tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC April 12, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
thank you so much for letting us into hour homes during these extraordinary times. we're grateful. the beat starts right now. busy news day. hi, ari. >> a lot happening. thank you very much. welcome to the beat. we begin with this man hunt unfolding in new york city. it is one of the largest man hunts in new york history. it's been going ten hours since a man opened fire on that crowded new york city subway today, shooting ten. the commissioner says the suspect put on a gas mask, detonated a smoke device, then just opened fire. you can see the footage here taken by people on the scene. officials have not released any photos of this suspect but they describe him as a 5'5" black man. they call him heavy set.
he was seen wearing this green vest over a sweatshirt. the gun has been recovered. some of the disturbing footage here. law enforcement has located a u-haul fan possibly related. the shooting took place around 8:24 this morning. smoke filling a subway car. >> oh, my gosh. >> then the immediate aftermath, you see here a car hazy with smoke. people trying to cover their mouths. they're trying to flee, trying to make sense of what's happening. also, you can see on the videos, and this is disturbing, some blood from the victims shot. no fatalities, but many hurt. ten shot. another shows people racing trying to leave and smoke pouring out from the car. in the back of the video, you can see a man hobbling on one
leg and falling down as he tries to get the safety. the injured sat on the platform and inside the train car. 21 hospitalized. five in serious, but stable condition. witnesses describe an absolutely terrifying scene. >> people running at the doors that separate the train cars and you know, banging on them, screaming for help. like a horror movie. >> all this time i'm thinking it's fire crackers and it's not until i raise my head, there's a lot of blood on the floor. >> i saw maybe a 16-year-old kid sitting on the steps coming out the train station and he had a bullet in his knee. >> what were you thinking? >> well, i was speechless, as i am now. it's a very scary sight to see. >> there's also this photo recovered. the gun recovered at the scene. police released this. there's also a bag that contains
smoke canisters, fireworks and magazine clips. one source close to the open probe says they actually believe the gun jammed. ten hours later, the suspect is still at large in new york. i'm joined now for breaking coverage by jim cavanaugh. this is a story that's captivated new yorkers and people around the country have watched it. in its outlines at times, it was scary and reminiscent of something that could have been even worse. what do you make of what is known and the evidence that the authorities have recovered, jim? >> well, ari, you know, your lawyerly background, you understand these things. we have a lot of evidence in that bag. prints, dna, sweat. touch dna. ballistics. and the gun that can be traced. it could be traced right back to the owner. sometimes that happens. it could be a stolen gun. we also know the u-haul van was
reported. apparently nbc new york reported that was rented in philly, they believe. well, philly's another american city awash in guns. just this week, two days ago, nbc reported on an atf gun traffic case to philadelphia. 300 guns trafficked from atlanta to philadelphia. i read that indictment. there's at least five glock 9 millimeters in that indictment. at least five. so the van came from philly. you know. philly's aawash in guns. this crime right here could be anything and i would just say that maybe the target is the subway car, but maybe the target is not the subway car. and you know what i mean by that. this could have been a thing that was busted in route for many different reasons. the actor could have got a phone call. hey, the cops are on to us. we're being followed. you know, break off. he panics.
you know, as people have reported, the mask goes on. the smoke is deployed in some combination of time, we don't know the exact sequence, but right there, those things happen. he curses, dons a mask and throws the smoke then the shooting starts. so did the thing bust up and he was really going to a target in manhattan? was he going to commit a murder on somebody? a witness? a revenge killing? hate crime? terrorist act? i think everybody's assuming because the crime occurred there that that was target. i'm not saying it's not the target. i'm saying if you're commanding in thing, don't fall into that easy, easy idea that it is the target. >> to look at all the open possibilities and not just the site of the incident.
we've seen some horrific killings and crimes where the individual, the assailant, appeared ready or even intending to go down that day. by which i mean either shoot as long as they could and die or shoot as long as they could and perhaps be apprehended. how will authorities with your experience look at it that this is an individual who did whatever they did, clearly had the intent to live and flee and that's why they remain at large right now? >> you're getting right into the mind of a criminal and that's exactly right. look, if someone sits out on a crowded subway car with a 9 millimeter pistol to commit mass murder and they're an adult, most of the time you can be successful. you don't need smoke. you don't need anything. you stand up with the pistol and start shooting people in the head, the chest, walk down the subway car. you can commit mass murder without smoke and gas masks and this whole, you know,
contraption, this device he's got. you don't need all that. it makes me think was that the actual motive? was it actually mass murder? because you know, we got people, a lot of people, a lot, i've seen at least three victims shot in the lower extremeties. some of that may be the smoke where he can't aim well. he's shooting wildly in the car. maybe the whole thing's busted and he just wanted to get away. maybe he thinks there's a cop following him. maybe he's delusional. but if you want to commit mass murder, it's not that difficult and he didn't accomplish it. even the most untrained shooters, you've covered them. from dayton, ohio to charleston, south carolina. a guy with a pistol kills nine people right away. it doesn't take much if you're sitting there and it wouldn't take much in a subway car, so
i'm a little skeptical that this attack, the way it all went down. not saying it wasn't. it might have been the target. the commander's got to keep the open mind, that gun's been traced. they have agents on it. they probably already know if it was stolen or who bought it first and they know who rented the van. that's how we solved the '93 world trade center bombing by finding the axel, drive train from the van. tracking it to the rental van and going to get the names of the terrorists. it's a big lead. i think they know who the guy is. i think we'll have him before morning hits. >> a note of law enforcement optimism there and the nypd has been saying they're going to hold a briefing later tonight with the updates on that. on a day like this, we rely on you. you're busy, we may come back to you in the hour depending on what happens. i want to broaden out because that was the top news and we'll
give you the news straight up as it happens. i bet you watch the news so you might have heard about this before tuning in to our broadcast tonight. this is a big story out of new york. new york has been the site of multiple terror attacks and you see this kind of attack even thankfully no one can killed, and that comes to people's minds. i want to be clear. with no fatalities, what happened in new york, terrible and tragic, is just one part of a much larger story we bring you now because today's events highlight what is an ongoing gun violence epidemic in america. 131 mass shootings from already occurred this year. some because of their nature or location may not have been the open manhunt in the open season we saw today that caused so much consternation. it's defined as when four or more people are shot. the u.s. rates ahead of most comparable countries, other wealthy democracies in all types
of gun deaths. the individual and the mass shootings. consider countries like canada nearby and actually a country that does have access to some guns, but doesn't have this kind of problem. this week alone around the country, outside of new york city, i want to tell you so you understand, that we're at least 11 known shootings. >> two people are dead and ten more are injured after a shooting in downtown cedar rapids. >> six were shot there. one of them killed around 2:00 this morning in this apartment building. >> breaking news out of new jersey. a police have occurred -- >> two people were injured. >> that's just this week. i'm joined by emanuel oliver, the founder of change the ref. his son was a victim of the parkland shooting in 2018. i understand that days like this
have got to be very hard for anyone who's been through anything close to it. and yet that's part of what powers your activism so you've decided and agreed to come on, but again, still we're sorry for your loss and appreciate your joining us, sir. >> thank you. i wish i could say days like this one, but every day is like this one. just said it. i'm amazed how good we are during the aftermath. i was listening to your first guest and how good we are with the information after the shooting. and how bad we are as a nation to prevent these things from happening. that is my concern and this is just another day in america. >> yeah. i think everything you've said is basically inarguable. let's get into what reform or
improvement might look like. there was once a time people said don't talk about it the day of, at the funeral, a day later because we've moved on to other things. i think that political pressure has faded for some. we understand that with new york city, it did draw more attention to it, but as you understand, look at this just overall. 44,000 people dying from this gun violence. what do you think are the most practical ways to reduce, as you say, the before rather than what seems to be our habit of dealing with the after? >> well, there's no magic solution for this. it's been happening for decades. actually some of our politicians are part of the problem and some other organizations that work in the same way that i work are
part of the problem. like we're getting used to this. we assume that this is a normal thing. and we cannot understand that our society could maybe in other ways just like other nations do and they went through the same situations and they were able to just implement regulations. i was yesterday in the white house. yesterday meeting with president biden. we were talking about these announcements on ghost guns and other things that were putting together, but it seems not to be enough. i understand it's not enough, but the thing is that the gun they were talking about today, seems to not be a ghost gun. i think it's a regular gun. it was not an assault weapon. i've heard about some magazines in it, but at the end of the day, it's just a gun in the hands of someone that had easy access to it.
either by stealing it or buying it or purchasing it legally, which is the most of the cases. so what we do know, what we do know is that there's a shooter. a gun. and i'm sick of looking at this as something that is normal and as something that we can then understand and just move on with our lives. >> yeah. i appreciate what you're saying and i think a lot of people can identify with it. the idea that this becomes normalized. you've been working in your group, with the biden administration. they, this week, happened to have this new nominee for the atf after the last one couldn't make it through. that's a gun regulation agency that remains vacant now. one of the many problems here when you look at the gun lobby. we've only just scratched the surface here, but we wanted to hear from you as that view in addition to the daily grind of the latest.
so i appreciate you joining and i hope you'll come back. >> i will. i will. and i hate the fact that people in new york need to be afraid of killings on train so let's work on the before and not the after of the shootings. >> absolutely. appreciate that. and we'll keep you in mind. thank you, sir. let me tell folks what's coming up because that was a big day in new york city. there's breaking news out of the january 6 probe with a roger stone aide calling in advance to quote descend on the capitol. jake is back tonight and we're talking about the roots of republican extremism and why he says people are being raised in ways that not only make republican leadership and as mentioned, we are tracking and monitoring all developments in the man hunt including preparation for a briefing. we'll stay on all of it for you on the beat tonight. we'll stay on all of it for you on the beat tonight.
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stolen and they would have to quote, descend on the capitol, make their presence felt. intimidate members of congress. that's using violence to get a political end and the times very interestingly has obtained a direct recording of this long secret call. >> he is going to do something and it's going to be to where people are actually going to be arrested. he may very well call it an insurrection act, but i foresee a limited form of martial law and i don't see any other way around it. biden will never be in that white house. that's my promise to each and every one of you. >> that's his promise, but more important than the promise was what you heard there right before. the talk of descending on the capitol. intimidating of using threats of physical violence to get an end. sullivan talks about whether trump might invoke the insurrection act. remember, an incumbent president can claim to do all kinds of
things. if we had an incumbent president claiming to start martial law, that's a crisis where federal law enforcement, fbi and others have to decide, do you follow the order for so-called martial law or not? then the same individual again before january 6th, where the main criminal defense of those charges they got caught up, got under control, but surely weren't planning to do this. he goes on to discuss plans for a possible civil war. >> he's not going to allow them to descend on all the cities and burn our cities down. for one, and the main reason for that is because if he did allow them to do that, our militia would step up and meet them with great force and we would therefore find ourselves in a civil war. there's no question about that. >> no question about using the militia. one of the plotters to steal the election is still working to overturn it. remember former trump lawyer,
john eastman, who pushed the scheme that would get mike pence to somehow involve himself in blocking the election? he spent hours in a private meeting with the republican leader of a state assembly in wisconsin. still pushing to nullify in his view, somehow, nullify the election that went to biden. in that state. now, none of that has any actual consequence. we have a system of government you may have noticed where there's one president at a time and there's no backseats. but whether all of this adds to evidence for those criminal investigations is what's on the front burner as well as a congressional probe into january 6th that is considering whether to make a criminal referral to indict donald trump. top aides like roger stone cooking up physical plans for violence days before the violence caught on tape add to that criminal evidence? it's a leading question, but it is a fair one and i'm going to bring in emily from "the new
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i'm joined by emily baslon following "the new york times" story that really is quite a piece of evidence. that conference call audio. your reaction to that story, i just walked through it. it shows some people around roger stone and the trump world were planning violence days before the 6th. >> right. if i were sullivan's lawyer, i would be unhappy with the release of this phone call. it's fine. it is perfectly legal to encourage people to engage in peaceful protests, but conspireing to commit a crime is not legal and sullivan is certainly playing with the line here. he said i'm not encouraging anyone to commit violence, but he also talked about intimidating members of congress and breathing down their necks on the day when their job was to
certify the results of the election and interfering with that is itself is crime. >> he tells the times, quote, he merely quote shared some encouragement, quote, i only promoted peaceful solutions where americans could raise their votes. and be heard. that's some of what he said there. that's basically false. as we have carefully reported, there are people who spoke at the rally, for example, which was a lawful event with a permit. some of them said bonkers, bananas and terrible things that are protected by the first amendment. many of them went out of their way to mix fiery rhetoric, which is often protected, with caveats or other statements of well, but we can win lawfully. that's one thing. this sounds much more operational in that it's secret. he talks about descending on the capitol. which involves overwhelming security. you have to beat out the police.
that's like saying you have the plan to descend upon someone's private residence and you know they have some security guards. at the capitol, you knew they had hundreds. how important is that logistical part of this? anytime you're trying to learn information that other people are going to want you to have, as journalists, you make calls, gather it. investigators do it with even more government-backed ability. but anytime you do that, you say this is the call they found. what other calls were done that might be like this or worse? >> right. i think with all these folks who seem like they're engaged with some kind of planning, the question is what was their intent at the time? were they planning to prevent congress from certifying the election? >> yes. >> i think there's pretty good evidence on this call that that looks like the real message here. sullivan was kind of dancing around it. that was the smart thing to do.
he probably knew he was in some legal jeopardy. the question becomes whether that negates the real thrust of the message. then of course with all of these folks who were at lower levels, if they're indicted, who would they turn on higher up the food chain and how would prosecutors take a case. >> right. at what point do prosecutors have more of an interest in these political elites. there have been a lot of focus on the pawns and the muscle. these have existed. go to oklahoma city. other white nationalism. they're out there. but again, this was not just some random plot. you know, the michigan plot, for example, was to kidnap the governor. and they've been indicted. and the question was then what? you know, in one of the pieces of evidence, one of the planners said, well, he kind of hoped after they kidnapped the governor, it would spark a race war. okay, but that's a crime and
he's in trouble, but that's not like thought out. here, how long can merrick garland justice department down play, minimize, or ignore the fact this was conjoined with the incumbent president. roger stone's not nobody. and there seems to be more and more evidence of coordination between the pawns on the chess board, the so-called muscle, and the president, who now the former president recently admitted he wanted to go down there. the only reason he doesn't was he was worried about his own safety. he confirmed he didn't want to get hurt. people were going to get hurt. so donald trump says wait, people are going to get hurt. let other people get hurt. never him. >> don't you wonder if there's some huge wall at the justice department or somewhere the kind of wall you see on tv or the movies when it's fiction, of all the people's pictures and arrows being drawn between them and the kind of fitting together the
pieces of the puzzle about what kind of planning was taking place. who thought this was a peaceful protest. who understood they were engaging in a conspiracy. that's the key question for criminal intent here. >> if you're digging into it further, you have to say, gosh, given the players, is there anything we know from the past, for example, was there respected republican former fbi director who led a special counsel probe who found that roger stone was culpable in this other criminal conspiracy then indicted him and convicted him. gosh, if that happens, you might think, huh, i wonder if the people around roger stone are doing more crime or not. it did happen. he had the highest year sentence of anyone in the whole mueller probe. he was lawfully pardoned. we have a system where the beneficiary of this would be coup did get to pardon stone, but now he's in the soup again. do you think again, i'm running out of time, but wouldn't
merrick garland want to interview this guy? >> you would think garland and his people would want to talk to sullivan, wonder if they could also trace it to roger stone. he also called himself a dirty trickster. >> you would wonder. fair. emily, always good to see you and i know we mentioned you're with the magazine. it was quite a story. very interesting from the times. appreciate all the reporting as always. >> thank you. >> absolutely. we are tracking the developments in new york city. there's the update. we're watching it. we'll bring you news as it breaks. we also have something special for you as we look at the road from palin and trump to people like madison who's on the outs even though he's a classic young republican. oung republican
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briefing on the subway shooter. we'll bring it to you when the officials step out. i want you to know what we know, which is they're planning that, they haven't begun. you can see some folks moving around. they've been doing microphone checks. when it begins, we'll bring it to you. right now, we turn to policy and politics and why congress is so frequently wasting its time with lies. this story has a few parts but we begin with something so stupid that we haven't previously covered it at all on the beat. a rookie member of congress made a false allegation with no evidence against some of his fellow republicans and it's not his first lie.
it's a congressman who lied about trump losing the election and talked up an armed resistance with bloodshed. then this republican lied about apparently his own republican leaders, accusing them of holding cocaine orgies. he offered no evidence. what you are about to hear from this republican is baseless. we're reporting on the political dynamic, not suggesting any credibility to what you will hear right now from freshman congressman, madison cawthorn. >> then all of a sudden, you get invited to, hey, we're going to have a sexual get together at one of our homes. you should come. what did you just ask me to come to? then you realize they're asking you to come to an orgy and do cocaine in front of you. >> cawthorn had no evidence that republicans or members of congress did anything right in front of them. kevin mccarthy said cawthorn lost his trust and fellow
members were quote, very upset. those republicans are understandably upset. who would appreciate being falsely accused of any sexual deviance or support for criminal conduct? well that's the exact line of attack several republicans used against judge jackson at those confirmation hearings. she issued standard sentences for convicts, but she made a lead to say she somehow sympathizes with sex offenders, which was false. how did this young republican get this way? political analysts note that while cawthorn is wrong and should be held accountable, but he's part of this new generation of qanon republicans raised on a steady diet of demeaning political crap. he was 15 years old when trump espoused birtherism and 13 when
sarah palin -- if the gop is upset by his laws, harassment and conduct, they need to look in the mirror and admit they made him that way. at 26, he's the youngest member of congress. he admitted that tirade was false and sited his own age and maturity as reasons to give him a break. in history, some of the youngest people to be elected go on bright careers. are republicans working to defeat him, to kick him out of their party, but not because he lied. just because he lied about republicans. his youth is striking because it may offer a preview of this party's future, which is dangerous to these republican leaders as they clearly realized, as well as to fact-based governing in general. there's a new count out that finds dozens of qanon candidates running for office throughout the country. that could be a floor not a ceiling. one of the early republicans in this type of mold, sarah palin, who endorsed donald trump when
had no help, is back in the mix. she's running for congress. that's in case you forget about her, but she and trump led the party away from facts. away from policy. towards just fixating on content, entertainment, lies, and a kind of oblivious lifestyle where they know very little or nothing. kind of harkening back to 19th century anti-immigrant no nothing party. they struggled to even publicly prove they read things and that turned out to be a selling point for many of their fans. >> what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand? >> i read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, the media. >> what specifically i'm curious. >> all of them. any of them that have been in front of me over all these years. >> can you name them? >> i have a vast variety of
sources. >> who were your favorite authors? >> i think tom wolf is excellent. >> did you read vanity and bonfires? >> what book are you reading now? >> i'm reading my own book again because i think it's so fantastic, tom. >> what's the best book you read beside art of the deal? >> i liked tom wolf's last book. >> which book? >> his current book. it's just out. >> that was the book he just said he hadn't read. those are the type of political role models that madison grew up with. it's a far example from learned and thoughtful leaders. >> this is where i met president kennedy back in july of 1963 and he was standing here where i'm standing now. had a very profound impact on me. it's something that i carried
with me always. >> i'm one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from nelson mandela's life. i would study his work and his writings. the day he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when guided by their hopes and not by their fears. >> obama could continue to tout and honor mandela when they did eventually meet in person. kind of a full circle moment of leadership that is not even possible for cawthorn or these qanon politicians because they're inspirations do not exist. they will never meet up with q, the supposed deep state insider, because q is not real. it's a conspiracy theory that's been debunked. it's as probable as him meeting up with the muppets or unicorns.
but muppets and unicorns are not real. it might be funny if the consequences weren't so serious. much of the next generation of republicans, both in age and in those running for office, are committed to these lies. it is a movement built on, as some say, cap, or a falsehood. a party organized election lies, science lies, qanon lies. and how should america deal with all this cap? we're joined now by the political strategist quoted earlier. welcome back, sir. >> good to be back, ari. how are you? >> i'm good. we quoted you because you make a generational point that republican leaders are only mad because this freshman who many people may not have had heard of, was lying about they will. they don't care about lying about the other things. this cap fuel, lie fueled party though, is what they raised their next generation to be.
>> yeah. it should really give us a lot of cause to pause and really worry about the next generation of american politicians because madison cawthorn is the first republican to fully come of age in the palin trump era. the only republican world he really knows is a palin trump republican world. a post truth world. a world that is very much obsessed with celebrities. that really believes in a type of click bait politics and reality show politics. and we really should understand, we've talked before about george wallace, trump's predecessors in terms of white grievance politics. it was sarah palin who introduced this idea of click bait politics. that really wasn't part of pat buchanan or george wallace's world. this idea of trying to be a reality show star. she was actually on a reality show. she was really the first major politician i can think of who
was much more at home on the set of "duck dynasty" than she was in a congressional budget committee. she presented her family as a blue collar version of the kardashians. trump this to a whole other level. he actually had his whole presidency as a type of reality show. a type of tv entertainment. there were cliff hangers. there were guest stars. surprise reveals. plot twists, all these elements that trump very much sort of geared his presidency around. this is all madison cawthorn really knows. it shouldn't surprise us that he tries to play this character out of house of cards because that's who he sees himself as being and that's what he's been taught being a politician is all about. >> he learned from them, but then when he defames republican leaders, is he just not as skilled at this dark art?
>> well, he is very skilled in terms of presenting himself in a certain way. what he didn't understand were the lines. you can accuse democrats of any sorts of thing. if he said, oh, democrats had invited me to these sorts of parties. democrats had done drugs in front of me. i think that would have been treated very differently than when you're accusing members of your own party of that exact behavior. members of your own party that you're working with every single day. he didn't understand where the lines were. you know, josh holly understands where the lines are. he understands you can get away with basically accusing judge jackson of being friendly to pedophiles. ted cruz understands where the lines are. he understands you can accuse judge jackson of trying to create racist babies or whatever he was accusing her of. but he didn't understand that the line was clear. you attack the other side. not your own side, unless your last name is trump.
>> yeah. as you say, in the history of american political rhetoric, we will all remember where we were when ted cruz said are babies racist? i happened to be in the committee room and even though i have some understanding of how this stuff works, i still was like, are you serious? and you may remember where you were or people look on their phones and go, hey, ted cruz said that. that's how they spent their time. but of course, that baby and emphasis on minors, is all in the same rhetorical pool as josh holly and they both went after pedophilia. the polling qanon theories when you look at believers, it's a quarter of them. when you look at "new york times" says qanon adherence cheered republican attacks on that, they see the jackson attacks as a signal and a sign to their conspiracy theories and
again, i never knew my job would entail learning about so many lies and falsehoods, but we don't spend a ton of time on q, but q doesn't exist and there was great reporting that debunked it. they were behind these message wars but the idea was that there was this person, q, that would somehow help trump stay in office. spoiler, that didn't happen. sort of a deep state person that does more than one thing. doesn't matter the point i made with only some bit of satire that madison cawthorn can't meet q the way you would meet mandela. they can't do something in this space because conspiracy theory s are bottomless and this is just part of their organizing world view. >> i think it's going to be the latter. part of their organizing world
views as you put it. the reality is this type of politics serves really two purposes. sort of intuitively understands. the first is there's this idea of the tension economy. you know, the idea that you have to get people's attention in the world full of information fog and trump understood this. sarah palin understood this. it wasn't just half the battle. it was the entire battle. the second is it helps mask the motivations of republican politicians. so george wallace was a bigot. pat buchanan a xenophobe. however, this type of politics, it transforms someone like cawthorn, he's a heroic figure. he's fighting the deep state. same with josh holly. >> it's a great point.
hadn't thought about it quite the way you put it. opponents and villains are always important, but if you create fake villains and that's what you're against, you're controlling a narrative for anyone who's gullible enough to believe and that is the way it works. you always bring out interesting thoughts, jay. we're out of time, yes or no, did you know? >> i did not, actually. this is one of the reasons why tuning into "the beat" with arry ari melber is important. >> it's a party built on lies because when that's cap, when someone says that, they're talking about lies, falsehoods that animate modern life and we need to deal with. we appreciate your honesty. we'll see you again. thank you. as anyone can see on their screen, the nypd will be holding a briefing. they're running over on schedule because we haven't gone to it yet. if it happens, we'll bring it to
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