tv Velshi MSNBC December 12, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST
there are -- they're starting from scratch here, but they can't even start rebuilding because they are still looking for survivors at that candle factory. the governor saying more than 70 people could have perished. our coverage continues here on msnbc, a new hour of "velshi" begins right now. good morning. it is sunday, december the 12th. i'm ali velshi in mayfield, kentucky. this is ground zero for the terror that we have seen on friday night and into saturday. this is a region that is hard hit by what the governor of kentucky has called the most devastating tornado strike in the state's history. let me just show you these before and after images, giving you a sense of the magnitude of the destruction. this rare set of twisters that arrived on friday night december, it's a little late for tornados, touching down in multiple states in a matter of four hours, reducing homes like
the ones around me to rubble. while leaving over 200,000 people without power across six states. governor andy bashir spoke about the loss of life in his latest press briefing. >> we will be north of at least 70 lives lost here in kentucky. i think we will have lost more than a hundred people, and i think it could rise significantly in those numbers. >> now, the majority of the deaths that he's talking about are right here in mayfield, kentucky. there is a candle factory. it's about eight minutes from where i am right now. it collapsed. they believe that there were 110 people inside the factory at the time. about 40 people were rescued on saturday. i just spoke a few moments ago to kyanna parsons-perez. she was one of the ones rescued. but if you do the math on that, you know that 70 people are not accounted for yet. that doesn't mean that 70 people are in there. but we do not know what the situation is. in nearby bowling green,
kentucky, there are 12 confirmed deaths from storm-related injuries. president biden has had multiple conversations with the governor beshear of kentucky yesterday. he approved an emergency declaration, which is going to bring in a lot more federal resources. >> whatever is needed i'm going to ask for it. if we don't already have the wherewithal to take care of it, i'm going to ask for it. this is the united states of america. our citizens are badly, badly hurt right now in terms of all the folks they can't figure out where they are. my daughter, my wife, my husband, my dad, it's devastating. >> take a look at our drone footage. this is above where we are right now just to give you a sense, the sun has risen. the damage feels worse than it did even yesterday when the sun rose. maybe yesterday there were still some sense of the adrenaline coming out of this whole thing.
but now you just see the sheer devastation and the rebuilding that is going to have to be done. we have reporters across the region covering this story with us. we've got kathy park, morgan chesky. he is at the amazon warehouse that was hit by a tornado in which lives were lost. kathy, you're in mayfield. for a small town, there's a lot to see here in terms of the damage. it's fascinating. >> reporter: hey, ali. that is absolutely right. the nightmare really stretches on to another day now that the sun is out, you get another look at the devastation. you have mountains of debris, powerlines scattered just about everywhere, homes completely obliterated. and then you see this, massive trees like the one you see behind me no match for the tornado that tore through. but just a few miles away from here is that candle factory that sustained perhaps some of the most damage.
more than a hundred people were inside the factory at the time when the tornado hit. we heard 40 people were rescued, but dozens are still unaccounted for. we spoke to a man by the name of darrel johnson, and he is just praying for a miracle. he's hoping that his younger sister is still alive. we were told that she started her night shift. she got in around 4:30 but hasn't heard from her since friday night. meanwhile, you have incredible stories of survival. we saw this one woman who was trapped inside the factory for two hours. but live streamed pleas for help. fortunately she was able to get out. we spoke with another couple last night. they were injured in the dark. they were still able to crawl through feet of debris. and they were able to get out after finding help. meanwhile, ali, i can tell you, we were on the ground right by the candle factory all day
yesterday. we saw emergency responders, i would say dozens if not hundreds of emergency responders on the ground, they're from neighboring jurisdictions. they say they will be here until they are no longer needed. we saw k-9s out there as well helping with the ongoing search efforts. but beyond the candle factory, ali, this community is dealing with so much devastation. but being out here for more than 24 hours now, but i'm really struck by the fact that this community is so resilient. they're still holding onto hope. they're praying for miracles. a lot of the rescue crews that we spoke with say they believe they can potentially find some more survivors. ali? >> i have heard that, kathy. no one has told me that they're not doing that. by the way, there were a series of helicopters that just flew by me. they might be national guard, could be the governor's team flying over the region. again, with the daylight getting
some sense of what's going on. that's here in kentucky. obviously this was a series of several states that were hit by this tornado including northeast, including southern illinois. what we're talking about is a region that is just outside of st. louis, about 25 miles northeast of st. louis, and the other side of the mississippi river, there was an amazon factory there that was hit by a much smaller tornado than hit here where we are in mayfield. but it was a dangerous one, in fact, it was a deadly one. morgan chesky is there now. morgan, what's the update from where you are now? >> reporter: ali, good morning. we do know officials are saying they are going to continue to search for any signs of life in the rubble of that warehouse behind me. it was extensive damage despite that being a smaller tornado than the one that hit mayfield. but it left behind an incredible amount of debris here. we know that that death was increased to six late yesterday. there is no word from officials on if they anticipate that number to rise higher because
they don't have a firm head count of how many employees were inside that building at the time this twister struck. they did say that they were able to usher about 45 of those workers to safety, helping them through this debris, and that chaotic scene after the tornado struck. we also know that as of right now, they're doing their best to kind of painstakingly comb through what's left of this building. this was a warehouse about the size of a football field. when the tornado struck, ali, it caused a wall to cave in, a roof to fall down, and that's what proved deadly for those six individuals that we hope to learn more about throughout today. as it stands, amazon has issued a statement in response saying that their hearts go out to the families of the victims, to the employees and everyone impacted by this tragedy. this damage here behind me really took the brunt of this tornado's wrath here in the edwardsville area. there has been some light damage in and around this community. but when you see a building of
this scope and size and then the video of that tornado coming through lit by lightning, you realize that as quickly as it struck, it left behind an unmistakable trail of damage here that officials are still working their way through as we speak. ali? >> morgan, thank you. kathy, thank you to you. we'll of course be coming to you throughout the course of the day as this coverage of rescue and recovery effort continues. they are starting, as i said, that helicopter circling that looks to be doing a survey of the damage around downtown mayfield. mayfield's a town of about 10,000 people. now, i want to bring in the state senator westerfield who's about 70 miles east of here in crofton, kentucky. senator, thank you for joining us this morning. you have actually conducted a bit of a survey of the region. but you can also tell us a bit about the coordination that's going on. fema is coming in.
the governor has activated the national guard. talk to me about what you understand to be happening to get this place back to normal and to get those people who need to be rescued, rescued. >> i know the response from all levels was pretty swift. i communicated with the governor's office in the middle of the night friday night, early, early a.m. hours on saturday letting him know what other legislators are hearing from around the region. so, i appreciate the swift response from our governor and from our congressional members to get the president on board. and the president's swift response in sending aid, as you can see, the damage is breathtaking. we need all the help we can get. >> while we're talking now that the sun is out, i'm seeing vehicles moved in that are towing heavy machinery. they're starting to work.
there are ground clearers just around where we are. and, senator, you will have noticed in your area, because you're outside of the area hit by the hurricane. but there are staging areas for these electrical workers that are coming in. there's already an effort to start cleaning out the debris and get people back into their homes. i guess the electricity and the water are the biggest concerns right now. >> absolutely. really interesting, when i went over there to mayfield yesterday morning before the sun came up, and i took my drone as a commercial drone operator, and i was able to see just how incredible the damage was and how widespread it was. but even before i left town and headed back towards christian county, kentucky, utility trucks were coming in, in huge waves of convoys. >> there were utility trucks here in our annual city christmas parade in hopkinsville that pulled out of the parade and headed to mayfield. and you've got our rural
electric co-ops are sending crews from all over the states and from other states, they're showing up en masse. the response to that is one of the things that gives hope that there's a lot of people that come together. politics doesn't matter, region doesn't matter. >> yep. >> nothing matters but getting the people back to where they belong. >> there's very little today in which politics doesn't end up playing a part. but i have my observation of kentucky politics in the last 36 hour that's folks are just getting their stuff done. you're from this region. tornados are not unfamiliar to people in this region. in fact, in some cases serious tornados. and yet everybody i've talked to has said they've never seen anything like this one. >> yeah, this is the worst i've seen in my lifetime. and i've never seen this sort of damage in person as i saw yesterday. and it continues to confound and really stun me, to see people standing on what's left of their home. a little boy i saw as i was heading back out of town, he's on the outkirts of town and he's
standing there of what's left of his home and there's not much left. this is what looks to be the worst tornado damage in all of kentucky's history. we've had others that were very severe, west liberty kentucky. we've had some closer to my neck of the woods, christian county. but this seems to be the worst. >> senator, thank you for your time this morning. state senator whitney westerfield is in crofton, kentucky. we're going to hear some of what the -- >> i would encourage folks to donate online to the american red cross or to the site that our state government has set up team wkyrelief fund.ky.gov. find a way to help if you can. >> thank you very much. that website that the senator is talking about is the coordinated website for taking donations in. and as for the red cross we have seen them around here. we're going to be speaking to
somebody from the red cross about their activities right after this. so appreciate that, state senator. we're going to be hearing from people on the other side of this break who actually experience what did happened on friday night and into saturday morning. our live coverage of the tornado here in kentucky continues after this break. you're watching "velshi." i. know. ...demands a lotion this pure. new gold bond pure moisture lotion. 24-hour hydration. no parabens, dyes, or fragrances. gold bond. champion your skin. new vicks convenience pack. no parabens, dayquil severe for you... and daily vicks super c for me. vicks super c is a daily supplement with vitamin c and b vitamins to help energize and replenish. dayquil severe is a max strength daytime, coughing, power through your day, medicine. new from vicks. - san francisco can have criminal justice reform and public safety. but district attorney chesa boudin is failing on both. - the safety of san francisco is dependent upon chesa being recalled as soon as possible. - i didn't support
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earlier before i came on air, lindsey reiser had spoken to somebody, a family who had tried to ride out this tornado. you know, you're told when you live in a tornado area what you're supposed to do. you're trying to get into places where there's shelter and get into places where whatever you're in or whatever is helping you is not going to get ripped out by a tornado. which is kind of hard to damage because you see entire buildings gone. here's the story of what one said about how they got through it. >> we're all just cooped up in
the bathroom. i put my two boys in the bathtub and put pillows on top of them. we just sat down beside the bathtub and put pillows all on top of this. we had our 2-month-old baby in the car seat and we left her in the car seat thinking that would be a little more protection for her. we even had our dog in there with us. >> oh, my gosh. >> it was just crazy. it's the most traumatic thing i've ever been through. i felt like i was helpless in protecting my kids against it. i mean, it just picked us up and just threw us around and landed us on the other side of the neighbor's house, all just scattered out. whenever it finally subsided a little bit and i looked up, my 4-year-old little boy was just standing there screaming for daddy. i'm going to get teary-eyed.
and he had a big cut on his head and it was bleeding. so i just hurried up and got him, wrapped my shirt around his head, got him inside and got my wife inside, made sure she wasn't dying, and then went and found my oldest little boy because that's who i came across next. after i got him inside, went and found my mother-in-law, and when i found her, she was trapped. her legs were trapped underneath some debris. and then that's when i heard my 2-month-old crying. sorry. that's when i heard my 2-month-old crying. so, i asked my mother-in-law, i was, like, are you okay? and she was, like, i can't breathe very good, but i think i'm going to be okay. and i was, like, well, can i go get my baby? and she was, like, yeah, go get her. so i went and got her.
i found her. she wasn't underneath nothing. she was just kind of laying where i couldn't see the car seat, so i got the car seat picked up and ran her inside. >> we have an update now from the kentucky state police. they are confirming 12 more fatalities in brennan, kentucky. it's about a hundred miles to the east of here. the official death toll here is very low. but the governor has warned that it is probably in excess of 70. in fact, i think early this morning it was about 15 or 16. we are now adding another 12 to that. but the governor believes it's going to be in excess of 70, largely based on the number of people unaccounted for here in mayfield at that candle factory. and what the gentleman who had been speaking to lindsey said. but with a hurricane you always know where it's coming from. you know it's coming from a particular direction, and you know exactly where the -- how
the winds are going to circulate. so you can equip yourself to survive a tornado, if you're behind something that's on the other side of the wind. with a tornado, all you know is that the circumstances, the environmental circumstances exist for it to happen, and then you know if it has happened. it's like an apparition, it's like a ghost, it can literally show up and you don't knowly know where it's coming from or where it's going to go. and this is living proof of that. this is a colleague of mine, and he writes for msnbc. and unfortunately you and i only see each other when bad things are happening. but when i got here late last night, you had been here, you came here, you drove around and you do what you do. you talked to people. you met one woman who -- a nurse, i believe, sort of dedicated to saving people's lives, worked all the way through covid saving people's
lives, and what she told you is that she lost a family member in this. >> yeah, that's correct. so i was driving around yesterday trying to talk to different people here on the ground. and theresa willis, 29-year-old nurse who lives here. she said that the tornado was actually devastating and horrific. there's a lot of tornado warnings, but they don't always take it seriously. but she's a nurse. so what guilts her is the fact that her job, her way of life is to help others and to try to save others. but for once when it really came down to it, she felt really bad because she couldn't help her aunt who passed away in the aftermath of the tornado. she got a phone call 2:00 yesterday morning, getting news, they went over there and he found her unresponsive. and then she also spoke to the devastation of the tornado. she said, listen, deon, there's no furniture here, there's no clothes of hers that's here, the house is completely gone. the only thing that was left was to slap the foundation of the
house and then just two steps, that's all that remained from the house down. but she just felt really guilty because she said i'm always helping other people, but when it came down to it i couldn't even help my loved one. >> you come from the midwest. until people see this sort of damage, literally everything can be gone. sometimes you see a bathtub, sometimes you see a toilet or something that's concrete. these houses are completely, completely, completely destroyed. you can't fix these houses. it's got to be cleared out. >> yeah. see that's the problem with some of the devastation here. driving around yesterday, city hall, gone. the police station, gone. courthouse is gone. and it just speaks to the recovery effort that's got to be going on. i spoke to another guy yesterday. this tornado was actually sort of like his welcoming community. he moved here two weeks ago, a 45-year-old ago who moved here
two weeks ago from tennessee. and he knew when he went to sleep friday night that it was possible for a tornado to come, but he didn't really take it that seriously. but the foundation of his house started to shaking and he just started praying to god, spare my life for another day. when he spoke up the next day, he was happy that his life was spared, but the tree on the side of his house had been uprooted and toppled out to the roof of his neighbors. you can't go on one block in this city where there's not literally bent telephone poles and trees that have just been ripped out of the ground. one thing i can say is that i have been impressed with the way everybody has mobilized since the devastation that has happened. all the churches got together last night. they were renting out generators and passing out food. and a lot of neighbors are helping each other out, but today everything's starting to sink in. >> we're seeing trucks, we're
seeing water, we're seeing people move around. deon, thank you so much for your great reporting. you can see his stuff on msnbc.com. i know i'm going to be talking to representative stacey plastin in a moment. am i taking a commercial break first, or are we talking to representative plastin now? oh, we are going to take a commercial break. we're going to talk to stacey plastin when we come back. she was one of the impeachment managers in donald trump's impeachment. now we're finding out what's behind the detail that she actually knew. you're watching special coverage on msnbc. this is "velshi." this is "velsh. was just breathtaking. wow, look at all those! what'd you find? lorraine banks, look, county of macomb, michigan? oh my goodness... this whole journey has been such a huge gift for our family. is struggling to manage your type 2 diabetes this whole journey has been such a huge gift knocking you out of your zone? lowering your a1c with once-weekly ozempic® can help you get back in it. oh, oh, oh, ozempic®!
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going on a year ago, and it was donald trump and his cronies were plotting a coup. and we knew a lot about this back in january and february. but we're learning a lot more about it right now. i want to tell you a bit about what we are in fact learning. "the washington post" is reporting this morning that trump's former chief of staff mark meadows actually met at the white house with an election denier who circulated a powerpoint that laid out plans to challenge the 2020 election. that would be the coup, the actual plan. the house committee investigating january 6th reportedly already has this powerpoint in its possession, along with a lot of other information. the chairman of that committee says that he and his colleagues have already met with 300 witnesses, and they got more than 30,000 documents. joining me now is stacey plastin, she was an impeachment manager for the second impeachment. and if you watch that impeachment, what you know about
representative plaskin is that this was a confluence. you know probably better than anyone exactly what went down on that day. but what you didn't have the benefit of is who was behind it all and what degree of plotting was involved. what are you learning from everything that you're hearing about the january 6th commission right now? >> thank you so much for having me. first let me say how important it is that you're there in kentucky. i really appreciate having the news media come and bring attention during natural disasters. representing the virgin islands we know how important it is to get fema there. thank you for bringing this so
that america can see. what we knew at the time was not the details we have seen from the january 6th commission. we know that they've had discussions with almost 300 witnesses during the january 6th select committee. and i'm really grateful to see this. but one of the things i want to point out to you -- was the direct empowerment of the president during the planning -- the president himself -- and that was because he wanted to create chaos. he wanted to create a mechanism by which then we see now
potentially that he would call a state of emergency, that he would declare marshall law. having the national guard on standby so that he could in fact effectuate a coup of our government. and it's just chilling what we're finding out from the select commission. i know that they are continuing to subpoena people. and i would not be dissuaged. there is so much information coming out. i think we are going to get a clear picture by the time that we hear the actual -- >> i want to ask you as a lawyer, as a former doj person, you keep hearing these folks who are testifying, who come out and talk to the press, the sort of the most extreme of the conspiracy theorist says there was no intention for this to happen. but there was a gallows on the
capitol, there was an actual intent to stop the vote that certified the election. and there's even a powerpoint. there's no plausible deniability left that the organizers of this thing didn't really expect that this was going to get out of hand and cause the difficulty that it did. how do you connect the dots between people who say this was first amendment stuff, this was all what it was, if a few people got out of hand and decided to get in a fight with cops, it's not on the organizers? >> we know that that's not true based upon -- this was the modus operandi of many of these organizations that the president worked with. we saw him working with proud boys, with other organizations. seeing the kind of violence that they were capable of, and amassing those individuals to himself, organizing with them, and directing them straight at the capitol on that day. we also know that the president was watching the entire rally during that time.
we have testimony of the president having conversations with members of congress, his own party members asking him to come out and say something to bring the rallygoers away from the capitol. and what did the president do at the time? he told them that they should kill mike pence. that's what the president did, who was the person he believed was standing in the way of effectuating his coup. so to say that the president over many months, having seen what these organizers are capable of, through other rallies, through other acts of violence that they have been engaged in, to bring them to washington, d.c. on the date that the election was going to be certified, then to change the permit for the permit to have them not just stay but to actually go to the capitol itself, he knew exactly what was happening and so did the others. >> representative plaskett, thanks again for taking time. i do remind people, if they
forget what happened on january 6th, to take a look at the presentations you made as an impeachment manager because you have the most detailed explanation of what actually went down. thanks for joining us again this morning. tex new when i come back i'm going to be talking to the western head of the kentucky red cross about the latest efforts to try and save people and get things back to normal over here in kentucky. stay with us. you're watching "velshi." siness prosper during their most important time of year. kentucky. stay with us. you're watching "velshi." to nor. stay with us. you're watching "velshi." normal. stay with us. you're watching "velshi." to nor. stay with us. you're watching "velshi." with s you're watching "velshi. you can keep your phone. keep your number. and get your employees connected on the largest and fastest 5g network. plus, we give you $200 in facebook ads on us! so you can reach more customers, create more opportunities, and finish this year strong. visit your local t-mobile store today. [ echoing ] some of us were born for this.
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we're here in mayfield, kentucky. we just got breaking news from the governor of kentucky who does say that more than 80 people have lost their lives in kentucky. he still anticipates that that number could be higher. the candle factory about eight minutes from here, that scene has not been cleared. there are still rescues underway or at least attempted rescues underway. but the governor says that more than 80 people have died as a result. that's just in kentucky. this storm has hit six states, and we know that there were some deaths in illinois that were confirmed. we know of at least four confirmed in tennessee. so, the death toll for this storm continues to increase. i'm joined by misty thomas now, who is the head of the western kentucky chapter of the red cross. a few moments ago we were talking with the state senator from kentucky who said, please, if you have help to give, give it to the red cross, and i think
it's fortuitous that you're here for our viewers who want to know what does that look like right now. they've seen this devastation. they've never seen anything like this before. >> so we are working very closely with emergency management to assess the needs. but red cross right now, we have two greatest needs, monetary, you can give at redcross.org. it's going to take a lot to get this community back to where these people are back in a living situation. we help them do that. the other thing is blood. we are in a national blood shortage. we've not seen that since 2015. and there have been 160 blood -- our victims who have needed blood supplies. we've been working with our hospitals. go to redcross.org. you can put in your zip code, and it will show you the local blood drive. give blood today. that's the best thing that you can do for those victims. >> we've got viewers in san
diego and across the country. >> we are in that national appeal. but it is the thing that you can do today if you want to give blood or financially give. those are the things that red cross is asking for today. i have a lot of people asking what the needs are for the community. we're still in that assessment phase. >> and it's just hard in a place like this because logistics are impossible. the fire department has lost its building. they're actually looking for a place to park. it is hard when you have this around you. >> and they have a lot of great donations coming in. but those needs are still being assessed. and there will come a people where people want to give, but today what you can do is give blood or financially support the work of red cross that's happening here on the ground. >> what kind of assistance can people get from the red cross?
what role does the red cross play in this sort of effort to try and help? >> our mission is to alleviate human suffering. sheltering, we're supporting eight shelters across kentucky right now in the south central chapter in western kentucky. there's approximately around 200 people who have utilized those shelters thus far. and then we are going to also offer them -- they're being fed in those shelters. but we also offer emotional and spiritual care. we have volunteers that that's their professional wheelhouse and they volunteer for red cross because we understand that it is a wholeness approach that when you suffer something like this, it is more than just shelter and food you need. you need that emotional and spiritual care. we want to make sure that you have that as well. so that's the immediate need that we're meeting. and then we assess them, what is it you need? do you need your medicine, do you need your medical equipment? and we're trained to go and make sure that we get those things to them that they have to have
immediately. and then we walk this out with them until they get back to a place of restoration. >> well, thank you for doing everything you're doing because, boy, when you walk around this place, the needs are enormous. for those who want to help, you can go to redcross.org. it is what the state has been saying is one of the places that you should direct your donations. thank you very much. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back i'm going to speak to the secretary of state of colorado, the conversation about the danger to our democracy and elections does continue. we'll have more on that on "velshi" on the other side. firefighter maggie gronewald knows how to handle dry weather... ...and dry, cracked skin. new gold bond advanced healing ointment. restore healthy skin, with no sticky feeling. gold bond. champion your skin. as a professional bull-rider i'm used to taking chances. but when it comes to my insurance i don't. i use liberty mutual, they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wooo, yeaa, woooooo
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corner basically, and people continue to support the big lie. and they're running for office, various offices around the country. it underscores the point that congress has made very little progress in passing voting rights legislation this year. the house has, the senate hasn't. meanwhile, election workers and pollworkers have faced threats and harassment from conspiracy theorist. security protection is requested after receiving threats over her election security. secretary griswold, thanks for joining us. we spent a lot of time in the last couples talks about election security and particularly what goes on in colorado. but this last week as it relates to the january 6th committee investigation and the candidates who are running for office, including former senator david perdue who's running in georgia basically on the platform that
he would not have certified the election. he's actually running as a republican on that platform of stop the steal. this feels like it's getting worse, not better. >> that's exactly right, ali. thank you for having me on. and, at this point, over 500 republicans are running at the state level, and 200 at the federal level who are running on a platform of the big lie. the big lie is transforming into a big threat. election administrators across the nation have been threatened with one-third saying they've been afraid to do their job and one-sixth being threatened for just doing their job. and it's having massive effects, both on election administration. a lot of folks are considering stepping down. pennsylvania is already one-third of county election officials. and it's causing a lot of concern within the office, within these offices. so that's why i've requested additional resources to make sure my office continues to be safe and secure and that we have the resources to monitor
threats. >> but this is wild that we're having this discussion, particularly as it goes down to election, local election officials and pollworkers and people like that being threatened. these are traditionally people who may be democrats, they may be republicans, they may not have party afailation, but they are the most civic-minded people. they feel that it's their responsibility to ensure free and fair election in this country, which is something that has been done for a very long time. and we've yet invented this problem, and now we're threatening the very people who have kept these safe elections safe. in georgia, it was pretty clear. it's like colorado or like arizona where actual officials said the election was free and fair and free of fraud. and yet we have these people running on these platforms and perpetuating these lies. >> and not only do we have candidates running on this platform. we're seeing people far up on the republican party actually targeting these positions. my job as secretary of state is
to make sure that every eligible voter, republican, democrat, and independent alike, can have access to free and fair elections. and election deniers know the importance of these roles. that's why we see people like steve bannonencouraging election deniers into local positions, that's why we're seeing election deniers target positions within my office and the pennsylvania secretary of state's office. and that's why we're seeing candidates for secretary of state run in every swing state who are either at the insurrection or peddling the big lie. we need to make sure election administration remains free and fair and regardless of your party, the electioned aadministrator, that they uphold the will of the voter. that's what this country is all about. >> we have best practices in this country about secretaries of state. you are a practitioner of them.
we hold that the secretary of states are our last line of defense. you are the fire break when these things happen. what do we start to do -- what happens when we start to get people running for secretary of state, who do not share what you just expressed, who do not feel that it is about running fair and free elections, it is about this conspiracy theory of stop the steal? >> it is incredibly dangerous for the country. it is akin to electing an arsonist to oversee a fire department. we need secretaries of state who believe in democracy, who believe in fact, and that very notion is at risk right now. but i think it is really important to conceptualize this. this isn't just about running extremists for local election officials or secretaries of state this is part of a coordinated effort to tilt future elections in the favor of republicans, of their party and of these operatives. we have seen one of the largest isks to democracy in recent
times, 500 bills to suppress the vote. 120 bills to subvert the vote. fake audits, threats to election administrators and disinformation at an astounding rate. this is about undermining confidence, suppressing the vote and attacking the infrastructure to such an extent that the next time there is a january 6th, it will be much easier. >> it is a soft underbelly. donald trump was talking about this in 2020 and people said, well what are you worried about, him talking about the fact it is going to be a fraudulent election this is what we worry about, people have decided to believe it and take action on it. secretary griswold, we appreciate the work you've done for the state of colorado and keeping this country safe in terms of elections. it seems your biggest job is still ahead of you. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, i'll bring you new images of the destruction here in kentucky. w destruction here in kentucky
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thought that my son, let alone any six-year-old, would be gunned down in the streets of san francisco and not get any justice. - chesa's failure has resulted in increase in crime against asian americans. - the da's office is in complete turmoil at this point. - for chesa boudin to intervene in so many cases is both bad management and dangerous for the city of san francisco. - we are for criminal justice reform. chesa's not it. recall chesa boudin now. i can tell you from reports that i've received, i know we have lost more than 80 kentuckians. that number is going to exceed more than 100. this is the deadliest tornado event we have ever had. and i think it is going to be
the longest and deadliest tornado event in u.s. history. >> that's the governor, andy beshear, on with jonathan capehart shortly, an soon as we're off the air. this is an important distinction. that number has gone up. we don't have official numbers that have gone beyond 20 deaths in kentucky, the governor consistently said that number is going to be above 70. he said above 80 and continuing to go up. i want to give you one last look at where i am. we're in mayfield, kentucky. and it is destroyed. the downtown -- we're a block off of the main street here. and i want to give you a sense of just this is one example of thins we're seeing all over the place. this truck is not particularly damaged. but it was in a carport. you see there are posts around the carport. and the roof is over here. that's the roof off of this carport and if you look behind it, there is a house. a full structure, which has also lost its roof.
above that, a tree has come down to have destroyed this structure and this roof. you see the tree over there, which is split. there are no leaves on the tree now. we're in winter, so there wouldn't be. you can see the trees have entirely split and fallen. same thing with power poles. look at the trees over here. these vehicles that you're seeing, by the way in the background, they were not vehicles that were here. these are crews that have come to start working and cleaning up. that is actively going on now there are electrical crews, there are teams of people assembled, you can see perhaps just over the right there are a group of people who are here, they're helping to clean up, they're getting debris off the streets. the danger in getting around, there is so much debris that vehicles are getting flat tires just driving around. we're seeing emergency crews in the distance there. see trucks, supplies are moving in. major generators, there are electrical crews. as you just heart from the red cross, they're trying to get basic supplies and blood to people. the state of kentucky asked that you donate to a site that they
have set up that coordinates all of the donations. this wasn't just kentucky this was arkansas. this was tennessee. this was illinois. there were six states actually affected by this tornado. we have had deaths in other states, the death toll is likely to exceed 100. the danger today is that they are still trying to rescue people, particularly from this candle factory, about eight miles from here. but they're not done there yet. it is cold. it is warming up now with the sun. but the bottom line is this is still a dangerous and active situation. they are hoping there are going to be rescues through the course of the day and some parts where the tornado hit, like in illinois, they moved away from the rescue phase and into the recovery phase. that is not the case here in kentucky. so this continues to be the case, rescues will be under way all day today. i will be here all day today. and reporting to you on all of those developments as they become available.
jonathan capehart, my colleague, is going to be speaking to the governor of kentucky, andy beshear, moments from now, on "the sunday show with jonathan capehart." for now, until then that does it for me. i'm ali velshi. i'll talk to you soon. a desperate search for survivors after one of the deadliest outbreaks of tornadoes in u.s. history. we'll talk to the governor of kentucky, where officials fear the death toll could top 100. plus, the latest on the january 6th investigation amid reports mark meadows met with an election denier at the white house. and former attorney general eric holder joins me to talk about the race to protect voting rights before the critical midterm elections. i'm jonathan capehart. this is "the sunday show."
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