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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  October 6, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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or dead that undergirding all these lessons have to be values. we're not going to be saved by the system as it exists. we're going to be saved if we think about democracy as something that has a future which we care about, which we love, which has all kinds of little daily components to which we all contribute. so the one thing i like about the illustrated edition is that it brings out that hopeful element of the book. it's not just about the risks we face, but it also suggests things might be much better. >> yes, exactly. tim snider, professor of history at yale university, the best selling author of "on tyranny: 20 lessons from the 20th century" including the new graphic edition of "on tyranny" which now in book stores. i read it and absorbed all the illustrations and all of it in one sitting, and you will too if you buy it. it's remarkable stuff. professor snider, thank you. >> thank you. that's going to do it for us for now.
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see you again tomorrow, now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. we have the decision, this order by the federal judge in texas that i think many people anticipated that there would be a federal judge somewhere in texas who would see it this way. just completely shutting down that texas law ordering absolutely no administration of that new texas abortion law at all. none of these lawsuits specifically sending an orderto every state court, do not accept filing of any of these lawsuits against abortion providers, and absolutely shut it down. >> shut it down. and we've just learned in the past couple of minutes that texas is appealing and again, the legal undergirding of the texas abortion ban is so weird, it's specifically designed to evade federal constitutional scrutiny, that i think it's very hard to predict what's going to
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happen here between here and the circuit and the supreme court, but this judge's ruling tonight is definitive and kind of lit. i mean, the judge is clearly kind of mad. >> yeah, he spends a great deal of time on that undergirding that you're talking about. it's 113 pages. he has dozens of pages that i've skimmed that are specifically about that, about the design of the law and how the law was specifically designed to try to avoid judicial review and then specifically why the federal government, the justice department that intervened here does have the standing to do that. and i learned some things about federal government standing in this case by reading this judgment tonight. it's really such an important turn. we have neal katyal joining us, cecile richards. so we're going to get some expert legal analysis of where this stands tonight. >> right on, can't wait. thanks, lawrence. >> thank you, rachel. well, on page one of his
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113-page opinion and order tonight, texas federal judge robert pittman says, a person's right under the constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established. fully aware that deprives its citizens of this right by direct state action would be fragrantly unconstitutional, the state contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that. judge pittman issued an injunction barring the enforcement of the new texas law saying it is ordered that the state of texas including its officers, officials, agents, employees, and any other persons or entities acting on its behalf, are preliminarily enjoined from enforcing texas health and safety code, including accepting or docketing, maintaining, hearing, resolving, awarding damages in and forcing judgments in and
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enforcing any administrative penalties in and administering any lawsuit brought pursuant to the texas health and safety code, is ordered that the state of texas must publish this preliminary injunction on all of its public-facing court websites with a visible, easy to understand instruction to the public that s.b. 8 lawsuits will not be accepted by texas courts. it is further ordered that the state of texas shall inform all state court judges and state court clerks of this preliminary injunction and distribute this preliminary injunction to all state court judges and state court clerks. leading off our discussion of this breaking news tonight are cecile richards, the former president of planned parenthood federation of america. she's currently co-chair of american bridge 21st century. and senior editor and legal
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correspondent for and host of the podcast atticus, and neal katyal, a former acting solicitor general and an msnbc legal contributor, and dahlia, i want to go to you first with what you think the supreme court's reaction to this might be, that is your beat, the supreme court. they took a different view about any possible injunction here. >> i never want to predict, lawrence, what the supreme court is going to do. i want to say that this is an extraordinary piece of judicial writing, judicial fact finding. this in contrast to a paragraph, a page and a half on the shadow docket that took no notice of any of the suffering of people in texas. this is a point by point by point including in the footnotes, which are amazing reputation of the carelessness of the supreme court, i feel
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like if the supreme court wanted to get out under the complete self-own how much they embarrassed themselves on september 1st this is a vehicle to say, you know what, judge pittman did better and we will just stand down. whether they will do that or not, i don't know. >> that would be fun to read, that one. neal katyal. you've got experience with the supreme court at the appellate level all the way through the court system. what happens next in this case, and what is your reaction to this order tonight? >> so first the reaction to the order, this is what the rule of law is all about. 113 page all about how basically this was a scheme, and that's a word that chief justice roberts used that judge pittman picked up to evade judicial review and tear womens rights down. it was really powerful language. here's what's going to happen. first it's going to go to the court of appeals, which is known as the court of appeals for the
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fifth circuit. it's known as a very conservative court, but honestly, in the fifth circuit this case just requires one to be able to read. a lower court cannot overrule roe versus wade. it's the law of the land. only the supreme court can do it, so the only way they can reverse judge pittman's decision is by saying what you were saying a moment ago, lawrence, about standing. they can say that the justice department can't come in and vindicate women's rights. so what that would mean is first women can't vindicate the rights, that's what dahlia was referring to on september 1st, the supreme court order, and then the court of appeals would have to say the same thing for the justice department. so basically no one can vindicate rights, and that's a good argument if you're in the soviet union, not a particularly compelling argument in the united states. and as a litigator, you always want to signal confidence in your arguments, and here you're beginning with a texas law written by people who were afraid of the courts. they were afraid to even have a
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challenge, so this entire scheme is all about that. so i'm very optimistic as the case goes to the fifth circuit and then i think the supreme court's going to have to set it for a full argument. they can't just do this on the shadow docket and try and decide the case that way. >> so on this issue of standing, i learned something on page 25 of the judge's order where he talks about standing, he talks about the federal government's standing in bringing this lawsuit, justice department of bringing this lawsuit. and the judge says by imposing damages, liability of $10,000 or more on any person performing, induce, adding, aiding or abetting an abortion, s.b. 8 exposes the federal government, its employees, and its contractors to monetary injury. it goes on to give several examples. for example, the federal bureau of prisons regulations provide that the bureau of prisons clinical director, quote, shall
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arrange for an abortion to take place when a pregnant inmate requests an elective abortion. and cecile, the judge goes on to list other examples where federal government employees would be subject to being sued in texas under this law and it's filled, for me, with little factual surprises like that and how they work in the legal structure of this opinion, but what does this mean, do you think, tomorrow in texas for abortion services? >> it's a very good question, lawrence, and one i agree with, both my colleagues here. this is an extraordinary opinion, and i'm in houston right now. i will tell you that it is being met with enormous excitement and gratitude that there is finally some sign of relief here for the
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women of texas. i think the problem of course, this is going to be a long journey here. it's an important temporary victory, but i think there's a long road ahead to restoring full abortion access for people in the state and having talked to many doctors over the last few days as i've been here, the stories are heartbreaking, and i think that is the other thing that is going to complement these important -- these important legal opinion is the actual lived stories of people in this state, women in this state, mothers who no longer can make their own decisions about their pregnancy and those stories, i think, are going to be part of what will i hope go to the supreme court that really demonstrates the enormous cruelty of this legislation and the pain and suffering that is occurring in the state of texas right now. it's incredible to me that women tonight in the state are having
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to wonder tomorrow what will happen, women who have been trying to get a safe and legal abortion in the state. i know that all of our clinicians, i know that the docs are all reviewing what happened tonight so they can make decisions and care for their folks tomorrow. >> dahlia, one thing i'm struck by in this judge's opinion and order is how much he takes in here. he leaves no stone unturned in what has been the public discussion of this, and he makes the parts of the public discussion of it absolutely relevant to what is here the legal discussion of it. >> it's so astonishing, lawrence, because every single footnote almost represents a split screen in which he says this is what is really happening on the ground right now in texas, and the footnotes tell the whole story in my view.
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>> i think we've got a problem with dahlia's connection there. neil, one thing i'm wondering about is this is a temporary injunction against any enforcement of this law in texas courts. if abortion services are provided, say starting this week, starting under this injunction, will -- and let's say it goes the other way. let's say that the federal court system and the supreme court ultimately say that the texas law is okay, will the abortion services provided while this injunction is in place then become subject to possible litigation after this injunction might be lifted? >> it's a really important question, lawrence. so first of all, an injunction for our viewers means that a federal judge has said this law can't be enforced now. and it will go on review to the court of appeals and to the
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supreme court. if the supreme court disagrees with this judge and says we're going to reinforce the law, the law can go back into effect, the evilness of this s.b. 8, this texas law, it has a provision in it which says if you helped with an abortion while the law was under an injunction, you can now retroactively be sued. so when you ask, like, why is cecile richards such a hero in fighting this way, it's not just because of what she's doing in the courts and what other women are doing and men, all sorts of people in the courts, it's also because we need legislation. right now congress has a bill pending before it, which can say supreme court, we don't need you to protect our abortion rights. we can do so by majority rule and get rid of this kind of dangerous retroactive thing about the injunction because, you know, i think judge pittman, even if his decision stands for the next while while the supreme court is reviewing, it creates a
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chilling effect on abortions because of this retroactive liability provision. >> dahlia, i hope your connection's working now. i just wanted to give you a chance to finish your point there about the scope of this judge's view of this issue, the legal and the practical as it is being a lived experience in texas? >> yeah, just simply, lawrence, that he is so profoundly aware of the facts on the ground and that every footnote is about a fact on the ground that the court, the supreme court -- when it chose to dismiss this on the back of an envelope on september 1st. it is such a deep, deep recognition of what is really happening, the pain that has been caused and i simply think, that it is a way of saying to the court not just was this law constructed to evade judicial review as neal says, but it was also constructed to harm women
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and there's no other way to read it. it's a very, very, very compelling opinion. >> cecile richards, there's no rhetoric in this judge's order and opinion. this is a fact-based opinion. he is looking at the reality of what the legislature did. he's looking at the reality of abortion services as they are provided or as they are denied in texas? >> right, and i think that is so important and what dahlia said is absolutely right because you can get caught up in the legalese of this, but the fact is that millions and millions of people in texas lost a right overnight, and it is affecting them, their families, and to what neal said, ultimately just whatever -- regardless of whatever success we have in litigation, this is a political fight. this bill was not passed and enacted because the people of texas rose up and wanted to make
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abortion illegal. this is because greg abbott, a republican governor and republican legislature put their political agenda ahead of the health and well-being of women in the state of texas. ultimately we have to pass federal legislation, and i would note that the women's health protection act, which did pass the house, was supported would essentially enshrine the ability of people to make their own decisions about pregnancy and not a single republican member of congress voted for it. this is a political battle. the republican party is clearly on the side of taking away the most fundamental right that women in this country have, and we have to make that clear to voters everywhere. >> cecile richards, dahlia lit wick, neal katyal. thank you for joining us on this breaking news. you weren't scheduled to do this when your evening began, but thank you so much for joining us this hour. really appreciate it.
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>> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you, thank you. coming up, we're going to have more on reaction to this decision by a federal judge in texas to block the new texas abortion law. also, mitch mcconnell blinked today in the standoff with chuck schumer over the debt ceiling. that's coming up. ♪ ♪ ♪ hey google. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ray loves vacations. but his diabetes never seemed to take one. everything felt like a 'no.' everything. but then ray went from no to know.
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and you can get unlimited data for just $30 per line per month when you get four lines or mix and match data options. available now for comcast business internet customers with no line-activation fees or term contract required. see if you can save by switching today. comcast business. powering possibilities. as we continue our breaking news coverage of this federal judge intervening in the new texas abortion law in texas, the state of texas has now filed an appeal to the judge's order. the judge's order, judge robert pittman has ordered an injunction that prevents that new texas abortion law from being enforced in the state of texas. in his 113-page opinion and order released tonight, judge
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robert pittman says from the moment s.b. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the constitution. that other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide. this court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right. leading off our discussion tonight in this segment is democratic senator chris van hollen of maryland, he's a member of the senate appropriations committee and the senate budget committee. senator, i want to get your reaction to this ruling by judge pittman, judge pittman is a president obama appointee to the federal court, a district judge in texas saying this law in texas denies women an established constitutional right. >> lawrence, good to be with you.
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this texas law is blatantly unconstitutional. it clearly violating roe v. wade, and that's what judge pittman found, and he laid it all out there in the over 100-page opinion, i think a very airtight argument. i do agree with some of the comments on the previous panel, which is the best way to deal with this once and for all and prevent state legislators in texas from trying to strip away women's right to choose is to pass a federal law. the house has done that. the senate should follow suit. >> and of course, senator, in the senate such a law would come up against the 60-vote threshold, which has the senate tied up in knots once again as it kind of always does. this time over the debt ceiling, and it seems that mitch mcconnell blinked today in his standoff with you democrats where he had been saying that they -- republicans were going
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to absolutely block any attempt by the democrats to expand the debt ceiling to cover the debts that were incurred during the trump presidency. what is your assessment of where that situation stands tonight? >> well, the good news, lawrence, is, as you say, he blinked for now, and that's really important because what we want to focus on during this month is passing the build back better agenda, right? we want to pass those important provisions to provide, you know, families with kids with those tax cuts, that we want to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. we want to deal with the climate change and put people to work generating clean energy, and that's really hard to do when you have a debt crisis hanging over you. so we bought a little time into early december. but if mcconnell really wanted to do the right thing for the country, he would have let us do this on a, you know, two-year basis, not put the economy on sort of month to month warning
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of another debt crisis. in december, as you know, we'll also confront another government shutdown from mitch mcconnell. so again, it is definitely good news in the short-term, but in my view, the better way, lawrence, to your earlier point would be just to rip the band-aid off, get the 51 votes to waive the filibuster, which is the rule that he's using to obstruct this and where he's holding the country hostage, that would be best both for this and for other things. >> yeah, the -- mcconnell made that move today of basically saying let's just extend this for a few months. after president biden had a session with treasury secretary and some prominent wall street types, including the head of citibank who were all saying basically what mcconnell is doing, without saying his name, is disastrous for the economy
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predicting worldwide recession if mcconnell was to continue to hold to his position, and so mcconnell at some point, it seems to me decided that the line that you were all using, which is just have the republicans get out of the way, get out of the way, let the democrats do the job, it seems mcconnell believed that that line that you were all using against them was really working. >> i think that's right because we were making the point that, you know, republicans really should help the democrats raise the debt ceiling to pay for the bills that republicans themselves voted for, you know, things like expanding high speed internet, but for goodness sakes, if you're not going to do the right thing to protect the economy, at least get out of the way so democrats can protect american families. and i think you're right,
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lawrence, that that ultimately carried the day along with a concerted effort to make mcconnell understand that we are pushing all of our colleagues to waive the filibuster for this purpose. so we will revisit this entire conversation in december, but as you say, we bought some time, and let's focus on delivering the build back better ageneral. >> senator chris van hollen, thank you very much for joining really appreciate it. joining our discussion now norm ormstein, and zerlina maxwell host of the program zerlina that airs on peacock. this 113 page order by the judge tonight really covers every single thing about the texas law that we have been hearing about it since it was first passed. >> yes, lawrence, and i think that's a very important thing because i think as we go along
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in this process, every single piece of this needs to be documented, and so i love that dahlia was citing the foot notes because i think the lived experiences of women in states like texas but not only texas, those states that have these restrictions on abortion access, you need to understand what that lived experience is like to understand the impact of this policy. and essentially, if you think about the totality of texas, i was talking to fred guttenberg earlier today on my show about the shooting that happened in arlington, texas, at a high school, and if you think about the texas legislature, they're passing extremist laws on abortion, on guns, and on voting on many of the issues on which a majority are on the opposite side of the fence. and so i think that we need to pay attention to what the folks are doing in texas, and we will see what the fifth circuit does with this decision, but it's
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important for the historical record. >> norm ornstein one of the things that strikes me as i speed read through the 113 pages is that the judge is repeatedly showing that this law as written by the texas legislature was really kind of a game for them. they were playing a game about how to create chaos in this area that is a constitutional right, and this kind of theme to republican approach to government in that where mitch mcconnell is constantly playing games in the united states senate with elementary things like the credit rating of the united states, the full faith and credit of the united states, everything is an opportunity for playing games by these people. >> and let's face it. the judgment that mcconnell made, we can reject immediately the idea that he did this because it was the right thing
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for the country. i believe the fundamental reason he did it, he knew we were going to head right to the 11th hour and that democrats were then likely to do an exception on the filibuster rule that would put it on a slippery slope for many more things to come, and he wanted to head that off. frankly, lawrence, i'm hoping that the democrats in the senate will use this as an opportunity not just to do another debt ceiling punt in december or come to another confrontation, but actually do what they said they don't want to do, which is to use reconciliation and take care of this debt ceiling charade that's been used as a hostage, as a blackmail opportunity by mitch mcconnell over and over again over the last decade plus once and for all. there are ways to do that that will pass parliamentary muster. we can't ignore the reality that making good public policy for the good of the country is now
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something that is only in the purview of one party and the other is a cult that's just looking for ways to assume power or to advance completely radical ends by whatever means they can use. >> thank you both very much for joining our discussion tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you. coming up, three states, pennsylvania, wisconsin, michigan have governors races next year. if a republican wins in all of those states or any of those states, that could be the beginning of the plot to reverse the outcome of the next presidential election. that's next. al election. that's next. liberty mutual.e they customize my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. how about a throwback? ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ bipolar depression. it made me feel like i was trapped in a fog.
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the stakes are damn high, this is about our democracy. it's frightening. those are the words of the democratic governor of
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wisconsin, tony evers who is running for re-election next year, the democratic governor of michigan, gretchen whitmer is also running for re-election next year, and in pennsylvania, democratic governor is term limited. if those states elect republican governors next year, those republican governors might be able to reverse the outcome of the presidential election in their states and give the presidency to the republican candidates. the "new york times" reports today republican candidates for governor in the three states have proposed additional cutbacks to voting access and measures that would give gop officials more power over how elections are run. it is no longer a stretch to imagine governors loyal to the former president taking previously unthinkable steps to alter future results. joining us now, michigan lieutenant governor gerlin gilchrist, and wisconsin lieutenant governor mendola
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barnes. what is the situation that would be most dangerous with republican governors of these states? >> well, what's dangerous is what republicans in michigan are trying to do to voting rights. we have seen them introduce 39 voter suppression bills in the michigan state senate and dozens more in the michigan house that are seeking to roll back those voting rights. when you couple that, the ballot initiative drive that seeks to undermine the will of the voters of the state of michigan from 2018 to make voting more accessible, what we're seeing is republicans want fewer people to vote in michigan and want it to be more difficult for people to vote in the state of michigan. if it happens it's in drekts response to that record voter turnout we saw in the 2020 election, the most secure election we've had, republicans didn't like the result, so they want to make it harder to vote
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as a result of that. >> lieutenant governor barnes, one scenario is with full republican control of state government, legislature and the governor that they could basically give the governor the power to reject the electors who were the electors for the winning candidate in that state, and then send to congress, send to the electoral college a different set of electors who would vote in a different way. >> well, of course we should expect in the -- they've been shameless in their approach. they lost the election, and they tried to steal the election. they have the sham audits that are taking place. we have an investigator that the legislature is using taxpayer money to hire, mind you a partisan investigator that is simply there to promote big lie, continue this dangerous conspiracy theory that has already seen people put in
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harm's way, and in addition to people being put in harm's way, it's also counter to democracy. i mean, you know, this thing is very fragile right now, and if republicans get control, they will stop at nothing to maintain power. we saw what happened when they don't get -- we see what happens when they don't get the election result that they want, and we can't -- we can't go into another election. it's more than just 2022. it's about 2024. it's about the next president, it's about the election after that because they haven't kept up with the mainstream. they have lost touch with the american people, and if maybe they just decide to listen to folks across the state of wisconsin, across the state of michigan, across pennsylvania, and respond to the needs when it comes to health care, getting this economy back on track, and responding to the pandemic, then maybe they wouldn't have to steal an election. they could win one if they actually tried to. >> and of course these schemes are all possible because of the absurdity of the electoral college, this ridiculous artifact of the founders that no
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other country -- no other democracy in the world has decided is a good idea. i want to go back to the "new york times" reporting on this and consider this. governors are required to submit to congress a certificate of ascertainment of presidential electors, but what if a governor refused. another scenario could give a governor outsize power over an election. a state could send competing slates of electors to congress, and the house might accept one slate and the senate the other. then the electoral count act of 1887 appears to give the state's governor the tie breaking vote. lieutenant governor gilchrist, these scenarios become -- that no one dreamed of before the era of donald trump are now just a constant nightmare. >> these republican dreams are a nightmare for democracy in
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michigan and democracy in america, and we have to do everything we can to fight against them. look, i presided over our electoral college session in 2020 to certify the results of the 2020 election that was secure, that had record voter turnout, and we want as democrats more people to vote and participate in the political process. that is good for democracy, good for michigan, good for decision-making and good for policy. that is what we want. we are not afraid of people participating in the political process. democrats are coming up with ways to expand voting, not scheming to suppress it, and that's all we are seeing. that's the only idea that republicans have is to make it harder for people to vote so that fewer people participate so that they can sneak in these kinds of reforms in a way that can, you know, let their imaginations run wild with ways to take rights away from people. it's un-american, it's undemocratic, and it's unacceptable. >> lieutenant governor barnes, i think we used to think that turnout was the cure for everything, that if you could get massive voter turnout on your side, then any
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irregularities that you might bump into would disappear, but these people seem determined to be willing to ignore whatever the vote count is, no matter what kind of winning margin you might deliver, these people and certainly donald trump would be happy to use illegal means to reverse that outcome. >> not only just use means but assume or pretend that illegal means were used to get this heightened turnout in the first place. what happened was they had a very unpopular president, one who was not fit to serve in office in the first place, and the american people responded. and as governor gilchrist mentioned, we want people to show up. we want people to have that access to the ballot. they have tried here in wisconsin, fortunately we have the governor with the veto -- that's why it's so important, critically important to reelect governor tony ebers, we shouldn't have to go out of our way to over prove ourselves to
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ensure that democracy works. if we win an election, we win an election, that's the way it goes. of course we want as many people to come out as possible. we feel as though folks are going to show out in historic numbers in this midterm as well. it's one of the reasons i decided to run. this election was too important to sit out. we have a senator in ron johnson, one who has shown very little regard for democracy. one who has shown very little regard for the process, and continues to try to make things harder, to make things worse and pretend as if this election was not safe and secure. so the only response to these attempted attacks on democracy is more democracy. that means more people showing up, more people with access to the ballot. that's what we're committed to, and it's not just giving democrats the right to vote, it's about making sure that everybody, every eligible voter has ease of access to the ballot. >> michigan lieutenant governor garwin gilchrist, and wisconsin lieutenant governor mandela barnes, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence.
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coming up, the special house committee investigating the january 6th attack on the capitol is already hearing from witnesses from the trump administration who don't have to be subpoenaed because they actually want to tell the truth about what they witnessed. our next guest, fiona hill, has already told the truth about what she witnessed in the trump white house in her testimony in the first impeachment investigation of donald trump. fiona hill joins us next. us net where you can pay a little less and enjoy the ride a little more. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ now, get new lower auto rates with allstate. because better protection costs a whole lot less. you're in good hands with allstate. click or call for a lower auto rate today. how did panera come up with the idea
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fasenra is not a rescue medication or for other eosinophilic conditions. fasenra may cause allergic reactions. get help right away if you have swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue, or trouble breathing. don't stop your asthma treatments unless your doctor tells you to. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection or your asthma worsens. headache and sore throat may occur. this is the sound of fasenra. ask your doctor about fasenra. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. the special house committee investigating the january 6th attack on the capitol is already hearing from valuable witnesses who do not have to be subpoenaed because they are cooperating. they actually want to tell the truth. "politico" reports that one of them is richard donohue who was the second in command at the justice department in trump's final days. richard donohue was on phone calls with the acting attorney
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general and the president and richard donohue was taking notes when donald trump said things to the attorney general like, just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me. richard donohue and the acting attorney general jeffrey rosen were active resisters against donald trump's attempts to overturn the presidential election. donald trump had no way to get around that resistance within his own administration and in the office of the secretary of state of georgia, for example, because donald trump does not really know how to do anything. he knows nothing about government or how to make things happen in government. we have a new perspective on donald trump's ineptitude in fiona hill's new book, fiona hill left the town of bishop auckland in england in 1989 to pursue her studies which led to degrees from harvard and eventually serving as a national
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intelligence officer with expertise on russia in the administrations of george w. bush and president barack obama. she continued her service in that position during the trump presidency and eventually found herself testifying about and against the president in the first impeachment of donald trump. in her new book entitled "there is nothing for you here," fiona hill writes, at first i found president trump's fragility perplexing, given his highly privileged upbringing, he seemed to have had unbridled access to opportunity. i often questioned why he was perpetually aggrieved when everything had so obviously been handed to him since birth. and i wondered how he would cope if someone dropped him alone on a random street in a faraway town like bishop auckland or on the keen family farm in south dakota to fend for himself. i concluded not well at all. trump needed to have everything
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done for him. at times he seemed helpless when little things went wrong. and luckily, he was helpless when big things went wrong like losing his re-election campaign. joining us now is fiona hill, former national security council official, fionna hill, a senior fellow at brookings institution, new book "there is nothing for you here." thank you very much for joining us tonight. i was fascinated by your perspective on this helpless figure of donald trump in the white house. not knowing how to get anything done, not being able to do anything himself. >> yeah, thanks for having me, lawrence. i suppose it's a little bit perplexing for readers and viewers to think about this as well. trump projects himself as strong man, very capable person. he's said many things in praise
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of himself. but when it came to governance, he had no experience at all in how to run something with the complexity of the united states. and what he tried to do instead of learning about it, perhaps deferring to others or asking for advice, was try to run the country like he ran his personal family business. >> you write, for me, watching trump's disorganized but deadly serious attempt at a coup unfold over 2020, clearest most unmistakable parallels were with russia. when did it start to look like russia to you? >> well, actually from pretty early on in my tenure at national security council. and i just want to say, listening intently to the previous segment with the lieutenant governors, discussion they were having with you, it was more reminiscent of the
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kinds of conversations we've had about russia. united states has started to converge in a terrifying manner with the russia of the present. and this whole path towards autocracy, strong man ruler who wants to stay in power, lies and conspiracy spread around to put the population in position of having no choice who governs them. crossroads in the united states, everything we have taken for granted is up for question. again this is something that i think is astounding from external observers, not just myself who came to the united states in 1989 and made lives for ourselves here and never expected this turn of events. >> you also write, trump seemed to look up to putin because of his wealth and admired how he
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ran russia like his private company. putin, simultaneously autocrat and reputedly super rich were elite of their own. this is the group trump wanted to see himself in, internationally very rich, very powerful and very famous. >> lost some audio there. >> can you hear me, fiona? apparently she can't hear me. hopefully we can get her back. her insights into donald trump in this book as a person are not being heavily emphasized in public discussions of the book. it's much more the policy aspects of what she was dealing with. but i think it's utterly fascinating and adds more to understanding of donald trump the person. and i'm wondering, that
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description about the way he saw putin and wanted to see himself in that elite with putin, how much does that explain his public affection for putin? >> it explains a lot. look, vladimir putin was a trailblazer, first populist strong man leader of a major country in the 21st century. people thought of him as a throwback to the 19th century but he was ahead of the curve. people like trump and other political leaders around europe and the world-like to putin to set the tone. first early slogan was i'm going it make russia great again, fix everything. he's short-circuited democracy. has similar base of voters
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similar to president trump. millions of people fed up with the political system or feel they have socioeconomic grievance, feel cut out of a country changing around them. similarities striking unfortunately. but president putin tries to unify his country. doesn't play in the divisive manner of president trump. >> title of the book is quite moving once you understand what it's about. "there's nothing for you here," sounds like -- >> lost audio again, i'm sorry. >> we lost the audio again. there's nothing for you here is not something donald trump said to her in the oval office, it's what her father said to her growing up in small town in england, would have to get out to build a life for herself.
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and she did that. her new book "there's nothing for you here," thanks to fiona hill for joining us tonight. we'll be right back. l be right . stressed? no stress. exercise. but no days off! easy, no? no. no. no. no. but with freestyle libre 14 day, you can take the mystery out of your diabetes. now you know. sir, do you know what you want to order? yes. freestyle libre 14 day. try it for free.
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50 years or older? get vaccinated for shingles today. in business, setbacks change everything. so get comcast business internet and add securityedge. it helps keep your network safe by scanning for threats every 10 minutes. and unlike some cybersecurity options, this helps protect every connected device. yours, your employees' and even your customers'. so you can stay ahead. get started with a great offer and ask how you can add comcast business securityedge. plus for a limited time, ask how to get
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a $500 prepaid card when you upgrade. call today. attorney general merrick garland has just issued a written statement about the ruling in texas saying today's ruling enjoying the texas law is victory for women in texas and rule of law. it is the foremost responsibility of the department of justice to defend the constitution. we will continue to protect constitutional rights against all who would seek to undermine them. attorney general merrick garland gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. good evening once again, day 260 of the biden administration, as you've been following, breaking news tonight out of texas, federal judge has