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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 18, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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fixes to obama care subsidies. >> for a good amount of time and they would not die in the next republican congress. jordan weisman, thanks so much for your time today. >> that is "all in" for the week. the "rachel maddow show" starts now. >> it was may 2019 when michael cohen was ordered to report to prison. mr. cohen of course worked for years for donald trump at his real estate business. when mr. trump turn to politics, mr. cohen became this popular person to mr. trump. helping trump cover up illegal
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contributions that were hush money payments after mr. cohen pled guilty to helping trump with that, among other things, in may 201 he was sent to prison. after serving about a year in prison, though, mr. cohen got out and he was transitioned effectively to home confinement. the reason he got out was because of covid. it wasn't special treatment to him. it doesn't appear to have been. this happened to a lot of prisoners at the time. but a seriously crazy things happened to him right after that, something that appears to be very specifically designed for him. just a few weeks after he was sent home because of covid, the bureau of prisons revoked his home confinement and decided even though he'd only been home for a couple weeks, they were going to send him right back to prison. sure he'd been relest because of covid like other prisoners and
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they told him they were going to fit him with an ankle monitor and let him serve out his sentence at home. and they shackled him and brought him back to prison because they said he had broken the rule when you're out on home confinement. it turns out what he had done is written a book critical of then president donald trump and started talking publicly on social media about the forthcoming publication of that book. the problem as i laid it out is that's not actually against the rules for people who are out on home confinement. it appears, did, and this is contested, it appears under the trump administration, prison officials drafted a special rule just for michael co ken that
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said he couldn't write a book or talk to anybody in the news media or post anything on, a special rule just for him. as i say, this is contested but i'm also pretty confident in saying this is what appears to have happened. it not just me who is asserting it or michael cohen who is asserting it. a federal judge said that's what happened. after the shackled again and sent him back to prison for the grif crime of writing a book, last july a federal judge ruled that cohen had to be released again and ruled explus italy that the trump administration had locked him um, revoked his home confinement in retaliation for him writing this book was then critical of president trump. the judge said in his ruling "the purpose of transmerring cohen from release on furlough back to custody was retaliatory in response to cohen desiring to
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exercise his first amendment rights to publish a book critical of the president and discuss the book ons so media. a federal judge proclaims this to have been an unconstitutional act, an illegal act of retaliation against him and orders his free. it's one thing like cohen's former boss, donald trump, to threaten michael cohen, shake his faced at him, criticize him, to make them personally retaliate against him -- you lay down with dog, you get up with fleas -- but it's a much bigger proper lem for all of us if any president so motivated can employ the federal bureau of prisons and department of justice to carry out that retaliation with all the power and compulsory force of the united states government. trum of loved to say "locker up" about hillary clinton and
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threatened if he became president, she'd find herself in jail. he never did that but he did lock up michael cohen and a federal judge ruled that the reason michael cohen was locked up was because of retaliation against him for criticizing trump. they actually put him in prison for doing that. that's what a federal judge said what happened when he orred freed. now he has filed a new lawsuit against trump and importantly against william bar barr, who was head of the justice department at the time this happened and has also filed a suit against all the federal prison officials involved in this. it might seem like a new chapter in, i know. take the penalties out of this. a president being a bad guy is one thing and then being able to
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use the bureau of prisons and the justice department to pluck enemies out of their homes, shackle them and throw them in jail without legitimate cause, that is a blaring red siren, not just what it means to have a bad person in power but what it means to have a government bent to that person's will and to have a government that is insufficiently independent and governed by ethics and law, that an unscrupulous leader can plout the u.s. in that way for their own purposes. that's a big blaring right siren hp and i'd always felt about that case that because it michael cohen and because there's so much drama around michael cohen, i felt like that case never taken all that seriously. this new lawsuit is a sfl case brought by mr. cohen. we will see what happens with this case. i found myself wondering whether the national republican party might also pick up donald
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trump's legal fees for that case. right? i mean, trump's the named defendant here. we just found out that the national republican party is paying trump's legal fees. in the alleged bank fraud and securities charges against trump, they have nothing do with trump's time as president or. his status as a republican. they're all about his time in private businesses, his time as a private citizen but nonetheless the republican party is picking up the tab and paying his legal feeing in his those new york cases still have an activity grand jury hearing from witnesses, in case there was any doubt about that. an editor at forbes magazine was the late toast come forward to say he was called to sit before the trump jury yesterday in
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manhattan. but this decision by the national republican party to pay trump's personal legal bills comes at an ot moment itself. the logic is they want trul to be happy. they pay for things he would otherwise have to pay for himself as a private citizens because he's so important in the republican party that they can't run the risk of alienating him? why they spent paying donors trump's such a big deal to the republican party, they have to pet all of their even just this week there's been a whole bunch of evidence that underdhauts theory of the case, a bunch of evidence that he's not exactly super potent anymore when it
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comes to republican politics, or even to his much-vaunted ability to separate his devoted followers from their wallets. mr. trump, for example, has arranged to do a four-city speaking tour, along with a man who used to be on the fox news. >> they're a nice pair, these two. you might remember hearing about this planned speaking tour. the tour was announced far in advance, far enough in advance that it was way back in july when ran an article reporting that the ticket sales for this events were ethese guys responded by threatening to sue plit cole for the article. uncon clamted come keys all the
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events would be old out shows and wouldn't pli. >> well, it's december now and these events have started. the first one was in tsunami flad last week. quote, many seats remained empty in we were upgraded to the lower bowl. the next night was in orlando, florida. here's the orlando sent nals but when doors opened at noon on sunday, people who bought tickets to an upper bowl seat, we're told they had been the closure in sut florida the day before. at that orlando event, the
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second event in florida, that arena can hold up to 17,000 people for an event staged like that one apparently he was only automobile to seat more than 1,500 seats. the next two events on are maybe he'll do better there. we'll see. there coming back from the dead and they will reinstall trump as president or maybe as world king. there have been reports this week that all of the people are going to go to trump event this weekend. . so maybe that will fill out the cloud. that said, there have also been
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nrp i don't know if that's all going to happen before they plan to go out in public. i don't know how that affects you. that puts a crimp in the plan. >>. >> i say this only because i think there's a disconnect. snoo sorry, that last point just -- i was going to say let it wash over you but don't. i'm sorry. excuse me. i say this, i bring this up because i do think there is a disconnect between how this guy is now operating in the real world now and the kind of deference and bowing and scraping he's getting from the national republican party. i mean, he's not selling seats to his supposedly fervent faithful. he's also striking out in endorsements.
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the national kournbut what the national journal reported on this this week is all true. here's the headline -- too big to fail? >> he's already 0 for 2 in congressional endoesments this year with several other favored candidates struggling to make expeck taugss. the of a trump's endoesed senate candidate in alabama. look in that candidate lost two. >> there is this belt way common wisdom about this if about him
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not really losing the election and the election being tolden, right? they have to repeat that, endorse that krady initial if which even if that were true, would that be the wirs this evening in not just in general elections with you in republican prime requires where he's supposed to be the end all, bill a where hoose also been trying to throw himself it's karpd. if pore from his loil. in. heres the headline today "gop blows off trump's bid to oust
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mcconnell. a come pain led by former president donald trump to deif and it has failed to you were any more at this timable it he has ramped up his calls for mitch mcconnell to be ousted from his loadership procession in week ent will be frng this isn't coming only from me. this is commonwealthing from everyone in the republican party? well, it is coming from front fch fwchl mr. carlson
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during a segment last week announced his show would begin regularly high lating problem with mr. mir condition if even, even money the republican party in are sport. it also not been a dominant thoom are frfrm and so far only received one or two question at events. about thereto nm it's, it's irrelevant. impotent. chill nfrm his demand to throw
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people out we mitt can a who. in -- which does rauz questions about why that private citizens, a billionaire, after all, it having his personal legal bid bit for for the national public highway, particular will they less gills are going to go and ou if when all the or theyence are kwarding. >> toit, on january 6th, a fire extinguisher, he threw it at that you will.
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y threw a metal tom who nm witness essay he man received the longs specific. i don't want to read you this from the court transin freedom plantly would who with forkball if he said he wasn't anybody who actually organized the attack and the harshest punishment should be held for them. the judge in his case today said this from the bench and handed down her sentence of more than five years in federal prison. , coat, he went to the capitol because den spice lks
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results and he didn't want the transs to power to take place before his guy lost. >> it is true, plmt palmer, the this the that exordered you and kj those people have to the been charged. that is not this court a potion. i don't want anybody. i don't negotiate plea offers, i don't mack charging deing ises who is the issue is not before me. i haven't my opinions but they're not rool no one encouraging had been. the fact is what this who
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perhaps thought the election was stolen in some way. they stayed home. you stayed home in your froo well and go your ef the! when you saw what was going on, engunged in frn frfrm. nfrm and myself palmer did no nm. in. in and the questions that were raised then about what that judge was talking about in the courtroom today, the question of potential legal liability for the people at the top, the people who exhorted the capitol
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rioters to go fight that day, as the judge put it in the courtroom today. i mean, look, this was from two days after the attack in the "washington post." legal advisers to president trump and his allies expressed increasing concern friday about possible criminal liability in the wake of wednesday's melee, according to a person familiar with the conversations trump has been told by attorneys he could face legal jeopardy for inciting a mob. fwen, that was two days after the attack. this was cnn in february after the attack. quote, former president donald trump has privately voiced concern in the last two weeks about whether he could face charges as a result of the january 6th riot he is accused of insighting. >> trump has man quote, he's worried about it said one adviser close to crumb. worried he was going to be criminally charged as a result
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of the riot. and of course talking about the immediate aftermath of the attack, this was within of the u.s. senate for his role in the attack. >> impaechl impeachment was neverment to the final forum for american justice. impeachment, conviction and removal are a specific intra governmental safety valve. it is not the criminal justice system where individual accountability is the paramount goal. president trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office. as an ordinary citizen, unless the statute of limitations has
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run, still liability for everything he did while he was in office. didn't get away with anything yet. yet. we have a criminal justice system in this country. we have civil litigation. and former presidents are not immunity from being accountability by either one. >> didn't get away with anything yet. yet. we have a criminal justice in system in this country. that was michl mcconnell's argument for voting not to convict trump in a second the well, now that the january 6th criminal prosecutions are regularly producing courtroom discussions between defrts and judges as to whether or not the people who also caused the attack are now going to be charged, now that the
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investigation has turned from, hey, where did that riot come from to, oh, that was one part of a serious concerted weeks, if not months long to n wart the transitioner power. as the they made that transmission and starred talking about criminal liability, as people involved, yet another one today are taking the fifth, invoking their fifth amendment rights to avoid are we in a fact where something other than just plit kpal accountability is back on the table and for real. we've been speaking a lot about that question since they raised the prospect of eliminate trump. we have turned to chuck rosenberg and i realize we have been talking enough about that
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this week that it's time to share his legal take and expertise with you guys. the prospects here are more interesting than you might think. joining us is our friend chuck rosenberg, chuck, it's really nice toy seen you and into. >> first, can you just tell me if i'm getting any of this the wrong way around or if there's any part of this that i'm framing in a way that's outsized or inappropriate at all? >> no, not at all. i think what you're saying reflects what the judge said and what many of us have been thinking. you know, if you walk past the blanc and the plate glass window was open, you would assume that a robbery occurred and you'd investigate it in fact, i, the sudden appropriation of take
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youfr glass outside of a bank. you got to wonder if there was a could you attempt, was there an investigation by the department of justice of justice. >> there is no sign that there is an investigation of the coup attempt between people put themselves at least inside the u.s. capitol on january 6th. that said, the conditioningal now looking at january ofth as one incident in a larger certified plots. and liz cheney, the mischair, is talking in terms that echo federal statutes about for she
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specifically named jump in con yungs lining. is she stretching or is the kind of -- does it seem reasonable to you? >> let me give a little bit of context, rachel. congress doesn't have the authority to prosecute anyone for anything ever but that done mean they can't talk about what happened. what happened appears to be an attempted coup that authority to investigating a prosecute lies with the the executive branch, in this case the department of justice. so what liz cheney is talking about is is actly right. the question is has someone picked up the mandl? has one picked up the becan? it sure looked like, smelled like, sounded like an
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appearance. >> other pannings -- >> as the jung articulated and sentencing mr. palmer for -- don't put the indictment hart. the question really is right now is there an investigation. if not, why not. normal will if whenever witnesses are called to the grand jury, for instance. i'm not saying that win should be charged with an attempted coup. ynl saying you this. when it comes to the actual criminal statutes in question here, obstructing an official
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proceeding or impeding the lawful functions of the u.s. government. are those kind of things actually ever been charged? are they otherwise charged as a normal of matter business within the justice or would those rk -- what those folks did was awful, assaulting camps, damaging property. those are criminal things and they ought to be prosecuted for it. let me if i have you an example i know you all know. so about i think it was summer of 2018, which now seems like seven lifetimes ago when the mueller team indicted the internet research agency, the russian troll farm for impeding the lawful functions of the united states government. if you look at that june 18 indictment, count one, the roo
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the federal election commission, the department of justice and the department of state, that's not that exotic. i've charged that statute myself as a federal prosecutor for impeding and impairing theist for for instance. it not be. chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney, former senior fbi official and justice department official. chuck, your charity is unpeachable forgive the phrase. and it's always good to have you here. that can. >> much more to come here tonight. stay with us. to come here tonight. stay with us to help block out food particles.
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to vote with them. so we've been talking about this subject for a really, really long time, the prospect of senate democrats changing the rules to pass defensive voting rights, as republicans are tearing down voting rights in states all over the country. we've been reporting on this and talking about this so long that sometimes it feels like we're watching grass grow. but the gross has grown. we have catched as slowly one after another like maggie has went voting rights is an pore imimportant pair thit tu it even west virginia, conservative democrat joe manchin who has been against changing the filibuster rules, he's been taking meetings with president biden and other moderate democrat uk senators, appearing to not be totally dead set
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against it anymore. who knows, it's joe manchin. but something happened today that hat never happened in this process. >> she presented the plan of how to do it, how the voting rights could be breached. and tim cane yesterday reported an actual practical plan, the plan to get this done. it would involve resurrecting some volume of the talking filibuster. if a minority of senators wanted to block a vote, they would have to actually hold the floor and refuse to stop speaking a little more in a long time. at the end of a very time and
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that happened yesterday, the actual plan put forward by tim kang. todayna bc news reports that senate democrats held a special caucus meeting to talk about moving ahead with this plan. for that meeting, this is interesting, the brought in not one but two fwies named martys. and has to and one of the martys is a guy who worked at senate republicans and the other marty is someone who worked for sonny democrats. again, nobody knows more about senate rules than they two former service just whether had world change is going to be done
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and how does they're going to to it. we have been watching grass grow on this all year long. the grass is, one of the experts is going to join us here liveneck, right out of their discussions tonight with i. i. or fun. snoelt singing -- or speaking many. >> progress isn't either -- progress is everything.
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it all started with a job in the congressional post office in 1975. this is such a great story. martin was getting miss -- his masters and he needed a side job and ended up taking job in the white house post office. why not. when that ended he saw a sign that say "parking attendants
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needed," $5 an hour and he became a vehicular placement specialist in the united states senate parking office. those two jobs, post office office at the house and parking attendant at the senate were stepping tones to an unparalleled career working inside the u.s. senate that spanned three decades. he held for years a really, really job that nobody outside the senate has heard of. he was democratic senate secretary, which basically means he was the floor manager of the senate for the democratic side, he became both the go-to guy for new senators who were learning the basics of house of representatives the chamber works, how do you get votes and
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he also became an adviser to the democratic leadership. as one said, he'd be deciding what comes to the floor, what gets off the floor and what gets amended or not. he was so good at what he did, he was scooped up to serve as the senate liaison. they knew they needed somebody seasoned to help navigate their priorities through congress and everybody agreed in a marty paone knew the senate rules better than anyone on earth. so it makes sense that marty paone would be the guy who senate democrats called on today for advice and perspective as they decide a way forward on who isably -- possibly changing the senate rules in order to get voting rights passed. joining us is marty paone. he's now senior adviser for the prime policy group. mr. paone, it's a real pleasure to have you here. thank you for making time to be
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here tonight. >> thank you for having me, rachel. >> i know there are things about your discussions with senate democrats you are not going to tell me but i was hoping you might be able to describe what you were asked to come do today. what about your expertise did they want to tap? >> they've been working on this for quite a long time and trying to get some movement on the voting rights bill, and they've come close, as you noted, unveiled a package of possible changes. they're getting close and they asked me to come in and talk to members about what the place was like and how it changed over the years. and whereas it used to be a much more wide open senate where members could walk in and offer amendments of their bills and
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would get majority votes. there was no coaching necessarily. now you need a coach on everything, pretty much, unless it's a reconciliation bill. it's a much more closed environment. and so he was asking me just to come in and talk with the members about changes that have happened over the years and how these potential changes that they'd like to do might impact the current senate. >> given that evolution that you are describing and the way the actual sort of pattern and practice of the senate has changed over time so that there's this 60-vote threshold, the sort of unspoken 60-vote threshold for almost everything now, do you think that it is -- that democratic senators are on the right track procedurally? not as a matter of political opinion but procedurally do you
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think they're on the right track to think it may be possible to change the rules in a sort of one-off way, to make a change around this voting rights question that won't necessarily have a cascading effect or the kind of slippery slope effect that senator manchin has said he's so opposed to in term of fundamentally altering the way the senate operates? >> well, whatever change they makes are the opponents will say that you have made such a change, you know, irreversible altering of the senate, and they don't necessarily have to make it to apply just to voting rights. they could do a generic change that voting rights would be the first to benefit from. these are questions they're still dealing with and we'll see how it comes out. >> in terms of the sorts of objections that some senators have raised, some moderate senators in particular have raised saying that they don't want the senate to become like the house, that the filibuster
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rule in the senate, like it or hate it, it has an effect of promoting bipartisanship and comity and sort of conciliation between the parties, compromise between the parties. is it your belief that that's true? is it the practical effect of those rules as they have changed over the years as you were describing a moment ago? >> it may have been -- it probably was true in another era. like if you look at the '64 civil rights act, that bill was on the floor for many weeks, and it was opposed by i think 18 democrats and one republican. it was supported by doug dirksen, republican leader and some of his colleagues how problems with how broad the bill
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was. so it was on the floor after 60 days. after 54 days, humphrey and dirksen work out a compromise that met some of their fears and their concerns and offered it down as a substitute amendment amend they were to be able get cloture shortly thereafter by more than 70 votes. but now the bipartisanship and the parties have changed. you had liberal democrat, conservative democrats, liberal and conservative republicans in those days. now it's republicans versus democrats. it's just the two teams and you don't -- there's very little bipartisanship that you used to see. the place has changed partially because of country and the type of partisanship. it's also changed physically in the sense of in those days that i referred to, the senators
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lived in d.c. i remember when president ford died, you know, they brought his casket around and down i think it was into alexandria. they used to live here with their families and they weren't criticized for it. now many of them, house many of their families to washington. you know, it's like it's taboo for them. and it's really unfortunate because when they all lived here they got to know each other. you know, their kids went to the same school. you know, they were members of the same pta. they even car pooled sometimes. but those days, you know, have completely changed, and they now walk around with instant news on their phones and it is a different era, which means that we may need different rules to deal with it. >> marty, former senate democratic floor adviser for the obama administration, now senior
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adviser for the prime policy group. thanks for your service to our government working in the senate all of this time and helping us understand it better. you're an invaluable source of institutional knowledge here. really nobody else knows it like you do. thanks for talking with us this evening. >> thank you. that's very flattering of you. >> all right. we'll be right back. stay with us. ♪ you know how i feel ♪ (coughing) ♪ breeze driftin' on by ♪ ♪ you know how i feel ♪ copd may have gotten you here, but you decide what's next. start a new day with trelegy. ♪ ...feelin' good ♪ no once-daily copd medicine has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler, trelegy helps people breathe easier and improves lung function. it also helps prevent future flare-ups. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. do not take trelegy more than prescribed.
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a great tasting and easy way to start your day. music: ♪ “i got you babe” by etta james ♪ get groceries, gifts, & more fast and easy so last minute guests are the only thing you'll be waiting on ♪ ♪ joy. fully. something to keep an eye on as we head into the weekend. in phoenix this weekend, there is a big pro-trump political event held by a conservative group called turning point. sort of a par for the course pro trump thing with lots of hard right politicians and media people. donald trump jr. is supposed to go, i think. that itself may be worth keeping an eye on just because the group organizing this thing did brag about sending tons of busses full of people to d.c. for january 6th. so yeah. but the reason i say this might be particularly worth keeping an eye on this weekend is because
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sing 2 all right. that is going to do it for us this tonight on this fine friday evening. i'll see you monday. the politicization of this virus, now we are learning just how far the former president went to deliberately downplay the deadly pandemic. the house elect subcommittee out with a new stunning report that the trump white house repeatedly overruled public held effort and guidance by the nation experts and silenced officials in order
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to promote then prth president