tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 6, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
ezla. show more of you. ♪ one thing to keep an eye on in tomorrow's news, early in the day i mentioned the charleston, south carolina massacre earlier on this show this hour, the place where a young white supremacist killed nine mostly elderly worshippers at the mother emanuel church in charleston, south carolina. tomorrow morning early in the day, i believe in midmorning, there's going to be a speech made at that church by democratic presidential candidate cory booker. obviously this is a fraught and important time for everybody in national politics, but for senator booker, one of the african-american candidates running on the democratic side, speaking tomorrow from that hollowed ground. it should be a dramatic and important moment. so keep an eye out for that earlier in the day. we'll see you tomorrow night. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. so much to comment on in your last hour.
one thing i want to begin with is the civil rights law that enabled a lot of lawsuits you were talking about, in fact all of the lawsuits you were talking about at the beginning of your show against racist groups, comes under a heading of civil rights law in which the plaintiffs' attorneys, these private attorneys who are bringing those cases are referred to as private attorneys general. and that goes directly to your point about how what do you do if the william barr justice department, if the justice department doesn't take the action? and congress was anticipating that by creating what they -- through these laws what they call private attorneys general. >> i did not know that, and that makes absolute sense given the way we've seen those laws work in practice and the kinds of wrongs that they tried to redress. thank you, my friend. i did not know that at all. >> rachel, one other thing, connie schultz, that interview with connie schultz where she's talking about the ohio
republican mike turner -- i was taking notes on this. possibly coming over the line supporting some gun legislation, including possibly the restriction on sale of assault weapons. >> yeah. >> and she said "whatever gets them here, welcome." those were her words when she was saying, you know, a lot of people are going to criticize republicans who make any kind of step like that and say it's too late, where were you, you should have done this before this happened, but her words "whatever gets them here, welcome," that is exactly what you live by -- >> yeah. >> -- if you actually do legislation do a living. when i was working in the senate, that is exactly the way i felt. there were republicans, sometimes there were democrats who absolutely were never, never on the side i was working on on democratic legislation, but every once in awhile they would come over and you just embrace them when they do.
>> yeah, and that's -- that means keeping your eyes on the horizon, you know what i mean? that means not getting so caught up in whatever your grudges or petty dramas or your day-to-day stuff is because you've got something to get done and you're going to get there by whatever means you need to get there. and i also think that connie schultz is just a wise person. >> mmm-hmm. >> she's a pulitzer prize winning columnist. she's a leader in her own field. i think that when a lot of people were talking about sherrod brown being an attractive candidate potentially for the democrats for president this year, a lot of what people had in mind when saying that was, wow, wouldn't it be amazing for connie schultz to be the first lady of the united states if her husband chose to run? some of that is the moral leadership she's shown. she opened my eyes with the way she approached that. that leadership is not only smart, it's soulful. >> a great hour. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thanks, rachel. >> thanks. well, we must call the el
paso shooting what it is, trump-inspired terrorism. i didn't say that, those are the words of professor david shanzer. he is the director of the center on terrorism and homeland security at duke university. he's a former high-ranking staff member in the house homeland security committee. and professor shanzer says "it is staggering to imagine how much more violence this president may motivate." professor shanzer will join us at the end of this hour tonight. we'll also be joined tonight by congressman adam schiff, the chairman of the house intelligence committee. congressman schiff told his california constituents yesterday that he blames republican opposition to every form of gun regulation on what congressman schiff says is, "a contagion of cowardice in the congress." we begin here tonight with the words of another member of congress, a freshman. i met her in texas last year when she was running for what
was then beto o'rourke's seat in the house of representatives, representing el paso, and then a year later she joined us here on this program as a member of congress. today, representative veronica escobar tweeted her reaction to. trumps's announced visit to el paso tomorrow. "the white house invited me to join donald trump during his visit to el paso. my response was clear. i requested a phone call with him today in order to share what i have now heard from many constituents, including some who are victims of saturday's attack. i was told that donald trump is too busy to have that conversation. i declined the invitation because i refuse to be an accessory to his visit. i refuse to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words and actions have caused our community and country. tomorrow i will again be spending time with fellow el pasoans who are dealing with the pain and horror left in the wake
of this act of domestic terrorism fueled by hate and racism." congresswoman escobar explained what she would have told the president in the phone call that never happened. "my message would have been that he needs to understand that his words are powerful and have consequences. using racist language to describe mexicans, immigrants and other minorities dehumanize us. those words inflame others. donald trump is going to el paso while he still owes the city of el paso over $500,000 from his last visit to el paso. that is money that el paso needs now more than ever for police overtime and all sorts of costs. "the texas tribune" reports that according to the communications manager for the el paso city manager's office, the president has an outstanding bill of $569,204.63 for police and public safety services associated with a february campaign rally in el paso.
and that was one of the many rally speeches in which the president used the very same language about people trying to enter the country at the southern border that the el paso mass murderer used for those people in his written manifesto before he killed them. here's part of the president's speech in el paso about the people seeking entry at our southern border. >> murders. murders. murders. killings. murders. we will. we will. >> the mayor of el paso said that he would meet with the president tomorrow in his official capacity as mayor. mayor dean margo said that he
would ask the president, "to support our efforts with any and all federal resources that are available." the last time donald trump went to el paso, the mayor called donald trump's comments untrue. last night mayor margo said this. >> i will continue to challenge any harmful and inaccurate statements made about el paso. we will not allow anyone to portrayal el paso in a manner that is not consistent with our history and values. >> tonight on this network, congresswoman escobar told chris hayes that even people suffering from their wounds in the hospital in el paso that she's been visiting have made the effort to tell her that they do not want donald trump to come to el paso. >> this community is full of hope and resilience and beauty, but the other thing that i heard, chris, totally unsolicited from victims still in the hospital as they'd grab
my arm and tell me, "tell him not to come here." >> an open letter to donald trump from organizations and individuals in el paso insists that he should not come to el paso. the letter says, "dear president trump, we send you this letter in the hope that in the aftermath of this heinous crime you will not come to el paso, our home. your presence would bring no comfort, no respite from the pain so brutally and callously imposed upon us. we ask instead for your absence. we say this because we recognize that it is your rhetoric and your actions that led us to this terrible moment. this shooter was inspired by your words and your attitudes. given this history of hate on your part, we ask that you stay away. in the meantime, we will lament this loss, the 22 dead and 24 wounded, our mothers and fathers, neighbors and friends
without you. we must insist you are not welcome here." leading off our discussion now is one of the signatories of that letter, jj martinez. he is a member of the el paso young democrats. also with us tonight in el paso, richard parker. he is the author of "lone star nation: how texas will transform america" and maria teresa cow kumar. i want to start with you in an op-ed piece in "the new york times" about this event in the aftermath of it, you wrote, "we have invaded nothing. we were already here." please explain that to our audience. >> well, it's exactly that. i am the son of a mexican immigrant who is now a citizen of the united states and an american father. my mother's family has come back -- has come to -- through texas
and back to mexico many times. my late great uncle enlisted in the united states navy during world war ii and lost his life as a mexican citizen fighting for this country. so the idea that there's any kind of invasion going on is farcical. the president has said this over 60 times. obviously it's a core component of his re-election strategy. and he shows no signs whatsoever of backing off of this horrible untruth, which is not just aimed at el paso but all 60 million latinos in this country. >> and richard, the land you're standing on there is called el paso, has a spanish place name, as do places in california because it was not part of the united states when these places got their names. >> all of this territory that you're talking about from the gulf of mexico to the pacific ocean was part of new spain, beginning in around 1690, and
populated by people who came from mexico at the time who were both european and of indigenous backgrounds. and to this very day the linkages whether they're economic or social or cultural are strongly wedded to mexico and to latin america. that has -- that was the root of my father's career. the reason he came here is the reason there are 2.3 million people in this larger metropolitan area. so this fantasy that the president has purposefully fed people, which has poisoned our political discourse in a way i've never expected in my entire lifetime, is not only farcical, but as i said it is an insult to latinos everywhere from los angeles to anywhere, from stone to seattle. >> jj martinez, what -- why did you sign that letter asking the president not to come and what has been the reaction to it in el paso?
>> of course, thank you for having me on, lawrence. first, let me say, i don't understand, lawrence, how a man who has called the people who make up this binational community, calmed mexican immigrants rapists, drug dealers, has called us breeders, who at a campaign rally laughed at the idea of shooting a people coming over. i also don't understand how a man who owes the city of el paso over $500,000 for his last visit and prides himself with supporting white nationalists like stephen miller, i don't understand how that man hopes to come to this city that he so often insults and hopes to comfort us. it's something that, unfortunately, we have to experience. i don't think anybody would have imagined that we would have to be asking the sitting president of the united states not to come after such a horrendous shooting, but it is the words of this president, like my congresswoman has said, that make it -- that we do not want him here. that until he apologizes for that hateful rhetoric, that
racist and white supremacists use, he should not come. we need time to heal and we need to heal as a community. we need words of love, not words of hate. >> maria teresa, what do you expect to see tomorrow when the president goes to el paso? >> so, lawrence, i have family in el paso and i spend a lot of time mostly recently, and i have to say to really underscore that this is the safest city in america. it is 85% latino. and we keep failing to recognize that a white supremacist attack on this city was second largest only to oklahoma city. this was a massacre of the latino community, and the president coming in and trying to create a farce that he cares is really hard to swallow. he started his campaign in the latino community. tried to create a swath of individuals, calling us criminals. yes, he said mexican immigrants, but everybody in the latin american community knew what he was talking about. we heard that dog whistle. he also has policies of caging
children. denaturalization task force for naturalized citizens. so it is not just his rhetoric but -- that has caused great harm in el paso, but it's also his policies that have caused great harm. and what the shooter did was send a resounding message to american latinos and latinos in immigrant communities everywhere, lawrence, that as a latino in the safest city in the country, if you can get hurt there, all of a sudden we should all be on high alert and that is what is devastating. that our security as people of color, as brown people, as latinos who work hard, who die for this country, who are patriots are all of a sudden now open up for arms. and we need the president to try to be as unifying as possible, but the city -- but el paso, again, i was there just -- just last week. when you would talk to them about politics, they didn't want to engage.
they wanted to have more conversations that were more communal and all of a sudden he has made el paso a place where everybody cannot get away from what is happening now. >> let's listen to what sherrod brown, the ohio democratic senator, says he's going to say to the president because he has decided that he will join with the president when the president visits dayton, ohio tomorrow. let's listen to what he said. >> i want to say to the president, you talk about mental health. if you care about mental health don't cut medicaid, don't repeal the affordable care act, and i'm going to say to the president first how important it is that he call on senator mcconnell, as i did on sunday, he call on senator mcconnell to bring the senate back into session. that the president tell mcconnell to pass the background check bill. and the president promise to the american people and to mcconnell that he will sign that bill. and i'm going to ask the president that. i will, if given a chance, talk to him about the assault weapons ban.
>> jj martinez, is that what you're hoping that your mayor says to president trump in el paso tomorrow? >> well, of course our hearts go out to the people of dayton and i'm thankful for the senator's words, but i do hope that mayor margo does raise those concerns with the president when he comes. i think it's important, lawrence, to say first and foremost he needs to apologize for the racist -- the rhetoric that white supremacists use that he's been spewing since day juan of his presidency. he needs to apologize for that. he needs to tell his supporters that he was wrong. that it stains the office that he now holds and that we do not accept racism or white supremacy in this country. and i agree with the senator that he needs to call mitch mcconnell and tell him that he needs to reconvene the senate and vote on the bipartisan measures that the house had passed. i hope that mayor margo raises those issues with him, and i do hope that mayor margo represents our city, the city that is hurting. we hope that no city has to go through again.
i hope that mayor margo does pick that up with the president tomorrow. >> richard parker, what is the feeling in your hometown this week and tonight? is it the feeling of a wake and a funeral, a large collective wake and funeral? >> well, in my talking to people around the city, what i have uncovered, at least from my perspective, is there is some fear. for the first time in my life in my hometown when i walk out of an establishment somebody would say, stay safe. it was a phrase i've never heard practically anywhere, but certainly here. so there's a certain amount of fear. there is a certain amount of anger, frankly. i think it is directed at the fact that the -- this was a political attack on one of the largest ethnic groups in our country, and there's no question about that. this is not about video game boston and mental health issues, which have become the new
thoughts and prayers, frankly, of the republican party. but there is a great deal of anxiety now, too. as in any one of these cases, this is my third to cover i think, we've had three in texas in a couple of years. there's a lot of anxiety. and it's not so much about one's personal safety, though that exists, it's really about the state of affairs in this country. i interviewed a 62-year-old woman yesterday and she had a mix of emotions, like anybody who is grieving, she too lost a friend in the massacre. but beneath the fear and beneath the anxiety, beneath the anger, i should say, was the anxiety. and it's hard for me to imagine, i think as jj said, that the president's visit here is going to help that. unless he's willing to renounce white supremacist ideology, which is at the very core of his campaign for re-election, and, frankly, it's been at the core of his presidency, let face it. nothing's going to change.
here because of his visit. in fact, the only thing that will happen is that it will -- could well be and understandably construed as rubbing salt in the wound. >> richard parker, jj martinez and maria teresa kumar, i am very sorry that you are joining us tonight on this subject, but i greatly appreciate your guidance through it. it is very important for us to be able to hear from you. and richard and jj, i'm very, very sorry for what has happened this week in your hometown and what it means for you to try to get through this week. we really appreciate you joining us. thank you very much. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you. >> thank you, lawrence. and when we come back, former san antonio, texas mayor julian castro will join us. he is now a democratic candidate for president. and later, house intelligence chair adam schiff will join us to discuss the growing threat of white supremist terrorism in the united states. [leaf blower]
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that there is an invasion at our southern border. >> it's an invasion of our country. >> we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people. >> i don't care what the fake media says, that's an invasion of our country. >> we have right now an invasion. if you look at what's going on with the caravans, it's an invasion. >> stop this onslaught, this invasion into our country. >> people hate the word invasion, but that's what it is. >> "the new york times" reports that since january mr. trump's re-election campaign has posted more than 2,000 ads on facebook that include the word invasion, part of a barrage of advertising focused on immigration. according to data obtained by "the new york times," the trump campaign had one of its biggest expenditures on facebook ads about immigration last week just before the el paso massacre. and surely the el paso mass murderer noticed when one or more trump supporters at a trump rally in florida yelled the solution to the invasion was to "shoot them."
the president clearly heard his devoted supporters yell "shoot them," and the president smiled. the president didn't say don't shoot them, the president welcomed the comment. everything about the president's reaction to one of his voters saying "shoot them" indicated the president approved of the idea. the president actually offered his audience the strategic advice to not try to get away with saying "shoot them" unless they're in a place like the florida panhandle. the president's exact words were, "that's only in the panhandle you can get away with that statement." now, i'm not going to show you that video tonight because in this mourning period it is just too profoundly ugly and hateful to watch. and i'm sure most of you remember it, and i am very sure that the el paso mass murderer remembers exactly what the president said about shooting them. joining our discussion now is
julian castro, democratic presidential candidate. he was secretary of housing and urban development in the obama administration after serving as mayor of san antonio, texas. secretary castro, your reaction to what has happened in el paso and ohio? >> well, it's sad for our country. and it's especially sad that the leader of our country is stoking the hatred and the bigotry and the division that is prompting people like that shooter to go and specifically search out latinos to kill. this is the climate that we find ourselves in in 2019. and, you know, what else can you say except that that's sad and all of us should be sad. we should also be infuriated, as i know a lot of people are, and now what we need to do as a country is to figure out a way to channel that anger into something that will change
things in our country. common sense gun safety legislation. i was glad to see the folks in ohio chant back and interrupt their governor, telling him to do something. it's also time for congress to actually do something. and then also we need to give the tools to the department of justice that they need so that they can root out this domestic terrorism, whether it's white supremacist terrorism or other types of domestic terrorism. because as you know, the trump administration actually took money away from the agency that does that. and maybe most importantly, i think the best way to channel this anger is for people to register to vote and encourage others to register to vote and actually turn out and vote and vote in leaders at every level who actually believe and have a track record of trying to bring people together instead of tearing people apart. those are the things that we can do in our country to make things better.
>> i'd like you to listen to three el paso residents, three teenagers. this is on sunday at a vigil. they're speaking to chris jansing. let's listen to what they have to say and then i'd like you to speak to them. >> to see that our city has been attacked by an outsider was just so hurtful and full of hate. >> i'm having to, like, realize that racism is so alive and strong that people are willing to kill us for it. i never had to come to terms with my own mortality for being hispanic. >> we're supposed to be one of the best countries in the world, and this is still happening? >> the 17-year-old girl saying "i never had to come to terms with my own mortality for being hispanic." >> you know, i have a 10-year-old daughter and i want her to grow up in a country where she can be proud of who she is and comfortable in her
own brown skin and know that she is as every bit american as anybody else, and i think about my own family, you know, on my dad's side they got here around 1900 on and on my mother's side in 1922. that you've had generations of latinos that have been part of defending our country in war, you know, building up our nation in every single way that you can, and for a president now to base his entire political strategy on turning the latino community and especially recent immigrants into the other, into the danger toward america, it doesn't belong in this country, he doesn't belong as president and, you know, that's one of the reasons i know that i'm running to replace him, and i bet that a lot of other people who are in this race feel the same way. >> secretary julian castro, thank you for joining us on this difficult night. really appreciate it. >> good to be with you. and when we come back, the chairman of the house
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there has been a contagion of cowardice in congress. that's what california congressman adam schiff told his constituents in pasadena yesterday in a meeting about gun violence. in his "new york times" column today, paul krugman noted, "republicans have blocked any effective control over sales of assault weapon." at the end of that column, paul krugman -- in effect then, the republican party decided that a few massacres were an acceptable price to pay in return for tax cuts. i wish that were hyperbole. but the continuing refusal gop figures to criticize trump even after el paso shows that it's the literal truth. joining our discussion now is democratic congressman adam
schiff of california. he is the chairman of the house intelligence committee. mr. chairman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. talk about what you identified as the contagion of cowardice. how does that express itself in the congress and what are the results? >> well, i think we've always known that courage is contiguous but we're also seeing that so is cowardice. there are any number of my gop colleagues who will express their private misgivings about the president, about how divisive he is, about how he's tearing down our institutions, but they refuse to speak out about it, they refuse to vote in a way that would put a check on the president. this goes to his racist bile. this goes to common sense gun safety legislation. i mean, the gop members of congress understand just as the democrats do it makes no sense to have a system where you can go into a gun store and be turned down because you're a
felon and go out and buy that same gun off the back of someone's truck perfectly legally. they understand the same facts that we do, but they're unwilling to speak out. they're unwilling to risk an angry tweet. they're unwilling to risk the ire, not even of the nra members, but the nra leadership. getting a bad grade from the nra. i don't know how to describe that other than a contagion of cowardice. i don't know why they're there, faced with thee tragedies if they're unwilling to do something about it when they know what's right. >> i want to ask you about this as a former prosecutor yourself. what changes in law other than gun regulation, other than banning assault weapons, as california's senior senator was able to do during the 1990s. dianne feinstein got that pushed through. what about in prosecutions of cases like this? >> well, i think we should think about having a domestic terrorism statute that parallels the statute basically that bars international terror, the kind that we're used to thinking about in terms of isis or al qaeda-inspired terror.
not to put this on par, we have about the same people killed since 9/11 in these domestic, often white supremacist oriented hate crimes, but also it gives you the ability to prosecute some of the supporting crimes. the providing material support to terror, which would not be available in a domestic terrorism case. it also i think gives the same priority and stigma to these crimes as any other form of terrorism. in our bill this year, the intelligence authorization act, we demand an annual report on domestic terrorism. we have been working with the agencies, the nctc, department of homeland security, fbi, to find out are they devoting the resources to this? are they looking for the trends? are we thinking about it in the same comprehensive way that we have fought since 9/11 about dealing with the isis and al
qaeda-inspired terror? >> domestically, this is primarily in federal terms an fbi jurisdiction. and we have reports that 80% of the fbi's attention in this arena is focused on the -- the foreign-inspired terrorist not the domestic-inspired terrorist. >> i think that's right, but i think it's changing. and we heard director wray say recently just how many hundreds of domestic terrorism investigations are ongoing right now and what a growing problem this is. but even while we recognize that a lot of this is domestic in the sense these are homegrown terrorists with a homegrown agenda, they're also influenced by overseas like-minded people. the shooter in christchurch was influenced in these dark online chatrooms, the same chatrooms that some of the domestic shooters in the united states have been inspired by. so there is a transnational element in this. in the same way that people have been inspired to act out by isis
propaganda even though they weren't under isis direction. >> so just to clarify for the audience. there are limits to what investigative powers can be used in domestic cases. cia can't be involved. the nsa can't be eavesdropping on conversations, for example. there is a wall there. >> there is. there is. but nonetheless, even though agencies can look at the international dynamic. that is those overseas that are pushing out this kind of white supremacist ideology, which is global in nature. so there is a role even for the intelligence agencies to play, but, you know, many actors line the fbi that have both an international and a domestic terrorist attend and the lawful authority to investigate, they're going to have to place a much higher priority on this. >> can you stay with us after a break? >> of course. >> because i want to ask you more about where the investigations of the president are going and now that a majority of democrats favor impeachment where the -- where impeachment stands in the house. we're going to be right back with chairman adam schiff.
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i think that we will probably get court decisions by the end of october. or maybe shortly thereafter we'll get -- we'll have hearings in september and october with people we don't -- who are not dependent on the witness -- who is not dependent on the court proceedings. and we'll do it through the fall. and if we decide to report articles of impeachment, we could get to that in the late fall -- the late latter part of the year. >> democratic congressman adam schiff is back with us. chairman of the house intelligence committee. what was your reaction to what you heard chairman nadler say there? >> well, i think the reality is the trump administration is trying to draw this out as long as possible to effectively bring about justice, justice denied, justice here being potential impeachment of the president. we just see today actually the justice department weighing in for the first time in the mazers litigation, the accounting litigation that the committee
chaired by elijah cummings is pursuing. basically making the justice department donald trump's law firm. weighing in in a way to support the president's position that is not in the interest of the department of justice or the american people for that matter, but is in the interest of the person of donald trump. what are we going to do to confront that? i think the reality is if the litigation takes too long, that is if they are able to legally string this out too long, we will have to make a judgement about whether to go forward with articles of impeachment even in the absence of being able to bring these witnesses in and obtain these documents because the obstruction of congress itself will have risen to that level. so that's a decision we may have to make this fall. we are already thinking, frankly, of the post-watergate reforms that will come out of this watergate and i think one of them is going to have to be expedited court process when it comes to oversight so that no future president can engage in this kind of delatory.
>> robert mueller could have been fired by the president at any time during the investigation. >> well, i think we're going to have to strengthen that law as well. you're absolutely right. bill barr made it clear in his testimony that in his view the president could have made the mueller investigation go away any time he wanted because he thought it was unfair. which also means that all those investigations the special counsel rolled off to other parts of the department of justice or other u.s. attorneys' offices, presumably the president could make that go away. we're riding shotgun on that. trying to make sure there is no political interference in those cases, but we may be reliant on whistle-blowers to come forward. but she's are the issues we're going to weigh when we get back from the recess. as you mentioned, there are now more than half of our caucus in
favor of at least a formal inquiry. from my own point of view, we are already as far as the law is concerned in a proceeding preliminarily to a potential impeachment. we're already entitled to obtain the grand jury material. whether we go beyond that with a formal vote and impeachment proceeding, our caucus will have to discuss, but we also may reach the point in the fall where we have to decide we just can't take the time to let this play out in the courts because that could take another year and a half. >> and from an evidentiary standpoint, especially as a former prosecutor as you look at it, in the over 400 pages of the mueller report are there pieces there that simply can be lifted directly into articles of impeachment? >> if necessary they could. you know, the mueller report itself is not the evidence. mueller's testimony wasn't the evidence. the evidence really was the
witness testimony that was summarized in that report and the documents that were summarized. that's exactly what we're trying to obtain. if we liken this to a criminal proceeding, i'd like to bring these witnesses before the grand jury and hear what they have to say directly, not rely on the fbi 302 summary of what they had to say. but if we're deprived of that, if the administration games it out and deprives us of the ability to do that then we may have to think about whether the obstruction itself is an offense, an impeachable offense. but what is really at stake here at the end of the day in addition to holding this president accountable is whether future presidents can be held accountable. if this president can show that congress' oversight function is a paper tiger it means that any future president can be as corrupt as they want and preside corrupt as they want and know they can't be held to account. >> chairman adam schiff, thank you for joining us tonight. i appreciate it. >> thank you. up next, trump inspired terrorism. that's what one expert calls the massacre in el paso. that expert, professor david
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in an essay for the guardian entielted we must call the el paso shooting what it is, trump inspired terrorism, professor david schanzer writes while trump does not overtly call for his supporters to use violence to further his agenda, his rhetoric is infuszed with notions of violence and dehumanization. the messages are not lost on people like the el paso shooter. your president shares your view that immigrants and racial minorities are a scourge on america. they are not deserving of the privileges of citizenship and must be denied political power at all costs. they are animals anyway, so the use of violence is permissible. we remain 15 months from the 2020 election.
it's staggering to imagine how much more violence this president may motivate if he continues down this deeply disturbing path. joining our discussion now is professor david schanzer. he is the director of duke university's center on terrorism and homeland security. professor, establish for us what you see as the link between donald trump's rhetoric, donald trump's hate speech, and what happened in el paso. >> you know, lawrence, the way terrorism works, there are a lot of angry people. there are a lot of id logically motivated people out there, but it takes the -- a piling on of grievance, an grievance. in order to take somebody who is angry and politicized and have them mobilized and cross that threshold to violence. i think that's what we've seen in the last couple months with this beating the drum on this whole issue of invasion, but also the comments about the four
members of congress of color, and the rats and the vermin. all of those things are part and parcel of what brings somebody from just being a highly politicized ideological person to a violent person. >> you make the point in your essay about the language of the mass murder in pittsburgh at the synagogue, the language of the mass murder in el paso being trump language. the desperate fear about what they call the invasion at the southern border. >> it's the whole series of these grievances that triggers the deep emotions in people. they say the immigrants are going to harm them economically. he says they're going to take away their security, that they're all criminals, rapists, and then he talks about they're coming into the country.
they're going to vote me out of office. they're going to do all these things to me, and you're going to be under a different rule. you're going to be under minority rule. they're taking away their political power. he piles on one set of grievance after the other. this is what highly ideological terrorist organizations do to get their followers to violence. >> you make a point how much more violence might besee in the next 16 months of the presidential campaign. you say if the president continues with this kind of rhetoric. it's hard to imagine the president using any other kind of rhetoric. this is what he's been using since the day he announced his candidacy. >> you're right about that. i mean, i would certainly plea to him to turn back. he announced his campaign, started his campaign in july, and here we are in august, and
this has happened. i don't think the country can take 15 months of that kind of heightened highly politicized highly racialized rhetoric. and still keep our social fabric together. so i'm desperately hopeful that he'll find it to be not in his political advantage to do that anymore, and those who are contesting him, whether they be candidates or people in the public, need to continue to speak out and call him on that, because this is the inevitable result. >> gregg miller, national security correspondent tweeted today there is deep concern among national security officials experts that trump not only incites the far right with his words and policies but impedes the government's ability to respond. you worked on the homeland security committee in the house of representatives, high ranking staffer on that committee. do you see that in the trump statements, that they actually don't just incite people but
they actually get in the way of the government trying to deal with this? >> well, i have a lot of faith in the integrity of the fbi that they're going to follow the facts and the evidence of where they go. the question is resources and some of your prior guests spoke to that. if you don't have the resources and your people aren't allocated to work on these issues, then you're just not going to be looking at the intelligence, gathering the information, following the leads with as much vigor. it's the government that allocates the resources, even the congress can't really do that so much internally. it's really fbi function, and it's very, very possible that because of trump's ininclinations, resources aren't going to it that need to be. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight, professor. >> thank you for having me. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. tonight at a critical time
in his presidency, trump prepares to fly into potentially hostile territory. two cities hurting and in some cases public officials are asking him, telling him to stay way. and why the feds say they're struggling in the fight against cases public officials are asking him, telling him to stay way. and why the feds say they're struggling in the fight against domestic terrorism. and the whole world is watching. for good measure the u.s. and china are at a place in the trade and currency war where it's starting to hurt. and remembering a giant. a uniquely gorgeous american voice, a nobel prize winning author being remembered for her message as the 11th hour gets underway on a tuesday night. good evening. day 929 of the trump administration on the eve of what could be a difficult day.