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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  September 11, 2020 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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donald trump is a puppet for these authoritarian leaders. we have more work to do, no doubt about it and we'll take nobody for granted. >> tom perez, chair of the dnc. thank you so much for your time on this friday night. i appreciate it. >> always a pleasure. >> make sure you tune in on this sunday with my colleague joy reed. watch "food and the pandemic" only on msnbc on sunday at 11:00 p.m. that wraps up this week. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> thank you, chris. after 9/11 attack 19 years ago. one of the changes was a new
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government agency. the department of homeland security. nearly two decades later, it feels a little weird and awkward that there is something in the u.s. government called "homeland." that agency is gigantic. it is sprawling and it has a massive budget and in terms of what it does? still a little nebulous and still finding its way in terms of what comes under their umbrella of securing the homeland. part of what has been a title way of a big consequential news this week. the emergence of a high-levelled whistleblower. the man served as the head of intelligence and analysis for that department. he says this week in an official whistleblower's complaint among other things. the trump administration ordered what is a stand down order for the federal government to not response and not alert anyone
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and not react to another serious foreign attack on our country. brian murphy says hin his whistleblower's complaint he was told not to release the report to state and local officials about the russian government attacking the 2020 elections to try to mess with the elections. >> don't report on that. don't warn these other agencies about these attacks that are underway, just let it happen. shut up about it. stand down. >> it was never going to be a good time to learn that the trump administration was doing this. hey, let this next attack on us happen. never going to be good to learn that. to learn that as we hit the 9/11 anniversary is something else. as soon as we got that report, we got a whole bunch of details
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of what this attack looks like. we got about the fact that this attack on our election is underway and russian cyber attack is happening right now. they are targeting hundreds of campaign related people and entities and microsoft assessment of what they are seeing. they say the way russia is doing it this year is way more sophisticated and hard to detect than 2016. this track is what we heard last night on this show here from peter strzok. the fbi top counter intelligent agent who led the investigation into what russia did in 2016. he said in his book "we knew what the russians did and he describes the meeting of the
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trump's inaugural." they had the knowledge that rush shab had stuff in reserve. they could have deployed in 2016 but they did not. they have something in reserve used against us and at the next presidential election. on the morning of election day in 2016, several of us were concerned that the russians had pulled back from plans to deploy disruptive actions in the event of a clinton victory. that book came out on tuesday. these top intelligence warnings that russia left stuff on the table in 2016 and coming back in 2020. they are going to do something never done before.
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the book comes out on tuesday. by thursday, there is these first news stories of russian cyber attacks upping their game and tougher stuff they are throwing at us this time. what is the trump administration doing about it? according to a whistleblower this week from the department of homeland security, they're spiking intelligence reports that warned this is happening and stopping the intelligence report from going out to local officials and local law enforcement. also at the same time the president's lawyer is repeatedly meeting with and taking materials who the treasury department just sanctioned as a kremlin agent. the u.s. treasury department says it is working on this year's new election interference efforts. the person whom he's been working directly is rudy giuliani. and, today we had a mysterious top levelled resignation from
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the team's prosecutor, to basically made it seem like a criminal scheme in the fbi for anyone trying to fight back and investigate the last russian election attack in 2016. the person who reportedly the lead investigators on that effort resigned from the justice department, resigned from the justice department without explanation. so, we don't know what happened there. there is some cryreporting of t resignation that it may have having to do with the attorney general pressuring that investigation to make some sort of public declaration before the election. that has not been born out. a lot of pop are eople are on ty now. good times, right? this is all happening.
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this is the 9/11 anniversary that's happening. news is just astonishing right now. this morning susan and i had to drive some where. it was the time of the day where i would be reading in and start reading in for the show and susan says she can drive so i can do that work. i am not making conversations with her and i am working and she can't listen to anything without bugging me. she asked me if i would read the headlines from my work. read the headlines from the news round up that we do for the show every morning. okay, honey, this is not the bst way for you to start your day but i will start. i started reading her our headlines. trump and biden commemorating 9/11. the new york city marks 9/11 at a time of harrowing loss.
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next headline was from "the new york daily news." >> trump administration secretly withheld millions from fdny 9/11 health program. what? trump administration is stealing funds from 9/11 health program? what? we'll have more of that later. keep moving. people had to be evacuate from wildfires. that's headline. two of oregon's biggest fires likely to combine, say officials. the california wildfires in sacramento is the largest in history and it may not be done growing. next headline, los angeles
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suffers the most smoke more than 30 years. super massive smoke are expected over the week. nearly 40% of the u.s. are in drought. fauci says the u.s. needs to hunker down for this fall and winter. this is a nice kicker, public trust in the cdc, fauci. >> at which point i am reading the headlines and susan said "stop, please." please read yourself into the apocalypse silently now like i had enough. the headlines right now and the political news is like bomb shell after bomb shell and scandal after scandal. if you are feeling overwhelmed by the news and by the state of thing and how everything feels so bad in so many ways all at
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once. do not judge yourself for having those feelings. what it means is that you are awake and how our real world is right now. take care of yourselves and surround with people who you can talk to about your feelings. things are bad right now in a lot of different ways. we persist though, right? we persist and we keep our eyes open. my god, are things bad in so many different fronts right now. let's talk a little bit about dou covid today. the news feels a little ominous in a trump administration specific way because of the revelations from the bob woodward's book that the president did understand the gravity and the deadliest of the virus while he was playing it down to the public. president caught on tape admitting i want to play it down even though he knows how
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seriously it is. even in the wake of those reserveulati revelations this week. i said it earlier this week if this was a tv show of american politics, this would be the episode where the president resigns of what he knew and what he told the american people and of the tens of thousands of lives he may have caused. even in the wake of those revelations, the president is still continuing to play it down. we all now heard the tape explaining he does have a real understanding of the threat and he's playing it down. we got that happening and dr. fauc fauci has to direct president on this stuff publicly now. that's part of his job, be straight with the american people of what's going on with the pandemic. how serious it is and what it
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means and what bs somebody is trying to sell you that's going to be hurtful. in happening to correct the president publicly now. we are entering a new sort of ominous time in terms of the way we are responding to this pandemic. having fauci correcting the president in public, the way he has to do more and more now, it feels like theoverture of chg real ofsomething really bad. >> the united states has done really well. i believe we are rounding the corner. >> i want to ask you something you said on wednesday. you said "it is time to hunker down." the president said "we rounded the final turn." how do you square that that message? >> if you look at the things that we just mentioned the statistics, andrea, they are
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disturbing. we are plateauing at our own 40,000 cases a day and the deaths are around a thousand. as we enter and we turn the corner after the labor day weekend, i am hoping that we do not see a surge in cases as we seen following the 4th of july and memorial day. when you have a baseline of infections that are 40,000 per day and you have threats of increase test positivity in certain regions of the country such as dakotas and montana and places like that, what we don't want to see is going into the fall season where people will be spending more time in doors and that's not good for respiratory born virus. you don't want to start off with a baseline that's so high. >> you see the president going outside having outdoor rallies and thousands of people crammed
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into these rallies. there is some risk in rallies. >> if you are outdoor and are crowded together and you don't have a mask. just because you are outdoors alone, just because you are outdoors does not mean that you are protected. if you are in a crowd and you are not wearing masks. >> the president did relay to bob woodward in early february that quote, "breathe the air is how it is passed reque." >> yeah, andrea, that's quite unfortunate. we the physicians and the scientists on the coronavirus task force have been stressing continually about the importance
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of wearing masks for that very reason. it does a lot of good if everybody wears a mask. you are actually correct. we got to get that message across. when it gets muddled that's unfortunate. >> and again now in the book on march 19th, the president said to bob woodward, i quote, "i want to always play it down, i still like playing it down." those are his words in his own voice. after hearing those tapes, do you still believe he's not trying to distort the reality. >> i have gotten asked the question before. certainly there were disagreements and there were times i was out there telling the american public how difficult it is and how we are having serious problem and the president was saying something bad is going to disappear which is not the case. i can't have any explanation for the conversations between the author of the book, bob woodward
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and the president. i comment anymore than that, when you down play something is really a threat. it is not a good thing. the president says something is going to disappear, that's obviously is not the case. we got to get that message across about masks. dr. anthony fauci with andrea mitchell today. there is dr. fauci, the top infectious disease doctor in the u.s. government delivering the hard truth of how bad this still is. another part of the interview, dr. fauci told andrea today it will be quote, "well into 2021 or maybe towards the end of 2021 before we are approaching anything of normalcy." that's a best case scenario with a successful vaccine that works
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and gets distributed. well into 2021 or maybe towards the end of 2021 with the vaccine. he's telling us things that are hard to hear that are based in reality. because of the president's comment on covid as he approached 200,000 dead or increasingly divorced from reality and therefore harmful. here is dr. fauci having to clean up and correcting the president's false statements. it is a very, very valuable public service that he did that, finally and that he does that. finally somebody telling us the truth. boy, do we need him? boy, does it make me fear for his job. all this stuff is helping, eyes opened and no opting out.
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this is our time and our country. we got to do what we can to make things better and understanding what we can and even in weeks like overwhelming like this one. we got new news coming up on those huge wildfires in the west including something going on in oregon. we'll be speaking with the head of oregon's emergency management agency. we have a live interview with him, coming up next. stay with us. h him, coming up next. stay with us aleve is proven stronger and longer on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong. so to breathe better, i started once-daily anoro. ♪ copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way, with anoro." ♪ once-daily anoro contains two medicines called bronchodilators that work together to significantly improve
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i it gotten so big that you can see it from space. it continues to bellow out of the wildfires instead whipping it away out of our west coast. already burned 2 million acres in california. the 20 worst wildfires hit in
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california. this july was the hottest ever recorded in california's history than in august. california set a new record for their highest record monthly temperature. that scorching heat creates dry conditions and that is what gifted california another record. coming up fast on the hills of what previously been of the worst wildfires in history. this is climate change in the year 2020. governor newsom said today what california is experiencing ace p is a preview of what will happen in our country. california is a preview of america fast forward. check this out. from california fire authorities, there are close to 15,000 firefighters on the ground in california tonight.
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2200 fire engines and 101 aircrafts and 251 bulldozers. firs are ripping their way up and down the west coast and the whole town of washington state have been burnt to the ground. more than half an acres have been burned. the situation in oregon is acutely bad right now. you probably saw news about it. it does seem like the fires there ballooned over night. let me give you a sense of the scale in oregon. over the course of the year, oregon would lose about 500,000 acres to wildfires. more than a million acres in oregon have been burned and 90% of that happened in the last 72 hours. we are talking about the surface area larger than the state of
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rhode island. twice the yearly average up in smoke in three days. tens of thousands of people in oregon have been told to evacuate their homes and many structures destroyed. 500,000 people in oregon live in areas been told to prepare for evacuations. things are getting worse in oregon tonight. there are multiple fires burning throughout the state, multiple fires uncontained. two of the biggest fires in oregon are on the verge of merging. that could happen any day and at any moment it could turn into one big super fire. remember this orange sky in the san francisco bay area and smoke clotting up the air. well, this is portland, oregon today. less orange, more of a thick,
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gray blanket of smoke. air quality in portland was reported the worst in the entire planet. it was so unbreathable today, people are told they should not leave their home unless it is necessary. at least 26 people have died because of these fires. dozens more reported missing. those numbers are expected to grow especially in oregon. today the director of emergency management for the state of oregon said based on the number of structures been loss, the state is preparing for a quote, "mass fatalities." andrew phelps, i know this is a critical time, thank you for helping us. >> thank you for having us, rachel. >> let me ask you of what i have described there, have i said anything wrong or is there any
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other way you would put this in terms of helping the country understand how serious this is? >> you are spot on. we know the weather is going to get better at some point next week. that should alleviate some of the fire threats. we know that we got a long way to get there. we have that immediate safety needs where we are in the middle of evacuate and getting people in safety and are prepared todd do to do so in a moment's notice. >> so many structures have burned, what did you mean by that and what does that look like in terms of you preparing for that? >> so, we had recent examples in california of devastating fast moving wildfires that caused dozens of casualties and fatalities. based on those lessons we
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observed in california, we are seeing the same conditions here in oregon. fires that damaged the only means of grass for a lot of communities. we know that so many structures lost. there will be a number of fatalities and folks could not get evacuated and get to safety. >> you are expecting that you will discover people who did not survive as you were able to get through the area instead of being burned. >> that's our expectations. that's where we are posturing our response. we requested assistance from the federal government and they have been tremendous helpful in getting those resources here in oregon to begin the process of managing the search and recovery efforts. >> just dire. in terms of the resources that
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you need, do you have the resources that you need and you want to be able to bring to this crisis. thinking about it, i was reading today that one of the fires that your crews are fighting crosses the border into california. it is in oregon and california. i wonder if that created issues in terms of bringing resources and coordination and control and those sorts of things. >> we got a handful of fires and any one of those fires would overwhelm our resources. i do want to acknowledge not just our federal partners but several states offered assistance. we got firefighters on the ground in utah. this is a time where every state in the west are dealing with their own wildfire threats. we are having conversations with states across the country and if they can provide and i am just incredibly grateful for all
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their doing to help alleviate some of the suffering and life safety that we have here. >> andrew phelps, boy, do you have a situation in your hand, sir. good luck to you. come back and keep us up to date. i know that a lot of times the national media is east coast focus bed but all eyes are on y. >> thanks for helping us tell a little bit of our story. >> we got much more to come. stay with us. crest gum detoxify works below the gum line to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. crest. and ask your doctor about biktarvy. biktarvy is a complete, one-pill, once-a-day treatment used for h-i-v in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights h-i-v
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peter strzok, the fbi top agent, investigated president trump himself in terms of his connection of the russians. peter strzok was villified by
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trump and the president threatened to have him prosecute and others. peter strzok told me last night of his conviction that the president is currently compromised by the government in an ongoing way. it is mind bl-blowing, right? here is one specific thing i have been thinking about ever since because i did not expect this answer from him. he seems so confident about it while i was honestly kind of skeptical. >> if it turns out that attorney william barr doing something in cahoots with the president that's improper that i am speaking hypothetically here, something that's designed of foreign interference or law
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enforcement know what's going on in order to allow those things to benefit the president's cam i campaign, do you have faith that -- >> well, look i don't know what he is or is not doing at the white house. i think it is fair and accurate to say that he's engaged in a series of behaviors that's politicizing the department of justice and for things that's going on right now while seeking to unwhine the prosecution of general flynn and roger stones and others. i know there are men and women within the fbi who would not tolerate the influence and if push to shove, there are a line of all those people that would not cross. i am confident they would speak out rather than submitting to that set of accs. action.
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>> i it was interesting to kno that about him and that he still had that kind of faith. i was still skeptical but he believes that people will do the right thing if they are confronted or being told by attorney bill barr. that was last night and low and be hold today, it happened. he was right and i was wrong? i mean that's what it looks like. today a federal prosecutor with decades of experience who had been working on an investigation into counter intelligence concerns about president trump's ties for russia, she quit the justice department today. she quit because attorney barr was putting pressure on her and her team. here is the lead from the
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newspaper in connecticut that broke the story today. prosecutor nora dannehy resigned who was top aide to john durham's trump-russia investigation resigns amid concern about pressure from attorney general william barr. >> the whole purpose of this investigation which bill barr set up, it is always transparent. investigating all the people in the u.s. government who ever dared to look at donald trump and russia as if that was some sort of terrible thing to do or some sort of crime in of itself. the president loves to talk about locking up his enemies. he loves to bring up the
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durham's investigation. john durham is going to charge those guys, lock them up for treason or something. it is not just the president. it has been the president and the attorney general of the united states bill barr who have constantly teased in public statements of the possibility that this investigation is going to produce something damage to the president's perceived enemies and it will be just in time for the election. barr gone out of his way to say durham's findings will come out before the election. it is one thing for us as outside observer to see they're saying this and see how it is a political operation to help the
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president's reelection campaign. it is an order of magnitude difference. when somebody inside that investigation of the justice department up and resigns. her colleague says because barr is trying to use her and her team to help his boss getting reelected. i have said this before. we have not had many principle resignations in this administration. it is helpful when they explain themselves on the record why they're quitting. there has been few and the people who have done that are few and far in between. we did reach out to dannehy but she declined to comment. something happening behind close doors and that caused her to quit. she has not explained herself in her own terms.
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the reporting suggested that she quit for a bad reason. joining us now is andrew weissmann. a lead prosecutor for robert mueller's team. mr. weissmann, it is great to see you, thank you for being here. >> nice to see you. >> i gather that you know nora dannehy professionally. what do you think we should know about her in terms of her jer resignati resignation? >> well, a lot of people know her because she's been a federal prosecutor for decades. she had a great career and steep in public corruption cases so for her to take this action is truly significant and just to put a fine point on it, there is no question in my mind that she's resigning for because of political pressure. if this for any other reasons
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such as family circumstances, you can be sure that we all would have heard that because she would not want to hurt the investigation by having speculations. you don't resign from a high-profile case like this unless there is a really compelling reason. she must have been really struggling with this and i am very, very happy that you played that clip from pete because it really shows the finest in terms of the fbi and the department of justice lawyers and agents and analysts who really believe in the rule of law. >> whether you are supposed to explain yourself whether you resign under circumstance here.
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she was not going to abide it so she quit and walked out because of it. within the justice department among you and your fellow prosecutors, would you leave and not say anything publicly about it? or would you leave and explain the purpose of your resignation? >> there is no rule against explaining your resignation to a certain extent but there are other ways to go about it than appearing on tv or riding an op-ed. jonathan kravez who was the lead in the roger stone's case. he did the same thing. he resigned of what we all know was political pressure brought this case to have favorable treatment for somebody close to the president and he wrote an op-ed in "the washington post." that's one way to do something. the other way is to resign and to report your concerns to the
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inspector general or to congress. there are channels for people to record misconduct. >> in the judiciary committee, for example, in the house wanted to ask miss dannehy to come in whether behind closed doors, would that be appropriate? >> yes, that could happen. you saw my former colleague who was working on the roger stone's case. one thing i want to make sure people understand that this is not normal. it is one thing for people like me expressing enormous confidence in the integrity of people in the department of justice but people are not routinely confronted with this. whether it is republican or democratic administration, this is really off the chart in terms of what has happened to the
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department of justice and particularly on 9/11 which is a time that a lot of people in the department justice are extremely proud are being there and having able to do some small things for the country. it is difficult to watch what the attorney general is doing to the rule of law. >> and along those lines, ill li i would like to ask you about something else and it is about the michael flynn's situation. the justice department under william barr is trying to drop those charges and the judge fought for the right to be able to interrogate that decision by the justice department. i am going to read you and you probably read it but for our viewers. i want to read you something written by a court appointed essentially advocate in the flynn's case. appointed by the judge to argue
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that flynn should not have the charges dropped. he said today. "to describe the government's motion to dismiss as irregular would be a study in an under statement. in the united states, presidents do not orchestrate pressure campaigns to get the justice department to drop charges against defendants who have pleaded guilty." yes, that's exactly what has unfolded here. there was clear evidence that the government's motion to dismiss the case against michael t. flynn rest on pure pretext.
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there is clear evidence that this motion reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor. now obviously this is the judge advocating a specific size in this fight. boy, does that strike me as red, hot and incredibly damming as what attorney general barr is trying to do here. i want to get your reaction to it. >> it is very clear what he thinks but it is backed up by facts. the key thing for your viewers to ask is why is the president and why is bill barr doing this. what is it that is leading them to do this and they're taking a different legal position than they take in every other case
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that raises these initiatives. that was one of john's biggest points. why are you fortutorturing the and the facts here for michael flynn. he lied to the fbi and he lied todd t to the vice president of the united states. what did he lie about? he lied about the conversations he had with the russians ambassador to the united states to tell him don't over react to sanction the prior administration add put on russia because it ber feinterfered wit american election in 2016. why would that be something that anybody would lie about and why would you try to reward somebody for that kind of behavior? >> the question about why mike flynn told those lies when he
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knew, had know full well that the government had been listening to the conversation remains essential mystery here and freeing him from this prosecution despite pleading guilty is obvious. in some way would curtail any efforts to get to the bottom of that. >> one of the leading members of special council's members of mueller. >> thanks for being here. >> nice seeing you. >> all right, we'll be right back. l be right back ♪ here? nah. ♪ here? nope. ♪
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president gotti. i want to look him in the eye. >> and insisting camp david was an appropriate location to host the taliban, a group which harbored the al-qaeda terrorist behind the september 11th attacks. >> it has been one year since president trump had the grand idea of opening camp david to host the taliban on the week of 9/11. that was his big idea for how to commemorate the 9/11 anniversary last year, invite the taliban to camp david. even though that was ultimately abruptly canceled as the country collectively shot coffee out its nose after learning that was his big idea, this year the president has birthed a cousin to that genius idea. at a news conference yesterday, september 10th, the president bragged, quote, we're getting along very, very well with the taliban. "the washington post" then reported that six taliban prisoners were released from
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afghan custody yesterday. the afghan government did not want to let them go because of what these prisoners were accused of, but the united states government, the trump administration, insisted. three of those six taliban prisoners freed yesterday are accused of killing u.s. troops in afghanistan and so-called insider attacks. these type of attacks occur when taliban members infiltrate security forces and turn on soldiers. even as these prisoners accused of killing american soldiers were being released against the wishes of the afghan government yesterday, released because the trump administration insisted that they be released on the eve of 9/11 president trump was at that moment crowing about how great he gets along with the taliban and of course there is always more. today we woke up to the news from the new york daily news that the trump administration has been secretly withholding
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millions of dollars from the fdny 9/11 health prom. fdny is the new york city health department designed to treat firefighters and medics who got sick because they worked the pile at 9/11. apparently the trump treasury department starting nearly four years ago, they just started skimming some of the money. they just started mysteriously withholding portions of that fund. chief medical officer for the fdny saying the money was just disappearing without any notification. he added, here we have sick world trade center-exposed firefighters and ems workers when the city is having difficult financial circumstances due to covid-19, and we're not getting the money we need to treat these heroes. we never ever received a letter telling us this. they have just been taking the money and keeping it for themselves for almost four years. and we find out today. today of all days.
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so to breathe better, i started once-daily anoro. ♪ copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way, with anoro." ♪ once-daily anoro contains two medicines called bronchodilators that work together to significantly improve lung function all day and all night. do not use anoro if you have asthma. anoro won't replace rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than once a day. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, glaucoma... prostate, bladder or urinary problems. these may worsen with anoro. call your doctor if you have worsened breathing, chest pain... mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes or eye pain, while taking anoro. the most common side effects are sore throat, diarrhea, and pain in the arms and legs. ask your doctor about once-daily anoro to start treating your copd. we're here for you during this challenging time--and always.
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find support at
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that is going to do it for us tonight and for this week. take good care of yourself this weekend. do something that makes you bigger and stronger and better at what you do and who you are. this time in the news right now is rough. you need to be at your best. your country needs you. i'll see you again on monday