doesn't like trump. and inflation is terrible for biden. >> yeah. and in that sense, you are right. but it goes back to the point that both lis and i are making about what happens in a general election. you asked the question what about those independent voters? where did they go? the question is, do they look at this hearing, do they look at what republicans are
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offering as their solution to inflation and to the economy and go, well we want that? or do they sit back and go, yeah, i don't like where we are on inflation, i don't like where we are in gas prices. but the bigger question is our democracy. it is whether or not i want to give power back to the party that fomented insurrection -- >> but michael, doesn't -- >> i recall that [inaudible] republicans are not offering anything on inflation, just saying we are not democrats. >> [inaudible] that's a good point, but you know what? that's enough of a point. you can win an election on that. >> all right, you two, we have a lot more i want to cover on this. unfortunately i am out of time. but i've always got time to talk to both of you. michael steele and lis smith, coming out, the fleecing of america, one of the most important series we've had on msnbc. and i'm going to tell, you every day citizens are outraged over the last latest outrage over covid relief funds. they say one single company pocketed hundreds -- hundreds of millions of
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taxpayer dollars -- when the 11th hour continues.
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small business administration, as well as states attorneys tasked with uncovering pandemic loan rackets. and they told me then, that least 87 billion dollars of potential fraud had been identified. and my colleague, gabe gutierrez, has an update. i'll give you a teaser -- it's really bad. >> the department of justice has been looking into pandemic relief funds and alleged fraud on a massive scale. and now, congressional investigators are also looking into some of the companies hired to help distribute that money. this nondescript office building in virginia houses the company the feds hired to help distribute billions of dollars in loans to help struggling small businesses during the pandemic. the firm, rer solutions, got a no bid $750 million contract and the company netted $340 million in windfall profits, despite assigning the work to just six of its employees, according to a u.s. house subcommittee report released today. why do you think that covid spending at that time was so
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out of control? >> it's just that we did not have effective enforcement of the oversight procedures that congress put in place. >> the economic injury disaster loan problem, known as eidl has previously been under scrutiny, as the small business inspector general told lester. >> it largely relied on an honor system. >> prosecutors had already accused some borrowers. -- cryptocurrency and test. let's now, are looking closer at -- companies that distributed the money. as much as 20% of those funds may have been awarded to fraudsters. >> each dollar stolen was $1 taken from a small restaurant owner who wanted nothing more than to keep her staff on the payroll. >> rer solutions told congressional investigators it subcontracted part of the work out to other companies, a firm which has not been charged with any form of misconduct, did not
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respond to nbc news is repeated requests for comment. >> [inaudible] law [inaudible] that existed -- >> this could be just the tip of the iceberg. [inaudible] pandemic related small business loans. back to you. >> could be the tip? i would say iceberg dead ahead. thank you to gabe gutierrez. coming up, a leader like trump -- how herschel walker is taking a page out of the former guy's playbook, when the 11th hour continues.
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greatest athletes in america, and i know he will go down also as one of the greatest senators in america. >> we have been together for a long time and i said a long time ago, a great man, great leader, i want to be a leader like him when i get to that senate seat, and show everyone i love america. >> the last thing before we go
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tonight, herschel walker's lies. republican georgia senate candidate, herschel walker, said there, he wants to be a leader like trump. well, with his climbing number of lies, he is getting a lot closer to that goal. the latest is that he said on at least three separate occasions that he works in law enforcement. will for fact sake, let's clear things up. according to the atlanta georgia constitution, and in 2017 speech, walker said this, i worked with the cop county police department, and i've been any criminal justice all my life. two years later while giving a speech to soldiers, he said, i spent time at quantico at the fbi training school. y'all didn't know i was an agent? they didn't know, because he wasn't. and according to the atlanta journal constitution, the cop county police department said, they have no record of any involvement with walker. his campaign said in a statement to newsweek, the following, herschel's that a criminal justice at the university of georgia and has supported and worked with law enforcement for years, including speaking to police
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about mental health, leading a woman self-defense training, participating in the fbi academy of guangdong coal. and being awarded honorary deputy status and cop, along with the other georgia counties. all of that explanation to say, you are right, he didn't work in law enforcement. as we said, that is just the latest up walker's lies that have recently come to light. he also claimed that he owned companies, companies that don't actually exist. he lied about his college achievements, and in 2020, he falsely claims that he knew a missed, he knew of a missed that prevented covid. watch this. >> i have something that can bring you into a building, that would cling you from covid as you walk through this mist. as you walk through the door, it will kill any covid on your body. epa, fda approved. >> amidst that will clean you from covid? that reminded us of something.
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>> then i said the disinfectant, the push you out in a minute, and is there where we could do something like that? by injection, inside, or a mist of cleaning. >> and that is the leader who herschel walker wants to model himself after. and on that very note, i wish you all a very good, a very safe, and healthy missed free night. from all of our colleagues across the networks of nbc news, thank you for staying up late with us, i'll see you at the end of tomorrow. of tomorrow. >> tonight on all in -- >> i told him that [inaudible] people were shuttling out to the -- that the claims of fraud were bleep. >> they all knew and didn't say anything at the time. >> [inaudible] characterized as being part of team normal. >> tonight on what we are learning about the complicity from the people surrounding


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