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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 17, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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t her phone again? yep. lou! mom said she could save up to $400 on her wireless bill by switching to xfinity internet and mobile. with nationwide 5g at no extra cost. and lou! on the most reliable network, lou! smart kid, bill. oh oh so true. and now, the moon christmas special. gotta go! take the savings challenge at or visit an xfinity store to learn how our switch squad makes switching fast and easy this holiday season. stkpwhr that's where we are and that's what the democratic party has to understand its task as, and the republic is in crisis and in danger and we must stand behind and we are going to have to risk and be courageous enough as we try and imagine a new way of being together. w way
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of being together. all right, that is going to do it for us tonight on this fine friday evening. i'll see you again on monday, but now it's time for the "last word" which tonight is hosted by the great and glorious jonathan capehart filling in for lawrence tonight. good to see you, jonathan. >> good to see you, too, rachel. you were talking about robert scott palmer, who got the longest sentence of the insaw sir insurrectionists so far. we're going to be talking about him but also the role you played for him in prison. i think you know about that. >> yeah, i do know about it. whenever your name turns up in a courtroom, it's unsettling even when it's nothing bad. in this case it was weird. >> yeah. >> we actually got the transcript from the sentencing hearing, and i looked at it and i'm preferring not to think about it. >> okay, you don't have to think about it. i'll talk about it. if i don't see you again, happy
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holidays to you and susan. >> you, too. thank you so much, jonathan. take care. >> thank you, rachel. a violent attempt to stop the peaceful transfer or transition of power. that's a judge described insurrection at the capitol on january 6th while sentencing a member of the trump mob. the longest sentence so far for any defendant in the capitol investigation. on january 6th palmer hurled a fire extinguisher, a plank and a long pole at police officers. palmer requested a sentence of just 24 months reasoning that was fair because the architects of january 6th haven't been punished. judge tonia dismissed that argument telling the court, quote, it's true that the people who exhorted you and encouraged you and rallied you to go take action and to fight have not been charged. you engaged with combat with
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those law enforcement officers. that's what you're being punished for. you have a point. maybe the people who planned january 6th haven't been charged, but that's not a reason for you to get a lower sentence. two things can be true. robert scott palmer shouldn't get off easily just because trump hasn't been punished, but he also has a point. trump should be punished. at least 700 defendants have been charged so far for their role in the insurrection. more than 130 of those defendants have been charged with assaulting police. three members of the trump mob have received their sentences, including palmer. but trump himself hasn't been punished for inciting the insurrection and neither have members of his administration. yet. that's where the january 6th select committee comes in. the committee has interviewed at
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least 300 witnesses and subpoenaed more than 40 people in connection with the capitol attack trying to get to the bottom of who knew what and when they knew it. and we've seen what happens when trump lackeys don't comply with the committee's requests. we're looking at you, steve bannon and mark meadows, and your criminal contempt referrals. because you can't punish the puppet and not the puppet masters. even mitch mcconnell seems to finally get that point. >> the investigation is occurring over in the house, reading about it like everyone else, and it'll be interesting to see what facts they find. it was a horrendous event, and i think that what they're seeking to find out is something the public needs to know. >> joining us now is ryan riley, senior justice reporter for huff post. ryan, thanks for being here. it seems like the federal judges overseeing these cases are really clear and unanimous about
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what happened on january 6th. they do not see it as a tourist event as one republican member described it, do they? >> they don't at all. that's something that's been very clear to me in court is regardless of whether or not people who were higher up who actually planned this day get charged, you're still responsible for your conduct. i think that what is sort of, you know, important to keep emphasizing about this is just like how queer it is these people were trump supporters and every time one of these people were charged -- it was a pretty easy case to get through and clear through the legal process because it was so clear. when i look at these facebook pages afterwards what i see is all of these indications of how -- of why they did it and why they supported trump, and it looks exactly how you would
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imagine their facebook pages and their social media pages would look. it's years and years going back posting all these pro-trump memes, posting how the election was stolen. because they actually believe the election was stolen, they were the foot soldiers, and they're going to be punished and ultimately might end up being held more accountable than the people who were really sort of the master minds behind this. >> you know, the rioters sentenced today as i was talking to rachel earlier told the judge he saw his case featured on the rachel maddow show in jail. he said, quote, ma'am, i was horrified, absolutely devastated to see myself on there. i mean, do most of the attackers express remorse? and do they sound sincere when they say they're horrified in retrospect? >> i think it's a real mix. for the people who assaulted officers and are really facing consequences, significant time behind bars i think we have seen
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whether it be legitimate or not expressions of remorse. but with robert scott palmer i think it's difficult to say because he also immediately after he pled guilty posted or had a friend posting online to a fund-raising website that completely mischaracterized the events of the day. i do think that, you know, some of the defendants like another defendant, a young woman who was in college who entered the capitol and was carrying around a member-only sign and was sentenced to a month behind bars today, i mean her life has been pretty torn apart by this event. she was a senior about to gradwrite, and she went back, her parents are mad at her. she broke down. i mean that was legitimate remorse. it seemed compelling. she talked about how her life was torn apart. there are those similar to her charged with minor offenses that i think they're victims still. they really don't seem to be legitimately sorry for their
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actions. >> ryan reilly, thank you. >> thanks so much. >> joining us now are barbara mcquade, former u.s. attorney in michigan and a law professor at the university of michigan law school. and joyce vance, former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama and a professor at the university of alabama school of law. they are both msnbc legal contributors. barbara, i hear these judges, and it's hard to understand how nobody who assembled the attackers on january 6th has been charged with a crime. >> yes, jonathan. i think that is something that is disturbing to everybody. and i would add the word after your sentence, "yet." i don't know this is the end of the road to investigate something of the magnitude of what we're seeing from the january 6th committee with plots and e-mails and power points and other things like that would take many, many months to investigate.
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so the fact we have not seen people charged yet does not mean they won't be charged ever. i understand the frustration we haven't seen charges yet, nor have we seen any inkling of charges. but that's the way it's supposed to be done, behind closed doors. i remain hopeful those at the higher levels will be held ultimately accountable. >> joyce, "the new york times" reports there are a small circle of republicans who pressure the justice department in attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. they include jim jordan, andy biggs, paul gosar, louie gohmert, mo brooks and scott perry. what kind of legal exposure could they have if any? >> so the legal exposure is all involved in the investigation. we could look at the sort of tip of the iceberg effect. but what doj has to do if doj is in fact engaging in criminal investigation, is they need to
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learn more. they need to learn the entirety of the conduct to determine whether it's criminal or not and to determine if it's criminal where it falls within the parameters of crime, something that barb and i have spent a lot of time talking about is whether or not there's the possibility of prosecution of some group of individuals for a conspiracy to disrupt the functioning of government. that would be akin to the kind of conspiracy that robert mueller charged against russian trolls and internet folks in the course of the mueller investigation. that same sort of disruption of government function would be sort of the nexus of the investigation here. of course, there's no telling how far it could go. >> you know, barbara, in a "the washington post" op-ed, three retired generals are saying the military must prepare now for a 2024 insurrection. and here's what they write.
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with the country still as divided as ever we must take steps to prepare for the worst. the military and lawmakers have been gifted hindsight to prevent another insurrection from happening in 2024. but they will succeed only if they tike decisive action now. what actions need to be taken to prevent a second insurrection in 2024? >> yeah, i think their warning is well-placed. i think there are a number of things we need to do. and one is just be ready for it, make sure we've got responders ready at the capitol if something like this should happen again. but i think even more than that proactive there are a couple of things that need to be done. one is making sure the right to vote is being protected. we are seeing attempts at the right to vote including suppression laws and other things. and also disinformation campaigns to cause voters to believe voting by mail, for example, means voting by fraud.
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so doing some things to make sure accurate information is getting out. and that can be done with our secretaries of state around the country. and finally, there's this statute called the electoral college act which talks about the certification and allows states to have their legislatures substitute the electors chosen by the people by the legislatures if an election, quote, fails. but there's not a clear definition of what that means. and that was the part of the law that i think people in like john eastman and others were trying to exploit to get mike pence to not certify the election results. so all of those steps i think are places we can look to fix to try to prepare america for the inevitable attack that's going to come in 2024. >> you know, joyce, we have the puppet-puppet master play there in my intro here, and we're seeing lots of puppets like rob robert scott palmer getting charged and getting sentenced. but the puppet masters i.e. donald trump and others
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particularly trump have yet to be charged with anything. is it a mistake not to charge him, and is it a mistake that a bunch of people want him to be charged given the way the law is? >> well, i think the right way for us to consider it is to think in terms of investigation, because what we don't want to become is a country with mobs, you know, calling for people to be locked up before we know what the evidence against them is. the important step that needs to be taken here is investigation. and although i think we're all concerned, we all want to see the former president held accountable appropriately so, the january 6th committee is working at a speedy pace. they've got their heads down. they're talking to a lot of witnesses. they've made examples of those who won't cooperate. we don't know if there's any sort of criminal investigation going on at the justice department.
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that's a little bit frustrating given how much evidence is public that would seem to merit investigation. but certainly one possibility at the end of the congressional investigation is that the january 6th committee which can investigate but can't bring criminal charges could make a criminal referral to the justice department. and that sort of bipartisan criminal referral, could it in fact carry a lot of weight and could maybe give doj some of the cover that it appears to have been looking for in this post-trump era where the attorney general seems very concerned with the appearance of remaining apolitical. >> joyce vance, thanks for making heads and tails of the question i asked you. a perfect answer. barbara mcquade, thank you both for joining us tonight. coming up, how urgent is it to protect the vote from chicanery?
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early audiences give "sing 2" an a+. i counted nine smiles, two belly laughs and five chuckles. it's a heartwarming crowd-pleaser that will have feet tapping. even a deadly insurrection at the capitol hasn't stopped many republicans who are still trying to sow seeds of doubt about the integrity of elections in this country. and the state of wisconsin is now as "the washington post" puts it, the leading front line in the war over the legitimacy of the 2020 election. donald trump pushed wisconsin
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republicans to back a sham investigation into the 2020 election results. "the post" reports that investigation, quote, makes little pretense of neutrality and is being led by figures who have shown allegiance to trump or embraced false claim of fraud. these election lies are fueling hundreds of republican bills to suppress voting and subvert legitimate election results. president biden keeps pressuring senate democrats to pass voting rights protections. speaking today at south carolina state university's winter graduation the president called out these republican-led attacks on our democracy. >> this new sinister combination of voter suppression and election subversion is un-american. it's undemocratic, and sadly it is unprecedented since reconstruction. but this battle's not over. we must pass the freedom to vote
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act and the john lewis voting rights act. we must. we're going to keep up the fight until we get it done, and you're going to keep up the fight. and we need your help badly. >> joining us now is the lieutenant governor of wisconsin, man della barns. he is also running for the united states senate. lieutenant governor, thank you very much for coming to the "last word." what can we do to keep our elections safe while republicans are continuing their attacks on the ballot box? >> well, thanks so much for having me. and i'll tell you one thing we absolutely have to do is have action in the senate. we need to expand the majority to make sure there are people, representatives there who are committed to expanding our democracy to protecting the sacred right to vote. unfortunately, it feels it's not always top of mind for people.
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and in a state like wisconsin as the things you just mentioned, we see just how fragile democracy can be. because there are so many people who were just very intent on destroying and dismantling our sacred institutions, the things people have fought so hard for, the things people have died for. i don't have to repeat that to you all. we all know how serious this is, but we also see how serious this is when these lies are continued to be told especially by people like ron johnson so you end up with the january 6th event. and unfortunately the reality is it could be possible again in 2024. nobody wants to live in that type of world. >> let's listen to what congressman ruben guyago told lawrence two nights ago. >> instead of people being dressed up in uniform storming the capitol, now they're trying to win statehouse seats, state secretary seats though they could actually overturn the future election, right? so the coup is ongoing.
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the traitors are still there, and they're going to continue to try to destroy our constitution. >> so, lieutenant governor, to his point, why are so many people not taking this more seriously? >> well, i guess to the congressman's point it is slow moving. so it is not the thing you see happening every day. it's not on tv like the january 6th events. this is happening in state legislative races, and it's also happening in school board races and other local elections as well. so when things just aren't as present as they were, then it can be out of sight and out of mind. and that's why it's important for us to make sure that we do the organizing work to get people involved and engaged and understand what's actually happening. now, i know that there's a whole -- the whole debate how you can out-organize voter suppression, but we shouldn't
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have to. we have to make sure our people are well-informed. when i say our people i mean those folks who are committed to an american with a free, fair and safe system of elections and democracy. and the republican party people like ron johnson have done everything they possibly can to sow seeds of doubt at every level of government. they want to take over federal elections in wisconsin. they want the gerrymandered legislature in wisconsin and/or elections because they're not comfortable with the fact they lost elections. they have completely fell out of step with the american people. they have been unresponsive to the needs of the american people when it comes to a health care system that delivers for everyone, when it comes to an economy that delivers for everyone, when it comes to addressing the climate crisis, they have left the american people behind. and the only way they feel they can win elections because it's the truth is if they cheat and they try to steal another race. >> and so then in the 20 seconds
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that we have left, lieutenant governor, what's -- you ran for lieutenant governor in 2018. what's changed since then in terms of fears about how republicans are restricting the access to vote? >> well, there are lots of fears because we see how -- we see across this entire country how many voter suppression bills were introduced in state legislatures. and we also saw everything, again, come to a head on january 6th, chaos unimaginable. and that happened right in front of our very eyes. so there's very real fear about not just voter suppression but voter intimidation tactics. that's why the first thing i did was release a package of bills aimed at protecting our democracy, aimed at strengthening our democracy, making sure a vote will be realized for multiple voters in this country. >> lieutenant governor barnes of wisconsin, thanks have joining us tonight. >> thanks so much for having me. coming up, it is a race against the clock before control
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the supreme court hasn't yet ruled on mississippi's restrictive abortion law, but some states are already preparing for a future without roe. even if the court doesn't eliminate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, access to reproductive health services could be severely limited for many women. at least 21 states have laws to restrict legal abortion if roe is overturned. 14 states in the district of columbia for laws that protect legal abortion. and in some states lawmakers are realizing they don't have state laws protecting legal abortion if roe is overturned like virginia.
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tonight democrats in the state legislature are working to change that before republicans take control of the statehouse and republican governor elect glenn youngkin is sworn in the second week of january. one of those democrats is our next guest, virginia house of delegates member dan helmer. delegate helmer, thank you for coming to the "last word." what are virginia democrats doing to protect legal abortion in the commonwealth? >> jonathan, first of all, it's worth noting the incredible progress we've made in virginia these past two years. removing restrictions on the ability of virginia women to make their own health care decisions. but with time running out and with the supreme court being on the path to overturning roe, we have a last chance over the next few days to make sure we enshrine in our law the right of a woman to access abortion services to make sure that our incoming governor-elect, our incoming speaker designate are unable to restrict the ability of women to terminate their own
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pregnancy. and that's what's really at stake here. >> and as we've been saying you've got a republican governor taking office in less than a month and republicans taking over the house of delegates. can you get this done before then? >> it's my belief we can get it done. we need to get people there. we need to put something on the books, and we need to make sure that we can all look our granddaughters, our daughters in the eyes and say when roe was on the line we did our duty, we did every single thing we could to make sure that they had control of their own bodies. >> and delegate helmer, i know this issue is personal to you because you and your wife learned that another pregnancy could endanger her health. >> for me this is about the safety of my family. after our second son was born my wife apparently learned she had a heart condition. that means she could die if she became pregnant again. that's why i have fought so hard in the general assembly to make sure every single virginia woman including my wife has the ability to make her own reproductive health care decisions.
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and that's what's at stake, and we need to lean-in. and before january 12th when this new legislature comes in, before january 15th when this new governor is sworn in, we have the opportunity to become the 15th state in the country that codifies the ability of virginia women to make their own health care decisions. and we need to do it. >> january 12th and january 15th are the two dates to keep an eye on in the commonwealth of virginia. virginia delegate dan helmer, thank you very much. joining us now is a senior correspondent at new york magazine and coauthor of "notorious rbg the life and times of ruth bader ginsburg." great to see you. with the real possibility of the supreme court altering or overturning roe states like virginia as we've been discussing are scrambling to pass protections on abortion.
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what other protections are we seeing at the grass roots level? >> i think it's important to note despite the efforts of people like delegate helmer there isn't a political will among democrats in virginia to codify roe v. wade. as much as the supreme court seems poised to do something very drastic this is not a crisis that's emerged overnight. republicans have for decades been attacking reproductive freedom any possible way they can. and at least according to "the new york times" the leadership of the democrats in virginia would prefer to go on vacation rather than spend political capital on this issue. republicans work overtime to block people from accessing abortion. so the real question right now is when democrats can no longer count on the federal courts to make sure that there's legal production for reproductive freedom, will they then step up? and that's happened in some
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states. in new york where i live it took donald trump actually getting elected and andrew cuomo to stop it. in california there have been strides every single year and they've led the way. in states that are really, really hostile to abortion it's left to grass roots activists really to try to help people. at this very moment in texas with most abortions illegal, help people leave the state to the best of their ability on extremely limited resources. so beyond the political leadership it's really the grass roots that's left picking up the pieces here. >> there seems to be some good news earlier this week when the food and drug administration decided to permanently allow patients to receive abortion pills by mail. but are states already acting to overwrite this? >> this is exactly what i'm talking about. for more than a decade states have been restricting abortion with telemedicine.
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there's study after study showing access to these pills through the mail is a safe way to end your pregnancy. people do it all the time. there's no reason to have to go to a clinic for it. so it's huge, huge news that in states that haven't restricted this, this unnecessary burden will no longer exist. but if you live in a state already hostile to abortion odds are that years ago they restricted this ability to access this care through the mail, and so it's unfortunately not a lot of comfort for those individuals who are already going to have to travel out-of-state to even dream of accessing this. >> you know, you noted in your reporting on the -- on the mississippi case that oral arguments have misled people into making false predictions before. explain that for us. >> well, you know, a lot of
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times the justices might be testing things out. they might be trying to see where their colleagues are going. they might be just trying to get a reaction from people. they might be showing -- they might have made up their mind and might be showing the public look how fair-minded i am. sometimes after the argument there may be a conference where people haggle and on very rare occasions they change their mind. but i will say there's not a single person who listened to the oral argument in the dobbs and mississippi case who didn't come away convinced that the supreme court is about to radically overturn decades of precedent that have protected a person's right to make decisions about their own body. so the only question is how many votes will they get? how will the decision be written? it may be a decision that looks like it is moderate and still radically undercuts that right. >> giving us a road map to follow as we wait for this decision to come down. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you so much, jonathan. coming up, part of the biden roads and bridges infrastructure plan includes action to stop babies from getting brain damage in their own homes. this is really important. here's the vice president talking about it yesterday, and
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to close, twist until it clicks. tide pods child-guard packaging. would you put anything in your body if the potential effects included developmental delay, learning difficulties, irritability, loss of appetite, weight loss, sluggish and fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, hearing loss, seizures, eating things such as paint chips that aren't food is a condition known as pica. no, of course you wouldn't. but what if that thing is water? that's the risk millions of americans face every day if their water comes from lead pipes. this is what lead poisoning can do to a human body, to a human being. and the most severe effects can occur in children whose brains and bodies are still developing.
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we all remember seeing these images when the water crisis in flint, michigan, cast a national spotlight on the issue of lead in drinking water seven years ago. and while the flint water crisis is no longer making the headlines it once did, flint is still living with the fallout of lead exposure. the biden administration is tackling the problem of lead in the nation's drinking water by replacing all lead pipes nationwide over the next decade. >> here's the truth, and it's a hard truth. millions of people in our country many of them children are still exposed to lead every day. the action is to direct and coordinate the efforts of local, state and federal partners to a single goal, to significantly accelerate the removal of lead pipes and paint over the next ten years particularly in communities that have historically been left out and left behind.
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>> joining us now is sheldon neely, the mayor of flint, michigan. mayor neely, thank you very much for being here. can you give us an update on the situation in flint since the city began replacing its pipes, lead pipes in 2016? >> yeah, we're almost completed replacing our lead service lines. but the good news is this. more people are signing up to get all the lead lines replaced in our community. it was a very daunting task back six years ago when we first discovered lead was in the water and people were negatively impacted. we setout on a course to replace lead lines, and now we're on a course to complete in 2022. and as i said before the good news is that more people are signing up, and so funding this very, very critical so the high
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minded legislation and president biden's plan to be able to get the lead out throughout our country is very refreshing. and so people can use the city of flint -- to successfully remove lead from their community. >> you know, mayor neely, we in the media so often focus on the cost of legislation. but on this issue flint has experienced the high cost of doing nothing. help us understand that high cost. >> well, you know, when people are negatively impacted and in children's life in the course of their life and trajectory has been altered. and all those symptoms you talked about before, we cannot afford not to do this. we have to make an investment in our infrastructure, in our country to make sure we can educate our children appropriately and they won't be negatively impacted by this lead in our infrastructure. and so this investment is worth it. investing in our families, in our futures is worth it. and so we want to make sure that we provide the level of example
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how we can do this removing of lead from our communities and this environmental injustice that goes on in low and moderate income areas. so these funding streams are very important. >> actually, let's listen to more of vice president kamala harris yesterday on that very point. >> when some communities learn that there is lead in their homes or in their schools, if they have the resources or the influence, then action is taken. however, so often for poor communities, rural communities, communities of color, that does not happen. >> mayor neely, what more do you believe the federal government needs to do to tackle environmental justice, and can anything be done on a local level? >> yeah, absolutely. we have a good road map now, but definitely resources. and the federal government with the epa and our environmental protection agencies in our states and through our local
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community, we need to do more aggressive testing, making sure we don't have any -- we do understand now amount of lead is safe in drinking water. we have been testing in the city of flint and also offer a level of free testing for residents in our community to ensure a level of trust because, you know, trust was lost. we have a crisis in competence throughout america as it relates to our infrastructure. we see aging infrastructures and that's why this sparked into action this level of investment through america. i can only commend president biden and vice president harris for the actions their taking for the action they're taking so no families in america are impacted as it relates to lead in the water. >> how critical was the national spotlight to making the situation in flint better? >> well, it's very critical. it brought about alumination of something that's been going on for decades. and we talk about these things
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especially in low to moderate income areas where we have black and brown people where we see more regularly environmental injustice. we can talk about our air quality. it seems they push communities to the side where they don't have the level of influence as it relates to wealth. and so we need to make sure that we equal the playing field in america that says every family, every community, everyone is important. we're one nation under god indw visible with liberty and justice for all is our pledge and we have to live by it. what they're trying to do now in our federal government is live up to the pledge of america, making sure every american citizen is served correctly. and we're doing that right here in the city of flint, and we're going to be able to provide assistance and a level of education for any community around america. we understand here now more than ever that water is a human right, and so we believe that as an administrator.
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i believe that as mayor, and we'll continue to make sure we fight for flint and all american citizens for this country. >> flint michigan mayor sheldon neeley, thank you for joining us tonight. coming up, it's friday night. how you feeling? feeling good? well, sorry in advance. there is new reporting about these two characters that's going to make you mad. eugene daniels joins me next. supp 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.
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here's some fun news that will make your blood boil. "the daily beast" is reporting tonight that kanye west's independent presidential campaign might not have been so independent after all. federal disclosures show kanye's 2020 campaign, quote, appears to have disguised potentially millions of dollars in services it received from a secretive network of republican party operatives including advisers to the gop elite and a managing partner at one of the top conservative political firms in the country. the disclosures show the campaign also enlisted legal services from firms with links to trump and the republican party. as one ethics expert described it, kanye was clearly seen as a way to steal potential votes from biden.
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and that kind of typifies the difference between the two parties and thou they target black voters. for republicans it's helping to fund a strong man candidate designed to syphon votes from the opposing party. for democrats it's creating actual legislation to help black communities. it's talking policy. as president biden did today when he delivered the commencement address at a historically black university in south carolina. >> with the infrastructure law we just wrote and signed into law and jim did so much to pass, we're going to pass better jobs for millions of peoples to rebuild our roads, highways, bridges, small towns, rural communities. it means more opportunities for black businessmen, black contractors, black engineers building black communities back to where they have to be. and i mean it. so if you don't know the community it's hard to know what it needs. >> joining us now eugene
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daniels, white house reporter for politico and an msnbc political contributor. eugene, i've been waiting to talk to you all night about this. i want your reaction to this kanye report but also, come on, republicans, you think running kanye is going to get you black votes? why do republicans do this? >> look, you're trying to get me in trouble on a friday night. i think the thing as you're reading this over and over and this story is what you realize is that the misunderstanding of black voters by certain segments of the political world is still at an all-time high in a way that is kind of shocking, right? because something black voters have made very clear over and over and over again is that they take the right to vote very seriously that in 2020 they felt the stakes were very high. so there's no world in which a bunch of black voters were going to change their mind and flock to kanye west because they liked
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the dropout or the graduate or any of his albums, right? that wasn't something that was going to happen. he wasn't talking about policy, and they saw joe biden. they know joe biden as someone who's going to, you know, take -- put his hands on the will of the country and move them forward, right? that is what black voters thought in south carolina in the primary, and they thought that all the way through the general election. so putting kanye or any rapper up i think would not have worked. beyonce maybe but kanye -- >> right. i was going to say if you're going to go down that route, jay-z, beyonce. those are for -- okay, i don't want to get you in trouble. i don't want to get you fired. you're just engaged, about to get married, don't want to mess up the household. look, eugene, it's not about potentially stealing biden votes.
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the daily beast reports the kanye 2020 campaign committee didn't even report paying some of these republican advisers and used an odd abbreviation for another -- moves which campaign finance experts say appear designed to mask the association between gop operatives and them campaign and could constitute a violation of federal laws. eugene, it's clear republicans wanted to hide their connections to kanye. but, come on, i remember during the campaign and i'm sure you did, too, we all knew. we all been done knew this was going on, right? >> right. i mean the reporting in this story makes it pretty clear it's possible even kanye didn't know this was happening, there were republicans within the campaign. and what's really, really interesting i think trying to unspool this and figure out what happened here sounds like it's
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going to be impossible not -- harder if not impossible because as it's described in the story that the bookkeeping was a disaster. and so whether or not people will ever actually be able to find who was who, what was what and if kanye knew anything, i don't think that's ever going to be seen. but one thing i think is really interesting if kanye sees this, if he sees the daily beast story, i am interested to see what he has to say about -- about all this because he's obviously one who doesn't keep quiet online when he wants to talk about himself. >> well, we're not talking about him anymore. in the 90 seconds we have left, let's talk about the president's visit to south carolina, congressman house majority whip jim clyburn's commencement, gave the diploma to whip clyburn. the significance of the president going to south carolina and going to whip
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clyburn's alma mater. >> yeah. i mean, there is no joe biden is president if not for clyburn, for south carolina and for black voters. i think joe biden knows that. he's said that. his advisers have said to me over and over you have to dance with the ones that brung you, and black people brung him to the white house. and i think that is something this white house and joe biden takes seriously. in looking at the way how much he respects clyburn and knows that he wouldn't be president if clyburn didn't endorse him before south carolina. and i think this administration has worked to continue that relationship and to try to figure out ways to continue to cultivate the relationship with the black voters because they know that this is the base of the democratic party no matter who's the loudest on twitter. older black voters are the ones you need if you want to be president, and that's exactly what happened for joe biden. >> that was the key thing you said right there.
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it's not the loudest people on twitter who are important, it's the older black voters who are the ones who are important when it comes time to vote. eugene daniels, thank you for joining us tonight. i hope i didn't get into too much trouble. that is tonight's "last word." i'm jonathan capehart. you can catch me every sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern right here on msnbc. but you know what's next? "the 11th hour," and that start? "the 11th hour." and that starts right now. good evening once again. day 332 of the biden administration. and tonight the white house is facing down that troubling winter surge of new covid cases in many parts of the country. the director of the cdc today said the u.s. is now averaging about 120,000 new cases a day. 40% higher than just a month ago. the highly contagious omicron variant is expected to become the dominant strain in the coming weeks, and from coast to coast nervous americans lined up in cars, on city streets, all just waiting to get tested. but white house covid response