tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC September 6, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
i'm headed over to the white house and i'll see you later tonight. but for now, more news with my colleague craig melvin in new york. craig, if you're there, take it away my friend. >> all right. hallie jackson for us there in washington. thank you. and a good friday to you, craig melvin here, nbc headquarters in new york city. we start with hurricane dorian making landfall in north carolina. the category one hurricane made its u.s. landfall in cape hatteras about two hours ago and it left behind a trail of destruction, flooding, mass power outages. it continues to pummel the area with high winds and punishing rain. in south carolina, nearly a quarter of a million homes and businesses are without power this morning. crews working frantically to restore service. and in the hard-hit bahamas, the death toll has risen to 30 as the scope of the devastation there becomes clear.
we've got the tales on the latest conditions on our latest correspondents. al roker is here where they just released the national forecast from the national hurricane center. let us start there. latest advisory just coming out. mr. roker, what are we seeing? >> here's the deal. there you can see this is the path where we finally saw landfall in america in cape hatteras. interestingly enough, it's the fourth landfall. it ran -- it made three land falls in the bahamas, of course creating massive destruction. and now there it goes. this is the latest from the national hurricane center. still a category one storm. it's 50 miles northeast of cape hatteras. the winds are still 90 miles per hour, but here's the big change. finally getting picked up by that trough northeast. it's moving northeast at 17 miles per hour. so this things is now finally starting to book. look at this. we have tropical storm watches all the way up into new finland.
we've got hurricane watches for parts of new england. and we're -- i should say tropical storm storm warnings for parts of new england. and then we still have the tropical storm watches and warnings as you come down the south from ocean city to norfolk tropical storm warning and hurricane warnings down to the south around cape hatteras. there is still a threat here that dorian flood threat. we've got 3 million people impacted. this flooding in norfolk is part of storm surge. we were talking to you about this yesterday. we were probably going to see storm surge that norfolk would be involved. from kill devil hills down to cape hatteras where we've got a flood emergency going on right now. stumpy point, 71 miles per hour. elizabeth city gusts of 47 miles per hour. bow ford, 43 miles per hour. we are seeing those strong winds continuing and those storm surges continuing from 4 to 7 feet.
there could be a lot of flooding especially down in the hampton bays area. cape hatteras, cape lookout, a 4 to 7 foot storm surge possible. we're going to be watching that. and, in fact, as we track dorian here's the path. this is what we're looking at. friday it's still a category one. saturday morning around 8:00 a.m. it's moving past new england. and then up on into canada and beyond and then this is out of here. here are the impacts we see. those winds, you can see we're looking at tropical force winds just to the east of new york city but parts of long island, the long island sound, connecticut, on into new england. we are looking at wind gusts that will be somewhat strong, tropical storm force gusts tonight. rainfall, we've got a flood threat for cape cod. minor flooding expected down east maine and nantucket. rainfall totals up to 5 inches. again, this system now picking up speed, craig. it is going to be moving rather
rapidly. but back behind it there's still going to be strong winds for our friends along the outer banks. i know nags head is getting slammed right now. i know catie beck is there. but it is a real zbles mess. >> it seems like we've been talk about this for a week. >> i believe it's ten days since it first formed. and we knew that it followed the path fairly -- fairly accurately. the national hurricane center i think did once they got past those initial models that showed that it possibly could have made its way into the gulf. that was more the euro than the american model and the national hurricane center. so i think they did a pretty good job. >> and it looks like this hurricane is -- by the time it finally dissolves or dissipates, whatever hushs rricanes do, it have affected every state on the eastern seaboard. >> the fact it was able to hug
the coast and run parallel to the coast there are was just a chance it was going to miss cape halter russ and if it did that there would not have been a landfall in the united states. >> mr. rok, er, thank you. nbc's catie beck is there in north carolina. she's made her way to the outer banks. she's in the beach town of nags head about 50 miles from where dorian made landfall. it looks like it's worse there than it was just a few hours ago. >> reporter: absolutely. we are getting crushed right now. torrential rain and some very, very strong hurricane-force winds. i'm actually kind of winded myself from all of the wind hitting me. but in any case, we are seeing these conditions continue to deteriorate as this eye wall makes igts way up the coast. and after making landfall in hatteras, these conditions have really, really started to bear down on the outer banks. we did hear from the governor earlier this morning, obviously
encouraging people again to not take this storm lightly, do not think it's blowing by. he's saying hunker down. this is going to be a while before it passes. he also mentioned the top concern right now for north carolina officials is about 200 people that are stranded on -- island. the road they that they would use to rescue those folks semipassable at this point. that's going to be a top priority to get out and get those people some help. right now there are over 200,000 people in north carolina without power. that number is expected to increase after the storm surge. they said they were expecting 4 to 7 feet. we've definitely been noticing the beach behind us disappearing. there was a pretty big beach this morning and that water, as you can see, is creeping up rather quickly. so although dorian seems to be passing through, it doesn't feel that way to us. >> all right. catie beck, get inside.
thank you. thank you, thank you. msnbc's ali velshi is in the north carolina coastal town of the moorhead city. what's the scene like there? >> reporter: well, look, catie's 65 miles northeast of me which makes that hurricane 110 miles northeast of here. it's long gone. but about ten hours tag sounded like a freight train coming through here. we didn't get hurricane force winds. it didn't make landfall. but it was windy, a lot of rain. we don't have a storm surge problem here. much like when i was in charleston talking to you yesterday, the storm surge didn't up being as serious in some of these places because it didn't coincide with its high tide. in charleston they were expecting 8 feet, they got 6.2 feet. similar situation here there are was flooding in town but nothing serious. what we did have was some damage, downed trees, branches, some downed power lines. and in north carolina that's
going to be the biggest problem. there's some scattered flooding and as catie was telling you, there are some people trapped but power's going to be the issue. there are 9,000 power workers staged and ready to go once the winds are low enough do so. they felt like they were here and then we got this gust about five minutes ago. but once that happens, there are 9,000 of those trucks that you're very familiar with that go around the country, they move into these emergency areas and they're ready to start repairs very soon. there have been fema vehicles and national guard vehicles stationed all around the area for the rescues that are necessary. we've not seen anywhere around here in this region of north carolina or in south carolina that required water rescues. but there are high-water vehicles and there are lots of people ready. so the one advantage of the fact that we've been talking about in the storm for two weeks is that it gave north carolina a chance to be ready even though it wasn't obvious that the storm was coming to north carolina at all. greg. >> that's a really good point there. a lot of folks had a lot of time
to get assets in place. i saw one of the caravans, power trucks as i was leaving florida a couple days ago. >> yeah. >> ali, thank you, my friend. do appreciate you. have a good weekend. lets bring in craig now, former fema director of florida emergency as well. thanks for your time on this friday. the biggest challenge is right now in the areas that we just saw, areas along the north carolina coast there. >> well, it's going to be power restoration. both of these states have unfortunately been through this several times the last couple years. and i think for the majority of the area, the high winds, power lines, and trees down are probably going to be a lot of the damages when you get off the coast. so if you can get the power back on quickly, that's going to take care of most people. then you can focus on what's going to probably be a couple more days of getting roads reopened and getting traffic and supplies back into some hard-hit areas. but, again there is a part of the country where these are very experienced state teams. they're well practiced. they know what do. the local communities know what
do. i think it recovery's going quickly. big thing is get the power back on. >> that's the big thing with storms like this, a lot of folks don't fully appreciate the fact it's not just a matter of reconnecting lines. first you've got to get the debris off of the lines, remove the trees in some of these places. a process that oftentimes depending on the extent of the damage can take days if not weeks. priorities for the fema response teams up and down the east coast, craig, outside the power outages. >> well, again, they've been positioned to do search and rescue, commodities have been prestaged. but for fema, this is -- this is the way it's designed is fema's not running this operation. we're in support of the governors. a lot of this will be done by state and local officials. although fema as there and a lot of these are urban search and rescue teams being deployed. the primary response is state and local government. the national guard unit is out there. fema's very much it a support role here. >> the bahamas hardest hit by
dorian. what advice do you have for folks who might be watching and listening to us on sirius satellite radio, folks who want to do something and help. what's needed most in the bahamas specifically? >> get out your credit cards, it's money. people want to doe nignate item. but this is a situation where the best way to help long term and short-term is to give to the organizations that are there working. the bahamian government is leading this response. we're, you know, u.s. is support. but for most people the fastest and most effective sway to give money. i'll tell you why. everything we ship over from the u.s. is great, it's needed. but it means that local businesses in the unaffected areas of the bahamas aren't getting any business. we have to be concerned about the bahamian economy. this was not all the bahamas that got hit. this was two hours. bahamas are a long island chain, 700 miles from top to bottom. but for everything that we send that we could have bought there,
we're we're taking away business and jobs. because what people use is what's in the bahamas every day. better to give money, support the response, but also support the economy and that's going to be needed in the is a huge financial impact to these islands. >> we're going to go to the bahamas a little bit later in the broadcast. craig, wonder advice. thank you so much. in fact, the advice so wonderful we're going to help you out here. on the screen right now, the web address is for three of the organizations that you can reach out to if you'd like to help. these are three reputable organizations, the american red cross, the salvation army, and team rubicon. american red cross, salvation army, team rubicon. those addresses are on your screen and we'll put them on our website as well. speaking of the bahamas, a horrendous challenge, that is how the bahamas health minister describes the daunting task they are facing in surveying the
damage across the 50-mile range of the islands affected in the is thousands of survivors are still waiting on assistance there. we will head to the bahamas live ahead. also all things granite. 2020 democrats hitting the trail in new hampshire. including joe biden who just picked up a big endorsement in this state. ♪ limu emu & doug hour 36 in the stakeout. as soon as the homeowners arrive, we'll inform them that liberty mutual customizes home insurance, so they'll only pay for what they need.
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this weekend. all 19 presidential hopefuls will descend on manchester, new hampshire, for the state's democratic convention. thousands set to attend the event as contenders look to pick up support. let us bring in mike memmaly. he's live for us in laconia, new hampshire. what can we expect to hear from the candidates this weekend, buddy? >> reporter: well, for those 19 democratic candidates who will be here tomorrow, this weekend's message is about message and manpower. we'll talk about the message part first. this is the last stage that they'll stand on before that third democratic presidential debate next week in houston. you heard the advice from ray buckley, he's the chairman of the new hampshire democratic party earlier speaking with stephanie ruhle. he said the activists here who are attending that convention want a forward-looking and positive message from these democratic candidates. they'll have a chance to shrug
it out next week. but they want to see the next president of the united states on this stage. that's an important opportunity. there are a lot of endorsements up for grabs. so many of these key players have yet to make endorsements in this race. we saw joe biden getting some endorsements. two former state party chairmen bringing his number to three. i talked about the manpower as well. tomorrow say show of force for a lot of these candidates. you'll see on the streets of manchester even in a little bit of rain an attempt to show that there's real enthusiasm behind their kans candidacy. the ground games that these campaigns have been building up for months will be on full display. and for the guy i cover, joe biden, that's where that endorsement from the firefighters union is so important. they're talking about tomorrow's convention, breakout moments in store. on the back page, you see the first paid media from the international association of firefighters for joe biden. i'll reedly bill bit. it says joe biden is a lot like firefighters. he's a problem solver that cares deeply about america. later it says joe is drich to bring our country together. he has the knowledge we need and
he has earned our trust. most of all he is the candidate that can win in 2020. that electability message to key to biden who speaks here in laconia later this afternoon. >> all right. mike, thank you. let us bring in rick tyler, republican strategist, he's also msnbc analyst. and rick sea wright. >> mthe title is new hampshire power brokers surprised by the number of the field. they have yet to pick a candidate suggesting that the first primary state in the nation still very much up for grabs. how true is that? is new hampshire really still up for grabs? >> i think so. i always remind people there's still a lot of time left on the clock, still a lot of plays to be ran in this presidential primary. but, craig, i will tell you why new hampshire is good to flirt
with. south carolina is the place you want to marry if you want to beat the democratic nominee. 60% of the people who cast their vote will be african american. 55% women if the in our 2018 midterms we had 1 million between women and people of color vote for democrats. and not to mention it is the home of the most powerful african american in the u.s. congress, jim klei born and after south carolina many of the states that follow south carolina will have similar voting demographics. >> rick, a trump rally as you know set the record for largest crowd size as an arena there in manchester, new hampshire, the same spot the democrats are holding that convention this weekend. does this give you the sense that new hampshire is going to be a legitimate battleground state next year? >> new hampshire has been a battleground state for a long time. the state house and senate has flipped back and forth repeatedly. the democrats took control of it in 2016. but the democrats, the state democrats are far outraising the republicans in new hampshire. i think donald trump has
weakened new hampshire and the republican party and it looks to me as though the democrats are pretty energized there. >> antwan, i want to go back to you. i think we've had this conversation before, this idea that democrats, two of their first primaries are in iowa and new hampshire, places that aren't necessarily as representative of -- >> the party. >> yes, the party. but has there been a serious conversation had about changing that? and what is the effect of having your primary contests in states like that versus making a state that would be more representative of the demographic base of the party? >> i think there's work to this point. but i make no apologies by saying you cannot be the nominee without african-american vote. while those states are reflective of the big, broad, scope of the democratic party because we're a big-ten party, i think the ball game starts in south carolina. what happens after south carolina? if you don't believe me, ask
candidate barack obama in 2008 and candidate hillary clinton in 2016. and i make no apologies testifying about the goodness of south carolina and what she brings to this democratic nominated process. >> rick, the gop continues to face significant challenges with afternoon-american voters. if joe biden does win the nomination, how will his support specifically among that group of voters, how will that threaten the president's re-election bid? >> let me disagree with a little bit of what i heard. i think you can win the democratic nomination without the african-american vote and i think that's what most of the democrats frankly are trying to do. because african americans have, far be it for me to speak for them but let me make a political observation. african americans as a whole are not progressive. they're more moderate. joe biden is a safe vote for them. they do not like big promises like medicare for all. they don't like the idea of -- someone comes along and says
we're going to give you free healthcare, that sounds great. but a lot of african-american voters are more skeptical. they're going to say who's going to give me free healthcare? they don't believe that. they don't believe of that anybody's going to give them free healthcare and i think they're very skeptical of these large promises that are made by the progressives. which is why i think they're not supporting bernie sanders and they're not supporting elizabeth warren, but they're supporting joe biden. and can he keep those votes. now, the question in the general election, if african americans stay home in the general election, trump will be president again. i think that that vote is incredibly important to the general election. i don't think -- it is important to the democrats, but the african-american vote has been promised so many things for year after year and generations. they are the most skeptical voters. they're going to go with someone who promises let's build on what we have, let's not throw out everything we've got and hope for the best. >> rick, with all due respect you just committed the highest act of malpractice you could
ever commit. the fact that -- there's no way -- >> i hope so. >> you can be the democratic nominee without having the african-american vote. ask bah iraqi obama and hillary clinton in 2008 and 16. i will also tell you whoever the next president will be will be because african americans voters showed up dore not show up. >> i totally agree with that. >> but to your point -- >> but during the primary, i think you can win the primary -- >> that's not mathematically possible to be a democratic nominee with having the -- without having the most loyal voter block in this party show up to vote for you. all you have to do is crunch the numbers. men and women lie, numbers do not. that's been proven election after election. >> if it were binary you'd be correct, that is one -- the african americans all voted for one candidate and not the other. the problem is you have all these candidates and votes get split. i'm saying it's possible. i'm saying it's not a great strategy, which is why my
overall point is why have these progressives constantly go after these progressive ideas because they are not talking to the african-american voter. >> and that's why they're not with us. >> what they're doing is -- >> gentlemen, here's the thing. we'll be able to have this conversation a lot over the next few months but we'll have to wrap it up there. rick tyler, thank you, sear. and antwan, thank you as well. still packing a punch. had say live look at cape fear as dorian continues to just batter the north carolina coast. we'll head back there. we'll also go to the bahamas where officials say that the final death toll, the final toll will likely soar as they are still assessing the damage there. this is thousands of displaced residents are celebratedesperatg for help. >> we have nothing left. all of our homes are destroyed. we have nowhere to go. >> we lost everything. so right now we just are in survival mode right now. >> it literally looked like we
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catie beck has made her way to the outer banks. she's in nags head, north carolina. catie, when we checked in with you a few moments ago the wind and rain were pelting you and that seems to still be the case, although maybe to a lesser extent. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. the wind is now coming in gusts so i've got a slight reprieve for a few seconds and then you get one of these massive, forceful, powerful gusts. it definitely has been interesting this morning to watch the conditions deteriorate as the eye wall of dorian makes its way around the north carolina coast. getting closer you can feel the impacts of that closeness almost immediately. the other thing we've been noticing is the disappearing beach behind us. we have about 15 feet before the water reaches this dune. yesterday theres with 200 yards of beach in front of us and now it's encroaching on the boardwalk where i stand. these conditions have definitely, definitely deteriorated. the other thing the governor is saying is that everyone needs to
get to high ground at that point. he's calling this a flash flood emergency because of this storm surge, because of what's happening now as a result of this weather moving in. he says the flooding is going to be the big concern. roadways impassable and people stranded. there are currently 200 people stranted on an island. the governor is trying to figure out a way get those folks some help. but at that point he's telling anyone that remained on the island, get to higher levels of your house. get as far away as you can from the flooding because the storm surge is serious and it is happening. there was a occur knew was curf until noon today. they're out to assess the damage and if there are passable roads. at that point no evacuation orders have been lifted yet. i think as the weather continues to hammer us i don't think that there will be. craig. >> catie beck there for us, nags head, north carolina. thank you. and of course the beach rhee
recognition wi erosion will one of the damages there. whatever they see there in the tar heel state and south carolina and florida will pale in comparison to what they are dealing with in the bahamas and what they'll be dealing with for some time. the death toll from dorian has risen to 30. it's expected to climb even higher. there's a 24 hour rescue and recovery ef nor t recovery effort in effect right now. morgan chesky is live in nassau and i understand you were able to get a first hand look at some of the most devastated parts of the island. we've seen some of the overhead, some of the aerial footage of the damage and devastation there. how bad is it on the ground? >> reporter: craig, to witness the devastation from the air is one thing. but when we arrived in marsh harbour on abaco island, one of the first places that dorian struck, it was simply stunning devastation. we kept waiting to drive out of
the damage, but then we realized that it just continued as far as you could see in nearly every direction there. and right now there are dozens of people just trying to get off the island anyway they can. that's who we met when we first landed at that airport there when was under water until about yesterday. and then as we drove into the town, a lot of the roads still submerged in certain spots, covered in debris. we came upon a clinnic that was useds a shelter where people rode out the storm but it's been a gathering place. these people aren't necessarily injured but they have nowhere else to go. time and time again when i asked them what dorian took away, they said everything. for the people with critical injuries they have been airlifted here to nassau where they have been taken to nearby hospital to get care. i spoke to a gentleman who saved his brother's life after he slipped off a roof into the water in marsh harbour. he suffered a broken leg when debris hit him. i had a chance to ask him about that experience and here's what he to say.
>> you're on the roof grabbing your brother and then debris does this. >> does this to me. and i didn't let him go because if i let him go, he would have gone in the wind with the surge. >> washed away. >> washed away. i watch my friends die in front of me. >> reporter: those stories coming out time and time again, craig. and we don't think they're going to be stopping anytime soon. the minister of health telling me there is still hundreds if not thousands of people that are unaccounted for on those hard-hit islands. craig. >> all right. morgan chesky there in nassau for us. morgan, thank you. keep us posted. we'll be checking in with you a lot over the next few hours and days. justice for all, that is the theme of our new network wide series. it's an initiative that we've launched that focuses on this country's criminal juts justice system. i visited a program that's helping kids spend time with their parents who are in prison. what do you tell your daughter
that you wish someone had told you? >> to see the things that really matter in life. family is what really matters and education and being really close. >> much more of our conversation on the other side of this break. '. but it's not just big either. it's the kind of big where you'll never have to ask, "should i scooch up?" it's big that looks at a sunroof and wonders why it can't just be most of the roof. it's big that's better because we built it that way. the spacious, 121 cubic feet of cargo space ford expedition. the spacious, 121 cubic feet of cargo space this fall, book two, separate qualifying stays at choicehotels.com... ...and earn a free night. because when your business is rewarding yourself, our business is you. book direct at choicehotels.com
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so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. now to our network wide series justice for all. focused on the criminal justice system in america. when a criminal serves time, their suffering extends to their own families. for the children of
incarcerated, a parent's absence can take a toll. recently i visited a program to help these kwids. and officials, officials contend it's making prisons safer. >> this is selena valley state prison, home to more of 3,000 of the state's most serious criminal offenders. for 360 days of the year it can be one of the hardest places to serve time. but for five days, there are smiles, laughter, even hugs. this is camp briggs. a summer camp unlike any other designed to reject children with their fathers. >> i feel very blessed to be able to be here with my kids. >>on that is incarcerated for attempted murder. but by steering clear of trouble for a full year, he and six other dads earned a spot at camp grace. for him, that means seeing his daughter and son. how did you qualify for this?
>> no write-ups. basically don't get in trouble. do good. >> this is an incentive do good, i would imagine. >> this is a big incentive do good. >> there nor saints among the men here. many are in for long sentences. but organizers say that the children shouldn't be punished along with their parents. and for these five days they can get to know their fathers. >> what do you tell your daughter that you wish someone had told you? >> to see the things that really matter in life. family is what really matters and education and being really close. >> evan freeman is in for bank robbery. this is his son evan jr.'s second year at camp. >> to those who would look at this and say, these guys, they don't deserve to have this kind of time with their kids, what would you say to them? >> you're probably right. but my kid deserve to have time with me. whatever the reason why we here, we still people. our kids are still kids and they still need their dad in their
life. >> our friends at usa today are also looking at the criminal justice system this week. joining me now is eileen rivers, digital content editor for usa today's opinion section and the editor of the online site policing the usa. they contributed to the first stall meant of the life series feature inmates sentenced to life in federal prison for nonviolent drug offenses. first of all, thank you, eileen. if you for yo thank you for your time. i've enjoyed this series. these men are going remain in prison for nonviolent low level drug offenses for the rest of their lives despite the first step back which was releasing people on a third-strike drug charge. how are they slipping through the cracks or the first step back? >> first, thanks so much for having me. you're absolutely correct. first step back was passed last year. and the impression is that it's all encampusing, all sweeping.
we've heard about thousands of inmants mates being released. but the part you talked about, that third strike reform, it's not retroactive. so for somebody who may have a third strike incarceration today, that mandatory life science, that mandatory minimum won't be there. but for people who have already been incarcerated under third strike, their, you know, presumably at this point in for life. >> and you also introduce a guy who's been in prison for more than 11 years, sentenced to life for pot distribution. >> right. >> now that the sale of marijuana is legal in a number of states, is that going to change his sentence? might that change or does it go back to what we just talked about? >> you know, at this point that's not changing for him. so he has applied for clemency once already. he applied and that was rejected in 2016 under the obama administration. he's trying to apply for that again. but, you know, you're absolutely correct. he is not going to be free at
this point. you know, he's going to be in there for life. this was a third strike offense. a marijuana charge. he had actually had two other strikes. one more marijuana and one also for cocaine. but, you know, at this point he's not saying that he doesn't deserve to be incarcerated 'the that's the interesting thing. both of them that i talked to said, look, we know we did some things that were not okay. we know we broke the law. but a life sentence for something like selling marijuana just seems a step too far. especially, as you said, across the country we're seeing this legalize. we're seeing people making millions of dollars off marijuana sales. we're seeing states collect millions of dollars in taxes off of marijuana sales. and he's going nobody there at this point for the rest of his life. >> for selling weed. >> right. >> accord to the aclu, as you know, there's no difference in the rate of pot use between blacks. >> correct. >> between weihites in this country. in 2018, 84% of the more than
2000 marijuana offenders who were federally sentenced look like me and you. >> that's right. >> 11% were white. what do we know about the reason behind this racial disparity? >> it's very interesting. we know there's a history in this country of black and brown communities being disproportionately affected throughout the criminal justice system. it's not necessarily just for pot use. it's not necessarily just for drug use. we know that things like stop and frisk affect black and brown communities more than white communities. so, you know, there's historical precedence for this. it's not unusual that there's a heavy crackdown in black and brown communities over marijuana use. and that, you know, i talked to somebody -- part of my piece focused on how a lot of whites in this country are getting rich off of the marijuana sales. so if you look at, you know, the top tier of the industry for legalized pot sales, it's dominated by white mails. but doesn't mean there aren't black people getting into the system and selling legally.
i spoke to a man who has an online website where he hooks people up who have medical problems with doctors for cannabis. and i said, you know, there aren't a lot of people who look like me in the legal industry because of the history of what's happened with the overincarceration of black and brown people. so even though now there's a legal avenue for people, there are people who are afraid to enter it because there's a history in this country of certain people being overincarcerated and other people not. >> eileen rivers, usa today. eileen, thank you. thanks for your time. >> thank you so much for having me. >> again, read the first stallments at liefrs.usatoday.com. also in today's paper, an interview with lester holt in angola prison reporting on massive incarceration in this country. you can also catch lester's experience inside angola on a special dateline, tonight 10:00 eastern only on nbc. and on sunday lester's going to
take us inside sing sing correctional facility for a special conversation on criminal just reform. watch the justice for all town hall 10:00 eastern including john legend. that's only on msnbc. the road to challenging president trump for the republican nomination just got much harder. the major change that states are making that's drawn some criticism from his rivals. ♪
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republicans are about to have an even harder time challenging their own president ahead of 2020 o. politico reporting four states, south carolina, kansas, nevada, and arizona are all set to cancel their republican presidential primaries and caucuses. trump advisors are saying it will save state party's money and incumbent presidents have a history of canceling primaries. bill weld and joe walsh say it's an effort to rig the primaries in trump's favor. let me bring in gabby orr and rick tyler.
rick, bill weld released this statement saying in part, quote, we don't elect presidents by acclimation in america. donald trump is doing his best to make the republican party his own personal club. republicans deserve better. what's your reaction? >> i agree with bill weld. look, part of what the white house is saying, part of it isn't true. there is a history of parties canceling primaries. that happened to pat buchanan when he challenged president bush in 1992 in iowa. they canceled their priority. primaries can be canceled if there's no legitimate candidate that qualified for the ballot. that's not what's going on here. the president is trying to keep anybody who would challenge him off the ballot by making it more difficult. ballot access in most states is controlled by the party.
even if there's not a ballot, they can do other things. where i live in virginia, they can select whether they'll have a primary or a convention, depending on who they want as a nominee. they can also decide is this going to be an open primary. can independents vote in the prime or is it a closed primary or even a possibility of having a crossover where people in the other party -- so there's all kinds of things that can go on. when they curry favor with the president, they end up doing their bidding. >> gabby, do we know if the white house initiated this move, or if state officials nish yalted this move? >> it's a little bit of a mix of both. the trump campaign has had a hand behind the scenes. they've been trying to coordinate with state parties to erase the primaries in a number of these states. it comes from the republican national rules committee as
well. they're pro trump individuals who want to do away with the primaries. so as to save the president the embarrassment of having bill weld or joe walsh or any other potential primary challenger to gain traction in those states to gain votes that peel away support from the president. essentially their key motivation there is to prevent president trump from feeling embarrassed. we know back in 2016, the way that the convention unfolded in the primaries leading up to that there were a number of moments where president trump's nomination did not seem to be clear. that was because of republicans who were challenging him, republicans who obviously wanted to peel support away from him. he avoided that ultimately but it's something they don't want to have the chance of repeating this time around. >> gabby e there's also as you know this new poll that's out looking at battleground wisconsin. according to the poll, president trump loses to joe biden and
bernie sanders. this is from marquette university, among 800 registers voters there in wisconsin. margin of error, plus or minus 3.9. what's the current state of the president's reelection campaign in wisconsin? what do we know about it? >> well, they're building their ground game in wisconsin. they do have a presence there already. it will grow by the end of the year and into early next year. one of the things they're doing with an eye towards wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania, is they are trying to make a play for organized labor, union households. people who may have been inclined to support president trump in 2016 but ultimately voted for hillary clinton. this time around would be more supportive of a nominee like joe biden versus the president. they plan to have a grass roots coalition that will go after those union households and labor voters. rank and file union members included. they're definitely paying close attention to the dynamics and the landscape in wisconsin.
certainly something that's at the top of their minds, an area of concern i would say. >> gabby orr, politico, and mr. tyler, pulling double duty for us, thank you, enjoy the weekend, guys. coming up lester holt will join andrea mitchell to talk about the eye opening two night stay at this country's largest maximum security prison. he'll have that conversation ahead of tonight's dateline special. when you brush, you may have gingivitis. and the clock could be ticking to much worse: bad breath. then, over time, receding gums. and possibly... tooth loss. help turn back the clock on gingivitis with parodontax toothpaste. it's three times more effective at removing the main cause of bleeding gums. leave bleeding gums behind. parodontax.
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before we go on this friday, a special thanks to my friend and colleague esse yeps. she's been a fantastic contributor for a number of years. we will miss you, we wish you the very best. that's going to wrap up this hour of "msnbc live." "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. thank you, craig melvin. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," last stand. hurricane force winds, record rain wrecking the carolina coast as dorian makes landfall while survivors in the bahamas are in a state of shock. >> we lost everything. so right now we're in survival mode right now. >> it looks like we were bombed. everything is gone. at all costs. military families are now paying the price for the wall that candidate trump promised mexico would build. ignoring the budget that
congress passed. there's a process here for how we control the purse. but we have a president who is absolutely obsessed on feeding r red meat to his supporters. lester holt getting an inside look at life behind bars. inside a maximum security prison as nbc news takes a hard look at mass incarceration and the need for criminal justice reform. >> to give a life sentence and say, look, you're not worthy of rehabilitation, i believe that's where we get it wrong. >> you're saying if we take hope out of the equation, that's where we get in trouble? >> you take hope out of the equation there's going to be a lot of trouble. good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. tracking dorian, the hurricane now making its first landfall on the atlantic coast. this morni