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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  September 5, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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i think they'll be fine. voya. helping you to and through retirement. msnbc will have live coverage over night tonight as hurricane dorian continues its slow march up the eastern sea board. the storm is working its way towards coastal north carolina, dangerous storm surge expected there, winds that could reach 100 miles an hour. some time after midnight tonight the eye of the storm is expected to hit land again if the first time since its decimated the bahamas. again, we'll be live overnight tonight. that's going to do it for me for now. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> and we're going to have bi-- and also the death toll in the bahamas is increasing tonight and the health minister said it
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may rise dramatically from where it already is. that is becoming an increasingly tragic story. >> thosefore boding warnings even as he announces the increased death toll. it's very chilling. the navy s.e.a.l.s are now our most prominent special forces unit. their history goes all the way back to world war ii. but the oldest special forces unit in our military is the fighting group that started the special forces group concept, army rangers who traced their history to before the revolutionary war. and i dpru up knowing a lot about army rangers and holding them in awe because my uncle was an army ranger. he graduated from west point, saw combat, was wounded in world war ii. he earned eight silver stars, eight in his military career. after he died in 1977 my uncle john was inducted into the ranger hall of fame.
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and i've admired many people in my life including many people i have known and worked with, but i have been in full awe of exactly one person, my uncle john, the war hero. and a portion of that awe always extends to special forces veterans and combat veterans, and you might detect some of it tonight when i introduce you to former army ranger jason crow who you will meet and i will meet in tonight's episode of meet the freshman. he's a freshman democrat from colorado who woon a congressional district last year that a democrat has never won before. he is bringing his military experience to his new job and bringing his constitutional law experience as a lawyer to his new job when he considers the question of impeachment. and you will hear the story of how an encounter he had with an iraqi man who he was on patrol in baghdad helped shape his
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decision to come out in support of a impeachment inquiry. you will meet and i will meet congressman jason crow later in this hour and that is something i'm really looking forward to in this hour and i think you will too. presidential candidate cory booker will also join us tonight. but we begin tonight where the news demands we begin. we have tragic breaking news tonight from the bahamas on what hurricane dorian has already done to those islands with the death toll there rising significantly tonight to a new total of 30 victims. and we have the latest tracking tonight about what hurricane dorian might do next as it approaches the carolinas. we our live report in a moment from wilmington, north carolina, which is bracing from a possible direct hit from hurricane dorian. the mayor of wilmington will join us and we'll also get the latest from the bahamas tonight on a situation turning more tragic by the hour. we begin with what you need to know right now about what hurricane dorian might do next,
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and for that we turn to meteorologist bill karins. what is the latest? >> right now we're waiting to see if we get landfall. will the highest winds move onshore or stay offshore. that will be a big determination how much damage we have when we wake up tomorrow morning. during the day the storm brushed by areas. but it didn't do a lot of significant damage with the storm surge. that was one thing we were concerned about with the charleston area and even savannah for that matter and we are okay. gust still sustained up there about 1250 if you're in the worst of the storm. and that's the question, who's going to be in the worst of the storm? as we go throughout the next four hours we're going to parallel the coastline, very close to areas, and then we could possibly get that landfall
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here near atlantic beach, moorehead city. that's where we're going to be watching the possibility of the highest winds. and so far as i mentioned it hasn't been that dramatic with the winds. even wilmington you're not that far from the center but your winds only gusting to 55. myrtle beach still gusting to 52 on the backside of the storm but your weather will dramatically improve as we go through the night. here's that potential landfall some time right around it looks like maybe 2:00, 3:00 a.m. in the morning and that could have the winds 75 to 95 miles per hour. we could get the peak of the surge at high tide about the same time. and then we take the storm early tomorrow morning over the top and looks like by about 10:00 a.m. it'll be crossing land and getting out over the ocean. and then by noon tomorrow after about two weeks of watching what will be historically remembered and never used name again,
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dorian, will be gone, lawrence. >> at noon tomorrow, bill, you think that might be the last necessary reporting on this? >> in the lower 48 and the only little caveat is that this will slingshot up, become extra tropical almost like a nor'easter type storm and go into nova scotia. it'll be a different beast then. >> and how is it looking at this hour in north carolina? right now we head to wilmington where nbc news correspondent cal perry is covering dorian for us there. what is the situation there? >> reporter: i'm under cover here. we've had 3 inches of rain in the last three hours. that deluge is something officials are worried about. i'll step out a bit so you can hear the difference. we're getting gusts up to about 50 miles an hour. not terrible to be honest considering what this storm has
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done on its way here and what people were expecting. a big part of the reporting needs to be what happened last year in wilmington. hurricane florence hit one year ago next week, and it cut the city off from the rest of the state. this city was basically an island for a period of 48 hours. and because of that some people have decided to stay here and ride out the storm because they were not able to get back into their homes last year. emergency officials are telling people to hunker down. this is sort of the meat of this storm. and again just a reminder to anybody who still has power and there is power on in much of the city, once those winds get to 50 miles an hour, the authorities are not going to get out and do any rescue efforts. it's important for people to remember at least for the next six hours this is the time to hunker down. >> thank you for joining us with that live reporting. for more on how the residents of wilmington, north carolina, are dealing with hurricane dorian we're joined by phone by the
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mayor of wilmington, north carolina. we just heard from bill karins by noon tomorrow this storm could already be in your history books. what do crow expect to wake up tomorrow in terms of the consequences that have already landed on wilmington? >> a lot of rain and we're getting it right now. and of course probably some downed trees and hopefully not power lines but possibly power lines will also come down. it'll be the second time in a year we're dealing with the hurricane and now we're dealing with dorian and it's -- you know, obviously our citizens are kind of weather weary but we're ready to go and we'll hunker down and put our assets out on the streets as soon as this storm passes. >> i know you have a lot of experience as a coastal city in the carolinas dealing with hurricanes and anticipation of hurricanes. but did you do anything differently this year based on
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last year's experience? >> we did. last year we just we were cut off from the world for four days because out lying areas were flooded and interstate 40 and the city was flooded for four days so we prepositioned a lot of fuel, a lot of our resources came in from the state early on were prepositioned into higher ground closer to the city. obviously we have been going through these hurricane drills a couple of times a year, so our teams down here, our first responders, our emergency operation officials are always doing something different about every storm and we learned a lot from florence and we positioned a lot of our assets closer into the city this time than last time in anticipation if this thing does come ashore we'll be ready to help the folks and citizens out in our community. >> what do you want to tell the people who have evacuated, what do you want to tell them tonight in terms of what they can expect
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in being able to return? >> listen to the what the emergency operation folks say. give us some time to get our crews into the streets and cleanup the debris. we want to make sure if there are any downed power lines they're not live wires so somebody doesn't get hurt or electrocuted. and let us get those things out of the way and cleared up before you get into town. we'll give you the all clear to get back and you'll be listening to the state and federal officials as well as local officials before you make that track back into town. if we do have any roadways flooded we want the citizens to be aware of them because we lost several people last year where people tried to traverse roads that were covered and thought they could make it and unfortunately lost their lives because of it. listen to what emergency operation folks are telling you. >> mayor bill saffo, thank you for taking the time to talk with us tonight.
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we appreciate it. and the health minister of the bahamas who joined us on this program last night told nbc news tonight that the death toll in the bahamas has just increased by seven to a new total of 30. he told nbc news, quote, the official count is 30, we expect the number to climb dramatically. i certainly believe based on the findings in the field that the number will rise dramatically. i really believe on the topography, geography, the separation due to collapse, floodings this is going to take a while. settlements that are separated, we literally have to go house by house to inspect some of the structures that have collapsed. it's going to take quite a while. the logistics are incredibly challenging. it is a horrendous challenge right now. the prime minister has attempted to prepare the public for the ultimate confirmation and the expectation that this has been a
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devastating storm and loss of life and property. dr. sans told nbc news that the next death toll update will come some time tomorrow. and joining us now by phone is the honorable thompson, the minister of state for the grand bahamas. minister thompson, can you tell us what you know at this point about the changing death toll? it suddenly went up by seven. is that because it's easier to be able to make some of these identifications and recoveries? >> yes. and i want to say good night to you. good night to all of the folks there in the u.s. and the world who's joining. you're absolutely correct. the flood waters are now receding. persons are now able to get into the areas that were impassable
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before. and so now we're now in that recovery mode. we are recovering and seeing now the -- unfortunately the death toll that exists. i am on the island of grand bahama, and the same really is happening on the island of grand bahama. we're the second most populated island in the bahamas. so a bit more populated than abacos. and there were some areas we were only able to reach today. unfortunately recovering bodies today. so the prime minister and dr. sans were absolutely correct that the official death count unfortunately is going to increase. >> one of the grimmer points of news that we got today was the fact the islands need more morticians, more people who know how to handle dead bodies and help in the identification of dead bodies. and they are flying in from the
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united states, as many as can. is that the current most important focus is finding and identifying these victims? >> well, that's one of the focuses. i mean, we've been doing that today, getting into the eastern side of the island today, and unfortunately, we did recover some bodies today. however, that's just one of the concerns. we have hundreds of persons on our island that are homeless. we have about 400 now that remain in shelters. a number are still with their families. one part of our island was really completely devastated. we had flood waters in the range of 20 feet high. some persons trapped in their attics had to be rescued. we've now setup feeding banks
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because obviously persons who have lost their houses, the complete island is out of power and out of water. so the government has mobilized thankfully persons of control will now be receiving relief items and are now mobilizing to get those relief items into the community. we have feeding centers and we're now trying to feed, clothe, provide water, provide those essential supplies just to keep our population going. >> are there areas of the islands that are so remote that the people there who have survived won't be able to find their way to a safer place? they won't be able to walk whatever that distance might be? >> well, the island of grand bahama and also the island of abacos really have a number of -- so you can imagine there are areas in regular circumstances only assessable by boat in some cases only by small
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boats. c compound that with areas only assessable by one road, and that road either will have been washed away or that road would have had debris that was covered and so it would have taken some time to access those areas because of the damage. but we have done so by way of heavy equipment and access to those roads. in some cases we've actually had to use vessels to go around the island to get into different areas. and so it's been challenging, but our police, our defense force, our officials i really commend them because they've stepped up. the prime minister has said we will spare no expense to ensure that we do what we can to recover, that we do what we can to assist our population and that's really what's been happening. >> minister thompson, thank you very much for joining us tonight. we are very sorry for what has
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happened to your islands and what you are continuing to discover in this aftermath. we really appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you. and we want to thank all of your listeners. we've gotten tremendous support, tremendous outpouring. so we want to thank all of those persons who have been in the recovery effort and have offered their help and assistance to us. thank you very much. >> thank you. appreciate it. and when we come back, one of the most devastating hurricanes that has ever hit north eastern united states was hurricane sandy which brought devastation like we've never seen to new york city's staten island and new jersey. cory booker was mayor of newark, new jersey, then. he brought people into his home then to feed them, to let them stay there, and he saw what is always true about hurricanes. surviving the hurricane is one thing but surviving the aftermath is something else. and surviving the aftermath usually is much more difficult for poor people just like everything else. cory booker will tell us what he
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the destruction caused by super storms and hurricanes like dorian costs the united states billions of dollars in damage every year. but when it comes to escaping, surviving and recovering from a natural disaster it's like everything else, poor people suffer the most. a report by the national bureau of economic research states the obvious. there is a broad consensus that the wealthy can access a wide range of protective strategies from owning a second home to accessing better quality medicine, food and medical care and housing. the poor are thus more likely to bear the incidents of natural disasters. our next guest has had hard experience dealing with the catastrophic effects of super storms on poor communities. cory booker was mayor of newark,
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new jersey, when hurricane sandy hit new jersey in october of 2012. sandy had just been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit new jersey but it still left millions without power and without a place to live. mayor cory booker invited members of his community to eat and sleep-in his home in the aftermath of the storm. now united states senator booker is a democratic presidential candidate and he joins us tonight from newark, new jersey. senator booker, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i want to get your reaction to what we just heard the minister tell us from the bahamas, that it death toll has risen by 7 tonight. tist down in the low 20s, went up to 30 and we're told it's going to probably rise dramatically tomorrow. and i want to get your reaction to what's happening in the bahamas and what we should be doing to help. >> well, number one my
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heart aches watching the photos and videos and seeing what's going on there. but you really hit the nail on the head. when the storm passes, the danger persists. we lost people here in the city, lost lives in the days after because of things that folks often don't think of. remember hurricane sandy hit in october. it was cold. people often make mistakes running generators indoors and we've lost people to carbon dioxide poisoning. people need medicines and access to drugs that sometimes need to be refrigerated. there's so many life threatening things that happen in the aftermath of a storm that they are not out of the crisis yet. and this is a test of our comp passion and empathy right now and i'm hoping that folks are finding the right places to go to contribute to this effort because we here in the state of new jersey, believe it or not, have still people who are recovering their lives after the
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devastating loss. and again, lawrence, i appreciate you on so many levels but pointing out the resiliency to people of wealth who often have but low income families, poor families can be tragically, tragically devastating to their lives. and the impact can be lasting and traumatic and last for years. >> listen, i know people who in the aftermath of hurricanes simply pulled up and went to a hotel, just to a hotel. and i also know people who lost their homes and had nowhere to go. after sandy i didn't get to new jersey, but i was out in staten island which was absolutely devastated, and you're not surprising me by saying there are people in areas and housing situations that have not recovered, have not been made whole since sandy. what is the government's responsibility in the aftermath of one of these storms? >> i think these are moments where we have to understand it's all hands on deck, that
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responsibility -- everyone has to take responsibility. and you and i lived in the new york, new jersey area. we have seen 9/11 to hurricane sandy where i saw the best of humanity come forward, where people were there for their neighbors, there for their community, never stopped working. and i know first responders in the aftermath, my team was going days with very little to no sleep whatsoever, but i'll tell you what, we setup a hub in newark to receive resources, and we're getting truckloads of food and water from states around us. people sending their emergency crews here doing sort of joint rescues because we had people stranded. it was an amazing moment where i saw people ask what party you're in, what background, i think that's patriotism and love of our country but love shouldn't stop at our borders.
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this is the same time we need that same kind of grace. in america we're one of the best nations if not the best nation often for showing support to a lot of our neighbors especially in the caribbean from haiti to the dominican republic to obviously in this case the bahamas. i'm hoping more and more americans will think maybe i can't do everything but i can do something even if it's a small gesture to help that incredible nation recover. >> that grace and the aftermath talking about i saw, i witnessed it up close in staten island, truly inspiring after sandy, what made you decide to take people into your home? >> look, i -- i love where i live. i live in a low income below the poverty line community. you often see folks with little who consistently show the most. i've learned about the definition of grace from living here in newark from people who i've seen rise to challenges. sometimes it's a murder in the
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community, a family that's been evicted over frankly b.s., and so i just feel blessed to have opportunities to return to a community that's done so much for me. in that aftermath i was in the command center and literally running around the city, and got a text from one of my neighbors who said, look, the power on our side of the block is out, your side is not. and i'm not useding my house, i'm going constantly here's how you get in, anything that you need, i'm going to send food and resources. it became a hub. the problem is i i got a lot of attention from doing that maybe because i was the mayor, but it was going on all over newark, all over new jersey just to see the deep decency and goodness in our country when there's crises that happen. i have to say sometimes when a visible storm passes, i hope that empathy can often continue to deal with other crises we
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have whether it's environmental injustice or scourge of gun violence. because we are at our best as a community, as a country when we don't let the lines that divide us ever stop us from tightening those bonds that hold this country together. and we need more of that. i was in the 1989 earthquake in san francisco. i've never seen anything like it before. this happened during the world series, horrible devastation. i'll never forget that was the first major natural disaster i was in that weeks after you could go to gas stations, to restaurants, there was this kindness in the air that was so profound. i saw america at its best, and i hope we can continue especially this era where we see demeaning and degrading behavior happening at the highest office in the land, i want to see it in our country and one of it reasons i'm running for president a
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revival of the sieving grace. so the spirit when we're at our worse can come out in relative calm or without these natural disasters that remind us about american goodness. we need more of that now more than ever. especially as you see more partisanship or i would say more -- more just divide in our nation. >> senator cory booker, thank you very much for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. >> lawrence, i just want to say one more thing. that story about your uncle really moved me, and, you know, there are heroes like that that we don't celebrate and we're talking about them right now, first responders in crises, but the heroism you talk about in your uncle that we don't know and i now know this, i'm dealing with it more now that i'm a united states senator whether it's rangers or ceils, right now there are people doing incredible things. i give honor to your uncle and all of those americans continuing in his tradition.
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so all the best to your family's legacy. >> thank you, senator. really appreciate it. thank you for joining us tonight. and when we come back, president trump obviously wants us to talk about his defaced weather map tonight. he's doing everything he can to keep that story alive. and often when donald trump keeps a bad trump story alive it's because every other trump story is much worse. after this break joohn heileman, sam stein will join us to discuss what we think donald trump doesn't want us to know about which includes taking money from schools for children of military personnel and using that money for you guessed it. if you haven't guessed it, you'll get the answer after this break. we'll be right back. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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this is the segment for president trump apparently wants us to be discussing his abuse of weather maps. he must want us to talk about it
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because he kept tweeting about it today. the president is personally keeping this story alive. the story of him using a defaced weather map to try to prove hurricane dorian could have reached alabama. why is he doing this? why does he so obviously want us to talk about this story? it's a bad story for donald trump, but it does seem it might be one of those deliberate trump aversions because the story we turn to now is much, much worse for donald trump. and worse in the view of trump voters. and that is the new information we have tonight about the money donald trump is diverting from the defense department budget to pay for the wall he promised his voters mexico would pay for. >> i will have mexico pay for that wall. mark my words. mexico will pay for the wall. believe me. and -- and who's going to pay for the wall?
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mexico. 100%. >> how is the next rally going to feel about chanting the pentagon will pay for the wall or we will pay for the wall or school children of military personnel will pay for the wall? this is much worse story for donald trump than a fake line on a weather map. the defense department is diverting $3.6 billion away from 127 military construction projects, projects in 23 states being defunded to pay for the wall. nine of those construction projects are for building or renovating schools for the children of u.s. military personnel. utah, a state with two republican senators is losing $54 billion in military funding that will be sent to the wall. arizona senator martha mcsally who has supported the president's emergency declaration he's using to justify the diversion of military funds is now watching an army base in her state lose
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$30 million to pay for the wall. and that's after the secretary of defense had personally assured her that arizona wouldn't lose any money. former astronaut mark kelly running as a democrat for the senate in arizona is already polling ahead of republican senator markety mcsally. mark kelly now says senator mcsally, quote, didn't keep her word when she promised to protect funding for arizona military bases. as local news stories continue to appear in the 23 states that are losing military funding to pay for the wall, no republican senator has suffered a harsher judgment in the local news media than north carolina republican senator tom tillis who must first survive a republican primary before entering what will be a general election race next year. a charlotte observer editorial said the loss of $80 million in military construction spending in north carolina is, quote, an
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$80 million punch in the gut and a lesson that top tillis never seems to learn. the lessons here there are at least a couple. first, don't trust this president. donald trump will not hesitate to burn anyone including people who helped him to get a political victory. and also when you buy political favor in exchange for your principles the bill is always more than you thought it would be. we're joined now by two highly experienced political journalists who could surely deliver the best jokes on this program about the trump weather map but have agreed to temporarily leave that to the late night comedians while they concentrate on the issues the president seems to be trying to divert us from. john heilemann, co-host and executive producer of show time's "the circus." and one of it the truly great writers who has fixed his focus on politics and we are the better for it. and sam stein joins us, an msnbc
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plit analyst and continues to deliver some of the most important reporting of the trump era about what the trump administration is doing about the levers of power and government. >> nice. >> i mean that you're the one who goes inside the government in these stories that few of us find the space to cover and tell us what they're really up to. so let's start with you on this question of he wants us to talk about the hurricane map because what's the thing he doesn't want us talking about? is it the military money for the wall? >> i don't buy the premise. i actually challenge the premise. i think earlier when i was covering trump i probably would have bought the premise, the three-dimensional chess. and the diversion of military funds to the wall is an embarrassing story, if anything, a complete absence of his campaign -- >> for the entire republican party. >> yeah, because they allowed this to go through with the transference of funds. but i've come through the observation of reporting that
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trump is just sort of clinically incapable of moving on from these things and to him there's no greater slight than being perceived as out of touch with reality. so he's now gone through almost a dozen tweets, proclamation statements, written upon maps to prove he was right about alabama. and what's particularly bizarre about this and why i think this is very bad in its own right is he's doing it while our country is still dealing the hurricane. it's not like the hurricane is past. north carolina is about getting hit right now. it'd be one thing if we'd gone through this, but he's literally distracted -- >> i meant to include this in the premise. i cling to the possibility that it's both. if he is obsessive and he has obsessive behavior you see all the time, but he's also aware he's looking at those map segments and going no they're
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not talking about the kids schools they're funding. >> he's a pathological liar, the pathology, however, is triggered by news on various other fronts. the pathology gets amped up when he looks at the domestic political front at the polling where he gets beaten like a gong by not just joe biden but further down the scale democrats. he looks across the ocean and sees his friend boris johnson getting eaten about the face and neck every day. and then he looks at the economy where we have news just today, this survey financial industry executives do who are more pessimistic about the outlook and you have data coming out suggesting we have a looming recession. so economic news, political news, foreign news all bad stories for donald trump. and it amps up the instinct for
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pathological lying. >> let me just say, it's not like this is particularly savvy effort in diversion -- >> i'm not the one that said thr three-dimensional chess -- >> it doesn't take the level to divert -- go to a rally somewhere. leave the oval office. go down to the border where they're building the wall. there are things you could do as the president of the united states to divert attention in much more positive ways instead of bringing attention to yourself as someone incapable of getting over the idea alabama may have had gusty winds. >> as lawrence pointed out he lost the rally chant. the key elomt of the rally is build that wall and mexico is going to pay for it. >> the guy can maneuver through this. it's just what's remarkable to me is he's unable to literally get out of his chair and try to do something else other than tweet and say look at this map,
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i drew on it. >> sam stein gets the last word in this round. john heilemann, sam stein, thank you both for joining us tonight. and when we come back it's tonight's episode of meet the freshman. jason crow of colorado is a former u.s. army ranger who served three tours in iraq and afghanistan. he said donald trump's mplan to divert money is putting military readiness at risk. and he's also working to keep the kinds of weapons that he used on the battlefield out of the hands of america's mass murderers. he's one of the democratic freshman who won in a republican district and who has come out in favor of the impeachment process. this is a freshman you're really going to want to meet. that's coming up. [ applause ] thank you. it's an honor to tell you that liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. i love you! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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with new tums chewy bites cooling sensation. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, hmm. exactly. so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ when the news began to break yesterday about exactly where the $3.6 billion in military funding was coming from to pay for the trump border wall freshman democratic congressman jason crow of colorado was on a bipartisan delegation trip to the southern border with republican representative don bacon of nebraska. they were right there at the border. they are both members of the armed services committee, which has original jurisdiction over that money that is now being diverted to the trump wall. congressman crow served in combat in iraq. he also served in combat in afghanistan where he say a member of the elite army rangers, our military's original
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special forces unit. it was his service in iraq that informed his decision this summer to support an impeachment inquiry. in a medium post he wrote announcing his decision on impeachment, he told the story of patrolling the streets of baghdad when an iraqi man approached him with a problem that should have been settled in court, but the man told jason crow that there was so much corruption in iraq he said justice is hard to find. jason crow said he is hearing that same kind of thing now in the united states. he wrote, i recognized that the values i fought for overseas were now under assault at home. i didn't run for office because i disliked donald trump. i ran because i love our country. and he ran in a colorado district last year that has never elected a democrat. in his statement supporting an impeachment inquiry congressman crow wrote during my tours in iraq and afghanistan i saw what happens when government officials are above the law.
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when democrats campaigned in previously republican districts in the west, they usually don't like to talk about the gun problem in this country. but jason crow ran as a democraa democrat who supports banning the sale of assault weapons. >> i look at the gun violence crisis and how it's torn apart so many families. enough is enough. these are the weapons i needed when i was fighting in iraq and afghanistan. now they're tearing our communities apart. when my 4-year-old daughter comes home from school and tells us about the bad guy drills that she has and how she had to hide in a dark closet and be quiet in case a bad guy ever came to their school, i've had enough of this. >> tonightn tonight's episode of meet the freshman, will you meet congressman jason crow. will he tell us what the people in our government working at the southern border told him yesterday and today about what
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they need to secure our southern border. we'll get the results of his informal poll on the question of to build or not to build the trump wall. that's next. ♪ leave no man behind. or child. or other child. or their new friend. or your giant nephews and their giant dad. or a horse. or a horse's brother, for that matter. the room for eight, 9,000 lb towing ford expedition. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, hmm. exactly. so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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>> tonight's episode of "meet the freshman" we are joined by jason crow. thank you for joining us tonight, congressman. really appreciate it. >> good to be on, lawrence. thank you. >> you were down at the southern border just as this news was breaking on the 3.6 billion that's being diverted from the jurisdiction of your committee, arms services committee, to fund the border wall whachlt did you hear at the border from the people working there and what they need at the border? >> so every location we visited i asked one simple question. i didn't want to guide the answer in any particular direction.
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i just said what is your greatest need from washington? what can we give you to help you get this job done and accomplish your mission on the border? and every single person gave me the same answer. they said we need more personnel. they didn't say a wall. in fact, one agent i was talking to said it doesn't matter what we build. we could put a fence, slats, barricades. they always find a way over, under or through it. we need more personnel, more agents that. just illustrated to me that the president's drive for this wall say political decision. he's driving this based on his politics and his need, to show strength or to, you know, keep a campaign promise, whatever it happens to be, but this is not what the folks are saying, certainly to me, is their number one priority. >> it sounds like the kind of question that if a member of congress found you in iraq or when you're serving afghanistan that a wise member of congress would have asked you. what do you need? is that where that kind of question comes from, for you?
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>> well, what i like to do when i do these visits, congressional oversight visits, i just want to get information. my job is to get information to assess that information and to make good policy. it's not to drive politics. i dpru up in a family of small business owners and construction workers. i worked in construction to put my way through college. i became an army ranger. my job was about getting things done for my community and people, not about politicizing issues. i always want to try to get the best information possible. that's certainly my background. >> i want to talk about your decision this summer about an inquiry. >> i wanted to wait for the mueller report. i read the whole report, was
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shocked by its contents, still am shocked by its contents i wanted to hear what robert mueller had to say. ultimately at the end of the day, this was about rule of law, about my experience, as you mentioned earlier, in iraq and afghanistan and seeing firsthand what happens in a society when people don't trust government anymore, when rule of law, order and process breaks down. and i started to see some indications of that early on in my campaign. i was talking to some folks on the campaign trail and, you know, some of them said listen, it doesn't matter what you tell me. you seem like a really nice guy but i don't believe the system works for me, whether you're a republican or a democrat. and that really shook me. that shook me to the core to hear people saying that, that type of apthy aathy and resigna. we have to conduct an inquiry. congress has to assert itself in this process and maintain checks and balances. if we're not able to do that now, then when? >> congressman, what is your
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constituents' reaction been to this? as we said, stressed, you're the first democrat to represent this district. here you are, in your first year, saying you want to have an impeachment inquiry of a republican president. >> well, i walk people through my thought process on this. i get out in my community a lot. i hold town halls and coffees on the corner, round tables all the time, you know, over the last month. we were here on our district work period. i probably did 30 or 40 public events out in the community. i meet with anybody and everybody. i take their questions and i walk them through my thought process. i think that's a lesson for other folks, don't hide from those interactions. even if peel don't agree with you necessarily, if you show up, if you're willing to have the conversation with them, talk through the issue, keep an open mind, listen to what they have to say, be respectful of them, more often than not, they'll be okay with the way you come out. because i always remind my
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constituents that the promise is not agreement 100% of the time. if elected official comes up and says, you know, you're going to agree with me 100% of the time, they're not telling you the truth. the promise is about, you know, making sure you're transparent and open with folks. >> congressman jason crow gets tonight's last word. thank you very much for joining us, congressman, and please come back. really good to have you here. >> thank you. good to be on. >> that is tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. tonight, a special extended edition of our broadcast for you, covering the dual stories of this hurricane churning up the east coast and the political damage the storm continues to indirectly cause. tonight, we're live along the atlantic coast. we'll talk live with some of the local officials there as the president entered day five of his fixation on alabama. there are also stories of political intrigue out of this