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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 30, 2020 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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sunday night. our whole team will be assembled for a preelection special from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. eastern, two hours live on this network. so we hope to see you then. and for now on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. you know, sometimes at big moments, sometimes when our country is wrapped up in big historic events, particularly when there's fast-moving news and there can be information overload about it, sometimes it's almost easier to see what's going on here if you take somebody else's view of us, if you look in on us from the outside. i mean it's one thing for us to cover, you know, day in and day out these twin tent posts of
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history that we are pitching up under every day now, right? this pandemic and this election, to see if we're going to re-elect this president during this pandemic, right? i mean it's one thing for us to do it ourselves, and we do our best every single day. sometimes, though, maybe particularly on a friday night, it is clearer or kind of just easier to grok, easier to absorb, when instead of us americans covering the situation in our country among ourselves, sometimes it's maybe easier to understand it, see it through brighter eyes, when it's a nice british lady covering it for an audience in another country. >> we're rounding the turn. it drives them crazy when i say it. we're rounding the turn. >> reporter: the only turn these people are rounding is from one queue into another at milwaukee's biggest covid testing site. around one in every four people waiting here will test positive. wisconsin now one of the world's coronavirus hot spots. >> eight, nine hours a day every day, and it's not stopping for the most part, so -- >> reporter: close to 90% of wisconsin's icu beds are full.
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this intensive care unit already at complete capacity. a field hospital in milwaukee is taking in patients to help the stretched system. but some frontline medics are furious. washington is adding to their strain. what's it been like seeing how the pandemic has been politicized here? >> i find it maddening. you know, some people say it's going to go away on november 4th, and as you've seen as you came through our hospital, these are not people who are political consequences. they are real, sick people with real viruses. ♪ and i'm proud to be an american ♪ >> reporter: donald trump ignored pleas from local doctors to cancel tuesday's rally in wisconsin. but this state was key in winning him the white house, and his campaign went ahead in the
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country's covid epicenter. >> all they want to talk about is covid. but the good news, on the 4th, they'll stop talking. you watch. they'll stop talking. you get out that red wave. just get out. we have to win this election. >> this is a new story from sky news based in london, trying to explain our craziness to a foreign reporter. the reporter on this from sky news, sally lockwood, even interviews a trump-supporting wisconsin voter who you see here, who lost her father to covid, who says not only is she voting for trump again, but if trump was holding his super-spreader covid rallies a little closer to her house in wisconsin, she'd like to go to one even though people keep getting covid at trump's wisconsin rallies, as the sky news report notes, and even though her father has already died from covid. here's how that report wraps up. >> reporter: while wisconsin is breaking records for coronavirus, it's also seeing records for voter turnout at the forefront of the election
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battleground and now the covid front line. sally lockwood, sky news, wisconsin. >> how we are viewed abroad right know, sort of in a nutshell from that sky news report in britain, right, we're basically viewed as insane. today at some of the final rallies of his re-election campaign, the president said that doctors are -- american doctors are inflating the numbers of covid deaths. the president's know telling his rally audiences that american doctors are faking covid deaths for money. he also said that covid isn't that bad. you get it, but then you get better. and i know you think that i'm overstating that and i'm being hyperbolic and paraphrasing the president's remarks. it does sound insane. i get it. but that is really how he's closing things out. >> you know, our doctors get more money if somebody dies from covid. you know that, right?
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i mean our doctors are very smart people. so what they do is they say, i'm sorry, but, you know, everybody dies of covid. it's true. they'll say, oh, it's terrible what he said, but that's true. it's like $2,000 more. so you get more money. what happens is you get it. you're going to get -- if you get it, stay away. if you get it, you're going to get better. and then you're going to be immune, and it's a whole thing, and it goes away. >> if you get it, you're going to get better. if you get it, you're going to get better, and then you're going to be immune. it's a whole thing. it goes away. you know, i don't usually play sound of the president talking, particularly when it's just him lying. but this -- this lying, this is an act as much as it is speech right now. just like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is an act,
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right? the president is closing out his campaign with multiple rallies per day in which he is telling all of his supporters, thousands of them in a go, that you don't die from covid. what happens if you get covid is you get it, and then you get better, and then you're immune, and that's it. it goes away. and he's telling them that if you hear about people dying of covid, you shouldn't believe it because that's a conspiracy made up by greedy american doctors and greedy american nurses who are faking covid deaths for money. that's his closing message. that really is how the president is asking us to re-elect him. nbc news reporter gabe gutierrez has been in montana for the last couple of days. he and his team got permission from the families of two patients being treated at saint vincent's hospital in billings, montana, in intensive care. their families gave permission for gabe and his team to see them and to talk to their doctors and nurses, and this is -- this is distressing, i will tell you. this is a little bit difficult to watch, but i absolutely believe that you should see this.
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>> how serious are patients like this? >> very serious. you see -- you sigh him no longer on a ventilator, but he's still receiving high-flow oxygen right now. he is weakened in more than one way. being in a hospital bed for even 24, 48 hours, you start weakening. he was receiving a lot of sedation before. he is still not fully waking up from that, so his brain is not where it normally is yet. >> but he's improving, or it's hard to tell? >> he is off the ventilator. he's improved. but that doesn't mean he's out of the woods yet. he is still very critical. and as you can see, the nurse is trying to interact with him, and he's not able to fully respond yet. he is so debilitated now, we don't know if he'll ever get back to being the grandpa he
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used to be. make sure that he knows where he is, why he's here. she is asking him questions. she is, as you can see, looking at the monitor, making sure that his oxygen level is staying all right, his heart rate, his blood pressure. >> he was on the ventilator for 12 days, and we just extubated him. >> 12 days? >> assuming he was here since 10/19 from airbase south dakota -- >> oh, he came from south dakota. >> what happens if these cases keep surging? >> i don't know. we'll probably end up using personnel that are not the most experienced in critically ill patients. we will do our best to be able to supervise those folks and things like that. but nobody wants their -- their loved one to be cared for by somebody who is not a critical care physician or critical care nurse. there is going to be lasting damage to anybody that's been in the icu on a ventilator.
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it may be the lungs. it's oftentimes the brain in a way that maybe even early dementia happens. we don't know a lot about that, but this is one of the side effects that, to me, is a big problem. there is heart issues that may be long-term, and they may end up being heart failure in a patient that before did not have any heart disease. i think they're putting in a midline. a longer term iv. >> he's on a ventilator? >> so you can see he's got that tube coming out of his mouth. he's got another tube in his
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nose that's a feeding tube so we can give him nutrition that way. the tube coming out of his mouth is what we call the endotracheal tube. it's in his windpipe. >> how critical is this patient right now? >> this patient is as critical as one can get. he is on medications not only for sedation but also to support his blood pressure. he is totally dependent on the ventilator right now for his oxygen needs. this patient may or may not survive. >> how difficult is it to see something like this? i know you're a health care professional. you've been doing this a long time. but to see this many patients at once this critical. >> right. you know, we're used to seeing this. we're used to seeing deaths at times. but it's daily. it's daily that we're having someone die from this disease,
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and that's what's taking a toll. we're not winning on a lot of these. yes, we do -- we do make some patients better, and that's a win, and that's what we're all going for. but we realize there's limitations, and there's just so much that we can do. and there are a lot of these patients that aren't surviving. that's hard. that's hard on everyone. >> a lot of these patients that aren't surviving. it's hard on everyone. this reporting from nbc's gabe gutierrez in billings, montana, in one of three icu units they are now using for covid at that particular hospital, 14 patients intubated, 14 covid patients intubated while gabe was there. this is joey traywick, who works there as a nurse. >> you know, at first i hesitate to tell you this, but i -- i was
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the nurse for -- man, sorry. i was the nurse for the very first patient that passed from covid in our hospital, and i thought i've seen this before. i'm a nurse. i've been doing this a long time. i know how much time i have. i can tell by looking at her how acute this is, and i'll come back and check on her regularly. at that point she was moderately lucid. and i came back to the room at one point, and she had passed by herself. and i thought, i'm never going to let that happen again. i am never going to let that happen again. it snuck up on me, and it surprised me because it's so relentless. and so 23 patients later, i
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don't miss it. if i have to stay late after work, if it means coming in on my day off, they're not going to pass alone on my unit again. none of them. i don't enjoy crying. i like to goofball and be funny, right? so i write "smile" on my mask so that people know i'm smiling under here. but it reminds me of the charlie chaplain song, right? "smile when your heart is breaking," you know, even when it's aching. where you think for you, i'm going to be strong, and i'm going to call your family, and i'm going to tell them you're going to be fine because that's all i have for you.
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i'm a -- i'm a good nurse, and the nurses that i work with are good nurses. but we are broken because we feel like we can't comfort those patients. and i think there's nowhere else on the planet i would rather be. i don't want to be anywhere else. it's killing me inside. i'm kind of -- i'm broken. i'm broken. and my colleagues are broken, and people say it's not that big a deal. and i want to talk them by the collar and say, you don't know what you're talking about. come see my world for a week. the family members that are broken and the staff members that are broken. >> that's joey traywick, who works in billings, montana, as a nurse. nbc news' gabe gutierrez and his crew reporting from billings, montana, for us where the
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doctors say they have no idea how they will handle more death and more illness than they've already got while cases still rise, where the nurses say they're already broken from so many of their patients dying, patients being so sick and so many of them dying. this is what happening this week. this is what's happening within the last 48 hours in real life, on the ground, in this country, the country in which this president is asking to be re-elected with this closing argument. >> if you get it, you're going to get better. you know, our doctors get more money if somebody dies from covid. >> the president's closing message on covid is that it's not really killing anyone. it's america's greedy doctors and greedy nurses who are faking all the covid deaths that aren't real covid deaths, and they're faking it for money that goes in their pockets. the ventilators and everything, all this stuff, it's all fake
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news. he wants his supporters to believe it's all a hoax. that's how he's closing out his re-election campaign. does that work for him? in the closing days of the campaign, does it work? do they buy it? i mean if that's what he's selling right now, that covid isn't really happening? because even in the reddest states in the country where he's, you know, going to win by double digits, i mean there's competition for the president with that line of argument. this is the front page today in st. george, utah, "the spectrum & daily news." we need help. st. george nurse begs community to wear the mask. this is the deseret news in salt lake city, utah. covid-19 surges in utah. spread is out of control. polling-wise, the president's doing okay this year in iowa, but that's going to be a fight between him and biden. the president's telling his supporters covid isn't happening. it's a scam being pulled on us by greedy american nurses who
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are faking the whole thing for money and greedy doctors. here's the front page of the local paper in cedar rapids, iowa. iowa again hits record of covid-19 patients. that's the hospitalization graph you see there climbing up their front page. hard-fought ohio, president's doing okay in the polls there as well. just like iowa, it's going to be a fight between trump and biden in ohio. here's the front page of the cincinnati paper today. the virus is raging. ohio sets a record. in indiana, mike pence's home state where the republican ticket expects no problem at the presidential level, do they believe it in indiana when the president says nobody dies from covid? right? you get covid, you just get better. that's what happens. it goes away. it's just the greedy nurses and the greedy scamming doctors who are faking all the deaths. do people in indiana believe that, or do they believe the front page of the indianapolis star today? what 4,000 deaths looks like as 4,000 indiana residents are now dead from covid. in hard-fought minnesota, school kids cross the front page above
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the fold. see up at the top there the kind of obscuring even the name of the paper, the "brainerd dispatch"? the headline for that story is "we were hoping we would never get to this point." it's a story about the fact that all school kids in brainerd, minnesota, are going to be sent home now for remote learning because down there in the lower right-hand corner of the front page, record-breaking new cases thursday for crow wing county. brainerd, minnesota, is the county seat of crow wing county. they've got record-breaking new cases there. but it's not just crow wing county. it's everywhere. down there on the lower left-hand side of the front page, the whole state of minnesota reporting record new cases. between the kids having to get yanked out of school because of spiking cases in that county, new cases in that county skyrocketing, state numbers skyrocketing, i mean they can barely squeeze onto the front page at the "brainerd dispatch" today that a court ruling yesterday in minnesota totally poleaxed the voting rules in that state, totally poleaxed the long-standing rules for minnesotans to get their votes in for president this year.
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late minnesota absentee ballots must be separated, federal judges order. for months minnesota has been advising its voters explicitly in writing, in ads, in all the state's public advice to voters that minnesotans should submit their votes as early as they can. but as long as those ballots are postmarked by election day, they will be accepted until one week after election day. that's what minnesota has been telling its voters for months. but this court ruling just threw that out at the last minute yesterday while minnesotans' ballots are already in the mail because people cast them with the expectation set by the state that they'd be accepted up until a week later, right? where people made their voting plan and perhaps committed their vote to a mailbox under the old rules, right? nevertheless, two republican-appointed judges just threw that right out. local officials and the local press in minnesota are scrambling now to remind voters about what their options still
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are. first you can track the progress of your ballot on the website for the minnesota secretary of state. we have that here in massachusetts too. i've tracked the progress of my ballot as well. you can do that. you can do that in minnesota. you can check to see if it was received and accepted. they're reminding people in minnesota that if you have put your ballot in the mail but now you're worried it won't get there in time, you can actually show up in person on election day at the polling place, tell your local polling place that you want to spoil your mail-in ballot. they can throw that one out. you're worried about it, and instead you're going to vote in person on election day instead. minnesota voters got coldcocked by what is actually a shocking ruling from those two conservative judges, throwing out their voting rules at the very last second when it was too late for people to adjust to the new rules. but in minnesota you can do what you can do all over the country. voters all over the country who still have their ballots at home right now, all over the country we know that nothing can be
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trusted to the u.s. postal service at this late date. it is too late for the mail at this point. if you have your ballot, bring it in, in person. if you're in minnesota or if you are anywhere, bring it to a drop box if you can do that. bring it to the clerk's office. bring it to wherever it is you can drop off votes locally where you live. if you don't know the details about how that works in your state, you can go to, and it can help you figure out though details. bottom line, trust me. simple. don't put your ballot in the mail now. it's too late. bring it in, in person. no matter what state you live in, it's too late for the mail. we are seeing some echos of 2016 again. npr today reporting on the torrent of disinformation and misinformation that's being dumped specifically on black and latino voters right now on social media and by text and by robocalls, and much of it is just pure, unadulterated voter
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suppression, targeted ads and targeted contacts telling black and latino voters that they shouldn't vote. they're better off not voting at all. there's no reason to vote. there's no point to them voting. also spreading wildly false stories about the candidates designed to confuse and distract. the senate intelligence committee, when they did their report on what russia did in our election in 2016 -- this was the actual bipartisan, democrats and republicans together, report on what happened in 2016. they documented this exact same thing four years ago. here's what that report concluded about the kremlin-linked internet research agency and their attack on us in 2016 to try to help trump. the senate intelligence committee report concluded, quote, no single group of americans was targeted by ira information operatives more than african-americans. by far, race and related issues were the preferred target of the information warfare campaign that was designed to divide the country in 2016. per npr's reporting today, however widespread those efforts
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were to suppress the vote and target black voters in 2016, however widespread those efforts were in 2016, they're actually worse right now, this year, and targeting latino voters as well as african-american voters. meanwhile, this is the headline tonight at bloomberg news, reflecting what is apparently the biggest worry right now for the biden campaign. quote, biden aides see warning signs in black and latino turnout so far. despite record early turnout, black and latino voters lag per bloomberg news tonight. the biden campaign apparently looking at warning signs, specifically at black and latino voter turnout in key states like pennsylvania and arizona and florida. politico's ace florida reporter marc caputo putting a finer point on the worries for biden in florida today. quote, we've got to stop the bleeding. democrats sound alarm in miami. democratic leaders particularly worried about the relative share of ballots cast in south florida
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by young voters of color. it's friday night. the last day to vote is tuesday. but if you can vote before then, you should. the president is touring the country with his last rallies and this sort of "everybody come out and get covid, it's fine" tour. it's greedy doctors and nurses who are lying and lining their own pockets and telling you that covid kills you when it really doesn't. democrats are sweating black and latino turnout while mysterious forces are flooding black and latino voters with toxic, untrue voter-suppressive misinformation. foreign attackers again are targeting our election systems. reuters reporting today that russian state hackers targeted the democratic parties in california and in indiana. the russian-speaking hackers who have been hitting hospitals with ransomware, locking up hospitals' computer systems around the country, that is
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continuing to happen. in addition to the hospitals we profiled last night, we now know of a hospital system in dickinson county in northeastern wisconsin that has been hit by the same ransomware attack out of russia, shutting down the hospital's computers. the fbi and the cyber agency cisa at homeland security tonight put out another bulletin about hackers from iran hitting voter registration data. it's a weird time, and it is easy to get overwhelmed and to be scared about all these developments. but you know what? i actually find comfort in the fact that the solution to all of it is for us citizens is always the same. stay focused. pay attention. but know that god will grant you the wisdom to know what the things are that you cannot change. what you can do, the solution in your own life is the same no
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matter how overwhelming the news is. the solution is the same, and it is simple. get your vote in. get it in, in person. whatever volunteering or phone banking you were thinking of doing in your community, you must do it now. make the commitment tonight. start tomorrow morning. it's time, right? head down. stay focused. but also, you know, take heart. i think it is worth being inspired by how big voter turnout is turning out to be overall. last night we talked about the fact that texas looked like it might be on track to surpass its total 2016 voter turnout just in the early vote. by the time i went to bad last night, that had already happened. looks like that's going to happen in multiple states. think about what that means for us big picture. don't try to just game out what that means in terms of who's likely to win and what it means for partisan advantage. think about what that means for our country. all of this worry about having an authoritarian president for the first time with greater authoritarian dreams than he's even living out in person right now has been that he would disabuse us of the notion that our vote and our democracy matters.
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that we, like other countries that have lost their democracies to authoritarian leaders, we would start to believe that our democracy and our vote is some quaint, outdated, weak thing that we don't need anymore. we'd rather have a strongman just do stuff regardless of the vote. well, that idea has not carried the day. by the tens of millions, americans have already proven that wrong, right? voting with our feet to show that we care about our democracy enough not just to, you know, feel bad about it being at risk. we care enough about our democracy to believe in it and to use it, right? we've got problems in our country. we have figured out how we would like to fix those problems. by voting. and that, itself, is one of our most powerful defenses against those who want us to give our democracy up or who want us to believe that our democracy is outdated, right? so take heart from that. i take heart from that. and also i have one more thing to show you. this is a totally nonpartisan thing. it's not about either candidate. it has not been seen anywhere in public before right now.
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but we got a call from the naacp today telling us they had just finished this, and they are planning on releasing it for just these last few days of the election, and would we please like to show it to the country for the first time? my answer was yes, please. it's really good. this is a stressful time, i know. but it is an inspiring time too, which is why this is exactly what i needed to see tonight. watch this. >> this is morgan freeman. i know that many of you were wondering how soon you'll be able to hug your friends again or visit your parents and grandparents without fear. i know that many of you are angered by ongoing racism in our nation and worried about having a job to repay your student loans and afford the basic needs of life. it wasn't long ago that people were beaten and even killed to obtain the sacred power each of
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you have today, the power to vote. and right now your vote is more critical than ever. this election is about you and me, your family and my family, our planet, and our democracy in its entirety. with our votes, we, the people, can begin to overwhelm the unjust political and economic systems that favor profits over people and elect leaders who will take us forward. brothers and sisters, go vote. our lives quite literally depend on it. >> that's new tonight from the naacp, voiced by morgan freeman. that's exactly what i needed tonight. the first time it's been seen anywhere. former attorney general eric holder joins us live next. s liv. ♪ greetings mortal! your journey requires liberty mutual. they customize your car insurance
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there is breaking news tonight. just within the past few minutes we've had word according to the count by nbc news, we have just set another single-day record as a country in terms of new covid-19 cases. more than 98,500 cases were reported today. this is the most cases the united states has ever seen in a single day. i also need to tell you it's the fifth time we have set a daily
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case record since last week. before this week, we had never been above 80,000 cases a day. then we hit 90,000 cases a day this week. and now this. i mean after the terrible spring, right? you all remember the apocalyptic scenes in new york. after the terrible spring, in april we thought america had hit its peak and was now flattening the curve. even at the worst of it then, the highest number of daily cases was under 40,000 a day. now we are at almost 100,000 in one day. joining us now for the interview is former attorney general eric holder. mr. attorney general, it's an honor to have you here tonight. thank you so much for being here. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> let me just ask you big picture. i feel like you are one of the calmer public servants, calmer, very highly accomplished public servants i've ever known in my life. i feel like a lot of people feel very overwhelmed right now, both with the covid disaster, about it taking off like a runaway train right now, and also with uncertainty about what's going
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to happen for the election. how are you thinking about those things right now, and how do you think americans should be thinking about those two twin worries? >> well, you know, viewed in a vacuum, this can be an extremely frightening time. what i hold on to is history. you know, we have as americans, as a nation, faced, you know, tough situations before. and when we pull together, we have gotten through them. and i also know that we individual americans, we have the cure for all that ails us, and that is the power of the vote. that which people died and sacrificed to get to us has to be used between now and tuesday to end the corruption, to tend the incompetence, to put us in a better place. and i have faith, you know, in the american people. and i think our systems, when manned by good people, can bring us through. and so that's what i hold on to, my knowledge of the past and my ability to shape the future through the vote. >> we're going to be speaking with ron suskind, the investigative journalist, a little bit later on this hour, general holder, and he's just
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written a piece sourced deeply with a number of current serving trump administration officials and people who served in high levels in the administration, sharing their candid worries that the president might do unimaginable things over the next few days, not just declare victory but try to, you know, stoke conflagrations that could justify him putting troops in the streets, really apocalyptic worries that apparently are not just things that are keeping americans up at night. it's keeping up at night people who are working in this administration right now. how do you think about those potential sort of parade of horribles that i think we've all started to get real stressed about as we get closer and closer? >> yeah. i mean every time i've said to myself, well, this president
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couldn't possibly do that, he then does it. and so i think we've got to be prepared for things that were unimaginable, you know, four, five years ago. and what i'm confident of is that there are lawyers staged and ready to get into court to deal with things that can be dealt with through our court system. i've been on the phone talking to governors who are prepared to do the appropriate things within their states to maintain order and to make sure that this election is conducted in a fair way. but i also think it's going to require the vigilance of the american people, and we're going to have to be heard. we can't think that we can simply rely on, you know, our leaders to do things. we have to, by voting, by being visible, by being parts of advocacy groups, make our desires known, make our dissatisfaction known, and make sure that people understand that there will be an electoral consequence for people who don't stand up for american democracy. one of the things i think is very disheartening to me, you talk about all these things that the president is potentially
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going to do. where are the republican voices? where are the republican voices that will say, we won't stand with him. we will not put up with this. you know, i'm hearing silence as votes are being suppressed, as the postal service is being crippled, as these crazy lawsuits are being filed that threaten not to count votes that have already been cast. i've not heard from republicans. we need to hear from republicans who will say that what this president is trying to do is inconsistent with how we want our party to be viewed. >> are you worried about your successor at the justice department, william barr, and any potential role that he may choose to put the justice department in as we head into these final days? there's been concerns that he suspended justice department policies on taking publicly viewable steps before an election, long-standing justice department policies that you as
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attorney general enforced among lots of others. he suspended some of those rules that made people worry he might take actions essentially to use the criminal law or the intimidation factor that can attend to the justice department's actions as a way to try to push things in the president's way. >> yeah. you know, i mean it pains me to say that, but i am worried about what this attorney general will do with the power that he has. you know, going against that justice department policy about not taking actions close to an election has already been done away with. he suspended, you know, that policy. there's a u.s. attorney in philadelphia who i understand is in the process of, you know, doing something again inconsistent with that policy that has always been in effect. this attorney general has talked about the ability of foreign nations to corrupt our electoral process, and then when pressed, says, well, i don't have any proof of that, but it's common
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sense. that's not what a responsible attorney general would say. and if you look at his history, everything from mischaracterizing the mueller report, you know, jumping into cases to protect the president from people who might have information that would harm the president, using the weight of his office to come up with different results than the career people wanted to have. i'm not sure what the limits are with regard to what this attorney general will do to serve the interests of the president who appointed him. i'm very worried about that. >> i have to ask you one last question. i don't know if you'll answer this or not, but do you think's going to win? >> no, i think that joe biden is going to win. my hope will be that the victory will be decisive enough so that we don't have to go through a lot of these nightmare scenarios. but i also don't want people to buy into this notion that he has to win by some extraordinary margin. he only needs to get 270 electoral votes. the rules have not changed. he doesn't have to get 300. he doesn't have to win 60% of the vote. 270 electoral votes, and he will then be the duly elected president of the united states. i think the record numbers of people we have seen come out in spite, in spite of all the impediments that have been
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placed in front of them, the american people have said, we're going to decide this election. we're not going to let partisan people and state governments and in the federal government keep us away from the decision that is only ours. and so i'm confident the american people are going to elect joe biden and kamala harris. >> former attorney general eric holder. sir, it's a really honor to have you here. it's nice to see you. thanks for being with us tonight. >> great to see you, rachel. thank you. >> we've got much more ahead tonight. stay with us. us renew active. only from unitedhealthcare.
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and i quote. no matter how the votes split, there's an expectation among officials that mr. trump will claim some kind of victory on november 4th even if the victory he claims was hijacked by fraud. if the streets then fill with outraged people, he can easily summon or prompt or encourage troublemakers among his loyalists to turn a peaceful crowd into a sea of mayhem. they might improvise on their
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own in sparking violence, presuming it pleases their leader. if the crowds are sufficiently large and volatile, he can claim to be justified in responding with federal powers to bring order. the fbi, meanwhile, is bracing for huge challenges. an fbi official told me, quote, we are all hands on deck for the foreseeable future. quote, we've been talking to our state and local counterparts and gearing up for the expectation that it's going to be a significant law enforcement challenge for probably weeks or months. quote, it feels pretty terrifying. bracing reporting in "the new york times" today from deeply sourced, deeply acclaimed investigative journalist ron suskind. just for a reality check here. here's how ron suskind describes his sources for that scary reporting. he says, quote, i've spent the last month interviewing some two
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dozen officials and aides. the central sources in the story are or were senior officials mainly in jobs that require senate confirmation. they have had regular access to the president and to briefings at the highest level. joining us now is the reporter who got those high-ranking trump administration officials to confide these worries. investigative journalist ron suskind. ron, it's really nice to see you. it's been a long time, my friend. >> it's good to see you, rachel. >> you wrote that you can't know the motives that all these people had for speaking to you today, but what they told you not just about what they're worried about but what they're preparing for is stark and worrying. what is your sense of why they wanted you to know this? >> well, you know, it's interesting because these are public servants in all parts of the government, and they hear what's happening on high from the white house, and they want the american people to know that they're doing everything they possibly can do to try to avert, avoid, and deter mayhem. you know, in a way, they're in the worst bind. they're doing their job.
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they're assessing threats. and at the same time they're realizing that the number one threat is in the white house and what that person will do, which is the giant question mark that they're all trying to figure out. and that is a terrible bind for a public servant to be in. and so they wanted people to understand that, that what you're afraid of out there, we're afraid of in here too, and we're working round the clock to try to make sure that the democratic process can carry forward as intended and as it's meant to. though we are basically battling our own president. >> ron, one of the things that comes through in your reporting is the sense that the fbi might be a little bit of an anchor here, which feels like a strange thing to sort of hope for in a democracy, especially because it's the least transparent organization that we've got that's not called the cia. the -- is -- are your sources telling you that because they are trying to buck up the fbi so that the fbi cannot be misused
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if the president wants to, or did you get the sense that they are reflecting a reality at the fbi that the fbi won't allow itself to be used by this president in an improper way no matter what they might be hearing from the justice department? >> rachel, the fbi is under siege is what they're saying. this is -- they're calling out. they're saying we are under regular attack. from one side you've got congress wanting every document we have on the russia investigation, on hunter biden, everything under the sun. on the other hand, we have the attorney general. remember, the fbi lives underneath the justice department, the attorney general. and they're coming at us from the other direction to give deliverables to the president for political outcomes. and in the meantime, they're out there in an enormous battle to protect the country and some of them are saying, there may be some folks who actually would rather mayhem.
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all of a sudden you're starting to see how incentives are colliding in the government. the fbi is waiting for christopher wray the director to be fired. and every day when they have to fulfill some request for some bid of something, evidence to use on fox news this morning or to attack enemies of the president they're wondering if we don't give it, will our director will be fired. so they're under siege. they're holding out. >> ron suskind, i feel like you're the go-to for me when the president is in trouble and the president is pushing in places we ought to not be in this country. this piece in the "the new york times" the day after election day is just absolutely stunning. thank you for help us understand it, ron. appreciate if. >> thank you, rachel.
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all right new polling four days out. fox news has done their final national poll. shows biden's lead over trump narrowing to 8 points. north carolina a new nbc news maris poll has biden leading by 6. of course can we trust polls given what we all experienced in 2016? to address that worry at "the new york times" nate cohn keeps up a chart that is if the polls are as wrong as 2016 chart which i find very comforting. the columns on the left here, that's the current 2020 polling average in these key states this year. it columns on the right in both cases, that's what the polling average would look like if you adjusted it to correct for what the polls were being as wrong in
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2016. in pennsylvania you see biden is leading on average this year by 6 points in pennsylvania. but if the polls are as wrong as 2016 then biden would still be ahead by 2. in florida biden's average lead right now is 3 points in the polls. but if the polls were as wrong as 2016 in florida, then biden would be leading by less than 1 point which is, you know, florida's m. o. one less than percentage point. as nate cohn notes if polling translated perfectly to results then biden would lead the electoral college. but if state polls are as wrong as they are in 2016 then biden would still win but by a smaller margin. anyway that's what the polls say even when adjusted for your post 2016 anxiety. four days left we'll know soon enough. four days left we'll know soon enough (mom) it sure is.
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that's why we support measure rr to keep caltrain running. which is at risk of shutdown because of the crisis. to keep millions of cars off our roads, to reduce air pollution and fight climate change. and measure rr helps essential workers like me get to work and keep our communities healthy. relieve traffic. reduce pollution. rescue caltrain. [all] yes on measure rr. that's going to do it for us tonight and but i'll see you in a weird time at a weird place, sunday night 8:00 eastern, sunday night, me, brian williams, nicolle wallace, joy reid, a special election preview in our new super-sized studios. i'll see you then sunday night 8:00. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good