tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 10, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
of chicago and the south side cultural sent, thank you for having us. [ applause ] thanks for joining us tonight, happy friday. nice to have you with us. look at this awesome picture from 1968. i love every single thing about this picture. this is the central middle school band from orville, california. this is the majorettes part of the band and they are marching through downtown orville, california, on may 1, 1968. this picture is perfec and this picture the property of the california department of water resources. the reason the california department of water resources had a photographer on site taking pictures that day of the majorettes in orville is because that day the governor of california and his wife came too orville, california, to tour a really big awesome new piece of water structure the california
governor at the time was ronald reagan. he and his wife nancy went to orville for the dedication of the brand new orville dam. it looks kind of fun. they got to go inside the dam, see in the white sneakers with the super cute hair cut? that's ron, jr., he got to go along with an unnamed friend. looks like they were having a good time. looks like a cool visit. ronald reagan made a speech. you can see next to him while he was giving the speech they had the big cooler of water. just in case. there had been a big parade downtown to welcome to governor and dignitaries. they had not just the majorettes from the middle school, they had the high school band, too. look how many people were there. look at that. thousands of people turned out for the dedication of the oroville dam. i think we have one picture of the crowd in color as well.
look at that. who are the ladies in green? what was their role in the dedication? you look at photos like that it makes you realize being a governor has its ups and down. at the one hand you get to see stuff, take your family and go on cool behind-the-scenes tours, the local bands will come out to meet you when you do something. then there's the little indignities, right? this, for example, is what they gave ronald reagan as his soenirrom that day at the dedication. i know it kind of looks like a snow globe or a polished piece of granite or something. what that actually is is a ball of dirt. specifically it is dirt from this moment in history. ronald reagan was there in 1968 for the opening ceremony of the oroville dam but this was the
moment they ceremonially broke ground on the construction. this was 1957. this was a previous governor of california, goodwin knight. everybody called him goodie knight, as in good night. he's got a shovel full of dirt there. somebody at the ground breaking had the foresight to save that exact shovelful of dirt they dumped it into a bag, saved it for the day the dam would be complete and up and running. they could have saved a little of it but they saved a lot of it. they saved a giant amount of dirt from that shovelful and gave it to ronald reagan. they sent ronald reagan back to the governor's mansion that day with a giant jar of a previous governor's dirt.
thanks for visiting, mr. governor, give it pride of place somewhere. like if you moved into a new apartment and the landlord triumphantly handed you the vacuum bag from the old tenant. here's the original dirt from the former occupants of these rooms. congratulations. pride of place. but the oroville dam, they dedicated in the 1968. it's a big deal. it's huge, it's taller than hoover dam. it's the tallest dam in the united states. it's 770 feet tall. it was completed in 1968, took them almost a decade to build. it's one of those unimaginably large things we have made. you can see here the giant reservoir created when they built the dam, lake oroville one of the two biggest reservoirs in the state of california. and that reservoir, lake oroville, it's the central thing in the grand plan that made california work as a state with a huge population and big cities and tons of irrigated formland. this is the centerpiece of the
whole system in california that moves water from the northern part of the state the sierra nevada into the central valley to irrigate the most productive farmland in the country and further down to the cities and population centers in southern california, lake oroville is massive. it is made possible because the oroville dam is massive, tallest dam in the country. now, in terms of sort of how it's situated, this gives you a good view, i think. you see below the dam is the feather river. the feather river, big river, flows into -- i think the sacramento river which ultimately flows into the san francisco bay at the end of the day. and what they do is they can release water from that giant reservoir into the feather river. they can do in the a few different ways. one of the things they've got is a power plant at the base of the dam so they release water at great force to fire that hydroelectric power plant. they can release water through tunnels at the base of the dam, they had a drama with that a couple years ago. they were trying to open up the tunnels to let water through to the feather river and something went wrong and there was a giant suction failure with the opening and closing of the valves and two workers almost got stucked downstream and they had to hold on to some broken piece of railing they were able to grab
on to. it's a good reminder this is like a big piece of infrastructure, a lot of water, a very, very powerful thing. but in terms of the way it fits together, there's a couple ways they can get water from the reservoir to the feather river below. they can move it through power plant. if they want to move water out of the reservoir down into the river, they use this big gutter. they use this big concrete spillway. looks kind of like a luge track or something, right? like a cross between an onramp and a ski jump. but it's a big concrete spillway and it does exactly what it looks like it does. it takes water off the top of the reservoir and can shoot it down that gutter into the feather river and it's really big. it's about a mile long. it's maid of concrete, a key
part of this huge piece of american infrastructure. this is what it looks like in normal times when it's dry, when they're not using the spillway. this is what it looks like in normal times when it's on, when they are putting water down that spillway, very dramatic, right? but on tuesday afternoon this week, this is what it looks like again, normal times, tuesday afternoon this week something went wrong at the oroville dam and instead of the spillway looking like this, like it always does, like it has since ronnie and nancy reagan opened that up in 1968, for the first time ever this tuesday it did not look like that. instead it looked like -- oh, wait, that's not right. that's not what that's supposed to look like. that was tuesday afternoon. see it shooting out the side there? yeah. tuesday afternoon they realized something was going very wrong on that spillway. water shooting out, scouring down that hillside, the water not confined to the gutter, what's going on? they shut it off to have a look and what they saw is -- oh, this is what it looked like. this was tuesday of this week. see the giant hole there?
that's a problem, basically a giant sinkhole opened up in the middle of this that spillway. every second they're going to put more water down that sluice it will erode that sinkhole more and more so they shut off the water initially. here's the thing, though, they can't keep that water shut off because even though that giant hole has opened up in that spillway, they actually have to run water down that spillway right now. they can't stop. because like oroville at the top, it's full? as of today it was 98% capacity. california is not having a rainy season this year, they are having a monsoon season and, oh, yeah, let's see what that means for the drought. i know, big questions about overall climate and weather and california's drought and all that stuff. but for the immediate problem at hand, if they can no longer run water down that spillway because the spillway is busted, if they can no longer run water down that spillway to relieve the pressure in the lake, if the
lake fills up and overfills and overtops that dam, if that happens, the water doesn't run down the tidy little purpose built concrete shute into the feather river below, if it overtops the dam, instead for the first time in the history of this dam, where the water goes is what they call down the emergency spillway which is not really a spillway at all, it just means the water just comes down the hill. and if all that water runs down the hill at force it will at some point bring the hillside down with it into the feather river and eventually into the sacramento river and into the delta and out to the san francisco bay. there's the possibility that an uncontrolled flow could flood downstream towns all along the way. so this is a heck of a choice, right? you either shut down the water down that spillway, let the dam get overtopped and run instead down the hillside all the way downstream and see what happens to california or you keep thundering water down that
broken sinkhole concrete gutter and see how long it holds. it started off as a 300 foot long gash, it's kept on spreading and spreading, look. they say presumably it will split down to the bed rook. but what are you going to do? they have to keep running water down that thing. they don't have a choice so they're running the destroyed spillway. they're running it to complete failure. hope for the best, the best option. pray for dry days. this happened to be the drinking water source for more than 20 million people in the state of california. now, the dam itself, they say the dam itself is safe. the dam they say is built into bedrock, even if that whole hillside gets scoured out, continues to get blown apart, they say the dam will hold, they're confident of that, that's good, because it's almost an 800 foot tall dam, tallest
dam in the country. but i feel like grasp ago story like this is almost a test of perspective, a test of whether or not you can appreciate the size of large objects in the news. my dad, my dear old dad, worked in the california water system for years in various capacities and he's been texting and e-mailing me about this all week so i've been looking at news coverage all week, looking at pictures on the california department of water resources web site all week and i could tell when i saw the pictures of the spillway something dramatic was wrong. i will confess to you, dad, i will confess to you right now, i do not truly appreciate what a
literally big deal it was. what a large deal it was until i saw this one particular picture and at first glance it looks like the same old picture of that hole in the middle of the spillway until you realize that the tiny little yellow dot there is a full grown man and that shows you the scale of this thing. that's people inside there. that's how big that hole started out as. and that's -- okay, now i get it. that's the massive size of the undertaking it is going to be to fix this thing when it's over even if they somehow avoid catastrophic flooding or danger to the dam itself through this crisis. 's like in king kong where you know you're dealing with a big ape, you know he's big, that's the pl of the movie, then you see him on the empire state building and you're like, oh! that's how big he is! so we will keep an eye on this tallest dam in the country and its travails through tonight and into the weekend.
i feel like that is not just a story, it's a bit of a news help. i feel like that lesson in watching the story about the dam in california, that story about is data that can make the difference between winning and losing. the microsoft cloud helps the pga tour turn countless points of data into insights that transform their business and will enhance the game for players and fans. the microsoft cloud turns information into insight. but when we brought our daughter home, that was it. now i have nicoderm cq. the nicoderm cq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. it's the best thing that ever happened to me. every great why needs a great how.
last night at the end of the show we reported breaking news that the "washington post" published a news story about national security advisor michael flynn. it was very carefully written story, long, had three bili byli of three big reporters from the "washington post." at one point in the story they mention they had nine source for the central claim in their reporting. today the "new york times" published their own version of the central claims in that
"washington post" story. at one level, i can appreciate this story looks like -- oh, i've heard something about this. the sinkhole is spreading a little further, right? seems like an incremental development and the ongoing concerning news about the new administration and its ties to russia. feels like an incremental little shift in something we've been watching for a long time. but if you can step back from this story, look at it fresh, array some news stories we understand for the purpose of gaining perspective on it, i think what this new development is about the national security advisor is basically like an 800 foot tall dam that's about to be overtopped. this is not a little marginal development in a medium-sized story. this is like an, oh, my god, you can't run water down this thing, what do you mean we have no choice, she's gonna blow. we have congressman adam schiff from the house intelligence committee joining us live to give us his perspective on this story. he said if this new development, if this new report is true, the
national security advisor must be fired. so he obviously thinks it's a big deal. but let me break it down this way. basic revolution is sort of simple and stubbing when you boil it down. right after christmas this year when barack obama was still president the u.s. government announced sanctions against russia in retaliation for them interfering in our presidential election. you might remember they took back that waterfront compound that had been used by russian intelligence in maryland and they kicked a bunch of russian diplomats out of the country immediately with no notice. at the time we expected real -- retaliation, a tit for tat reaction between either the soviet union and us and russia and us. so the obama admistration did their sanctions, kicked the diplomats out on the 28th of december and we braced on the
28th of december to hear what russia was going to do in response. but they did nothing on the 28th. then on the 29th there was this entire day in which they also did nothing and then when they did announce their response on the 30th, their response was we're not going to respond the kremlin responded that it would be sad for the kids from the families of the diplomats to be in transit. he explained he wouldn't be doing it the forral retaliation, he would not expel american diplomats from russia. in fact, american diplomats and their families, their children in particular would be welcome at the kremlin to come to his vladimir putin christmas party. it was so weird. but here's where the "washington post" picks up the story "putin's muted response took white house officials by surprise. it triggered a search by u.s. spy agencies for clues.
one former senior u.s. official tells the "pos," something happened in those 24 hours between obama's announcement and putin's response. officials began poring over intelligence reports, intercepted communications and diplomatic cables. they found evidence that trump national security adviser mike flynn and the russian ambassador to the united states had communicated by text and telephone around the time these sanctions were announced. now, one of the nice things about this reporting is we get this kind of blunt admission that "u.s. intelligence and law enforcement agencies routinely monitor communications with russian diplomats." okay. i mean, i guess we guessed that, but that's good to have bluntly in black and white. one of the other nice things about this reporting is this blunt force take it to the bank assertion by the "washington post" that their sources on this store "nine rrent and former officials." nine. nine. were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of
the calls. the "new york times" similarly cites multiple federal officials who "have read transcripts of the call." so we've got u.s. intelligence and law enforcement agencies bugging the russians, right? listening in on this russian official's calls and what they hear, according to these multiple and multily corroborated reports is the man who's going to go on to be trump's national security advisor calling the russian government and essentially telling them "don't worry about these sanctions that the u.s. government is putting on you." he's calling russia to undermine the sanctions that president obama has put on russia for the attack on our presidential election. he told russia in essence don't bother reacting to these sanctions, don't worry about it, once trump is sworn in we'll take care of it. now, working secretly with a foreign power to undermine the actions of the u.s. government,
that's kind of a big deal. even the trump folks recognize somebody doing that would be kind of a big deal. they recognized it enough that they took great pains to deny the heck out of this for weeks now. >> the subject matter of sanctions or the actions taken by the obama administration did not come up in the conversation. >> they exchanged logistical information on how to initiate and schedule that call. that was it. plain and simple. >> they did not discuss anything having to do with the united states' decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against russia. those elements were not part of that discussion. >> i can confirm, my credibility on the line. so this white house chief of staff, white house spokesman, vice president of the united states personally confirming ere's no way mike flynwould have crossed that line. there's no way he would have undermined the u.s. government
with a foreign power. there's no way he would have talking about those sanctions and undermining the impact of those sanctions with the russians. no way. as of wednesday this week, mike flynn was still confirming to the "washington post" that he absolutely did not speak about those sanctions with russia. but then when the "post" went back to him with this nine-source reporting all but explicitly quoting what we now know, transcripts of the u.s. intelligence intercepts of that phone call, then, last night, mike flynn apparently changed his mind. now says i know that i previously said i definitely didn't talk about sanctions. now i don't remember if i talked about sanctions. bottom line, how big is this? is this a marginal development in this story we've all been watching? first thing to appreciate is the lying. either the white house spokesman, the white house chief of staff and the vice president all bluntly lied knowingly about mike flynn and what he was doing with russia or they lied
inadvertently, unknowingly because they were saying something they thought was true because mike flynn told them a lie and they passed it on thinking it was true. either way, that can't stand, right? that seems like a big deal for the top people in a brand new administration. you're going to lie to me and have me take it to the american public and it makes it look like i'm lying or you're asking me to lie on your behalf and i do and get nailed for it? point one, the lying. second point to appreciate is the direct bottom line of this story which is that the senior national security advisor in this new administration personally interfered in u.s. government efforts to punish russia for interfering in our election. but in terms of assessing the size of this news, there's one last point that's starting to feel almost unappreciably big. and that's what i want to put to congressman adam schiff in just a moment because of his experience on the intelligence committee and it is this.
buried in the seventh paragraph of the "washington post" story and in the fourth paragraph of the "new york times" story, buried well below the lead is the news that this discussion between mike flynn and the russian government undermining u.s. policy toward russia, undermining the u.s. effort to punish russia, undermining these sanctions, it wasn't stand alone thing. it was not the first of many conversations that have continued since the new administration was sworn in and he's become national security advisor. no, that wasn't the start of them talking. both papers are now reporting again with this sourcing that is deep, both papers where now reporting that mike flynn's contacts with the russian government started during the campaign. not since he's been national security advisor. not since the transition aftertrump was elected when the obama administration was still technically there but trump was on his way in but while trump was still running for president, during the campaign, while russia was interfering in the u.s. election to try to elect
donald trump president, his top national security advisor on the campaign was in repeated contact with the russian government at that time. look, this is from the post. "the talks were part of a series of contacts between flynn and the russian official which began before the november 8 election." here's the "times," "current and former american officials says the conversation about sanctions was one in a series of contacts that began before the election." during the campaign while russia was interfering in the election, the trump campaign was in contact with the russian government. we're now confirming? really? okay. well, cnn reports tonight that american intelligence officials have corroborated some of the disputed dossier that was assembled about trump in russia by a former british spy who has now disappeared. if you recall this very controversial dossier which was published by buzzfeed news
contained two main allegations -- one was that the russian government had allegedly collected damaging compromising personal information about donald trump that was of a salacious and personal nature. the other main allegation in that dossier was that the trump campaign colluded with the russian government while they interfered in our presidential election. cnn reports tonight intelligence officials, u.s. intelligence officials who have been investigating that dossier, they have now corroborated parts of it. again, the two parts are the salacious personal stuff or donald trump's campaign collaborated with the russian government while he interfered in our election. cnn reports tonight the part that has been corroborated by u.s. intelligence is not the salacious personal stuff. so that leaves -- we should note that the white house is indisputg cnn's reporting tonight. they're calling it fake news. but that's where we are. is part of the reason we got this new president not just because some foreign government
tried to make that happen? is part of the reason we got this new president because his campaign worked with a foreign government to influence the outcome of our election, to make that outcome happen? if so, it feels to me like that's not a sinkhole. that's not a busted spillway or eroded hillside. to me that feels like blowing the dam.
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we've learned in the last 24 hours ago by reporting from the "washington post," "new york times" and nbc news confirming that despite repeated denials from him and other administration official, national security advisor mike flynn spoke with the russian government about the u.s. sanctions on them for undermining our presidential election. he reportedly undermined the impact of those u.s. sanctions on russia by communicating secretly with the russian government before donald trump took office. the "times" and the "post" are reporting with multiple sources that general flynn was in contact with the russian government during the presidential campaign which raises questions as to whether or not the trump campaign may have been collaborating with a foreign government while that foreign government was making efforts to interfere with and influence the outcome of our
election. asked about this blockbuster new reporting tonight, the president said -- well i'm paraphrasing here but he basically said "the what now?" >> i don't know about it. i haven't seen it. what report is that? >> reporter: the "washington post" is reporting that he talked to the ambassador from russia before you were grated about sanctions. >> i haven't seen that. i'll look at that. >> 2 question now is once the president looks at that, do we expect him to do anything about it? joining us now is congressman adam schiff, the ranking member of the house intelligence committee, congressman schiff, appreciate you being here on a friday night, thanks for your time. >> good to be with you, rachel. >> i'm grappling with the size of this report. i feel like it's easy to see this as another incremental story in a slowly growing thing that a lot of people are concerned about at the one level. on the other hand it feels like a very big bad story. what's your assessment of how
damaging and worrying this is. >> it's enormously damaging and worrying. you set up the context so well and i have to say you do a marvelous job in putting it together and letting the american people just see how big this is. you know, from my perspective, the context is as simple as this -- the intelligence community found that russia interfered in our election with the purpose of helping elect donald trump and having achieved that objective you have one of trump campaign's foremost surrogates, general flynn, having a private conversation with the russian ambassador around and having achieved that objective you have one of trump campaign's foremost surrogates, general flynn, having a private conversation with the russian ambassador around the time that president obama announces sanctions to punish russia for that very interference and flynn reportedly says don't worry about the sanctions on you for helping us win. once we take office we'll take care of it. if that's true, it's absolutely staggering. it certainly ought to result in his immediate removal from office and if the further actions are true that this was a course of conduct throughout the campaign then you have very
serious legal violations as well and that is something we are investigating on the intelligence committee and we have to get to the bottom of. >> in terms of the legal issues here, some people have been talking about the fact that general flynn, when these contacts happen during the transition he was a private citizen although it was clear he was about to be a public official, people are talking about whether that violated the logan act which is a prohibition on individual private citizens undermining the u.s. government with foreign contacts. that's a law that's never been prosecuted even though we'ad it on the books since the 1700s. when you say there may be legal issues here, is that what you're talking about or are there other potential difcult statute to prosecute. i think there would be heavy
burden to make that kind of case. what may be more significant here in addition to the fact that the general flynn would be working against the u.s. national security interest is the fact that he misled the country about it afterwards. in that case, the coverup may be the worst element but the illegality i'm talking about is if the trump campaign during the course of the campaign, including michael flynn, was collaborating with russia to interfere in our election, all kinds of laws were violated and that will have very serious repercussions. that is among the most serious allegations we're investigating. >> is that espionage? is that treason? is that -- are those the kinds of categories of laws we're talking about then? >> it's possible that it comes out to that. there frankly will be a number of statutes that would be implicated that would be far eastier to prove than those exceptional ones but if effectively the trump campaign
was colluding in the illegal hacking of information, the illegal publication of information, the theft of data, was receiving essentially in-kind support from a foreign adversarial power there are any number of laws violated so if those allegations prove to be true, stepping down from office will be the least of worries from trump administration officials. >> congressman adam schiff of california. this is serious stuff. thank you for being so clear and straightforward and calm in your discussion about it. i get my hair on fire about this stuff but i feel like you are a beacon here, thanks, sir. very busy night, stay with us.
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she's being described as the first person reported as a result of president trump's orders, his executive order that ice should priorities deportations for anyone with any kind of criminal record, no matter what it is. in her case, her crime was using a made up social security number so she could work at a local water park -- a decade ago. she's been following the rules since then, checking in with ice every year, every six months, wherever they tell her to, she checks in. on wednesday when she checked in as she always has they arrested her and these protests erupted while her husband and kids waited outside. now it seems like her arrest and deportation may be the start of something bigger. after we saw that really emotional footage on wednesday night, all day thursday we started hearing rumors and reports that ice officers, that immigration and customs enforcement officers, started rounding people up that they rounded up over 100 people in
southern california. that prompted big protests in southern california. all day yesterday, people watching raids play out said this appeared to be something new, it appeared to be a big coordinated action by immigration and customs. ice pushed back saying these were false reports, this was business as usual they said it was an exaggeration to say they picked up 100 people in southern california. tonight we're learning it was more like 160 people in southern california. the "washington post" is reporting there were immigration raids not just in southern california but in at least a half dozen states. home sweeps, officers going into people's homes, workplace raids in places as far flung as atlanta, chicago, north carolina, south carolina, the
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confirming what activists have been saying and what ice, what the trump administration has been officially denying. the leader of the california state senate late tonight responded this way. "appreciate that ice finally disclosed details about their disclosed details about their recent raids but stunned to learn that ice's public comments made yesterday were blatantly recent raids but stunned to learn that ice's public comments made yesterday were blatantly false. when news first broke of raids happening across southern california i didn't do ice told the media that reports of 100 immigrants being arrested were grossly exaggerated yet today they admit they arrested 160 people. ice told numerous media outlets that yesterday was a routine day, which it most clearly was not, and they have yet to disclose the crimes each person was convicted of to support their arrests. the disconnect out of what was publicly disclosed today is deeply troubling and needs to be fully explained by the trump administration." joining us now is kevin de leone, the california senate
leader who issued that statement following these not just unannounce bud officially denied raids across his state. senator de leone, thank you for joining us. appreciate your time. >> thank you, rachel. we turn the federal government for an explain nation about the scale, the motivation and the results of sudden actions like this. in this case it feels like we can't trust what the government is telling us about their actions, what do you understand of the facts of what have happened in the last 48 hours or so. >> rachel, it's been difficult to get information out from ice authorities. historically under the obama administration they have been forth come and transparent with who they are detaining, who they're deporting and the reasons why. with the trump administration it's a new attitude, it's overly aggressive, a new tone and tenor and we're concerned because we tried incessantly last night to get the facts, to get the the fa in fact, i believe even worse, that they were misleading the public. i find it quite agalling that
they attempted to lecture the public when it came to a sense of public misleading of what was actually happening yesterday. but it's been very difficult given a new trump administration. they're very overly aggressive with what they're doing and they said they did not arrest 100 individuals. in fact, we find out today it was actually 160 iividuals. >> onef the things that we saw -- we're showing footage while you're speaking about the spontaneous protests that happened last night in los angeles, people reacting in anger and clearly in surprise to what had happened. one of the other things that we're seeing is there's, for example, a pledge that people are taking called here to stay, where people are basically pledging to bodily put themselves on the line to try to stop people from being deported,
to try to block arrests, to try to help people evade the authorities or to put themselves in the way while these arrests are happening. do you have any reaction to that? do you understand the impetus for that? do you feel like that might drive confrontation here? >> well, i can tell you this, rachel, that there is a lot of fear, there's a lot of panic throughout the community, not just in los angeles, but throughout california and throughout the nation. there's a lot of consternation. the anxiety is extremely high, especially among children who are fearful that they may not, no longer see their mothers or their fathers. children are being dropped off at school and are fearful that come in the afternoon that standing at the curbside waiting for their mother or father, they may not actually appear. panic and anger is so high that there has been talk about human shields, about ordinary u.s. citizens actually protecting nannies, gardeners, people who clean our homes and take care of our children and creating this sort of human chain to protect them.
i don't condone this type of comportment, but i understand why the anxiety, the consternation is so high here in california. >> state senator kevin de leon, the california state senate president, thanks for your time tonight, sir. keep in touch with us about this. >> absolutely, thank you. >> we need good sources of information as this and i am as troubled as you are that we can't get it from the federal government. thank you. >> thank you, rachel. the weekend has not officially arrived yet, and already i can tell you next week is going to be jam-packed. i can tell you some of what's going to be jam-packed into it. stay with us.
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okay, the guy behind the camera here, who you don't see, the guy holding the camera, is the constituent. the guy in fnt of the camera, the unhappy person right in the center of the frame, that's the congressional staffer. >> are you authorized to speak for representative zeldin? >> i am speaking for him right now, letting you know -- >> okay. so, the affordable care act, one of the provisions is that insurance companies have to dedicate 85% of your premium to actually delivering health care. does representative zeldin support or oppose that part of the affordable care act? >> i can get that information. >> okay. the affordable care act guarantees that women cannot be charged more for their premiums than men. does representative zeldin support or oppose that part of the affordable care act? >> again, i can get you that information. >> okay. the affordable care act
guarantees that children can stay on their parents' health care until they're 26. does representative zeldin support or oppose that part of the affordable care act? >> all i can say is that -- >> you know where i'm going with this. >> we do see where you're going with this, staffer trapped in front of the ladies' room there. that's what it's been like with constituents expressing themselves toward, in this case, new york republican congressman lee zeldin. today, the congressman canceled a town hall two months in advance of when it was supposed to happen in april because i think he is not particularly liking what it means for him and his staff to hear from his constituents these days. but you know what, i wanted to show you that clip of that confrontation over the affordable care act. i think it shows that people in general are getting very good at being very articulate about obamacare all of a sudden, right? whatever the fights in past had been about, right? with the people on the right saying, oh, it's socialized medicine and death panels and stuff, and people in support of it not necessarily being able to be that snappy.
people all of a sudden are really good about articulating what's good about the affordable care act when they're talking to their member of congress, when they're talking to congressional staffers. this, for example, was last night in tennessee. >> my name is jessie, and i'm in your district. it's from my understanding the aca mandate requires everybody to have insurance because the healthy people pull up the sick people, right? and as a christian, my whole philosophy in life is pull up the unfortunate, okay? so, the individual mandate, that's what it does. the healthy people pull up the sick. if we take those people and we put them in high-risk insurance pools, they're costlier and there's less coverage for them. that's the way it's been in the past and that's the way it will be again. so, we are effectively punishing our sickest people. >> that was at a meeting last night in tennessee with republican congresswoman diane
black. people are getting very good at putting their member of congress on the spot about health care right now. and for people who want to save the affordable care act, that skill is about to become important, way more important than it's even been thus far, because last night at 2:15 in the morning, the senate confirmed tom price to be the new health secretary. zero democratic votes. 2:15 a.m. seems about right for that vote. i'm sure it helps to have zero attention, zero audience on a vote like that, particularly thanks to tom price's ethics problems, his lots and lots and lots of ethics problems. but if republicans in congress have had a hard time sort of getting it together to start taking away health care yet -- they haven't even come up with a way to explain it to their constituents yet -- swearing in tom price today is expected to put some steam in that republican engine. so, tom price has been sworn in. in terms of what happens next in the cabinet, republicans could
be voting tomorrow on treasury secretary steve mnuchin, if they wanted to, but they're taking the day off instead. they said they would work through the weekend. they're not working through the weekend, so expect a steve mnuchin vote on monday. that's also when we expect protests nationwide over the president's pick of labor secretary, the man whose pick of carl's jr. and hardee's, larry puzner. it will begin with protests in two dozen cities, protesters highlighting labor violations and discrimination cases at puzner's only company while he's been ceo. their contention is he's unfit to be in charge of labor laws for the country when he's been breaking them as a businessman. the following day on tuesday, a court in missouri will decide whether or not to unseal his divorce records from back in the day. the government watchdog is asking that those records should be unsealed because they reportedly include claims of domestic violence made by mr. pudzner's ex-wife towards him. he's denied the allegations and
his ex-wife now says she takes them back, but his critics argue that those claims, if true, would make him plainly unfit to be in charge of efforts like combating workplace harassment and violence. so, monday, protests at carl's jr. and hardee's, tuesday the court hearing on the domestic violence allegations in his divorce records and then thursday, we get his confirmation hearing, the one that's already been delayed four times. so, like the senate, get some rest this weekend. you're going to need it. that's it for us tonight. see you monday. now time for "the last word." ari melber in for lawrence tonight. good evening, ari. >> thank you, rachel, have a good evening. michael flynn discussing sanctions with russia before trump was inaugurated, which contradicts what the administration has been saying. also tonight, donald trump's latest voter fraud fear is buses from massachusetts and voters around the country challenging their representatives at town halls to stand up to the