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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  December 24, 2020 12:00am-1:00am PST

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>> ho ho ho! merry christmas! tonight on "all in," breaking news. more lame duck pardons including trump campaign manager paul manafort, trump crony roger stone and jared kushner's father. we will have the latest. then with four weeks left in office and power slipping away, the president enters burn it
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down mode. >> to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a covid relief package and maybe that administration will be me. >> tonight how covid relief was taken hostage in service of donald trump's desperate attempts to overturn the election and how the republican bargain with trump is coming back to haunt them. then why trump defunded america's living troops for dead confederate traitors. and the growing outrage over the pardon of blackwater guards convicted of killing civilians. the attorney for the 9-year-old victim joins me live when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. another night of breaking news. for the second night in a row president trump just issued a shooter of late day pardons. and similar in theme to his pardons thus far in his administration, which has been the politically connected or cronies, among the latest
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charlie kushner, who just coincidentally happens to be the father of the president's son-in-law jared along with two more people who are wrapped up in the mueller probe, paul manafort, the president's 2016 campaign chairman, and roger stone, the president's long-time confidant. keep in mind both of those individuals didn't cooperate fully with prosecutors. both of those individuals had pardons dangled in front of them. obviously tacitly so they would not cooperate. they didn't cooperate. they didn't roll over on the president. the president refused to rule out pardons for them. paul manafort told rick gates according to the mueller report that they would be taken care of. the president said that roger stone can sleep well at night at one point. they clearly knew they were angling for a pardon so as not to incriminate the president, and now the president has pardoned them. this is as fundamentally corrupt as a pardon gets.
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joining me from west palm beach near mar-a-lago nbc news correspondent garrett haake. garrett, the president is down there in florida, left town, has blown up covid relief, blown up the national defense authorization act and now a slew of pardons for the well connected. >> reporter: yeah, i mean, the president essentially left this chaos behind him in washington, got on a plane today, had nothing to say to reporters on his way out of town, hasn't spoken to the press in quite some time, landed in florida and this list of pardons wasn't released until he was safely ensconced in mar-a-lago. if you look at the list, i think the pardon of paul manafort was fairly widely expected as you pointed out. the president made public comments about his concern for manafort's well being. the actual statement of the pardon reads like the president wrote it himself. he talks about the russian collusion hoax in this official white house document. the pardon of charles kushner you could probably have anticipated, although it presents an interesting sort of
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balance of the loyalty test. remember charles kushner was originally prosecuted by a u.s. attorney by the name of chris christie, also a presidential ally. and the stone pardon is to me the biggest finger in the eye to the justice department. remember, stone's sentence had already been commuted by this president. stone was essentially already cashed in his get out of jail free card. he was only in jail in the first place for witness tampering and making false statements. the pardon here on the back end is the ultimate middle finger, essentially, to the mueller team and the justice department team that worked on these cases against the president's team. >> do we know there was wide expectations of pardons yesterday and today. we have got jack goldsmith, harvard law, this is quoted in "the new york times," of the 65 pardons and commutations that mr. trump granted before wednesday, 60 had gone to petitioners who had a personal tie to mr. trump.
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or who helped his political aims, according to a tabulation by a harvard law school professor jack goldsmith. this is fairly unprecedented. we haven't kept data like this before. is there a sense, is there reporting, is there knowledge of, like, how these are all getting -- how these are happening? because there is a bunch beneath the headline here, as well. >> reporter: right. we know that there is not the traditional process being followed. there are hundreds, if not more than 1,000, you know, formal pardon petitions that are essentially waiting for review that are not among those being considered. when the president releases these statements, it includes who supported this pardon. in many cases, it's right there. there is a pardon for a former rand paul aide, which was supported by, you guessed it, rand paul. one of the pardons of the big three tonight, the president says was supported by the head of the american conservative union. a lot of this is word of mouth to the president who then turns around and makes these pardons. he has said to allies that has been widely reported that this
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is a power that he loves. he can do it unilaterally. it takes very little more than a stroke of a pen or picking up the phone. so this is an opportunity for him to flex his muscle in office without having to deal with the pesky legislators or indeed the pesky members of his own staff whom might oppose steps like these he chooses to take in other reins. arenas. >> i do wonder -- you know, the president is going to leave office on january 20th, whether he wants to or not and whether he knows it or not. there has been talk about whatever his political future is. i wonder how this factors into that, right? these are not politically popular. i don't think anyone in republican politics cares. i honestly think he could basically issue a blanket pardon for everyone who is a registered republican in the entire federal prison system and let out thousands of people and it would be fine with them. there is some political downside here you got to think.
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>> presumably, though i have to think if you consider yourself a law and order republican, someone who in a traditional sense looks at these things with a small conservative viewpoint, you have probably turned your back on the president a long time ago. the folks remaining in his camp, you hear this all the time, they like that he is a fighter, he is willing to stick his finger in the eye, even of his own justice department. so, you know, ridiculous thing to say about a president in a presidency, but this is very on brand, you know, the idea that people might be concerned about the apparent corruption here. those folks have long since turned their backs on this president. for the core voters, this is him fighting for the people who fought for him. >> the charlie kushners of the world. that is a heck of a holiday gift to deliver to dear old dad when you can get your father-in-law to serve up a pardon. that is a tough one to beat. garrett haake, thank you very much for your time tonight. >> you bet. i want to now bring in nancy
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gaertner, harvard law senior lecturer, former federal judge and harry litman, former deputy assistant attorney general, both of them with deep knowledge of the justice department, justice, law and mercy. harry, i'll start with you. you know, we've been talking about this forever. this is a potent part of the presidency by constitutional design. controversial at the time because of its potency. man oh man, do the manafort and stone ones look right up as close as you can get to the edge of crossing something that feels like you should not be able to do. >> man oh man. well, if in fact there was any quid pro quo, you can't do it. even so, chris, this is the man who's constitutionally obligated to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. so however you slice it, this is the anthesis of that. and we've gone beyond sort of
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score settling and doling out to friends. these are demolitions now of institutions of criminal justice. think about what was involved in the entire mueller probe. think about what was involved in the prosecutions of the three congressmen. think about what was involved in blackwater. these are the hallmark prosecutions of the department of justice. they have been wiped away with a stroke, and you have to think about it more than individually now. it's just a kneecapping or worse of the department of justice overall. the institution that he constitutionally is obliged to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. it is an abomination of the first order. >> nancy, you had obviously a front row seat to the functioning of america's criminal justice system, although in the federal system, which is quite different than the sort of local d.a. felonies, but still a lot of federal
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criminal cases coming through your courtroom, and the big critique of the federal -- of the local and federal criminal justice system is just that, you know, people with relatively little amounts of power are criminalized for the things they do. they don't have high-priced attorneys and they tend to plea and people about lots of power can hire good attorneys and, you know, fight their way out often. and to harry's point, here you have these signature prosecutions of people that do have power and fancy attorneys and in some ways i think it's like what doj likes to tell itself it's doing. no fear of favor. if you are a congressman who is corrupt, we are still going after you. justice is blind. and this just turns it on its head. >> well, it turns it on its head, but it's worse than that, i think. i am not prepared to say that these pardons are without review, right. if you recall, the clinton pardon of mark rich was then investigated by congress for,
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you know, months to see if there was a quid pro quo, meaning there was, you know, that his wife supported the clinton foundation and whether that was the reason for the pardon. so here the question is, going back now these past four years was there a statement to manafort, to stone, to flynn, you keep your mouth shut and we'll take care of you? that would be a corrupt bargain even in the face of the plenary power to pardon someone. in addition, all these guys lose their fifth amendment privilege. so there can be investigations after trump leaves in which they wind up in prison, for example, for refusing to testify when they no longer have a fifth amendment privilege. so this is not -- this isn't over. this isn't over. pardons are usually unreviewable, but not when they are in exchange for your silence.
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>> right. i mean, so this is interesting because we have been learning this pardon law as we have been going. the president is a kind of living and breathing law school exam. harry, i mean, nancy pointed here, like, right, so can the president pardon himself? interesting question, sort of unresolved. this idea that, like, okay, the pardon power is absolute, but if the president said to someone, if you give me $1 million i will pardon you, i guess we all agree that's just not valid, right? like, there are circumstances under which it's not valid, and nancy's point about is that what we're dealing with here is interesting. >> on the law school exam, chris and nancy -- hi, nancy -- there is no doubt about it. he is guilty as the day is long. but in the real world we have now an enormous game of chicken where the next attorney general probably in consultation with
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biden decides whether to take on the turmoil, the constitutional questions in the courts, the fifth amendment questions not so easy because there is still the possibility of state court prosecutions. there is a real possibility that biden thinks that his agenda will be upended and he wants to be a healer. so galling as it may be, while it's absolutely true that if there is a quid pro quo it was corrupt and doesn't matter the reach of the pardon power, it's a crime and can be prosecuted, it doesn't happen unless, in the real world, the next department of justice brings charges. now, they may not against trump, but some of these folks, against stone, manafort, perhaps they are not done with them yet. perhaps. it's going to be really, you know, an enormous question that the next attorney general will be debating.
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>> well, and nancy's point about congress, i think, is an interesting one, too. the final thought here, nancy, is the intersection of politics and law, right? which is, look, i mean, again if you go back -- if you go back to the sort of constitutional debates on the power, there was some sense that politics is the limiting condition. if you pardon odious people in a manifestly corrupt way narcotics will politically hurt you. we have kind of run up against the limits of that. like, i don't think this will matter for him politically among the -- in the long term, and maybe he could go even further. why stop at your son-in-law's dad when you could get your actual flesh and blood? >> well, i mean, the political question is a separate question. trump has confounded the political question all along. that's one thing. but the legal question, the legal question i think is an open one. harry's point is well taken, which is whether people want to be litigating trump world for the foreseeable future is an
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open question but congress has a lot to do here because a lot of the guardrails have been upended with thump and the pardon power is one of them. and congress may want to look at what, you know, what the limits of the power are when there is a corrupt bargain, what procedures have to be followed. and so i'm not -- i don't think it would be right to walk away from this. whether it turns into criminal charges is another question entirely. >> no. i agree. an investigation at the least, particularly when you look at the mark rich precedent. nancy gertner and harry litman, thank you both. the stakes are january 5th. great point. thank you both. appreciate it. up next, donald trump vetoes military spending, threatens the covid relief bill. the devil's bargain the republicans have made is coming home to roost, next.
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it has been the deadliest year in american history and as it comes to a close, one out of every 1,000 americans has died from covid-19. that's more than 325,000 people. as the country is facing a brutal and uncertain holiday with unemployment running out the day after christmas for more than 12 million people, today the president took off to sunny florida for the holiday, having blown up an entire year's worth
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of legislating and negotiating. leaving everything completely unsettled. now, before he left he vetoed the national defense authorization act, which is the entire funding authority for the u.s. military. and he did it based on two reasons which he threatened before. first, he is very mad at twitter for labeling his false posts as false, and for reminding everyone he lost the election. he wants to get back at them by changing the law. and, second, he wants desperately to keep the name of dead traitors who took up arms against the union on u.s. military bases despite the fact that a bipartisan coalition wants them gone. and not a moment too soon. now, we don't know what's going to happen with the other two bills that are sitting there, the funding for the entire government, the omnibus and the covid relief bill, the $900 billion which he complained about in a twitter video yesterday even though he clearly seemed to not understand when a he was talking about when he objected to a bunch of budget lines in the omnibus portion of
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the bill that his own white house had asked for. yes, donald trump had asked for the same spending that he is now criticizing and threatening to blow it up a over. he also said there should be $2,000 checks for americans in the covid relief deal. great, every democrat is like, let's do it, dude, come on! but let's be clear why we are here, okay? okay? it was obvious back in may to anyone paying attention the month the u.s. surpassed 100,000 covid deaths we would need more relief in the future because the pandemic wasn't going away. that's the same month house democrats passed a $3 trillion bill that included, let's remember, $1,200 checks for most adults, for children, and for adult dependents. it would be a $4,800 check for a family of four, which is a pretty good chunk of money. it also had a whole bunch of other stuff, money for state and local governments and money for testing that donald trump and
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the republicans declared dead on arrival. and the reason they did, this is so important to remember, they wanted to stop relief because they wanted to force people back out into the workplace. they didn't want to give people more extended unemployment. they didn't want to give people checks because they wanted people to have to work to stay alive, because they wanted them to pretend the pandemic was done even when it wasn't, and get back out there. remember? like warriors. now, all along since may, it has been clear that there was a possibility for a big bipartisan relief package if and only if the president, donald trump, actually put his mind to it, if he lobbied hard, if he ran on herd on the republicans who were terrified to cross him -- we see that every day -- well, then he could have delivered the relief package before the election and he probably would have been
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reelect reelected as well. maybe. but, of course, he didn't do that because he didn't care. he completely out sourced negotiations with treasury secretary steven mnuchin and house speaker nancy pelosi. what he cared about was hunter biden's laptop and fanning the claims of conspiracy theories about voter fraud and since the election he hasn't done squat. he has completely checked out from all forms of government as thousands die a day, but he's got plenty of time and energy to spend on lobbying every single last official to overturn the election and undo american democracy from the wing county board of canvassers in michigan to the republican members of the pennsylvania state senate, whom he invited to lunch today. he is lobbying hard on that. so here we are. the nation is in utter crisis, in desperate need of relief. one of the deadliest days in america yesterday with more than 300,000 people dead from this pandemic. likely see another day like that today. the president is completely abdicating his responsibility and all this was utterly foreseeable. every republican, every republican member, every
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staffer, everyone who is in a think tank, all the people who write for conservative publications, all of them, they all knew what they were dealing with from day one, but they got their judges and their tax cuts. so who cares? lots of people died. what are you going to do? it's in the bargain. congressman adam schiff in the senate flat out told us at the start of this very year. >> you can't trust this president to do the right thing not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country. you just can't. he will not change and you know it. >> and now more than 325,000 americans are dead. the deadliest year in history. but amy coney barrett's on the supreme court. lots of judges. corporate tax rates down. if you are mitch mcconnell, marco rubio, any of those people, you know, good deal. and, look, maybe the government collapses.
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maybe people don't get relief checks. they start getting kicked out of their apartments and unemployment expires the day after christmas, but this was all part of the bargain. jake sherman has been following all this very closely. he is a senior editor at politico, co-author of the playbook newsletter, and he joins me now. let's take this in order. the ndaa, he threatened to veto, no one knew if he would. did they know that was coming today when it was announced at around 4:00 or so that he had in fact vetoed it? >> they did, chris, because -- and thanks for having me as always. they did for many reasons, not least this was the last day that he could veto it. it would have automatically gone into law, one of those weird quirks. today was the last day to veto it, and he did. sw intthere was some theory bouncing around d.c. that i understood and extended to new york and wall street where people said he wouldn't do it despite saying he was going to
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vetoed he said. consistently for weeks at too time because he wanted it to include unrelated social media law, change it to section 230 which had no place in this bill. but that's why, if i could bring this full circle to what you were saying before, i mean, if the president is saying what he is saying now, which is i don't like this bill, that my administration negotiated with congress, why should we think that he is not going to veto it? maybe he doesn't veto it, but i am not convinced, i have seen no evidence he is not going to veto it. >> right. i mean, the other thing about the veto threat on the covid relief bill, which again he was totally absent from these negotiations. rode in at the last seconds and blew it up. the veto threat is like the occam's razor is he is screwing mitch mcconnell. the day before he issues this, they send out this preposterous one-page email that mitch mcconnell betrayed him and got off the trump train too early because mitch mcconnell acknowledged joe biden is the winner of the election. this screws mitch mcconnell, screws kelly loeffler and david
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perdue which are all mitch mcconnell cares about because they were celebrating this bill. the president just said it's now garage. gash. it seems like that's probably what's going on first and foremost here. >> it is. i mean, listen, the nitty-gritty, the house of representatives can likely, most likely, almost certainly pass some sort of bill with a $2,000 direct payment. there is almost no question in my about that. number one. but can the senate do it? i don't think. is mitch mcconnell going to be forced to do it? i don't know. but it gets stuck in his lap, and you're right. he gets screwed. and, chris, i hate to be you dour here. i hate to be dark. i just don't think it's out of the realm, you know, of possibility that we might be entering a prolonged government shutdown. maybe i'm being an alarmist, but i've covered this for more than a decade. i've been through a lot of
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crises with this president and previous presidents and previous congresses. i just don't know how -- the only way out is for the president to sign this package. period. and he doesn't appear to be heading in that direction right now, and i don't know what will change his mind because what is really bothering him is that the republicans on capitol hill are no longer willing to say he is president and are now willing to say joe biden's president. that's not going to change. i am not sure what dynamic is going to change that is going to have him sign this bill, which is now saying is full of pork and includes policies he doesn't like and doesn't include the checks that he wants. and you said it -- one last point here, chris. you said this well. if he was in the negotiations, he would have gotten those $2,000 checks. that was a medium-sized ask. but as nancy pelosi has said, he didn't participate and his representatives did not say what size checks he wanted. >> i know. he was full-time in the hunter
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biden laptop negotiations. not in the get people who are desperately needing relief negotiations. jake sherman, thank you so much. you have been doing great reporting on this. thanks for making time for us tonight. >> appreciate it. i want to bring in one of the most as statute chroniclers of this current administration and it's never ending cyclone of madness, washington correspondent for "new york" magazine. her latest piece titled "the fullest possible story of the four seasons total landscaping press conference" in which she seeks to understand the question how did that end up happening and talks like a million people who never answer that question, but it's a fun ride. what is your best read, according to your sources, i mean, i have grown so weary, right, for five years of, like, he is increasingly untethered from reality. he is increasingly this. everyone is freaking out. we have read it a million times. but, like, there is some serious stakes here right now and there is 30 days left. like, what is going on? >> everyone is saying that,
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right? that the president is more unglued than ever, that the wheels are increasingly off. we have been saying for years, i think we said it a few times during our conversations on this show, that it never seemed like there were wheels to begin with or that they were on. so it's hard to know, you know, at what point the break with reality started in the minds of the people around the president. but when i talk to white house officials they do say that he has been in a worse mood than ever. there is in-fighting that's continuing to go on and people don't want to be around the president. they are avoiding him. and it seems like he is really just trying to cause as much trouble as he can, cause as much chaos as he can and generate as much attention as he can with his time left. >> what do you -- how do you understand the coup plotting? at one level it's like, so it's so clownish and impotent.
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at the other level it's like the thing they are doing is plotting the end of the american constitutional republic as it has been essentially understood at least since the civil war. like, that is actually what they are working on. how seriously do you take it? how would you characterize what it is they are working on when they are plotting? >> this is the essential problem with understanding anything about the trump presidency, is that his plotting is so haphazard and often so half-assed it's hard to know how seriously to take anything. and,000 how seriously -- sometimes it feels ridiculous to react in what would ordinarily be a proportionate way to what he is saying and what he is doing. if it were anybody else, he would be institutionalized or there would be an intervention stage. >> right. >> but i think it makes it difficult to understand exactly what his intentions are or how seriously to take him.
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and he is surrounded by these people who could really screw up anything and have screwed up anything and everything, like rudy giuliani or sidney powell or anyone else in his ear and in his head meeting with him in the white house. it's difficult to know, you know, when this kind of, this island of misfit toys of advisors around him, what they could really achieve or if anything besides just a pr move. with him, you never really know. it's kind of been the problem reporting on him and allies of him for the last five years really that we faced. >> final question for you. i have often wondered, if you look at nixon and george w. bush who both left office with very, very low approval ratings, like 20%, obviously under different circumstances. the part of that was that they were lame ducks. they were both in their second terms. they weren't standing for election again. i wondered how much trump has
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benefitted from the fact that he wasn't a lame duck, and now he is, and if his power is ebbing. it seems apparent and obvious to me. do they get it inside the white house that that is happening? >> totally. and i think that's why he is more isolated than ever. when i talk to white house officials, advisors of the president, and when they talk about leaving him alone now or avoiding him now, it's quite different from what it was like the previous four years when you had to be around him physically. you had to be in his line of sight if you wanted power. and now he has nothing to give these people and this is entirely transactional bunch of opportunistic people and they no longer need to be around him and deal with the verbal abuse or anything else that that entails. and so why this vacuum is now being filled with crazy people like rudy giuliani and his kind of gang of idiots around him. >> olivia, on that piece in your "new york" magazine, you should
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make time. thank you for coming on tonight. >> thank you. joining me now, congresswoman maxine waters of california. congresswoman, there is a lot of sort of react to her. first, let's start with what your understanding, you are in house leadership, speaker pelosi obviously is the speaker, but you are in house leadership and you are in conversations. i guess the question is, what is your understanding of what the house democrats' plan is here now that everything has been kind of upended? >> well, basically, we are going to take the president up on his offer to provide $2,000 for each of the heads of households, you know, because it was not not done in the covid response bill. we fought very hard with the republicans. they rejected giving any money in a stimulus check to the constituents of this country. but we finally wrestled it out of them.
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all we could get was $600. the president was not anywhere around. he was out on the golf course someplace, and he has come in after there is a bipartisan bill that we finally got together after over a month of negotiations and he threw, you know, a monkey wrench into everything now by saying, i want $2,000. now, i don't know what he is up to. i don't know whether he is up to punishing mcconnell, tying to make the american people believe that he cares more than all of the members of congress, democrat and republican. but we are going to take him up on it and we are going to put together a way by which we can basically get out of the house legislation to give $2,000 to all of our constituents. >> all right. so you are going to take him up on it. that may not work or, you know, republicans will object to you,
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and you'll, you know, the unanimous consent, which is like can we just do this with a -- all of us agree to go ahead. the question is, like, you are still in washington, i see from our label on your television screen. >> yes. >> are you going to have to stick around and are you going to override the veto on the national defense authorization act? is that the expectation? >> yes, we are going to override the president's veto on the defense protection act, production act. and so some members will come back. we will still have some proxy voting. but, yes, we are going to move to override that and we are going to, you know, attempt to get legislation out of the house that will provide the $2,000 and we don't know what the republicans are going to do. they are caught in this web of actions by the president of the united states who, again, is trying to punish some people,
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daring others. and let's see what happens. we are up to it and we are going to fight. >> i also wanted reaction to the president's pardons this evening. particularly pardons of manafort and stone. you know, it's fairly unprecedented for the president to pardon people that were being investigated for lying or undertaking actions on his behalf and in furtherance of his objections and didn't cooperate with the possibility perhaps and pardoned and now getting it. what is your reaction to these two pardons? >> well, of course i am not at all surprised. and i fully expected the president to do this. everything about the president has defined him as someone who will abuse presidential power. and he does not care what precedent has been. he does not care the rules, what the rules are. as long as the constitution does not stop him from taking these
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kinds of actions, he is going to do whatever he wants to do. but if you take a look at my twitter page, my twitter page starting in 2017 showed what i called the kremlin clan. and in the kremlin clan you had manafort, you had roger stone, you had papadopoulos, you had flynn. i had them all right there. they all demonstrated a relationship to putin and to the oligarchs of russia and i believe, no matter what anybody says, i believe that manafort was literally set to be the chair of trump's campaign by putin. and so i fully expect the president, i do, i had expected him to pardon all of them. they are all crooks and they are all criminals and they have been able to get away with it because we did not move fast enough to impeach him. we not have the kind of investigation into russia and
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the relationship of the president to putin, even after the president of the united states would never criticize him, would never condemn him. as a matter of fact, you know, defended him when he was accused of hacking into the democratic national committee, et cetera, et cetera. so, no, i am not surprised and i fully expected it and it's going to go on. i don't know where he goes beyond this. to his children and others? he has gone so far now as to pardon the father of his son-in-law, who was a crook. and so the president of the united states, you know, up until the day he is out of the white house, will continue to do whatever he wants to do and he will absolutely take care of those who have stood by him and have allowed him to commit criminal acts with their knowledge without disclosing it. so, yes, he has done it and he is going to continue to do it. >> all right. congressman maxine waters, thank
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you so much for making time tonight. i appreciate it. >> you're welcome. thank you. as covid continues to kill americans at a nearly unprecedented rate, what needs to happen next in the vaccine rollout to save lives as quickly as possible? dr. peter hotez has answers when we come back. ause it's changed my life for the better. whatever question i have i feel like there's an avenue to seek the answer. hit that app and you start a story, you're on an adventure. download a new book within seconds and it's ready to go. there's something for everybody on audible. i like short stories. short stories are easy. they're quick. i like long and like intricate stories, that's really what i love. audible originals. i like biographies. self-help. fantasy. true crime podcasts. i love it so much. i can literally listen to anything. i can do it any time. and any place. and you know, for as long as i like. getting really into a story can totally transform
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hiya! get 30-minute pickup at don't settle for silver #1 for diabetic dry skin* #1 for psoriasis symptom relief* and #1 for eczema symptom relief* gold bond champion your skin covid has made this year the deadliest in u.s. history. deaths passed 3,000 for the first time ever. according to the -- sorry. 3 million for the year, for the first time ever. according to the "associated press" this year's final mortality number could be the biggest single year percentage leap since 1918. it is literally a race against time to get the vaccine to people who are dying at such a terrible rate now that most front line health workers have been given their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, the challenge is who gets vaccinated next. someone who knows about the challenges of vaccine development and deployment and working on a covid vaccine
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himself dr. peter hotez, co-director of the texas children's hospital center for vaccine development and dean of baylor college of medicine's national school of tropical medicine and he joins me now. all right. we are now, dr. hotez, moving to the next stage. health care workers, obviously, the next population are residents and workers in nursing homes, long-term care facilities. how do we do it? >> well, we are now rolling that out in terms of health care providers. i think that is going actually, i think, reasonably well. we have hospital systems that are in place that know how to vaccinate health care workers and we've brought in the pharmacy chains to vaccinate individuals in nursing homes and that's starting to rev up. but then the complexity really ramps up after that. so the acip, the advisory committee and immunization
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practices, put out next phase 1 b guidelines. before we had phase 1a. now phase 1b gives a laundry list of almost a dozen different types of essential workers that could be, that should be vaccinated next, which includes what you would expect, firefighters, police and rescue. but it starts to get fairly complicated pretty quickly. and i think one of the things we started to learn, chris, about this awful year in the covid-19 epidemic is that our nation's health system cannot handle a lot of complexity. you know, we messed up the entry of the virus from europe. we are now realizing that we cannot do genomic virus surveillance. so we could be missing mutated strains. we have been having multiple discussions about what's happened in terms of the diagnostic testing and what's gone wrong there. the point is we don't have a health system in the usual sense
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of really deep involvement of the public health departments. it's out big pharmacy chains, you know, cvs, walgreens, and now the amazon pharmacy. so how do you handle a lot of complexity with all of these different types of essential health care workers? what you are seeing is the states are saying, hmm, we are just going to do what we think is best. for instance, in texas we have essentially skipped over 1b and gone right to 1c to look at individuals over the age of 65 and over 16 with chronic conditions. this again is in syndromic of what's been happening the last ten months. >> well, but there is an interesting debate that i followed, we haven't done on the show, about the acip recommendations. there is a sort of -- people said, look, the fatality rates being what they are and this circles back to the populations in long-term care facilities,
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that the fatality rates are so much higher, the higher you climb up the age ladder, right? 90 plus, 80 plus, 70 plus, there are orders of magnitude worse than any population of, say, 30-year-olds, whether they are grocery store workers, police officers, et cetera. that there is a logic and there are other countries that are just basically stepping down the age ladder, which sounds like what texas is doing. but even that, answer if you did that, i don't understand how that works. how do you find this 85-year-old? >> yeah. i mean, again, we don't have an easy mechanism for doing that. and again even individuals over the age of 65, let's remember who get sick over the age of 65, among non-hispanic whites, it's about 13% of the deaths are over the age of 65, but in the
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african american and hispanic community about 35% of the deaths are under the age of 65. so these strict age cutoffs don't necessarily work when we think about the diversity of the population of the united states. so this is part of the reason why the states are adapting guidelines. so there is going to be a lot of complexity. we have never done anything like this. and again recognize that we don't have as robust a system of community health clinics as we should, and then we have the pharmacy deserts in the low-income neighborhoods. so i'm really worried about this heavy reliance on the pharmacy chains and what that's going to mean. >> all right. dr. peter hotez, always great to hear insights. thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, trump pardons the four men responsible for one of the worst atrocities of the iraq war. the lawyer who represented the victims of the massacre joins me next.
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the green zone. thought someone important was either leaving or entering the green zone. he looked to his right, saw the person in one of the white vehicles in this video say that somebody in front of him had just been shot. at about that time, bullets started to rain down on his suvt he ducks for cover, pulls his sister, who is sitting in the front seat, down. ali, his son, and his two cousins are in the back seat. as the bullets rained, mohammed peeks up trying to see what's going on, sees victims being , shot, killed, machine gun fire all over.ll his suv is riddled with bullets. as soon as it started, it stopped. he thought everybody was okay,
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that they had lived through a miracle when one of the cousins in the back seat said that ali was hurt. mohammed got out of the car, opened the door, went to the back seat, saw blood on the inside of the window, and ali slumped over against the glass. he opened the door, and this isv a bit graphic.d but what happened was ali slumped towards mohammed. his skull was open and a portion of his brain fell out onto the pavement in nisour square. in fact, there's an image of that in that video which you are showing, which i presume you arh not showing on tv. mohammed pushed his son back in the car, turned his vehicle around on flat tires and a shot-out windshield, and drove to a hospital that was only a w few blocks behind them, behind nisour square. when they arrived, ali, he was doing everything he could for his son but knew that he bu probably had a fatal injury. ali was still alive at the hospital. he had doctors look at ali. he wanted to get treatment for his son. they told him they could not
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treat him, that the hospital was like a war zone. there were people in the hallways. pickup trucks were bringing victims into the they had an ambulance dispatched for mohammed and ali to go to a neurologic hospital across town. they had to actually go back through nisour square to get there. during the ride, ali convulsed as mohammed held his hand, and he died. i was contacted to represent them and others in a civil lawsuit against blackwater, erik prince, and the four that were convicted of these murder and manslaughter charges. we proceeded with a civil lawsuit in north carolina against blackwater and the men, the shooters. that case was removed from state court to federal court. we fought to have it back in state court. it was in a court of appeals, the 4th circuit court of appeals in richmond, virginia. and we eventually resolved the
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case favorably for all parties without the necessity of trial. and i represented the kinani family and several others. >> there was reporting today about the families. obviously this was a profound, profound trauma for everyone that lived through this, t including the family you represent and lost people in it. there is reporting today that the pardons have reduced american talk of human rights to mere slogans, a brother of one of the victims said. obviously there's a place for mercy. there's a place for pardon. obviously people do incredibly heinous things, but i do wonder what the reverberations of this pardon are for the family you represent and for others who lived through that day in iraq. >> here's what i've noticed. i've seen a lot of comments about the efforts it took to ge these convictions. as we know, on new year's eve in 2009, the original indictments were dismissed. they had to re-indict these four men.
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it was six at one point that were indicted. they had to start over. t the fbi had to start their ha investigation over. prosecutors had to start their case over with the new indictments.or and they then tried these four men and obtained convictions. some of those were overturned. nicholas slatten was tried with the other three. the court of appeals determined that he should have had a separate trial. he was given a separate trial. he was convicted again.iv what i see the court system doing in this case is working the way it should. if the court system, if the hi federal judges that evaluated ou this, the court of appeals that saw how the case was tried, if they felt that it needed to be retried, if they felt there was something unfair about the way the evidence was presented against these four men, they took their steps that was required in our legal system and ensured that they got a fair trial. i so what i see in this situation is that these four men were given the fair trial that they deserved and they were convicted of their crimes.
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and what this does now is it takes -- it takes the convictions, it takes the promise that the u.s. government gave to these victims that they were going to continue to fighth for them, continue these prosecutions, and it slaps them in the face when they walk away. the fbi's second largest investigation after 9/11 was the nisour square it was an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money spent in this, and it appears that it wa for and i think that the families have lost the faith or could lose the faith that they have in the u.s. justice system. f >> all right. paul dickinson, thank you so ig much for sharing the story of your clients tonight. i appreciate it. that is "all in" on this wednesday night. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now.da good evening, >> that was an incredible interview and an incredible perspective on that story, chris. that was -- i mean it was an alarming, but it was just incredible to hear. thanks for doing that.bu >> thank you.