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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  September 12, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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stay with msnbc tonight for our special analysis and coverage of the third democratic debate here in houston, texas, tonight. coverage starts at 11:00 p.m. eastern tonight. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. on "all in." >> this investigation will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to president trump. >> the judiciary committee moves forward on an impeachment investigation. >> legislate, investigate, litigate, that's the path we have been on. >> as republicans challenge democrats to bring a vote to the house floor. >> i dare you to do it. in fact i double dog dare you. >> tonight, what happens next in the house and exactly what democrats are planning to investigate starting next week.
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>> allegations of corruption, obstruction and abuse of power against the president. >> then the chance of a record breaking opioid settlement with am makers of oxycontin and why 20 states say it's not enough. plus -- >> senator rollins have made it clear they're not going to do anything without president trump's blessing on the guns. >> the wait for the president to do something about guns. and the guy who once sung the praises of asbestos is now gutting clean water protections. >> there's a whole debate about asbestos. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm ali velshi in for chris hayes. it may not seem like it but today was a historic day on capitol hill. today house democrats officially began an impeachment inquiry into president trump. the house judiciary committee voted along party lines to
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approve the rules for a, quote, investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to president donald j. trump. it is the first impeachment inquiry open into a president since bill clinton and only the third in the last 150 years. house judiciary committee chair jerry nadler said the new rules will take effect next week when trump's first campaign masker cory lewandowski is expected to testify and here's how he plained the scope of this investigation. >> this committee is in engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to allow article of impeachment with respect to prucht. that is what we're doing. some call this process an impeachment inquiry, some call it an impeachment investigation. there's no legal difference between these and i no longer care to argue about the nomenclature. but let me clear up any remaining doubt, the conduct
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under investigation poses a threat to our democracy. we have an obligation to respond to this threat, and we are doing so. >> now, republicans on the judiciary committee fought back today in the vote complaining about hillary clinton's campaign calling robert mueller's testimony a flop and falsely arguing democrats were violating house procedure with this vote. >> in the 206 years that this committee has sat it has never conducted an impeachment proceeding without first being authorized to do so by a vote of the full house. >> that is in fact not true. when democrats began impeachment proceedings against president nixon in october of 1973 they did it in exactly the same way. with a house judiciary vote laying out the ground rules. "the new york times" described it this way. 46 years ago, quote, the resolution itself finally passed on third roll call division along party lines.
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thus began the second inquiry in the nation's history. republicans also questioned whether democrats were serious about impeachment or just trying to satisfy their base. rhode island democrat david cicilline left little room for misunderstanding. >> dare i ask are you conducting an impeachment inquiry or not? if you are just be honest with the american people. >> the answer is yes we are engaged in impeachment investigations. >> we are engaged in an impeachment investigation. "the washington post" reports that a group of house democrats on the judiciary committee has begun privately mapping a list of possible charges against president trump sketching out the contours of potential articles of impeachment even as house leaders publicly resist taking such action. i should tell you a judiciary committee spokesman told nbc news in a carefully worded statement, quote, any suggestion that such articles have already
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been drafted or that the committee's work is already concluded is categorically false. but the train has now left the station and it's no longer a question about if congressional democrats will hold an impeachment inquiry. the question now is what happens next. joining me to help answer that question is one of the congress people leading this impeachment inquiry, jamie raskin of may recall. thank you for being with us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> tell our viewers what does today mean? what makes this different than yesterday? >> we just set the rules forward for the hearings, the chairman of the committee will be able to designate certain hearings as part of the impeachment investigation both at the committee level and subcommittee level and then there will be 30 min of questioning by staff for each of the members and then president trump will have a
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chance to potentially reply to anything that he wants so he'll have a chance to make it as even as possible as we go forward. now we can put behind us this whole debate about internal congressional process that the public doesn't really care about and focus on the question of presidential misconduct and what's taking place in the white house. i think we're broadening out considerably from what was detailed in the mueller report to look at a whole hearing of other charges. and my own personal focus at least for the next several weeks is going to be the question of the president's use of the office as an instrument of self-enrichment and the self-dealing which violates the domestic emoluments clause and the foreign emoluments clause as this president has pocketed millions of dollars from foreign government agents and actors like saudi arabia, united arab
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emirates, india, egypt and so on. >> what do you think this investigation can achieve that hasn't been achieved by the southern district of new york, the mueller investigation other than the obvious impeachment? what do you hope to uncover that hasn't been uncovered? >> well, the mueller report was sharply limited on its own terms to an investigation into the 2016 massive and systematic interference in our election by the russians and then the president's repeated attempts to obstruct the investigation into the role his campaign played in welcoming the russian interference. but that's a very small part of the overall picture. and i think it also leaves the public somewhat befuddled as to what motivated that. and i think the critical clue was offered by the president himself when he said that if the mueller investigation looked at his finances he mind blow the whole thing up. and that tells us precisely where we need to start. this has been a money making
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operation from day one. the president has steered millions of dollars into the hotels, the office tower and other business ventures around the world with engagement to foreign governments and also steered millions of dollars into taxpayer money into the hotel resorts and resorts where he spent one third of his days since entering office. imagine if barack obama had spent one third of his days in martha vineyard and everybody had to pay on the government's tab to stay at the barack obama hotel. the republicans would have been calling for impeachment, you know, months and months ago, and it's all they would be talking about. >> let me ask you about this, i know we can put behind us the machinations of congress a lot of people are not interested in, there are some people including nancy pelosi who think this is dangerous road to go down, he's
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articulated that. tell me where we are today. has nadler just sort of ignored that and moving ahead? >> no, because it's never dangerous in a democracy to find the truth. and i think speaker pelosi is totally with the program. our caucus is completely unified in trying to expose and counter all of the lawlessness and corruption emanating from 1600 pennsylvania avenue. now, everybody has a different inclination as to what's going to happen as an end game, but i think there's very few people who feel certain about what should be done. and remember there's a whole range of responses here. i know the media has tried to cap it as do you impeach or not impeach, but there's a lot of things that can happen. the major thing is for the truth to come out because democracy needs to have a foundation, and that foundation is the truth. >> congressman, good to talk to you. thanks for joining me tonight.
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joining me for more on what the judiciary committee will be looking at, joyce vance and jill wine-banks, former assistant prosecutor. jill, let me start with you because you were a prosecutor during watergate. republicans have gone out of their way to say this is not authorized, but in fact it looks similar to the way it does during watergate. >> it not only looks similar, it is similar. and i would add to what representative raskin said that one of the big differences with where we are now is the office of legal counsel has prohibited any indictment. so the southern district of new york and the federal government's department of justice cannot proceed. that leaves only one alternative, and that is impeachment. it is really as far as i'm concerned a constitutional responsibility of congress to do the investigation and to find
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the facts. i agree with him completely. during watergate the approval rating for nixon before the hearing was about 60-some percent. he was overwhelmingly favored. he had won 49 out of 50 states and the popular vote. by the time the hearing started his approval rating sank down into the teens and settled around 21%. and that was because facts matter, and the truth makes a difference. and i think that even some republicans in the house may start to see the facts and could support impeachment. also the difference is that impeachment is not the same as a criminal case. you don't need to have all the elements of a crime established. you need to show that democracy is at risk, that our national security is at risk, that the constitution is at risk. and that's where i think we are, and that's why they need to do this for the emoluments as well as the criminal cases. >> you know, joyce, what congressman raskin said to me at the end is people get obsessed
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with do you impeach or not impeach but the process is more important. that's similar to what jill was just saying. what are the options for americans an impeachment inquire leads to something that looks like impeachment or a vote about impeachment, but in fact there's more to it than that. >> it's a complex question because it's a political sort of a process, not a legal one. it's not an investigation where at the end you decide to indict or not or impeach or not. instead there are nuances in large part because we know over on the senate it's very unlikely an impeachment bill would be brought to the floor and i think it's correct to view this as much more as a truth finding process and something the american people had been starved for since this administration began is the truth. now they'll have an opportunity to hear it. these rules today bring about an important new procedure which
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prevent questioning by the special counsel on both sides for the house judiciary committee. so for each of the witnesses called here on out there will be approximately an hour devoted to questioning by staff. we're used to seeing the congress people, the members ask questions in five minute busts. that can be very illume noting but also doesn't tend to give us a consistent time line like this process will. wave got cory lewandowski and rich dear born who ran the transegz team and went to the white house. and the american people have a chance to have a linear progression of their testimony. >> jill, let's talk about the idea this president has put forward that his people, people under executive authority will not cooperate with congress in any meaningful way? how does that change with these hearings? can the president prevent people from testifying? >> i think that the extent that the courts will go increases by
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the decision to call it impeachment. once considered impeachment it is definitely a judicial proceeding and that alos the courts to enforce these subpoenas without a question. i think there are a lot of options that can follow that even if we can't get a vote in the senate. number one, the impeachment could happen at the house side. and then there's at least some accountability, and when people go to vote they will know that the president has been held accountable, that he's done certain things that deserve to be counted as impeachment as an impeachable offense. he doesn't have to have a vote of impeachment. it could just be a centur. let people vote knowing what the facts are. >> that's an important point, joyce. does this process -- we're a year and a two months away from
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an election -- can this process be completed in that fashion? >> well, certainly they can make a good start and the end point may matter less than the process itself. but the real per plexing issue that democrats have to confront is how do they focus? part of the difficulty here all along has been there are so many potential issues to look at with this president and his administration. so do they go back to the mueller report and focus on russian really everything that happened with russia and then the effort to try to keep it from coming to light, do they focus on emoluments clause and focus on what's currently going on in the white house and this legacy of corruption? it's sort of an abundance of that's almost too much and given this short time line i think the important decision that democrats will make in the coming weeks is where do they want to focus? do they want to have this broad
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let's look at everything sort of approach or do they want to find what they believe to be the most troubling behaviors of this president's behavior. >> couldn't ask for two better people to lead us into this as this impeachment inquiry begins. thanks to both of you for joining me tonight. next as the white house vowed to take immediate steps to address the dangers of vaping, many are left wondering what about guns? there might be some news on that. the latest after this. are the most at risk for severe illness. help prevent this! talk to your doctor or pharmacist today about getting vaccinated against whooping cough. talk to your doctor or pharmacist today
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there have been at least six deaths and hundreds of illnesses tied to vaping np united states
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and it seems like that number fought to the president so much so that yesterday the president and the health and human services secretary alex azar convened in the oval office to announce that they plan on banning the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes. six deaths, six more than there should have been, and maybe the tip of the spear. but there are more than 33,000 gun deaths in america every year, more than 250 gun deaths in the united states last week alone. but we see no similar action when it comes to guns. trump is vowing to finally do something to address the epidemic though he's made a promise libe like that before with little results. last month he reportedly assured the nra he will not sign universal background checks into law despite overwhelming support among the public. but amid continuing negotiations between the white house and some senate lawmakers, there are some small reasons for optimism.
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today republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina signaled that he would be open to supporting an expanded background check bill, citing the nation's most recent mass shooting. >> i don't know how you get around the idea that a man who is adjudicated mentally ill was denied a gun purchase when he went to a gun store, wound up buying a gun from a man who sells guns on the side and there's no background check. >> now, after graham said that, senator chris murphy of connecticut pointed to graham's words and tweeted, quote, a lot of pieces are in motion right now, keep paying attention. i'm joined now by the other senator from connecticut, senator richard bloomenthal. you told me in the commercial break you actually think -- you're feeling better about this. you think we're closer to something done than we have been in a long time. >> we're closer than we've ever
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been. i've been working on this issue for 2 1/2 decades with working with lindsey graham on an emergency protection order. i think he's been extremely diligent and serious, a purfle partner in this effort and we virtually have a bill that we have been negotiating with the white house on, and it's part of a comprehensive plan including universal background checks. the goal is to do both, and they are really two sides, and both aim to save lives, as many lives as quickly as possible. both aim to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and part of that protection order we know it works. >> that's like a red flag. >> it's exactly a red flag statute, emergency risk protection order. connecticut was the first to have them. not only to prevent the mass shootings but also suicides. >> most gun deaths are not mass shootings. most are suicides. >> 60% are suicides, and a lot
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of them are also domestic violence cases. women are five times as likely to die from domestic violence as from guns. >> the trick is many of these cases both domestic violence and suicides, some might have had a clue and this system, these red flag laws are in place in 16, 17 states now and they don't compromise anyone's second amendment rights to own a gun. >> that's a really important point. there's due process. police can seek a warrant much like they do now with an arrest warrant or search warrant with a judicial officer, and then there's the opportunity for anyone whose gun is taken away to seek a hearing and regain the gun if the facts warnt it, but if there is due process. and one other point is really important. keeping guns away from dangerous people involve police officers learning as they did in parkland that someone is going to kill
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people, whether its herself or himself or someone else in domestic violence or suicide. >> let me ask you about background checks. the president ultimately says we need better background check and we've got great background checks. we have systems in which background checks can be done thoroughly but people can get around them. if the background system is backlogged you can get the gun and as lindsey graham pointed out you can get the gun off-line, somewhere else from a private seller or a gun show. one doesn't have to be a lawyer to understand that's a stupid loophole. >> the current background check system is riddled with significant loopholes. the internet sales, the gun show sales, other kinds of loopholes like the charleston loophole so-called because the shooter there in the church was able to get a gun completely because time expired to make the
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purchase. but here's the point, it's simply a means to enforce prohibitions against already defined categories of people who are dangerous from buying those guns. and the nra supported the law that defined those categories of people. lindsey graham is absolutely right, it makes common sense. and here's the other important point. you know, the american people are really saying enough is enough. there is a seismic movement that now is determining 90% of people who want background checks and red flag or emergency risk protection orders, and that political dynamic i think is driving and mitch mcconnell ought to put these bills on the floor. >> he can't until he knows what's the president is going to sign. that strikes me odd if you're a coequal branch of government. why is he waiting until the president decides what to do before introducing legislation? >> there is nothing in the constitution that says the
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united states congress should pass laws only that the president says he's going to sign. in fact, on the contrary, the congress has an independent obligation and we have a historic opportunity, so does the president. it will be a presidential moment here where we should see this opportunity and save lives, which is really what the purpose is here of both background checks and the protection as well as ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines that groups have made such a difference here. the moms demand action, students demand action -- yep, march for our lives, giffards, grady, they have created a political movement here. >> they really have. senator, good to see you. senator richard bloomenthal of connecticut. a landmark moment as the maker of ox cotton reaches a tentative deal to settle
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thousands of lawsuit but many states say it doesn't go far enough. i'm going to talk to attorney general who rejected that deal next. so, i'm partnering with cigna to remind you that your emotional and physical health are more connected than you think. go in for your annual check-up. and be open with your doctor about anything you feel. physically, and emotionally. body and mind. cigna. together, all the way. that's better. for a restless night's sleep. pain settle there's a better choice. aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid and the 12-hour pain-relieving strength of aleve that dares to last into the morning. so you feel refreshed. aleve pm. there's a better choice. this fall, book two, separate qualifying stays at ...and earn a free night. because when your business is rewarding yourself, our business is you. book direct at
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the pharmaceutical company behind one of the most notorious drugs fueling the opioid epidemic across the country ox cotton has reached a tentative deal with more than 20s attorneys general and 2,000 local governments over its role in the crisis. the company is purdue pharma.
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it's reportedly offering to settle for 10 to $12 billion which would essentially settle those lawsuits instead of going to trial for court. the owner of purdue pharmawise reportedly pay $3 billion in cash over seven years. if the deal goes through that would make it among the largest pay outs by a drug company in the ongoing opioid crisis, but it's far from clear that the tentative settlement will actually go through. the reason is actually as many attorneys general are against the deal with some saying it just scratches the surface of the problem. the company allegedly had a big hand in creating. purdue pharma, one of the four biggest sellers of opioids in the country played a significant role in the two-decade narrative of the nation's opioid epidemic because of his signature drug, oxycontin which was introduced to the market in the '90s. the company aggressively marketed the drug and down-played the addiction risks according to lawsuits. so now a number of attorneys
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general are saying this deal is not therely enough particularly since the teptative deal reportedly does not include an admission of wrongdoing. joining me one of the attorneys general who has rejected the settlement as offered. attorney general, thank you for joining me tonight. what in your opinion is wrong with this deal? >> ali, this epidemic has been devastating across the country and we have alleged and a number of other states have allege thadt purdue pharma contributed to the opioid epidemic by engaging in false and desettive marketing practices and while there has been an offer now that has been made, we don't think it goes far enough there's enough money that's been offered so far to get accountability. >> all right, let's talk about the amount of money. the attorney generals with whom i've spoken have said they're not even sure the 10 to $12 billion is real.
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it's not a 10 to $12 billion pay out that will go to all the plaintiffs. >> my view and i know the view of others is that the amount that has been reported is not a reflection of the amount that's really at stake here. we believe that members of the sackler family need to make a larger contribution if we're going to resolve this case because this is about getting fun that can then go to cities and counties and help to provide access to treatment, help provide prevention efforts and help with enforcement efforts so we can work to beat this epidemic. >> so this deal does not call for anybody to acknowledge wrongdoing least of all the sackler family. i've spoken to attorneys general of pennsylvania and north carolina today both of whom who said they're going right for the sackler family. they believe the family took money out of that business and made it a shell of a business and that the money resides with the family and there's a legal basis for going after them. do you share that view? >> the sackler family made
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billions and billions of dollars as a result of purdue pharma's efforts. what we've alleged and others have alleged is that there was a concerted ert effort to mislead about opioids and about the dangers of opioids and we think that not only purduefirma but members of the sackler family need to make a significant contribution from the harms that have resulted from the epidemic. >> there seems to be some motivation to get this deal done because i don't know if you want to call them threats or suggestions that purdue pharma could simply declare bankruptcy and then everybody would have to sue a bankrupt company. what do you know or think of that? >> if purdue goes bankrupt, good riddance, but what's important is that members of the sackler family not be able to escape liability and get out of this having made billions and billions of dollars in profits
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by using them as banking mechanisms. we think members of the sackler family either need to face trial or they need to make a better offer so that more money will go to addressing the problem. >> so you believe there's some merit in this offer, in other words, it can be approved to the point that attorneys general like you might say, okay, now we're getting somewhere? >> if we can reach an agreement that is going to get money to communities around the country sooner rather than later, i think that's something in everybody's interest, but we're not at a point yet where i'm willing to reach that deal nor are a number of others. >> there's probably no amount of money you could get from the companies or the sackler family that can make up for the damage this epidemic has caused in this country. >> the damage from this epidemic has been enormous. we have lost thousands and thousands of lives in wisconsin and far more families have been impacted by it. what we're focused on is getting
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justice to the extent we can and getting funds that can go to address this epidemic. >> thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks for having me. up next the supreme court just made it a lot harder for asylum seekers trying to enter the united states. here to break down what happened after this. the weather's perfect...
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here with me now the lead attorney arguing against asylum rule, the deputy director of the aclu project, thank you for being with us. lets just explain because donald trump has done a remarkable job of confusing immigration and asylum. they are actually different things, and asylum is a treasured and important thing that allows people who have faith in some sort of persecution to seek refuge, that's why we call them refugees. >> absolutely. so this country has had a proud tradition of welcoming people. and right now it's central americans who need our help, but people need the think about the history of this country and their own families or maybe ask their grandparents did you ever need asylum? we're down a dangerous path where we're going to turn our back on people who need protection. there has to be a process because this rule shuts down the process automatically and what's
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so bad about applying in a another country? nothing in principle is so bad. we have that with candidate, but you can't tell people to wait in dangerous countries and try to apply for asimem in mexico or guatemala when they don't have fully functioning asylum systems. these people can't wait around in those countries and be safe and apply for asylum. this is effectively just a way to end asylum at the southern border. >> just to be clear for people who come in seeking asylum from central america who have been able to go through a process, in other words they say at the border crossing or to a border guard they're seeking asylum and most times they've been led in to be adjudicated at a second point, the overwhelming number of applicants if you're worried about it being overrun by asylum seekers in america, that's not what it replicates. >> that's true. and at the same time there are
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many people with meritorious claims so if you shut the whole process down -- all we're saying is that there has to be a process. if the administration wants to make the process more efficient, make it more efficient. what they're doing is channelling money to different things at the border wall instead of making the process more official. you can't just shut the process down. >> we have a couple of issues in this whole discussion of asylum because there are meritorious claims and this administration says lots of the claims are not meritorious. so their answer to that, okay, what is broken about the system, what's letting people who don't have meritorious claims to remain here as asimem seekers and fix that. but instead they're making it harder for 100% of asylum seekers. >> and the administration is fond of saying wasn't they're asylum seeker they won't show up for a hearing. the statistics show that's absolutely not true.
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90% of asylum seeker families show up for hearings. we really need to understand these are people fleeing horrible danger and a lot of them are fleeing a gang that this administration says they should detest, but then when you get a parent or child that stands up to the gang and says we're not going to join and try to come to the united states and give us shelter from these ging gangs and we send them right back. >> the way these gangs work it's economic pressure. you're not working if you don't align yourself with a gang or do what they're going to do. you may be subject to sexual assault or the kind of labor -- it doesn't mean everyone's standard of what purseication or danger looks like. there's a lot of people who say you don't earn enough money or you are economically controlled by gangs. >> between these gangs, it's just not regular criminal
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activity. these guys sort of operate as a quasi government, control the whole city. this is not where you can just avoid a single person in your neighborhood who might be a bully. this is gangs who control the town, they set curfews, they tax you. this is very much in a classic sense persecution. >> i want to go to bigger conversation you and i were having in the break. justi justice sotomayor had a opinion on this. that the rule topples decades of asimem practices and without affording the public a chance to weigh in. that's an interesting point because granting of asylum i think is in the american fabric. >> it actually is kind of at the bottom of the statue of liberty, too. it's what we believe to be good. your argument that it's a process issue, 100% of americans would agree, right? there must be a process in which you evaluate someone's claim. but justice sotomayor says we're
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not being consulted, we're changing something fundamental about this nation of immigrants. >> and congress controlled the asimem laws for 40 years has made it clear just because you go through another country doesn't mean you can automatically be denied. this administration didn't try to determine those countries have safe and fair processes because they couldn't. but not only did have a seat change of 40 years of asylum law but a standard practice where you give the public and experts the right -- >> hearings and -- >> and that's what justice sotomayor is saying that, look, there is seat changes here and no one's weighing in so that they're based on the administration's facts and no expert facts. >> good to see you as always. >> thanks for having me. coming up, the trump administration's latest regulatory roll back that could affect a third of all drinking water in america. we're going to tell you what
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take a look at this. this is the houston ship channel that connects the gulf of mexico to the port of houston and is one of the busiest waterways in the country, and it's america's largest fossil fuel thoroughfare. now, last year 700,000 barrels of oil traveled through this channel every day. and if you want to get your texas tea through the houston shipping channel there are pretty good odds that your oil tanker will have to pass right underneath the fred harkman bridge to get out into the gulf of mexico. and that's why green piece activists chose the fred heartman bridge for the scene of a pretty dramatic protest. 11 protesters suspended themselves more than 100 feet above the water. green piece said they intended
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to remain in place for 24 hours with the goal of blockading the channel preventing oil and gas from being transported through the waterway. they've had some success there. a portion of water traffic has been stopped. green piece tonight's debate. as one of the activists told the "houston chronicle," "we are in a climate crisis. the next president has the opportunity to lay the groundwork for a world without fossil fuels. we need to act today." i should tell you earlier today local sheriff's deputies said they would not force the activists to move unless they became a health or safety hazard. but a couple of hours ago as you can see sheriff's office began an operation to remove the protesters. as far as we know, most of them are now in police custody. just a reminder, by the way, climate change is going to be the subject of our 2020 forum starting one week from today, where chris hayes and i will be asking presidential candidates about their climate change plans and they'll be fielding questions from young voters on climate issues. the forum will air live on nbc news now and parts of it will be
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ever -- ever made. and i can tell you that i've seen tests of asbestos versus the new material that's being used and it's not even a -- it's like a heavyweight champion against a lightweight from high school. but in your great wisdom you folks have said asbestos is a horrible material so it has to be removed. >> you might ask yourself, what would happen if the man who spoke very highly of asbestos at a senate hearing back in 2005 became the president of the united states? since taking office donald trump has rolled back 85 environmental rules and regulations according to the "new york times." the latest of which came today. and it's a big one. when the trump's even yay announced it is getting rid of regulations on clean water put in place under the obama administration in 2015, which was "designed to limit pollution in about 60% of the nation's bodies of water, protecting sources of drinking water for about 1/3 of the united states." joining me to talk about the impact this could have on the nation's water supply is juliet
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alpern, a "washington post" senior national affairs correspondent. juliet, thank you for joining me. the question i have been asking all day, when it comes to climate regulations in general but specifically things to do with water, who wins from these things? i can tell who loses. we have two municipalities in this country that do not have safe drinking water. what does somebody get out of this? >> in the case of what we're talking about in terms of this water rule, what you have is kind of a coalition of farmers, home builders, and developers. and in fact, one of the reasons why donald trump had been focused on this rule is because it was something that he disagreed with as a developer, that these are the constituencies who generally have to apply for permits before they undertake acts that, say, drain a wetland or might affect a stream, things like that. and so the argument that these groups had been making is that the 2015 rule adopted under
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president obama was too stringent, it overlapped with state regulations in some cases, and essentially it wasn't clear enough about when they needed federal permits and that added to the cost of doing business. >> so that as you articulated seems a reasonable complaint that might be addressed by better legislation or better regulation. but when you put it in the context of the -- it being the 85th regulation that this administration has pulled out of including the paris climate deal, which isn't one of the 85 because it's an international agreement, it smacks of something else. right? it smacks of not having a commitment or anz understanding of climate matters and environmental matters. >> well, certainly the argument of top trump officials including, for example, the environmental protection agency's chief andrew wheeler, who my colleague brady dennis and i interviewed for this peace, their argument would be that there is too much regulation and that yes, they
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have an outlook that they are trying to finish as many of these rollbacks as they can ideally by the end of this year but if not by the end of next year so that regardless of what happens in the election they have made their mark. and so that certainly is part of their orientation by the epa's own estimate it's already rolled back roughly 46 rules at this point. and so saving they say over $13 billion in regulatory burdens on the private sector and individuals. and so this is certainly a focus of theirs. and yes, it transcends some of these individual issues. >> the epa, the head of the epa andrew wheeler, has expressed that the concern about climate change is overblown and that this is not a problem we're going to deal with for 50 or 75 years. >> right. we have -- again, it's something that's come up many times. he does say that human activity is helping drive some of climate change but, yes, rejects the idea when he was asked, you know, whether it is a crisis,
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that is something he disagrees with. and broadly speaking and something that, again, we'd raised just recently with him, his argument is that plenty of these companies including oil and gas companies have an incentive to restrict their greenhouse gas emissions and so while there's a certain level of action that the federal government should take it is certainly not an overarching driving mission of the federal government to require a number of these companies and industries to curb greenhouse gases linked to climate change. >> and in fairness to a lot of our viewers who are wondering about scott peru sxit why he was able to hang on to his job in the face of such criticism of things he was doing at the epa, it's because in the mind of some people he was doing god's work, he was helping to deregulate an agency that republicans were very fond of in decades gone by, that's the president's work. >> yes, and it really does reflect the views of president trump and in fact, you know, his top aides in these agencies including andrew wheeler, one could argue is really pursuing
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the same policy priorities as scott pruitt but he's a more experienced washington hand and is working hard to try to make sure that some of these regulations are getting across the finish line and to the extent they can be defended in court. >> juliet, good to talk to you. thank you for joining me. juliet eilperin is with us tonight. that's "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" begins right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, ali. much appreciated. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour as well. a little bit of an ominous development today in the spy story that has been unfolding over the past few days about the well-placed high-level source the cia apparently used to have inside the kremlin. a source close enough to vladimir putin that he reportedly could provide u.s. intelligence agencies with photographs of documents on putin's desk. he reportedly was able to give u.s. intelligence agencies the documentation that they needed to be able to confidently say that the russian attack