tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 11, 2020 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
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thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. if it is, you know, late on a friday night in the late stages of the donald trump administration, then, yes, you guessed it. we've just had a new adventure in the decline and fall of the rule of law. one of the things that has happened tonight, which actually has been squoze out of the headlines a little bit because of all the dramatic things that have happened in the last few hours, is that the president's attorney general has just ousted another federal prosecutor whose office was handling sensitive criminal cases related to the president. this time tonight it's the u.s. attorney in the eastern district of new york. now, if you are the president, and you and your campaign and your inaugural committee and your donors and your lawyers and your campaign staff and your longtime friends and associates keep finding themselves accused of felonies or at least targeted or involved in serious criminal investigations, then if you're the president, the federal
prosecutors you probably most have to worry about are three. number one, the u.s. attorney in washington, d.c. where the nation's capital is, where lots of federal public corruption gets prosecuted, where lots of national security stuff gets handled. second, new york. even if you are not a president from new york whose business is headquartered in new york like this one, if you in your marching order as president often find yourselves adjacent to criminal financial matters, well, the famously independent federal prosecutor's office in new york tends to find a way to take advantage of the fact that new york is the financial capital of the world, and so most crimes that involve money, aka most crimes, sometimes can somehow find their way into new york's federal jurisdiction. and that applies in the first instance to the federal prosecutor's office in the southern district of new york in manhattan. but the eastern district of new york gets its beak wet on cases like that too.
so those are the three federal prosecutor's offices you most have to worry about. s well, over just the last few months, the president's attorney general william barr has systematically decapitated all three of those federal prosecutors' offices, starting first with the prosecutor's office in washington, d.c. he offered the u.s. attorney there a sort of a lateral move pseudo-promotion elsewhere in the trump administration. then while that was pending, he went ahead and installed all his own guys in her office to take over and bigfoot all the sensitive cases and investigations there that touched on the president's interests. once he had installed those puppies in that office to do his work, he then yanked the offered new job to that u.s. attorney, yanked the job for which she had been sort of -- that had been sort of dangled to her to entice her to leave that post. they yanked that job offer, got her out of there anyway,
and formally installed barr's own guys. thereby the u.s. attorney's office in washington, d.c. was effectively neutralized. the premier federal public corruption prosecutors in the united states effectively neutered, tamed, put under the thumb of attorney general william barr, who has been not shy at all about bending the enforcement of american law to benefit the president and punish his enemies. any threat to the president or his interests from the u.s. attorney's office in the district of columbia has been over for months now. and, you know, even in the cases that already had gone through there, like the mike flynn case, for example, well, once barr had his guys inserted into that office, they tried to retroactively drop the flynn case even after his guilty pleas. that's still wending its way through the legal system. so that was first, the d.c. u.s. attorney's office. then it was sdny, which is reportedly investigating things
like the slush fund super sketchy trump inaugural committee, which is also about to put rudy giuliani's guys lev and igor on trial, and which was busy not long ago sending out subpoenas by the boatload about giuliani's own financial trail. well, late on a friday night several weeks ago, attorney general william barr ham-handedly tried to force the u.s. attorney in sdny to resign. barr announced to the public that he was stuffing one of his own guys into that office instead. the u.s. attorney there, though, geoffrey berman, pushed back. he said, no, i'm not resigning. you are going to have to force me out if you want me out. and by the way, you're lying to the public about what's going on here, and i'm not letting you get away with it. that hard shove back from geoffrey berman, the u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york, it didn't succeed in keeping berman in his job. they still forced him out. but it did succeed in keeping bill barr from installing his own puppy dog there the way he did in d.c. what geoff berman's bravery and
pushback did in sdny is that it at least ensured that berman's own deputy got to take over in that office to ensure some continuity. still, though, geoff berman's out. so d.c. u.s. attorney's office, gone. geoff berman at sdny, gone. now tonight, it's the other one. it's the last one. the other u.s. attorney in the eastern district of new york. now, with this guy, attorney general bill barr tried the same trick that he tried with the other two. in all three of these cases, he's offered these u.s. attorneys some sort of dubious, maybe, possible promotion slash lateral move. at least he's offered some other job in the trump administration as a sort of enticement if they would just give up the u.s. attorney's office and let barr take over those offices for himself. well, in the eastern district of new york, the u.s. attorney there, rich donoghue, decided he would accept the dubious job offer from the attorney general, the not quite promotion rather
than stand up for himself and the independence of his office. bill barr initially put out word that it would be -- you know, this is no big deal. no cause for concern here, like there was so much concern expressed over the u.s. attorneys' offices. bill barr initially announced that in edny, while donoghue would be leaving, his deputy would be taking over the office once he left as you're supposed to do in the normal course of events. but, surprise, instead tonight, late on friday night, the attorney general has announced he is installing his own guy up in edny just like he did in d.c., just like he tried to do in sdny, his own handpicked footman will be taking over the eastern district of new york federal prosecutor's office. just months before the election in the middle of, among other things, a reported investigation in that office into the president's inaugural committee
and its alleged shenanigans. so, yeah, if it's friday night, the attorney general is advancing in what really does appear to be a quite systematic plan to end the independence of federal prosecutors' offices, at least the offices known to be investigating things related to the president and his interests. i mean if you are this president, there are really three prosecutors' offices you had to worry about -- d.c., sdny, edny. now in short order bill barr has decapitated them all. we hope you've enjoyed this experiment in being a rule of law country, but we've apparently decided that the experiment is over. it's not for us. so now we'll try whatever this is instead that we're living through. i'll also just say keep in mind that this is the same attorney general who has ordered the opening of federal criminal investigations into the obama administration officials and law enforcement officials and intelligence officials who were
involved in investigating russia helping president trump in the last election. it sort of slipped our mind because of the way our country has fallen into catastrophe since he did it, but bill barr has ordered criminal probes into obama administration officials, law enforcement, and intelligence officials who were involved in any of these investigations of the president. he has ordered criminal investigations of those people. when do you think he's going to want to bring those charges? and which prosecutors' offices do you think he'll use to do it? so that is tonight on top of the breaking news we have tonight that feels like we've been waiting for it all day if not all year. this has been the talk, the chatter, the gossip, the prediction, in some circles the source of great anxiety for a long time now, but now it's come to pass. the president has commuted the sentence of his longtime adviser roger stone. this is just days ahead of mr. stone's scheduled reporting date at a medium security federal prison in georgia.
before the president issued this commutation, roger stone was due on tuesday to start serving a sentence of 40 months, three years and four months in a case that grew out of the mueller investigation. mr. stone was convicted in federal court in november on seven counts. he was charged with seven felonies. the jury found him unanimously guilty on all seven counts. he was found guilty of obstructing a congressional investigation into his 2016 effort to learn when wikileaks would be releasing more of the emails that russian intelligence had hacked from the democratic party and the hillary clinton campaign. the charges ranged from making false statements to congress and obstruction to witness tampering. the case against mr. stone included lurid sort of mob movie allegations that he tried to bully a man named randy credico, a friend of his, into lying in his own testimony to congress. mr. stone told him to make like the mobster character in the
godfather, who lies to congress because he's too afraid not to. mr. stone threatened to take away his friend's dog. he told him to prepare to die and then called him a thing i can't say on tv. so that's what trump adviser roger stone was on the verge of going to prison for before the president took this action tonight. those pleasantries on the part of mr. stone and the seriousness with which witness intimidation is treated in the federal criminal justice system may be part of why republicans were anxious about the effect that a presidential pardon or commutation might have on the president's, say, re-election bid. the trump justice department had already kicked up a considerable scandal by popping into the u.s. attorney's office that was handling the stone matter and undermining the sentencing recommendation for roger stone from the d.c. u.s. attorney's office. last month the lead prosecutor on the case, aaron zelinsky, came forward as a current justice department employee and
told congress as a whistle-blower, quote, in the many cases i have been privileged to work on in my career, i have never seen political influence play any role in prosecutorial decision making, with one exception, united states versus roger stone. aaron zelinsky, the career prosecutor, told congress that pressure from higher ups in the justice department resulted in the virtually unprecedented decision to override the original sentencing recommendation in stone's case and file a new sentencing memo that included statements and assertions at odds with the record and contrary to department of justice policy. zelinsky testified, quote, what i heard repeatedly was that roger stone was being treated differently from any other defendant because of his relationship to the president. i was told that the acting u.s. attorney for the district of columbia, timothy shea, who bill barr installed in that office as his personal footman after he ousted the real u.s. attorney, timothy shea was receiving heavy pressure from the highest levels of the justice department to cut stone a break and that the u.s.
attorney's sentencing instructions to us were based on political considerations. he said, quote, i was also told that the acting u.s. attorney was giving roger stone such unprecedentedly favorable treatment because he was afraid of the president. truly remarkable, detailed, quite direct testimony from career prosecutor aaron zelinsky testifying as a whistle-blower. he gave that testimony to congress despite still being employed by the justice department. the other part of aaron zelinsky's testimony that day had to do with what the trump campaign and crucially president trump himself knew about the russian effort to help him get elected in 2016, specifically about this plan for dumping all the hacked democratic emails that russian military intelligence had stolen, dumping those materials into public view. quote, in the summer of 2016, stone was considered by the trump campaign to be the
campaign's access point to wikileaks. throughout the summer and fall, stone was in regular contact with the highest levels of the trump campaign, which was relying on him for information about wikileaks' activities. he continued, quote, beginning in spring 2016, stone told senior trump campaign officials that he had inside knowledge regarding wikileaks' plans and that he communicated with julian assange. stone made these claims throughout the summer to deputy campaign chairman rick gates, to campaign chair paul manafort, and to campaign ceo steve bannon. these men believed his claims, and they sought information from stone about what wikileaks would do to help the trump campaign. moreover, as the summer wore on, the senior leadership found stone's predictions to be reliable. and that summer, stone wasn't just talking to the ceo, the chairman, and deputy campaign chairman of the campaign. he was also talking directly to then-candidate trump himself. aaron zelinsky described the interactions like this. quote, on june 14th, 2016, the
democratic national committee announced that it had been hacked earlier that spring by the russian government. that night, stone called trump, and they spoke on trump's personal line. we don't know what they said. on july 31st, stone again called then-candidate trump, and the two spoke for approximately ten minutes. again, we don't know what was said, but less than an hour after speaking with trump, stone emailed an associate of his, a man named jerome corsi, to have someone else who was living in london go see julian assange. deputy campaign chairman rick gates was present for a phone call between stone and trump. while gates couldn't hear the content of the call, he could hear stone's voice on the phone and see his name on the caller i.d. 30 seconds after hanging up the phone with roger stone, then-candidate donald trump told rick gates that there would be more information coming. trump's personal lawyer, michael cohen, also stated that he was present for a phone call between donald trump and roger stone where stone told trump he had just gotten off the phone with
julian assange and in a couple days wikileaks would release more information. and trump responded, oh, good. all right. paul manafort also stated that he spoke with trump about stone's predictions and his claimed access to wikileaks and that trump instructed manafort to stay in touch with stone. he was their inside line to the material that the russian government had stolen to help him in the campaign. the way they were going to help him in the campaign with that information was to release it publicly in ways that were designed to cause maximum damage to the clinton campaign and maximum benefit to the trump campaign. roger stone was their inside line on those forthcoming dumps of information, which increased the ability of the campaign to leverage those information dumps, to hype them, to tell people they were coming, and to make the most of them once they arrived. he was their force multiplier for what russia did to help put donald trump in the white house. notably, three of the trump
associates who were all involved in the roger stone intermediary gig were later sentenced to prison time. rick gates, michael cohen, paul manafort all got sentenced to prison. tonight actually only michael cohen is physically in prison. he was sent back yesterday. we'll have more on that later in the show tonight. but consider what this prosecutor, aaron zelinsky, said about the president's own recounting of the events that summer, right? the same president who just this week is crowing about how solid his mind is and how he aced a test that's designed to detect dementia. aaron zelinsky telling congress, quote, in his written answers to the special counsel's office, president trump denied remembering anything about his conversations with roger stone during the summer of 2016. he denied being aware that roger stone had discussed wikileaks with anyone associated with the campaign. one week after submitting his written answers, president trump criticized flipping witnesses and stated that stone was very brave in indicating he wouldn't
cooperate with prosecutors. the special counsel's report stated that the president's statements complimenting roger stone support the inference that the president intended to communicate a message that witnesses could be rewarded for refusing to provide testimony adverse to the president. the president will reward you if you refuse to rat, if you refuse to provide testimony adverse to the president. again, that's witness tampering, and that's the backdrop in terms of roger stone getting close to his report date to federal prison. that testimony about the roger stone case and the president's role in it happened just last month in congress. now tonight, maybe a full presidential pardon for roger stone was too far to go. maybe it was too politically risky even for an old friend who was convicted of trying to throw
congress off the scent of what trump and the trump campaign did. but the president does think it's worth it, or at least not going too far to commute that old friend's sentence and keep him out of prison. the experiment in america as a rule of law country has been a bumpy ride. it has been hard. it's also not one that goes on indefinitely on its own, not without the right people in power making sure that we stay that kind of country. joining us now is congressman adam schiff. he is the chairman of the house intelligence committee. sir, thank you for joining us on short notice tonight. thanks. i really appreciate it. >> it's good to be with you. >> let me just start by getting your reaction to this news. there had been a lot of chatter and a lot of threats from the president that he might do something like this, so i know it doesn't come as a complete surprise. but now that it's happened, what's your reaction? >> well, another, you know, appalling attack on the rule of law. there are two systems of justice now in america, one for criminal friends of the president like michael flynn and now roger stone, and one for everybody
else. it wasn't enough when the president intervened and bill barr intervened to recommend a shorter sentence for donald trump. they now had to take action -- the president had to take action to make that sentence go away completely. and, you know, of course this is part of the broad pattern of the president rewarding his friends and potentially the more serious shoe to fall, punishing his enemies. i think you were exactly right, rachel, earlier in the show when you talked about how, you know, essentially the president is using, through bill barr, a shield right now to protect those who are lying for him and covering up for him. but what may be more dangerous is what's to come, and that is bill barr using the sword to investigate and prosecute the president's enemies. that's another even more serious attack on the rule of law. and so what's to come may be worse than what we're seeing
today, but what we're seeing today is an appalling overture to people essentially from the president saying if you lie for me, you cover up for me, i will reward you. on the other hand, if you are a rat and you cooperate, then like a mafia boss, i will come after you. and it's a sad day in america when our democracy is reduced to this. >> some of this involves you directly in your committee. one of the felonies that roger stone was charged with was lying to your committee. he was convicted on all counts. now that his sentence is commuted despite that conviction, is there anything that your committee can do or would want to do with regard to stone and his case given what he did to the function of congress in its investigating role? >> i don't know that there's anything more that the congress can do vis-a-vis roger stone. roger stone may have state law problems.
he won't have them arising, i think, from his direct testimony to congress. but, you know, what we can do, i think, when this president is gone is we can enact a whole series of what i'm calling our post-watergate reforms where we try to attack these abuses of the pardon power or the power to commute sentence. i introduced a bill, for example, that would require in a case like this where the president is a witness, subject, or target of an investigation and takes action to pardon or commute someone, that the complete investigative files are turned over to congress so that congress can determine whether this is yet another act of obstruction of justice. so there are remedies, but it's hard to see what remedy we can use now beyond the ultimate remedy in november when we get to vote these bums out of office. >> let me just ask you about what we started with this hour, and you mentioned it a moment ago.
the continuing and apparently sort of systematically designed actions of william barr to undermine or in fact end the independence of important federal prosecutors' offices around the country, to directly intervene and take over criminal investigations and criminal prosecutions involving people and interests related to the president, and, in fact, to command that there be criminal investigations of the president's political enemies, including people who had the temerity to investigate potential foreign interference in trying to get him elected. i know that the judiciary committee, for example, has had a heck of a time even getting william barr to even agree to come sit down in a chair in congress and answer questions. but as barr gets more and more aggressive with this, he's now taken out the u.s. attorney in d.c., in sdny, in edny. he's installed his own people in all those offices. there's incredibly detailed
reporting and whistle-blower testimony about the way that he has undone things to benefit the president within the criminal law. does that just end at the election, or is there some remedy? is there some accountability even in the long run in terms of what barr is doing here because his actions are -- you know, i'm not going to say they're existentially challenging to the republic that we are, but they're close. >> well, they are doing grave and long-term damage certainly to our democracy, our rule of law, the reputation and the reality of the independence of the justice department. you know, i think what we can do now until november is shed light on these malevolent actions, these destructive actions by holding hearings, by bringing these witnesses in, by shedding light and, you know, frankly there are in addition to all these nightmare stories, there are some heroes like those that
are coming before congress to expose in whistle-blower fashion these acts of attack on the rule of law. i'll also -- this is also something within the last 24 to 48 hours, but judge sullivan taking the action to ask for a full panel review of the decision by the court of appeals to force him to dismiss the case against michael flynn. that's an act of real bravery by that district court judge. berman's act of defiance, the fact that strauss is now acting in the capacity of acting u.s. attorney in new york, there are some stories of great heroism right now, and that is what i think is keeping the wheels on the cart. but, you know, exposure now in terms of repercussions later, you know, we need to pass reforms to make it much more difficult for a future craven president and craven attorney general to get away with this. but there may be, you know,
criminal law accountability, you know. for example, the president as individual 1 in that celebrated case in the southern district of new york, where he was directing and coordinating this campaign fraud scheme. there is no shield to protect donald trump when he leaves office. you know, what barr is doing may not be criminal. it may just be deeply damaging to our democracy, and i don't know whether there's a remedy for bill barr after this administration is over except the stigma of history, and that will be a severe judgment. >> house intelligence chairman adam schiff, thank you again for joining us on such short notice, sir, and for making that point actually about the other side of this, about the heroism that you see of people pushing back and not going silently in the face of these -- in the face of these actions by the administration.
i think it's really important. thank you, sir. it's good to have you here. >> good to see you. >> all right. i'm going to bring now into the conversation our dear friend barb mcquade, former u.s. attorney for the great state of michigan. barb, i'm always happy to talk to you but particularly grateful you could be here tonight. thank you so much. >> thanks for inviting me to the friday night horror show. >> yeah, it really is. actually, let me just start right there and ask you if you want to talk me down a little bit in terms of how dark i have portrayed this. i recognize that i have laid this out in pretty horrific terms. is there any way in which i'm wrong about this or that you can tell me that this isn't as bad as it looks? >> no, i'm sorry, rachel. it's as bad as it looks. you know, there are times when, you know, i try to be the voice of reason and point out other sides of an issue. but this is as bad as it looks. number one, we've got william barr who is greasing the wheels in the key u.s. attorney's
offices that have jurisdiction over the activities of president trump. maybe we should have seen this coming. i feel no more disgusted than i otherwise would be that roger stone has seen his sentence commuted. this is a man who obstructed justice, lied to congress, threatened a witness, and the purpose of that was to protect president trump. you know, this isn't president trump rewarding stone for being a loyal friend. this is president trump protecting president trump, and i think it is a terrible attack on the rule of law. so if anything, you have not painted a bleak enough picture. >> well, on that point, i mean i recognize that the power to pardon is a constitutional power, an ordinal power of the president. it's not something that is subject to any form of scrutiny. but in this case, roger stone appealed for a commutation specifically on the grounds that he didn't testify adverse to the president. he did an interview today -- i mean he hasn't been shy about
this in the past. but he did an interview today, the day of the commutation, in which he made a public plea saying the reason he deserved a commutation is because he resisted pressure to testify as to what he knew about the president. the president responded almost immediately, in fact, with commuting his sentence. when it is transparently corrupt, when the president is, you know, pardoning someone or commuting a sentence specifically as an overt reward for that person having protected the president from potential liability, i mean i guess what you're supposed to do is impeach a president for that. i guess there's no other way that this is supposed to boomerang on him. >> well, as we have learned through the mueller investigation, the department of justice will not indict a sitting president. whether the law ultimately permits it or not, that's the policy of the department of justice. so he's not going to be charged with a crime though i think one could make an argument that this is bribery pure and simple. a quid pro quo, an exchange of a
thing of value in exchange for an official act. i think you could frame it that way. so perhaps donald trump could be charged with a crime after he leaves office. the statute of limitations for bribery is five years. the other remedy as you mentioned is impeachment. and as we have seen, even if the house were to impeach, i don't think that the senate has demonstrated an appetite for conviction although, rachel, here's a theory. even if trump should lose re-election in november, there could be value in impeaching him because the remedy for impeachment is not simply removal from office but it is to bar someone from seeking office in the future. and if president trump were to decide to run for president in 2024, if he were impeached, he could also be barred from holding office in the future. so there's a little bit of ray of sunshine in your otherwise dark day. >> wow, that is a dim, dusty little ray of sunshine, barb. but, wow, i am impressed that you were able to conjure that. >> i do what i can.
>> it is a very, very, tiny glass half full. barb, thank you again. i appreciate you being here. >> you bet, rachel. thanks. >> all right. we've got much more ahead tonight this very busy friday night. when we got word actually of the edny, of barr completing his trifecta of trying to decapitate all of the u.s. attorneys' offices that were known to be investigating or pursuing cases that touched on the president's interests, when he finished the trifecta with that tonight and then moments later we learned about the roger stone commutation, the person i wanted to call and talk to about it immediately is a woman named nicolle wall ace who you might know if you watch msnbc. i decided it would be better perhaps for both of us if i just made that call on tv instead of doing it in my office privately. so i'm going to have that call to nicolle when we come back to you guys if that's all right. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to our ongoing coverage of the latest friday night news dump from the trump administration. the president tonight commuting the sentence of his longtime adviser roger stone, who was convicted of lying to obstruct the russia investigation and threatening a witness and, and, and, seven felonies in all. he was charged with seven felonies. a jury unanimously convicted him on all seven counts. mr. stone had been due to report to federal prison for a 40-month
sentence starting on tuesday. that now will not happen. joining us now is my dear friend, nicolle wallace, the host of "deadline: white house," a veteran of the george w. bush white house and somebody who i miss seeing frequently. nicolle, i miss you. i'm sorry to be talking to you on a dark night under dark circumstances. thanks for making time to be here. >> i feel your pain, and you've gone deep, and you've gone wide, and you've gone back. let me just go forward. i mean there is now know discernible difference between william barr and a bouncer. he has been intellectually overestimated from day one. he is not a mastermind of anything. he is donald trump's body man. there's some well-sourced spin coming out of the white house tonight. i spoke to someone who was enlisted to try to talk trump out of this. no one talks trump out of anything, and no one ever resigns. so there will be rumors in the coming days that william barr almost resigned over this, that pat cipollone was deeply
troubled by this. they may be true, but no one will leave. they are all -- and we should remember their names forever. they are all accomplices in the corruption of one of the most sacred presidential powers. i spoke to two former justice department officials, who said that trump pardons people because he can. and william barr goes along with it because he is complicit in the erasure, just erasing robert mueller's probe. and we should be asking really serious questions. we should all be looking to november and try to understand why. why does robert mueller need to be erased before november, and why is bill barr working around the clock to do it? and why is the criminal investigation being run by mr. durham, why is that still open? what are they still looking at? what do they want to normalize? what do they want to make okay? what prosecutions by career prosecutors, who spent decades
at doj -- and there are some bush-era doj officials who went along with some of the trump-era doj officials who are now throwing their hands up in disgust at barr's role in seeking to erase the work of career prosecutors. so remember their names. pat cipollone and bill barr. they will not resign, and if they do, i will come on the air and apologize to both of them. but i'd bet my last dollar that no one will resign. they will all look the other way. as you said, we are watching something that makes headlines in this country when it happens in other countries, when it happens in third-world countries, the obliteration of the rule of law. >> nicolle, there is in the specifics of roger stone's conviction, in the specifics of what was learned about him in the course of his trial and spelled out about him in the mueller report, especially when bits about stone were unredacted after his trial came to conclude, we did get some really
specific stuff about the president, including a portrait of his conviction and a portrait of the crimes that he committed in obstructing that investigation, which really made it seem like what he was doing was trying to protect the president from investigators knowing what the president's personal role was in trying to interact with this foreign effort to influence the election on his behalf. roger stone says openly that what he was doing was trying to protect the president when investigators were trying to get at what donald trump himself was doing. if it's that blatant, if he's willing to say, listen, commute my sentence because i was protecting you, what's the -- i mean if republicans don't mind that, what's the correction to that? what door doesn't that open? >> there is no correction, and republicans -- who? who? the republican governors who have thrown open their states to surging coronavirus cases? the zombies in the senate who
acquitted donald trump after refusing to hear from john bolton? i mean here's the problem. you pull the fire alarm. who's coming? there's nobody coming. i am also heartened that adam schiff sees some heroes, but they're ostracized. they're unemployed, and they are on an island. you know, where is everybody else? i mean there are a whole lot of people who know just how bad this is. you know, the mueller report -- and we'll never know the answer to this until and unless robert mueller does an interview or rod rosenstein does an interview. it doesn't explain why they didn't push for an interview with donald trump asking those questions. i mean what was -- you know, we only know half of the conversation. there's also some corroboration in the emails in the mueller report that are included, i think, in some of the footnotes between roger stone and bannon. but this was an on-book operation for the trump campaign. this isn't some off-book stone escapade. the whole trump campaign was basically off-book. so this was the campaign
knowingly benefiting from russian assistance or information. and the fact that this is where we are, that that guy who was prosecuted by donald trump's own justice department has been commuted with bill barr at least as exasperated as he's described to me tonight, as against this move as i'm told he was, he won't be gone tomorrow. and someone with a compass, someone who cares about that department, someone who cares about that building, someone who cares about their legacy would be gone in the morning. pat cipollone won't be gone in the morning either. so there's a lot of sort of selective leaking. i'm told that sean hannity was one of the champions of this. just think about that. think about how profoundly weak the people running the justice department are if they can't win an argument against sean hannity. that's where we are. >> i'm not going to comment on that at all. but, boy, is that seared into my
brain like a hot brand. nicolle wallace, the host of "deadline: white house," veteran of the george w. bush white house, my dear friend. nicolle, i miss you a lot. thank you for being here tonight. >> i miss you a lot. all right. up here next, a new record today. more new cases of coronavirus diagnosed today in america than ever before. and some details about it that you haven't heard anywhere else that we're going to bring you tonight exclusively. that story is ahead. stay with us. look amazing. and you look amazingly comfortable. when your v-neck looks more like a u-neck... that's when you know, it's half-washed. try downy fabric conditioner. unlike detergent alone, downy helps prevent stretching by conditioning and smoothing fibers, so clothes look newer, longer. downy and it's done.
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and until this fight is over, we...will...never...quit. because they never quit. today the united states of america hit a new record high in terms of new coronavirus infections in one day. back at the beginning of this week when we had just surpassed the mark of 50,000 new cases in a single day, the top infectious disease doctor at massachusetts general hospital said it appeared that the u.s. coronavirus epidemic was in, quote, free fall. talking about last weekend, the july 4th holiday weekend, she said, quote, we know of the
50,000 cases this past day, a single day of this holiday weekend. if they're young people, it could be 500 people who die from that. if they're older people, it could be 7,500 people who die from that, just from one single day of infection. that's the infectious disease chief at mass general saying we're in free fall. that was at the beginning of this week. now it's the end of that same week, and our daily new infections have risen from 50,000 in a day to over 70,000 in a day per nbc news calculations this evening. again, this is breaking news. nbc news is reporting as of right now, that the united states has crossed 70,000 new coronavirus infections in one day. we hit 50,000 a week ago. 70,000 as of tonight. in the last 24 hours, we just got in this footage i'm about to show you from nbc reporter ellison barber. he and his crew were allowed into one of south carolina's largest medical units, lexington
medical center. she and her crew, excuse me. the ceo of the medical center has been pleading with local officials to please require masks in the area. the hospital has actually been running ads begging people in the local community to wear masks, but things just keep getting worse. watch. >> what we've seen over the past couple of weeks is increasing rates of infection among younger persons as well as hospitalizations. just a month ago our census was 22 patients on the hospital side that were covid-positive that needed our care. this morning we were at 64. so we've seen a tripling over the past 30 days. i mean it is not an unlimited resource that we can keep tapping into. we have only a certain number of beds, a certain number of staff, and a certain number of resources to meet our health care needs. >> i had to wait until the results come back. it would have really helped if i could have got some attention
before the five days, you know. by the time i got the attention, i couldn't breathe. i was weak. i couldn't -- i couldn't walk from here to the restroom. i thought that i wasn't going to make it. so i called -- i called up my family and pretty much told them i love them but i was actually telling them good-bye. you feel helpless when you can't breathe. >> it's now going on two weeks, and it's bad. i want everybody to realize this is not something that goes away real easy. it's been rough. it's so painful, and you're scared. you hear all these stories. especially at my age, you're scared that something really bad's going to happen.
and i want everybody to take it for what it's worth. it's not -- anybody can get it. any age. follow all the rules that you can. >> hello. i talked to your daughter and to your grandson, okay? i kind of told them what's goin going on with you. that i'm worried about your breathing and your oxygen levels, because you're on 100% of oxygen, and your oxygen levels are still really, really low, okay? and so what we decided if you're okay with you is to give you the best chance possible and put that breathing tube in you so hopefully the machine can do all the work. you're not doing as much work and you're not breathing so hard, and hopefully we can get you off the machines as quickly as possible. okay? so we want to at least give you the chance. we know that careen was very adamant about that, and we want
to make sure that you are as get the best chance for recovery as possible and quickly recover. okay? all right, hon. we'll give you some medicines to make you nice and comfy, and then while you're on the ventilator, we're going lighten the sedation a little bit. so if you can actually communicate with us, if you can write or nod your head and things like that and let us know how you're doing, that would be ideal. but if you're not able to tolerate it, we'll give you more sedation so you are comfortable. okay? >> okay. >> you doing okay otherwise? okay. all right. so there is going to be a lot of people in here. all right? but we're all in here just to make sure that you're taken care of and that you're safe, okay? all right. >> i'm going take this little wedgie away, okay? >> i'm going to move your bed forward a bit. all right.
can i get a regular -- this is my third intubation of the day, and that's not typical for us. we've been trying to avoid using the ventilator, doing all these other therapies to try to get them better. and unfortunately that hasn't worked for us as of right now. and so we've had to put patients on the ventilator. one of our patients that was the sickest for the longest period of time and had gone through so much and, you know, i think he was an otherwise healthy person, young. and still didn't survive it. the only thing at this point that we as a community can do is really wear a mask. >> reporter ellison barber and her crew with medical staff at the lexington medical center in south carolina. you never want to hear a nurse or doctor talk to you the way that doctor was talking to that patient about getting that ventilator tube put in, right?
it's happening by the dozens, by the hundreds, by the thousands all over america every day now. 70,000 new cases today. 70,000. south carolina is now calling in the national guard to bolster hospital staffing in the state because it cannot piece it together in that state with the existing staffing levels they've got at their hospitals. in charleston, south carolina, at the medical university at south carolina, waiting times in the emergency room are up to four hours now before people can see a doctor. they've set up tents outside that hospital to try to keep people in a safe place to wait for those four hours before they can have an initial -- initial visit with the doctor. a lot of people are leaving rather than stay out there in those tents for four hours. in mississippi today, they are finally doing a mask ordinance in multiple counties. this after a week in which there is finally a considerable freak-out in the state government in mississippi over the extent and rapid growth of the virus in that state. >> to my fellow mississippians,
please take this as an alarm. our numbers are getting worse. we need your cooperation. i know that no orders will be effective if we do not have the participation of our people. it is up to all of us . if you live in any corner of our state, please follow the rules. we're in the middle of a spike. it is putting a strain on our hospital system. mississippi is in a fight for our lives. >> that's the republican tate reeves, governor of the state of mississippi. the state health officer thomas dobbs is being perhaps more stark about how far mississippi is already off the cliff. >> we've been talking about this, saying it's coming. and here it is. not only it is here, it's going to get worse. yesterday five of our biggest hospitals in the state had zero
icu beds. zero. an additional four had 5% or less. an additional three had less than 10%. our biggest medical institutions who take care of our sickest patients have no room to take care of additional folks. when i talk to my er colleagues, i'm understanding they can't get them anywhere because there is no wear to send them. we're sending people out of state all the time because mississippi hospitals cannot take care of mississippi patients. >> mississippi hospitals cannot take care of mississippi patients. that's mississippi state health officer thomas dobbs. when i said that there is a considerable freak-out in the mississippi government about what's happening in that state, i would be remiss to not mention that part of that is undoubtedly the fact that there are at least 26 members of the state legislature who all just tested positive after a long in-person legislative session in the mississippi capitol where many
legislators did not wear masks. that led to the governor of the state warning specifically any mississippi resident who has had any contact with someone connected to the state legislature, they are being warned now to please get tested, because the state government in mississippi is itself an outbreak. in texas tonight, as that state passes 10,000 patients hospitalized, this is the headline right now at the texas tribune. "texas surpasses 10,000 coronavirus hospitalizations. houston hospitals increasingly turning away new patients as coronavirus overwhelms emergency rooms." the biggest hospitals in texas increasingly telling emergency responders they can't safely accept new patients as hundreds of covid patients crowd emergency rooms and hospitals scramble to open more intensive care space. in corpus christi, texas, a dire and gruesome situation there. the county morgue, in the county where corpus christi is, they've now been overwhelmed. they're now asking for fema
morgue trailers to help process the dead there. in maricopa county, arizona, they're also now trying to bring in new refrigerated morgue trucks to handle the dead. is that large county -- phoenix is the fifth largest city in this country. that large county is now approaching the point where they are unable to cope with the numbers of bodies they trying to process. so they are bringing in what they are calling cooler space. refrigerator trucks to store bodies. in florida, that state has just started releasing data for the first time about the number of covid patients, specifically in the hospitals. they've resisted this for weeks and months. but now it's out, and according to this brand-new state data, the number of covid patients in state hospitals is nearly 7,000, but that will rise. today was the highest number yet of people newly hospitalized in florida. and florida is one of these place likes texas that doesn't just have one or two problem areas in the state that they're worried about. increasingly, it's all over florida. there are now 40 hospitals in
florida that have no more capacity in their icu units. 40. completely full icus. 40 different hospitals in 21 different counties. in california, we've been covering a story this week in the bay area. the situation in the southern part of the state is much worse than it is in the northern part of the state. but in the bay area, there is a huge outbreak. one of the top ten largest outbreaks in the country at the san quentin state prison. this was caused by transferring prisoners into san quentin from another facility where the virus is rampant. there is now more than 1600 cases among prisoners at san quentin. at least seven prisoners have died in quick succession. today the state announced new rules to try to make more space in their crowded and now highly and widely infected prisons. this remarkable diagnostic look how this is entitled. "letter to all incarcerated people". this was published by the state corrections chief in california this afternoon. it explains that the state is adding 12 weeks of credit to almost everyone's time served,
which will put basically a booster rocket on people moving up towards release dates in california. specifically, it's expected to release about 8,000 prisoners across various california prisons, including probably a few hundred from san quentin. we have turned a corner with this thing. this week was a terrible week. we thought hitting 50,000 cases a day was the new apex, right? tonight, as nbc news, we're over 70,000 cases in one day. in atlanta they said today they're going to reactivate the field hospital that they built up at the city convention center. in california, as i said, they're freeing large numbers of prisoners as a last resort. hospitals from south carolina and all over the country have now started begging the public directly. hospitals and doctors are inviting the press in now to see what's going on there so they can commute to the public directly to please wear masks. please socially distance. even when the politicians in those states won't do it. it would just be amazing to have
some national leadership right now to organize a smart science-driven integrated all hands on deck national fight against this thing as it goes so bad, so fast. that would be -- that would be great. we don't have that. we've got what we've got. and god forgive for that. god bless us through. this that is going to do it for us tonight. we'll see you again on monday. hey there, i'm joshua johnson. good to be with you tonight from nbc news world headquarters in new york. for two years, robert mueller let his work speak for him. today he spoke for himself and against leniency for roger stone. president trump commuted mr. stone's sentence on multiple charges. he also defended his investigation into the president and into russia's election interference. quote, the russia investigation was of paramount importance.