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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  October 19, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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for "am joy" live from los angeles. we're going to dive deep into the upcoming elections looking at the races for governor, all the issues that are driving the votes. i will see you tomorrow morning on "am joy." now it is time for the "last word" with the great lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. and there's the two shot. it's a historic hand-off. we're in the same place for the first time ever. >> yeah. >> this is the glory of the l.a. studio. >> we were going to do it through the magic of television and make it look like we weren't. >> we just went with the truth. you're right there, almost a handshake away. if i didn't have a cold, i would reach out. >> but bring your nerdiest nerdism because it's a political paradise. it's a lot of fun. it's like comic-con but we don't have to dress out.
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some do. it's a con. feel free. >> all right, i will see you there. i'll be dressed up as this. >> sounds good. have a good show. >> thank you, joy. >> bye-bye. well, today the dictatorship that calls itself the kingdom of saudi arabia insulted the world with its written explanation of how "the washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi was murdered inside the saudi consulate in istanbul. here is the intelligence insulting written statement by the saudi dictatorship. a statement which in and of itself is an offense against decency and humanity. the statement says, the results of the preliminary investigations revealed that the discussions that took place with the citizen jamal khashoggi during his presence in the consulate of the kingdom in istanbul by the suspects did not
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go as required, and escalated negatively, which led to a fight between them and the citizen jamal khashoggi, which aggregated the situation and led to his death. may god rest his soul. in addition to their attempt to conseal what happened and to cover it up, while the investigations are still ongoing in the case with the 18 detainees of saudi nationality, the kingdom expresses its deep regret that the painful outcome and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the kingdom to bring the facts to the public as well as holding all those involved and bringing them to justice by referring them to the competent courts in the kingdom of saudi arabia. now, here is a picture of jamal
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khashoggi. he is obviously physically incapable of being involved in anything that could be called a fight with 15 saudis who flew into istanbul specifically to grab him when he walked into that consulate. jamal khashoggi was obviously physically incapable of putting up one second of physical resistance to anything, any one of his murderers chose to do to him. escalated negatively. it's hard to even call this language a lie. it is something far beyond a lie. jamal khashoggi was incapable of escalating any violence against any of those people who murdered him. not for one second. the statement says the fight between them and the citizen jamal khashoggi, which
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aggregated the situation led to his death. apparently they mean to say eggravatted the situation. this poisonous dictatorship believed it could send those words out of the bubble today. and somewhere in the world they believed they would accept it, that someone somewhere could accept the idea that jamal khashoggi aggravated the situation and that led to his death. saudi arabia does not have anything that the real world would recognize as a court system, but the saudi arabian dictators believe they could put out a statement today saying that this case could be handled by, quote, the competent courts in the kingdom of saudi arabia. there is no such thing. there has never been a competent court in saudi arabia. there never will be as long as the dictatorship is in place.
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and so who in the world -- who in the world would believe anything -- anything in the saudi statement today? who would believe that jamal khashoggi was capable of aggravating the situation that led to his death? who would believe that saudi arabia has competent courts? who in the world would believe anything in that statement? >> i think it's a good first step. it's a good step. it's a lot of people involved. and i think it's a great first step. >> that's donald trump in arizona tonight in a meeting with defense contractors, when he welcomed this big first step that the saudi arabian dictators have made by issuing this statement that is lie from start to finish. it was as if a script writer had placed him in that setting today in the movie of the madness of trump. there he is sitting with the
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defense contractors who contribute to his campaign and who want to do business with saudi arabia, and he updates the defense contractors on today's news. >> saudi arabia's been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable. we are going to see they've arrested just for the people at the table, a large number of people having to do with the event that took place in turkey in the consulate, the saudi consulate. and it's a big first step. it's only a first step, but it's a big first step. >> leading off our discussion now josh, national political reporter for nbc news. also joining us ambassador robert jordan, former u.s. ambassador to saudi arabia from 2001 to 2003. and-airmy bash, an msnbc national security analyst and former chief of staff at the cia and defense department. i want to get your reaction first to the saudi statement today. >> lawrence, i hardly know what
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to say. if it weren't so tragic i would recall the famous words of sergeant schultz, i know-nothing, i'm not here. it's absolutely astonishing that they would come up with this incredibly lame story. i think if it was probably a fight, i think it was jamal khashoggi fighting for his life as they were chopping off his fingers. but that's as closest to a fight i could imagine. it is absolutely outlandish. it's just astonishing they have come up with this. >> ambassador, you served as george w. bush's ambassador to saudi arabia, you were thereafter 9/11 until 2003. if president trump had asked you to return to saudi arabia as an ambassador, if you were ambassador there tonight what would you have said today in saudi arabia? >> well, first thing i would say to president trump would be our ally in this is the kingdom of saudi arabia is not mohammed bin
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salman, and i think you need to depersonalize this. we definitely need an alliance with a country like saudi arabia in the midst of a very rough neighborhood in the middle east. but i would caution him against blindly listening to anything these people say. i'll give you an example. when i arrived in saudi arabia after 9/11 one of the first things i did was to go to prince salaman, then prince now king salaman, and i asked him how could the hijacketers on 9/11 be saudis, and he said these were no saudis whatsoever, this was the no-saud plot. and it made me realize you can't take at face value any repation th they make. thankfully we had more cooperative heads who worked
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with us at the time. this king salman was out of space then and i think this administration is out of space now. >> let's listen to the president tonight when he was asked the question do you consider this explanation by the saudis to be credible. let's listen to this. >> do you consider it credible, their explanation? >> i do. again, it's early. we haven't finished early review or investigation, but i think it's a very important first step. and it happened sooner than people thought it would happen. >> jeremy bash, donald trump saying he takes that written statement to be credible. there are so many things to take apart in it, but one thing that's kind of special for trump is he and his republican friends have spent years screaming about sharia law, screaming about the kind of courts that they have in saudi arabia. and saudi arabia says at the end of that statement, which donald trump now finds credible is that
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their competent courts are going to take care of this. >> lawrence, i don't think we are any closer to the truth tonight. and i think the united states has to conduct its own investigation of what happened, and i think we have to rely on our investigative authorities but also our intelligence and our intelligence community. and the truth will come out because the congress of the united states as part of its oversight of intelligence will ask the intelligence community including our main agencies what do we know about what happened? what do we know about this story that's being put forth tonight? what's fact, what's fiction? and i think the congress in short order is going to well understand a lot more than we are being told at this hour. >> i want to go to one more thing that the president said tonight because there is this just affection about the setting he was in tonight, sitting there with defense contractors, the defense contractors who contributed to his campaign. the defense contractors who
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wanted to do business with saudi arabia no matter who they kill, no matter who they behead, no matter who they torker. they're ready to do business with them, and so is trump. let's listen to what he said about continuing to do business with saudi arabia. >> in defense we have $110 billion. i would say almost 100% of it would be sitting around this table. by the way, we're going to take $25 billion worth of sales from you because that would mean a lot of jobs and everything. i've been working on this with congress. congress is very interested on this one. i would prefer we don't use as retribution canceling $110 billion worth of work. >> josh letterman, in other words he would prefer there be no retribution whatsoever, no price for saudi arabia to pay for this. >> the president was forthcoming about this even before the
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saudis came out with their explanation. he said he didn't want to take that step. here's what's so alarming about what we learned today, lawrence. let's say for the sake of argument assume that everything the saudis said tonight is the honest truth. we're all talking ability how incredilous the story is, but let's say it's true for a second. that means the saudis by their own admission had their intelligence service send a team into a foreign country, into a consulate to lay in wait for one of their own citizens to conduct an extraordinary rendition, got in a fight with them, killed him and then conducted a cover-up to dispose of the body in some type of undisclosed fashion while the saudi government continued to tell the world for 17 days that he was alive and had left the consulate. none of that is even remotely acceptable behavior by international standards, even if what the saudis are saying tonight were true. >> ambassador jordan, would you expect for saudi arabia to have anything that would resemble a
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public trial, a public airing of evidence against the people they're currently detaining? >> no, absolutely not. it would be conducted in secret. there may be a sentence handed down, perhaps even a death sentence and then it wouldn't surprise me a year or two later after they stay on death row you quietly hear of a pardon, clemency granted perhaps by ramadan by the keing. >> jamal khashoggi's editor at "the washington post" tonight tweeted this. she said khashoggi was a 60-year-old man. what sort of equal fight would he have had against 15 other men, and who brings a bone saw to a discussion? the stupidity of the saudi explanation is mind-boggling, and jeremy bash, that stupidity donald trump has said tonight he finds believable. >> and the big question, lawrence, really is whether the u.s.-saudi relationship -- because although obviously
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mohammed bin salman bears sort of personal responsibility at this hour for what is happening in the kingdom and for how the kingdom is communicating with the world, there is no alternative to mohammed bin salman, it's not like the united states can snap its fingers and say we want somebody else in that vital role as leading that country as the heir apparent to a king. so there really is nobody else. so the united states is going to have to decide over the next months and years how and weather in which to rely on saudi arabia to pursue american interests, to be a counterweight to iran, to be a counterweight to al-qaeda and isis, to be involved in diplomacy involving syria, involving other areas of the middle east that are vital to our interests. i think we're going to have to work with saudi arabia, but we're going to have to figure out a new way of doing so after this incident. >> we're hearing as we have in the past noises from congress
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members objecting, but it's hard to believe there are any congress members in the house and senate who would actually conduct hearings of any kind of investigation of any part of this as long as the republicans have that power. >> it's a good question. there are two senators who are on the republican side who have been pretty outspoken about this in the run up to this evening. that would be marco rubio and lindsey graham. and they have really pushed for a hard line, a hard response. there has been discussions about things like trying to block any future arms sales, cutting off discussions with the saudis about a civilian nuclear agreement, what's known as a one, two, three agreement and other steps to try to create some distance from this. but certainly if the president heading into an election is talking about the jobs and money coming into this country as a result of this massive saudi arms deals, it is difficult to see how republicans en masse try to oppose him on that and don't
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essentially go along with essentially maintaining some version of the status quo. >> thank you all for starting this important discussion tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. and when we come back after this break, we have more breaking news. today the justice department issued its first criminal charge against a russian for interference in our current election. the 2018 election that's happening right now. and later, why the houston chronicle, which endorsed ted cruz in 2012 says it's time to get rid of ted cruz and bring in senator beto o'rourke. an editor from the houston chronicle will join us. mechanic: midas has all the top brands of tires. king: yes! indeed. take these michelin tires for example... king: or these goodyear tires over here!
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simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. in this election year, 2018, donald trump has continued to tell the lie that we have nothing to worry about when it comes to the possibility of russia continuing to interfere in our current 2018 election. >> is russia still targeting the u.s., mr. president? >> let's go. make your way out. >> today the trump administration office of the director of national intelligence warned that it is very concerned about, quote, ongoing campaigns by russia to interfere with this year's election and the next presidential election. and just as the trump administration director of national intelligence was making that announcement the trump administration department of justice announced charges against a russian for conspiracy
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to defraud the united states by interfering with this year's election. it is the first criminal charge by the justice department against a russian for interference in this year's elections. prosecutors say that elena -- that's the best i can do on that particular reading waged, quote, information warfare against the united states of america. according to the criminal complaint russia continues using fake accounts on social media to quote, sew division and discord in the u.s. political system including by creating social and political polarization, undermining faith in democratic institutions and influencing u.s. elections including the upcoming 2018 mid-term election. these federal criminal charges were not brought by special prosecutor robert mueller who has been investigating russian interference in the 2016 election. the case is being handled by the cyber division of the u.s. attorney's office in the eastern
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district of virginia and the justice department national security division's counter intelligence and expert control section. the woman in charge is believed to be in russia now, and so has not been apprehended by u.s. authorities. prosecutors say she been acting as the chief accountant for the criminal operation intended to interfere in our election, and the operation was funded by a close oligarch of vladimir putin. no comment today on the criminal charges, just no comment. when the president of the united states was asked about the criminal charges he threw back a bunch of words at the reporter who asked the question including the words hillary clinton, but all of those words amounted to simply i don't care. >> the justice department unleashed an indictment of a russian national accused of
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trying to influence of election of 2018. >> it had nothing to do with my campaign. if the hackers, a lot of them probably like hillary clinton better than me. now they do. now they do. but, you know, they go after some hacker in russia, and say, oh, it had nothing to do with my campaign. i've already said it. >> joining us now ken delaney, intelligence and national security reporter for nbc news, and david cornyn, washington bureau chief for david jones. you've been studying this closer than most of us. the president continues to deny that there's any problem, certainly no ongoing problem with the russians interfering in our election. but the trump administration still seems to be doing the work of going after the russians interfering. >> what was stunning about this
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criminal complaint -- it's not officially an indictment -- that was released today, 38 pages, was the level of detail about the russian attack on the united states. this is the same conspiracy, the same scheme that attacked the united states in 2016. this woman is an accountant from the organization, from the businesses that funded that work. but what was really i think the significant aspect of the criminal complaint was it said this is continuing today. so the same operation that was in place in 2016 and shaped and influenced the elections in a way that benefitted trump that was designed to benefit trump according to our intelligence community, is still ongoing. and as the complaint said, continues to this day and is aimed at the 2018 mid-term elections. this is like hear and fire type of stuff. too bad it was on a friday afternoon, but it really should
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setoff fires and alarm bells, anything that they were at in 2016 and at it again in the mid-terms. you see the president's response. let's see if anybody on the republican side in congress gives a damn about this. i'm not sure i'd take that bet. >> ken dilanian, what do we make of the fact this is not a robert mueller prosecution? >> i think this is part of a larger justice department strategy to go after this election, to expose it to the world. prosecution is a tool here, but not a substitute to take on this stuff, and we're not seeing that at all. donald trump is benefitting from this russian information warfare operation. very clear. it's been going on since 2014. we didn't know about it back then. we know about it now. and other parts of his government are doing as far as we can tell very little about it. the justice department has decided they're going to bring criminal charges, and they've released a lot of detailed
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intelligence information in this indictment. they're showing the russians they're in their networks, this is nsa hacking exposed here in this indictment. but this woman is never going to face criminal charges, and right now we have very little defense against this manipulation of american public opinion. >> and david cornyn, one of the things they've uncovered, of course, is in the russian invasion of political discourse this season is one of the things they're doing on social media is attacking robert mueller. >> yes. the justice department in its press release tried to play this even and said there was no real ideological vent to what the russians were doing. they attack russians, attack republicans. but all the examples in the republican complaint say they're really out there to help the far right, and that includes dissing the mueller investigation.
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yes, there are a few accounts, a few twitter accounts that say a few things in keeping the liberal response. but again and again it's attacking republicans and democrats who don't support trump and also attacking robert mueller. it's clear they want to help trump as we get into the mid-term elections. >> and can the -- what about the fact that the justice department ran this one in kind of the place where this kind of investigation would have occurred if there had never been a special roskurtprosecutor's o. >> well, i think that's good news the justice department is actually attacking this. let's not forget exactly what we were talking about here. this was a $35 million operation, incredibly sophisticated. these are people in st. petersburg, russia, and they had a very sophisticated understanding of american politics, where the fault lines, nfl protesters, lgbt rights, gun rights. and we're already divided. they're just throwing a match on
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dry tinder here, and it's very effe effective. and i'm not sure we have any defense for it at this moment. >> the woman is apparently in russia. so there's not going to be extradition. we're probably not going to get to a trial in this. so what was their point in putting this out today? >> so send a message to the russians they have exposed this conduct and build public awareness about it, and frankly we're not sure why do they charge only her and not other people? does she have a villa somewhere where she cannot travel to a country where the fbi can snatch her. there's somewhat of a penalty to be paid here, but also a naming and shaming kind of thing but also to build public awareness so people can see what the russians are doing. >> ken dilanian, thank you for joining us in this discussion. and when we come back is there anything that republican elected officials fear more than democracy? in-laws were coming, a little bit of water, it really- it rocked our world.
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elected republicans in america from the president on down obviously fear democracy. they fear the will of the voters, and so they try to prevent voters from voting. that is their top campaign strategy, stop democracy. dodge city, kansas, has 27,000 residents, 60% of whom are hispanic. and now dodge city has zero places to vote. that is zero polling locs inati in a city of 27,000 people.
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local officials have moved the polling place outside of city limits to a location that is more than a mile from the nearest bus stop. slate is reporting that the office of the secretary of state says there is nothing unusual or discriminatory about the relocation of the site. it is unusual that the person in charge of running elections is actually running in the election for governor and losing in kansas, a state that donald trump won by 21 opponents. secretary of state chris kobach is trailing by one point at this point, and that is of course a tie, statistical tie. democratic challengener laura kelly is astonished that could be a tie at this point. "the new york times" reported today that the democratic party of georgia is receiving more
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than 300 calls a day to their voter protection hot line. today florida attorney general eric holder tweeted, republicans keeping people away from the polls in north dakota, georgia, and now kansas. they are afraid of the people they claim they want to represent. joining our discussion now the executive director of the indivisible project and david corn is back with us. and it feel like we have never seen anything like this. we have never seen it this bad since the early 1960s before the voting rights act. >> craw, lawrence, look, you are absolutely right. they are terrified of democracy. and they're terrified they're going to lose if they play fairly. this is why we see them purging black voters in georgia. we see them preventing native-american voters from voting in north dakota and young voters in texas. these are states they've got to win. and instead of adapting to an
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increasingly young electorate, they're trying to prevent these voters from getting to the voting booths. i don't want people to think the whole system is rigged, the fact of the matter is we've had primary elections, off-year elections, local elections for the last 20 months and we've seen 6, 9, 12-point swings against trump supporting republicans despite all the dirty tricks. so it is possible to win, but it's not going to happen automatically. it's only going to happen if we put in the work, if we canvas, phone bank, if we text bank. and that's i'm seeing individual groups across the country do. >> and david corn, what democrats are seeing are there are new challenges every day about how to enable people to vote. now presumably in kansas they're going to have to come up with some sort of transportation system to get people to that single polling place. >> you know, we can put this in the grand historical sweep.
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for 153 years, ever since the end of the civil war it's been the top agenda of racists in the south and elsewhere to try to stop african-americans from voting. and we've seen it again and again and again. now they're a little bit more subtle than they used to be. but still what dodge city is doing by not having a single voting place within the town limits, not a single voting place that anyone can even walk to or ride a bike to, putting outside, that's about as transparent as it gets. what they did in north dakota when they said unless you have a street address you can't vote, well, if you're a native-american living on a reservation, and we know the history there, well, you don't always have a street address. so right away thousands of native-american citizens are not allowed to vote. these are not subtle thing. and when you have the secretary of the state -- secretaries of state, and where is it in
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georgia, ohio, and kansas, all involved in these controversies, and many of them running for office themselves, you know, it does get rigged. and i think the way that -- what ezra said is right. people can't let that put them off, but people need to get back. and what's the best way to fight back? by figuring out how to get to the voting place. >> reporting that in a single day more than half a million people, 8% of georgia's registered voters were cut from the voter rolls for an estimated 107,000 of those people their removal from the voter rolls was triggered not because they moved or died or went to prison but rather because they decided not to vote in prior elections. and ezra, that is your right to decide not to vote. and purging those rolls has never been -- it's never happened before that if you miss an election you will surrender your right to vote.
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>> no, it's happening because the republicans in georgia think they might lose, and so they're not playing fair. look, there are great organizations working in georgia and elsewhere to ensure these voters can indeed vote. black lives matter is working in the state and we need to be supporting those groups. look, we can't take this sitting down. we need to get voters to the polls and make sure democracy actually functions because it is a participatory sport. in some cases democracy is literally on the ballot. people are voting for reenfranchising returning citizen. people are voting for automatic voter registration. trying to get not partisan redistricting path. there are places we can vote to protect and expand democracy. and even if it's not on the ballot, even if you're not voting on that specific in the state, there's an opportunity if
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democrats take the house, the state legislators, governorships, they should embrace democracy. there is no reason why in the 21st century we should be operating on 19th century democratic institutions. let's improve democracy. democrats have a political opportunity. and when i travel around the country visiting with groups in tennessee or beaumont, texas, or arizona, what i hear from the individual groups on the ground there is they want these reforms. that's what they want today see their elected officials do when they get into office in january 2019. >> before we go to break, i have a quick word about these stunning polls, a tie in the governor races in georgia and kansas. >> yeah, i mean, but look we have these jergerrymandering
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districts, and they're coming up with these, you know, phony and fraudulent and anti-democratic methods. that's what they have to do. so if it's that close, anything you can do to repress 50,000 votes, 10,000 votes, even 500 votes could make the difference. and that's why they're doing it. >> ezra levine, david corn, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thanks for having me. and up next a very big endorsement in texas for beto o'rourke for united states senate. when you have pain,
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talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ democratic senate candidate beto o'rourke picked up a big endorsement in his texas senate campaign against incumbent republican ted cruz. t"the houston chronicle" endorsd ted cruz when he was elected to the senate six years ago, and now "the houston chronicle" is endorsing ted cruz's opponent, robert francis o'rourke of el paso, texas. texas has not elected a democrat to the united states senate since 1988 when lloyd benson won his last re-election campaign for senate in texas. "the houston chronicle" editorial endorsement of beto o'rourke did not just make the case for o'rourke, it condemned senator ted cruz who they endorsed six years ago.
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ted cruz, a candidate the chronicle endorsed in 2012 is the junior senator from texas in name only, exhibiting little interest in addressing the needs of his fellow texans during his six years in office. for cruz public office is a private quest. the needs of his constituents are secondary. the editorial quoted former republican house speaker john boehner when he described ted cruz as, quote, lucifer in the flesh. the chronicle's editorial board said, quote, we enthusiastically endorse beto o'rourke for u.s. senate. the west texas congressman's command of the issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence, and his eagerness to reach out to all texans make him one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years. imagine how refreshing it would be to have a u.s. senator who not only knows the issues but respects the opposition, who
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takes firm positions but reaches out to those who disagree, who expects to make government work for texas and for the nation. beto o'rourke we believe is that senator. after a break we'll be joined by one of the editors of "the houston chronicle" who joined in that editorial endorsement of beto o'rourke. than psoriatic arthritis. as you and your rheumatologist consider treatments, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once daily pill for psoriatic arthritis. taken with methotrexate or similar medicines, it can reduce joint pain... ...swelling and significantly improve physical function. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests, and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests.
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we've hadfor a long in san francisco and half-measures haven't fixed it. homelessness doesn't just hurt homeless people. it hurts all of us. that's why we're all voting "yes" on c. the plan is paid for by corporations that just got a massive tax break. it's time for them to give back by helping all of us to fix our homeless crisis. with more affordable housing... expanded mental-health services... clean restrooms and safe shelters. vote "yes" on c. it helps all of us. so how about some of your opinions on some of the other people running for the highest office in the land? how about ted cruz?
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>> lucifer in the flesh. >> in washington i have as many democratic friends as i have republican friends. i get along with almost everybody. but i have never worked with a more miserable son of a [ bleep ] in my life. >> joining us now the deputy editor of "the houston chronicle." and this editorial is extraordinary to me for a couple of reasons. one, you're the same newspaper that endorsed ted cruz for the united states senate six years ago. i don't think i've ever read more disappointment by an endorsing newspaper in the officeholder who they endorsed. >> well, the whole process really was guided by something that k. billy hutcherson told us in 2012 as the outgoing senator,
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that being a senator is like a parent, there's always something you have to deal with. and if you're dealing with state like kentucky, idaho, you can go on ideological crusades, has to. like the parent of a teenager, we're not mad at ted cruz but we are disappointed. >> on the positive side, when you were talking about beto o'rourke, this -- you're making the case that even for voters who disagree with beto o'rourke, their state will get better representation by him. >> beto has this incredible ability to go out to places where politicians haven't gone in years. he actually went and saw all 254 counties in texas and he listens to people and creates sparks of civic engagements where folks who never really talked to each other but live in the same neighborhoods discuss what they want the public to be like and what they want their government to be like and he goes and listens and brings that up to
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washington and i think that's something they'll benefit people no matter where you are on the political spectrum. >> when you're looking at senator cruz and considering how he failed the state, what would you say were the principle ways in which ted cruz made it impossible for you to endorse him? >> senator cruz is incredibly smart, he's a smart man, he's ambitious and he has political skill and we saw him use that in 2013 when he shut down the senate over obamacare but we get frustrated and a little disappointed when it comes time to work for texas. for example, after hurricane harvey we were having difficulty getting a recovery bill through the house and senate and we called on him, do what you did before, shut down the senate and help us out, bring attention to this cause and he didn't do that, he fights for himself, he doesn't fight for texas. >> we're going to be joined by
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ezra levin who is in our previous segment, a texas native. ezra, one of the things the editorial acknowledged is that beto o'rourke is running behind ted cruz in the polls and that it's possible that the "houston chronicle" is not picking a win they are time. but what is your reading of what would need to happen on the ground for the o'rourke campaign to win? >> lawrence, you said it earlier, i was three years old when texas elected the last democratic senator in 1988, so it's a tough state for democrats. that said, the campaign that beto has been running has been absolutely incredible. indivisible did a big launch 100 days before the election for our electoral work, we're working with groups all over the country to run canvasses and phone banks and i did a road trip visiting with groups who were working to elect beto who is an endorsed candidate for indivisible.
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i was in beaumont, texas, on friday night with groups of people that were doing what evan just described. it was a burst of civic engagement, people who never met each other but were coming together to get beto o'rourke elected. that saturday morning i drove to wimberley, texas, not exactly a bright blue to the. so many people turned out for beto that we ran out of doors to knock on. and one of the interesting things we're seeing in texas and the "houston chronicle" highlighted this as well. yes, beto is lighting the political system on fire but it's not just him. there are a lot of impressive congressional candidates, julie oliver and many other congressional candidates who are running honest positive campaigns in this really negative dark political climate and they're attracting a ton of volunteers so the answer to your question, what will it take to win? a lot of work, doing that canvassing, doing phone banking,
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doing texting so anybody who would like to see this supposed blue wave that's coming, it's not coming, it's being built drop by develop. if you want to be part of, that we have three weekends left, sign up and find out where you're knocking on doors. this has become personal for me. my family is based in texas, they're not politically active, they haven't done this campaign work before and my sister is leading a canvas for beto in houston. so if she can do it, everybody watching, you can do it, too. >> evan, as you know, the latest polls, cnn of registered voters in texas shows a five-point gap between them. >> seven-point gap when you go to likely voters. what has been the reaction so far to the paper endorsing beto o'rourke? >> there's been a lot of excitement. a lot of traffic on our web site and some traffic in the air. someone flew a plane over our building with a big banner that said "no beto, no to socialism"
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which is interesting because i'm pretty sure he's not a socialist. there are socialists on the ballot. there's a socialist judge in harris county and there's good other judges in harris county, republicans, democrats, and i want to take this opportunity to implore people, please, read the endorsements, don't vote straight ticket, vote for quality judges no matter whatever party they're in. if we knock out these incredible jurists, that hurts everyone. >> it's a well-written and well-considered editorial both on the cruz side and on the o'rourke side. it's worth reading. even mintz, thank you very much for joining us. ezra levin, thank you also for joining us. tonight's last word is next. that's why capital one is building something completely different. capital one cafés. welcoming places with people here to help you, not sell you. with savings and checking accounts with no fees or minimums. that are easy to open from right here
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time for tonight's last word. >> this is a guy you love? >> i know all these things. i'm not a baby. >> yes, okay, he's not a baby. because a baby wets his own bed. [ audience reacts ] [ cheers and applause ] alleged allegedly. >> this week started with donald trump saying "i'm not a baby" on "60 minutes" and the week is ending with this trump baby
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floating over downtown los angeles marking the spot where politicon is convening tomorrow and i need that baby plimp to show where where i have to go when i head down there tomorrow. that's tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, what we know about this active and on going threat, a clear and present danger to a democratic society and what the president has to say about it. also breaking, saudi arabia finally confirms jamal khashoggi has died inside their consulate in turkey. 18 saudis are in custody and now all eyes on this man, the crown prince. and paul manafort shows up to court in a wheelchair as