tv MSNBC Live with Yasmin Vossoughian MSNBC October 17, 2020 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
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welcome back, everybody. i'm yasmin vossoughian. 17 days before election day, and with coronavirus cases on the rise, the president is criss-crossing the nation acting like a demented oprah winfrey. instead of a free car, you get a super spreader event, as the president holds rallies in two battleground states, michigan and wisconsin. the president will be in seven states the next five days, trying to will into existence the momentum he craves in an election he's losing. >> there's going to be a red wave next week. it's going to be unbelievable. and they're talking about it. >> not all republicans agree, though. here's senator ben sasse talking about another type of red wave. >> i'm now looking at the possibility of a republican bloodbath in the senate. and that's why i've never been on the trump train.
it's why i didn't agree to serve on his reelection committee and it's why i'm not campaigning for him. >> joe biden will be in north carolina tomorrow as he continues to focus on his main message. >> today, trust is ebbing. hope seems elusive. and instead of healing, we're being ripped apart. i refuse to let that happen. >> and the power of biden's coalition being seen on the streets today in women's marches in hundreds of cities across the country. biden getting help from ads like this one, featuring the wife of now retired lieutenant colonel rachel vindman. i'll be talking about her relucta reluctant trip into the spotlight in just a moment. this as millions of votes have been cast and more every day. these are the lines in north carolina for early voting today, where more than a million ballots have already been cast. we're seeing scenes like this
around the country even as republicans do everything they can to stop it, to slow it down, or to dismiss the results altogether. people waiting as long as 12 hours to vote. we'll be talking about that later in the hour. first, the wife of retired lieutenant colonel xralexander vindman, a key impeachment witness who was fired. >> the first time i felt threatened was just after his testimony. >> i'm not going to focus on a fired former junior employee. >> the most powerful man in the world came after our family. what happened to us can happen to anyone. >> rachel vindman is joining me now. rachel, so good to talk to you this afternoon, thanks so much for joining us. i first wanted to start with your experience after your husband chose to testify.
>> mm-hmm. umm, you know, it was not something i expected. i don't think we really realized how much his testimony would resonate with the american people. and also with the other side. i think both sides saw him, one side saw him as dangerous, and, you know, one side saw him as very brave. and i think if you asked him and you asked us, it seaems like jut the right thing to do, the next right thing to do. he had already done the right thing a couple of times before anyone had heard his name, in this process, that is. then everything, i guess you could say, kind of blew up after that first closed door testimony. >> you faced a lot of harassment from a lot of folks after that testimony. what was that like for you and your family? >> it was scary. it was very scary.
it was unnerving to know that people could find our address. they felt compelled to send letters, some weird packages, and, you know, then a few days later we even had the president's son don junior retweeting just nonsense, trying to find anything that would get traction to try to find, you know, people who would make disparaging comments about alex and his service. and then the president, you know, made comments about it as well. and it was very scary. even though i know alex hadn't done anything wrong, it doesn't matter when the most powerful man in the world is saying that he is, you know, going to find something about him. and subsequently, when we found out that at the nsc they were
monitoring alex's emails, they were monitoring his interactions, trying to find something that he did wrong, it was very scary. >> so you decided to sign up to be a part of the lincoln project going into this election. why? >> because i wanted to tell our story. we have been asked a long time ago, relatively, it wasn't the right time, we didn't feel. and alex was still on active duty until july 31. so a few weeks ago, i heard the story about someone who had written an article that upset the president and his followers so much that he and his family received death threats. and it was that moment that i said enough is enough, i'm going to tell our story, because journalists don't want to be part of the story, and i understand that, but just like
alex, as an apolitical reporter was drawn into the story, journalists are also drawn into the story because when you tell the truth, that's not what they want to hear. so telling the truth puts a target on your back. that is wrong. that is not the united states. we should be able to hear views that are not ours, we should be able to hear views with an open mind and process that information, not just disregard it because it doesn't fit into what we want to believe. there really shouldn't be death threats for any reason at all. >> what type of reaction have you gotten from other military wives because of your participation in the lincoln project? >> first let me say that being a military spouse is one of the most special things anyone could be. it's a great club. and i have had tremendous support.
even from friends that i know, you know, probably lean republican. and they have reached out, bought me to tears so many times in the past 24 hours, you know, just saying how proud they were of me and how much they respected that i was using my voice. i think, you know, we're always sort of seen and not heard, we're the people in the background who work tremendously hard and keep everything going. i have to say that i've been most touched by people that i admire, gold star wives who lost their husbands, moms of four who, you know, keep everything down when their husbands are deployed, at training exercises, for weeks on end, working 15 hours a day. these are my heroes. and to have them reach out to me and tell me that they admire and appreciate me -- i really don't have any words.
it's meant a lot to me. >> did your husband want you to do it? >> not really, because he didn't want to expose me. he didn't want me to be exposed to what he was exposed to. i think it's always easier to take it for yourself and that's how i've kind of taken this. i mean, i haven't seen any criticism because i haven't bothered to look, because i don't care. i'm a mom of a girl. i'm a gill scorl scout leader. i believe girls should use their voice. yes, you'll be criticized but don't listen to it, do what you think is right and that's the most important thing. >> speaking your truth. rachel vindman, thank you so much for talking to us this afternoon. great to talk to you. our panel, peter baker, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times," keith bar della, former spokesman for the house reform the company, and neera tanden, former senior adviser to president obama.
kurt, i'll start with you on this one. we just spoke to rachel vindman and i know you're part of the lincoln project that we just talked about. give me your reaction to the ad we just played. >> i think it's powerful. any time that you can put a human face on the rhetoric and policies and damage that donald trump and his presidency have done particularly to the military community, i think it's incredibly compelling. so much of the narrative through most of the trump presidency has been a little opaque, it's hard for people to wrap their arms around the idea of foreign powers and collusion and election interference. but when you put a human being, a mother, a wife, put her center sx stage and allow her to tell her story, it shows there is a human cost to the damage being done by donald trump. and at a time when we're hearing stories come out about the president referring to military service members as losers and suckers, the time that we've seen him denigrate military heroes like john mccain and
five-star families, this is yet another example in a long pattern of behavior of the president's disrespect of our military heroes. and on just a human level, it is so compelling to hear rachel tell her story and share the fears and the real life threats that her and her family face by simply telling the truth, by being married to someone who had the fortitude, the courage, and heroism to stand center stage in a congressional hearing, raise his right hand and tell the truth about this president. that's what the lincoln project wanted to illustrate with this new ad. >> peter, what do you expected the reaction is from inside the white house, especially to an ad like this that involves alexander vindman and rachel vindman, his wife, a man that basically testified in front of congress that led to the impeachment of the president? >> yeah, it's kind of hard to remember that impeachment was actually this year, isn't it? >> i know. >> there's been so many things that happened between now and then. obviously this ad sort of brings
that back into the public focus to remind people of that controversy and what the president did. and not just what he did that led to the trial, but what he did after the trial, in which he then rather systematically decided to purge the people he viewed as his enemies inside, including colonel vindman. now, i think inside the white house, what they've been worried about in these last weeks of the campaign are the continuing drip, drip, drip of people from the inside, people who had been at one point or another on the president's staff or in some way part of the administration coming out and telling their stories about how they think this president doesn't deserve to win reelection. we've seen a number of people do that in the last few weeks. and the more that that happens, i think, the more that this white house worries about the constant batting down of people who were once part of the circle. this next couple of days, you have a book coming out by barbara res who used to work for president trump when he was in business. you've seen books by john
bolton, by his niece mary trump, by michael cohen, his fixer. we've seen a member of the coronavirus task force appearing in ads. >> we'll be hearing from some people from inside the gop as well, such as ben sasse who we listened to earlier. neera, i played some sound at the top of the hour from kayleigh mcenany in which she was asked about spiking numbers in wisconsin where the president is going to appearing later this evening. and essentially he's having a super spreader event in that state while the hospitals are overwhelmed. they are not requiring folks to wear masks. kayleigh mcenany walked out on the white house lawn, spoke to reporters without a mask even after she dealt with covid herself. the president himself as we well know also had covid. what do you make of all this, with all that's happened in the
white house and what they've dealt with inside the white house, they're still pushing this message that mask wearing is not essential and they're having super spreader event after super spread event. >> yeah, i think it's a demonstration in real time of their utter and complete failure. the united states had 70,000 cases yesterday. 70,000 positive cases. we are, again, leading the world in positive cases. we have had 219,000 people die from this virus, which other countries like new zealand have completely contained. one of the reasons why it's spreading out of control right now, and we are in the third surge, is because people aren't wearing masks. and we have events where the president is having people close in together. they are not wearing masks, in hotspots. it's the most reckless thing
i've ever seen. the president of the united states is supposed to at the very most basic element of his job, protect the life and health of the american people. and we have a president who literally threatens it with his behavior and his focus on politics and winning over saving americans' lives. and, you know, i just think we're going to see in the next few weeks, by even bigger spikes in states like wisconsin, which will be his fault. >> kurt, here is what i'm hearing from politico. the president's campaign schedule in the final weeks is either a tacit acknowledgement that he's on the brink of crushing losses in once impenetrable red states or lack of due diligence. it seems as if he's not trying to expand beyond his base. this isn't messaging about what he's going to accomplish over the next four years. in fact it's just attack after attack after attack and in some
respects you would think he's running against hillary clinton rather than against joe biden. what do you make of the poll numbers, see joe biden with double digit leads in so many states on a national level and yet the president does not talk about what he plans to accomplish over the next four years? >> i mean, it reminds me a lot, actually, of the run-up to the 2018 midterms where we saw this blue wave usher in 40 democrats in republican-held districts and giving them the majority in the house. around that time there was all that conversation about, why aren't republicans trying to expand their base, why aren't they reaching out, trying to broaden their coalition? all we saw in that election was donald trump preaching to the choir, trying to keep what he has rather than trying to get more, which is what you need in a presidential election. we're seeing that play out again right now. one, this is a president who can't run on achievement, can't run on potential, can run on the future. he's relitigating his 2016
campaign, except for the fact that hillary clinton isn't on the ballot, no matter how many times he brings uphi hillary's emails. that doesn't hurt joe biden's campaign. it reminds me a lot of what we heard about "the apprentice," which is he's good at delivering a few key lines if you give them to him but beyond that he's incapable of doing anything more broad. that's what we're seeing now, a president who has conducted himself as a reality tv show host during these four years and who is now just regurgitating the same lines over and over because he doesn't know what else to say, he doesn't have any new lines, he doesn't know how to talk about joe biden. it will be a recipe for failure just as it was in 2018. >> peter, i want to talk a little bit about ben sasse and this possibility that you have some republicans jumping ship as some are saying.
from this "new york times" article this morning, their recent behavior has offered an answer to the long-pondered question of if there would ever be a point when republicans might repudiate the president. we kept asking the question during family separation, would republicans speak out. they did not. we asked the question during the impeachment trial. and the conversation with president zelensky at the time, would they speak out. they did not. but now we're seeing of course ben sasse speak out. i just want to play that sound for everybody to remind everybody what we're talking about and then i want your response, peter. >> i'm not at all apologetic for having fought for my values against his in places where i think his are deficient, not just for a republican but for an american. so the way he kisses dictators' butts. i'm now looking at the possibility of a republican bloodbath in the senate. and that's why i've never been on the trump train. it's why i didn't agree to serve
on his reelection committee and it's why i'm not campaigning for him. >> lindsey graham admits that the president could lose, i'm not sure that's jumping ship. you have mitch mcconnell not pushing a relief measure through. does that mean he's not supporting trump and trying to keep a guard gate around him going up to his own election. what do you make of it? >> i don't think you see a complete flight from president trump yet. but you obviously see a great deal of discomfort on the part of republicans who are looking at the same polls we are and seeing a pretty bad situation, not just at the white house, in the senate, and perhaps losing more seats in the house where they're already in the minority. this senate is only 53-47 republican. that means a net loss of four seats turns it over to chuck schumer and the democrats. if you're ben sasse, that's not a good place to be. sasse of course is an interesting case study. as he says, he was never a trump supporter. he voted against him, i think,
in 2016. he was pretty vocal at different points in the past. but for most of the last four years he kind of kept quiet. for most of the last four years he muted what we all assumed to be his discomfort, his antipathy towards this president and this administration. to see him now put that out there so publicly indicates he sees a change, he sees an end coming. he said that on a call to constituents, to 17,000 constituents. in other words, he knew that would be public, that was not going to be a secret call and he meant that message to be out there. if the president loses, and that's not a given, by any stretch, nobody should assume, i think you'll see a whole lot more of that starting november 4. >> neera, what everybody feared, a tweet from the president. senator little ben sasse seems to be heading down the same path as little bob corker. you can imagine the rest. last word you to, neera. >> i think there will be a big
fight in the future about the republican party. but i also think it will be really instructive if donald trump's tweets against ben sasse really have any impact at all going forward. i think he's very weak right now. he's very weak with senate republicans. he cannot sway them. and i think they see the writing on the wall. but of course everybody has to vote to make that writing truth. >> thank you, guys, appreciate you joining me this afternoon. red, white, and you. record numbers turn out to cast their ballots early. we'll hear from some of them just ahead. plus election law 101, we all need it, right? we'll break down the most common concerns from voters. we've got you covered, stay with us. you covered, stay with us up. the medicare enrollment deadline is only weeks away. with so many changes, do you know if your plan is still the right fit? having the wrong plan may cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket.
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the new luxury. welcome back, everybody. we're checking in with voters just 17 days out, can you believe it, from election day. nbc's dasha burns got an earful in the battleground state of michigan in the wake of thursday's dueling town hall events. >> you've got a person on one hand, president trump, who raises your blood pressure when you watch him. you have joe biden on the other hand who is calm and collected and is truly answering the questions and is interested to hear what the voters actually have to say. versus trump is very defensive, constantly, and can't answer a
straight question. and that's really frustrating to see. >> and in the reliably red state of texas, here is why one voter says he's sticking with the president. >> i find neither of the candidates personally attractive. however, the actual results of trump's policies have been good. they've been good for minorities. they've been good for the economy. so i'll be voting for trump while holding my nose. >> holding his nose. so my colleague morgan radford headed to florida this week, a crucial swing state that trump narrowly won in 2016 but is currently losing to biden in polls. both candidates are fighting to win over voters. >> reporter: when you walk out of your house how many signs do you see in support of president trump? >> all over.
>> reporter: you've seen ads comparing joe biden to social optimism. do you think they're correct? >> joe biden is talking like a socialist. >> the choices are very stark, very, very different. do you really want to continue this chaos of the last four years or do you want a president who is going to lead? still ahead, houston, we have a problem. record voting numbers in houston as the governor tries to limit ballot drop locations. after the break i'll talk to harris county clerk chris hollins about how his office is handling the increased numbers and republicans' efforts to stop voting every step of the way. we'll be right back. we're gonna replace candy with some healthy halloween treats today. these are called veggie fruit chews. mine tasted like poopoo! mine tastes like broccoli, yuck! i want candy!
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pennsylvania has rejected 372,000 requests for election ballots, straining election offices and bewildering voters. some were due to confusion about a single checked box. then there are the lines. "the atlanta journal constitution" reports metro atlanta voters waiting up to eight hours to vote this week. i saw one woman who waited 12 1/2 hours, i believe. there was record breaking early voting turnout in that state. then to texas. nbc data showing 2.3 million people voted already, that's a 4,000% increase from the same time in 2016. just two days ago a texas judge lifted an order by republican governor greg abbott that limited counties to a single drop-off location for absentee ballots. the judge said it would put people at even more risk for the coronavirus. we want to bring in chris hollins, clerk for harris county, texas, which includes houston. chris, good to see you, thanks for joining us on this saturday
afternoon. as i just mentioned, you've been setting some records there in harris county for early voting. talk us through what the situation is there so far. >> we're certainly setting records. more than a half million voters have made their voices heard in just the four days here alone. and we're seeing that because we increased voter access to levels never seen before. we tripled the number of early voting centers here from 2016 and we introduced drive-through voting for the first time in the history of texas. what do you know, you make it easier to vote and more people come out to make their voices heard. >> is this also a result of the pandemic? are more people showing up early at the polls because they expected the lines would be shorter, possibly, that they would be able to vote faster because they were so worried about people flooding the polls on november 3? or do you think there is more of a result of an excitement to get their vote counted? >> i think it's a number of things. from the pandemic to voters' commitment to getting to the
polls, to their reaction to these efforts at voter suppression. voters are giving a new meaning to the term "don't mess with texas." you try and suppress their votes, and they'll show you. >> you faced opposition from republicans in that area when you tried to make voting easier. what happened? >> we've been sued multiple times, baseless efforts to try and confuse voters and keep them away from exercising their constitutional rights. we continue to encourage voters. our social media account, harris votes, is popping right now, sharing a bunch of information, making sure voters know where to cast their ballots. we're behind them every step of the way, protecting their right to vote in the courts and on the ground. >> how are you guys dealing with lines there? we've seen epic lines across the country with folks waiting up to 12 hours to get their votes in. >> well, on our record setting day one, there were a few lines around town. but we worked to get more
machines to more places. and we also have a wait time tool. so before voters go out, they can choose a voting center that has the shortest line. we've seen a great reaction to that throughout the week. >> chris hollins, thank you, thanks for joining us. i want to bring in michael kag,, you're the man with answers a lot of americans want to hear right now. if the president challenges this election after november 3 or november 10 when we finally do get the results and the mail-in votes have been counted, what does that look like? >> every state has an election contest process where if you can allege some sort of wrongdoing, fraud, or illegality, the losing candidate can come forward and say this is what happened. but you have to do that on a substantive basis. it can't be just kind of general allegations that there's
something bad going on in philadelphia. and you've got to show that that wrongdoing would have really cast doubt on the outcome of the election, that it would have changed the election. if it's not a very close election, you have to be able to show the fraud was really widespread and would have changed the outcome. and that's going to be really hard to do. and so i think it's important to not allow candidates to string together isolated incidents and turn that into some sort of allegation that the election should be overturned because the law really doesn't allow that. mail balloting is legal in every state in this election cycle. as long as people follow those rules, it's not grounds for overturning an election. >> so michael, i have to remind you, though, i think you're failing to remember who in fact is actually running this election. >> right. >> because the current president does string together a lot of kind of anecdotal things he sees happening or he may read a one-liner and suddenly thinks
it's fraudulent. so i'm suspecting if something does arise after november 3, it will likely be something like that. can this president challenge results on a state by state basis? >> they can try. the trump campaign can try to bring these challenges and contest the election. but the question i think in the end is whether those are successful, whether they're meritorious. i think the law is against that kind of vague allegation that mail balloting is inherently suspect or something like that. you have to point to a specific wrongdoing or illegality and that's going to be hard to do. right now we don't have evidence that anything like that is going on. it seems like people are following the rules. there's administrative problems, there's occasionally mistakes and accidents but nothing on the level that would cause us to doubt the outcome of the election so far. >> hey, michael, the examples that the president uses to attack mail-in ballots as he did with savannah guthrie during that town hall a couple of ti s
nights ago, he said thousands of ballots are being found in ditches and so on and so forth, i read an example of an instance where there were i believe nine ballots found in a trash can with the name of donald trump on them. aside that i've read nothing. important to reiterate, his own fbi director, christopher wray, has said there is no evidence of any election fraud. what do you make of what the president has been saying about these kind of anecdotal instances in which it seems as if he's making them up? >> yeah, i think he's vast lly exaggerating what's going on. in the incidents he referred to in wisconsin and pennsylvania, those seem to be isolated instances that seem to be mistakes more than evidence of election fraud. so i went it's irresponsible to try to portray these kinds of one-off incidents that really actually happen every election, there's always some sort of ballot that's lost or don't get counted because a national
election is a huge endeavor and people make mistakes. but these isolated mistakes don't amount to a widespread conspiracy to change the election or rig the outcome or anything like that. so i think it's irresponsible and it really is dangerous because it undermines public confidence in elections that are otherwise pretty well-run despite these isolated one-off events. >> quick answer here, are you worried about what's going to happen after november 3? >> yes. i'm worried because, as you pointed out, president trump is clearly going to try to cast doubt on any sort of outcome that doesn't serve his interests and doesn't point his way. so i think regardless of what the facts are on the ground, we have a lot of concerns about the republican party and donald trump alleging some sort of wider plan or plot to swing the election illegally toward the democrats. so i think right now, even though we don't have grounds for worry that there's election fraud or anything like that, i
think the bigger worry is that president trump is a wild card and willing to cast all different kinds of allegations even if there's not much evidence of that. and that has political consequences. it makes people doubt the election. it makes people really unhappy and worried about what's going to happen next. so that's my main cause for concern. >> michael kang, thank you, good to see you this afternoon. still ahead, everybody, reports that president trump wants to punish certain cities in the midst of the pandemic. we'll be right back. pandemic we'll be right back. eliminate the guesswork with the smart cook system. just pick your protein, select your doneness and let the grill monitor your food so you don't have to. and because it's a ninja foodi, it also turns into an air fryer. bring outdoor grilling flavors indoors with the ninja foodi smart xl grill, the grill that sears, sizzles and air fry crisps.
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they traveled thousands of miles together, visiting troops overseas. and they developed the kind of friendship you don't see too often. in the senate, they disagreed on almost everything. they'd fight like hell on the floor, and then they'd go eat lunch together. because they always put their friendship, and their country, first. now more than ever, we need a president who will put service before self. a president who will lead with courage and compassion, not ego. a president who will respect the sacrifices made by our service members and their families. a president who will honor our fallen heroes. and a president who will bring out the best in us, not the worst. joe biden's dedicated his life to this country
and working across the aisle to get things done. joe will always fight for the american people, just like john did. i'm joe biden, and i approve this message. stop your cough from interrupting, i'm joe biden, with dq cough and congestion. it's max strength formula coats your throat and provides powerful relief. new dayquil cough and congestion. the maxcoat daytime power through your cough medicine. welcome back. time now for the run, our saturday rundown of stories that may have slipped your news feed this week. the president has designated certain cities as anarchist. that may now cost them much-needed coronavirus aid. "the washington post" reporting the transportation department says it will use the presidential memo punishing new york and other cities for what
is deemed anarchy when deciding which cities get money under a coronavirus grant program. in a rare move, the trump administration initially rejected california's request for disaster relief for recent wildfires but likely due to stories like that one from nbc news, they have now reversed the decision and will provide relief for the state to deal with the impact from the wildfires that have been raging since august. and a delay in the printing of absentee ballots by an ohio company is raising some serious suspicion about whether this is just run of the mill incompetence or something more. a cleveland company that flew a trump flag over its headquarters says they can't print ballots fast enough. the owners of the company say they have, quote, no opinion on the president's repeated claims about the issues with mail-in voting. still ahead, as women's
marches bring in demonstrators across the country, a new study reveals how the pandemic has impacted existing issues for women. we'll have one woman's story of the toll of harassment in her workplace. we'll be right back. workplace. we'll be right back. so they only pay for what they need. false alarm. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your prescriber if cologuard is right for you. i'm on it. that's a step in the right direction. i'm on it. and sweetie can coloryou just be... gentle with the pens. okey. okey. i know. gentle..gentle new projects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. the moment you sponsor a job on indeed you get a short list of quality candidates from our resume database so you can start hiring right away. claim your seventy five dollar credit, when you post your first job at indeed.com/home. this afternoon's women's march in washington, d.c. had
demonstrators gathering at the freedom plaza ahead of a scheduled rally at noon. the demonstrators urged women to vote and called upon congress to suspend amy coney barrett's confirmation process. organizers wrote online that the event's mission was to cap off trump's presidency the way it started, with massive women-led resistance. women of color are more vulnerable to workplace harassment than ever before. a new study underscores how the economic fallout from the covid pandemic is hurting women at work and protecting those who abuse their power. here to discuss is the director of the times up legal defense fund and tanisha singleton. welcome and thank you for joining me on this incredibly important topic. tanisha, you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. talk me through your experience.
>> sure. thank you for having me. and to start my story, i was hired originally in an entry level position. within five months i was promoted to a senior manager role, with a higher salary, business thing. i was so excited for the career growth, but those feelings, they changed. they changed very, very quickly. it all came to a head at a company event when one of my bosses on a microphone called me out and said, tanisha, stop doing blow in the bathroom, you crack whore, you're never going to produce anything. this was front of my peers and bosses who were laughing very, very clearly. this is front of people who attended this company event solely for the purposes of meeting me that have never met me before. i was devastated.
i was just -- i was mortified. as soon as i could, i ran to the bathroom and just cried. i felt dehumanized and belittled. i was frozen. all of the snowball -- this just snowballed. because there were other instances of casual racism in the workplace -- this was a very clear example that despite all of my hard work, despite all of my experience, despite my ph.d and my education that none of that really matters because at the end of the day to people in positions of power, i'll still only be some lesser than, ov oversexualized black girl. that's what it meant. that was the beginning. >> and you reported this. >> yes. >> to the head of your organization, your company. and you were retaliated against. >> absolutely.
that happened on a saturday, so that next monday, the next business day, we have our regular monday morning meetings. i was in my direct supervisor's office and, you know, kind of began the day. i was the first one there and got the, hey, how are you, typical stuff. i said i'm recall distraught, i did not sleep. i'm mortified and so upset about what happened and it was brushed off. ah, it was a joke, no big deal, whatever, and went on with the quarterly report, business as usual. >> how long ago was this? >> within two weeks i was laid off from that day. >> how long ago was this? >> this was 2018, april of 2018. >> okay. >> and i'm still dealing with it. >> i want to get to that too. shocking, attanisha. it is enraging and shocking.
sharon, i want to bring you into the conversation here. so you think about the times that movement starting, and the me too movement, there's this reckoning across the board for women, step aside, it's not happening anymore, but it continues to happen. and instances like tanisha's continue to happen. hers only happened in 2018, two years ago. this movement happened before that. and it is continuing to happen amidst this covid lockdown. you would think it would stop because so many folks are working from home. what is happening? >> so what we're seeing at the time's up legal defense fund, there was a moment of reckoning when the hashtag went viral and we started the legal defense fund, and yes, it's continuing. as her story tells you, it's happening every day. and the study that we did had,
like so many things that she talked about. one of the things we found is when you look at the thousands of people that have come to us since we started, over 70% were retaliated against once they reported the harassment just like tanisha was telling you. another finding that we had was that over 20% of them the harassment affected their financial health and their economic health. obviously being fired, that is something that will of course affect that, but ultimately they have a hard time finding a job afterwards. you know, you started this by talking about how this manifested during the covid-19 crisis. one of the things that we were thinking about and seeing is that with unemployment being as high as it is, people are so much more frightened about losing their jobs and there are fewer jobs to find if you lose your job because of retaliation. so like so many things, covid-19 and the poor economy makes
everything worse. >> so do the harassers feel emboldened? >> sexual harassment is really about power, who can control what happens in the workplace. when you have huge power dirchldirchl differences that's where you deal with it. >> what's happening now? >> it's remarkable because my life changed in an instant on that very day. and i've been enduring a lot of emotional trauma from that instance of public humiliation and harassment like that.
instantly i went from making $70,000 to $20,000 on unemployment. this is los angeles. so even $70,000 is not -- is like barely making it. cut to me filing for unemployment, it was hard. i lost my medical insurance. i became socially isolated because i could no longer lost family events and friends and gatherings like that. i became extremely depressed. it was hard to get good care. and it's still hard to get good care. i ended up having to move back in with my parents in my mid-30s. it's hard. it was hard for them and it was hard to deal with. they worried about me and it's something i'm still coping with. >> i'm so thankful for you that you have chosen to share your story with the world because i think it's incredibly important for people to hear these stories to understand what's actually happening. so you are a light, a strength
of power, and i thank you, and i thank -- a lot of people thank you. thank you all. that wraps up this hour. i'm yasmin vossoughian. i'll be back here tomorrow. reverend al sharpton is up with "politicsnation" after the break. eak. it's still warm. ♪ thanks, alice says hi. for some of us, our daily journey is a short one. save 50% when you pay per mile with allstate. pay less, when you drive less. you've never been in better hands. allstate. click or call for a quote today.
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