tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 11, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
donald trump. when you have that kind of fire burning already among your supporters and people protesting you that's throwing a giant can of gasoline on top of it. this has been a remarkable scene tonight. it's the top of the hour right now on this friday night. this is an event that we didn't expect to be covering tonight. this is a live picture right now of what the scene is outside be university of illinois at chicago pavilion. it was set up to go tonight for this donald trump rally after what had been an incredibly tense and difficult and -- what's the word i'm looking for? well incited event earlier today in st. louis missouri. the chicago event tonight was called off at the last minute after thousands of supporters and thousands of protesters con
screened at this site. thoongs for being with us. i appreciate your time. >> no problem. >> where were you and what did you see tonight? >> they have a media area just behind where the tv people are. i was in the very last row. it's closest to the view of what was going on. there's about a hundred protesters filling up the back of the auditorium. we knew something would be up. there's tensions from the beginning. there were fights and people being escorted. the people were so happy and they got their way, these protesters. >> you're with the sun times. i have to ask you from a local media perspective, i looked at
stuff yesterday and the course of today, to see if there was local media coverage anticipating there would be a lot of protesters at this event. it seems to me, it was my impression there was local awareness there could be not hundreds but thousands of people not in support of donald trump that would turn out. it wasn't a surprise the way so many people turned out in opposition to him tonight, was it? >> not at all. this is not a chicago rally. it's a chicago rally where people are coming out in full force. it's estimated 10,000 people would be protesting. i'm sure it wasn't as much as that. we knew it would be this really big showing.
>> chicago sun times reporter. thank you very much for being with us. >> thank you. katie has been following the donald trump campaign from the very beginning. nobody knew what the donald trump campaign was going to turn into. boy has this turned into a wild ride of a political assignment. thanks for being with us tonight. >> hey there. >> we've been talking tonight as we've been trying to absorb these pictures we're seeing about mr. trump's responsibility and whether or not the wap he has talked about the treatment of protesters and the way he has talked incidents of violence at his events has been designed to essentially make more violence toward protesters happen, to make these things more kinetic, more potentially dangerous. have you seen a change in the way he treats these incidents from the microphone? >> i think there's a difference
between saying he's creating these environments and saying thoo he's fostering the environments. i think he has rhetoric has been provocative from day one. he called some mexicans rapists and criminals. since then he's called for a ban on muslims, at least temporarily from coming into this country. he's also has not immediately disavowed the kkk. he did it a few times and on one sunday morning show alone he refused to disavow it three separate times. he talks at every single rally about building wall. there is this idea of otherness that permeates through the donald trump campaign. we have seen over the past few weeks it's gotten increasingly tense as we have moved into this
southern state for this campaign and the bigger cities. we didn't see this sort of violence necessarily, these sort of disruptions. we started to see them more in south carolina. there were protests in louisi l angeles back over the summer. that's where you're seeing more of these disruptions. there's real divide that's being fostered in these rallies. a class divide, a racial divide. it's not overt. when the protesters come in and often times the protesters are
minoritie minorities, if they're latino, african-american, muslim, they ko come in and protest and the majority of these crowds are caucasian. that's not to say donald trump doesn't have minority supporters. he absolutely does. we talk to them at the rally. they have the same reasons as anyone else might have for liking donald trump. they believe it's economic and believe he's going go in and get things done. i'm also not saying, to be very clear, all of his supporters are in some way intolerant or racists or bigots or anything like that. there's a number of his supporters are not that sort of thing. i don't know how to classify all of his supporters. what i am saying is that there does seem to be this undercurrent of otherness throughout this campaign. they're the ones that are causing the problems. if you get me in charge, i'm the one that will make it better. i'm going to build that wall so
there's no drugs coming in. i'm going to build that wall so you can keep your jobs. i'm going to build that wall so we can keep american companies buildings things in america. i'll keep the muslims out temporarily because the muslims are coming in and killing us. they're the ones that have a problem. that's what he's saying on the campaign trial. he's getting loud cheers from these crowds. i think there's fear it's gone, maybe not unnoticed but unrecognized. i think there's real undercurrent of anger that's gone unrecognized. donald trump has tapped into that and acknowledges that. they want the find somebody they can blame and an arena where they can vent their anger. he's created a safe space for
them to be reasoning aaangry an and so say what they're thinking. when we talk to their supporters, nine times out of ten they say i like he tells it like it is. he like he says what i'm thinking. i want a president who will go out there and defend me. this is what he is, the atmosphere and the environment he's creating. when these others come in, protesters, no matter the color of their skin, protesters come in and say we don't like what you're saying, we don't think what you're saying is right, there is real anger directed towards them. these are folks coming into the rallies with the intent on disrupting. with the sole purpose on knocking donald trump off his game and stopping these rallies. trying stop it because they believe what he is saying is
wrong. they do not like his rhetoric and his ideas. >> protesters of every stripe do that to all high level politicians. >> absolutely. you were 100% correct when you say this does not happen at other campaigns. it doesn't happen at other campaigns because you don't have a candidate who is screaming get them out. back in the good old days we could have taken care of them faster. i want to punch one of those protesters in face. other campaigns don't call their supporters passionate when they act violently against a protester. he's not saying it's wrong. he might be tacidly saying p ii wrong. he's not saying you should not be touching protesters. there's an announcement at almost every single campaign rally that says do not touch the
protesters. he values the first amendment just as much as he values the second amendment. if you see a protesters, do not touch them. instead, wave your donald trump sign and chant usa, usa, usa or trump, trump, trump. that often times does happen. often times these rallies don't get violent. they remain very tense. you have seen escalation in the tension. he's been going through the southern state where is the border issue resonates with folks and there's a higher number of minorities. >> and his rhetoric has turned more and more and the content of his speeches and turned more and more to be about the disruptive protester and defying political correctness and how he wishes
there was more violence. >> he doesn't think that america is tough enough any longer. >> that's right. that's what is totally unique. the circumstances of him being provocative and him being what some people consider offensive, him inspiring disruptive protests. every politician worth their salt is considered by somebody at some part of the spectrum to meet all these criteria. what's different how he tries to gin up violence around his presidential campaign. that's something i feel like it's impossible to not see as deliberate at this point. i appreciate you taking this much time. i think we'll be in this rolling coverage for a while. we'll check back in with you. to the point of the deliberateness of this strategy, my colleague did some excellent rolling coverage of the circumstance in chicago in the
past hour which culminated in a live phone in interview. we'll turn around that whole thing later on tonight. there's one portion where donald trump talked about the political utility of the violence that broke out at this event tonight in chicago, which was cancelled at the last minute after thousands of supporters and what appeared to be many hundreds of protesters were all crammed into the same venue with no guidance and almost no visible security. then they pulled the plug on this event. this is how mr. trump described the political utility of that for him tonight. >> is this going to effect the voting? everybody is voting on tuesday in all these big states where they say things going on tonight. did you think people coming out on the republican side to vote -- how will they rea kt to these pictures when they go to vote for you? >> two people told me that are experts say this increases the
vote for trump. we had a peaceful rally here. you're not even allowed to have rally anymore in this country. we had a peaceful rally. in order to make sure nobody gets hurt, i said let's postpone the rally. you can't have rally in major city without violence or potential violence. i didn't want to see the real violence. i thought it would be good. i met with law enforcement we could have done it. i decided not to do it. it's very tough. a lot of people said this will increase it. i don't want to see people hurt. >> donald trump speaking a little while ago with chris matthews. making the case you can't even have a rally in this country without the threat of violence. this is a classic strong man
political tactic that we're used to seeing in other countries but not our own. political events are generated to bring violence at the edges. violence at the events may start organically is spot lit and encouraged to the point it becomes something that is legitimately out of control of anyone. it's just -- it's political science in way. it's not something we're used to seeing in american politics. i know the trump campaign will
not say that's what they are doing. when you look at how mr. trump has been talking about the organic existence and violence toward the protesters at his event, leading to this event, i think it's impossible to say this was an accident. where were you tonight and what did you see? >> i was on the floor at the pavilion for the trump rally. a large group, several hundred young, mostly minority demonstrates had coalesced in several sections. as the night wore on and people
waited for trump to take the stage, it was clear it was going to be a vocal presence. the surprise is when they decided to cancel the event. >> in terms of the surprise nature of that, while you were on the floor taking around and taking the temperature in there, did you have any sense, did you have any reason to anticipate the event might be cancelled? was it a surprise to everybody in the room? >> it was a surprise to the trump supporters. i think they expected to have chants back and forth and the trump supporters. i think everyone expected the event to go on opinion there's no real signs of violence or anything like that inside. >> bill, in terms of the folks who were in charge, we saw from some of this footage, we saw
people who appeared to be secret service agents. we saw people who appeared to be event or facility security. we also saw later on as things went on, we saw people who appeared to be chicago pd. while we're looking at fights break out on the floor and looking at this tense atmosphere, we didn't see very much security or law enforcement presence at all. is that a product of our camera angles or was it true there weren't my cops around? >> there were a lot of these red shirt security guards that you see at any kind of sporting event. there were few actual uniformed police officers inside the venue. they would escort the protester
out. it became clear just how large and vocal the group of demonstrators was going to be and continued to build. it had actually calmed down and people expecting him to go on. that's when the announcement was made. >> thank you very much for being with us. >> sure, no problem. does this remind you of anything or is this new? >> well, we talked a little bit about george wallace, which is probably one of the precedents. what you've been talking about
is right, we just have to hope that donald trump and the trump people are not deliberately trying to provoke rallies that will attract voters to say we need trump as a strong person to bring back law and order. that's what wallace tried to do in 1968. he would denounce protesters in the hall. the crowd would turn. even journalists would write they were in fear for their lives. motorcade was accosted by
anti-war protesters. they threw eggs and stones. nixon got out and climbed on to the hood of the cars and threw his arm up in the air two nights later, there was a speech that nixon gave in phoenix saying this is an example of when law and order is not respected. as it turned out it wasn't well received and nixon never tried that tactic again. you can go further back in
american history. one thing that the mainstream, i think most americans has always felt and been occasions in which we been confronted is it's not a good thing when a politician in any way does something to provoke violent melees that he thinks might help him. one can only hope that's not what donald trump is trying to do. >> when we have seen this used in the past, when this has arisen in the past, is there an antedote to it? there's a reason that politicians first time with this is because there can be some utility to it. >> the answer is that he's aspiring to the nomination of the republican party. he's pretty close to getting it. republican party does have some
leaders that can go to him and say this is not something that we find acceptable. that can also be true of people who are supporting donald trump and involving in the trump campai campaign. >> if this is calculated to create images not just of anger but of disorder and create an appetite for a law and order style candidacy or law and order character in politics, i have to wonder how much appetite there is broadly in the united states for law and order politics right now. one of the things i've been surprised by in the 2000s, over the last five, six, seven, eight years is we didn't see a big resurgence of the tough on crime, law and order, lock them
all up, fear of the boogeyman mainstream politics like we saw as recently as the 1990s. that's something i thought was cyclical. you turn to anti-crime politics and when you have an economic upswing it doesn't become as potent. is that a cyclical thing or something we might have seen the back end of in this country? >> i think it's not an iron law. nixon was trying to make the point of this event we have been thinking about. the protests around the democratic convention, police confrontation with anti-war protesters that led to a lot of violence.
i think the trump people think it's going to help they're putting the democrats and whoever their nominee will be in a position to say exactly the same thing. a party that cannot unite itself, meaning the republican party, if it's linked to such things can't unite america, it could bounce against him in a very big way. >> michael, thank you very much. >> remarkable is the word. >> thank you. i'd like to bring robert costa into there conversation if we can get him on the phone. he's a washington post recorder. we're talking about this as not just violence but as violence in a political context in this country tonight. i have to ask how other republicans are reacting to this tonight and whether or not the trump campaign really is going to try to spin this as advantageous to them. >> many republicans are watching these images and think it's a
troubling and complicated momentum for america. they're talking about the historical undercurrent. what's striking to so many republicans is what was at the heart of richard nixon, 1968 prokes was the vietnam war. it's not a war. it's not an issue. it's candidate at the floor. >> and a candidate who is not a side issue to the specific thing we're seeing which is protesters and supporters of that candidate punching one another. the candidate has been engaging directly with that as a subject of his campaigns and his public politicking. he's been talking about this overtly and politically incorrect, inciteful ways.
i'm wondering if that part of it, his role in not just witnessing this among his supporters but encouraging it is something that may curdle him in the eyes of republicans who might otherwise be okay with him as their standard because he's drawing out a lot of voters. >> in washington, i think that is the case, wide spread angst about donald trump and what his candidacy has become. if you look ahead to tuesday, march 15th and think about not the voters in chicago but in rockford, illinois, the white working class voters, what do think see and how do they react and the florida panhandle, how do they respond. republican strategists think this will stoke the vote for trump. it's going to bring out people who are disengaged and angry. he stood earlier in the day with ben carson, the only african-american candidate who dropped out.
he's trying to turn and pivot toward the general election to project himself as presidential. at the same time, he still wants to be donald trump channelling the anger and being unapologetic about riling up these crowds. this is just a phenomenal night in a bad way. robert costa, thanks very much for being with us. >> thank you. >> bernie sanders, presidential candidate on the democratic side just took the stage not too far from theseages that we're looking at. bernie sanders is doing a rally. he's been turning out events, crowd sizes that are as big or bigger than donald trump. he's the only candidate that's been turning out even larger crowds than donald trump has much to mr. trumps chagrin. needless to say nothing like
this happens at bernie sanders events. he did talk about this. here's what he said. >> what this campaign is about is bringing our people together. not letting donald trump or anybody else divide us up. no, we are not going to hate mexicans. we're not going to hate muslims. we're not going to insult women. we're going to insult veterans. we're not going to insult african-americans. we are going to bring our people together to make sure --
[ applause ] >> bernie, bernie, bernie, bernie! bernie, bernie! >> united states of america today is the wealthiest country in the history of world, but very few people know. the reason they don't know it is that people in illinois and vermont and all over this country are working longer hours for lower wages. >> bernie sanders speaking moments ago in summit, illinois working into his usual campaign speech. a response to what we've seen happen tonight in chicago. to reset in terms of what happened in chicago, donald trump's rallies have increasingly featured violence that started off on the edge of
his rallies with protesters making themselves known and being attacked by donald trump supporters in most cases escorted out of room by security. mr. trump has talked about protester as they are being taken out. we have seen not only more disruptions but we have seen the disruptions of his events by protesters become more and more a feature of these veevents ratr than a side show. we have seen his supporters get more and more violent. tonight in chicago with thousands of people set to protest donald trump, not surprising given his views, what
they did is not let hundreds but thousands of donald trump supporters and many, many anti-donald trump protesters into the same room and then at the last minute they announced that donald trump would not be coming and the rally was cancelled. that did result this some fistfights and some very, very tense moments on the floor of that pavilion at the university of illinois. we've been looking at some of these pictures you've been sending from outside. seems like people are sticking around. doesn't seem like big masses but people still there hanging out seeing what's going to happen. >> seems like on this side of the building things are beginning to calm down.
you can see we still have someone there with anti-trump banner standing across the street. as people were leaving the parking garage they were driving down the streets through the barricades and what you saw was a lot of the protesters would boo them. i saw one with a sign that said why. why are you a trump supporter? that's something a lot of people said to me tonight. they said all they want to hear is why they supported trump and what a lot of these people were saying is they were out here protesting what they see as hateful rhetoric. this is a really hard case to sell when you seens like this contrasting with that kind of
wording. i heard robert costa saying this is cause for pause for a lot of people in the republican party who is saying they can unify and then causing these massive protests around the downtown chicago area. >> is it your sense that's things are ultimately dispersing. you said that one side of the building things seem to be thinning out. from the images that you've been sending and we've been seeing, seems like the police presence continues to grow. >> that's definitely true. i'm seeing way more police presence throughout the night. the protesters are dwindling. i'm trying to walk around to see if it's just on this one side.
there were a lot of protesters. we have seen the barricades move away. again, i'm seeing a lot of police presence and not that much protester presence right here. as we round the corner, i think we'll see a bit more of that. it seems like things are calming down a little bit at least on this side. >> seems like police are establishing a bit of a perimeter. that seems to be how the night will wind down. thank you. stay safe out there.
we've been covering this live in chicago. we'll take a quick break and come back. i was talking earlier about how i think and i recognize this is a controversial thing to say. i recognize that, what i mean to say, i recognize it's uncomfortable to hear it, but i absolutely believe it and i can show you. this thing that happened tonight in chicago did not happen by accident. this is not some surprise, wow, look at how difficult this rally was going to be in chicago. donald trump telling chris matthews tonight, what a shame it is that you can't have a rally in this country anymore without any violence breaking out. i can show you in tape from over the last couple of weeks and most specifically from today why the thing that led to what happened tonight in chicago is nothing unique to chicago. it's not unique to anger in our country. it's nothing unique to the character of the type of people
who don't like donald trump. the reason this happened tonight in chicago, the fiasco that gave us these images is because of the behavior of not just the trump campaign but specifically donald trump, the candidate. i think this is on purpose. i can make my case to you. i will make my case to you. i will show you what i mean when we come back. hey! this is lloyd. to prove to you that the better choice for him is aleve. he's agreed to give it up. ok, but i have 30 acres to cover by sundown. we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. yeah, i was ok, but after lunch my knee started hurting again so... more pills.
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[ car braking ] bye dad! it brakes when you don't. forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking. available on the newly redesigned passat. from volkswagen. presidential candidate ted cruz is talking about what happened in chicago. >> without a threat of violence, without anger and rage and hatred directed at each other. we need to learn to have disagreements without being disagreeable. to have disagreements while respecting human beings on the other side. earlier today over 30 people were arrested in one rally. then tonight, as violence broke out, the rally was cancelled all together. now, the responsibility for that
lies with protesters who took violence into their own hands. in any campaign responsibility starts at the top. any candidate is responsible for the culture of the campaign. when you have campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty display. it's my hope that going forward we will have a respectful, substantive issues based discussion where we can have
differences in terms of how to country around. we can do so in way that appeals to our better ages instead of our worse instances. that seeks to pull us together and unite us instead of tear us apart. we've seen for seven years a president who often, in times of crisis has sought to divide us on racial lines, on religious lines, on class lines. america is better than this. we don't have to tear each other apart. instead we can work together for positive proactive solutions to the real problems facing the country. americans want jobs. we want our wages going up. we want opportunity again for young people. we ought to be having a positive, meaningful discussion about what policies will expand
opportunity for the next generation to achieve the american dream. >> do you think trump should have not cancelled the rally? >> i think the decision should be based on public safety. i think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment to pun mp people in the face. today the likely to be the last such intense. it's not how our politics should occur. it is my hope in 2016 that we
can appeal to our better and fill a void going down that road. >> do his policies have anything to do with it? >> finding his policies is a difficult endevour. he speaks about jobs going overseas but when asked for a policy to fix it, he's yet to propose one. other than negotiable better deals. we'll have better deals to solve every problem, i don't think that's a meaningful solution. by lifting the burdens on small businesses because two-thirds of all new jobs come from small businesses. we do that through repealing
obama care, through pulling back the federal regulators that are making it harder and harder for small businesses to survive. those are meaningful policies that will bring back jobs. >> why is illinois -- >> do you feel like he's ruining your general election chances? >> today what i'm focused on is an appeal to civility in the democratic discourse. it was nice last night at the debate. making derogatory comments about physical appearance, body part and spray tans. that's not what politics is supposed to be art. it's about you. it's about the american people. it's about our kids.
it's about the future of our country. >> why is illinois important on tuesday? >> illinois is tremendously important on tuesday. it's a big election. it's a big election nationwide. illinois is a battleground. right now here in the state of illinois he's running neck and neck. we are effectively tough. we are campaigning hard. take 1237 gel delegates to become the nominee. nobody else is remotely close. illinois will be allocated delegates. this is a battle delegate by delegate by delegate.
if you're an illinois republican and you don't think donald trump is the best choice to go led to head with hillary clinton, if you recognize donald trump loses to hillary clinton, i encourage you to unite behind our campaign. our campaign is the only campaign that can beat donald trump for the republican nomination. >> do you think the voters of ohio support and vote for john kasich. if -- >> ted cruz doing a press availability event in rolling meadows, illinois. we went to that of his comments. kind of remarkable about this
scene that has unfolded tonight in chicago. if you're just joining us or just waking up after a pleasant evening nap, what's happened tonight in chicago is something we haven't seen in a long time in american politics which is that a presidential campaign rally went into a what at times looked like a barroom brawl. what seemed to be maybe thousands, at least hundreds of donald trump protesters were all inside that vent at the same time waiting for donald trump to appear when it was suddenly called off for safety reasons. ted cruz saying about that event that donald trump bears responsibility. he's talked about more than two dozen people arrested at the remarkable event earlier today in st. louis.
taken upon himself to become violent. we don't know if the protesters did become violent, but that's what ted cruz said. he said that donald trump has encouraged violence and the true fact that donald trump's campaign manager is facing allegations of physical violence toward a member of the press, a conservative reporter says she was grabbed pretty violently by donald trump's campaign manager on tuesday night. the trump campaign is denying those allegations and attacking the reporter who made them saying she's made allegations like this before, essentially trashing her reputation.
encouraging physical violence telling people to punch people in the face. when you do that you should expect violence at your events. a call for civility in the democratic process. i should mention that true to form, ted cruz also pivoted after making those allegations against donald trump to blame president obama as well for what happened tonight in chicago saying that president obama has torn the country apart and that's part of why this happened. that's ted cruz speaking tonight. other candidates we expect to be weighing in if they have not already. we'll be right back. stay with us.
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mr. trump just arrived in chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all the te tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena tonight's rally will be postponed until another day. thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace. >> and that was it. that is how they told the thousands of people, possibly up to 10,000 people who were in that room at that point, mostly donald trump supporters, but a large chunk of non-donald trump supporters. they told them it was off and go in peace and it was fend for yourself.
we have a statement from the chicago police department about what happened. they say shortly before 6:30 p.m. the police department was notified by officials that the trump campaign had cancelled their event. we're working to protect people's first amendment rights and to make sure everyone is able to disperse the area safely. the police department not taking responsibility for this decision, not saying it was cancelled -- or we suggested or it was their agency at all. they are saying they were notified by the trump campaign that it was a trump campaign decision to cancel this event. joining us now is an undocumented graduate student who was there to protest tonight. thank you very much for joining us. i appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> so you're a grad student.
are you at the university of illinois. >> yes i'm a current graduate student. i graduate this may. >> congratulations on being ready to graduate. tell me about your discussion to start this petition and your expectations as a protesters tonight. >> sure. so we found out exactly a week ago last friday that trump was going to be on our campus and i think we all knew we needed to respond immediately. we started this petition which garnered over 50,000 signatures in the last week and the idea was to ask the university to reconsider and cancel the trump rally. i think we've seen how violent these rallies get and it's a place for hate groups to come together. so we wanted to make sure the university understood the students didn't feel safe.
>> the university didn't cancel the event. they tried to go ahead with it. it appears that the decision to cancel tonight came from the trump campaign itself. i understand that you were outside the event and not inside the venue tonight, but did it seem to you that it was adequately policed and it was going to be a safe event had it gone forward? >> i think the number of police was very high and i think that's how the university responded when we talked about our concern that there were going to be more police, but i think all of us who are kind of feeling unsafe knew that police weren't going to be the answer and trump's rhetoric was going to come to our campus and that's a place where we study. we heard students say they weren't going to come on campus today because they felt unsafe and we knew the only way to respond was by protesting. thousands of people were inside and outside ready to let trump know that chicago is not going to stand by quietly why he tries to do the anti-latino,
anti-muslim rhetoric that he's been spewing. >> one of the things that we've been showing tonight is it did evolve into some brawling on the fl floor of the event tonight. how do you think that's going to affect your feelings about this and about mr. trump and how this went in chicago tonight? >> i think the brawling was inside and outside and i think it only speaks to how unsafe the community really felt and i don't know what else the university needs to see to know that it should have cancelled the rally because clearly people were hurt and there were things being thrown and there were racial slurs yelled out. and the university can now see that maybe cancelling it should have been what happened and hopefully that's what comes from it and it's not postponed. >> a graduate student in
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