tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 8, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
>> thank you very much. live from msnbc headquarters in new york. we have a lot to talk about today starting with congress. lawmakers are backed from august recess tomorrow. they have a full plate. the main course in the house continues to be investigations of president trump. just this weekend we learned congressman's judiciary will hold a vote this week. nadler says the panel may note as early as wednesday on that resolution. a draft version is expected tomorrow morning. house democrats are also investigating vice president mike pence's stay at one of the trump organization's golf courses in ireland and also looking into military stopovers at a small airport in scotland and included stays at a trump property nearby. president trump's recent promotion is a venue for the next g-7 summit. the judiciary committee and house oversight and reform
committees say they want to see documents and details about possible constitutional violations from the white house, the vice president's office, the secret service and from president trump's private companies. the house is expected to take action on gun policy this week and on president trump's decision to use defense department dollars. there is a lot to talk about. the gentleman from south carolina's sixth congressional district and joining us for the conversati conversation. congressman, let me start by asking you about your home district. i know the sixth district was right there in the path of hurricane dorian. give us a quick update, if you would. >> thank you very much. buford happens to be in my
district. we feel very fortunate having experiences that we have had. we feel very fortunate this time around. we pray for those who are not so fortunate. so many people in south carolina and north carolina, as well, are doing what we can to be of assistance to the people down in nassau. >> congress goes back into session tomorrow. you can be looking for answers on a host of issues. there were three tweets from the president about the secret summit that he scheduled. it's something that secretary of state mike pompeo was asked about this morning on nbc's meet the press with chuck todd. let's take a listen to what the secretary of state had to say about the planning. >> we had been working on this meeting for a little while. after the death of sergeant first class and the attack by
the taliban with a simple effort to improve the negotiating posture, that was something president trump can never stand for. we informed our taliban that the meetings were not going to take place today. >> i imagine you were as shocked and surprised by that announcement as i and many others were. help us understand what the democrats in the house are going to do as a result of getting that information. >> i'm certainly interested in finding out exactly what this is about. this kind of secret meeting on american soil, i can see a meeting of this sort as some place away from both geographical territories that are involved. but to be bringing the taliban here to washington for such a secret meeting seems very strange to me. i would like to know a little more about what this is about,
what was going on. and i'm also interested in this administration explaining why this kind of a meeting is okay for president trump and was so far off base for president barack obama. >> we'll be watching what happens in the house judiciary committee this week on wednesday when they vote on the path forward for the impeachment investigation as they are calling it. i think a lut of people wonder if we are splitting hairs here and fighting about semantics. help us understand where things are as you see them from your position in democratic house leadership. >> you opened up the segment by talking about being here in south carolina. down here, we have something we said never mind what you're called. what you answer to is what's important. whether or not this is an investigation or an inquiry, whatever it might be, we are
particularly interested in answers. we want to hear what they have to say and be sure that we are thorough, that we take our time to put together the kind of a document that the american people will understand and hopefully will have confidence in once it's developed. i don't care what they call it, inquiry, investigation, proceedings. let's just be thorough and be careful that we bring the american people along with us whatever we may do. >> i know your former colleague has a question for you. >> good to be with you today. question for you. over the summer, as i think you just articulated, the message seemed to be let's get the investigation right and not necessarily fast. there was a bit of avoidance to
use the impeachment word. the first week of august recess chairman nadler filed in federal court. that was the first time we saw someone from the house officially use the term impeachment inquiry. his court document said this leads to an impeachment inquiry. my question for you was is that language in the filing coordinated with house leadership. did you know that nadler was going to use the impeachment language. i do get your point. wouldn't it offer more clarity if we saw clarity authorizing like we did see with clinton and nixon? those two questions for you? >> well, i don't know whether or not things were coordinated with speaker pelosi or leader hoyer. i certainly did not have any coordination with that. i was a party to some
discussions back and forth as to whether or not it's something that we should do. and in those discussions, jerry nadler made it very clear what his positions were. we made very clear what ours were. and no conclusions were drawn in that meeting. so maybe there are other meetings that took place that i'm not privy to. i don't know of any meeting that a decision was made to go where nadler is going. but he is chairman of the judiciary committee. he can go where he wants to go. and that is the way this system works. >> thanks so much for being here. on timing, it doesn't seem like
very much has changed since you know the report was released. doesn't seem much has changed since democrats took the house. why is it taking nearly a year for democrats to start talking about impeachment and going forth with inquiries? the issues have been relevant and public for a long time. have you thought forward about legislation that could be enacted in order to push back against the executive power that president trump has grabbed during his tenure here. have you thought what will we do in order to push back? >> we certainly need to be pushing back on this president. this president is in a very bold way defying everything that we in this country have held on to for decades, centuries for that matter. he seems to not care what the constitution says. he seems to be interested in
what will benefit him and his family. we need to really push back on that. that's why i have been very reluctant about going head long into impeachment inquiries. there are so many other things here that this president is vulnerable on that we ought to keep the attention on him and not a proceeding because impeachment gets people all riled up. let's focus on what this president is doing, what he is not doing, and let's make sure that the american people have their lights on as to what he is and not doing. that's where i am on that question. now, as far as the mueller report and whether or not we are responding to that in the proper way, i never felt that mueller's testimony would be something that we should hangure hats on. it was a very disappointing
episode to many of us. i never thought there would be much to it anyway. what i do think, however, is that we as members of congress have got to be very thorough, we've got to stay focussed, and we've got to keep the american people with us as we pursue these proceedings. and whether it's an inquiry, i'm not all that concerned about that. let's just make sure that we keep the american people informed as to what we are doing and how we are doing it. >> you mentioned focus and while you were speaking, we scrolled through a list of investigations underway at this point. how concerning is that to you as we see those investigations once again there that this is too multi facetted and isn't focussed enough? >> i think it is focussed enough. we have five different committees doing this going down
one path, financial services going down another path, house ways and means dealing with his taxes. you have the committee on the investigations taking place without i call it the secret committee. all of these committees are doing their work. all of them are on different paths. you're going to have a lot of focus in a lot of areas. >> i'm going to turn to you. i bet you have a question on the issue of guns. this is something that has been cyclical. it seems like an issue for the congress and my sense is that if the house were to pass the three bills we could be right back where we have been.
that is to say the house passes bills under mitch mcconnell. to that, i know you have a question for the majority whip. >> i do. the question is this that the house democrats pass a universal background check bill sitting in the senate. mitch mcconnell refuses to act on it. while that is a good bill, it's also incomplete in terms of comprehensive gun control legislation and addressing the mass shootings we have seen. so perhaps you can share with viewers what additional restrictions and elements will house democrats commit to doing when they come back in the wake of the tragedies of the last month. >> all we have to do is look at hr 1112 which is the so-called charleston loop hole. what we had and people seem to not want to deal with is that
all of these purchases by and large were legal. what made them legal was they put the loopholes in them. if you have a universal background check full of loopholes, what do you have? nobody knows why he had the bad information. he may have done it intentionally knowing full well it would tie up the investigation long enough for him to get the gun after three days rather than ten days i would like to see. we have to look at this not just as to whether you are universal with the background check, but whether or not you are being thorough. >> i will give the last question here to katie, the degree to which congress is being stone walled by the white house. there is this new investigation through scotland and a big piece in the "new york times" focussed on the trump administration's political power, the degree to which political groups are paying money to the political
organizations. what power the congress has going forward with the investigations. >> what are your legislative proposals and what do you think you can do? the administration has shown they are not going to cooperate in court. >> the proposals are being developed. i think when we get back on tomorrow there will be things being discussed. once again, we have to be thorough. we have to be broad and far reaching. we have to make sure that we educate the public as to what we are doing and shine a light on what this president is doing. i have talked to a lot of people in my congressional district and other congressional districts during this break. i'm telling you. people are beginning to focus on this. i think will take the proper role in opening up the political process in a way that people don't usually do before they
send their kids back to school. we are in for interesting discussions taking place starting tomorrow. >> watch word for the day seems to be focus. coming up, we will talk criminal justice reform. the majority whip st. patrick's day on the record saying democratic candidates who back the 1994 crime bill should not be backing away from it. every day, visionaries are creating the future. 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.
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the violent control and law enforcement act of 1994 better known as the 1994 crime bill became a major issue during the first democratic debates. former vice president joe biden was a supporter of the bill. several others criticized him for that on the second democratic debates senator cory booker was one of them. >> mr. vice president, you were bragging calling it the biden crime bill up until 2015. >> why did you announce a zero tolerance policy of stop and frisk and hire rudy giuliani's guy in 2007 when i was trying to get rid of the crack cocaine. >> you are dipping into the kool aid and you don't know the flavor. >> many argue a lot of good came from that legislation including more police on the streets, smarter police tactics in some instances and a drop in crime,
other insists the 1994 crime bill led to mass incarceration and the growth in for profit prisons. the house majority whip is back with us. i was listening to an interview with sue davis of npr. you said to her you think the divide is not real, not with black people. help me understand that the doing to which this is something we have seized upon. >> thank you very much for talking about this subject. look, mandatory minimums that led to mass incarceration, 100 to 1 crack to pot of cocaine did not come with the 1994 crime bill. they came in 1986 and they were doubled down on in 1988
so-called war against drugs. in 1994, with that crime bill, we got rid of mandatory minimums for first-time offenders. we worked hard trying to get rid of the crack cocaine. we put in the violence against women's act. we put in not just more cops on the streets, but we started poli policing and started drug courts to keep people out of the criminal courts and drug courts to make sure they don't go to jail. we did all of that in the 1994 crime bill. we had no idea in the spring of 1994 we were passing all of that that come november 1994 democrats would lose and republicans would be in charge and newt gingrich would turn the clock back on all the good stuff that we did. we ought to talk about the good
stuff we did in the '94 crime bill and the fact that when we lost power, lost the ability to build on that good stuff the same way we did good stuff with the affordable care act. but we lost power in 2010. look what they have done to try to under cut what we did with the affordable care act. i'm not going to say i was wrong because this administration is under cutting it. they are wrong. >> senator elizabeth warren has suggested the entire thing should be repealed. i wonder if you think that changes should be made or if you would support the kind of wholesale approach that she is perhaps in favor of. >> well, i admire senator warren a whole lot. i'm very sorry we had to cancel an event we were doing together. i did not agree with pulling
things up by the -- you go and try to build upon what you have done. i really believe sincerely the climate they were in today, if the bill of rights, the first ten amendments of the united states constitution were put before the public today, i'm not too sure that we will hold on to the bill of rights especially when i see what people are doing with the second amendment and no telling what they would do with the first amendment. >> that's a startling statement. you believe that? >> absolutely there would be strong support against the bill of rights. look through the bill of rights. i run into people every day who would like to see so much of those guarantees uprooted. you don't tear stuff up in order to improve on it. let's look at what's wrong. let's look at what can be improved. and let's go out and work together to improve these things, not just throw things
out and then say let's start over. we don't start over in this country. we correct our faults. when it was written back in 1832 or '35 i believe it was, he said that the real genius of america is not going to be more enlightenment of a nation but direct our faults. the faults come out and let's move forward and not start -- >> grateful very much the majority whip. thank you very much. >> thank you very much for having me. first on date line, lester gains unprecedented access to the louisiana penitentiary at
angola. and will hold a town hall for the sing sing correctional facility starting tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. coming up, hurricane dorian's devastation causing a major humanitarian crisis in the bahamas. we will go live there with the latest on the recovery effort. i am royalty of racing, i am the twisting thundercloud. raise your steins to the king of speed. you wouldn't accept from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances.
welcome back. i want to get to the latest on the destruction caused by hurricane dorian. that powerful storm brought hurricane force winds to canada leaving 400,000 people there without power at the peak of the storm. dorian continues to move north. over the northern islands of the bahamas there is complete devastation. at least 43 people are dead and that death toll is expected to rise significantly over the coming days. the prime minister of the bahamas calls this an hour of darkness for his country. 6,000 are still unaccounted for and the united nations estimates some 70,000 are homeless. the u.s. coast guard says it
flattened the communities are. what are you hearing from folk tlz on the ground? >> that's what we are hearing. one of the disappointing things is you can see the balance going and coming. we have not seen a lot of injured people coming. you can see the idea of the power of that storm and why this is slowly moving into a recovery operation rather than a rescue operation. you look at the sdroen footage from our team on the ground. it just shows you that the earth was really just wiped from this storm tlmpt is nothing left. it's made the conditions very hard for the people on the islands. that's why the priority is getting them off the islands and here to nassau so they can have some cover from what is obviously a very blistering sun. when you talk to officials about the power of this storm, they give you very stark examples of how this compares. take a listen to the administrator. >> this is something that has the attention of the highest
levels of the u.s. government and we are here to help. there are communities that have been destroyed, absolutely devastated. it's almost like a focussed nuclear attack. so the needs in those areas are acute, and they are immediate, and they are serious. >> reporter: those loud helicopters behind me, it's good news. that means that those supplies are getting out to those islands. i'll give you some other good news. if you're looking to donate money to the bahamas, when you talk to people, they say send money. a lot of goods are not needed. there is not necessarily a great deal of need for diapers or food on the islands. the need is to get people off of the islands. the other thing people are telling me is the passport back to the u.s. a lot of hotels are empty and it's a shame. the conditions on nassau are
fine. people canceling reservations is making things doubly bad here. >> thank you very much for the good reporting. i appreciate it. de ja vu for voters in north carolina's ninth congressional district as they head to the polls for a redo. the latest on the state of the race and how this special election could be an indicator of what's to come in 2020. we trust usaa more than any other company out there. they give us excellent customer service, every time. our 18 year old was in an accident. usaa took care of her car rental, and getting her car towed. all i had to take care of was making sure that my daughter was ok. if i met another veteran, and they were with another insurance company, i would tell them, you need to join usaa because they have better rates, and better service. we're the gomez family... we're the rivera family... we're the kirby family, and we are usaa members for life. get your auto insurance quote today. woman: (on phone) discover. hi.
welcome back. hurricane dorian has had a political impact on the state of n north carolina as a result several early voting sites were closed down ahead of the special election scheduled on tuesday for a house seat in north carolina's ninth congressional district, a redo of an election that was invalidated due to widespread ballot fraud. president trump heads to fayetteville for a rally tomorrow in support of bishop. tuesday's election could be a test of the political muscle and could spell trouble for the reelection bid. joining me now is a political reporter for nbc news. s let me start with you.
help us understand the importance of this district. this is sue miric's old district. the special election support to the folks who live there would like to have a representative in congress. why is it being so closely watched nationwide? >> reporter: it's being so closely watched, david, because national republicans and democrats are trying to gauge the mood of voters about a year out from the election. essentially, though, this race is tied. now, dan bishop, the republican is a conservative state senator. the author of the controversial bathroom bill, he is hoping that president trump can change that for him. in fact, the president just tweeted moments ago in support of dan bishop. here's what he said. he said he is looking forward to being in north carolina, having a big rally for a great dan bishop who is strong on crime, borders, your military and vets. he says his opponent is weak on crime, borders and against your
second amendment. that's a message that bishop has been parroting on the campaign trail. >> the vision of those who have -- is a vision of the green new deal and illegal immigration being decriminalized. even to the point of socialism. it's a dramatic difference in vision. >> now, the democrat dan mccreedy is trying to distance himself from the national democratic party and trying to stay away from hot button controversial issues. he is saying he is going to put country over party. >> i don't believe that anybody should go to washington as a republican first or a democrat first. they should go as americans first. that's how we fought in the marine corps when i was over in iraq. we never cared about your
political party. we all wore the same color uniform. >> reporter: and while trump is rallying for dan bishop tomorrow, dan mccreedy will be knocking on doors with veterans. >> let me turn to you. i want to ask you, when there is national attention on a race like this it follows. to the tune of about $10 million. help us understand how that has manifested itself on the ground here. >> you have seen a lot of it on tv. there have been negative ads all over on the part of both candidates. i think this is the most outside money spent on any house election since the 2017 race in georgia. but people have seen that on tv especially in the last three or four weeks. the democrats i think are also investing a lot of that money. the democratic congressional campaign committee in getting
volunteers out and having paid organizers in every county. >> as you make your way through scotland county, what are folks talking about issues-wise. yes there is the element of it being a referendum on the president. what are the issues the candidates are fighting over? >> what you heard about dan bishop talking about washington democrats and trying to tie dan mccreedy to democratic socialists as he calls them, he has made an issue out of immigration. he has echoed a lot of things that president trump has talked about. dan mccready has talked mainly about health care. i think if he does win it will be a blueprint for other democrats that way. >> i remember a trip i took to the southern part of the state t. was a real lagger when you looked at the unemployment rate in the state of north carolina. it was lagging behind.
a lot of factories had moved to south carolina because of incentives. we hear so much about the economy being the principle issue in the 2020 elections. to what degree is that issue resonating to voters here as we look to the special election? >> i think it is part of the county and district, one of the poorest counties in north carolina. i think people are concerned about their jobs there and agriculture is a big part of the economy of the district. farmers are concerned about the tariffs and the trade wars. senator bishop says they are concerned about that but still have confidence in the president to bring it to fruition. but they are still feeling the pain. >> president trump in fayetteville tomorrow. thank you very much for the time. i appreciate the update on the ninth district there in north carolina. a full slate for congress as
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and be sure that we are thorough, that we take our time to put together the kind of a document that the american people will understand and hopefully will have confidence in once it's developed. so i don't care what they call it, investigation, proceedings. let's just be thorough and be careful that we bring the american people along with us whatever we may do. >> that was house majority whip james clyburn. investigations are now piling up as lawmakers are set to return from their summer recess tomorrow. the house judiciary committee plans to vote this week on a specific parameters of an impeachment probe into the president. that as house speaker nancy pelosi details what house democrats plan to legislate, investigate and litigate. on the top of the list is
president trump. democrats are looking into the president's constitutional violations and administration's culture of corruption. joining us is msnbc contributor, former u.s. attorney and former senior fbi official. back with us, former congressman david jolly, an msnbc political contributor. chuck, let me start with you. the majority whip are making the argument that the words don't matter here. is that the case as you look at what the house judiciary committee has accomplished so far, what it has done and taken to the courts? >> in some ways he is right and in some ways he are wrong. let me try to explain. if you are going to court courts enact the balancing test. you are more likely to get the stuff you want. on the other hand, from a political perspective i think he's right. if they are not going to pursue
impeachment you can call it just about anything. i think so far it has been relatively feckless. they can try to do their best to get the information and witnesses they want. in court, i think he is wrong. the words do matter a lot. >> on the history, i will go to the former congressman. this is analogized a few weeks after the saturday night massacre. do you see the parallels there? what does that tell you about the path of the investigation and what is happening in the judiciary committee? >> there are some parallels. we lack the clarity of political leadership. to chuck's point, words matter in court. they do also matter politically because political leaders set the national narrative. think about bill clinton saying is the economy stupid, donald trump saying drain the swamp. elizabeth warren simply says russia tried to interfere.
trump accepted the interference and he tried to shut it down. we did hear was not the setting of a national narrative. he leadership is not there yet. that is clear. nadler is. nadler in court is using the impeachment word. he has said on other networks this is a formal impeachment inquiry. at some point, nadler and speaker pelosi and leadership are going to have to reconcile this because right now they've isolated within the judiciary committee all of the hard votes. and if the judiciary committee takes those hard votes and pushes it to the house, at some point the speaker and clyburn and other democratic leaders are going to have to choose their words on this very specifically. >> jonathan lemire, the former congressman there describing this divide on capitol hill among the democratic caucus, and i want to get a sense from you, from your vantage at the white house, how the administration sees that. i assume to their advantage, the fact there is still that divide. >> they do see the divide as useful. they believe that there really
isn't necessarily an appetite for impeachment from the democratic leadership, and certainly to this point, that belief has been borne out. they also, you know, don't necessarily mind the chatter, though, that's sort of been perhaps a risky strategy, but they've long sort of welcomed the impeachment talk. they think the american public's not there, and they think it would be perceived as an overreach, a political overreach by the democrats, an attempt to undo the 2016 election. and especially as we tick closer and closer to the 2020 election, republicans feel like they can really paint this as just a nakedly political effort here. and of course we can certainly argue with that, and i know many democrats certainly firmly believe this is the right thing to do and how can they look themselves in the mirror if they don't. but simply from the perspective of the white house, this is something that is not even at the top of their radar at the moment. there are far other concerns they're trying to figure out, mostly of course with the signs of the economy slowing down. they're far more concerned that may undermine any sort of re-election bid rather than democratic investigations.
>> chuck rosenberg, let me ask you about what might be accomplished as a result of this, the justice committee debating this resolution. i gather from the reporting i've read, one thing that could change is there could be questioning by staff counsel of witnesses who are brought before that committee. another thing that could change is that material could be discussed in closed session, which i gather might open the door to allowing the discussion of some grand jury materials. >> yeah, that's right, david. so i think these procedural changes, if enacted, might be helpful to democrats at the margin. but they have a few other hurdles. in other words, in order to get grand jury information, they don't just need to set up a room in which they can read it. they also have to get a court to order it to be disclosed to them. then going back to your first question about what mr. clyburn said earlier, that's why the words matter. if it actually is an impeachment inquiry or an impeachment proceeding, they're more likely to convince a court to give them that stuff. but, look, this is a little bit like giving the keys to a really nice car to somebody who has not yet proven that they know how to drive it. so, you know, i'm still waiting
to see if anybody in kpocongres house, senate, republican or democrat, can explain in a sensible, thoughtful way, linear by the way, what has happened, what the president did, what he didn't do, and what he ought to be held to account for. >> let me turn the page here a little bit. i'm going to go to david jolly, the former congressman, mark sanford, former governor of south carolina was on fox news to make an announcement a lot of people expected he would make. let's take a listen. >> i'm here to tell you now that i am going to get in. >> you're going to run for president against donald trump? >> i am. >> david jolly, he is somebody who you know. i gather you have spoken with him recently. help us understand his thinking here as he jumps into this republican primary field with bill weld, with joe walsh as well. it is getting fuller than it was just a couple of weeks ago. >> sure. i just spoke with mark in the last couple hours, congratulated him. he is a friend. i have high respect for mark sanford.
what i'll tell you about this, what is unique about his entry into this race, governor bill weld has been the traditional moderate in the republican party going back now, i guess, two decades. joe walsh is kind of the smashmouth, calling trump a narcissist, malignant narcissist, unpatriotic. mark sanford is doing something, there's a nuance that's very different. he's trying to have a debate within the republican party about what it means to be a republican. he wants to have a debate over spending, over deficits, that donald trump says they don't matter. he wants to look at some core economic principles. the interesting thing is sanford was elected in essentially what was a tea party wave of '94. they are remnants of a pre-trump republican party. lastly i'll say i asked mark about the decision by south carolina and other states to shut down the primary. he said it was a move of weakness. if donald trump and republicans really thought trump would win
90-10, you should have those elections. sanford thought it was a sign of weakness that they were shutting down primaries. >> i heard him talking about that on fox news sunday as well. jonathan lemire, how does the white house interpret this? how does the re-election committee interpret what is happening here as you see these folks getting into this primary? >> the white house is not particularly concerned about any of these challengers so far. yes, certainly there's some states that are moving to shut down their primaries, and that can be perceived perhaps as a sign of weakness as was said. but they're not looking for any sort of challenge. there's no suggestion here that any of these three candidates would really have a chance to steal the nomination from president trump. even if they don't do that, there is the possibility to wound him. the history is there. when incumbent presidents are challenges by a member of their own party in a primary, that often weakens them forward going to the general election. they end up in a far more vulnerable state when they turn to face their challenger from the other party. i think there is a thought here they'd like to end this as
quickly as possible. they don't really think these candidates have much in the way of fund raising apparatus or a message that's going to resonate. more than anything, they point to the president's overwhelming popularity with republicans where polls have him tracking 90% approval rating within his own party. >> thanks to the three of you. i appreciate it. coming up next, democratic congressman al green is going to talk impeachment. that is just minutes away on "politics nation," 5:00 p.m. eastern time right here on msnbc. for all out confidence...
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that does it for me this week. join back here next saturday and sunday at 8:00. i turn it over now to the reverend al sharpton and "politics nation." good evening and welcome to "politics nation" live from houston, texas. tonight's lead, protection racket. three of four state republican parties expected to scrap their presidential nominating contest to protect president trump have done so in the last 48 hours.
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