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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 11, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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good evening on this saturday night i am ali velshi and we are following two developing stories this hour, surging coronavirus in many parts of the united states and donald trump's last-minute decision to commute the sentence of his long time friend and confidante roger stone. former special counsel robert mueller is now breaking his silence on the stone case in an op-ed just published in "the washington post." we'll have more on that in just a moment. but first, donald trump back at the white house after visiting walter reed medical center where he met with wounded soldiers and staff. look at this. look at that picture. for the very first time. how long have we had coronavirus? for the very first time, donald trump voluntarily appeared for cameras wearing a mask. here he is talking about that decision before leaving the white house. >> i think when you're in a hospital, especially in that
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particular setting where you're talking to a lot of soldiers and people that in some cases just got off the operating tables, i think it is a great thing to wear a mask. i've never been against masks but i do believe they have a time and a place. >> the president's statement that he's never been against masks is hard to square with the fact that today as we mentioned was the first time that he has worn one in public. meanwhile those comments he made came as the united states is continuing to set records amid this pandemic. more than 70,000 new cases were reported yesterday. the number hasn't hit -- been hit in a single day since the coronavirus crisis began. we'll have much more on the pandemic in a moment but we want to turn now to the president's commutation of roger stone's prison sentence. is a move that republican senator mitt romney is calling an example of unprecedented, historic corruption. now an administration official tells nbc news attorney general william barr recommended against it in a discussion with the
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president. stone was due to begin serving a 40-month prison sentence on tuesday in a case that grew out of the mueller investigation. he was convicted back in november on all seven felony counts against him, including lying to congress, about his efforts to contact wikileaks during the 2016 presidential election. here is what the president had to say about stone before that visit to walter reed. >> roger stone was treated horribly. roger stone was treated very unfairly. roger stone was brought into this witch hunt, this whole political witch hunt and the mueller scam. it's a scam because it's been proven false. and he was treated very unfairly. just like general flynn is treated unfairly. just like papadopolous was treated unfairly. people are extremely happy because in this country they want justice and roger stone was
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not treated properly. so i'm very happy with what i did. >> meanwhile, in that "the washington post" op-ed released just tonight by robert mueller the former special counsel writes in part, quote, the work of the special counsel's office -- its reports, indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions -- should speak for itself. but i feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper and to specific claims that roger stone was a victim of our office. the russia investigation was of paramount importance. stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. he remains a convicted felon and rightly so. we have a lot to break down with my panel. maya wiley is a professor and former u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. frank figliuzzi is a former fbi agent and assistant director for counterintelligence and all
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three are msnbc analysts. welcome to all three of you. thank you for being here. let me start with you. putting aside the commutation, the stuff donald trump says about this, the witch hunt, treated unfairly, the russia investigation proved to be false with regard to stone, with regard to flynn, with regard to this, these are lies. >> these are lies. donald trump has been using the justice department at least as far as we can tell from news reports and from things like having prosecutors say that they were feeling the pressure on stone's case to give him special treatment as we saw with william barr, who essentially intervened to help drop charges in the michael flynn case that what donald trump has done is essentially a monstrous miscarriage of justice to protect himself. this is really all about his
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saying to folks be loyal to me and i'll be loyal to you. and if it serves my interests, and one of his interests is, i'm running for re-election. i have always been bothered by the spectre of russian interference by the way that damages me publicly. i'm going to try to run away from it by trying to obscure it. by telling people it's a hoax. remember that each one of these people pled, except roger stone, referring to flynn, these are people who pled guilty. they said they did it. in the case of michael flynn he said it twice a year apart. swore on a bible. these are not people saying this is just a hoax. these are people saying yeah i did it. the question here becomes how does trump see this benefiting trump? it isn't the first time we've seen him dangle even the
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suggestion of pardons to help get the behavior he wants when it is unlawful conduct. now we saw him go all the way to do something he shouldn't have. >> let's explore that. the idea of donald trump doing what is in the interest of donald trump. it is hard to determine what the interest of donald trump is other than the fact he continues to talk about the witch hunt and roger stone as an old friend. he is as the expression goes someone who knows where the bodies are buried. more than an old friend. >> let's make no mistake. this commutation is directly because the president knows that stone has the information that could put the president in prison for a long time. here is why i say that. we know from federal court testimony that the deputy chairman of the trump campaign in 2016 testified that he was in a car with trump headed to laguardia airport when trump
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took a call from stone. the topic of the call was wikileaks and russia hacking and release of hacked materials from the democratic party. when trump hung up that call, he said to his deputy chairman, they're going to release more material. so that goes to the heart of stone knowing that trump knew about hacking and timed release of stolen material. trump had to commute the sentence of stone to keep him quiet. listen, when mobsters rely on other mobsters for their own freedom and to keep them out of prison they forget they are dealing with other mobsters who can't be trusted and my prediction is stone is not the kind of guy who can remain silent for very long and trump needs to worry quite a bit about how long roger will remain silent. >> jennifer, let's talk about the politics of this. we've got some reporting that bill barr was against this. we don't have the details as to why. we know there are people in the president's circle against it,
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advising against it. i want to just read you a few tweets. we talked about mitt romney's earlier. he said unprecedented historic corruption. an american president commutes a sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president. on the same page we've got, in very small print because my producers are trying to mess with me, a lindsey graham tweet that says in my view it would be justified if president trump decided to commute roger stone's prison sentence. mr. stone is in his 70s and this was a nonviolent first time offense. republicans seem to be having some difficulty in figuring out how to respond to this. >> well, i think the lion's share of them, in fact, everybody other than mitt romney in terms of elected officials, has been silent or supportive of this. and this is shameful of lindsey graham who himself is an attorney, who himself acted as a prosecutor. be clear what happened here. the president just didn't pardon some old guy. he didn't pardon some old friend.
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he pardoned someone who committed felonies because he was protecting the president and, specifically, because he can identify a connection between wikileaks and the white house. moreover, he can contradict donald trump's written answers to the special prosecutor wherein donald trump says, i don't know if there was any communication with wikileaks. that was a lie and donald trump's admissions or his statements in writing were as binding as if he were speaking under oath on the witness stand. this is a monstrous crime of corruption. this is using the power of the presidency to obtain silence, to thwart the government whose laws he is supposed to be enforcing. for his own benefit. so this is really -- you can't get any more corrupt than this. i think from the overwhelming silence, from the deafening silence from the republicans, we see once again these people have
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sold their souls to the devil. they have lost any connection with morality, with their oaths of office, with common decency. if this was a democrat, i assure you they would all be screaming for impeachment. where are the susan collinss? where are the cory gardners, the so-called moderate republicans who have promised that they would act independently? these people are shameful and they have delivered us the most corrupt president in history. >> it is definitely a remarkable development. nangs for kicking it off for me tonight. thanks for kicking it off for me. the commutation of roger stone certainly shines a spotlight on his priorities. congresswoman ayanna pressley said she sent a letter to the white house four months ago asking that clemency be granted to those medically vulnerable and incarcerated. she says the letter went
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unanswered and instead he commuted the sentence of roger stone. she is joining me now. congresswoman, good to see you. thank you for being with us again. lindsey graham talks about the fact that he is in his 70s, nonviolent first time offense. the white house made some noise about the fact it is coronavirus time. they have shown zero interest in commuting the sentence of anybody else who is in prison because of their exposure to covid-19. >> ali, it's just another reminder of the fact there are two americas and, certainly, two justice systems and that is certainly true under this administration. their cruelty knows no bounds. their callousness and their corruption. a president is supposed to take care of our most vulnerable. that is exactly why senator warren and i in march began appealing for the most vulnerable. 10% of those that are incarcerated are elderly with underlying conditions. those that are pregnant, pretrial detainees, that these
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sentences should be commuted. the fact he has the executive power and authority to grant pardons. and this is who he chooses to pardon, is just devastating confirmation of who he's already proven himself to be. protecting the privileged, the well connected, his personal friends, his personal friends who have been complicit in his corruption and in their cover-ups and their attempts to completely erase the mueller report. >> let's talk about this idea of releasing people who are incarcerated. a number of police chiefs in major cities including boston, new york, philadelphia have said that the sort of unstructured release and parole of some people have led to higher crime rates which sort of shines an issue on the fact that we're not really good at what we do once we put people in prison. we don't really have systems to reintegrate them into society. certainly no agreed upon larger systems and during the protests about george floyd and the deaths of others at the hands of police, a lot of people were trying to shine a light on the idea it is not just policing but
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the entire justice system. how do we deal with the idea we have way too many people incarcerated and we don't really have a system to let them out? >> two things on that. first, you know who is on my mind this week is sandra bland for whom there was never justice. this was the week she was profiled and days later found hanging in her cell. this is why i introduced the people's justice guarantee to radically reimagine our criminal legal system, one that centers on the humanity and dignity of people. it is also why in recent weeks i introduced in partnership with representative talib an act to dismantle mass incarceration for the public health. please bear in mind that 95% of those in our county jails, and will be released within 3 to 5 months, 95% of that population will be returning to community. so it behooves us in the interest of the public health but also from a place of benevolence and decency. our prisons are not meant to be hospitals. they are in fact incubators for a virus like this to thrive.
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but the larger issue is that we need to decriminalize poverty. decriminalize homelessness, mental health, and substance use and that is why i introduced the people's justice guarantee. >> right. we don't really do any of those things, we don't know how to fix them. we don't do them properly when incarcerated and then we turn them back out and they are homeless and still have addiction and mental health issues. some of the reallocation of police resources is around that. congresswoman, i want to talk to the issue of the president's tax returns. the committee on which you sit were among the committees that subpoenaed the president's financial documents. with the supreme court now kicking that case down to lower courts, it seems unlikely that members of congress are going to see the documents before the election. talk to me about how you feel about this. >> well, i think actually that the supreme court's decision bodes well for the american people. it is a step in the right direction and a reminder to
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donald trump that no one is above the law, including him. as for the subpoenas and being kicked down to lower courts, i'm confident that our committee will continue to make the case effectively. we'll continue to hold this administration accountable to pursue, to be effective and efficient pursuit of the truth on behalf of the american people. >> what do you do in the interim in say nobody gets documents before the election day in november. how do you convey this to the american people, that donald trump has done something that is contrary to the law, he has done this for the entire time that he's been president. and that people need to recognize that this is a serious issue? >> well, yes. the corruption and the cover up, and the contempt this administration has had for congress is unprecedented. their efforts to evade, obstruct, and stonewall accountability, truth, and transparency, again, are
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unprecedented. there are numerous examples of that. it is more than that. it is about the fact that the cruelty of this administration wants to deport international students if they won't return to learning in the classroom at a time when we're seeing surges and spikes throughout the country. forcing schools to reopen. we're seeing these spikes throughout the country with the coronavirus. we're seeing an eviction tsunami, just a confluence of so much hurt and that is exactly why we need to evict donald trump. this country never mind four years cannot afford four more minutes of donald trump and this administration where their cruelty, callousness, and corruption knows no bounds. >> congresswoman, always good to see you. thank you for joining me. democrat of massachusetts. coming up president trump wears a mask in public for the very first time as the united states continues to set the wrong kinds of records when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. you are watching msnbc. s pain g, the first and only full prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel
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a good thing for the president of the united states to be closely coordinating with the nation's top infectious disease expert. it would be a good thing to be doing that. in an interview with the financial times dr. anthony fauci revealed he hadn't seen the president in person since june 2nd. and hasn't briefed him in at least two months. joining me now is the dean of the national school of tropical medicine at the baylor college of medicine and the director of the center for vaccine development at texas children's hospital. peter, i want to talk to you about texas in a second, but more importantly dr. fauci, what is going on with this? i had a conversation with somebody from the white house last week who said fauci is not the holy grail. he is not the guy we should be looking to. why is the white house squeezing fauci? >> it's not just a matter of squeezing fauci. i think what you are seeing is total disengagement from any kind of national covid-19 response. there is nothing going on at the
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top. there is no national strategy. there's road map. it is true there is underlying fema support. there's providing ppe. and other, and ventilators, from the manufacturing side. in terms of guidance, in terms of directives to the governor, i don't think there's really much of any strategy going on with states in the lead and it is failing miserably as you pointed out yesterday an all time record. 80,000 later this week. we'll rapidly approach a hundred thousand cases as dr. fauci predicted. it is the hospitalizations and deaths now rising, too. >> we talked in the very early days of this. you are somebody who had been talking about a coronavirus vaccine years ago. couldn't raise interest in it because nobody thought they'd make any money out of it. but you are now at the center of the whole thing. you are first of all a vaccine
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expert, and second of all you are in texas. houston is i believe the biggest medical center in the country. we are now 2 1/2, 3 months away from when we were experiencing this in the northeast. why is it happening, continuing to happen in texas, florida, arizona? >> because there was no federal guidance. there was no road map. the governors were left on their own to figure it out and they just don't have the horsepower in terms of the science, the epidemiology, the mathematical models. they made the best decisions they could. remember these governors are buffeted by forces on their political right clamoring to open it up, under the fake terms like health freedom and that sort of thing. they needed the cover of the federal government. they needed the cdc to say, look. if you don't do this, this number of lives will be lost in texas and florida and arizona.
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and that wasn't happening. so they just made decisions out of convenience. and again, i don't blame the governor so much. it was the lack of awareness that the federal government had this role. this is why we have a cdc to the level of $11 billion a year to provide that leadership and to show to the governors, look. if you don't do this x number of texans will die, floridians will die. people in arizona will die. and that never happened and it is still not happening. we still are in this steep acceleration phase and now starting to see hospitals become overwhelmed not just in terms of icu beds but also hospital staffs are getting exhausted. remember, to put on and off ppe more than a dozen times a day is exhausting. and now you're hearing huge numbers of hospital staff getting sick, getting covid-19. and as things start to break
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dourngs that is when the mortality rates go higher and that is what we saw in florida and arizona. i am sorry to be so apocalyptic but without any kind of federal leadership, without somebody providing adult supervision, this is only going to get worse. >> we've been talking about this for months. let's talk about treatment, vaccine, and cure. obviously a cure is a holy grail. in many cases we don't get to a cure only a vaccine in these things. where are we realistically in the quest for a vaccine or multiple vaccines? >> well, there will be multiple vaccines. we have a vaccine that we've developed more for low cost global health vaccine that we're in discussions now to accelerate and scale up for india and possibly elsewhere. operation warp speed has about five vaccines moving into phase three clinical trials. i'm sure some of them will induce protective immune response against the spike protein, induce neutralizing
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antibodies so hopefully next year we'll have them. so that is still a ways off but we still have some novel therapeutics. i'm looking at some of the antibodies coming out of regeneron, out of lily. those are going to be very exciting in reducing illness and mortality of hospitalized patients but potentially a preventative use to give to people on the front lines or hospital workers to prevent them from getting sick provided we can keep the cost down. these can be very expensive technologies. >> peter, hopefully we'll have more discussions on that, on treatments and therapeutics and vaccines in the coming months. good to see you as always. peter hotez the dean of school of tropical medicine at baylor. up next the tragic story of a young college student who died
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throughout a summer dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and national movement for social justice you've likely missed some important stories that are deserving of more attention. one of them is about a young man, a student at the university of nebraska who died by suicide last month. alex kerns just 20 years old was using the free trading app robin hood. he died after mistakenly thinking he had lost more than $730,000 while trading. in a farewell note to his family he wrote, how was a 20-year-old with no income able to get assigned almost a million dollars worth of leverage? there was no intention to be assigned this much and take this much risk. and i only thought that i was risking the money that i actually owned. alex apparently felt he had no other option after getting in too deep with an app that's been described as a game and more like a gambling website. for its part robin hood a startup founded in 2013 took the
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death of alex kerns personally saying they were investing more in education resources, changing its interface, and donating $250,000 to suicide prevention. for more on all of this i am joined by caleb silver my old friend and editor-in-chief of invest-a-pedia. caleb, good to see you. i guess the question is you understand why people get attracted. i am looking at the s&p 500. it is almost even, flat for the year. we are in the middle of a recession. the stock market has been doing really well. young people have greater risk tolerance than the rest of us do. what is the danger of getting involved with things like robin hood? >> thanks for having me, ali. this is a tragic story. there are two words in investing and trading that really matter. it is called buyer beware. robin hood and the other online brokers do a great job bringing people on to the platform. they make their money when people trade even though robinhood gives it for free they make their money on order flow. what people don't understand is some of the products, especially
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options which is betting on the future direction of stocks can be very dangerous products. you can pile up a lot of leverage. you can make a lot of money but lose a lot of money very quickly. he apparently thought he did lose a lot of money. we are not sure if he did or not and that took him to take his life. it is absolutely tragic but starts with investor education. it is very easy to sign up for these platforms. as he mentioned no income proof. he had a social security number. he was able to sign up. he started trading and got into very dangerous products that ended up being the cause of him taking his own life but it starts with education and these platforms need to do a better job of providing financial education, trading education especially when it comes to dangerous products. >> guys like you and me, business journalists, don't think it is a bad thing when people know more about their investments and take a little more control of it. but the apps have made it so easy. robin hood made it entirely frictionless to get involved in things that are perhaps bigger than the average person can. what is the bigger message for people who are not necessarily young, but are tempted to get involved in more active trading
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when they look at a stock market? it is unbelievable. wooer' in this deep recession and yet we have a stock market that is back to where it was four or five months ago. >> right. there is a very big difference, ali, as you know between investing and investing for the long term and trading, which is betting basically using the stock market like a casino. it is a quick way to lose money and to lose a lot of money. investing for the long term when you are making bets, actually investing in companies for the long term that are part of your risk profile. companies you can understand not betting too much on one particular company is very different. you can use the magic of compound interest and make money over time. trading is a great way to lose money quickly so people need to understand that very basically and when they start on these platforms whether robin hood or e-trade or any online brokers which offer free trading they have to know what they're doing. these platforms are very good at educating their customers and giving them nudges and allowing them to know which way to go in certain cases they are in the
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business of trading and want people to trade a lot so it is, the onus is on the trader, the investor themself to know what they are doing and unfortunately he did not know what he was doing. >> you talk about investing according to your risk profile. that is probably job number one for any investor handling it themselves. in most cases there is a survey online if you join up with one of these trading platforms it asks a lot of questions to determine your risk tolerance. where do you tell people to go if somebody wants to find out how much risk they can really tolerate as an investor? >> many of the online brokers have calculators that allow you to set your risk parameters. how much can i risk? what would happen if i lost this much money? what happens if i invest in these particular areas? they are very good at that and offering the technological nudges but they sometimes don't offer enough of those guard rails when you get into dangerous territory that is beyond your risk profile and you could suffer a loss that your account, you can't then take
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personally. people are getting into the stock market because it has been trading wildly and stocks have gone up and down very quickly and people have made money but most people lose money when they trade. you have to really understand your goals, how much you can afford to risk, diversify across a bunch of different stocks and when you get into these exotic products like options it is a very quick way to lose money. >> invest-a-pedia is where i often go when i want understanding. thank you. caleb silver is the editor-in-chief of invest-a-pedia. coming up a major battle brewing between federal and state agencies as donald trump calls for schools to reopen this fall. what does it mean for students, for parents, for teachers? we'll try and answer those questions next. y and answer thoe questions next g getaway driver. they're going to be paying for this for a long time. they will, but with accident forgiveness allstate won't raise your rates just because of an accident, even if it's your fault. cut! sonny. was that good? line! the desert never lies. isn't that what i said? no you were talking about allstate and insurance.
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president trump continued to ignore the warnings of health experts this week as he pushed for schools to fully reopen this fall. trump and education secretary betsy devos threatened to cut
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off funding for schools that refused to do so but many schools have already announced hybrid plans having students split the week between remote and in-person learning. the children are the number one priority but they are just one of three parties involved. some teachers across the nation feel they are unprepared and are worried about being forced to go back to school earlier than necessary and parents many of whom work full-time are grappling with the idea of home schooling their children for another semester even if they don't have to go back to work themselves. home schooling is hard. the debate may be complicated but one thing is clear. the way in which the upcoming school year is handled is one of the most consequential decisions this country is going to have to face during the pandemic. joining me now the president of harlem children's zone. you know, first we've all been sort of able to muddle through it with the end of the last school year and college students being sent home and it being the summer but i think in a lot of people's minds they have the end of august or beginning of september or labor day as a sort of a time when we have to get
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this sorted out. talk to me about the vulnerability of children outside of structured schooling, children who are used to going to structured schooling not going to it. >> so, ali, this has not been a well planned out effort in the way we ended the last school year. the poorest and most vulnerable children are absolutely suffering because of it. right now the data says these young people have lost probably a year, an entire year of their education. >> wow. >> because of the way school closed. so we've got to do a better job of making sure that when we open we open schools the right way. >> what does that look like to you, geoffrey? i think we all share the larger view that not only does society need to at some junction safely get back to work, but children need to get to school but certainly we don't want kids getting sick in school. we don't want teachers getting sick in school. how does this work to you?
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>> i just want to reframe this debate. this is more than just children going to school. this is whether or not we'll open up our economy. if our schools aren't open, parents can't work. so we have to think about the thing totally different. now i'll say something that i hope everyone who is listening to your show understands. we have to remove politics from opening up our schools and dealing with our children. when you put politics together with coronavirus, you end up with a disaster we see today. >> we have never done that, geoffrey. we've never been able to take politics out of it. that is the problem right? we use these kids as footballs. the fact is that we cut funding to schools and we've been doing that for decades and we're still doing it. >> yep. and today what that is going to mean if we allow these schools to open when we're not prepared,
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when we haven't made the investments, and let me tell you, if the president and the vice president and secretary devos want to open schools, then come up with a support to allow schools to come up with a plan. what would that look like? we need to make sure there are additional spaces so we can really make sure we can keep kids separate and if we're going to have schools running on alternate days or alternate times, parents are going to need money because they're going to need additional child care. we've got to figure out how to get our kids safely to school. >> which we don't know. we don't do this, geoffrey. schools are daycare. they're sexual abuse counseling. they're mental health counseling. they're food for some students. there are so many things. and we don't really do that for people. so at some juncture we have to rethink this. like a lot of other things in our economy it may be worth
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rethinking this one properly. >> we need to rethink it properly. and i'm going to say something. if any governor, any superintendent of schools decides to listen to the politicians and not listen to dr. fauci and dr. birx, if they're not going to follow the science i'll tell you what is going to happen. our schools are going to end up being a disaster just like the rest of our country and it will be our fault. we have to listen to the science o know this and say to the politicians we're simply going to ignore you. if you don't come up with solid plans for how we can keep students and teachers and parents and family members safe, we're not going to follow those plans. we have to do this right. >> geoffrey, you and i have been talking for years. i suspect we will be for years. in ten or 15 years when we look back at 2020 and say what was the biggest takeaway for parents of children in 2020, i suspect we're going to say parents realized how hard teaching is because those parents who had to
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teach their kids from home in the spring and who may have to do it again in the fall have realized this isn't just care taking. this isn't just an online curriculum. it is hard business taking care of your kids and having them learn at the same time. >> it is hard business. and i absolutely agree with you. anyone who has been spending time trying to educate their child, that second grader, that fifth grader, god forbid a ninth grader, you realize how difficult the teacher's job is and you just have one, two, or three kids. imagine having 20 or 30 kids all at the same time. i think we'll gain additional respect for our educators. but with that respect, we've got to treat them like professionals. we've got to make sure they're engaged in the way we open up schools and we don't make some decision on high that is going to risk the safety of students and teachers and support staff because of politics. >> geoffrey, thank you as always for your commitment to this
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nation's children. geoffrey canada is the president of the harlem children's zone. coming up a major loss for the trump administration and a major win for a native community. what it means to shut down the dakota access pipeline, next. wayfair has everything outdoor from grills to play sets and more one of a kind finds. it all ships free. and with new deals every day you can explore endless options at every price point.
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welcome back. i'm ali velshi. native americans notched a major win in the battle to control the natural resources on their ancestral homelands. on thursday a federal judge ruled that the dakota access pipeline must shut down and must be emptied of all oil by august 5th pending an environmental review. officials at the company that owns the pipeline say they will appeal the ruling. you might recall that the pipeline was at the center of protests in south dakota in 2016 that lasted for months before the trump administration finally approved construction in 2017.
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joining me now, monica medina, former deputy administrator of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration and founder and publisher of "our daily planet." here's an interesting topic for us. let's talk about the environmental aspects of the pipeline. pipelines people don't like because they can be dangerous, they can leak, they can pollute land and pollute groundwater but we have lots of it. we have 2.4 million miles of underground pipeline in the united states and more than 190,000 miles of that carries liquid petroleum, so is that horse not way out of the barn already? >> well, we do have a lot of pipelines, ali, but they cause a lot of problems. there were 614 explosions last year of pipelines and they caused $260 million worth of damage. most of those were in rural places. they foul drinking walter so that was one of the big reasons why the standing rock sioux challenged the dakota access
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pipeline because it would have threatened their very drinking water and these pipe lines are incredibly leaking. there were 630,000 methane leaks. that number is way out of control so we have a big pipeline problem in this country and we need to get our arms around it, which is why not only the dakota access pipeline and the keystone xl all had difficulties this week, all ran into troubles and the atlantic coast pipeline, the developers gave up on it and the keystone pipeline is blocked for now. >> yeah. all similar problems in that the developers of these things along with government didn't necessarily follow proper procedures, didn't get the permissions necessary, tried to use 'em negligeeminent domain. the dakota access pipeline has been transporting 557,000
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barrels of oil per day from the bakken shale formation in north dakota. with the pipeline shut down, many energy producers may struggle to ship their oil by rail instead. i see this on the road. if you go between new york and washington, d.c., and see the rail lines off to the side, you see train cars that are 100 long black oil cars. we saw what happened in quebec a few years ago where one of those derailed. until we stop using oil, we're still moving oil, so is it better for them to be moved by rail car than on pipelines? >> listen, they should be safe no matter which way they're transported. yes, transport on rail cars is dangerous and transport in trucks is dangerous. all of these need greater government regulation. we need greater oversight, not less. we know that the trump administration has been rolling back rules and regulations of all sorts, including about pipeline building and pipeline maintenance, about methane gas leaks, about trucks and rail transportation as well.
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so yes, we will have to continue to move oil and gas through those pipelines and through the country on various different methods, but we cannot have it be dangerous. we shouldn't have to choose between safety and our ability to have oil and gas where we need it when we need it. >> and there's been another cancellation as you mentioned, the atlantic coast pipeline has been cancelled, two of the nation's largest utilities in "the new york times" reporting that they had cancelled the atlantic coast pipeline which would have carried natural gas across the appalachian trail as delays and rising costs threatened the viability of the project. where are we in your opinion on the road to not having to move fossil fuels around this country? i mean that still feels like it's 15, 20, maybe 25 years a y away. is it sooner than that? >> a lot depends on this election, ali. you know as well as i do that the trump administration would take us in one direction and
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that is to continue to double down on these old fossil fuel facilities, and then a biden administration would definitely try to scale back some of this so that we would be moving towards renewable energy, much more rapidly, much more smartly. but you see the handwriting is on the wall when a company like dominion power and duke energy both dumped their atlantic coast pipeline and dominion sold all their oil and gas assets to warren buffett. so i think the utilities see that this is not the future. the question is how do we make that transition? how do we bridge from gas. we're phasing out coal and phasing out some of the dirtier fossil fuels, but we're going to have to make a transition. the sooner we can get there, the better, because it gets us off
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these dirty fuels and it helps our economy grow in ways that will benefit us in the long run. electrified will be much better off come 2030, 2035, 2040. the sooner we can get there, the better. >> monica medina is the former deputy administrator of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration and the founder and publisher of "our daily planet" which is a didngood acc for you to follow. that does it for me tonight. my colleague, joshua johnson, picks up our coverage after a quick break. s up our coverage a quick break. a lot of figh you. and you're in a special position to help us fight back. the plasma in your blood can literally save lives. but we need to act fast. please donate plasma now. please donate. donate. donate. donate now. you fought for your life. now let's take the fight to covid-19. go to the fight is in us dot org to find out how to donate.
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hey there, i'm joshua johnson. good to be with you tonight from nbc world news headquarters in new york. for two years robert mueller let his work speak for him. today he spoke for himself and against leniency for roger stone. president trump commuted mr. stone's sentence on multiple charges. the former special counsel wrote an op-ed about the president's long-time friend and aide. he also defended his investigation into the president and into russia's election interference. quote, the russia investigation was of paramount importance. stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. he remains a convicted felon and rightly so, unquote. robert mueller has steadfastly insisted on the necessity of this investigation. the president has steadfastly attacked it.