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tv   The 11th Hour With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  September 22, 2022 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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billions of tax dollars -- to help poor people and feed children, squandered on luxury cars and real estate. staggering fraud and scandal, as the 11th hour gets underway -- on this thursday night. good evening, once again, i'm stephanie not ruhle. donald trump getting hammered again. his latest legal dilemma comes just one day after a resounding defeat in federal appeals court over the classified records that were seized at mar-a-lago. and after, new york city county general filed a massive lawsuit against -- from raymond dearie. he is the special master reviewing classified documents taken from the former guy florida club. judge dearie demanded that the lawyers offer actual proof for trump's repeated claim that the fbi planted evidence during the search. doria also one more sign that ty the foll capit with the special master. this situation might not be working out the way trump they believe the fbi lied about the documents that were seized. and -- goes on to say that he might ask for testimony about the search and the documents from,
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quote, witnesses with knowledge of the relevant facts. one more sign that the special master he, means business, he is pushing for another judge to help review the thousands of items that were found in trump 's home. the former president has claimed he declassified sensitive records that he took from the white house by just thinking about it. last night he told sean hannity that he is able to do that just by thinking. apparently, that was news to some senate republicans. >> i think there is a process for declassifying documents.
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and i think it ought to be adhered to and followed. and i think that that should apply to anybody who has access to or deals with classified information. >> i believe, as i understand the executive branch requirements, there is a process that one must go through. >> for the committee, we think, because she was involved in helping organize and promote january 6th, coming to the capital -- >> pieces of her testimony be referenced or? -- hearing? >> it's possible what we have
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made any final determinations yet. i have no doubt that she will be a significant part of the report and i hope that at least some of what we got from her will end up in this hearing. >> so, sit back, get a drink and let's get smarter with the help of our lead off panel. we have got a lot to get to. jeff mason, white house correspondent for reuters -- katie benner pulitzer prize -winning justice reporter for the new york times -- and professor melissa murray of nyu law school. she was a law clerk for sonia sotomayor on the federal bench before her nomination to the supreme court. melissa, we have got to start with the special master. this situation might not be working out the way trump expected. is that surprising to you? >> i'm not surprised. judge dearie has a very strong reputation in new york. -- eastern district of new york for many years. and he is known as a straight
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shooter. i think i said on your show earlier, i was actually surprised that he was one of the names that was floated by the trump team for the position of special master. he seemed to kind of put it down the middle, kind of person, and it wasn't exactly what i was expecting from them but i think you can see now why the justice department was quick to take them up on this offer. he has really made it clear that he -- put up or shut up. but they cannot keep making these claims without actually providing evidence to back them up. >> melissa, does it feel like he's almost doing his own investigation here? beyond just reviewing the documents? >> i, mean a documentary view is, in some nature, investigatory, because you actually have to go through and determine what is or what is not privileged. and just tore through. so, there is an investigative function to it. but it seems like when he is actually doing is, doing some of the work that judge cannon might have done in that initial ruling, and sort of trying to figure out what needs to go to the department of justice and what could be returned or what stays with the president with the former president, rather, and what keeps gets returned to the government itself -- so, to that end, it seems like he is stepping in to fill a void that has been -- for sometime. >> that is not good for trump.
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is it possible for trump to back out of this? he is the one that wanted the special master. >> i don't know if you can un-win this bill. i think if there are bills to be on wrong, there have been quite a lot of bills appealing for the trump team over the last 24 hours. this has really been donald trump's no good, very bad, terrible day, in retrospect. so, lots to go here. and lots to see. >> the 11th circuit decision yesterday was a huge win for the justice department, katie. so, tell us, where the case stands now. >> yes, for the justice department -- significant documents. they can go forward with -- the president investigation that the think is most important. keep in mind the justice department wanted to know just a couple of things going into this matter before it became a huge court battle. did donald trump have records that belong to the u.s. government? some of those records classified? and then was there any sort of harmed into u.s. national
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security interest to -- out in the wild. in addition, they want to know whether or not trump's legal team was completely forthcoming -- still had record at mar-a-lago. we know from what's -- the justice department has reason to believe that, no, trump's lawyers were not forthcoming. and that there were presidential records that should have been returned to the government and that there was a ton of classified information. so, in order to determine exactly how damaging all of that is, they need to be able to look at the records that the 11th circuit just so they could look at the -- help them go forward with an investigation and a further investigative steps, including using the document themselves to ask more questions potentially of other witnesses and other people. >> jeff, we heard from just two republican senators today, pretty clearly breaking with trump on the whole, i can be classified by just thinking about it explanation. >> but what about the rest of the gop? it was clear what trump is saying is absolute nonsense. >> yeah. what about the rest of the gop? that's a question that has been asked for years, really, based
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on the multiple types of assertions that president trump has made that have been outlandish. this was just the latest one, amid the two that -- the clips were played. how do you not distance themselves from that? that's a question that republican leaders are absolutely confronted with in this particular case. i also think, more broadly, stephanie, it's interesting,, discussion about the special master, the put up or shut up moment. 80s, from a macro level, an example of something that the president -- the former president -- has been asked to do or forced to do on multiple different occasions. and in this case he has to do it by the person who his team had supported. after his allegations that the election was fraudulent, we asked to prove it. they went to court a zillion times. and we're not able to prove it because it was a false allegation. right now they are, again, dropping things, or he shopping comments, saying, suggesting, that maybe the fbi planted evidence. well, now he's being called out
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on. and we will see if they say anything. but as you said in your intro, so far, nothing. >> melissa, a former federal prosecutor last night on this show, told us that the new york ags case against trump is currently civil. but it should be a criminal case. do you agree with that? >> attorney general james did note in her complaint that there was evidence that criminal laws have been broken which affects the question why she didn't continue with a criminal prosecution why, this is a civil case. i think the reason for that is primarily it comes down to the question of the burden of proof. in a criminal case, it is much harder for the government. the standard approves beyond a reasonable doubt, a quite high standard. in a civil case, it is a preponderance of the evidence. so, a much lower standard, much easier for the government to prove. obviously, it doesn't come with any incarceration or penalties
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like that. but it does come with significant penalties like the disclose meant of the ill gotten profits, as well as the possibility of the trump team will be forbidden from doing business in new york state and from holding offices like corporate board positions in new york state -- so, it's quite sizable. it seems like it is an easier way for the government to go if they want to hold the trump team accountable. >> alvin bragg, the manhattan da, seems to now be saying his investigation is ongoing. can you clear that up? because the last we checked, it wasn't. and if you people have resigned in the da's office when he announced months ago that they were not pursuing criminal investigation. >> they did seem to be some major defections in the manhattan da's office around this, in part because there seem to be a reluctance to go forward with the prosecution. but we really don't know what has been going on in the men handier's office, whether not they have actually continue this investigation, and whether
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they have more information. >> we know that these two investigations by the ag and the -- running in parallel, it's likely that there were sharing information with each other. now the ag's investigation seems to have borne fruit and has resulted in this lawsuit filed against the trump organization, it is likely that some of the evidence that was supporting that particular complaint might now be used with the manhattan da. so, we just really don't know what has been going on behind the scenes. but yes a few months ago, it seemed, like this -- doa, but now it seems to have been resuscitated. >> katie benner, the january six committee is trying to talk to ginni thomas. how big a deal is it? yes, they're going to talk to her. but we have no idea what she's going to say. >> so, pulling back, it's a big deal. because they're questioning the wife of a supreme court justice. it's kind of thing that people just didn't think was going to happen, particularly with liz cheney in such a position of power. she was reluctant to do so and here she is doing it. but in terms of whether not this is going to be a big deal
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for the investigation and for the public, that is to be seen. it depends on what questions are asked and what ginni thomas says. so i don't think that we can say that this is some sort of knock out punch for the committee because we just don't know what kind of information it will yield. >> there's another story that we are following tonight. conspiracy theorist alex jones. he's also under scrutiny from the january six committee. he testified today in the defamation connecticut trial over his sandy hook's lies. and right human bella's has more on the story. >> i want to apologize to the parents -- >> you know -- objection -- >> alex jones in a heated exchange with the attorney for the family suing him in the defamation trial. after he challenge jones to admit the pain he caused. >> your families in this courtroom here that lost children, sisters, wives. >> i legitimately thought it might have been sage and i stand by that i don't apologize for. >> earlier in the day, jones
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will challenge a direct examination of about whether he was using the trial as a marketing tool. >> ever since this trial started, you have been calling it -- the report yourself. right? >> yes. >> and you have called this judge a tyrant, right? >> yes. >> so, he's done apologizing, he's almost using his time to create an infomercial. melissa, how is this even a defense? in that courtroom, are parents of children that were murdered in connecticut. >> i think one thing to recognize here, stephanie, is that in contrast to the judgment against alex jones in texas, and the judgment that would be leveled here in connecticut would not be kept. the punitive damages wouldn't be. caps oh, this has the potential to absolutely bankrupt alex jansen's organization. i think one of the things that we are seeing here with his grandstanding, perhaps, could be a mechanism of garnering public support from his many
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followers to fund his defense at this point, because there is really, i think -- this verdict is allowed to stand and there is going to be sizeable damages levied, he has the potential to be completely financially bankrupted by this. and so perhaps this is part of a scheme to deal with that going forward. >> okay, scheme being the underlying word here, jeff mason. he's almost putting on a show there. given that, are these cases against him as while as they are, going to do do anything to stop him? he's putting on a show. >> clearly. and that seems to be his mo. it was on his shows and it was in the courtroom. it was theater for him. . and i suspect that that is the type of reaction that his supporters or his listeners and viewers are eager to see. and that is what he was presenting. but taking another sort of macro level view of a stand back view of this, it is just kind of incredible to even be reporting on something like this after sandy hook. i remember traveling with then president obama to the funeral service -- not the funeral service, but a
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memorial service for the people, the children, who were killed in that horrible, horrible shooting. this is not a debate about gun control, upon which the two political sides in this country to have a big debate. this is a debate about -- i hesitate to even use that word. this is a man who lied and brought pain on the families who lost their children. and he is not facing consequences for. so, is a theater? is a political theater? will it change anything? i don't know the answer to that. but he's facing consequences and they might be very, very expensive ones. >> he pushes lies and conspiracy theories and only makes him more brazen because he doesn't face consequences for. and that takes us back to donald trump. and actually, a moment in a debate when he was facing off against hillary clinton. and i want to share that moment.
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watch this. >> maybe he doesn't want the american people -- all of you watching tonight -- to know that he is paid nothing in federal taxes. because the only years that anybody has ever seen were couple of years when that he had to turn them over to state authorities, when he was trying to get a casino license. and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax. >> that makes me smart. >> so, katie, obviously different from alex jones. but similar in that, just gets up there, as brazen as raising can be. and people allow it. can we ever expect accountability from someone who is openly talking about skirting the law and doing it with pride? >> people allow, it certainly his supporters allow. and it is really difficult for the court of public opinion to hold people accountable for saying things that are not true on the internet and in public. keep in mind, though, that the presidents statements are starting to put, for example, tremendous amounts of pressure on his current legal team, as he goes out and publicly says things like he could have the classified documents, but nobody is really sure. somebody will have to be accountable to that statement.
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and we already seeing the courts ask whether or not it can be proven to be true. the president is making statements about the justice department, about prosecutors, and we will see, again, whether or not the statements come back to haunt him. but i think the bigger question is, what does accountability mean for donald trump or for anyone, meaning alex jones as well -- there's one school of thought that says, accountability for something like don trump is really only if he got the prism. despite all the things that we know about prosecutions, or do the statutes, what is the evidence. could it hold up in a court of law? but there is some people who believe that is the only version of accountability that will accept. but what does accountability mean? what about the enormous financial pressure that he
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faces because of his behavior, because of the statements he may or may not have made that are false, in public, in previous years. is that accountability? is accountability the inability for him to win in the primary because people are tired of him. so i think that we have to start considering what it looks like and what the public believes accountability looks like for donald trump based on the statements he has made now and in the past and in the behavior that he is exhibited now in the past. and what we think would be fair and just. >> and tonight's secret word is accountability. by katie benner -- jeff mason, katie benner, melissa murray, i thank you so much for starting us off this evening. when we come back, from's argument that maybe the banks -- maybe they should have known better. does that hold up? it is a soundbite from trump's oddball interview that should be getting a lot more attention. what did he actually admit? that is next. and lindsey graham is still pushing a nationwide abortion ban, even after fellow republicans started groaning about his plan. and later, fraud, massive fraud on two fronts. dozens are accused of stealing covid money meant for children in a guilty plea in a scandal linked to footballs brett favre.
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the 11th hour just getting underway on a thursday night.
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>> we have a disclaimer, right on the front. and it basically says, you don't get your own people, you are at your own risk. this was done by management. it wasn't done by -- it was done by management. so, don't rely on the statement that you are getting. and by the way, it goes on for like a page and a half. it's a very big disclaimer. it's very powerful disclaimer. >> don't rely on the statement that i signed off on. that is from the same fox news interview with the former guy talked about mentally declassifying documents. but maybe this, right there, is what we really should be talking about more. instead of denying allegations in the laetitia james lawsuit, trump is just blaming the banks for not catching him in his big fat lies. >> by the way, they got paid back. >> -- nobody got harmed, nobody got harmed. >> -- we have a lot of cash. i pay them back. i paid many of them off. i have very little debt. unbelievably little debt. >> we don't know what little means. what we do know is, when he left office, he owed hundreds of millions of dollars. joining me now is david enrich, business editions editor for the new york times. he wrote a new book, servants on demand, joining, offers on trump and the corruption of justice.
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david, that's not the only bookie row. you wrote one specifically on deutsche bank, donald trump's biggest lender. what do you think about this argument that he is, saying they should have known better. he shouldn't have lied but they shouldn't have known better. it's why the majority of banks would not do business with him. because they knew he was lying about his assets and deutsche bank also knew it. >> yeah. frankly, there is some truth to that argument. deutsche bank should have known better. but trump, prior to deutsche bank making hundreds of millions of dollars of loans to trump in starting around 2011, 2012, trump had repeatedly defaulted on previous loans to deutsche bank. so, the notion that deutsche bank was going into this blind and was not skeptical of all about trump's finances is just not true. >> i think, that frankly, is one of the witnesses, frankly, in the attorney general suit against trump. deutsche bank, the executives i have spoken, who said that they recognize that trump was inflating the value of his assets and they voted down deliberately and try to be more
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conservative. but one of the fascinating things to me -- and i have spent years studying deutsche bank -- and one of the fascinating things to uncover, details, that are in these 200 plus-page lawsuits that was filed yesterday, is that there is a whole lot of granular detail that shows exactly what trump was doing in trump and trump's family members were doing -- on deutsche bank against another trying to turn one bank against another. and there were really using the representations that were in their financial statements to try to argue, not only for more money but also for lower interest rates. and it appears, from what i am seeing in these lawsuits, that they were very effective. and so even though trump can argue that the bank should have known better, which is fair enough, what he cannot argue is that the banks did not pay attention to the financial information that was put forward. because there is clear records that they did. >> you just said trump and trump family members. okay? that means, don junior, eric, ivanka, who were officers in this company. so, when bill barr goes on to,
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where they're going after the kids? these are not kids. they themselves were personally involved in a number of these transactions. >> yeah. first of all, they are grown-ups. so, kids makes it sound like -- -- d. c.. she was the one who was -- from one of these documents in the lawsuit, it sounded like, where is the one handling the lion's share of the communications between the trump organization on the one hand and rosemary bride lick, who was the private bankrate deutsche bank that was kind of the account manager. on this. and she was directly involved. her husband, jared kushner, was the one who made the -- roads by bradley to the trump family. and don junior and eric walsh involved. so this was a family enterprise there. is no question that the family was fully aware of what the
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patriarch was doing with hyping and exaggerating his asset values in order to get more money for low interest rates. so, that type of question, i don't know where, legally, that puts either trump or his adult children. but there is no doubt that they were all participating in this and doing everything they could to get as much money as possible, as cheaply as possible, from deutsche bank. >> so, no credible banks might want to listen to this guy going forward. but trump's -- he was fundraising yesterday off the sea from tish james, despite the fact that there is another ongoing investigation into how he is spending the money he has raised from his pack. who are these donors? and at some point, are the donors, like the, banks like, dude, if you are going to give this guy money, buyer beware. he is going to spend it wherever the heck he wants. you don't care? >> yeah. i think that is a really good question. i don't know the answer to that. we are seeing this play out in a bunch of different forms. we have learned that trump has managed to repay most of what
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-- deutsche bank, by getting some other kind of third tier lenders to cut off of hundreds of millions of dollars to lend to him. we see what he is doing with the fundraising appeal to -- this lawsuit for his past that are already under investigation. we are seeing this also with the social media company that he is trying to get off the ground, with the fundraising behind that is also under investigation by government agencies, including the securities -- so, basically, everywhere trump is trying to raise money -- and this is a pattern that goes back decades -- there has been a kind of trail of accusations and investigations and some's -- wrong to it, left in his wake, and i think we have -- to now. >> but at the same time, people keep writing him checks, like the saudis. all of these golf tournaments at trump clubs in the last year has given him a ton of money. so, right now, behind the scenes, given the financial pressure he is under, do you think we are likely to see a fire sale of his assets?
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i, mean he still owns a lot. >> i don't know. i think he does own a lot, and i think -- be surprised maybe by how much he got for the luxury hotels that he developed in washington d. c.. i think a lot of his properties, while maybe his brand value has been diminished by how polarizing his, i think that underlying assets probably have a lot of value. and look, people have underestimated trump, myself included, in the financial space, over and over and over again. and some -- trump cautious not to do that again. and certainly, if he needed to drumbo bunch of cash to pay lawyers, or to pay back loans, i think we will probably be able to do so. at least for now. but with all of these legal crises he's facing, really come to fruition, and it is possible he could be in a much more severe financial straits. >> but as of now he is not in financial straits. norris's daughter and son-in-law. reminder, jared kushner now running billions of dollars for mbs.
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david enrich, thank you so much, i appreciate you joining us. when we come back, drama surrounding the former guy is drowning out other important political news, just six weeks before voters speak out. lindsey graham will not stop talking about his big plan to ban abortion nationwide. when the 11th hour continues.
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>> recent polling shows that the former guy's favor ability rating remains remarkably steady. the people who like him still like him. --
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the gap is still much smaller than the number of people who do not like him. 44% have a favorable view, with 53% unfavorable. and that was before laetitia james announced her lawsuit. trump space may still like the guy, but he has done nothing to gain support among independents and republican message on abortion is not going to help him. with us for more is, juanita tolliver a veteran political strategist for the progressive candidates and causes, and susan del percio, them is nbc political analyst and veteran political strategist. susan del percio, you've worked with republicans for years. the latest polling was before it exchanges lawsuits. independents at this point are getting sicker and sicker of donald trump's name in the headlines, because none of it is good news. >> none of it is good news. and that is actually hurting on the republicans running in 2022. donald trump may be worried about 2024. but right now, you have the senate and the house up in just under 50 days. and you touched on such an important point, stephanie, it's those independents. it's the independents that left donald trump in 2020, went to joe biden, and we saw the democrats take the sweep. right now, the issues that
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independents care about align with republicans. however, all of this news from donald trump and all the talk about 2020 and, i think, we are going to see it heat up again with the january 6th hearings next week -- that is really turning off a lot of independents to republicans. >> juanita, i want to share lindsey graham on his proposed 15-week abortion ban. he said this today. >> what i'm trying to say is, if you are pro-life, you need to be pro-life even in an election year. some of my colleagues are great pro-life leaders, need to speak up. john thune came -- for my bill today. we are with the american people. >> lindsey graham has divided his party yet again. and he is not backing down on this. what in the world is going on? this is an issue that i have never even heard him care about before. >> right, right. >> when he says he has
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americans on his side, i remind the senator that 66% of americans want wide access to abortion. so, he is wrong there. i thought the only bet that he is trying to make here is about the fact that he is trying to play to his base, he's trying to play two male republican voters. he is trying to play two antiabortion voters who, in his mind, could potentially be mobilized or excited at equal levels as pro choice advocates, pro-choice voters. but the reality is, the data does not back this, up stephanie. newly registered voters are heavily trending towards democrats, i think, at above 60%. you also have what we saw in kansas, an amazing historic turnout. you also have the fact that independents are also sliding towards democrats on this issue, in double digits. and so, he seems to be ignoring the reality of that all to be making this base play that is not going to pan out. and of course, his senate colleagues and other republicans are looking at him like a thorn in their side. because abortion is the last thing any of them want to talk about. they know it is a losing issue.
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but he won't let it go. >> it makes absolutely no sense to me, susan. they got row overturned, they got what they wanted. the need to double down on it is lost on me. rights white evangelicals don't have the right to vote twice. so, what do republican women think about this abortion ban? >> republican women believe that even those who are pro-life -- and there are pro-life republican women out there -- they do not believe in extremism. they do not believe that it should be legal in every case, including rape and incest. they find that disturbing. there is also the issue of not
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just women who are pro-life, but there are people who say, i want the ability to make my own decision and every woman should have their own choice to be made. and the fact that republicans are trying to take away the rights of half the women -- have to people -- in this country, is really dividing the party into two separate factions. and the one that really makes change is the one that showed up in kansas just a couple of months ago and voted against that extreme measure on the ballot. so, i think this is going to be devastating for the republicans. it is probably their worst issue going into the fall. so, between donald trump and lindsey graham, they are both responsible for leading the republicans into some really troubling times. >> juanita tolliver, let's talk democrats. put the inflation reduction act aside, because a strong as it is, it's not making an impact today, and never promised it would. and inflation is running hot. people having to pay more for all sorts of things in their
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life, and now with interest rates going, up their credit card bills are likely to get higher, as well as their mortgage. should democrats try to turn away and focus on social issues, like abortion, with six weeks to go before the election? they can't win on inflation. >> i think abortion is absolutely front and center. we know progressive groups are leading a coordinated, multi million dollar campaign in key states, to make sure that that message is loud and clear. and democrats have been critical in clearly painting a picture and the contrast of what they can expect with republicans, not only on abortion, but also on the active threat that we are facing with democracy. and that is something that, the -- you mentioned earlier, it did show is a bright spot. because even though trump's favor ability has not gone down, like one would expect it would, with crime after crime being revealed, the reality is that 54% of those same respondents said that he actively presented a threat to democracy. and that was an issue for. them and democrats have been hitting that nail on the head repeatedly under the leadership of president biden, who continues to lay out and make
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the case of the fact that our democracy is on the ballot in november. and that is something that democrats absolutely need to continue to do. and one more thing -- i can't put the inflation reduction reduction act aside. because it's another example of democrats fighting for people and eventually getting them what they need to help them. so, that is another argument that democrats have going into the midterms. >> all right, the juanita tolliver, susan del percio, great, great, great, to see you both. coming up, the fleecing of america. the stunning scale of pandemic unemployment fraud is starting to come into focus. and it is disgusting. how crooks stole billions of dollars meant to help those in need in the early days of the pandemic. they may be going to hell. but in the meantime, they are driving sports cars. an nbc news investigation's next win the 11th hour continues.
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>> we are learning more tonight about the shocking amount of alleged pandemic unemployment fraud, according to a federal watchdog. more than 45 billion -- billion with a b -- dollars from unemployment insurance meant to help people during the pandemic may have been stolen. that is way higher than the 16 billion in potential fraud that wasn't identified last year. nbc's ken dilanian has been following all of this enjoying this now. first, we need to give special thanks to ken dilanian. i know you have been on tv
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since 7 am. i beg duke to come on tonight because this is so important. i fear i am going to be shouting during this segment because it is just so upsetting. walk us through this huge scandal about unemployment fraud. who are these people selling the money? how did they do it? >> so the worst news about this, stephanie, is that this 46 billion dollar estimate that came out today from the labor department ig is probably a vast undercount. when we looked at this about a year ago, and we were talking to private companies, like ibm and lexus nexus, that have contacts with the state that actually run the unemployment programs, the highest estimate that we heard with 400 billion dollars. now some people criticize that has to high. but let's say it's 200 billion. it is an enormous sum of money -- just for comparison, so people understand, the annual budget of the department of education of the united states government is 68 billion dollars. so, this is an incredible sum of money. and what we found was that about half of the unemployment
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fraud was carried out by foreign criminal groups. they just prayed on this program because they realized that nobody was checking. all you needed was a fake identity of an american, a social security number, a drivers license, which is easily obtainable on the dark web -- and nigerian criminal gangs, chinese hackers, russian fraudsters, they just started bombarding these antiquated state -- >> okay, so hold on -- >> with applications -- >> so, they identify that they did this. are they going to get away with us? nobody is going to pay the price? >> the sad fact is, most of the money is gone. the secret service, the fbi, the department of justice, are doing what they can to claw back what they can. and they have recovered a few billion dollars. and they are prosecuting as many people as they can. but the math just doesn't add up. there are not enough fbi agents and prosecutors in the country.
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even if they dropped everything they were doing and just worked on covid fraud, to catch even a tenth of the people that did this -- i mean, they are sort of having to triage and only going after the most obvious cases. we just covered one in minneapolis, we are 47 people were charged in the biggest covid fraud scheme that they have charged so far. $250 million stolen in this one city in -- outreach -- people are just realizing that no one was checking. again, so, all they had to do was say they were provided these meals, fill out the applications, and the money went pouring in from the agriculture department. the fundamental issue here, stephanie, is that, for some good reasons and -- i think, some bad reasons -- the government loosened the rules on all this covid because they want to get the money out of the door and then they had very little oversight. because people were not working then. people were not coming from the -- >> hold on, can. >> -- these sites. >> -- we talked about it all the time. we said, it was the oversight?
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when the cares act passed, we said, who is going to do oversight? who is going to be on the committee? so, how is the government defending the fact that, oh, maybe loosen the rules to get the money out. but you didn't need to leave the barn door open and say, it is here for the taking. >> i am with you. this is an epic scandal. because we know that private companies like amazon and walmart, they figured out how to identify their customer and do large volumes of transactions, while policing fraud. and so the government could have done it as well. they didn't do it. some bureaucrats and some people that have happened in the trump administration, made some terrible terrible decisions. and we are all paying for. now it is a bit frustrating because even when you talk to people in the justice department, they will say, well, they just need to get the money out. there was not much we could do. we suspected fraud. i think that's a cop out. >> it sure is. >> -- it didn't have to be this way stephanie. and it didn't have to -- over badly designed covid relief program. they have not been that many congressional hearings.
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because both parties are complicit, neither party has really seized on it and really pushed this as the scandal that it is. so, i am glad you are covering. it because the american people should know how bad it is. >> it is absolute garbage. it is why people don't trust government, full stop. you are also reporting on the mississippi welfare scandal. we have been covering it here a lot. today, a former prosecutor of mississippi's welfare agency -- right? the -- person who oversaw the welfare agency, pleaded guilty to fraud charges. walk us through this. what does it mean for the investigation. because this is the one that brett favre is involved in. >> that's right. this is a big development. this is because this man's john davis. he was the administrator of the welfare agency that handed out all this money to places it shouldn't have gone. and he pleaded guilty today and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors. this is really the first federal action after years of the fbi looking into this but not really doing much.
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now they have got this guilty plea from this key figure. and it looks like they flipped him and when you flip somebody in an investigation, you ask yourself, will, who is next? who is the big fish this time again? well, it's the only person who and outranks john davis, the governor of mississippi, the republican governor. so, he has claimed that he did not know that this money was welfare. but he was deeply involved in helping brett favre obtain, for example, $5 million to obtain a volleyball facility that is not her benefited from. this was federal welfare money that was go to port women and children. instead it went to a bomb volleyball facility. so this is really -- you haven't heard from the last of, this stephanie. >> in one of the poor states of the entire country. brett favre -- you know what else we have not heard from? the nfl. we are serious. he has a radio show. ken dilanian, thank you so much for staying up this late, and more importantly, thank you for this reporting. it's important and people deserve to hear about. coming up, most of puerto rico still without power. they are in the dark and pleading with their american
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compatriots for help after hurricane fiona, wind the 11th hour continues.
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>> to the people from puerto rico who are still hurting from hurricane maria five years later, i know they should know that we are with you. we are not going to walk away. we mean it. >> the last thing before we go tonight, disaster in puerto rico. hurricane fiona is the strongest storm on the planet right now, the category four monster is making its way north to bermuda and potentially on its way to make landfall in canada. fiona has already left a trail of destruction across the caribbean. in puerto rico, most people are still without power tonight, and parts of the island have been completely devastated.
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our own -- has more. >> this was fiona's fury in turks and caicos while bermuda braces for -- in the dominican republic, there are still hundreds of thousands of people without water or power. here in puerto rico, new landslides overnight. >> we are still pretty much in this emergency response face. >> satellite images show washed out bridges and flooded fields across puerto rico, before and after the storm. these satellite images show how much of the island is in the dark each night. this is before fiona, and this is after. 38% of customers now have power, up from 27% yesterday. president biden has signed on a major disaster declaration, and at a fema briefing today, he spoke with puerto rico's governor. >> we will do everything we can to meet the urgent need. >> with the heat index above 100 degrees, this is jose's sweltering existence. he tells us he rode out the
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hurricane in a remote western puerto rico, the river rushing under his home. today for the first time, local authorities brought him in the bottled water he so desperately needed. now, neighbors yell across the river to notify each other of the first glimpse of any supplies -- hurricane rhea five years, ago this mountainside got seven inches of, rain fiona dumped 24. >> we feel forgotten this woman says, tonight they have at least some water, here but no power, an ongoing disaster that is all too familiar. >> our thoughts are with the people of puerto rico, and everyone affected by this devastating storm tonight. and on that note, i wish you all a good and safe night. from all of our colleagues across the networks that nbc news, thank you for staying up late. i will see you at the end of tomorrow.
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>> tonight on all in -- >> if you're the president of the united states, you can declassified just by saying, it's declassified. even by thinking about it. because you are sending it to mar-a-lago, or to wherever you are sending it. >> he did it, and he admits it! trump confesses to sending top secret documents to his former retirement home. tonight, the deepening legal jeopardy for the disgraced ex president. then -- >> my husband told me the president spot me twice. so i'm wearing my trump button. >> they expected testimony from the wife of supreme court justice, clarence thomas. january six committee member pete aguilar joins me tonight. plus -- >> i believe there is some criminal activity involved here. >> new details on the wrong desantis migrant scandal. and what the republican senate candidate in georgia -- when it comes to charity. when all in starts right now. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> good evening from new y


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