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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 29, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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word" with my friend lawrence o'donnell. >> we have two women joining us tonight who we always welcome to this show. one is congresswoman who was in the room yesterday with louie gohmert who we now know has the one is congresswoman jayapal, who was in the room yesterday with louie gohmert who we now know has the coronavirus. there is a lot to talk about what happened in that room yesterday, but also what it was like for her and the other members to discover today that one of the republicans at that judiciary committee hearing now has coronavirus. also, also another woman joining us tonight, joy reid is going to join us to go over her interview earlier tonight with mary trump. joy reid and mary trump together for the first time tonight. so she's coming here to talk about that interview and maybe celebrate a little bit getting that big interview. >> and that show is great, "the reidout."
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i look forward to watching it, lawrence. you have a great one. >> thank you, ali. thank you. and we are extending a hero's welcome tonight here at "the last word" to our first guest, jonathan swan, who did what we have been hoping every white house reporter would do for the last 33 days. he asked donald trump about intelligence reports that russia offered to pay bounties to taliban fighters to kill american soldiers. and as soon as jonathan swan's interview was made public today, "the new york times" rushed a breaking news report of jonathan swan's interview on to the front page of the "new york times" website. and we all know how much "the new york times" just loves to do reports about other news organizations' interviews. of course "the new york times" doesn't like doing that, but
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the "new york times" reporters who know more about this story than anyone else immediately recognized the importance of jonathan swan's interview and how it added to their own reporting. charlie savage, eric schmidt, and michael schwartz broke the news of intelligence reports indicating russia was paying to kill american soldiers in afghanistan on june 26th in "the new york times." and today charlie savage, eric schmidt, and michael crowley reported on the interview, added context and background to the information discussed in that interview with donald trump. "the new york times" points out that donald trump said for the first time in his interview with jonathan swan, i would have done something about it. if he had been told about the cia's findings. the "new york times" report says, quote, despite public comments by top military officials in recent weeks suggesting that the pentagon was hunting for more information, three senior u.s. military
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officials said that no single pentagon agency or military command was conducting a dedicated investigation into the issue and that they were instead relying largely on the intelligence community. but intelligence officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the intelligence community had not created any special task force to investigate the issue. "the new york times" provided more detail about the cia analysis today. cia analysts placed medium confidence in that assessment, which they had reached based on analyzing evidence like the accounts of interrogated detainees in afghanistan, money transfers from a bank account controlled by russia's military intelligence agency known as the gru to a taliban linked network and travel patterns such as evidence that a middleman suspected of handing out the cash was now in russia, officials have said.
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current and former national security officials have said that there was rarely courtroom level certainty in the murky world of intelligence that disputes or where confidence levels were routine and that medium confidence intelligence of this magnitude would have been briefed to the president in previous administrations. donald trump's first answer to jonathan swan was a lie. he said people were saying that the story was fake news, including people from the bush administration. later in the day, when asked about jonathan swan's interview by other reporters, donald trump said colin powell says it's not true. that is a lie. colin powell never said it was fake news, and he never said that the story is not true. in fact, he told andrea mitchell on this network that he doesn't think we understand what happened.
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>> what i know is that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspaper were reporting and television was reporting. it got kind of out of control before we really had an understanding of what had happened. i'm not sure we fully understand now. >> general mckenzie and others have affirmed that the taliban have been armed for years now by russia. doesn't that require a tougher stance against vladimir putin from the president? >> i would think so. >> there is one more thing you need to know before watching jonathan swan's questioning of donald trump. and that is that two years ago the head of u.s. forces in afghanistan, general john nicholson said this. >> we have had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by afghan leaders and said
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this was given by russia to the taliban. >> okay. now you are ready. you are briefed and ready to watch jonathan swan's masterful questioning of donald trump because now you know everything that jonathan swan knew as he sat there across from the president. but knowing what jonathan swan knew was not enough. plenty of reporters know everything there is to know about a subject, but they still fail when questioning donald trump about that subject because they become victims of his tricks, his dodges, his evasions, his changing of the subject, his incoherent ramblings. but he doesn't fall for any of that in this interview. he keeps his eye on the ball and nothing that donald trump does can get him to take his eye off the ball. now, i have never done a donald trump interview.
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he would never agree to do an interview with me. he's never done an interview with rachel. and when i watch donald trump interviews i always think that i could have done a better job. not now. not this time. so put down the popcorn, turn up the volume and fasten your seat belt for the amazing three minutes, 41 seconds of donald trump versus jonathan swan. >> it's been widely reported the u.s. has intelligence indicating that russia paid bounties or offered to pay bounties to taliban fighters. you had a phone call with vladimir putin on july 23rd. did you bring up that issue? >> no. that was a phone call to discuss other things. frankly, that's an issue that many people said was fake news. >> who said it was fake news? >> i think a lot of people. if you look at some of the
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s wonderful folks from the bush administration, some of them, not any friends of mine, were saying that it's a fake issue. but a lot of people said it's a fake issue. but we had a talk about nuclear proliferation where they would like to do something and so would i. we discussed numerous things. we did not discuss that, no. i have never discussed it with him. i would. i have no problem with it. >> it's because you don't believe the intelligence. that's why. >> everything -- here is what's interesting. nobody ever brings up china. they always bring up russia. if we can do something with russia in terms of nuclear proliferation, which is a big problem, bigger problem than global warming in terms of the real world, that would be a great thing. no. it never reached my desk. you know why? because they didn't think -- intelligence, they didn't think it was real. >> it was in your written brief, though.
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>> they didn't think it was worthy. i wouldn't mind. if it reached my desk, i would have done something about it. it never reached my desk because -- >> do you read your written brief? >> i do. i read a lot. i read a lot. they like to say i don't read. i read a lot. i comprehend extraordinarily well. probably better than anybody that you have interviewed in a long time. i read a lot. i spend a lot of time at meetings, usually it is once a day or at least two or three times a week, intelligence talking about india, talking about the problems with china, talking about so many different elements of the world. the world is a very angry place if you look all over the world. we call up. i get -- i see 22 soldiers were killed in india with china fighting over the border. it's been raging for many, many decades, and they have been fighting and back and forth. i have so many briefings on so many different countries, but this one didn't reach my desk. >> the reason i say this is even if you don't believe this particular piece of intelligence and there is dispute, no doubt
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there is dispute in the intelligence community about it, your former -- john nicholson said, and this is when he was working for you, that russia is supplying weapons to the taliban. isn't that enough to challenge putin over the killings of u.s. soldiers? >> we supplied weapons when they were fighting russia, too. when they were fighting with the taliban in afghanistan -- >> that's a different era. >> i'm just saying, yes. i'm just saying we did that, too. i don't know -- i didn't ask him about that. he was there for a long time. didn't have great success because he was there before me and then ultimately i made a change. >> you heard that, right? it is well known in the intelligence community. that they're arming the taliban, russia. >> when you say arming -- >> supplying guns. russia is supplying weapons and money to the taliban. >> i have heard that, but it's never -- again, it's never reached my desk. >> i mean, he said it on the record when he was in -- >> russia doesn't want anything to do with afghanistan. let me just say about russia. russia used to be a thing called
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the soviet union. because of afghanistan, they went bankrupt, they became russia, just so you do understand, okay? the last thing that russia wants to do is get too much involved with afghanistan. they tried that once. it didn't work out. >> leading off our discussion tonight, jonathan swan. reporter for axios. his full interview with donald trump will air on axios on hbo monday night. also joining our discussion democratic congresswoman sherrill of new jersey. she's a graduate of the naval academy and a former navy helicopter pilot and a russia policy officer, a member of the house armed services committee. and congresswoman, we always begin with the higher ranking among us and any member of congress is higher ranking than jonathan and i. and so i want to get your reaction to what you just heard, especially as a russia expert in that interview. >> well, i thought that interview was striking. and, you know, as a former
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russian policy officer, we have known for years russia does not have our interest at heart. they're always on the other side of the fence when we look at areas like syria and iran and when we look at the peace process in afghanistan. russia is always thwarting our interests whenever they can. so to see the president seeming to work so hard to preserve his personal relationship with vladimir putin at the expense of servicemen and women is really striking. >> jonathan, i have so many things to ask you about, including just basically how did you do it and the way you hung in there on every one of his little moves that he normally gets away with like the fake news thing and asking him who says fake news. it exposes that, well, he doesn't have anything in that card that he just tried to play. but the thing i want to begin with is, could you -- could you believe that you were sitting
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there, you did this yesterday, 32 days after "the new york times" story broke and you're the first reporter who gets to ask him a sequence of questions about this. >> yes. and that's why i thought it was so important to do it, because, i mean, to go that long without being questioned seriously on this matter was unacceptable. and it's not a matter that's sort of boutique or niche or outside the realm of american life. this relates to u.s. service members. this is the lives of u.s. service members. this is the taliban, which until recently has been killing u.s. service members. and yes, it's true that there isn't consensus on this intelligence, but that is not itself unusual. this was taken seriously. "the new york times" did excellent reporting on it. it went to the highest levels of government, as you pointed out.
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it was contained in the president's written daily brief. there was a national security council meeting about it. the pentagon is looking into it. allies were briefed. so this is not like some flimsy piece of gossip. this was real intelligence. and what i found striking in the interview was that he was incurious about this. he dismissed it on its face. he wrote it off as fake news. and it did not comport with his worldview in the way that he thinks about putin and russia. so therefore it was immediately off the table. and that's what i found striking. and i thought the second part of it actually in some ways was more shocking than the first part because i said, fine, you don't believe this piece of intelligence. but your own head of forces in afghanistan said on the record that russia is supplying arms to
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the taliban. is that itself not enough to confront putin and for him to say that he hadn't heard about it or that he maybe heard about it but it hadn't reached his desk. i don't know what it requires to reach his desk, but i would have thought that when the top military officer in that region says something publicly, that that information by definition should be on his desk. >> and his desk would be the only one in the world that doesn't know it. and of course you did point out, jonathan, that it was in his daily brief. it was written into it. "the new york times" reported that on that exchange with him about, do you read it. let's listen to what senator chris murphy said tonight on msnbc about this. >> this claim that the intelligence never reached his desk is just impossible to believe. i have seen the intelligence. it's serious. it's concerning.
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and any president that read that intelligence wouldn't go six conversations with vladimir putin -- that's the number that donald trump has had with him since march without bringing this up. >> congresswoman, we have had john brennan and others on this program describing the kind of intelligence that goes to the president, all agreeing that this is exactly the kind of intelligence that goes to the president, even without beyond a reasonable doubt courtroom certainty. >> i loved the word incurious, because that's what strikes me as well. when i was in the situation room getting briefed on the intelligence, what we asked was that the president would get to the bottom of this, that he would assure servicemen and women that he was going to have their backs, that then he would hold russia accountable if it held true. and so we called in the secretary of defense. we called in the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. and the secretary said all reports are taken seriously. the chairman said he was going
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to run it to ground. so the incurious nature of the president really struck me as well. >> jonathan, where does the story go from here? one of the things that's so striking about this being the very first interview of the president on this is that you can see all of the different angles to explore. and i find it very unlikely that he would answer these questions exactly the same way a second time. the more times we go at it i think the more we might illuminate. >> i think there is so many ways to look at this, but let me just pick two. the first one is, remember, president trump is still trying to invite russia back into the g8. he's still trying to invite russia back into the g8 over the objections of allies. earlier this year when this intelligence came in, this was at a time when the administration was in negotiations with the taliban
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and it was at a time when the president was trying to bring russia into the g8. so you would think that a piece of intelligence like that would be essential to get in front of the president given that context. so i'm watching those two strands going forward. >> congresswoman, what can the house do about this? there is now calls to make the intelligence public. some senators are calling to make the intelligence public. >> well, i think that it's critical that the house stay on top of this matter. somebody has to stand up for servicemen and women overseas. if the commander in chief won't get to the bottom of this, if the commander in chief won't hold russia accountable after six phone calls, after suggesting they join the g8, then congress has to ensure we are getting to the bottom of it and we make sure we are holding russia accountable. >> jonathan, you have a lot of experience talking to donald
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trump, interviewing donald trump and the people around his white house. when this was happening, did you get the sense that he understood how badly this interview was going for him, because he has a certain level of obliviousness. even when things are going badly he doesn't quite realize it sometimes. >> i don't think he considers it a bad interview. i have no indication that he does whatsoever. >> that's donald trump. thank you both for joining us. congresswoman, thank you. jonathan, we really appreciate your reporting on this. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you, jonathan. really appreciate it. and when we come back, after jonathan swan's interview was released today, donald trump got even more questions, finally, from other reporters about russia paying bounties to kill u.s. troops in afghanistan. two former undersecretaries of state will join us next, wendy sherman and rick stengle.
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after jonathan swan's interview went viral today, other white house reporters finally started asking donald trump about the story that is now more than a month old, intelligence reports that russia has been paying to kill american soldiers in afghanistan. >> but if you look at russia, russia became russia from the soviet union because of afghanistan. they lost a fortune and a lot of people. a lot of people. so i don't know why they would be doing it. but if you tell me they're doing it, i will certainly take that under consideration. >> what would you respond? >> i would respond appropriately. >> i would respond appropriately. joining us now is ambassador wendy sherman, former undersecretary of state in the obama administration. and rick stengle is with us.
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also a former undersecretary of state in the obama administration. he's an msnbc political analyst. and ambassador sherman, just a wide-open field for you. your reaction to what donald trump had to say in that interview today? >> it was extraordinary. and as the congresswoman said, that word incurious really summarizes donald trump. he has no curiosity. he has no understanding of the world. and we have seen one action after another, as nancy pelosi has often said, all roads lead to putin. we saw that again today, not only in the interview with jonathan swan but his deciding to remove 12,000 troops out of germany and send some of them to belgium, send some of them to italy, send some back to united states, which will cost billions of dollars, take several years,
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separate families, create rotations of soldiers. he really doesn't care about our troops. he only cares about vladimir putin. so i think we are in a very difficult situation. we don't really know what's behind this. someday we will find out. and his moving of the troops, which takes away some of our deterrence against russia, was really petty retribution because chancellor merkel is more popular than donald trump. she has maintained some relationship with russia, but she has also been a great host to our troops. and these decisions make no sense. and the final thing i'll say, which rick knows extremely well given that he was the undersecretary for public diplomacy, the disinformation campaign by russia and china, as our counterintelligence community told us this week is
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continuing. we don't know all the facts. it's being underplayed. they're still trying to influence our election. we think back to donald trump saying in 2016, russia, if you are listening, look for hillary clinton's e-mails. i think he's saying in so many words again, russia, i hope you are listening, you need to get me re-elected. >> rick, donald trump spent most of the interview with jonathan swan lying and saying it never got to my desk when we know from "new york times" reporting that it did get to his desk in the form of a written presidential daily brief which he does not read, famously. then later in the clip that we just showed when he's asked in the driveway by other reporters about it, to a reporter, donald trump says so i don't know why they would be doing it, meaning russia, but if you tell me they're doing it, i would certainly take that under consideration. so there he is in the white house driveway saying, well, the cia never told me about it, but
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if you, a reporter, tell me about this right now, i as president of the united states will suddenly take that under consideration. >> well, you'd think he didn't have the world's greatest intelligence service at his beck and call. from the very beginning he's always acted as though he wasn't president himself and had no agency. all he has to do is ask the cia director, is this really true? for him to say it never reached my desk, it was in every news broadcast that he monitors religiously. so it is absolute denialism. the point for him is always, what would a mob boss do? a mob boss doesn't want to actually ask a question. so he actually pretends ignorance about it. but i do want to bring up something you and wendy were talking about as the withdrawal of american troops, which i think is absolutely vladimir putin's dream. if someone had said to him you are going to have an american president during your lifetime
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while you are head of russia who will part ways with germany and pull out russian troops from germany, he wouldn't believe it. ever since he was a kgb agent in dresden and watched the berlin wall fall, he was concerned about this alliance between america and germany. the whole cold world was a microcosm of what happened in east and west berlin. russia doesn't feel safe when there is a union between america and germany because they always feel threatened by germany. this has been a goal of the russians for 500 years and vladimir putin has pulled it off because he has a lackey in the american president. >> wendy sherman and rick stengel, thank you both for joining our discussion tonight. thank you. >> thank you. and when we come back, together for the first time, joy reid and mary trump.
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that happened earlier tonight at 7:00 p.m. on joy reid's show when she interviewed donald trump's niece mary trump, who explained donald trump's strange and enduring attraction to vladimir putin. we'll show you some of that interview next. and joy reid will join us. workplace, safely, companies will need the right tools. that's why salesforce created it's an all-new suite of apps, expertise, and services. to manage this crisis today, and thrive tomorrow. everything companies need to return to the workplace. let's reopen. safely. . even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib... ...not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'm reaching for that. eliquis.
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in an interview with joy reid tonight, donald trump's niece mary trump who is a clinical psychologist offered an explanation for donald trump's very strange attraction to vladimir putin. >> in your mind, is donald trump's fixation with putin about some material gain he thinks he can get from him? or does he maybe see him as sort of a new fred trump? >> you know, i can only speculate about the former. i think there are plenty of reasons to believe that that's the case. but, you know, i can speak to
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the resemblance that putin may have to my grandfather. you know, one of the things my grandfather did was, you know, through neglect, abuse, and pressure was turn donald into somebody who was eminently useful to smarter, more powerful men. and i think part of the charm, although, again, i am not privy to any conversations between them, but i imagine putin understands exactly how to manipulate donald, you know, whether or not there are financial incentives. >> and joining us now is joy reid, the host of "the reidout" at 7:00 p.m. every night here. joy, that was such a great
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question about, what about this fixation with vladimir putin and the answer was really fascinating and does line up with what she's been saying about her grandfather fred trump. >> first off, thanks for having me on, lawrence. yeah, i was very excited to talk to mary trump, i will just say, because her book, it really is a character study of a man with very little character raising children, and what that does to those children. and what fred trump seems to have been in the lives of his daughters and his sons was sort of an ebenezer scrooge on one hand and the other would be almost like a litter of puppies. one would be almost rescued from the litter, and the rest would be left there.
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he didn't really care what happened to the rest. he was just going to pick one. and when he finally picked donald because the older brother, his namesake, freddie, refused to be as vicious, as ruthless, as guileless, he refused to be fred trump, then donald said, wait. i'll do it. he's like, i'll step into that role. he was sort of fashioned into this tool for fred trump to live his dreams of grandiosity, because he couldn't be grand because of the way he was raised, so donald could be grand for him. in a lot of ways when you read this book you are basically kind of reading, this is vladimir putin. vladimir putin is almost like donald trump's new dad. the character traits seem so similar. it really makes you understand why putin is so -- it is so easy for him to use trump, because trump essentially is filling the same role for putin that he did with his father. >> you know, i have always said i would be much more interested in interviewing donald trump's
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parents than donald trump because i want to know how this happened and this is the book that tells us that. >> yes, yes. >> you also got something very interesting from mary trump when you raised the question of, you know, donald trump doesn't have his father to protect him anymore like he used to, and that's what's exposed all of his problems now. let's listen to that. >> is donald trump's main problem now that he doesn't have somebody like your father that can make him look successful? it's just him, and he's actually not capable. >> my grandfather? yes. that's one of his main problems. although, he does seem to have found his roy cohn in bill barr so, you know, that's something that should concern us greatly. more than that, though, i think one of donald's biggest problems is that for the very first time in his life he is receiving scrutiny, although not enough, and he is getting pushback,
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although not enough, and it's putting him under such enormous amounts of stress that we see him lashing out in ways he may not have otherwise if he had just stayed out of the oval office. >> joy, such an interesting concept, that he doesn't have the father to protect him anymore. >> yeah. think about it. i mean, this is a guy who inherits $413 million, the equivalent of that. everything that his father built, almost $1 billion worth of assets, he couldn't even manage that. he and his brothers and sisters sold most of that off. his own investments were basically failures. he went into bankruptcy four times when mary trump was trying to write his new book, he was headed toward his fourth bankruptcy at the time. his atlantic city attempt to free himself of his father without his father's connections to make it on his own in atlantic city failed.
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he's always failed without his dad. now he's trying to run a country without his dad figure to tell him what to do. and he doesn't know what to do. >> joy, we have to squeeze in a quick break here, you know how this works, and when we come back, i want to get back to the question you asked about the trump family racism. we'll do that right after this break. (neighbor) whatcha working on...
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so i find it quite frustrating that, you know, as with lying, his racism isn't called out for what it is. and i think, you know, that's part of the problem. he keeps getting away with these things. >> joy reid, you went on and discussed more about the racism in the family and how it was just, as she put it, it was just matter of fact, which was very, very common in white families like that in the 1950s in this country. >> yeah. she even talks about in the basement of her parents' house, she has these pictures of jazz artists that are black. but they just couldn't rent these buildings. but they're not allowed to rent in his buildings. he didn't want them managing his money. he's been very open. but i think the point she made at the end of that clip is the most important thing because there is complicity across the
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board for donald trump even being allowed to be president. he's gotten away with it all. the banks knew he wasn't going to pay them back but they went along with the fiction. they thought, if we stick with him, we'll get our money back. you had mark burnett play along with thinks fiction. it was a joke that donald trump was the only one not in on. everyone around him in the business world that was a developer knew he was not. it's all been a fraud. and the media and everyone that's played into the fraud by playing his rallies, by ignoring his racism, by calling it racially charged instead of racist and giving him a break. we'll just play one more rally. we'll give him a break. he's president, let's respect the office and treat him like he's president. donald trump has gotten away with this his whole life and this is why he's incompetent. because no one has ever said, you know what, donald trump, you have to perform. you have to be good at this in order to get these positions. he's always gotten it for nothing. the father gave it to him. the family gave it to him. the media has given it to him. enough. that is why donald trump is a
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failure as a president. >> yeah. and i want to show another piece of the interview. that's kind of surprising actually, and it's something you pulled out of the book about this ebenezer scrooge quality of the family. let's listen to this part. >> the thing that struck me about the book was the way your family, despite your father's wealth, there was almost ebenezer scrooge-like determination that no one would get to enjoy it. can you describe that a little bit of how you grew up? >> sure. well, as a kid you don't really know that that's the case. it was normal. everything was normal, just like the casual racism, misogyny, and anti-semitism in my grandparents' house was normal. that's why i can't point to one instance of it because it was just sort of in the background.
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so it wasn't until much later that i realized just how much of a double standard there was between the way my grandfather treated donald and the way he treated everybody else. >> joy, what is your summary of the contribution this book makes? >> you know, i think it really does let you in on how donald trump got to be what he is and how much his father and how much of an outsize role his father played in doing that. the story of his aunt mary having to beg the mom for some money and sneaking in and getting a can of quarters from their businesses, and that's all that she could get. they were living in $90 a month rent but no heat. so it is this weird privilege versus cruelty. a cruel parent creates a cruel son. and that's what we've got, a cruel president. >> joy, thank you for sharing your mary trump interview with
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us tonight. mary trump is welcome here, of course, whenever she wants to, if she stays up this late. we will be watching you every weeknight at 7:00 p.m. here. >> thank you so much, lawrence. >> thank you, joy. thanks a lot. and when we come back, the most dangerous man in the house of representatives was banned from air force one today. that's next. ext. and ask your doctor about biktarvy. biktarvy is a complete, one-pill, once-a-day treatment used for h-i-v in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights h-i-v to help you get to and stay undetectable. that's when the amount of virus is so low it cannot be measured by a lab test. research shows people who take h-i-v treatment every day and get to and stay undetectable can no longer transmit h-i-v through sex. serious side effects can occur,
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but gohmert didn't know that until he missed his free ride home to texas on air force one because he tested positive for coronavirus. william barr tested negative for coronavirus today after gohmert tested positive. louie was in a hearing room with the 77-year-old chairman jerry nadler. nadler has pre-existing conditions that make him more vulnerable to the coronavirus. the senior aide is 77 years old, who has pre-existing conditions that make him vulnerable. gohmert is a danger not only to himself but every one in the house of representatives.
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after the news broke today, nancy pelosi ordered a mask mandate. when the news was broken that he tested positive, that was the first time that louie gohmert's staff heard about it. one anonymous said, jake, thank you for letting our office know louie test positive for the coronavirus. when you write your story, you can include the fact that louie requires full staff to be in the office, including three interns, to be an example to america on how to open up safely. when probing the office, you may want to ask, how many times we were berated for wanting to wear masks.
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gohmert says he thinks he may have gotten coronavirus from the ban bandanna that he was wearing. there is video of louie saying that. we won't show that because we don't want to show how ignorant that is. so tonight there are 4,433,411 confirmed cases of coronavirus and as of tonight there has been 151,821 deaths. florida set a state record for the second consecutive day with 217 new deaths, one-day deaths, from coronavirus. joining me now is the democratic congressman from the state of washington. she attended yesterday's house committee hearing with attorney
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general william barr and louie gohmert. congresswoman, good to see you. everybody was wearing masks, but the chairman had to repeatedly tell republicans they should be wearing masks. what is your sense of how republicans might feel about this today as opposed to yesterday? >> some of them were starting to wear masks, but i have to say it's unconscionable and incomprehensible. and it is absolutely outrageous that we've gone even this long. as you know, nancy pelosi made a rule that nobody can enter a chamber without a mask and later she said no one can enter the house building without a mask. this absolute lack of concern, and i would say outright cruelty
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for people who do have pre-existing conditions, vulnerable people. today in one of the hearings, i had to ask one of my colleagues to wear a mask. she told me to shut up. this reaction to wearing a mask scientifically proven to help us with coronavirus is shocking. maybe this will change behavior, but i still saw people walking around without masks even after the news about louie gohmert broke today. >> i have to tell you, the news that sickens me the most is the news about his staff. i know how cramped a staff is when you're fully staffed.
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the ones that have to come in should be socially distanced and should all be wearing masks. and louie forces them all to show up and squeeze into those spaces together without masks. >> it's horrendous. last week i felt a little sick and it was unusual for me. so i decided i was nervous, because we're around all these people without masks. i got tested, and they said go home and quarantine. i immediately told -- i had two staff in the office at the time. i said go home until i find out what is going on. gohmert, to tell his staff to come in, in person, and require them to be there. then berate people, mock people for wearing masks, again, is so -- it's mind-boggling to me.
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we have a situation where 151,000 people died. if we continue, we will be at 200,000 people dead within a couple of weeks. these republicans, trump, louie gohmert, i could name others, who walk around without masks knowing that this is putting everyone in harm's way, it is killing americans. it is a simple thing. and so that's why i tweeted today, wear a damn mask. congresswoman jayapal, thank you for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. >> that is tonight's "the last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. good evening once again.
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day 1,287 of this trump administration leaving 97 days until the presidential election. the president was in texas campaigning before a largely unmasked crowd in the midst of a ravages that state. his visit came as texas set a new there was a new single day death toll of 313. trump didn't mention that or the thousands of texans now infected with the virus. here is some of what he did say. >> it is not just texas oil that the democrats want to destroy. they want to destroy our country. these people are sick. there's no respect. there is by you, 95% of our people love our country and our anthem and our flag. they don't love our country in any way, shape or form.