tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 29, 2022 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
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call and start saving today. all right that's gonna do it comcast business. powering possibilities. for me tonight. alex wagner will be here tomorrow. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell good evening lawrence. good evening rachel and wish me luck sleeping tonight after listening to james acton talking about that nuclear power plant situation. you know it i did when i bought the one house that i bought in this world? i kind of drove around the neighborhood looking for nuclear power plant. i just wanted to make sure. just wanted to make sure. there wasn't one within walking distance anyway. >> i mean, the thing about nuclear power is that it's got some stuff going for it in terms of carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions in everything, it's great. but you know? what when used as directed, nuclear power plants produce
nuclear waste and we're not always great at dealing with it. and a time of war zone, or unpredictability nuclear waste can become a mass casualty event really quickly and in this ukraine case, it's a huge plant right in the middle of a active war zone, and it's a scary situation. >> it brings this problem in a way we haven't been quite able to find a way to see it so clearly before. yes, the nuclear waste last nuclear lasts 300,000 years or something like that. for me i always thought that was enough, you got me there i don't know how to solve that problem. but this, the notion that these plants could be in the line of far in so many dangerous ways is something that i was not really thinking about until this war.
>> they need uninterrupted sources of power and uninterrupted operation to avoid melting down and causing catastrophe, which has to happen no matter what else is happening in the world. add to that munitions, and that plants themselves getting shelled, and we thought of simmons, we have thought ourselves into a problem we can't responsibly handle. with these plants, and scary stuff. >> and i only now have 60 minutes to get people's minds of catastrophe and nuclear meltdown so they can sleep. >> i will recharge. >> thank you rachel. well lindsey graham has hit rock bottom. rock-bottom is the sad term that aa uses for the spot where people drink too much have to find themselves before they can help themselves or be helped but there is no cure for what's sunk lindsey graham to his own very dangerous rock bottom. rock-bottom is dangerous for people addicted to drugs and
alcohol, so dangerous that that's where some of them die. but in lindsey graham's rock-bottom, he is threatening the deaths of others. senator lindsey graham did what no senator in our lifetimes is done. senator lindsey graham said something this weekend that you have never heard another united states senator say. lindsey graham said something that no other senator has ever said in the history of the united states. lindsey graham actually said, if you prosecute a friend of mine there will be riots in the streets. those were his words. there will be riots in the streets. after the tv interview he was in wandered into other subjects, lindsey graham wanted to make sure we heard him correctly, so he came back to it, and he said quote, there literally will be
riots in the street. no senator, no senator in history has ever predicted or threatened riots in the streets if a friend of that senator was prosecuted. the so-called friend in this case is donald trump who is an actual friend to no one as lindsey graham so tragically knows. no senator in history has ever said if the most popular member of my party is prosecuted there will be riots in the streets. lindsey graham as what winston churchill would call a quisling. it's one of those words that you don't need to find the first time you hear it because it's a perfect word. it's a word that sounds exactly
what it means. the first time i heard that word as a kid it was an irish song the patriot game in the context of the lyric, and the very word itself told me what it meant. a collaborator with an enemy of your country. in elementary school, i thought it was taken from the name of some kind of weak, little always frightened bird. it was only a few years ago when i actually looked up that i discovered that the perfect word quisling comes from someone's name. vicom quizling was a norwegian poet politician who collaborated with the nazis when evaded his country in world war two. the most prominent early use of the word quisling in the united states when britain's prime minister winston churchill a joint addressed a joint --
churchill said there burns the flame of anger, against the brutal invader and still more firstly bring the fires of hatred and contempt for the filthy quislings whom he has suborned. nobody has been more sub orange by donald trump after donald trump's invasion of the republican party than lindsey graham. to understand how law lindsey graham's rock-bottom is tonight, remember where lindsey graham stood when he was running against donald trump for president in 2016. >> he's a race baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. he doesn't represent my party. >> and even after lindsey graham dropped out of the presidential campaign before a single vote was cast in a single primary, he still attacked donald trump saying, if we nominate trump we will get destroyed and we will deserve it.
he doesn't represent my party. if we nominate trump, we will get destroyed we will deserve it. trump was an invader in every classic sense of the republican party. lindsey graham was right that donald trump did not represent what the republican party had publicly represented before the trump campaign. but donald trump crushed every republican in his way and there were no republicans in his way because the last ones standing in his way, senator raphael cruz and senator lindsey graham lived in fear of donald trump's power over their voters in their states. senators like lindsey graham knew donald trump had the power to take their senate seats away
by backing republican a candidate to run against them in their states. the big difference and important difference between lindsey graham and norway's original quisling is that then quisling was a fascist long before the nazis invaded his country. when quisling was collaborating with the nazis, he was a true believer. would that winston churchill were still with us so we could prevail upon his wisdom to judge for us which is worse. quisling the true believer or lindsey graham, the quisling. in another speech in london during world war ii, churchill said i quisling's quote, faun upon the conqueror to collaborate in his designs into an forces rule upon their fellow countrymen all
grovelling themselves. lindsey graham has been fawning upon the conqueror for over five years now. lindsey graham has been collaborating in his designs to the point that lindsey graham is now fighting a subpoena for his testimony to a grand jury and atlanta about donald trump 's attempts to overthrow the election in georgia. lindsey graham tried to enforce his rule on his fellow countryman by trying to help donald trump get reelected and then by trying to help donald trump overturn the results of the presidential election. this is what churchill meant by quislings grovelling low. >> and i'll say this if there's a prosecution of donald trump for mishandling classified information after the clinton debacle which you presided over and did a good job, they'll be riots in the streets. >> there won't be. lindsey graham is lying. lindsey graham is lying about a false equivalence between hillary clinton's handling of classified information while she was in office as secretary of state and donald trump's handling of classified information and other government records after he left office and took those
records with him as a private citizen. but lindsey graham is also lying about trump supporters and he is insulting them. if donald trump is indicted, 74 million trump supporters will do exactly what they did when donald trump lost the election. nothing. the hundreds of them who might be inclined to write in the streets are spread out throughout the 50 states and it is possible that most of them will have already been convicted of rioting for donald trump at the capitol of january six, and the ringleaders of that riot at the capitol are all in prison. there will not be rioting in the streets in this country of 330 million people of donald trump is charged with a crime. not 1 million people have ever publicly gather for donald
trump anywhere for any reason. 74 million trump voters are law abiding people with no criminal records and no criminal intent who have never rioted for anything and never will. if you add up every rabid trump supporter who has ever attended a trump rally, it doesn't come close to the number of people who marched in washington, d. c. alone against donald trump on the day after donald trump's inauguration. the largest protest in washington, d. c. history was a protest against donald trump. on that same day throughout the united states, the day after donald trump's inauguration and throughout the world, the largest mass protest in the history of the human race occurred against donald trump. in every american city that had a protest against donald trump
on that day after his inauguration, it was the largest protest in history of that city. they will not be coming out into the streets for donald trump if he is indicted. there is a loaded phrase in the affidavit that an fbi agent submitted to a judge in florida to obtain a search warrant for donald trump's home. it's a phrase that could explain what lindsey graham is really personally worried about when he talks about, perhaps hopes for rioting in the streets. and that phrase is, criminal confederates. on page 30 of the affidavit, the fbi agent writes i believe that sealing this document is necessary because the items in
and information to be seized irrelevant to an ongoing investigation and the fbi has not yet identified all potential criminal confederates nor located all evidence related to its investigation. premature disclosure of the contents of this affidavit and related documents may have a significant and negative impact on the continuing investigation and may severely jeopardize its effectiveness by allowing criminal parties an opportunity to flee, destroy evidence, stored electronically and otherwise, change patterns of behavior, and notify criminal confederates. in one of his many trips to
fawn upon donald trump's florida home, did donald trump ever show lindsey graham any documents that he took from the white house after he left the presidency? was lindsey graham a criminal confederate of donald trump's in trying to overturn the president election in georgia? is that why lindsey graham the first senator in the history of the united states to predict riots in the streets if his friend is indicted? we don't know. the only thing we do know now for sure about lindsey graham is that as long as he continues to live in the darkness of his own personal rock-bottom, he will surely continue as churchill put it, to fawn upon his conqueror. leading off our discussion tonight, andrew weizmann, former fbi general counsel and former chief of the criminal division in the eastern district of new york.
he's a professor of practice at nyu law school, and neal katyal, former acting u.s. solicitor general. they are both msnbc legal analyst. also with us bradley moss, an attorney. andrew weissmann, let me begin with you and where the search warrant case stands this week. wyatt donald trump when apparently to shop for a judge other than the judge who's been handling the case to try to get a special master appointed to review these documents? what will develop this week as that judge has ordered so far? >> let me turn to what to expect because i think tomorrow could be a big day. we know from attorney general merrick garland that he has said that the department of
justice has as its policy is going to speak through its filings. even in his press conference, we got very little information and we basically last friday, everyone in the press and the public that's following along were waiting for the redacted affidavit to be unsealed. tomorrow is an opportunity for the department to show a little leg. to take your intro about winston churchill, there are a lot of lies and misstatements and omissions in the filing, actually the filings plural that have been made by trump through his counsel. the court has ordered the department to respond to the filing, the whole filing, not just to the request of a special master, and today the department of justice said that
it would like 40 pages to respond to both the legal and the factual arguments and statements in the brief. and the court agreed to that. so tomorrow we're obviously not going to learn about classified information or grand jury information or the identity of witnesses just to set everybody's expectations. they are not going to do that. but there are a lot of statements that were made in the brief about how for instance how trump was cooperating the whole time, or statements that i think are palpably implausible about what happened at the june meeting in mar-a-lago with the department of justice and fbi officials, about different statements that were made. this is a golden opportunity for the department to be forward leading, to educate the judge and the public, and to do it through a court filing.
>> neil katyal, why is this being heard before a judge different from the judge who ordered the search warrant? >> i have no idea lawrence, because that's not the way things are done. normally, the judge who issues the search warrant, if you have a beef with that, you take it up for that judge or perhaps the presiding judge who was overseeing what this magistrate is doing. here the trump team obviously wanted to try to search for a different judge, a magistrate judge that authorized the search was somebody who was appointed in 2018 during president trump's tenure. this is not some lefty judge or something like that. i agree with andrew entirely that this is a huge strategic miscalculation on trump's part to make this filing, to ask for the department of justice response, because now the department will be able to speak publicly and explain what they are doing and why. with respect to this request tonight from the department for
40 pages to write their response. i used to be in charge of that decision. you ask a judge or set of judges for a larger number of pages to respond to something. you only do so if you have a lot to say. the department takes it very seriously, and here i suspect there's gonna be a lot to say tomorrow. and at the end of this, this is all skirmish-ing about whether a special master should be appointed. that something is to sift through documents with attorney client privilege. that's not gonna delay, i think the ultimate progress of this case. and if i were trump, that probably just means that will be some documents protected by executive privilege that trump doesn't get back. just go to the national archives. but when he's being accused of is not the contents of the documents is that he stole federal documents in the first place which makes a special
master inconsequential. special master's really bowed contents. i don't see this going anywhere. it's a sideshow but it's one that's gonna give the department's an enormous oppportunity tomorrow. >> bradley in your experience with criminal cases like this, i want to go back to the phrases that appear in this heavily redacted version of the search warrant that we've had a weekend study. that is the phrase, criminal confederates that isn't the same line including the opportunity to flee. the fbi is saying that some of these criminal confederates would have the opportunity to flee. presumably it means to flee the country, to get a federal jurisdiction. not gonna do too much good to get to georgia. what are you reading in that description about what the fbi was at stake in this case? >> when i saw that part, would i infer from it, that's
referring something to the obstruction angle was, brought this into a criminal matter in the first place. as many of us had said, this is been just about recovering the documents in the end, it would be no harm or foul, if he would have turned everything over would be no problem. the reason there is an issue here is because of the obstruction with respect to these documents, particularly the classified ones. the efforts to relocate, to move about, to conceal those records. that is what is going to get donald trump in trouble and it's the people around him, and this is where the issue of these various witnesses who've been interviewed and provided in and stressing informative information of the fbi, they have provided context as to who is going to the documents, what they know, when instructions were they given, and why were documents being placed in other parts of mar-a-lago? why did the fbi know that there were gonna be records located in places like donald trump's personal office in mar-a-lago? in his closet, in his bedroom? where sure enough they found classified records. someone has provided him with
this information and it's the people around donald trump were doing his bidding on that front to be located, they will also face criminal exposure. >> andrew weissmann, with your experience as a prosecutor and council for the fbi, obviously you've seen a lot of fbi after affidavits like this. i'm trying to establish the grounds for a probable cause for search for. it is opportunity to flee just boiler plate that the fbi throws in there every time? >> i think it does appear to be fair. i think it appears often but there does have to be a factual predicate for it, one of the reasons it appears often is because in a lot of these cases that is exactly one of the concerns. again, it doesn't mean that it's going to happen and it doesn't have to be that the fbi believes it's proof beyond a reasonable doubt. but it is set forth as a reason to keep something under seal. because one of the reasons you
want to keep something under seal so that you are not alerting targets of an investigation as to all of your next steps. obviously you are facing a lot of criminal exposure one of the things you can do is decide that america has been a great place for them and it's time to leave. they would rather be living in cypress than living behind bars. so it does appear fairly often but there's usually reason for it. >> neil, what do you expect from this judge who was appointed by donald trump in terms of ruling in donald trump 's favor for trying to get someone call this master of some kind of look at these documents. >> first of all lawrence, i want to push back on this whole notion of because somebody's
been appointed by particular president it means that we can predict how they are going to act or something like that. up until president trump became president, and started labeling judges obama judges and trump judges, that's not how we think of the judiciary and i hope we can return to something more normal. here i am a little concerned about this judge who initially she raised the questions, what is this case doing before me? it's already before a different judge, why are you filing? this but now it seems like she is comfortable of the exercise of her power in jurisdiction over this case. that isn't something i think department can likely let stand, even though they're not worried about a special master. but i think what i think they have to be worried about is that in other cases, he shouldn't be allowed to have defendants shop for a different judge if they don't like the current one. i think that's all bubbling down right now but at the end of the day i suspect the judge will do the right thing and say, no special master, but if there is a special master, we can't delay these criminal proceedings. >> neal katyal, andrew weissmann, bradley moss, thank you all for joining us tonight. greatly appreciated.
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republican governor chris sununi from new hampshire sometimes publicly disagrees with donald trump. and here is how he deals with the fbi search of donald trump 's home as he campaigns for reelection as new hampshire's governor. >> my biggest criticism i think for the country is where is the transparency? we want to see it. i mean, if you're going to take unprecedented action and raid a former president says, you better have a strategy for unprecedented strategy. do you think this is a coincidence happening just before the midterm elections and all that thing? >> joining us now is senator sheldon whitehouse. he is a member of the senate judiciary committee and the senate finance committee. senator, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
the reason i showed governor sununu is if we still have a republican lawmaker that he would come close to filling the definition, and he's willing to publicly disagree with donald trump from time to time. but there he is, at least the argument give me transparency, give me justification for this. how would you respond to governor sununu on that? >> i think there's going to be a lot of transparency that is going to come out in time. as neil and andrew said, when prosecutors go about these cases, they speak through their filings. there's going to be a lot more filings and if donald trump continues to litigate this is also a risk for these proceedings and having to become a witness himself to matters that don't actually relate to the criminal investigation. there's gonna be a lot of transparency that's gonna happen in the proper order in which prosecutors proceed.
and by the way, that's for the benefit of the defendant so that the prosecutors don't get ahead of themselves, and don't start smearing people. donald trump is actually the beneficiary of this and if he had better lawyers, i think he wouldn't be creating something predicaments for himself. >> now, no one follows the money better than sheldon lighthouse follows the money, you follow it into the darkest corners of politics where many of us can see it or understand it. the story of the day in that regard, is 1. 6 billion dollars in one donation, moving into the republican dark money world. the new york times has unearthed the evidence of this. whatever happened to the limits on campaign contributions? >> well, they got blown up by citizens united. and weirdly, the court in
citizens united said that this was all going to be transparent, that we'd actually know who is going to be spending it. and of course, we don't know that. we are awash in dark money. our tvs are filled with preposterous slimy advertisements, from groups that nobody has ever heard of, because they're fake groups set up just to be a screen for the ad to hide whoever is really behind it. so, we will see this 1. 6 billion dollars go in to the dark money operation that the republican party runs. but but when it comes out into tv ads, campaigns, and two campaigns of harassment. all of that is going to be anonymized, and you won't know who any of it is. and by the way, the guy who has this was a very clever rascal, he's a guy who took $580 million, and captured it for
the big special interests who gave them the $500 million. now we no longer have a supreme court that we can trust thanks to this same problem of big money. manipulated by the same individual. so look what he did with 600 million, wait until we see what happens with 1. 6 billion. >> so berry side gave this money to leonard leo, he runs the federalist society -- >> used to, yeah. >> you've taught us about what the federalist society has done to greater supreme court in the thinking that it once, kind of uniformly. and now, is it your sense that leonard leo is ready to break out into the world of more general campaigning, instead of just campaign for individual seats on the supreme court? >> i'm pretty sure of that. if you look at what their candidates are doing,
particularly their senate candidates. remember that all of leonard leo's court capture work was done with mitch mcconnell, so he's used to dealing with the senate. he cares about the senate, it's his target area. you look at what mitch mcconnell said about the quality of the republican candidates. you've got oz, who is a crashing joke. you've got j. d. vance who can't get out of his own way. you have herschel walker who, i'm not even gonna go there. and they are petrified, looking around at candidates that just don't measure up to the moment, they've never done this before and they're collapsing in plain view. so how do you solve a collapsing candidate? you dump untold hundreds of millions of dollars into those states in anonymous dark money attack ads, and now he's got the cleverness for that, he's got the array of phony front groups for that. and he's got the 1. 6 billion dollars to spend on that. so yeah, if you can't predict
that's going to come, you're not a very good predictor. >> senator sheldon whitehouse, a very good predictor, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. >> and coming up, another big win for district attorney fani willis. the judge ordered georgia governor brian kemp to testify to the district attorney's investigation, whilelindsey graham continues to fight a subpoena to fani willis's grand jury, that is next. is next zero lace model. adjusts to low light. and pans and zooms to keep you in frame. take a look at this. so the whole team stays on track. okay, let's get you some feedback. i'm impressed. great, loving your work. meta portal. the smart video calling device that makes work from home, work for you. [zoom call] ...pivot... work bye. vacation hi! book with priceline. 'cause when you save more, you can “no way!” more.
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attorney fani willis said this about a grand jury investigation of donald trump's interference into the presidential election in georgia. >> i think we are about 60% through of all the people we need to be brought up. i'm pleased with the pace we are going. there can't be any predictions as you know. many people are unsuccessfully fighting our subpoenas. we will continue to fight to concur that the grand jury and the public gets the truth. i'm very hopeful that by the end of the year only i will be able to send the grand jury on their way. >> and today she won another subpoena fight. this one with georgia's government governor brian kemp with a judge ordered to testify before the grand jury. senator lindsey graham continues to fight his subpoena to the grand jury. in a court filing today, fani willis said this. even in a motion purportedly
requesting partial quashing of the subpoena, senator graham insists that each and every possible topic of grand jury inquiry is forbidden. joining us now is gwen keys fleming, former district attorney for the decab county, georgia and corner other of the report, fulton county georgia's trump investigation. thank you very much for joining us tonight with your local experience there it is incredibly helpful. and knowing district attorney fani willis as you do and what she might do next. on the lindsey graham subpoena, as we are seeing it, it's taken a little bit longer than some of these local georgia subpoenas for example, the governor's subpoena to work it out through the federal and state courts. what do you expect next in that? >> well, i think what we will have next is the district court judge will decide for a third time the extent to which senator graham will have to appear before the grand jury. i say that because she ruled on
the original motion to quash against senator graham. he asked for reconsideration. that also was denied. he appealed to the 11th circuit who then sent it back to the same judge and now the parties are briefing whether her first two orders were accurate. we are waiting to see if this now will be a third denial and then ultimately seeing what the appellate courts do with that decision as well. >> what do you make of the 11th circuit not getting involved yet? >> that was interesting. many of us in the legal field kind of questioned, was this a signal to the district court judge to look more closely? was it a signal to the parties to try to come to some agreement as to what might be safe bounds and i think the
district attorney's motion today responding in kind to what senator graham did, he is still seeking full quashal, not identifying spaces that the law said would be outside of the bounds of the speech and debate clause. so the da responded in kind of, that all of her requests are allowable under the law and prosecutable, so the district judge has a decision in front of her. we'll see what happens with the next ruling. >> is there anything i, don't see anything in lindsey graham's filings that he agrees and circumstance in which the united states senator would have to testify before a grand jury, including as an actual specific suspect of a crime? i think that's right, and again, i think the da in her response made that point. that the request was so broad, and in her view does not recognize the context,
particularly some of the factual context that the senator, one, have spoken about publicly, she already has witness testimony from secretary raffensperger about how he interpreted that call. the call goes to questions of signatures in georgia's vote process, and the call happened on the same day that lawyers filed a lawsuit, challenging those same signatures, and also happened on a day when the former president tweeted about challenging those signatures. so the da is asking at all this be taken into account, and again her grand jury charge is broad enough to look at all aspects of the investigation, not just the call that senator graham, as i think he would like to narrow the discussion. >> just to clarify for the audience. the call we're talking about here is lindsey graham's own call to the secretary of state, not the infamous donald trump
call that we've all heard the recording of. thank you very much for invaluable guidance on this case, we really appreciate it. >> my pleasure, thanks for having me. >> coming up, with the january 6th select committee getting ready now for more public hearings in september, we now know a bit more of what their focus will be. that's next. >> it was all about just raising money, and people were abused that way. >> the big lie was also a big rip off.
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just $12.99. the january 6th committee is planning to hold more public hearings next month. >> i think, one of the more intriguing things is going to be some of the financing, right? some of the fundraising. the fact that the vast majority this money was raised under, quote unquote, stop the steal, with no intention of doing anything to stop the steal. it was all about just raising money, and people wear abused that way. >> and joining us now is ben rhodes, the former deputy national security adviser for barack obama, and msnbc political analyst, he is the author of after the fall, being american in the world we have made. ben, thank you so much for joining us tonight. with all of this, this has
become search warrant month. which we thought was going to be, maybe the sort of quiet month before more january 6th committee hearings. but, how do you see these two things coming together? as a story you would tell, and as the story that the world is now watching about this country? >> well, i think at the center of it you have donald trump, someone who puts his own personal interest and native democracy, or national security, or any other public good. that's the common factor between these two stories. because in mar-a-lago, what you have is the president who, for some reason, for a reason that was entirely about his own personal interest, decided to endanger national security to take these hundreds of classified documents down to his residence florida. in a deeply unsafe and
irresponsible and legal way. on january six you had a president -- who tried to subvert democracy, and as adam kinzinger pointed out, along the way he's been on a massive grift. because he's raising money on the very same disinformation is speaking to his followers i think the common connecting thread between these things as we have it leader of the republican party in donald trump who consistently is just about himself, he's willing to tear everything down on the way whether that's democracy or our national security. >> one of the people who will not be at lindsey graham's riot in the streets of donald trump gets indicted, is joshua pruitt who was sentenced today to four and a half years in prison for his role on january 6th. he was one of the so-called proud boy organizers of this. and ben, as we see those people being sent away now for significant prison sentences. while lindsey graham is trying
to rally whoever of those are still not in prison somewhere, to show up for his riot that he wants to lead i guess. this is a condition that we've never had to deal with before. a united states senator trying to rally people into rioting for donald trump, if donald trump gets indicted. >> let's be clear about this, the proud boys are terrorists. they're domestic extremists, the canadians have listed them as a terrorist organization. they stockpile weapons, they engage in acts of violence for a political purpose. and we know that they listen to leadership.
this is not subtle, donald trump in an debate said that the proud boys stand on a stand by, famously, and that's exactly what they did. they stood down for a period of time, and there they were on january 6th, engaging in the decision to overturn democracy. it's particularly discusting and disgraceful, coming in from someone like lindsey graham, who, lawrence, you've been around the block, who is demagogue the issue of terrorism and extremism for a very long time. i don't know how many times we are -- national security, he's the tough guy because he wants to keep guantánamo open or something. the same guy is giving aid and comfort, and appealing to domestic terrorists, domestic extremists. the stakes are that high, these are armed people who don't believe in democracy, and who are willing to act on that belief. it's incredibly reckless and irresponsible and dangerous, for anyone to engage in that kind of rhetoric. >> ben rhodes gets the last word on lindsey graham tonight, ben rhodes, thanks very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. we will be right back.
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