tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 21, 2020 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
kind that catches the occasional flying wall enda and there they were, gently lowered by parachute into the floating catcher's mitt at sea all in a day's work. so just to review, we can't fly to europe or drive to canada, but we can use a net on a boat to catch a piece of metal falling to earth from outer space. that seems about right for the america of the year 2020, doesn't it that's our broadcast for this tuesday evening. as always, thank you so very much for spending some time with us on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night so this is one of those nights where i tell you that i had something all planned to talk about right here at the top of the show. i had been planning it all day we had worked on a whole big a block, reported it out, fact-checked it, started producing it for television and then -- kersplat, this happened.
this headline just dropped on the front page of "the new york times. quote, trump's request of an ambassador, get the british open for me and he doesn't mean like, i can't figure how to work the remote will you get that on tv for me he's not like trying to get tickets to go see the british open, and maybe the ambassador can help him out he's also not, interestingly, trying to get the british open, a sporting event, moved out of britain to america so it would be an american event and in some way that would arguably benefit the country. like there's lots of different ways you can read that headline. but in fact you have to imagine the worst possible implication of that headline because that's what the story spells out. here's the lede. quote, the american ambassador to britain, robert wood johnson iv, better known as woody johnson, the guy who owns the new york et js, told multiple colleagues in 2018 that president trump had asked him to see if the british government
could help steer the world famous and lucrative british open golf tournament to the trump turnberry resort in scotland according to three people with knowledge of the episode. the ambassador's deputy, lewis a.lukens advised ambassador johnson not to do it, warning it could be an unethical use of the presidency for private gain. but ambassador johnson apparently felt pressured to try anyway a few weeks later, he in fact raised the idea of turnberry playing host to the british open with the secretary of state for scotland the episode left mr. lukens and other diplomats deeply unsettled. mr. lukens, who served as the acting ambassador before woody johnson arrived in 2017, emailed officials at the state department to tell them what had happened, colleagues said. a few months later, mr. johnson forced out mr. lukens, a career diplomat, shortly before his term was to end. and i know what you're thinking,
right? president trump using his power as president, using the u.s. government to pressure a foreign government to do him a favor, using the office of the presidency to benefit himself. career civil servants forced if their posts after raising alarms we have seen a version of this movie before the last time it ended with him being impeached in december. but what this now report in "the new york times" tonight describes does differ from the ukraine debacle in one key way when president trump was pressuring the ukrainian government, using the powers of the u.s. government to pressure the ukrainian government to give him dirt on joe biden that he could use in the election, he was pushing that foreign government for a political favor. what he appears to have been trying to get from the british government here was money, was a business favor for his business, was basically a personal financial favor that would put money in his own pocket. he wanted the british government
to help put money in his pocket by sending major, major business to his golf resort in britain. and so he used the presidency. he used the u.s. government. he directed employees of the u.s. state department that they should talk to the british government about drumming up business for his resort. so far the white house has no comment on this reporting from "the times." but of course this has been kind of a repetitive theme of the trump presidency last year you may recall the white house announced that the u.s. would host the next g7 conference of world leaders at a resort in miami that just happened to be owned by the president. it would have literally forced six major foreign governments to shovel money directly into the president's pockets if they wanted to attend that summit the trump administration amazingly said they had searched far and wide across the united states for the single best venue in the whole country for the g7,
and trump's sort of run-down resort in south florida was simply the very best venue in the entire nation. it was just a complete coincidence that the president happened to own it the trump administration ultimately dropped that plan when it proved too embarrassing even for this white house. but right around the same time that the president was cooking up that scheme to try to boost his south florida property, he was actively pursuing another plan for putting government revenue into his golf resort in ireland. last fall vice president mike pence had to go to ireland for meetings with the irish government the capital of ireland is of course the seat of the irish government that's in dublin very far from dublin, 180 miles from dublin, clear on the other side of the island that is ireland, mike pence stayed at the trump resort in ireland. his whole entourage, the secret
service and verybody, all stayed at trump's golf resort 180 miles from dublin on the other side of the country. mike pence commuted those 180 miles back and forth for those meetings because the president told him to. that was also around the same time that we learned that u.s. air force cargo planes flying supplies to kuwait had mysteriously started refueling at a tiny, mostly disused airport in scotland, but handily when the crews of those planes had to stop at that tiny airport in scotland to refuel, they were all being directed to spend the night at donald trump's golf resort, which was half an hour away from that otherwise obscure airport. those cargo planes usually refueled at, you know, u.s. military bases but the military instead spent millions of dollars on more expensive fuel at this tiny, mostly disused scottish airport, and perhaps coincidentally, ended up overnighting all their crews at trump's hotel because
of it. the air force later released a report on this saying they looked into it, and it turns out it was all fine. but, you know, this keeps happening. i mean like a first grader's understanding of what corruption means. using the presidency, using the powers of the u.s. government, using the resources of the u.s. government to put money into the president's pocket, into the trump family coffers this is a recursive theme in this presidency. this is more from tonight's scoop at "the new york times" on the president's efforts to get the british open moved so that it would be held at his british golf club -- his scottish golf club specifically. quote, mr. trump and his children have struggled for more than a decade to attract professional golf tournaments to the family's 16 golf courses, knowing those events draw global television audiences and help drive traffic. they own most of the courses outright as opposed to simply
selling the family name as is the case with several of their hotels and residential towers. the courses generate about a third of the family's revenue with tournaments seen as a crucial way to publicize them. this has been particularly important for the two trump resorts in scotland which have been losing money. mr. trump him self was intensely involved in promoting them before he was elected, regul the losses at british resorts have come even after the family made costly investments to build or upgrade their courses, including $150 million vested at turnberry. the most recent annual report for turnberry shows it lost nearly $1 million in 2018. and, you know, if you are donald trump, if you are a businessman with failing properties, a lot of them that lose a lot of money, but you now have the powers of the country's highest office at your disposal, well,
sure call up your handpicked ambassador and tell him that what he needs to do as your ambassador is he needs to get the british government to get the british open moved to your golf tournament -- moved to your golf club which is losing money. i mean what's the point of rewarding one of your biggest campaign fund-raisers with this sweet ambassador gig in london if he can't use the ambassadorship, he can't use his job as a u.s. ambassador to try to drum up business for you and the kids the president has been trying to get away with stuff like this throughout the time that he has been in office now it appears that he did get an ambassador to help him do it. it's like another day, another one of these it never ends. any one of these would be the biggest scandal of any modern presidency, any one of them. this is just fricking tuesday. what does this mean for the president? what does this mean for that ambassador and for the whistle-blowering deputy ambassador who appears to have been fired right after he raised alarms about this back in
washington joining us now is "the new york times" london bureau chief and has the lead byline on this reporting tonight. thank you for making time for us >> glad to be here, rachel >> i am elaborating a little bit on what you reported in the sense that i am expressing my distaste and disfavor for what is in your reporting but aside from my expressing my opinion, did i get anything wrong about your reporting there? did i miss anything important in terms of what you and your colleagues were able to dig up >> no. i think you did a pretty good lay-down of the president's apparent motives in this case. i think one thing that's worth sort of emphasizing is the terrible position this puts career diplomats this is not what the u.s. ambassador to england is he's a political appointee, woody johnson. but mr. lukens is a career
diplomat of long-standing and for him and many of his colleagues, this kind of request is really deeply shocking. and as you say, it's not the first time it's happened so these diplomats are being put into a position that really they could never have imagined they would encounter in their careers. >> let me ask you to expand on that a little bit because obviously the career diplomats involved here are being asked, as you say, to do something unimaginable by the white house. woody johnson, not a career diplomat, a trump fund-raiser, a trump friend who was put in this plum ambassadorship job. but the way you and your colleagues put this i thought was interesting, and i wanted you to expand on it. you said beyond the legal and ethical red flags, asking for such a favor from his host country would put mr. johnson in an untenable position as the emissary of the united states. why would asking for this kind of favor for the president's personal business put the ambassador in an untenable position
>> well, i think for a couple of reasons. one, it would be sending a signal to the british government that the chief emissary of the u.s. government is willing to engage in venal and possibly illegal behavior on behalf of the president. and secondly, for the simple reason that having compromised himself this way, the risk he takes is if there's a difficult situation, a tough meeting he has to have, a demand he needs to make in the future, his hosts can say to him, well, you know, gee, mr. ambassador, remember when you made that suggestion about the golf course a few months ago so it's just something that as norm eisen, who is an expert on government ethics and also served as an ambassador under president barack obama, said in our article, it's really diplomatic malpractice, and it just puts any diplomat and particularly an ambassador into an almost impossible position in
terms of his standing and credibility with the host government >> i think that's a really, really important point because what it means when you take a larger view of that was not only was the president seeking to use the u.s. government for personal gain, he was trying to get a foreign entity to do something that would provide him personal profit and using the state department as the lever to do that, but in so doing, he was not only seeking gain for himself. he was actually hurting the interest of the united states in terms of our diplomatic leverage and relationship with, you know, admittedly a close ally. but it impedes our ability to do the real work that we need to do in terms of sticking up for american interests around the globe. >> yeah, that's right. and i think that's why in the case of lewis lukens, he was very blunt with the ambassador according to our reporting he basically warned the ambassador not to do this. he said it would be a misuse of his position it would be a breach of
diplomatic protocol. it would be possibly illegal so lukens, you know, left no doubt that he thought this was a terrible idea. and from what we know in our reporting, ambassador johnson was also not, you know, thrilled to be asked to do this i think he understood the position he was being put in but interestingly, he concluded, for whatever reason -- he didn't speak to us about it -- that he had no choice but to go ahead and make this, you know, very unorthodox request of the british government >> does your reporting indicate that mr. lukens was fired as retaliation for him raising these concerns >> yeah, i'm glad you asked me that the timing of it would suggest that, and indeed mr. lukens appears to have had a number of issues that he clashed with the ambassador on. but the actual trigger for his dismissal, which is also in the article a bit further on, is that lew lukens gave a speech at
an english university in which he mentioned a trip president obama had made to senegal during the time that lukens was the ambassador there and he told an anecdote that was mildly positive about president obama. and what we're told is that ambassador johnson got wind of this speech and summoned mr mr. lukens to meet him and said, you're done here so it was also the sort of cardinal sin he made of saying something nice about a president who was his former boss and who he hosted as u.s. ambassador in senegal that was the actual event that got him forced out of his job. but certainly a series of other things including this particular episode had built up tension between lukens and the ambassador >> telling a mildly positive
anecdote about a previous president seems like either a thin hook for getting fired or a thin pretext if you're getting fired for some other reason, but stacking those things up in terms of knowing what the precipitating event is important. one last quick question for you. you also say that some of these complaints were raised with the inspector general at the state department there was some sort of review. no reports from the review have ever been made public. is it your expectation that anything might ever be made public or that congress might obtain the results of any such review that happened about this troubling incident >> well, one thing to also perhaps clarify a little bit, there is an inspector general report that has been done on the london embassy, and it gets into issues that actually go beyond what happened with the turnberry request. there are issues involving some of the ways that the ambassador has interacted with members of his staff, some comments he's made to female employees that
have been presented to investigators for the state department, who were conducting what was a very routine investigation of the embassy now, that report has been filed, but it has not been made public. remember, the office that that report would have been conducted under the auspices of, the inspector general's office, that inspector general was recently dismissed for reasons that may have nothing to do with this particular case. but as a result, it is quite conceivable that there's simply a backlog of reports going through this office at a time when the inspector general has been dismissed, and hence that might be the explanation but to answer your direct question, it's not clear the report has been, you know, up until this moment shelved and so we will wait to see what it says and whether it will be -- with the public. >> mark landler, "new york
times" london bureau chief, co-author of this scoop tonight. mark, i really appreciate you staying up until oh dark 30 to be up with us tonight. congratulations on this reporting. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> all right i will tell you again the headline tonight in "the new york times" just posted that according to "the new york times," the president directed the u.s. ambassador to britain to tell the british government that they needed to move the british open golf course to the president's golf resort in scotland according to "the new york times," the ambassador actually did it, actually did bring this up with the british government he, quote, raised the idea of turnberry playing host to the british open with the secretary of state for scotland. in the mr. smith goes to washington version of this part of the trump presidency, this starts impeachment proceedings but, you know, it's tuesday, so
presumably we just have to wait for what breaks on wednesday, and then we decide when you combine them all, which one rises to the top all right, coming up next what i thought would be at the top of the show. do stay with us. . it's a taste of something good. a taste we all could use right now. so let's make the most of it. and make every sandwich count. with oscar mayer deli fresh
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their unemployment benefits because of covid is due to expire people are unemployed in our country by the tens of millions right now not because of some broad economic downturn with broad economic causes, but because americans were literally, you know, asked, told, expected, in some cases mandated not to go to work because of a public health imperative, because of a fatal, contagious virus sweeping the nation when people are out of work for a specific reason like that, when the economy hasn't gotten sick, the economy has been put into an induced coma in order to try to keep hundreds of thousands of americans from dying from this fricking disease, well, the government then assumes responsibility to help people out who did what the government told them to do, who did what the government needed them to do for the country except now that help is set to run out. now, the whole idea of having congress back in session in washington this week was that they were going to get it together to fix that, to pass
something to mitigate more of the damage caused by the ongoing, out of control epidemic, including extending relief to people who the country still needs to not work. this isn't like rocket science that they're trying to do here they're not working on middle east peace they're not trying to even name a fricking post office or something. the epidemic it turns out is still raging out of control, so they just need to pass another relief bill or at least extend the benefits for the existing one at a bare minimum. go on, you can do it not that hard. alas, here's the headline in "the washington post" tonight. quote, white house, gop in disarray over coronavirus spending plan as deadline nears on expiring emergency aid. what in the hell are we doing, senator ted cruz asked white officials and gop colleagues at a planning lunch republicans control the white house obviously and the u.s. senate apparently they have no idea, even amongst themselves what they want to do. they didn't bother coming up
with options that they anyone minimally agree upon among themselves, let alone something that they might eventually agree on with democrats, who control the house. they just didn't do anything they didn't get anything together and so now, according to "the post," quote, the whole process appears likely to spill into august, something the white house and congressional democrats had hoped to avoid because it would mean more than 20 million americans would lose emergency unemployment benefits when they expire at the end of this month they have not mapped out a plan for what would happen to these people as the pandemic's turmoil continues to weigh on the u.s. economy. we are six months since the first case was diagnosed in this country. it turns out the virus did not magically disappear, but it appears that the ruling party in washington is still not quite up to speed on the fact that you actually have to do something to make the virus go away you actually have to come up with ways to cope with it killing tens of thousands of americans in the meantime.
and that work doesn't just magically do itself, right governing competence you actually have to do it but, you know, you go to the pandemic with the government that you have, not the government you might want or wish to have as donald rumsfeld might say. for us, it has been quite the fatal revelation, the government that we have for this pandemic this, for example, was today as of today, he is still saying this >> mr. president, you've been saying for months that the virus would simply disappear, and now you're saying that it's likely to get worse before it gets better if it does keep getting worse, if americans keep dying, are you responsible for that >> well, the virus will disappear. it will disappear. >> this weekend, as we ran up against that six-month benchmark since the first person in the u.s. tested positive for covid-19, "the new york times" did this big deep dive, scathing review of how the white house has blown it so badly, including
the specific scoop that most of the people making the real decisions about federal policy on covid on a day to day basis, quote, are aides who for the most part have no experience with public health emergencies according to "the times," the quote, sole public health professional who worked with that white house group making most of the key day to day decisions was dr. deborah birx, who is being criticized now for being a, quote, constant source of upbeat news for the president and his aides. dr. birx is specifically faulted by a lot of experts in a lot of states for overrelying on a model that has proven to be somewhat rosier than other public health projections. just for perspective here, the folks behind that purportedly rosy model that the white house has been relying on, which has been the source of some happy talk from these inexperienced aides and their one public health adviser in the white house, that same group of
researchers have now produced a paper about their projections. this paper has not been peer reviewed, but we have obtained a copy of it because they have made it public and it is -- you know, it's a dense document it's a dense, statistics-heavy paper. but the point of it from these researchers at the university of washington is that they're making three different projections for the year three different projections for how many of us, how many americans this thing is going to kill by the end of this year three scenarios. in the rosiest possible scenario, where americans get as good as anyone on earth -- we get as good as the population of singapore at mask-wearing or we get 95% of americans wearing masks in public, and we get states reimposing mandatory social distancing measures, in that rosy scenario, the death toll still by the end of this year will be somewhere between 175,000 and 223,000 dead so best case, we're still going to have more than 40,000
americans die at a minimum between now and the end of the year that's if we've got mask compliance that is on singapore's levels the middle scenario that they project is that we don't change what we're doing in terms of masks, but states do still reimpose some social distancing mandates in that scenario, the middle scenario, well, you've just killed another 100,000 americans over the next four months or so. total death scenario by the end of the year is the range of 234,000 to 398,000 americans dead by the end of 2020. so if you don't add that intensive mask compliance, you can add at least another 100,000 dead to the americans who have already been killed. but we might go almost as high as 400,000 that's the middle scenario then there's the bad scenario, which is the scenario where we keep opening up, which is crazy, right? but welcome to our world this is the world we're living in it's somewhat crazy. the researchers explain this delicately we say, quote, we forecast the
expected outcomes if states continue to remove social distancing mandates at the current pace, what they call the mandates easing scenario and under the mandates easing scenario, the american death toll by the end of this year will be at the low end of the range, 288,000 dead. at the high end, 650,000 americans dead by the end of this year, which is insane we're at about 140,000, 141,000 deaths now, right? we're risking more than quadrupling our death toll by the end of this year so says the researchers behind the purportedly rosy model the white house has been counting on to give them bad news, right but that's the worst-case scenario what did they call it again? the mandates easing scenario, right? so that worst-case scenario, they're saying, will only happen -- this risk of at least doubling if not more than
quadrupling our death toll, this risk of hitting over 600,000 dead americans by the end of this year, per this model done by these researchers that the white house has been so fond of, they're saying there's only a risk of that if we start everything back up again, which of course would be nuts. that said, here was the president tonight. >> we had to shut things down to save potentially millions of lives. we did that, and now we've started them up. and i think we've really started it up very successfully. >> i think we've really started it up very successfully. the whole shutdown thing, that's behind us. now we're opening up it's been super successful, he says that's the easing mandates scenario that the researchers at the university of washington that the white house has been citing so frequently in their new paper, they say that leads to somewhere between 288,000 and 650,000 americans dead by the end of the year. by the way, there's news from johns hopkins tonight that the
american daily death toll from coronavirus has once again hit more than 1,000 americans dead in 24 hours. this is the first time we've hit the 1,000 people dead in one day threshold in a couple of months, but we are back to that now. and of course the president today saying on that occasion, on that same day, i think we've started it up very successfully. the virus will disappear it will disappear, he says today. last night we talked here on the show to the top elected official in hidalgo county, texas, about how every hospital in his county is full and they have been all month, how they have overtopped their morgue capacity and are asking for funeral directors from other parts of the country to please come help them process the dead they're bringing in refrigerated trucks to store them until they can figure out what to do with the corpses, how they have begged for a field hospital to be set up somewhere in hidalgo county to supplement the hospital facilities they've got, but the stateof texas turned them down for that they're facing a doubling of
their hospitalization numbers over the next two weeks with their hospitals already full tonight at midnight, that same county executive we spoke to last night is going to try to implement this new local order, telling people in hidalgo county, texas, that they must shelter in place they must stay at home while the republican governor of texas says that's not enforceable and he'll block it we're seeing that in lots of places where republicans are in control. tonight in iowa city, iowa, the mayor there is, as of tonight, trying to institute a wear a mask ordinance for iowa city the republican governor of iowa says that's not enforceable and she'll block it. tonight in atlanta, georgia, the legal battle continues over the city of atlanta trying to institute a wear a mask ordinance. the republican governor of georgia, brian kemp, says that ordinance is not enforceable, and he's suing the city of atlanta to block it. we are six months in we are back up to 1,000 deaths a day as of today.
the president is still leading his party and saying, we're starting everything back up. all those mitigation measures we had, those are in the past we're starting everything back up, he says, very successfully this thing is going to just disappear. and the governors are now elaborating on that. don't you scare try to stop the spread i'll block you because this thing's going to disappear we're opening back up. six months in, 141,000 dead and counting, they are still doing this today marks 15 weeks until the november election. don't just think about where you're headed this summer. think about how you'll get there. and now that you can lease or buy a new lincoln remotely or in person... discovering that feeling has never been more effortless.
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don't keep that case and the hidden smiles. 24/7 the foggy glasses, and the muffled laughs. a simple piece of fabric makes a big statement: i care. wear a mask. let's all do our part to slow the spread. today you can see another significant federal law enforcement presence here, and what's really been kind of a stunning militarization of city streets in washington, d.c these officers are federal law enforcement of some variety. i would love to tell you more, but they're not wearing any identifying badges, insignias, name plates.
they won't tell me where they're from or who they're with. >> they won't tell me where they're from or who they're with garrett haake reporting in washington, d.c. last month. we first saw those mysterious, unidentified federal officers on the streets of d.c. last month they didn't have identifying insignia for any law enforcement agency, no name badges, nothing. even when asked by protesters or members of the press, they wouldn't say who they were or what agency they belonged to they might reasonably have been random guys with big arms who are part of a local militia group, right it was fairly shocking at the time on the streets of d.c there was pushback against it. attorney general william barr at one point suggested the officers weren't wearing any identifying insignia or name badges just because they didn't have them handy when they deployed but the pattern, then, was just like it's been on so many things they did get pushback and that made them stop what they were doing in the short term. but it wasn't enough pushback to stop them from trying again
somewhere else, sometime soon. so now it's not d.c. now we've got these mystery, unidentified militarized federal officers of some kind, maybe, this time on the streets of portland, oregon for the past week, federal officers have been responding to protests in portland, including with tear gas and batons and less than lethal munitions videos posted online show mystery officers in military fatigues driving around the city in unmarked vans, abruptly grabbing and detaining protesters without identifying themselves multiple protesters have said they've been picked up without any explanation for why they were being arrested or by whom they were simply plucked off the street and then thrown into unmarked vans. and even as we've begun to piece together the origins of these officers from various parts of the homeland security, their presence clearly has inflamed tensions in portland, oregon protests following the death of george floyd have been going on in portland for weeks, but they have intensified since the
federal officers have been there using these violent tactics. once again last night, thousands of protesters gathered in the city's downtown for the third day in a row they were joined by a group calling itself the wall of moms. dozens of women having formed themselves in a human shield to try to protect the crowd from the federal agents, saying in some cases, feds stay clear, moms are here. leave our kids alone but just as has happened on previous nights, the largely peaceful demonstrations last night ended again with protesters violently clashing with federal officers. state and local leaders in oregon want the federal officers gone, including oregon's governor, the state's congressional delegation, even interestingly the federal u.s. attorney for oregon, who is himself a federal justice department employee. he's called for an investigation into these mysterious arrests. the state attorney general, the oregon a.g., has sued the federal government, comparing the tactics for detaining
protesters to flat-out kidnappings. she's asked for a restraining order from a federal court to stop the arrests we spoke with her about that here last night. portland's mayor along with the mayors of 12 other u.s. cities sent a letter to doj and homeland security department calling for an immediate removal of those federal forces from states and cities that don't want them. they're calling for the white house to back down from stated plans to send more federal agents to more american cities the president openly saying that the places he wants to send these officers are to cities that are controlled by democratic leadership. joining us now, i am very pleased to say, is the former secretary of homeland security during the obama administration, ja jeh johnson. secretary johnson, it's a real honor. thanks so much for making time. >> thanks, rachel. good to see you. >> let me just ask your top-line response and understanding about
this controversy having been in charge of the homeland security department, knowing a lot about its capabilities, its responsibilities and the things that it's asked to do, do you think that people are overreacting in their response, their concern, and now ultimately in these lawsuits trying to stop the department from deploying these officers in the way that we've seen play out in the streets of portland >> short answer, no. i don't believe people are overreacting to what is going on in portland. so the object of all of this so far as i've been able to figure out is the hatfield federal courthouse in downtown portland and an adjacent federal building, forces of dhs that had been deployed to the scene are first the federal protection service, which is a component of dhs that reports directly to the secretary, and its core mission is the protection of civilian federal buildings across the country. interestingly, most members of the federal protection service
are actually private contractors. and then in addition to that, what the acting secretary has done is to also deploy components of immigration customs enforcement and customs border protection that are specially trained for special operations they do wear camouflage, but they're supposed to wear emblems, patches that indicate that they are federal law enforcement. now, the problems with doing this problem number one, i do not understand how a federal law enforcement officer can arrest someone, put them in a government vehicle, take them away without probable cause. i do not understand that problem number two, if the mayor and the governor and the entire congressional delegation of a state are saying, don't come here, i'd have to stop and ask exactly what i am doing. problem number three, you made reference to this.
would deploying such a force, heavily armed, in camouflaged gear like what you see right now on the screen, if you deploy them, is it going to inflame tensions is it going to be unduly provocative and make the situation worse, not better? and problem number four -- and i used to talk to dhs component leadership all the time. let's not engage in controversial one-offs that will have the ability to undermine and compromise our core missions across the homeland security department and so i see a number of problems with this, and i think people should be upset it does, rachel, smack of a political tone to it in an election year. the richard nixon 1968 law and order playbook on steroids >> there's been a lot of interpretation of what the
president's political motives might be for doing this. the president has fed someof that by discussing this in explicitly partisan terms, talking about needing to or wanting to deploy federal officers to places where democrats are in control if this is improper for all of the reasons -- improper and irregular and unwise for all of the reasons that you just laid out, what is the right way to stop it? i spoke with the oregon attorney general last night about her lawsuit to try to get a court to basically enjoin the federal government from doing this we've seen interestingly from the federally appointed u.s. attorney in oregon, looking at these arrests potentially as essentially kidnappings off the streets of portland. is this the sort of thing that there should be a legal barrier to, or is the only correction to this -- these actions by the president essentially political backlash >> rachel, to be sure, the
federal government should protect federal property if federal property is under threat from vandalism or destruction. but in my experience in public life, things are rarely black and white. there is very often a nuanced, balanced approach to how you go about the mission without being unduly provocative, very clearly during times of heightened national tension, you'll recall the terrorist attacks we had across the homeland in 2015. i directed the federal protection service to deploy a heightened presence at various federal buildings across the country. but there's a way to do that without being unduly provocative, without being unnecessarily provocative of the civilian population that we are first and foremost sworn to protect and supposed to be
protecting >> it could be done if that was the intention. former secretary of homeland security under president obama, former general counsel of the defense department, sir, it's really kind of you to make this time i miss talking to you on all sorts of things. anytime you'd like to come back, anyti i hope you come back thank you, mr. secretary. >> in the trump era, there are a lot of things in my homeland security lane that we can talk about. >> all right i will hold you to it. i will call you back all right. we've got more news ahead. stay with us thank you. (vo) jack was one of six million pets in animal shelters in need of a home. he found it in a boy with special needs, who also needed him. as part of our love promise, subaru and our retailers host adoption events and have donated 28 million dollars to support local animal shelters.
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this is from the lawsuit that donald trump's personal lawyer, michael cohen, just filed late last night. we told you right at the end of the show last night that it had just come in we've now got it and have had a chance to go through it. it's a lawsuit against trump's attorney general, bill barr, as well as trump's bureau of prisons director and the warden of the prison where cohen has been in solitary confinement for nearly two weeks now michael cohen's lawyers are arguing in this lawsuit that
he's had his furlough because of the coronavirus -- he's had his home confinement rescinded and he's been locked up and put back in prison specifically to keep him from criticizing president trump. quote, on july 2nd, michael cohen tweeted that he was putting the finishing touches on what promised to be a tell-all book about his experience with mr. trump. just one week later on july 9th, u.s. probation officers working on behalf of the bureau of prisons presented mr. cohen with an unconstitutional demand as a condition of his release, a release the bureau of prisons had already determined was necessary to protect mr. cohen's health, he had to agree to a complete bar on speaking to or through any media of any sort, including via a book because he was fearful for his life should he be remanded back to prison, he didn't refuse. instead he and his lawyer sought clarification on and limitation of the prohibition on speaking the probation officers told mr. cohen they would run those requests up the chain.
instead, three u.s. marshals arrived with handcuffs and shackles and played them on mr. cohen in order to remand him back to prison the probation officers said it was, quote, out of their hands and was an order from the bureau of prisons mr. cohen repeatedly stated he was willing to sign the agreement. he was denied that opportunity and was led away in shackles now, to be clear, it isnot against the rules to write a book if you're a federal prisoner they're just trying to make it against the rules for michael cohen to write a book while he's a federal prisoner and you're not supposed to be able to do that in a country with a first amendment that said, that's what they've done here, and if the point of throwing mr. cohen not just back in prison but into solitary confinement is to keep him from writing a book that he says spills the tea on president trump in lots of different ways, well, mr. cohen's lawyers say that tactic is working at least for now. quote, since being remanded back to prison, mr. cohen hasn't made any progress on his book he's concerned about resuming
work on it while in custody fearing further retaliation. think what you will about michael cohen. you don't need to even find him a sympathetic character here to care about what is happening to him right now. the first amendment is there to protect speech that people don't like, speech that in particular the powers that be don't like. that's exactly what this is, right? listen to how the aclu explains it to the court. basically why we should all care regardless of our personal feelings about michael cohen quote, this is not a motion about politics or personalities. this is a request to prevent a plain violation of the constitution the first amendment forbids respondents from imprisoning mr. cohen -- and for preparing to publish it shortly before the upcoming election. mr. cohen's manuscript sits at the zenith of first amendment protection the first amendment reflects our profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be
uninhibited, robust and wide open, and that it may well kwlu vehement and unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials including the president. such speech is more than self-expression. it is the essence of self-government. again, he is not precluded as a federal prisoner from writing a book but the fact that he is writing a book is the grounds on which they have locked him back up the judge in this case has set oral arguments for thursday morning 11:00 a.m. eastern this one is going to move fast they're trying to get him out of prison again right now watch this space ou pop the hood for us? there she is. -turbocharged, right? yes it is. jim, could you uh kick the tires? oh yes. can you change the color inside the car? oh sure. how about blue? that's more cyan but. jump in the back seat, jim. act like my kids. how much longer? -exactly how they sound. it's got massaging seats too, right? oh yeahhhhh. -oh yeahhhhh. visit the mercedes-benz summer event or shop online at participating dealers. get 0% apr financing up to 36 months
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