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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 21, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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>> that's gonna do it for us tonight i will see you again tomorrow, which as you know, is friday eve. tomorrow's. now it's time for the last word. now wait a second, ali velshi is in for lawrence tonight, this is a surprise to me, good evening, ali. i was not going to believe my eyes until they gave me a split screen. >> it's good that you checked. happy thursday eve to you my friend, and perhaps we will see each other again tomorrow. >> indeed, thank you, ali. >> have a good night. tonight we begin with a lesson. i promise is not about french literature or particle physics, it's a lesson two years in the making and it should be a guide to democrats as they look to
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uncover the truth about the capitol insurrection. the white house announced today the ukrainian president will meet with president biden at the white house on august the 30th, the announcement comes almost exactly two years after donald trump threatened the president during a phone call in an effort to sabotage then candidate joe biden. as more details emerge it became clear that trump needed to be held accountable for his abuse of power and it seems obvious now but at the time, a common refrain from political putt mince was at holding trump accountable would be electoral death. the democrats would give fuel to trump's base and hand him his reelection on a silver platter. democrats did the right thing, opening an impeachment and exposing the breath of trump's ukrainian skin, he was soon impeached for the first time, and congressman adam shift made his case soon after for the senate to convict the former president. >> you can't trust this
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president to do the right thing, not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country. what are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat, i will tell you, 100%. >> trump of course was not convicted and trump did it again, he tried to cheat after he lost. he spewed lies for months demanded fake audits, and incited the anchor that led to the capital insurrection. and a second trump impeachment. today's announcement, the president biden will meet with president volodymyr zelensky is a win for the democrats, who investigated and impeach donald trump. it is one of the end result of ignoring the pundits and doing the right thing. the ukrainian isn't leading with an american president who wants to undermine our democratic institutions, you will be meeting with a president who wants to strengthen international relations, and confront common enemies. democrats did the right thing, and were rewarded for it,
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investigating trump did not hurt their electoral chances. neither did impeaching trump, and now here's the lesson, democrats should take the same approach to investigating the capitol insurrection. house republican leader kevin mccarthy a possible witness in the investigation wants to undermine the january 6th select committee. he picked an serious, undemocratic republicans who should've been rejected from the committee. and then when speaker pelosi followed through and rejected some of them, kevin mccarthy pulled all of his picks from the process. pundits and reporters mike cast these the -- or optics, the lessons democrats should ignore that trash, this is about democracy. this is about a serious thoughtful investigation of the serious domestic terror incident. kevin mccarthy doesn't win because speaker pelosi looks partisan, it's not how it works. the news media should know better than that and democrats must ignore anything that harkens back to the doubters of the first impeachment investigation.
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the same people who were wrong then, are wrong now, when it seems speaker pelosi for one minute already know this lesson. >> tell us why you rejected the members? >> are you mistakenly someone who would care about something like that. >> he served as the house impeachment manager, in the second impeachment, he is the author of endgame. congressman swalwell, good to see, thank you for being with us. you and i had this discussion in realtime way back then, when people were saying it is politically fraud to pursue impeachment against donald trump, particularly since there's not much chance he will be convicted of it anyway. you and others made the argument that that is not actually -- that shouldn't be part of the calculus. either you as members of congress do what you are supposed to do and what the constitution dictates that you do, or you don't, but it
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shouldn't be about whether it is politically fraught or advantageous. >> thank you, ali. it was effective, right? we did not obtain a conviction in the senate but by holding him accountable in the first impeachment, we were actually able to shine a light on this effort to have ukraine put dirt on joe biden and we stopped it. ukraine was not able to ultimately run the campaign that donald trump was inviting them to run. shining a light, although it did not remove donald trump, it prevented ukraine from doing that. i just want to draw a distinction between what happened with ukraine, where you had fiona hill, lieutenant coming forward and they stopped that corruption scheme, we're now reading about all these actors who were preparing for a coup because donald trump was contesting the election, but they didn't have the gumption or the courage to come forward before the coup, they're telling their story now to vindicate themselves in books but had they done that perhaps
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we would not have seen the capital stormed the way it was, and democracy nearly die as it did on january six. >> jim jordan who speaker pelosi has rejected from being a member of this committee, jim jordan has said that this is just impeachment number three. you've been involved in the impeachment, and the impeachments, what is your response when people say this is impeachment three? >> he isn't serious. this is somebody who was holding the gas cans when the arson took place and not want to be on the committee that investigates the arson, and speaker pelosi recognizes that democracy is on life support. this is very binary, either your pot off the team that is trying to resurrected, we are trying to pull the plug, and jim jordan and jim banks who is hanging out with an insurrectionist, they want to pull the plug. we need a serious investigation so that we can ensure and guarantee every american that this will never happen again. >> i want to read to you an op-ed by greg sergeant in the
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washington post today. they post something interesting, they say that effort out a real examination of arguably the worst outbreak of political violence in marvin times, and efforts to protect our democracy more broadly will not be bipartisan. these things will be done by democrats alone, the less involved mccarthy is with this committee, the more likely it will undertake a genuine and comprehensive accounting. so waltman and sergeant are making the point that if the serious work needs to be done, it may be just as well that mccarthy is not populating his side of the table. >> that is exactly right. and by the way he had a chance to have an independent, bipartisan commission, but he had mitch mcconnell walked away from, and as i was saying, this is so binary right, now either you're trying to resurrect and provide democracy or trying to kill it and when people say to me well, liz cheney, i don't agree with her on where she stands on abortion, or where she stand on taxes, i say give me the problem that democracy is around three years that we
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can have that the bait with her. but right now, she is standing up for democracy, so we need her. same thing to adam kinzinger. we need to move swiftly right now and having jim jordan on the committee just for the case of bipartisanship doesn't go toward saving democracy. >> jim jordan and banks have said that they were there to save conservatism and things like that, liz cheney actually made the point, let's play that there's no room for partisanship in this exploration. listen to what she said. >> there must be an investigation that is nonpartisan that is so birth, that is serious and that gets to the facts wherever they may lead and every opportunity minority leader has attempted to prevent the american people from understanding what's happened, to block this investigation. this investigation must go forward the idea that anybody would be playing politics within the tack on the united states capitol is despicable
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and disgraceful. >> the congressman i want to show you a poll by cbs new go, this is among young american 72% say that there is more to learn, even if the republicans poll 59% say there is more to learn. so this is the pointless chain is making, i have people coming up, people on my show telling me that maybe it is antifa, maybe it's blm, great you have yourself a commission you can work it out. >> we just learned yesterday that there was an active dea agent who was at the capitol, he was arrested, there are so much more to learn of who was involved that day. right now, what i think is so awful, ali, the capitol police and metropolitan police who fought in hand to hand combat for hours that day, they are seeing the republicans sympathize with the cop killers. vote against security systems to make sure that this doesn't happen again, vote against the gold medal being awarded to those officers.
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blaming police and suggesting that the fbi was behind it, and then today, the final insult to just walk away and not be there next week one for officers will animated just how horrible that day was. >> congressman good to talk to you, thank you for joining us, eric swalwell, congressman from california, he's the author of and game, inside the impeachment of donald j trump. coming up, and right on cue after raising the debt ceiling three times, during the previous administration without a hitch, mitch mcconnell opens the door to weaponizing the debt limit again, senator chris van hollen joins us after the break. break. done. go with us and get millions of felixble booking options. expedia. it matters who you travel with. ♪ limu emu & doug ♪ expedia. oh! are you using liberty mutual's coverage customizer tool? sorry? well, since you asked. it finds discounts
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show me the olympics. [ "bugler's dream" playing ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> today the entire republican
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senate caucus including 11 republican negotiators working on the bipartisan infrastructure framework locked a key procedural vote to begin debate on an infrastructure proposal. the vote fell well short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure but this was expected to fail, it doesn't seem to indicate that all hope is loft. for bipartisan agreement, after
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-- they issued this statement saying we've made significant progress and are close to a final agreement, we will continue to work hard to make sure that we get this critical legislation right and go -- in the coming days and quote. the senate is expected to take up the measure again next week, if that's not enough drama, mitch mcconnell is making threats about the debt limit, days before the spring off already expires. quote, i can't imagine a single republican in this environment that we're in now, this free-for-all for taxes in spending to vote to raise the debt limit, they need to put it into reconciliation bill, for now the republican leader didn't share that same concern when a republican was in office or when he and his republican colleagues cut the corporate tax rate. joining us now is democratic senator chris van hollen, he's a member of the budget and appropriations committee, who were in fact the ranking member of the budget committee during the time that those taxes were
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cut and we had to do those things. explain this to me in a way that i'm having trouble explaining to my senators, it's the same thing, if you cut revenue because you cut taxes on corporations, or somewhere else, or you spend money elsewhere, it's all the same thing, the debt ceiling is paying bills you've already incurred? >> that is exactly right, ali. mitch mcconnell, as you say, is just trying to have it both ways, this is a cynical and reckless statement he made today because when republicans were in charged back in 2016 with president trump, they cut cut taxes for the, rich increase the deficit by two trillion dollars but then they proceeded to raise the debt ceiling when president trump asked them to. and now that we have a democratic president in the white house, they are threatening to not support that, and of course, david jeopardize the whole credit of the united states.
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that would totally tank the economy if the united states didn't fulfill its obligations. >> it is a game of chicken, that he doesn't want that to happen, and you all don't want that to happen, is he saying you need to get serious about negotiating about the infrastructure bill differently? >> i don't know if it's about the infrastructure, i think he's just try to wreak havoc during the time the president biden is in office, after all, it wasn't that long ago that mitch mcconnell said that he is 100 percent focused on blocking initiatives from the biden administration. so this just seems to be mitch mcconnell's doing what he's always done, trying to obstruct, disrupt. but here he's playing with real matches. if you were to actually not support raising the debt ceiling, you would wreck the u.s. economy, even as you get close to that point, even as you were to pull the trigger on,
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it that could create lots of uncertainties and lots of damage in the economy. i hope other republican senators will rein him in, or themselves. >> this is usually something that people play around with, this is not usually the leader who is involved in it. let's talk about the infrastructure bill, the bipartisan bill that had a procedural vote that did not succeed, many did not expected to succeed, a group of senators from both parties were working on, it seem to think that this was not the end of the road for that. but where are we, there is pressure from progressives in the democratic party to not continue to scale back on the infrastructure deal, there's pressure from conservatives in the republican party to not put more into that infrastructure deal than feels like what we all know to be infrastructure, atiba, roads bridges repairs, things like that. >> i was disappointed that all republicans decided to block the motion to proceed just to
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debate the infrastructure bill, including those republicans who were part of the bipartisan group, voted against it. on the other hand, they have issued that statement you quoted, saying that this is just a question of putting the final touches on this bipartisan proposal. so, i hope that they completed. make no mistake, in addition to passing that, and i hope we get to that point, we're also going to pass the other parts of president biden's bill back better agenda. which includes the infrastructure proposals that are not part of the bipartisan plan, and also include very important provisions in the family's plans, educational, putting down the price of prescription drugs is something that we're focused on in the senate. we have to ask the bipartisan bill, but also pass the framework, the budget resolution to do the rest of
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that. >> and it does seem like senator bernie sanders is working on drafting the budget resolution, he said the staff is already working on drafting the resolution despite having not having finalized reconciliation -- breaking down the spending top line top democrats agreed to last week. what is the status of this budget reconciliation bill? >> i'll be i think we're gonna get there, when i say we, i mean the 50 senate democrats. there is an understanding that as we move forward the bipartisan bill, we have to do this other major piece, the president biden's agenda. we have to get a framework done, and then we can debate the pieces. i think of it as -- the budget resolution is the frame of the house, and then once you set that you move about building the rooms, putting the furniture and. the first step is to get that brought agreement, as you said on the 3.5 trillion dollar
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amount, which i should emphasize includes things like extending the child tax credit. this month we saw families begin to receive up to $300 per month in that tax credit, we don't want that to end at the end of this year, we wanted to continue. we want medicare to cover important services like vision, dental, hearing which is not covered by medicare. we want to reduce the cost of description drugs by giving medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. these are all important elements of the budget route framework that we're working on in the senate, with the democratic parties. >> in 2017, in a press conference with the treasury secretary mnuchin, mitch mcconnell said that there is zero chance we won't raise the debt ceiling, no chance, america is not going to default. now he's suggesting that you all put this into the budget reconciliation bill.
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a, can you do that, and be, can you just put it into the budget reconciliation bill that you are raising the debt ceiling? can that be done? >> it would be cumbersome to do it that way, we're looking at all the options because democrats don't want the united states to default on its first bill, we don't want to create a meltdown. and as you've explained, it's important that everybody understand raising the debt ceiling is to pay for the obligations that the united states government has already undertaken, that are already owed. so, they would be like you saying, you're not going to pay the mortgage on your house except, the united states is defaulting on all its debts. it would crash the economy. so look, we will make sure that we will do everything we can to make sure we don't default on that. mitch mcconnell, you know, i always the republicans need to do the right thing here rather than threaten economic catastrophe if they don't get
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their way. we're not going to negotiate with them on something that all of us need to be in together. you don't get something, a republican priority in order to do the right thing for the entire country. >> senator got to see again, thank you for joining us, senator chris van hollen of maryland. coming up. joe biden went to the front lines of the infrastructure fight instance natty, where the regional pro business chamber of congress are begging congress to pass an infrastructure bill to fix the bridge that connects ohio to mitch mcconnell state. that is next. that is next know this about the jungle, everything that you see wants to kill you and can. ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ ♪ ♪ see disney's jungle cruise. applebee's and a movie, now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. (man) i've made progress with my mental health.
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cincinnati, to ohio, which also happened to receive more than five billion dollar in american rescue plan money. that is the backdrop for the president pitch today on his infrastructure plan. he visited with electrical workers at a training center pointed out that the plant would create more good paying, union jobs. the president was greeted at
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the cincinnati northern kentucky international airport by kentucky's democratic government and the sheer and his family, because the cincinnati airport is literally in kentucky. cincinnati and mitch mcconnell's home state are also physically and economically connected by the important bridge over the ohio river. that bridge carries 160,000 commuters and trucks between cincinnati and kentucky every day. twice the original design capacity. the american transportation research institute listed the corridor as the second most congested for truck traffic in the united states. joining us now is the mayor of cincinnati, mayor currently, good to see you again, thank you for joining us. >> it is so good to be with, you ali. >> mayor this is an area that has received a good amount of money from the american rescue plan, this is the plan of course that no republican supported, but many republicans have taken credit for or off touted in their neighborhood. do people who live in this area, because you really have a lot
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of the old-fashioned physical infrastructure that we're talking about, bridges, roads, transport, do they get it? do they know what they got out of the american rescue plan, and do they know but they could be getting out of the infrastructure plan? >> well, look, we know we have the ability to keep police and fire and public service employees working, providing police and fire services, but the right-wing republicans in columbus past the biggest defund the police and fire bill ever, just a couple of weeks ago, to defund radically the cities and townships and counties across the state, and so we've had to shore back up our police fired public services. but, the american rescue plan was not an infrastructure bill, so that bridge that you pointed to, needs to be fixed, donald trump promised to fix it, but of course he never did. joe biden's trying to fix it, and i hope to god that they will pass the bipartisan
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infrastructure bill. >> the president points out, as do many others that the infrastructure bill and the americana plan, the two big things that he's trying to do our overwhelmingly popular amongst americans even amongst republicans out there it just doesn't seem to have that degree of support in congress, how are people feeling about that obviously they think about the bridge i guess that's where the rubber gets the road is the one that you can fix? >> donald trump had a press conference in front of that bridge and promised to fix it he never fixed it, never even tried. joe biden and our two senators, have been architects of the infrastructure plan and to think god with joe biden's leadership and vision, i'm hopeful that we will in fact get this done and fix this bridge which should've been fixed a long time ago. you know, it is joe biden who is getting this out of --
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it on bridges like the -- and high speed broadband, internet and clean water initiatives, replacing lead pipes, this is what america needs this is will jaime needs and the republicans in ohio have defunded the police and fire, i mean that literally. and they didn't do anything to meaningfully get high broadband during promote economy, promote education, and thank god joe biden is trying to get that done for middle america because the republicans haven't helped, and of course republicans who have run our state for almost 30 years have failed to lead all these physical issues. so this is an important conversation for people and ohio, this is important because ohio is a state that votes republican, it votes democratic, a lot of these dollars are going into republican areas. in the end, there is overwhelming support for the things you're talking about. we >> look, we just like fdr
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electrified the south with the tea va, we need high speed broadband with internet. not just for our kids and cincinnati who do their homework, but i know it for farmers in we ohio -- where save money but also prevent the runoffs that create what -- in our waterways. we need lead pipes to be replaced in all of our country especially especially in the midwest where we have systems that are 100 years old. and by the way, these are all good american jobs. and i'm so glad, it's so refreshing to have a president who doesn't have a press conference like donald trump did, but it's actually proposing and working across the aisle to get this done. >> very good to see you as always, mayor john quinn lay, from cincinnati. coming, up there's new reporting that the trump businesses now that he's fallen
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of flexible booking options. expedia. it matters who you travel with. the loser one term price impeach president is praising capitol rioters and marinating his own conspiracies. the washington post, authors of i alone can fix it, told us about their interview with trump in march 21st where he paneled self serving lies about the last election in january six. well tonight, we've got tape of it we >> it was a loving crowd, too, by the way. there was a lot of love. i've heard that from everybody. many, many people have told me that was a loving crowd. it was too bad, it was too bad that they did that. for >> it was too bad that they did that. trump continues to lie after that. that's the current state of donald trump and the trump
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brand, it's been like that for a long time, even trump knows it. >> all my life in terms of business and life and everything was the day before i announced -- everything was good, i'd finished up a lot of jobs, they were very successful. and then i said i want to do this, i want to be president. >> a new report at the washington post looks at the current state of the trump organization. it's not. pretty a company according to the post it says the companies holdings decline during trump's presidency, as for hotels close, the trump mexican merchandizing -- the company was hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, by its politically touched by brand, and by the indictments of weisselberg and two trump corporate entities. joining us now are to reporters who both won pulitzer prizes, david foreign, hold washington post political reporter, and msnbc contributor investigative reporter and author of the, making of donald trump. good to see you both, david,
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let me start with you. well actually are both david, david cay johnston, let me start with you on the issue that -- what trump said to the reporter, it was in march when he said about his. business he said everybody in the hotel business is suffering. donald trump's brand has suffered differently than other major brands have suffered. a lot of it is will -- >> he benefited because people were paying tribute to him. remember on his way to the white house after his inauguration, they took that two-minute turn on the street and it was in front of the trump hotel. he wanted to do business with the illustration, he will pay tribute. no but he has reason to pay tribute anymore, so he's suffering there along with the rest of the hotel business. >> david foreign hold, you ride along with john hot josh hosni that the company's day-to-day leaders are trump jr., 43 years, old and his younger brother
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eric, 37. erica lives in new york usually plays a more active role, since trump jr. has moved to florida and become more involved in politics. ivanka trump was a top executive at the trump organization before she joined her father in the white house. but she does not appear to have taken any formal role in the company since she left, according to recent filings reviewed by the washington post. and of course weisselberg not running the operation. so who is running this company? >> it seems to be both on paper and really don jr. and eric. eric has played a big role in the company while his father was in the white house. but the will part that's new here is the lack of weisselberg. his role was bigger than that. he was more of a chief operating officer, and he did it for years especially when trump senior was in the white house. he was the guy who looked at every transaction to the point of, is my subsidiary claim we
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-- he took that out of the organization, yes, on paper you can replace him with don jr., but he was ecstasy executor, c o role in the company. >> david cay johnston, i want to go forward with this idea of who is not paying tribute to donald trump. and in some not as significant part it's the republican party. according to a report the washington post the reason why the drop in revenue -- the reason for the drop though isn't really because it's in his own company campaign committees are not spending money anymore because he's not holding any fund-raisers anymore. it also reinforces another reason why trump might be interested in running for president, again in 2024. why get thousands of people to give him money that bolsters his point of line. we know that he's charging exorbitant amounts for secret services to watch his properties. this is the grift part you talked about. >> a d.c. report, the news service around, we call him the
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beggar in chief. his principal source of revenue is asking people to send him money. republican candidates who used to have to come and pay tribute to him, they don't need to do that anymore. russians who used to come, foreign government, saudis, why would they need to come anymore? so i don't see a good future for him here in his business. we have seen the -- turnberry have been losing money from day one. and one of the things that has to worry about is managers, the good managers he has, heading for the door for better opportunities elsewhere to try to recruit new ones which involves the reputation no risk of going to work for donald trump. plus, well if he gets indicted or something else happens, your job could go puff. >> i would ask you to that point to dave unfair and, hold
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don jr. is soliciting money to -- for donald trump's legal fun. this was posted on telegram on july 7th in which he says, guys, my dad is suing big tech with three exclamation points. if you can click to link to donate to his cpac to help out! it is with -- john junior and his sort of appeals are we becoming interesting. >> i think that the one context that of the crime in the political spending in trump properties, we still haven't seen the numbers for donald trump's own pack. remember he has been saying i'm gonna take on big tech, i'm gonna challenge of electives elections. we but he could be giving it to himself. he could've been paying it was businesses. so i don't know if we -- until we know how much that committee, that don jr., is raising money. for >> david cay johnston, how
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much does donald trump, if he doesn't run if he doesn't stay involved in politics, can you build this company into something meaningful? because it's a different place before he ran. there are people who carry ivanka trump's brand who don't do that anymore. their buildings that had trump's name on it that won't do that anymore. why does he build into, what does it become if he tries to make a go of it? >> i don't see henry covering his brand. he's tarnished it on his own, by his own conduct. the people he's -- they are not people who can spend $1,000 to have a night in his hotel. he's really damaged his brand. and his as his legal brands mount, they're gonna demand payment up front. he's gonna be squeezed there. we so there really is this reliance on donations, as we
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david fahrenthold is doing some fantastic work with, well no that would he race so far, promising to challenge the election -- with >> david, this is tricky though, when donald trump's biggest business is raising for and running elections. >> i think the biggest business as the trump organization as it's constituted doesn't make sense with donald trump's constitution. it has his name, why would people would go with two his hotels. you can capitalize his -- keeping the properties -- we selling t-shirts. that's the business that could sustain itself. the problem, is the businesses that aren't working, like the hotels and some of the gulf resorts, those are the ones that have the huge loans on them. so it's gonna be hard to just cast them off and focus on what's working. that's gonna be his dilemma for the next couple of years. >> and in response to a
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reporter and march when talking about these business is not doing well specifically the hotel business, we david cay johnston trump does say, i'm very under leveraged, it's good, it's hurting me, but it's hurting everyone else as well. i mean he's saying, what's it to me, i don't owe anybody any money? to m>> yes donald has lots of m, yes to dates that are coming up. he's gonna come up with refinancing. and who's going to refinance anything that the trump organization while it is under indictment? i mean maybe he can find a banker who will do it, but it won't be prudent for anything to do that. and he has not personally been charged yet, he gets personally charged, he'll be able to refinance anything. >> guys thank you for your excellent reporting david foreign hold and david cay johnston. the texting republican --
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continue their work of virtual conferences on protecting the right to vote meeting with civil rights activists, election of facials and including house democratic akeem jeffries. back in texas however, republicans have a different priority. related dating the 2020 election. they are still doing that. texas republicans have introduced a bill seeking an audit of the states 13 largest counties. most of which voted for joe biden. trump won the state of texas, so it's not really clear what republicans hope to achieve here. there have been no reports of widespread floater fraud. republican briscoe can even acknowledge that when texas date rape of protests and tentative gonzalez challenged him on that earlier this year. >> the secretary of state said, 2020 elections was free fair,
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safe, and secure. do you not agree with that with the secretary of state said? >> i think that is her opinion. sure. >> are you saying that you are disagreeing with what the secretary of state said? >> i think that they are probably right, in the adding up of it all, from what they saw. that it was a free, fair, and secure election. >> here's what the dallas morning news puts, at the push shows how, despite no evidence of widespread fraud in an in the state donald trump, carried some republicans are still raising questions about the 2020 elections results six months after biden took. office joining us now is jessica gonzalez, vice chair of the committee on elections and texas state representative julie johnson. good evening to both of you, thank you for being here. representative gonzalez, you and i have had this conversation before in which we describe how this is a solution
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in search of a problem. but they jumped the shark on this one, the 13 counties they're investigating, three of them colin, dent in, and montgomery county voted for trump in a state that donald trump won. are we now really relocating elections for the sake of it or once you've glommed on to the big lie you can't get off that train, you just have to keep counting votes? >> yes. from the very beginning, during the rioters session when it started in january, it became clear to me and many of my fellow democratic colleagues in the texas house that republican leadership would attempt to pass some sort of harmful voting suppression legislation that was based on the big lie. that somehow donald trump actually won the election in 2020. and when we spoke up about it, we were dismissed, we were disrespected, and now a by filing this bill, they are even with -- they are not denying their intention here anymore. texas republicans are pushing this narrative even further. they also want to get an
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endorsement from the former disgrace of a president for the primary races. so this is all what it is, they are putting politics over people. >> it's very strange representative johnson, because the things that they are imposing, the things that you have all left to prevent from being passed, again, our problems that were not problems in the election. so when we talk about 24-hour voting, or drive-through voting, or prohibiting voters from proactively sending out absentee applications for those who have not requested them, increasing criminal penalties for election workers who run foul of regulations. none of these things actually happened. >> exactly. there was no voter fraud in the state of texas. and the crazy thing is the author of this bill is from montgomery county. so he's basically wanting an audit in his own election that he won. so it makes no sense
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whatsoever. this really isn't a tanned for them to try to justify filing these oppressive voter bills to keep democrats, and to keep young people, to keep elderly people, to keep disabled people, to keep people of color, to keep moms with too big a scheduled from voting. they are trying to retain power. and these sorts of tactics arms but they're trying to. do we they will -- have to file this kind of stuff to justify their actions. >> gonzalez, we vice president kamala harris we met with these people -- with >> you are the people who make elections happen. we cannot, we dare not, take the work of the poll workers for granted. we and i think we do. they're but the work of poll workers unencumbered, without intimidation, without threats
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we, should be a commitment that we all have. not only to them who served but to our democracy. >> representative fans all this, we have all seen polls, we've seen the poll workers, they are the symbol of civil service. they are volunteers in some cases, paid in some cases, that are doing the work that allows our democracy to continue. and texas they're all sorts of things going on that would lead to the intimidation of the possible criminalization of, and the removal of bipartisanship, from some of these roles. we >> yes, and one of the big problems with that is that it's already hard for us to find poll workers as it is. we legislation that adds evaluation a criminal sanction to poll workers for denying access to a poll watcher, given, even if we had a problem with it in the past before, that is not enough. the way that this bill is
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written is that it limits, it gives untrained we poll watchers unfettered access to voting locations, but also limiting the power of a poll worker with. so that is a slippery slope for us to go down and the language of the bill makes it really hard for poll workers to remove a disruptive poll watcher. for example, just intimidating someone, or standing too closely to someone, that is not enough to rise to the level to where a poll worker can remove a person from a polling location. and that's not to mention the fact that one person gets a free felony, so they have already been warmed before that, before can even wrestle that level. and the laws are unclear as to whether the person has to violate in the same way, if it's the same violation for it to occur. so it's a very dangerous thing for texas to go down, or a very
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dangerous battle with. because people are not gonna be intimidated, they're not gonna come back to vote. so that provision is very problematic. >> representative johnson, let's go down that road a little more, for those of us who have never faced intimidation at a, poll it seems very easy for us to see that no one can intimidate, me if somebody tries to intimidate, me i'm just gonna call the police. voter intimidation, police public intimidation plays a very big role. and what texas is saying in some of this legislation is that, we're okay with some fat. >> that is exactly what they're saying. and what they're trying to do, imagine the insurrectionists who stormed the capitol on january six. a lot of them are from texas. even one of them was a state representative, a republican from texas. and those are the kinds of people that can be recruited, and they want to send them down
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into, especially minority neighborhoods, where a lot of times we're trying to get new registered voters, who might be first-time voters, to be able to stand over them, even possibly review their ballot, and be disruptive. and as my colleague jessica was saying, the election workers are very limited in where to kick them out. so it's a huge problem. >> this is a big fight that you're all having and continued to success to you to continue fighting for voters rights. jessica gonzalez and julie johnston, thank you for joining us. that is tonight's last word, the 11th hour with brian williams begins now. iams begins now. >> the house speaker in the republican leader of the house are now at war over the investigation into the one sixth riot and trashing of the capital after nancy pelosi took it unprecedented step and said no to two of the republicans that had been named to that
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committee. details on that significant development in just a moment, there is new insight into the former presidents take on the violent efforts on january six. let's not forget to overturn the election he lost. newly-released audio that comes to us from pulitzer prize -winning journalism duo carol leonning and philip rucker of the washington post. they interviewed trump at mar-a-lago back at march for their book i alone can fix it. and here is what trump told them about the day has supporters laid siege to and desecrated the capitol. and again in an effort to overturn the election, which of course lead to trumping impeached for a second time. >> it was a loving crowd, i heard that from everybody. many people told me that it was a loving crowd. and you know, it was too bad, it was too bad that they did that. the capitol police were very