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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  August 7, 2020 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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photos, your videos to my email at i hope you'll join us. "the 11th hour" with brian williams begins right now. well, good evening once again as we bring another week day 1,296 of the trump administration. 88 days until the presidential election. tonight donald trump is at his golf club in bedminster, new jersey. we know that because the press was summoned for a press conference that turned out to be a campaign rally of sorts in front of a crowd of assembled members of his golf club, some of them just off the golf course. many of them had a wineglass in hand. some of them brought their kids. many were not wearing masks. the president was played into the room to a recording of "hail to the chief." again, it was less a news conference than it was a list of grievances, a dizzying slew of demonstrably false claims, including his latest version of
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how well he says the nation is doing while in the grip of a pandemic. >> it's going to disappear. in the united states, more than 80% of jurisdictions report declining cases. we're doing very well. you don't hear that too often from the media, but we're doing very well. >> the reality is we are very close to 5 million coronavirus cases. that's about the populations of the cities of houston and chicago combined. over 161,000 people have died as of this friday night. trump then rather stunningly said this about health insurance and pre-existing conditions, already part of obamacare, which of course the president's trying to end. >> over the next two weeks, i'll be pursuing a major executive order requiring health insurance companies to cover all pre-existing conditions for all customers. this has never been done before.
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>> today the labor department reported the economy recovered nearly 2 million lost jobs. unemployment now just over 10%. we're still in the grips of a cataclysmic downturn, the worst of the modern era. many economists say the nation has a long way to go before it's anywhere close to recovered from the shock of the pandemic and related lockdowns. congressional democrats and the white house are at a stalemate over another round of coronavirus relief. tonight trump blamed democrats for the talks collapsing while signaling he's ready to move ahead with executive orders, which he's promised before, using powers no one is sure he has. >> if democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage, i will act under my authority as president to get americans the relief they need. and what we're talking about is deferring the payroll tax for a
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period of months till the end of the year, and i can extend it at a certain period. hopefully i will be here to do the job. we're going to enhance unemployment benefits through the end of the year. so unemployment benefits will be -- that's a big one -- will be brought out to the end of the year and defer student loan payments and forgive interest until further notice. so students who are paying student loans and in many cases they're not even allowed to go back into their colleges. extend the eviction moratorium. we will be extending that so people aren't evicted. not their fault. >> are you concerned about the legality of these executive orders? >> no, not at all. no. if somebody -- well, you always get sued. i mean everything you do, you get sued. >> all of that, what you just heard, is tba. let's fast-forward, however. here is how the event ended.
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>> mr. president, you said that the pandemic is disappearing, but we lost 6,000 americans this week, and just in this room, you have dozens of people who are not following the guidelines in new jersey, which say you should not have -- >> no, they don't have to. it's a political activity. [ audience booing ] >> you're wrong on that because it's a political activity. they have exceptions. political activity, and it's also a peaceful protest. so when you have -- and as you know -- [ cheers and applause ] >> they asked if the could be here. you know, a number of -- and to me, they look like they pretty much all have masks on. >> so that's about how that went. earlier today we learned the u.s. intelligence community believes russia's trying to help trump's campaign. they in turn are trying to warn the public. a top intelligence official has released publicly what he's told lawmakers behind closed doors about other countries' efforts to influence our 2020 election. the statement from the office of the director of national
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intelligence says russia is, quote, using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former vice president biden. some kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost president trump's candidacy on social media and russian television. it says china, quote, prefers that president trump, whom beijing sees as unpredictable, does not win re-election. and about iran, they seek to undermine u.s. democratic institutions, president trump, and to divide the country in advance of our 2020 elections. here is how the president reacted to this report. >> the last person russia wants to see in office is donald trump because nobody's been tougher on russia than i have ever. >> that's not what your intelligence -- >> well, i don't care what anybody says. china would love us to have an election where donald trump lost to sleepy joe biden. they would dream -- they would own our country. if joe biden was president,
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china would own our country. iran would love to see -- iran would love to see me not be president. if i didn't win the election in 2016, our country would now be -- maybe it would be over by now, but in war with north korea. >> again, that's along the lines of how that went. here for our leadoff discussion on a busy friday night, susan page, "usa today" washington bureau chief. jeremy bash, former chief of staff at cia and pentagon, former chief counsel to house intel. and dr. anne rimoin, professor of epidemiology at ucla where she runs the university's center for global and immigrant health, specializing in emerging infectious diseases. susan page, i need your overall reaction to this event today with country club guests making up the cheering section in the back. again, you could hear people coughing occasionally.
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you could hear the occasional child in the background. the president portrayed himself to be the first president to protect pre-existing conditions. and here's "the new york times" take from the duo of carney and haberman. away from gridlock in washington, trump puts on a show for his club. the president held what was billed as a news conference, but there was almost no news. he again said the virus would disappear, and his audience seemed at times less the nation than his golf club members. susan, over to you. >> so i think it's distressing. i think the attitude toward a reporter asking a legitimate question was distressing. but i guess i think the bigger question is does this serve the president's purpose, which is to get re-elected in november? and i would say this does not serve his purposes, his re-election purposes, because it
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does not portray him as focused on the issue that americans care about, which is this pandemic and its cost and its repercussions, and not identifying himself with what millions of americans are feeling, which is under stress, under fire, under siege, looking for leadership to help them get to the next place, a better place. so i think this may -- this is the kind of event that we think president trump likes, gets him energized. i'm not sure it's one that is actually in his self-interest. >> meantime, jeremy bash, the house, we are told, is on fire. absent a president in the fight, it's a uniquely helpless feeling, isn't it, for the remaining few of us troubled by the idea that russia is actively engaged in a presidential election less than 90 days away. who do we -- is there someone in
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customer service that, again, the small subset of us who still care about such things, who do we see about this? >> yeah, where do we go to get our apology or our outrage, or our determination to protect america's national security because, brian, russia got a fantastic return on their investment in 2016. just think, i mean president trump nearly pulled america out of nato, which would have certainly unraveled the transatlantic alliance that has kept europe and the united states free and kept russian aggression in check. russian officials and their intelligence services paid bounties to the taliban to attack american forces. and of course the u.s. didn't do anything about it. trump didn't do anything about it, and russia has paid no price. and so russia has gotten a phenomenal return on their investment, and so it does not surprise me at all that they are engaged once again to denigrate president trump's opponent in the election, joe biden, who of
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course is leading president trump in the polls. and trump's response is, this is all a hoax. there's nothing to see here. and, in fact, i would argue he's tacitly welcoming it because he's been on the phone with putin several times over the last several months, and not once has he confronted him over these intelligence reports, which were no doubt briefed to him before they were made public today, brian. >> dr. anne rimoin, the president said again today out loud and on camera, it's disappearing. it's going to disappear. what does a public health official like yourself -- how do you process that? how do you continue to process that? and how should we treat such things spoken out loud by the president? >> brian, you know, we're coming again to this issue of disinformation, wishful thinking, and a lot of just rhetoric that's getting in the way of real science and public health.
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how does a public health person deal with this kind of information? you handle it by looking straight ahead at the facts and remembering the only way through this pandemic is exactly that, through it. and so what that means is that we all have to double down now. we have to do all the things that we've been talking about, and we have to remember with all of these events ongoing, we have sturgis, we have schools opening, we have so many things to think about. we have to be able to forgo present pleasure for future greater gain. that is going to be the theme of everything i say today. we all want to get back to life. we can't until we get the amount of virus that we have circulating right now down. >> jeremy bash, dr. rimoin does remind us that the backdrop for this and all discussions is an ongoing pandemic. our friend clint watts, formerly
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of the fbi, has said for years on the subject of anti-vaxxing and the social media you see on that subject, it's a very cheap and easy investment for russia. it's based on an old theory that a sick enemy is easier to fight. well, here we are, and i know neither you nor i is a pandemic specialist. but doctors who are argue that we're in for a hell of a fight when there is a vaccine getting to that threshold, that percentage of americans willing to take it, and the russians will be in that fight stride for stride. >> no question, and intelligence has shown according to reports that the russians are trying to actually steal our vaccination research. but i think at a broader level, brian, i mean look at what's going on. we've got foreign interference clearly outlined by this statement from the director of national intelligence today, and you've got the president trying to discount the lawfully cast
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ballots of americans who are voting by mail. and he even says he wants to postpone election day, and we may not know the outcome of the election, he says, for days, weeks or years. if that's not an echo of fascism, no need for an election here because we're in a crisis, i don't know what is. so i think these two things, foreign interference and the president's frankly fascist instincts to discount americans' ability to vote and to discount the -- or to undermine the ability of our democracy to operate, these are very dangerous times, and i think we're going to have to see a major turnout on election day in order to dispel any sense that the election is in doubt. >> so, susan page, you are a thoughtful person for a living. give us the through line between election security, the russians attacking election security in our own country -- we hear it from the president -- and the treatment of this virus thus far. >> so it's all disruption.
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you know, and president trump as a candidate in 2016 promised disruption. that was part of his appeal, and that's what we have. we have this most disruptive time. we had an election during the civil war. none of us were around for that. i think that was probably a pretty disruptive time. but i agree that i think this feels like a very -- a very perilous time for america. 88 days to the election. that is both not very much time and an extraordinary amount of time for things to happen, to go wrong, to go right, for people to get engaged. the electorate seems extremely interested in this election. it looks like we might have what we would always like to have, which is heavy turnout. but imagine if we had an election like we did in 2000 where it's really close. we turn to the supreme court. a divided supreme court decides it. the reaction of america today would not be the reaction of america in 2000, which was to accept the results.
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we would have a different situation if we had something like that happen in 88 days. >> terrific point. scary point but absolutely spot-on. anne rimoin, here in the new york metropolitan area, we had governor cuomo of new york today say he will allow schools to open in the fall. and we're going to talk more about this later in the hour. but to be fair, that's the minimum. he is the governor of the state. he is letting it happen, but he knows these, in some cases, life or death decisions have to happen at the local level. >> brian, you're absolutely right. you know, here's the thing. there's no zero-risk situation here. but what new york is able to do is to consider opening schools because they have reached such a low threshold of disease, they're able to really bring
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this to the table and bring this to communities to decide what to do. you know, most schools in the united states would not reach that benchmark of less than 5% community transmission. so we're really not here, but it is a very complicated decision for everyone, because it really isn't just about the kids who are really suffering right now from not being in school, but we also have to have everything in place for the teachers, the bus drivers, the people in the cafeteria, the custodial staff, the people the children come home to. nobody lives in a vacuum. so this is a very big decision, and the communities are really going to have to weigh the risk/benefit and what matters and what they can do, and what they can put into place to protect everybody as best they can. >> we are much obliged to our big three after the week we've had to stick around with us late on a friday night. susan page, jeremy bash, dr. anne rimoin, our thanks for helping us along the way. and coming up, what does
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dr. birx tell community leaders in covid hot spots? up next, we'll talk to a georgia mayor who is actually on one of those calls. and later, the strange and bizarre and ultimately sad story of kanye west. his candidacy for president seems more serious only when you consider a lawyer for trump is also trying to get kanye on a ballot to siphon votes away from joe biden. we'll talk about it with our guest tonight. "the 11th hour" just getting under way on a friday evening. you say the customers make their own rules.
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plus, get $400 off when you pre-order the new samsung galaxy note20 ultra 5g. and, look, let me say it this way. you look at our infection rate, we are probably in the left situation in the country right now, as incredible as that is. so if anybody can open schools, we can open schools.
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>> so that much is true. new york, a former epicenter, continues to have one of the lowest infection rates in the country though as we said at the top of the broadcast -- let's say it again and plainly -- it's one thing for the governor to say he will allow schools to open. it's quite another for all the local districts who now have a huge call to make. this gets very complicated in current hot-spot states like georgia, which, quote, reported its largest single-day increase in confirmed covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic just today. some school districts in georgia have delayed their reopening due to the spike in cases. we are happy to have with us tonight lynn deutsch, mayor of dunwoody georgia just outside atlanta. madam mayor, thank you very much for being with us. what's it like to be on one of these calls with dr. birx for starters? we don't get to hear them.
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wish we could. it is a matter of public health. is she candid with you guys? >> she's been very candid, and what i've noticed in the most recent calls is that she's been much more firm about what she would like to see local and state governments do if their cases are continuing to grow. and so -- >> we've seen some of the -- oh, okay. go ahead. >> closing bars is just an example of something she said on this past week's calls. >> on schools, which is, again, a huge responsibility, huge for public officials, intensely personal for parents and teachers and all their families, we've seen some of the georgia schools open, kids slammed back into quarantine after positive cases. are you ready to reopen?
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>> well, my city doesn't control the school system, and our school system has delayed in-person learning. it's virtual only till the middle of the september. but i think these are really good questions. dr. birx on our call this week mentioned that my county, dekalb county, may have plateaued and is actually stabilizing. and i think that's a good sign. but there's a lot to consider, and i expect that we'll hear more from the metro atlanta systems in the next few weeks about how and if they plan to open face-to-face. we have a lot of work to do here in metro atlanta particularly and in some of the rural counties in georgia where our cases have been going the wrong way and our infection rate is continuing to grow. and so to get schools opened safely, we need the goal of buckling back up a little bit as a community and as a state so
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that we can reopen the schools and keep them open. >> tell us about testing. if i needed or wanted a test tonight in dunwoody, georgia, could i find one? and what's the average wait time for the results these days? >> so it is very difficult to get a reservation for a test, and up until a couple of weeks ago, our local health department was openly permitting people to arrive at a test site without an appointment. they began discouraging that. my daughter was tested last week, and her test results took four days. but i have still -- after a while of having better results across the metro area, i'm hearing more and more from my constituents that they are waiting weeks for their results, which doesn't do anybody any good. >> which of course renders --
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yeah, i was just going to say renders all the results moot anyway and reverses the purpose of testing. well, we're thinking of you. best of luck to you. we realize these have to be baby steps because you're in the thick of the fight there, mayor lynn deutsch, dunwoody, georgia. thank you very much. enjoy your weekend if possible. coming up for us here, kanye west reveals the motive behind his reportedly republican party-backed run for the white house. the forbes reporter who spoke to kanye along with jason johnson. both join us when we come back. want restaurants to open?
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and schools? want the economy to get back on track? you're not alone. and you can help make it happen. stay 6 feet apart. wash your hands. wear a mask every time you leave your home. choose to join the fight against covid-19.
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do your part. slow the spread. i like kanye very much. no, i have nothing to do with him getting on the ballot. we'll have to see what happens. we'll see if he gets on the ballot, but i'm not involved. >> kanye west is apparently getting help from the trump campaign in his presidential bid. nbc news has learned, quote, republicans in at least four states are helping him gain ballot access. and in an interview with forbes reporter randall lane, who joins us in just a moment, quote, the billionaire rap superstar indicated that he was in fact running to siphon votes from the presumptive democratic nominee, joe biden. with us tonight to talk about all of it in its troubling detail, jason johnson, veteran journalist and contributor over at the grio and a professor at morgan state university.
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also randall lane, chief content officer of forbes media. happens to be editor of "forbes" magazine, who interviewed kanye west again this week. randall, i'd like to begin with you. what did he say to you about this race for president? >> well, you know, obviously it's become a bigger deal. i think what happened, once -- you know, once he was eligible for the ballot in wisconsin, all of a sudden this went from kind of a sideshow to the potential to be the jill stein of 2020. and what he said -- this was a text interview. i talked to him on the phone for about four hours last month. i followed up by text to ask him about these reports, including the one you just mentioned, and i pointed out to him that he can't win. you know, he said he was running to win. and i said, you know, you can't win. he said he's walking. he's walking to win. and, again, i pointed out he couldn't win. he's not going to be on the ballot to get 270 votes. there's no chance for him to win, and thus he's going to be a
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spoiler and siphon votes from joe biden, and his text was, i can't argue with -- i won't argue with you, which i took as, you know, a sign. he could have denied it, but he keeps on talking about running to win. he even texted last night, i'm running to win. he can't win and acknowledges that he's going to hurt biden more than trump. >> well, jason, my friend, this is where we come to you. i'm going to play for you a bit of congressman clyburn, as personally responsible as any other individual not named joe biden, for the fact that joe biden is about to take the nomination of his party. we'll listen to the congressman. we'll talk to you on the other side. >> african-americans most especially know what this campaign is all about. they've seen these kind of tactics before. we fell victim to it when we didn't know where it was coming from and what was going on. we now know, and we are not going to make that mistake again.
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>> jason, here's a fact. kanye west is battling and managing and living with mental illness, full stop. >> right. >> so what's this all about? >> well, brian, look, i'm like a lot of people. i vacillate between rage at kanye's foolishness and an immense amount of sympathy because i, like his wife and several other people, you know, it doesn't take a psychologist to say this guy looks like he's hurting. but if you step back for a second, this is an old school trick. clyburn knows about this in particular. you go back about ten years in south carolina. you remember alvin green, the random unemployed candidate who republicans backed in order to knock out a democratic challenger to jim demint. this is an old trick of the republican party. you find sort of no-name, non-politically affiliated black people, throw a lot of money behind them in order to weaken the democratic candidate. now, i think the difference is in alvin green, he ended up winning and jim demint took over because jim demint was a powerful guy anyway. i don't see kanye west as being
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that much of a threat. i don't know who is going to brave covid and voter suppression from the republican party to vote for the late registration guy. but the republicans seem to think at least paying attention to this will somehow distract away from people realizing that joe biden might be a better candidate than donald trump. >> well, jason, what does this mean for kanye west? he has had, as no one needs to remind any of us in this conversation, something of an empire that includes but is not limited to music and clothing. he is attached to an empire even larger than that. what does this do to him and his name? >> you know, i think his brand has been damaged probably since his last two albums and "life of pablo." if you want to see someone who has gone from a great height to like little or no respect, it's like kanye, michael jackson years before he finally passed away. there's not a lot of people who think kanye west is a serious
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candidate. a lot of people don't even necessarily think he's a serious musician anymore even as he goes around and has these sort of religious festivals. what i think is dangerous, the one legitimate danger is this. if he starts to spend money or republicans start to spend money on his behalf, if kanye west starts doing commercials in michigan, in wisconsin, and talking about, you know, criminal justice issues, if kanye west starts running around saying, you know what? there's really no difference between joe biden and donald trump. what have you got to lose? if he becomes a voice for disenchanted, disenfranchised black voters, again, as a political scientist, i can tell you, for most black people in america, it's not a choice between trump and biden. it's a choice between biden and staying home. if kanye can convince people to stay home because it's all a joke and a carnival, then donald trump has won, and he's been an effective surrogate. >> again, randall, bears repeating, kanye west is living with and battling and managing mental illness, as we said, full stop.
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what has he talked to you -- what has he said to you about the subject of mental illness? >> listen, kanye west is somebody who is very -- he -- you know, we've talked about it in detail. he considers it a gift. and while he considers his bipolar disorder a gift, he does not consider himself somebody who is handicapped. this is somebody who you could talk about whether or not he's as high as he was in music, but he has the second best-selling sneaker in america, the yeezy sneakers that made him a billionaire. here is somebody who is accustomed to going into new areas and being successful, and he attributes a lot of that to his creativity, which he attributes to his bipolar disorder. so this is somebody who acknowledges it but doesn't actually see it as a weakness and isn't willing to, you know, let other people he can't do that. that's what i think some of the people around him are having to deal with is somebody who is not
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used to having anybody tell him what to do. >> we'll stay on it. we're grateful for having both of you gentlemen to talk about it with here tonight. jason johnson, randall lane, great pleasure having you. thank you. coming up for us tonight, donald trump said he's been doing the job like nobody could, like nobody would. so we had to hear from steve schmidt, and we will after this.
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we've done a good job. i think we're actually -- we are going to be in two, three, four weeks, by the time we next speak, i think we're going to be in very good shape. >> trump fact checker daniel dale pointed out today that interview was one month ago on july 7th. today a frequent guest of ours, dr. michael osterholm, and neel kashkari, who serves as president of the federal reserve bank up in the twin cities wrote an op-ed in "the new york times," calling for state-by-state lockdowns to save
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lives and fix our economy. they write, quote, if we aren't willing to take this action, millions more cases with many more deaths are likely before a vaccine might be available. in addition, the economic recovery will be much slower with far more business failures and high unemployment for the next year or two. there won't be a robust economic recovery until we get control of the virus. back with us tonight, steve schmidt, veteran political strategist who led the mccain '08 campaign, has since left the republican party and was among the founders of the lincoln project, dedicated to the defeat of trump and trumpism. steve, before we begin our discussion, i want to play for you some of what cnn's hot mic overheard the president saying. he comes into the ballroom, addresses the folks there, guests at his country club. then after we hear this, they waited for the playing of "hail to the chief" and he stepped to the microphone.
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so here is the hot mic. >> hello, everybody. hello, everybody. thank you. so we're going to do a press conference, and i thought you were here. you might as well come in and see. you'll get to meet the fake news tonight. [ cheers and applause ] you'll get to see what i have to go through. >> so, steve, we're at a country club in new jersey, people just in off the golf course. some folks brought a glass of wine. some folks brought their kids. some folks brought both. the last bit of that quote from the president is "you'll get to see what i have to go through." let's contrast that against the fact that we have over 160,000 souls gone from our population and our lives, and we're losing roughly 1,000 people a day. >> it's a typically despicable statement from donald trump, brian, one that once again demonstrates his complete
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unfitness for the office of president of the united states. we have, as you mentioned, 160,000 dead americans and a shattered economy. there are more americans unemployed on this date, on this august 7th, than there has ever been on any other august 7th in the history of the united states, and donald trump is out there bragging about how great the economy is, standing in front of a room of people who pay $350,000 for memberships in the golf club. it's just outrageously out of touch, but it points out to this larger dynamic of what's happening politically. the walls are closing in on donald trump. the number of people in the country that identify as republicans is collapsing, and at the same time, the intensity of what remains is going up. but his world is shrinking, and across the country what you're seeing in states like georgia
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and texas that have voted republican for a generation, you're seeing very, very close races as joe biden is assembling one of the broadest electoral coalitions in american history. it includes americans of all races and creeds and religions and ideologies from bernie sanders to disaffected suburban republicans who look at this travesty, who look at the most incompetent and inept president, who has failed this country at a historic level. there has never been an american moment where somebody was tasked with responsibilities to protect the country that has failed as badly as donald trump has. so as we get into september, we're going to see the next stage of this begin to -- begin to unravel, and the tragedy is just beginning. we're going to see hundreds of thousands of dead americans by the time this is over. anybody with kids who are supposed to be in school
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understands if they're going back, it will be for a week or two before the schools are shut down. we know that the mortgage and the eviction rates, the mortgage crisis that's coming is going to dwarf anything that happened in the great recession. so we're at the precipice of great economic tragedy and more death and more tragedy from the wreckage that the most incompetent person ever to sit behind the resolute desk has ever been. and once again we saw tonight also, brian, that trump just conceives of himself as the biggest victim in america. that grievance and victimhood is the high-octane fuel of trumpism, and you see that dimension of his character play out once again. just an aggrieved, brittle man. >> steve, let me fit a break in. when we come back, i want to talk to you about what i said to jeremy bash is this uniquely hopeless feeling of knowing the
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role russia is playing in our election process and the question, who do we see about that? we'll do that when we come back.
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still with us for our conversation is steve schmidt, and without delay, we'll get right into the topic of russia. steve, what do we do about this, as i've called it, uniquely helpless feeling? we know that we have almost an invisible candidate, an invisible force in an election less than 90 days from now. the boss we would usually look to to defend all of us from it is the recipient of it, and we've never had anything like it in our history, say nothing of the fact that russia -- can't believe we're saying this -- has friends in the u.s. senate who
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are helping russia disseminate their talking points here. >> there are three issues, brian, that are an emergency for this country to deal with, and the only people left to deal with it are the voters, are the american people, american citizens who have to rise up and repudiate this. and there are three specific aspects. number one, this is the first president in the history of the country who has left the united states undefended against a hostile foreign power's attack, and it is an attack, an attack on american sovereignty, on our elections process, the peaceful transition of power that has gone on in this country since 1797. that's what our inheritance is as americans, and we are here for a short time to be stewards of it, to make the union stronger and to hand it off to our kids and our grandkids, and that any president that would abet a hostile foreign power doing that is horrendous.
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secondly, the russians have bounties on the heads of american soldiers in afghanistan. some have been killed. bounties have been paid. the president of the united states has refused to confront the russians about it. lastly, we literally have -- the term would have been "useful idiots" in the cold war. those were naive people either by sins of commission or omission who would do the work of the soviet union. so we see now useful idiots in the united states senate that are passing off to the american people information that's incepted by the russian intelligence services intended to undermine faith in the american system, in democracy in the elections process. we've never seen anything like it in the entire history of the country. so lindsey graham who's involved in it, ron johnson who's involved in it, these men are unfit to serve in the united states senate.
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they have utterly violated their constitutional oaths, and it's particularly egregious for lindsey graham, who serves as a colonel in the air force reserve. we've never seen such faithlessness to the ideas and ideals of the country and to the solemn oath that the country's most senior elected officials take for the honor of being able to preserve and protect and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic. they have failed when it was their moment to be friends of liberty. >> i asked a partner of yours at the lincoln project, stuart spencer, last night on this broadcast in plain english why your ads are better than the democrats' own ads against trump. his answer surprised me, was very quick, but it makes a lot of sense. you have no client. you have no one to run it past. you guys seem fueled on just the passion and anger of what's
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become of what was your party. >> we all share a belief that the country faces a real threat from donald trump, and we all believe this is the most important election the country's faced since 1864. when we see what trump is doing, he's acting from a position of weakness, the deployment of militarized federal agents without badges, i.d.s, stuffing people into white vans. the assault on the election process. the shenanigans that are going on at the post office. his constant questioning the legitimacy of the election should he not win. his threats that he won't leave office. we've never seen conduct like this from an american president. it's fundamentally illiberal. he has an autocratic fetish. we've seen this administration assault the rule of law. we've seen these pardons and corruption that beggar the imagination. so much is at stake in this next election.
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what we should all understand in this country is that our freedoms, our democracy, it was all so much more fragile than we ever could have imagined and that these institutions were not designed to be frontally assaulted by the president of the united states, the highest executive officer in the land, who's charged with fulfilling the founders' mandate to faithfully execute the laws of the land. and we just see a president who has checked out completely at every level, who is mentally, morally, and intellectually unfit for the job, and is a real threat to the future of this country. and he's put this country into a tailspin of decline and weakness the likes of which we've not seen ever in american history. >> reminder to our viewers, the new book by stuart stevens, steve's partner, is just out and available for sale. i happen to know mr. schmidt
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consumed it in a matter of hours. our thanks to steve schmidt on a friday night for spending some time with us. thank you, steve. >> thank you, brian. coming up, the effort to protect a genuine american institution that is in genuine danger.
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last thing before we go here tonight is the clear and present danger to the u.s. postal service. for all of our lives in this country, mail delivery has been something of a sacred trust. ask any service member getting or receiving -- or sending, rather, mail from deployment overseas. the u.s. postal service employs 633,000 americans. of that number, 97,000 are veterans. they once wore the uniform of this country and now wear the uniform of the postal service.
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just today about the boss, while he's being looked into by congressional democrats, the trump-appointed postmaster general, who has presided over delivery delays due to cost-cutting, blew up his whole management team in a reorganization that virginia democratic congressman gerry connolly who was on with us this week called a deliberate sabotage of the postal service. of course, just in time for mail-in balloting that the president undermines every day. well, against that backdrop, we offer you this, a new effort to rally support for our mail carriers and their employer. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> how about that? along with that fantastic 1959 recording of the alabama sacred harp singers, that was from people for the american way, founded in 1981 by norman lear, who just happened to have celebrated his 98th birthday.
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and that indeed will take us off the air tonight and for this week. with our thanks for watching, on behalf of all of my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, have a good weekend. good night. > i was completely baffled at how this could have happened! i didn't know anyone who wished anna any harm! nobody! >> she was stunning. model-like. she had that personality, that happiness from within. >> she found ana irresistible. >> i see her, my angel of light. >> i called her my muse. >> reporter: and showered her with money. >> $46,000? >> yes, sir. >> is he some kind of sugar daddy? >> that's what it appears to be. >> she's lying


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