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tv   Alex Wagner Tonight  MSNBC  August 31, 2022 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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and we'll actually see it -- will all catch serena playing doubles tomorrow night with her sister venus. and after that we will see you right here at 11. and on that note we wish you all a very good night from all of our colleagues across the network of nbc news thanks for staying up late with us. i'll see you at the end of tomorrow. tomorrow do you remember this issue of time magazine? it says it is from march of 2009. it has donald trump on the cover, underneath the caption, trump is hitting on all fronts. even tv. there is another capture below the headline. the apprentice is a television smersh. that magazine cover reportedly hung on the wall and at least five of donald trump's golf clubs at the beginning of his presidency. there is just one problem. it was not real. as washington reporter uncovered in june of 2017, donald was not on the cover of time magazine in march of 2009,
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but he had been hanging fake magazine covers and golf clubs to make it look like he was. just to be clear here, trump wanted so badly to be on the cover of time magazine, that he invented a fake time cover all about himself and hung it up in public in multiple places, all over the country. that forgotten little detail from trump's presidency became relevant again today, after the department of justice issued its latest court filing in the ongoing court battle over ongoing access to the fbi search of mar-a-lago. the filing included this shocking picture showing top secret and classified documents that the fbi found during that search, documents clearly labeled, top secret and sci for sensitive compartment and permission. as experts noted, none of the documents spare markings to
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indicate that they have been declassified. it is a typical part of the declassification process. but those documents are also sitting alongside what appears to be, drumroll please, a box with the framed time magazine cover, everyone this time, featuring trump when he was president. now we don't know for sure why the fbi placed the documents next to the box of the framed time cover. maybe trump's filing system is alphabetical. t for time magazine and also tea for top secret. who can no? but what is clear from this photo is that donald trump kept some of our nation's most important secrets alongside his embarrassingly vein momentous. and that was what republicans decided ever going to focus on
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in order to defend donald trump. after the photo was released, the official twitter account for the republicans on the house judiciary committee tweeted, that time magazine cover was huge threat to national security. i roll a muggy. that time magazine cover shirt. never mind the six documents with big bold letters saying, secret and top secret. the real scandal here is that the fbi maybe took the former presidents frame magazine covers. in their defense trump's allies don't have a lot to work with right now, because this latest filing for the department of justice is damning and it reveals a lot about how far donald trump was willing to go in order to keep those sensitive documents from being turned over to the fbi. prior to the search, trump's lawyers had agreed to keep all of the sensitive documents in a locked storage room at mar-a-lago, but according to the justice department following, quote, the government developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the storage room, and the efforts are likely taken to obstruct the governments investigation. the justice department also claims it found classified documents inside trump's desk and george alongside his passports. the filing describes how trump 's lawyers in june claimed to have conducted a diligent
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search of trump's premises and turned over 38 classified documents. they assured investigators those were all the classified documents and that none remain. despite dozens sure insists, the fbi found over 100 more classified documents that were still being kept at double trump's home, when they executed the search warrant two months later. the justice department writes, quote, that the fbi, in a matter of hours, recover twice as many documents with classification markings as the diligence search that the former presidents counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform calls into serious question the representation made and the june -- trump lawyers and cast doubt on the extent of corporation in a matter. the justice department made it painfully clear in its filing that its suspects the former president of willfully obstructing its investigation and withholding documents. now, tonight, about an hour ago, trump's team submitted their own brief to the court, responding to the doj filing late last night. and, surprise, there is not much in there that response to the very comprehensive case that the justice department lays out regarding potential obstruction of justice.
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instead, there is a lot of ink built on the need for a special master, an independent third party to review the documents found at mar-a-lago, never mind that they should not have been there for that to begin with. by way of an example, trump's team argues that the government now has a temerity to argue that any involvement by a special master will interfere with the now ongoing intelligence community review of the materials. left unchecked, the doj will impugn, leak, and publicize selective aspects of their investigation with no recourse for donald trump but to somehow trust the stuff restraint of currently unchecked investigators, quote unquote. it's worth noting that the reason that the department of justice has made any aspects of this investigation public is because donald trump urged the doj to mix it aspects public. tomorrow, a judge will consider both sites arguments to determine whether to appoint that special master. joining us now is barbara mcquade, former u.s. attorney for the eastern district of
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michigan. barb, thanks so much are joining us. i have many questions about this latest filing, and the need for a special master. trump's team isn't surprisingly cyprus and its argument here. a predominately focuses on why trump deserves a special master here and a very much less criticism on the shoulders of the department of justice, suggesting that this is a politically motivated, and the witch hunt is not in there, but it is the subtext of this. what did you make of the filing, and how likely is it that we will see a third party appointed and trump's wishes granted? >> there is not much new and document other than, as you say some insults hurled at the justice department. we saw in the initial brief, the requests that they wanted a special master to have an independent review of materials, but some of the things that were in the government's response, i just don't think
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that the trump team has an answer for. number one, it has already been reviewed, they already went through all of it. in some ways, it would be futile to have a special master review this, but also, having someone in to be now at this stage would slow down the need to be doing a damage assessment. there is a real harm, sometimes all things being equal, why don't we have a special master because that will create this appearance of fairness, and it will sound some of the critics, but there is a real cost of that. that is not really addressed here. what they say is that those two things are inconsistent. but i don't think they are. what they are saying is that the fbi did the initial review of this to segregate out items protected by the attorney client privilege but now, they need to do is separate damage assessment. i think that is the reason that the justice department opposes this. nonetheless, the judge may
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decide that an abundance of caution is appropriate here. if i were looking at this, the law would favor not putting a special master, because the government argues that this is in trump's property anyway. this is property that belongs to the united states. his assertions of executive privilege are without merit, and as the justice department argued, to an extent, which he doesn't, it is a qualified privilege and it would be outweighed by this new to assess the damage. >> yeah, there is a question about what the judge says, though, right? this is a trump appointed judge, and there is something to be said, as one legal mind sent to us crossing your t's and dotting your i's. if trump is making this vehement case suggesting that this is somehow politically motivated, they make no in their filing that trump may be a candidate in the 2024 presidential candidate -- election just for optics alone, could you see a special master appointment likely, even in this instance? >> i am going to get the judge
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the benefit of the doubt of acting in good faith. the mere fact that donald reported her, i don't think means that she will have a thumb on the scale in his favor. also, he is a likely presidential candidate in 2024, two years from now. appointing a special master no really has no impact on the outcome of the election. most of the arguments he races are really arguments that one would race if this evidence would be introduced in a trial against him. he conflates a request for return or property with a request to suppress evidence. he talked about how his fourth amendment rights were violated. the time for the argument is if charges are filed, and he receives this discovery, and the government expresses intent to use it against him in a trial. that is the moment to make those arguments, not now. i would think that if i were a betting person, no special master will be granted here, but i suppose at the judge wants to out of an abundance of caution, and err on the side of fairness for donald trump and
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perhaps, in an effort to blunt the criticism, then perhaps she will get one. in my view, but a trump and our lawyers will find something to argue about criticize anyway, so i give him something when there is no legal merit for it. >> the justice department seem to foresee this late last night in their filing. they set, and i am paraphrasing wildly here, if a special master's appointed, their concern is that the slow snow holding down, and that the review, the director of national intelligence review to make sure that these documents are not actually a threat to national security, that that review continued without any further slowdown. so, they asked for a number of preconditions if your party is appointed, that both parties mutually agree on this person, that this person has a special classified and permission access, that they only review limited number of documents. who has the upperhand here in terms of the bargaining and who gets a special master and what his or her purview is? >> i think the justice department does something lawyers do all the time, which is to argue in the alternative. they say a number of reasons they think a special master is not appropriate here, not necessary and actually harmful to the interest of the united states. but then they say, but, if in the event, judge you, are
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persuaded that a special master should be appointed here, at the very least, here are some conditions that you are to consider. one of those, as you suggest, is making sure that this happens quickly, appointing somebody who already has a clearance at the highest levels to review these materials. keep in mind in their own filing, they said some of the fbi counter intelligence agents had to have their own clearances upgraded to review the material, because it includes special access programs, which is the very highest level. it is not a huge number of people out there to have the clearances. what they don't want to have this have some lawyer that dominant bond on tv yesterday say that this is the gotta move reviewed, and it takes six months to get the clearance. they want somebody who already has clearance, with a mutually agreed upon, and they asked for a deadline of september 30th to make sure that this is done quickly. every day, alex, that this assessment is not done, is a day when perhaps the life of a
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source oversees who's reporting information, could be at risk. so, it is important that this be done quickly. that is why i think the equities here really favor not appointing a special master. the filter has already been done, and to the extent that this information gets introduced a trial, that would be the point at which donald trump could file a motion to suppress this evidence. >> there are other characters in this that are facing some certain or uncertain legal jeopardy, and they include trump's legal team. the trump team is pushing back on the meeting that occurred on june 3rd, between evan corcoran and christina bob representing trump, and -- representing the justice department. that is the infamous meeting where the doj goes down to mar-a-lago and they say, hey, is this everything guys? and christina bob sends a document and old saying that this is everything, yes. and finally tonight, trump's team effectively says, that meeting has been significantly mischaracterized and the government's response. now, i wonder, and that is, again, a very tight summary of
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a very long document, what are the implications of -- for trump's legal team, if in fact, they were not being forthcoming with the doj over these documents and whether or not the defense had everything indeed that was at mar-a-lago? >> what we know based on the most recent doj pleading is that there was this lengthy back and forth where the justice department was asking for all these documents back. in fact, the archives were asking for the documents back, and they got 15 boxes in january. when they went to the, they realized there was still some missing. it -- is the chief of the counter intelligence at the justice department. the person goes on the mar-a-lago and says, we need everything turned over, hand -- they hand over one envelope, and then day a test, that is it. he says, i want to look at the
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box in the store, and they say, no, you can look at it, this is it, swear to god, it's everything. they turn it over. no, we don't know what it is, but some information that is behind the reduction bars caused the justice department to believe that there is more, and a judge found probable cause to believe that there was more. in fact, in august, when they went on their, they retrieved 33 more boxes of documents. so, for the people who are tested on that day in june that there were no more, they could be in some very serious trouble for obstruction of justice. now, you had to shut that they knew what was happening, so it is at the dealers or the person who provided information to the lawyers, which is donald himself. the fact that they found classified documents in his personal office next to his
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passport suggests to me that donald trump himself of some very serious legal problems here. >> the new york times saying that trump's lawyers may become witnesses or targets in this investigation, which is not really what you want to hear about when you are in the middle of an ongoing investigation and you are donald trump. >> yeah, an interesting part of this happened in the paul manafort case, where he was charged -- his lawyer had made representations about registering as foreign agents, saying that he wasn't. it turns out that he had lied to the lawyer. and so the lawyer was able to testify against him, through the crime fraud exception, she was granted immunity and she testified about what paul manafort had said to her. i could imagine a similar scenario here, where the lawyers are given immunity and compelled to testify. and the judge would have to make a finding that the crime fraud exception to the attorney client privilege applies here. that is, that they're using it as a shield to cover for criminal activity. if that is the case, they would have a choice to make, they could testify. or, if they said that trump was not involved, they themselves
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could find themselves as the defendants. here or it could be that all of them are charged in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. >> i mean, to be trump's lawyer is to find yourself crossing lines that you never thought you would witness. michael cohen, ty cobbe, pat cipollone, and maybe christina bob and evan corcoran. barbara mcquade, former u.s. attorney for the eastern district of michigan, thank you very time and expertise this evening. okay, in a minute we are going to be joined by one of the reporters who has been breaking all kinds of news in the trump investigation. carol leonnig joins us live on set, coming up next. and next, big news out of alaska, where a democrat has defeated sarah palin for congress, becoming that states first native american in the u. s. congress. plus, we will be joined by the chair of the january 6th committee who represents jackson, mississippi, congressman bennie thompson. a lot to get to, stay with us. so we need something super disctintive. dad's work, meet daughter's playtime. wait 'till you hear this— thankfully, meta portal helps reduce background noise. zero lace model. adjusts to low light. and pans and zooms to keep you in frame. take a look at this. so the whole team stays on track. okay, let's get you some feedback. i'm impressed. great, loving your work.
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filed his lawsuit last week calling for a special master in the case of the fbi search of his florida home, the washington post published this piece, entitled fbi's mar-a-lago search followed months of resistance, come, delay, by trump. it documented trump's year and a half-long effort to stall and prevent the handover of documents to the national archives and justice department investigators. quote, some material recovered in the search is considered extraordinarily sensitive to people familiar with the search, said, because it could reveal carefully guarded secrets about u.s. intelligence gathering methods. one of them said the information is among the most sensitive secrets we hold. the piece relied on conversations with multiple people with direct knowledge of the investigation, as well as
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court filings to that date. now subsequently gulf islands by the justice department have shown a deep legal exposure faced by the former president and some of his lawyers. that washington post preview previewed why, noting that two trump white house lawyers with the requisite security clearances who were invited to do some of the material by the archives early this year, notably declined to look at that material, as the post reported, in trump's inner circle, concern has been rising since june at the former president has created legal jeopardy for himself. according to multiple people in his orbit. mar-a-lago is a big problem, one of the people said. put that on a t-shirt. since then, the release of the fbi affidavit in last night's doj filing, laying out instances of obstruction and trump's lack of cooperation,
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while those have only made things worse. joining us now is one of the writers of that washington post scoop as well as several others since the start of this investigation, carol leonnig is the pulitzer prize-winning national investigative reporter for the washington post and coauthor of i alone can fix it doll j trump's catastrophic final year. carol the, catastrophe continues well into the post presidency is ems. let's just first start -- i mean, that piece that you wrote what is so presages this moment. -- i just want to get your moment -- which is seems to me more like a political document then a legal document, right? it's full of buzzwords that i'm sure trump's allies will use, the word witch hunt isn't in there, but it basically suggest this is all part of a political ploy on the part of the deep state. how did you read it? >> a very similarly. and i'm really glad you noticed the political rhetoric and the optics of this filing which, as you know to yourself, is part of a pattern of how donald trump deals with federal and other courts. his idea is, let me communicate the way i want to communicate to my base. he still thinks of himself as the president. and these filings end up being his way of saying, i am a victim. you are next. and i don't have to deal with all the legal mumbo jumbo. and i don't have to make a
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coherent legal finding or claim before the court. all i have to do is convince the people i care about that this is wrong, and that it is politicized and it is all joe biden coming for me, even though he doesn't actually provide evidence of this. what our story said -- and it did presage the doj filing the other day -- what our story said over and over again is, even inside mar-a-lago, people who advised donald trump we're worried from june 3rd that this is exactly where we would end up, that the biggest legal jeopardy for donald trump was no longer potentially inciting a riot, potentially a conspiracy to start up january 6th, misleading the public -- know. the biggest legal issue he had was the one of his own making, refusing to turn over these records. and now, according to the doj, he and or -- and i stress he and or -- aides that he relied upon may have hidden and tried to conceal classified records he had been resisting in turning them over to the government.
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these are the people's records, right? >> yeah. he's famous phrase, they are mine, is just patently untrue. the other thing that this document does is potentially slow down this investigation, right? that is actually a meaningful consequence in all of this. and it seems to fit into trump 's pattern, which is delay, obfuscate, muddy the waters. and then claim victory. do you think that that is possible in this case? not only does he not have the protection of the presidency and his very compromised legal team -- but the reality of the facts is such that every time we get another step for, the facts look worse for donald trump. every stage in this, the more information we get, the more damning the case is against donald trump. >> well, absolutely. if you constantly have a
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shifting sands legal strategy -- you know first it was, we turned everything over. my lawyers have review, done a diligent search, and here are our 15 boxes. oh, wait, that is not the totality. here are some more records we found. now we have found turned everything over. and then the next document was, the president, before he left, declassified everything. he had a standing order that none of his national security officials -- that i interviewed -- knew anything about. a standing order in 2020 that anything he took to his home and residence was automatically declassified. >> and by the way, none of these documents for marks of declassification.
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of the documents they found. >> none of them. in fact, those color-coded pages actually sent a chill up my spine. because the color coding, forgive me leaving your good question -- >> no, go ahead, go ahead. miss direct. >> the color coding is exactly what national security officials were warning us reporters who were working on this story. they said, if there is a blue, if there is a red, then i'm
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worried. but if i see an orange cover on any of these documents, which is top secret security compartmented information -- if any of those have orange on them, that is a warning to every law enforcement agent, every national security official, who has any contact with that record, this has to be in a locked safe right away. >> that is the picture. and one wonders, not only why he had those documents down there, but who else saw them. i mean, these are documents that we know, from reporting, were stashed in closets, in the desk. we know other lawyers relating to other investigations were looking for material in and around mar-a-lago. what was so interesting was that in the fbi's filing, they said that the people tasked with reviewing these documents, some of them were not even cleared to look at this level of security document. that is how tight the secrets were kept. >> that's such an important point. you know, these particular programs -- forgive me, documents -- had cover sheets that had a coding, in addition to top secret, in addition to secure compartmented information. the holiest of holy of national
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security secrets. things that, if revealed, would cause imminent and grave danger to our national security. what american isn't a little bit shook like that by that. but in addition to that, these materials were expected to put human intel sources, their lives, they're human welfare in danger if released. so, if this is just sitting on a carpet in mar-a-lago -- >> in a carton. the former president seems very -- on the carpet, he had them in the carton, never mind that that carton was in his shoe closet. whatever. >> whatever. >> nonetheless -- >> but in the white house, there is a security official, who, when they take these records and show them to the sitting president, not the former president in his club, they have a document that they keep that says, this is the purpose for which i withdrew this record. and now there is a record to make sure i returned it to the secure lock box. but you are the question, i don't want to get away from it, which is, things are getting worse. the shifting sands of the arguments that trump and his team have made have now put two people who said they were lawyers for donald trump in serious jeopardy. i am told by sources that
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christina bobb will automatically be a witness, she will be asked for testimony. we will see about evan corcoran. he is still a lawyer. but we now know that team trump recognizes christina bobb is in trouble because they are no longer, according to our reporting at the washington post and my colleagues -- there are no longer going to have her representing donald trump on any motion. she is not going to be signing anything. and i think evan is going to be in that situation not too long from now. >> oh, to be a trump lawyer, which is what i said at the end of the last block. but it cannot be stated enough. it is amazing anybody wants to represent him at this point. and yet, the investigation continues. carol leonnig, national investigative reporter for the washington post, thank you for your time and wisdom and reporting on everything else. carol, it is great to see you. >> thank you, alex. >> breaking news out of alaska, where sarah palin -- yes, that sarah palin -- has just lost her bid for congress to a democrat. we will joined by political reporter mark leibovitz for more on that southern results and more republican reaction, plus the doj filing out on trump. later, we will talk live to mississippi congressman bennie thompson, chair of the january 6th committee. stay with us.
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sarah palin, who was once considered the future of the republican party, has lost a special election to represent the state of alaska in congress. and she lost to a democrat named mary peltola. it is a huge upset for the former half-term republican governor of the state, who was handpicked by republican presidential candidate john mccain to be his running mate. democrat mary peltola will be the first alaska native in congress and the first woman to represent alaska in the house of representatives, taking the at large seat that was once occupied by the late republican
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congressman don young, who held it for 50 years. peltola we'll be the first democrat to join alaska's congressional delegation since 2014, when democratic senator mark begich lost his seat to republican dan sullivan. so, how did this happen? how did a democrat win in deep red alaska? special election to fill don young's seat was actually held to go on august 16th, also the first night of this program. it was the first time alaskans the ranked choice voting system in which voters ranked their candidates in order of preference. and when candidates are eliminated, the votes that would have gone to them or instead we distributed to the next ranked candidate that the voters preferred. going into today, democrat mary peltola we leaving with about 40% of the vote. sarah palin at 31% and bigots at 28 --
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now the single candidate had won a majority of the vote. so, the race went into an instant runoff election, in which the last place candidate, nick begich, was nixed, and these voters were re-distributed to peltola or palin. in case you are wondering, yes, alaska will still use the rank choice voting process in -- joining me now is mark leibovitz, that writer for the atlantic and author of, thank you for your servitude, down from washington and the price of submission. this year seems like the prices of mission has been all for in this race. mark leibovich, sarah palin, i must read her statement after her loss this evening. ranked choice voting was sold as the way to make elections better reflect the will of the people. as alaska -- and america -- now sees, the exact opposite is true. then we are disappointed in this outcome, alaskans on the
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last one who will have a retreat. instead, i'm going to reload. because what would a concession statement be without a gun metaphor? mark, why do you think sarah palin lost tonight? >> well, i think she comes with a lot of baggage, obviously. i think there is a larger conversation about whether this speaks to a larger trend line in the midterms and i think since the dobbs decision, democrats have over performed a number of races now. but obviously, sarah palin is -- she is, she is a sui generis character, right? she's not necessarily representative of a congressional candidate somewhere else in the country. but having said, that is a really troubling trend line and results for republicans in these last few weeks, partly because it's also another celebrity quasi-freak show candidate that comes from the trump trend, the trump, holdout voters seem to be showing, time and time again, they are pretty sick of. so, that has got to be problematic also. but bottom line, the seat has been red since about 16 20, or whatever, and now it is flipping -- red and that's bottom line. >> nick begich, her opponent, is saying she lost not because
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of -- but because her unfavorable writing is so high. if there is mentioning that on august 8th, the day that the doj searched mar-a-lago, donald trump was doing a tele-rally for none other than sarah palin. >> right. >> and one remembers weather is responsible to extrapolate lessons from donald trump at all of this. it is worth noting that we have some reporting that don trump itself may be delaying the announcement of the 2024 presidential bid until after labor day. initially, he had said it he would do it around labor day, which is in 48 hours from now, depending on what time zone you live in. do you think -- >> [inaudible] >> do you think it is wise to try to find a lesson about trump in all of this? and in all of this [inaudible] >> i think it speaks to a larger exhaustion with the [inaudible] hours talking with a republican congressman today, and he said, do you believe we are still talking about this, and this
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guy, and the various legal vicissitudes? and whether sarah palin is going to concede is she going to back off? and is she going to do a trump style of contesting the election? it's one thing after another. and you do sense of certain weariness with not only this story but to sort of the ongoing distraction that this has sort of done to the republican party and it is blocking out everything else. so, yeah, i don't know, i think that is the trend there that is worth worrying about, if you are republican. >> you talked to republicans. there is a sort of behavioral pattern, we have noticed, in the last few weeks, which is a lot of these more -- and i will officially tell this -- wackadoo candidates, endorsed by trump, have pivoted after their primaries and there's probably the websites of some of the most controversial
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statements, whether it is policy positions on things like reproductive choice, or positions on whether or not the 2020 election was stolen, do you think that this pivot to matters the base voters? i mean, i just think the very -- we all accept, to some, degree that once the primary is over, republican politicians pillow pivot to a more pallid of message for the middle. >> yeah. >> by the trump base is so incensed and so enraged, does it matter to them that their candidates are trying to be less trumpy in a general? >> you would think. i mean, it's one thing when you are trying to sort of finesse an issue, right? and maybe sort of go around the margins of the nuances of your belief on something. but when you have a cult of personality, it is pretty hard to move away from the personality while still maintaining the support of the cult. so, you can't just say, oh, i now think that the election
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might have been not stolen, maybe. i don't think that really fools anyone. and frankly, it's one thing to sort of pivot sort of elegantly. it's another thing to scrub your website of your previous position on abortion rights. and expect no one is going to notice. i think, to most people, it would be viewed as an insult to their intelligence and to the voters in general. >> there is not a lot of gray area as to whether you think the 2020 election was stolen. but good luck to those republicans were trying to find. it mark leibovich, staff writer at the, atlantic my friend, thank you for being with me tonight. >> thanks for having me, alex. >> up next, congressman benny thompson joins us live to talk about the crisis in jackson mississippi, where his constituents still have no drinking water this evening. and that is all because of a water system in disrepair, in large part because of decades of racism and racist policy. we will talk to him about that and the january 6th committee. we will be right back. ever notice how stiff clothes can feel rough on your skin? for softer clothes that are gentle on your skin, try downy free & gentle downy will soften your clothes without dyes or perfumes. the towel washed with downy is softer, and gentler on your skin. try downy free & gentle. >> tech: cracked windshield? don't wait. go to you can schedule service in just a few clicks. it's so easy. and more customers today are relying on their cars advanced safety features,
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finally, a light scent that lasts all day. downy light! on monday, when the republican governor made a stark announcement that the water system in the capital city of jackson had failed, they were somewhat notably absent. the democratic mayor of jackson. local news outlets later reported that he had not been invited to the governor conference, and although the mayor has argued about the city and state are working together, it seems quite apparent that there is a disconnect between state and local leadership. that breakdown could not come at a worse time. the water crisis facing jackson comes at a point when the city is already grappling with a dire set of circumstances. one in four residents live in poverty, and in some of the hardest hit parts of jackson, the average household makes $25,000 a year. in some cases, they're pulling in just $15,000 annually.
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since the year 2000, the annual meat and has come in jackson has dropped, about 60 have $500, which amounts to a whopping 15%. meanwhile, these are the residents who are being asked to keep afloat a water infrastructure system, that in some areas are 100 years old. as well as a crumbling water system. here is how the state has responded. the governor famously vetoed a bipartisan bill that would've helped poor peter -- while also helping the city collect much-needed water revenue. he did so because he was worried about giving the impression that the government had free money floating rent of pay for all of these things. they killed the bill that would've allowed jackson to raise the city sales tax by 1% in order to help pay for much-needed sewer repairs. that bill is tank after the republican house speaker publicly expressed his doubt
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about the measure, saying that it created a dangerous precedent for other cities in the state. this sort of interaction is indicative of how the state has dealt with jackson's decades long water problem. now the city is grappling with another period of acute crisis one that is affecting nearly every part of daily life. without access to drinking water, business owners all across the city are wondering how long they can keep the doors open. the football team was able to move its players to hotel so that they can have access to toilets and showers as they prepare for the season opener this weekend. one of jackson's hospitals that relies on city water is having to upgrade its facility with water tankers, to ensure that its patients are adequately cared for. parents are worried about how they will care for their newborn children, as they queue for rations of bottled water. water that is needed for everything from bathing those children, to mixing formula. this is life in jackson, mississippi right now. what, if anything, can be done to help?
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joining us now is mississippi congressman benny thompson, who represents a large part of jackson. he is also chairman of the january 6th committee. we should note that congressman thompson was the only member of mississippi's entire house delegation to vote for the federal infrastructure bill that brought badly needed funds to his state. congressman thompson, thank you for being here tonight. i'm sorry on the behalf of all the rest of americans that this is happening to the city of jackson. it's a crisis, and inexcusable. can you first in lightness as to what the republican-led legislature has done vis-à-vis jackson's problems? it just seems, at least on the outside looking in, that they have not done as much as they could have to help the people of jackson maintain and upgrade a infrastructure they so badly need. >> first of all, thank you for having me, alex. jackson, mississippi is the
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capital city of the state of mississippi. government of the state, when you come to a capital city, it's very historic. but like a lot of big cities, the population is predominantly minorities. the mayor, and city council our private predominantly minorities. they have to look for opportunities to keep the city afloat. everything that you outlined, in your monologue before you introduced me is what most cities in our state do when they need to generate revenue. it's just that every time the city of jackson would put forward similar methods, that always did other issues. it is disheartening for a person like me who votes to bring money to my state, that desperately needs it. and to see republican elected officials do the opposite of what the money is intended to do. we need health, our water system is antiquated.
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there is no doubt about it. in order to do it and get it right, we have to have help. president biden, as you know, signed the disaster declaration. that would help us tremendously. it will not help fix the entire problem. the perception that federal, state, and local people are working together, that's not true. everything that you see, without me, representing jackson, or without the mayor who is elected in jackson. it's true, our governor decides to do things on his own. it's unfortunate. we help get the disaster declaration, because it is the right thing to do. we want our governor to say, look, congressman thompson, we will sit down and work this out together. i am optimistic with this declaration. it requires cooperation. if we are going to ask for
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fema's help, fema will be at the table, saying that the cavalry is here. help is here. let's get this done. >> chairman, i have to ask you. this is a problem that we see happening in the majority of black cities all over the country. whether it is flint, baltimore washington, d. c., whether it is jackson. we have, in your state, a white republican-led state house, many of whom, the most powerful members live at side of the city. this is not their problem. do you think that this is the legacy of structural racism? how do you look at this, and look at the color lines, which so clearly inform these crises? >> if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck. i don't know if any white run city that is a capital city has been treated like jackson,
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mississippi. we can fix it, but we need our republican elected officials, who have been receiving the largest of the federal money coming from washington, to grow their cities. the highways are better their water systems or better, the entire infrastructure of the suburban communities being developed, at the expense of the inner city. they use the inner cities population to get the money, and then they spend the money in the suburbs. what is happening here with jackson though is the mayor of jackson is struggling, because the resources that he so desperately needs, and the hundred and 50 plus thousand individuals in the city, who also needed. that money is going to the suburbs. that is not how it should go.
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i actually shared that with the president today. if money is being sent to states, and those monies are not going to the neediest of the people, we need to cleared up. it is not right. we are going to work with the governor, i look forward to meeting with him in person. the conference calls or one thing, but you have to meet an individual across the table, and work it out. we are struggling in jackson. we have been on a water alert for over a month. now we have some quality issues in our city. our schools are not open. and so the governor, with the help of the fellow government, we can get this done. but you can't use a double standard for jackson. what is good for the suburbs it's good for the city. you don't have to have a difference. >> congressman, we wish you the best of luck in solving a crisis that should not be happening in america in the
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year 2022. mississippi congressman, chairman, benny thompson, thank you so much for your time, and all your efforts. we will be right back. ♪♪ meta portal go. look professional. ♪♪ even if you don't feel it. meta portal. the smart video calling device... - right on time! - of course. that makes work from home work for you. so, shall we get started? are you tired of clean clothes that just don't smell clean? that makes work from home downy unstopables in-wash scent boosters keep your laundry smelling fresh waaaay longer than detergent alone.
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it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. happy filing night lawrence! >> i'm happy because we got one of these late filings. i have andrew weissmann, neal katyal, matt miller. i've got all the lawyers i need. >> the murders of legal. eagles >> how them take it apart, get right. to it >> have a great show. >> thank you, thank you. >> tonight, the trump lawyers have filed a reply to


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