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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 6, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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thanks for being with us. that's going to do it for us for this fourth of july weekend. i will see you again monday. the last word with lawrence o'donnell starts right now. good evening and welcome to our special fourth of july weekend edition of the last word. what did the founders consider the most important job in american government? here's a hint. the president of the united states is the 6th job mentioned in the constitution. the first job? the first job described in the constitution is member of the house of representatives and the second job specified in the constitution is speaker of the house of representatives. the power of the house of representatives is something donald trump has been painfully discovering since the new democratic house majority was sworn in six months ago after
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winning the 2018 mid-term elections with the largest margin of victory since 1974. donald trump's dream to build a border wall with mexico ended with his complete venture on the trump government shut down to the new democratic majority in the house of representatives. the new house put donald trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, under oath. donald trump is now the subject of 11 congressional investigations. donald trump's former accounting firm and deutsche bank are in the process of compiling records to comply with subpoenas from documents from the house of representatives. in two weeks, special counsel robert mueller will testify to the house judiciary committee and the house intelligence committee. at last count, 85 house members have called for impeachment, including some of the democratic freshmen stars who won back the speaker's gavel for nancy pelosi. tonight you will hear from some of those freshmen stars. congresswoman ayanna pressley of massachusetts and member of the house oversight committee will
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investigate almost everything in the trump administration. congresswoman katy porter from california is a former student and professor of elizabeth warren at harvard law school before becoming a law professor herself. she has demonstrated her legal skills in her sharp questioning of witnesses and repeatedly exposed the ignorance of trump cabinet members. and congressman tom medical and tom melinowski who i worked with a lifetime ago when we were both on the staff of new york senator patrick moynihan's office. he fled communist poland when he was 6 years old and spent his life advocating for human rights while working for senator moynihan and then in the investigations of president clinton and president obama. you want to hear what he has to say about donald trump and dictators. you will also hear from lucy mcbath of georgia whose 17-year-old son, jordan, was
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shot and killed in a burst of racist gun violence in 2012 and whose first bill for stronger background checks on gun purchases was passed with bipartisan support. it is one of the 50 bills passed by the democratic house in the last six months on issues including voting rights, prescription drugs, veteran's services and climate change. but the new house might have to wait for a new president to sign those bills into law. the democratic nominating contest is now coming into sharper focus after the first debates here on msnbc. >> donald trump thinks wall street built america. ordinary middle class americans built america. donald trump has put us in a horrible situation. we do have enormous income inequality and the one thing i agree on is we can make massive cuts in the $1.6 trillion in tax loopholes out there, and i would be going about eliminating donald trump's tax cuts for the wealthy. >> i will ensure this microphone
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that the president of the united states holds in her hand is used in a way that is about reflecting the values of our country and not about locking children up, separating them from their parents. >> when you have got a government and an economy that does great for those with money and isn't doing great for everyone else, that is corruption pure and simple. we need to call it out. >> the american people understand that trump is a phony, that trump is a pathological liar and a racist and that he lied to the american people during his campaign. >> for a party that associates itself with christianity, to say that it is okay to suggest that god would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that god would condone putting children in cages has lost all claim to ever use religious language again. >> donald trump wants us to
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fight on his turf and his terms. we will beat him. i will beat him by calling this country to a sense of common purpose again. >> recent polls shows every one of those candidates beating crump, every one of them. here in tandem, the center for american progress in hillary clinton's first campaign for president. the senior director of progressive programming is an ms nbc analyst and post debate, we have nate silver saying that it looks to him as though joe biden, elizabeth warren, kamala harris are all equally likely to get the nomination. joe biden still has a very significant lead. >> sure. i think vice president joe biden has a good shot to win the nomination, but i think what the debate showed is that he's not the only who can win and not the only one who can face off against donald trump.
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there was a narrative building that in order to beat trump, you had to nominate a white guy. i think what the debate showed is you don't have to do that. you can nominate a woman or a black woman and defeat donald trump. what kamala harris showed is she didn't jump into this race just to run for president. she jumped into this race to win the election. i think that sometimes women get judged for trying to be in charge, for trying to be too ambitious. and i think what was demonstrated last week is that the women are up to the challenge of defeating donald trump. that's what they showed last week. >> i'd like to get your view of where the race stands for president and how the presidential campaign can interact with what the democrats are trying to achieve in the house of representatives or should the presidential campaigns and should nancy pelosi just ignore the presidential campaigns? >> well, i think the most important thing that's facing the country is obviously defeating donald trump in 2020.
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the presidential election i think has a lot of the focus. the democratic presidential primary has the focus of the public and the cable shows and of the media in general. that makes a lot of sense, but we can't forget that the range of issues that the democratic house is passing, voting rights legislation, prescription drugs health care costs. in fact, a lot of the issues that were on the debate stage last week are issues that democrats have taken up and mitch mcconnell is defeating. i think the way that these things can interact is that more of the democratic presidential candidates can talk about how they will be able to pass bills on day one and make a difference in people's lives, particularly if they have a big enough margin to take the senate. that's a way to combine the messages, but defeating donald trump is on the minds of basically every democrat and many independents. >> zerlina tied it together
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there. once there's a democratic nominee, a lot of these freshmen stars and other members of the house will be on the stage with the nominee, introducing the nominee in their district, saying here's what i've done for you in nancy pelosi's house. here's all the things we have done for you that you want. we can't get it unless we get this candidate elected president so the bills can be signed. >> that's a very good argument not just on the issues of guns and election protection, but also about what's happening at the border. we forget sometimes when we just go through the daily news cycle that what's happening on the border disturbed millions of americans and they don't want to see images of children in cages. an effective argument is i'm not the candidate that's going to continue to put children in cages. that's a good and solid argument for a democrat running. and now you have stars who are representative of the american electorate like aoc and ayanna pressley who look like the electorate and look like the
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american people and they are coming forth with a compelling message on the future of the democratic party in the country is going to look like. i think it's much more diverse than all of the presidents and leaders we had in the past and that's a good thing. >> donald trump holding steady at a 54% disapproval. just a stunning disapproval for a president. it never has really changed. i for one and i look for this, i don't see anything that donald trump can do to move voters to him, especially since he never once tried to do it. he never has spoken favorably to a voter who hasn't already voted for him. what do you see in the campaign that donald trump can do to change the 54% disapproval? >> i think, frankly, he's not aiming to change that disapproval. i think what he's aiming to do
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is replicate what happened in 2016, which is to nuclear bomb the democratic nominee so that the democratic nominee has the same level of disapproval. i think that's why a lot of people are looking for someone who has the ability to go toe to toe with donald trump. who can argue in favor of their case. i would say that the key issue in this election is both motivating the base, which is vitally important, but reaching out to persuadable voters. we saw in 2018 the candidates across the country were able to do both of those things. they were able to turn some soft trump voters to vote democratic, particularly in the midwest, and they were able to bring out the base. we had a historic election in the numbers of people who participated. that's a big question for what the party has to do. trump is going to do everything he can to sow division and make people hate the nominee and turn
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democrats against the nominee. the most important thing is to ensure that democrats don't fall for that sucker punch. >> thank you both for starting us off. coming up, the freshmen class of democrats changed everything in the house of representatives. during this hour, we will talk to the news makers in the house. up first is congresswoman katy porter. you will see how congresswoman porter makes the most of her question time in hearings and you'll hear how she prepares for the big surprises she delivers in those hearings. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice! but uh, what's up with your partner? oh! we just spend all day telling everyone how we customize car insurance because no two people are alike, so... limu gets a little confused when he sees another bird that looks exactly like him. ya... he'll figure it out. only pay for what you need.
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the freshmen members on the democratic side of the house have changed everything. and one of the new stars of the freshmen class in the house of representatives will join us in a moment. she has already mastered the very difficult art of having a real impact in those five minutes of question time that she is allowed in house hearings.
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veteran democratic congresswoman catherine clark of massachusetts is a member of nancy pelosi's leadership team and the vice chair of the house democratic conference and this is what she said about her new freshmen members. >> i do think the freshmen have changed everything. >> those freshmen got a chance to change everything because voters sent them to congress to change everything, and everything they have changed has been bad for donald trump and the trump administration. >> those freshmen have delivered us the majority. we are now able to have the investigations that republicans refuse to look at and refuse to take up. and to do our job as laid out in article one. so yes, i think they have changed everything and have given us the tools that we need to be able to hold this administration accountable. >> we are seeing dramatic
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moments in hearings now. routinely, that we used to see once or twice in a decade in the past. members of congress coming to the hearings now prepared and ready to hold witnesses accountable and to do it in as pointed and dramatic of a way as you can in an otherwise confining setting of a hearing room. today the action was in the house financial services committee. the witness facing the tough freshmen questioning was timothy sloane, the ceo of wells fargo that paid more than $4 billion in fines and settlements since they were caught for opening millions of accounts without customers' knowledge and other stung customer abuses. congressmanwoman ookz ookz alexandria ocasio-cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to congress came to the hearing as
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she has to all of her hearings so far ready to challenge the witness in a way that republicans never would. she focused on wells fargo's financing for the dakota access pipeline that the obama administration suspended construction of after the standing rock sioux tribe challenged the project in court. the trump administration after taking office allowed the project to go forward with financing from wells fargo. >> hypothetically if there was a leak from the dakota access pipeline, why shouldn't wells fargo pay for the clean up since it paid for the construction of the pipeline itself? >> because we don't operate the pipeline. we provide financing to the company as operating the pipeline. our responsibility is to ensure that at the time that we make that loan, that customer and we have a group of people in wells fargo including an environmental oversight group headed by one of my colleagues who used to be at the epa -- >> one question. why did wells fargo finance this pipeline when it was widely seen
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to be environmental unstable? >> the reason we were one of the 17 or 19 banks that financed that is our team reviewed the environmental impact and we concluded that it was a risk we were willing to take. >> so the environmental impact team at wells fargo said go ahead. take the risk. freshman congresswoman katie porter pursued another line of tough questioning, the same questioning you have seen her do repeatedly. you have seen it on this program in video that we have shown you of her devastatingly effective questioning, including of a trump official that we showed you on this program last night. katie porter is the first democrat in history to be elected to represent california's 45th congressional district in orange county, a county that normally votes republican. two democratic presidential candidates have had a hand in the development of katie porter's skills.
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when senator kamala harris was california's attorney general, she appointed katy porter to be the independent monitor of banks in a $25 billion mortgage settlement that brought reforms to the mortgage business in california, and senator elizabeth warren was a professor of katie porter's when katie porter was a student at harvard law school. katie porter graduated magna cum laude and became a professor herself. like elizabeth warren, it was from her position as a law school professor that she decided to run for office. if you were watching last night, you saw katie porter's crushing line of questioning to the trump administration's director of the consumer financial protection bureau who could not calculate the annual percentage rate of a predatory payday loan, that kind of loan that offers financially vulnerable people a small infusion of cash
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at astronomical interest rates. today katy porter did it again in the hearing room, this time with the ceo of wells fargo, timothy sloane. >> in november of 2016, you said "i'm fully committed to taking the necessary steps to restore our customers' trust." you also said on a call "we have already made progress in restoring customers' trust and remain committed to being transparent with investors." your 2017 proxy statement to investors, you said, quote, restoring your trust and the trust of all key stakeholders is our top priority. those statements to me are pretty vague. they sound like they might be obscure, empty promises. do those statements really mean something to you, mr. sloane? >> they do. >> so it's safe to say they mean something to you and customers and investors can rely on the
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statements? >> that's correct. >> then why, mr. sloane, if you don't mind my asking are your lawyers in federal court arguing that those exact statements that i read are "paradigmatic examples of nonactionable corporate puffily of which no renal investor could rely? >> i don't know why our lawyers are arguing that. you asked me a direct question in terms of do i believe -- i believe the answer was correct. >> are you lying to a federal judge or are you lying to me and this congress right now about whether we can rely on those statements? >> neither. >> it's convenient for your lawyers to deflect blame in court and say you are rebranding campaign can be ignored as hyperbolic marketing, but you come to congress, you want us to take you at your word.
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and i think that's the disconnect. that's why the american public is having trouble trusting wells fargo. >> joining us now is katie porter of california. congressman, thank you very much for joining us. this is the first time we are meeting in the same room in the studio here in washington. glad we were able to do that. i know when most freshmen in the house are hold that when they get their big moment in the hearing room after waiting sometimes for 25 members to do the questioning before they get down to the freshmen, you will get five minutes. you get five minutes. most members frankly give up on the concept. they don't do much homework. they just make a little bit of a speech in the five minutes where they think they are saying something and hope their constituents want to hear, but they don't bother to do the work because they don't see what you can accomplish in five minutes. did you know from the outset that five minutes would be enough time for you to be able
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to pull off cross-examinations like this? >> i think i did. from being a professor in the classroom, i may have only a minute or two to ask a student a question. i am trying to probe are they prepared and have they mastered the concept. i think being in the classroom setting and asking students pointed questions, and sometimes realizing the stunt doesn't know what they're talking about was actually good preparation for coming to congress. >> i have seen more hearings than i can remember and i have been marveling with what you have been accomplishing in taking this process so seriously. so many times in those hearing rooms, they are not very crowded. they are not a lot of you showing up and it's true that the hearings happen at competitive times. sometimes you will have two hearings the hearings happen at competitive times. you will have two hearings scheduled at the same time and you have to pick one. there is a lot of other draws on freshmen and other members's time including fund-raising and spending a tremendous amount of their days out there fund-raising. it seems like this freshmen
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class is not devoted to fund-raising, using the time for fundraising the way their predecessors have. >> we were sent here because there are real concerns about what's happening in washington and how can we address the concerns by doing our constitutional duty by engaging in oversight and hearings are a one of the tools we have to do that. fundraising doesn't improve your government, asking questions does, listening to witnesses. i feel fortunate that i come into every hearing with a big binder. i read for two or three hours the night before and have been gratified that my freshmen said you are up next, i want to see what you have in store for me today. >> right. i have to say you strike me much more as a staff member than a member of congress and within the staff world of congress, that's the highest compliment you can give. because what everyone knows is in general, the staff knows a lot more than the office holder, and in general, any staff member
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who covers a certain area is way better informed than the staff member, senate or house member. you come to this with your own body of knowledge. you pulled out your own text book in the video that we showed here last night and quoted your own text book to the trump administration official who didn't understand how to calculate interest rates. that's why i came. i came to congress to use that knowledge. i think we are seeing that with a lot of freshmen. most of us have never been elected before and we don't know our job to sit quietly and give speeches. we think it's a hearing and these are witnesses. and we think our job is to ask questions. we are bringing the knowledge that we have, whether it's a job in finance or work as a professor or work as a teacher or nurse. we are bringing that knowledge into the hearing room. and it helps regular americans who are watching these hearings engage with what's going on. >> you can't think off the top
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of my head a committee in the house that doesn't have some intersection with the trump business or trump interest. the new york state attorney general announced that she is going to investigate the trump business' relationship to deutsche bank. your committee announced you are interested, the financial services committee is interested in the same target. where is your committee at this point on the examination of deutsche bank and donald trump? >> maxine waters who leads our committee set out a thoughtful agenda and made clear that the president's relationship will be part of the committee's agenda. i expect a lot of fireworks at the hearing and i am going to come ready with questions when it happens and we will see the freshmen in general come ready with questions and trying to really understand what is happening here and engage the american people in understanding what's at stake in the president's dealings. this is an important part of the concerns we have with this presidency. >> from your perspective as a law professor, i want to get your reaction to what nancy pelosi said.
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she gave an interview that was given to "the washington post" last week. it emerged yesterday why where we she was saying she is not for impeachment. she is saying she wants to see a level of proof about the president and, not only that, a bipartisan interest in pursuing impeachment. she wants to see republicans willing to pursue impeachment before she would be willing to pursue impeachment. your reaction to that? >> we have to see where the evidence is. announcing whether or not we are doing something before when we the evidence is not being fully responsive to the american people. i have great confidence in the speaker to guide us forward in the right way. we cannot be undertaking impeachment for political purposes. we have to be undertaking it because it's our constitutional duty. i can't assess that until i see the evidence. >> if you should not undertake impeachment for political reasons, should you decide not to impeach for political reasons?
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>> no. i think if the evidence is grave enough, we have a due to take action. >> no matter what the political actions look? >> correct. >> katy porter, we will continue to watch you. i'm sure we'll be using your video. you are helping us not with video that is so watchable, but teaching lessons about how this government is supposed to work and why they voted. i have to tell you the response we get online from your appearances is inspirational and we really appreciate it. >> thank you so much. ? thank you, congressman. really appreciate it. coming up, congresswoman ayanna pressley is another impressive member in house of representatives. the first african-american woman elected from massachusetts. our first interview with ayanna pressley is next. rfly! you know those butterflies aren't actually in the room? hey, that baker lady's on tv again. she's not a baker. she wears that apron to sell insurance. nobody knows why. she's the progressive insurance lady.
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on any of your calls with the attorney general, did you ask the attorney general to send you a letter requesting the addition of a citizenship question, yes or no? >> as i have said before, the content of my conversations with the attorney are confidential. >> it may be confidential, but it's not privileged. so again, one more time, could you disclose what is the nature of your phone call with the attorney general if at any time you asked them to include the immigration question in the census. the ship question. >> my answer is the same as what i gave you.
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>> okay. >> we're are joined by one of the freshmen in the house of representatives who are changing how the trump administration is being held accountable. congresswoman ayanna pressley, member of the oversight and reform committee. thank you very much for joining us. i appreciate having you here. >> thank you for having me. >> another six and a half-hour hearing. you get your shot and you corner the secretary and he claims something that doesn't exist. he has no right to say, none of them do, that the communication is confidential. the administration seems to think there are rights that they don't have. >> well, this is the day of reckoning. under chairman cummings and under the previous -- when the democrats were not in the majority, oversight and reform was giving this administration a pass, and those days are over.
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>> this hearing never would have occurred, not occurred if the republicans were in control. >> that's right. >> even if you had been elected into the minority, you wouldn't have had any minutes with wilbur ross. >> that's right. day of reckoning. chairman cummings said members of the oversight reform committee will be effective and in pursuit of the truth. we certainly did attempt to do that today as a committee in the collective. i do believe we were stonewalled at every turn. in fact, this was incredibly frustrating for 6.5 hours when we could produce documents and video that showed that secretary ross was in contradiction with previous statements. that's a very serious thing. michael cohen perjured himself and he's going to jail. we don't take the contradictions and obstructions and the stonewalling lightly by any stretch of the imagination. i cornered him, but during that round of questioning, he said my time was up.
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i had to remind him that that was not up to him. that was up to the chair. >> i want to go to something that happened on the house floor. that looks extraordinary from the outside. 420-0 was the vote on the house floor saying that of course robert mueller's report should be released to congress and the public. were you surprise said there were zero votes against that? >> no. i consider myself to be an eternal optimist and many things we disagree on, but we collectively agree that the american people deserve to know the truth. that report should be made public. again, there are indicators and potentially of obstruction of justice and collusion and we won't know if it's substantiated or real. until we receive this report. the american people deserve full transparency. >> i know when you were running
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in massachusetts, gun legislation and gun safety issues were important to our campaign. i ran into you one summer day in the middle of your campaign. you were behind in the polls and confident you were going to win and you did. the ruling in the sandy hook case saying that the gun manufacturers can be sued for the way they are both marketing and making these guns available to what turn out to be mass murderers. that is a big breakthrough in this field. >> absolutely. speaking of the massachusetts seven, gun violence is an issue of consequence. for our district and throughout the country. i am heartened and inspired by the hundreds of family members i met who suffered tragic loss and have become advocates in gun violence prevention and i want to make sure no family knows that hurt or ache. this is the year for accountability and it's an exciting precedent. we can't return the 26 souls, but i hope it puts them on a pathway to peace and healing and
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to justice and it's an encouraging precedence. in the spirit of accountability, when wells fargo was before the financial services committee, this was my line of questioning because unlike other banks that divested from gun manufacturers and the nra, wells fargo continues to invest and we took them to task on that. they should be held accountable for the contributing role they are playing in this public health crisis and epidemic that is gun violence. >> i want to ask you about this proposal you have about voting that nancy pelosi has now endorsed. >> i myself personally and i am not speaking from my caucus, i myself have been for lowering the voter age to 16. it's important to catch kids when they are in high school and they are interested in all of this and learning about government to be able to vote. >> she was talking about you. she was actually asked about your proposal to lower the voting age to 16.
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now tu speaker on your side. >> yes, my first amendment i proposed for hr one. shout out to the chairman, jim mcgovern there and we earned 126 votes on the record in support of lowering the voting age. i was very proud to have john lewis enthusiastically cast a vote in the affirmtive for that. and to learn today that our speaker is supportive. we advanced the debate and the conversation. people have been able to get on the record on the issue. although they were unable to get it included h.r. 1, we were able to include it in that. >> when it was lowered from 21 to 1, the argument was if you can draft men at 18 and send them off to vietnam too die, they should have a right to vote. so it was a very, very powerful moral argument to it. what's the argument to push it to 16? >> it's appropriate that it was
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senator ted kennedy who proposed that. massachusetts is still offering these sorts of amendments, and i'm proud to keep the history going. in 2019, 16-year-olds are dealing with 2019 challenges, hardships and threats, and we should show some 2019 courage that is commiserate with what they are facing. they are leading on the threats to our society. gun violence prevention, climate change and so many other issues. they clearly already have a stake in this democracy and should be able to cast a ballot. >> ayanna pressley, you are making former congressional staffers so proud because you're a former house of representatives staffer. >> yes. >> former senate staffer. >> that means a lot? and now you're in there asking the questions. >> yes. it's a pleasure, thank you. >> appreciate it. >> coming up, this is one of the democrats who flipped a republican district to democratic on election night. he has become a powerful voice on capitol hill for human rights.
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you can do it without fingersticks. thanks for the ride-along, captain! i've never been in one of these before, even though geico has been- ohhh. ooh ohh here we go, here we go. you got cut off there, what were you saying? oooo. oh no no. maybe that geico has been proudly serving the military for over 75 years? is that what you wanted to say? mhmmm. i have to say, you seemed a lot chattier on tv. geico. proudly serving the military for over 75 years. you ok back there, buddy?
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i don't believe that he would have allowed that to happen. it wasn't to his advantage. i don't believe he knew about it. some really bad things happened to otto, some really bad things, but he tells me he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> here's the father of otto warmbier in 2017 after his son died from torture in north korea. >> he's blind, his deaf, he's got a feeding tube. we kneeled down and hugged him and tried to connect with him and he's a complete vegetable. his bottom teeth look like they they had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged them. otto was systematically tortured
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and intentionally injured by kim and his regime. this was no accident. >> that was shortly before otto warmbier died. joining us now is democratic congressman tom melinowski from new jersey. the secretary of state from the human rights and labor in the obama resolution in the house affirming that congress holds north koreans, kim jong un responsible for the death of otto warmbier. thank you very much for joining us. i really appreciate it. i explained to the audience our connection going back to 1988 working at the same time for senator moynihan of new york. you were always working with human rights issues then. your career stayed on that focus and here you are now in your first year of service in the house. what was your reaction when you heard the president just acquit
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kim jong-un saying he's innocent of the death of otto warmbier? >> disgraceful and part of a disgraceful pattern. he sides with powerful men accused of moral transgressions and bringing more pain to a family that suffered far too much pain. i think it's just another case where the united states congress has got to try to be an alternative voice for america in the world. congress has to step up and say what's right and what's wrong. what's true and what's false. i talked to a lot of republican colleagues in the last 48 hours on this issue and they agree. this is something we are going to be bipartisan about. >> your announcement said bipartisan. that means you believe you have republican votes lined up for your resolution. >> we are divided on so many things in the congress, domestic policy and foreign policy, but not a question like this. this is so fundamental.
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i think again it's just important that when the president goes off and says something or fails to say the right thing on behalf of the country, the congress step up and do their duty together. >> let's see what kevin mccarthy has said about this. . >> i do not see the leader of north korea as someone who is a friend. we know what happened to otto. we know what this country has done. i support the president and his effort to denuclearize them, but i do not have a misbelief of who this leader is. >> do you think you will have kevin mccarthy's vote on something that rebukes president trump? >> i hope so. it stands for what the united states believes in. say what you want about president trump. we need to speak for america. >> this will really be historic in so many ways. first of all it's just beyond belief that the congress has to make this statement in reaction to a president saying this.
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but if you are the one who introduces the resolution, who finally finds the thing in which you can get republicans possibly even a majority of republicans in the house of representativeso vote against the president. >> it won't be the first time. we just did it on nato, we overwhelmingly passed in the house of representatives not yus just a resolution but a binding piece of legislation that says you cannot pull the united states out of nato. when it comes to our basic values, our security in the world, who we stand with, who we stand against. i still think we're united in the congress. >> tom malinkowski, thank you for joining us, it's an honor to have you here in your first appearance as a member of congress. >> oh, it's my honor. coming up, another member of the freshman class in the house who helped flip control of the house to democrats is congress one lucille mcbath. she did her first national tv interview on this program as a
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grieving mother who lost her son in a burst of gun violence and seven years of activism later, she joined us again for her first national tv interview as a member of congress. that's next. pampers is the first and only diaper with three extra absorb channels. they stay up to three times drier so babies can sleep soundly all night pampers on a john deere x300 series mower. because seasons change but true character doesn't. wow, you've outdone yourself this time. hey, what're neighbors for? it's beautiful. run with us. search "john deere x300" for more.
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- cis choosing to nurtureild and emotionally support children in urgent need. it's not just about opening up your home; it is also about opening up your heart. consider fostering. my son was violently torn from my life, a victim of gun violence, a victim of someone who had a gun who should never have received one. today a join my colleagues and former congresswoman gabby giffords. i am honored to co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation for my son jordan and for the safety of every family in this country.
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>> and joining us now is lucy mcbath. congratulations. >> thank you so much. >> it is so great to have you back on this program. what was that like, to be standing in the well of the house of representatives and standing up to introduce your first bill and speaking for your son jordan at the same time? >> it was very surreal. i've been, you know, there in the gallery before watching other legislators put forth legislation and amendments and continuing resolutions. but actually to be there myself as a policy maker, when i've come to washington so many times before as an advocate for safer gun laws, to actually be the policymaker was i think my son would be so proud in all the work i've done with gun violence victims and survivors around the country. i just felt the weight of all that on my shoulders. >> i'm sure you did. democrats, since up around 1994,
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have been kind of running away from guns in campaigns and running away from the issue because they felt they were hurt by it in the early '90s. and the first time they lost the house of representatives in 40 years, they attributed part of that to the nra and guns. you took it on in the campaign and did it in a republican district, this is newt gingrich's district that you won this campaign in. it was a squeaker, it was close, but you didn't shy away from this issue. you had to appeal to republican voters. how did you do that? >> i think as a mother there are families all over the country, specifically in my district, that they're very concerned about their children coming home and talking about their lockdown drills. and i think that every person that i appealed to understood that that could also be their plight as well, that there are no safe spaces in the country, that gun violence is apparently everywhere, and that i as a
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victim could speak with great credibility as to wanting to keep them safe and why it's important to do so. >> what advice do you have for democrats, especially democrats not running for president, but how to speak to republican voters? because you had to convert republican voters in your district. some republican voters, to vote democrat. probably some of them for the first time in their lives. >> basically i just told my story. i had been a single mother so i understood, when we had that recession after september 11th, and i took a hefty pay cut. so i could speak very credibly to the fact that i had to decide what i could and could not afford to do anymore. having been a two-time breast cancer survivor, i understand what it means to make sure people have affordable health care and people with preexisting conditions like myself have the ability to have good treatment without the high cost of that treatment. my own lived experiences afforded me to be the face of
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the very thing that people in my district and around the nation are concerned about every single day. >> how do you do it, and by this i mean, how do you deal with the grief which i'm sure is still there, of a loss of your son, something you didn't want to live through, you didn't want to be here, none of us do. and how do you live with that every day going forward? >> i live with my life by making sure i fight as hard as i can for the people i live and work with every single day. for me, that's how i manage my grief, to put myself forget for the sa for the sake of others, which is what i was trying to teach my son. trying to make sure i'm making democracy better for those people counting on democracy working for them. >> congresswoman lucy mcbath,
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thank you very much for joining us tonight. i am not among those who are surprised that you are here now. it makes perfect sense to me. >> thank you so much. >> the honorable lucy mcbath gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. on our post july 4th broadcast, the findings and warnings contained within the mueller report including what's been largely ignored. we'll look back at the advanced spin from the attorney general and the words of the special counsel himself, robert mueller iii, and had an all this means for donald trump and his presidency. the threat russia still poses to our democracy and our next presidential election, and the independence of the american system of justice. all of it as this special edition of "the 11th hour" begins now. greetings once again from our nbc news