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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  July 1, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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hi there, everyone. 4:00 in the east. witness tamperingsa the january 6th committee continue to unveil members of donald trump's inner circle to pressure and to influence witnesses to the events surrounding the coup attempt and the insurrection at the u.s. capitol. reporters from multiple outlets today working to reveal the recipients of those mystery text messages that have been turned over to the 1/6 committee warning them that trump was keeping a close eye on their testimony and encouraging them to remain loyal to the ex-president. today nbc news has confirmed that at least one of those messages was sent to cassidy hutchinson herself. two sources saying that hutchinson was contacted by someone attempting to influence her testimony which may not come
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as a huge surprise given the well-established history inside trump world of pressuring potential witnesses in key investigations. washington post lays it out like this, quote. evidence across multiple state, federal and congressional investigations points to a similar pattern. trump and his close allies privately shower potential witnesses with flattery and attention extending vague assurances that staying loyal to trump would be better than crossing him. meanwhile, trump publicly blasts those who offer testimony against him in bluntly personal terms offering a clear example to others of the consequences of stepping out of line. "the new york times" offers another view of this type of carrot and stick witness pressure campaign reporting this, quote, former president trump's political organization and his allies have paid for or promised to finance the legal fees of more than a dozen witnesses called in the congressional investigation into the january 6th attack, raising
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legal and ethical questions about whether the former president may be influencing testimony with the direct bearing on him. it is not the first time questions about witness tampering have come up in the course of a trump-linked investigation. efforts to influence witnesses comprised key elements of special counsel robert mueller's obstruction of justice report which examine this, quote, public attacks on the investigation, non-public efforts to control it and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation. the mueller report also acknowledges this, quote, the president's efforts to influence the investigation were largely unsuccessful and the purposes persons who surrounded the president did not cooperate. robert mueller very much very much left the obstruction part
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of his investigation wide open as stated explicitly by one of his top investigators andrew weissmann back in november 2020. quote, we amassed ample evidence to support a charge that trump obstructed justice. that view is widely shared. shortly after our report was issued, hundreds of former prosecutors concluded that the evidence supported such a charge. the evidence includes trump's efforts to influence the outcome of a deliberating jury in the manafort trial and is holding out the hope for a pardon to thwart witnesses from cooperating with our investigation. can anyone even fathom a legitimate reason to dangle a pardon? today in many respects we're seeing history repeat itself with the january 6th committee facing some of those very same questions about the now ex-president and his apparent efforts to obstruct their congressional investigation into his alleged crimes against our democracy. it's where we start today with
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some of our favorite reporters and friends msnbc contributor who has been all over this story this week betsy woodruff swan is here. former assistant for counterintelligence at the fbi frank figliuzzi is back. former u.s. attorney harry littman is here and washington post investigations reporter and msnbc contributor jackie alemany who has also been all over this story joins us. let me start with you, betsy, and then i want you to take me through your reporting, as well. where does this stand right now in terms of what you and your colleagues at politico stand. >> a person with knowledge of cassidy hutchinson's fourth and final closed-door deposition that she had with the january 6th select committee shortly before her public hearing has told me that in that deposition she provided testimony that was the basis for both of the slides
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that the select committee put up on screen at the end of her hearing that cheney, congresswoman, liz cheney, the vice chair characterized as evidence and inappropriate and problematic efforts to influence a witness. in the case of one of those slides there is a name redacted and only referred to as brackets as a person, and what i am told is that the person's name there is mark meadows and it's a conversation that much inson testified with someone that she was with someone functioning as an intermediary for mark meadows. that conversation came on the the eve of hutchinson's second deposition earlier this year to the january 6th select committee. the committee has to figure out how much more context can they get? can they get additional substantiations of these conversations and can they nail down partis.s, call logs and
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details and we'll know what type of communications happened and the people involved in those commune xhagzs has clear lear shot to the top of the priority list and it's notable that at the very end of the hearing i would say by far the most stunning of any of the select committee hearings thus far, this was sort of the capstone that they chose to leave viewers with. >> betsy, meadows is through a spokesperson denying that behavior. what is the committee's degree of confidence that it was meadows. >> meadows has deny there was inappropriate conversation. there was a conversation that could have been had between meadows' camp and hutchinson regarding her testimony.
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they didn't deny that. it's the committee's confidence and -- that's reading the statement, we should assume, i think that the confidence is quite high because their confidence overall in hutchinson's credibility is extraordinarily high despite pushback that she's received from various quarter including anonymous secret service agents in the wake of her testimony. the committee has been unequivocal that they believe her. they think she's credible and they take her very seriously and they don't see her as someone who people should approach with skepticism, and i have no doubt that that includes the closed-door testimony that she provided to them in her most recent deposition about these communications that she received. >> yeah. jackie, publicly and privately the vice chair has doubled down on the veracity of hutchinson's testimony. mark meadows was caught lying in of all things his book by saying that trump didn't really want to
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go to the capitol. we have pretty rock solid testimony and even in the secret service's denial of the strangle scene, they confirm that trump was angry that he couldn't go to the capitol. i think if there's anyone with a credibility problem it's mark meadows. >> nicole, after all of the chest thumping that we heard from anonymous secret service sources this week about tony ornato and bobby engel disputing and taking issue with elements of cassidy's story it's the end of the week and we have yet to receive an on the record statement from either of those players. they have also not testified under oath and we've reported that according to two people familiar with the investigation there are some issues with tony ornato's credibility. that's why he was brought in for a second deposition because there were some holes in his first deposition and lawmakers needed to follow up with him to get some clarity. it also should be no surprise for anyone who has read my
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colleague carol leonnig's book that the president remained close and occupied an unusual space being someone who toggled back and forth being the agency in the white house and has remained very close with the president and continues to talk to him to this day, and all of this speaks to the strategy that the former president employs with those in his orbit. he keeps them close to him in some way through promises of employment and contributions to their own political, personal causes and while he has usually been reticent to spend money from his pac, save america pac is spending money on these legal fees. cassidy hutchinson did request that the former trump presidency help out with some of these fees. there was a realization that the legal fees themselves were going to be -- were going to a khum lit and be impossible for a
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26-year-old, 25-year-old to be able to pay herself right out of college and after serving in government for several years, but obviously something happened here where she needed to get out of that arrangement and seek an independent lawyer and emerge from this orbit. >> yeah. i mean, her lawyer is a lifelong republican who worked for jeff sessions. she didn't head outside of the ideological spectrum. i want to read more, jackie, about the money. you write this. trump has kept former aides tightly in his orbit through promises of political causes, sometimes resisting aide suggestions for even small outlays, last year his save america pac sent $1 million dollars to a non-profit group where meadows is the senior partner. the donation came one month after the house committee was formed. while trump advisers insisted that there was no quid pro quo
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involved with the donation, people familiar with the matter said. jackie, you seem to be encircling one of the great mysteries about meadows who turns over so much material and clearly has a directional impact on the 1/6 committee. they pursue sean hannity and now ginni thomas and so much of the leads in 2022 seem to have emanated from his texts and then he clams up, stops talking and faces contempt of congress charges. what is the committee's interest in trying to figure out why? >> they have a huge interest and as cassidy hutchinson in her testimony demonstrated, she put fingerprints on all of the key people who were privy and have firsthand accounts of the former president's potentially criminal activity especially on the day of january 6th. mark meadows being one of them.
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pat cipollone being another one of them is someone that the president has treated poorly, who the former president has pibb liblg le com pinned and he was assed if a no one any he still remaining, he is coming closer to appearing and providing some sort of written deposition next week to the committee behind closed doors. that being said, i think many moments of cassidy's testimony which was really jam-packed with news beyond this secret service incident that she described having and very clearly described it as a secondhand account from tony ornato, but that meadows was there throughout all of trump's potential dereliction of duty and also contributed to that dereliction of duty by -- by
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doing nothing himself. >> so harry litman, we know that when cassidy hutchinson had the trump white house lawyer she hadn't -- i don't want to say she had cooperated and she hadn't done the story telling she did in her live testimony. we know when she makes the switch she does. we know she received these threats that were posted at the end of her public hearing tuesday. what is the exposure or what are the minefield look like that can be described as witness tampering or be on strucking an investigation. >> it's very serious, and for one the department of justice takes it hyperseriously and goes after it vigorously. first of all, your point is well taken and both the urgaable
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attempts and that's right after she gets the new lawyer who is considered less trump friendly, but it's a real issue for meadows because he has clammed up, as you say, but first the committee knows more than it said and whatever they don't know the department of justice will be able easily to discover and it is a fairly clean charge. if it's traced to him, this is not a minor thing for the department. they could make him a target of it immediately and the pressure would be quite substantial, and potentially, think, that's a threat to trump himself and the obstruction, they've been playing it close to the invest vest because they don't want to give exposure and they want to give pause to the intermediaries there and to maybe come forward themselves, but nobody should think of this as a sort of small
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bear kind of charges. it's serious for the department and the reports go far beyond what other cases have resulted in convictions for witness tampering. the statement is and the legal test is are you trying to influence? how else can you interpret those kinds of statements? >> the history of donald trump trying to influence investigations that's public facing when he was president, frank, i think starts with the comey dinner, you know. let mike flinn go. let mike flinn go, it's trying to influence someone who lied to the fbi about his conversations with sergei kislyak. donald trump wants that investigation to be called off and ultimately pardons him at the end of a prosecution and two guilt i pleas. talk about the pattern and
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practice through every single effort to hold donald trump accountable to tamper with these probes. >> you and i have talked over the years now about the comparison between organized criminal enterprises how they operate and how the trump administration operated and now clearly appears to continue to operate. they've not stopped that pattern and practice. and so the mob analogy is there and as i look at this witness tampering allegation, and i think back on my fbi career, there are two places where this kept turning up. organized criminal enterprises like the mob or drug distribution networks and then the other end of the spectrum, major corporations and white collar corporate crime cases where there was a kind of whistle-blower or an employee who was accused or part of corporate wrongdoing and here comes the company saying we have our attorney for you and our
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inhouse counsel will represent you. they represent us and the employee not understanding the distinction and they're required to give the employee a letter that says, just so you know they're giving the corporate attorney and not really looking out to you and looking out for us and cassidy hutch unsie inson ask the mob does it, where is the pay kick hey coming from every here. loyal to the capo and not necessarily to the client. >> yes. >> i like this allegation in the sense that it finally allows, dishing oj, if they open a case and my goodness they should open the case the afternoon that cassidy hutchinson testified and liz cheney gave us this allegation and it is clearly enough to not only possibly get a conviction, but clearly to
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open the case, get the phone records. i like this because it gets the doj around the executive privilege that meadows will clamor about, right? nope. sorry, clear crime here and witness tampering and we're trying to find out if you're connected to it and also if the phone records show that meadows or his intermediary actually communicated with trump and now next to trump, then here we go and we have trump trying to tamper and the two neat things about the statute of title 15, 18 and 12. you don't have to succeed in the tampering. you have to try. it has to be an official proceeding and an official government proceeding and clearly this qualifies and they have to get the phone records. >> let me show you what frank is talking about. this is michael cohen describing exactly what trump does. >> so the words are exactly the
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same. it was eerily similar when i was watching the hearing yesterday and i applaud cassidy for an amazing job, but i was looking at the text messages and the communications that liz cheney put up, and the words were all the same. you are loved, right? you are in our corner -- remain in our corner. we will take care of you. >> what is he saying when he'so and telling you you're protected. i'm the president of the united states of america and the most powerful man on the planet. either you stay on my side or you will suffer my ire and that's exactly what happened to me. >> harry, the thing about trump is there are no new moves. it's the same thing over and over again and we can talk another time of why that is, and i would argue he never gets
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caught and held into account, and they didn't keep him out of jail. paul manafort, dangled a pardon in front of him and equivocated while he was standing trial and manafort was a cooperating witness and unflipped and decided not to cooperate. it happened in front of us for five, long, tortured years. it's really true. it's very ghost almost, oh, you are loved and you're going to do the right thing. there's not much subtlety here and yet when these things happen, this could be true of meadows in particular, usually the people are making these intimations are plenty nervous. it takes a lot to sort of tiptoe forward that way, and i'm thinking of clinton and one of his counts of impeachment were talking to betty curry this way and trump is crass and a pretty thick playbook that he employs
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again and again. what she's talking about is really from meadows and it's meadows' articulation and man, again, just to emphasize everything that frank just repeated. doj comes. forget about all of this namby-pamby is this going to be privilege. give us all of the records now. the phone records, here is the search warrant, et cetera, and we cut through the nonsense and with mark meadows that's a very -- that could be a total game changer. >> all right. no one's going anywhere. when we come back, republican congresswoman liz cheney is defending her work as vice chair of the january 6th committee in the middle of her republican primary debate. it was last night. while she was there her top opponent was defending donald trump and still repeating his lies by questioning the legitimacy of the election and look at how the committee's work is playing into her campaign in the political season.
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plus republicans are asking the supreme court to look at independent state legislatures and something with huge implications. the conservative court's ruling could make it easier to subvert our elections and a look at what's being done. four months after herr arrest the trial for wnba star britney griner gets under way in russia. she faces a decade if prison when "deadline: white house" continues after a quick break. please stay with us. after a qui. please stay with us. thanks, dad. that's right, robert. and it's never too early to learn you could save with america's number one motorcycle insurer. that's right, jamie. but it's not just about savings. it's about the friends we make along the way. you said it, flo. and don't forget to floss before you brush. your gums will thank you. -that's right, dr. gary. -jamie? sorry, i had another thought so i got back in line. what was it? [ sighs ] i can't remember.
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6th was clearly an attempt to delay the count of the electoral votes. there is a real tragedy that is occurring and the tragedy is that there are politicians in this country beginning with donald trump who have lied to the american people, and people have been betrayed. i'd be interested to know whether or not my opponent miss hagemann tonight would say the election was stolen. she's completely behold tone donald trump and if she says it wasn't stolen he will not support her. >> that was republican congresswoman liz chain ney her debate last night with the four republicans trying to unseat her in her home state of wyoming. schany defending her work as shies chair of the january 6th committee and warning of the far-right republicans who have pledged damaging loyalty to the ex-president and his lies including her opponent
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trump-backed harriet hagemann who echoed his false claims about election fraud last night citing the lie about 2,000 mules, the movie that bill barr himself laughed up roariously about in his testimony. the dangers of maga republicans indebted to donald trump mirrors the approach house democrats are taking to weaponize the gop hard line candidates this fall and their support of the big lie and the overturning of roe versus wade. more from politico on this, quote. there are all these dangerous people running under the new maga republican brand. they're going to pay a price for it said sean patrick maloney who leads the campaign arm, using the word maga nine times in a roughly nine-minute interview he said, quote, we're going to beat them over the head with that. betsy woodruff swan, frank figliuzzi and harry litman and
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alemany. over the last five days it has been so fascinating. i went back and watched this section of the testimony about the only disputed aspect of cassidy hutchinson's testimony and liz cheney doubles down in the live testimony and she comes back and says are you sure? cassidy says yes. did they ever say it wasn't true? cassidy says no. liz cheney said it again in an interview with abc's jon karl that aired yesterday. what do you make of what this role has done or if it has done anything to change liz cheney as a politician? >> that's a good question. she's in the rare spot of being in a position where hughing to her principles on a very basic matter is viewed conventionally
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as a political death knell and the limited polling that we have about the republican primary in wyoming does not contain any good news for cheney. there's no question about that, but she distinguishes herself from a host of other anti-trump republicans by taking this bet that standing on the principles she's committed to might be good politics. we've seen many republicans who have criticized the president instead of taking that bet just choosing to retire rather than facing defeat, and it's unusual to see someone put herself out there and go for it even though the imperical data suggests that politically it's unlikely to work. taking that step and making that bet is a risk, but it's one, of course, obviously that she's very comfortable making and it dramatically distinguishes her from a host of other anti-trump
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republicans we've seen on capitol hill. >> jackie, i understand from the reporting and from talking to folks that this political reality that betsy describes and that you've also reported on is a piece of and it may be a small piece of it, but it is a piece of her drive as a committee member. i've understood her to be down there reading and writing briefs with congressman raskin and with others on the committee to be completely engaged in every aspect of the investigative practices that they've deployed to get this testimony and to get what they need out of their taped depositions. can you just give us sort of the committee's side of what this political reality and the fact that these could be for now some of her last months in congress if she loses this primary? >> yeah, and that is a topic that the committee tries to stay away from as much as possible because they really do genuinely
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believe that congresswoman cheney is in this for the right, purist reasons and this isn't to set up a 2024 campaign run despite appearing at the reagan library after hutchinson's appearance. this is about her love of party and her love of the constitution, her patriotism and that she has put all on the line and liz cheney will say that herself that at the end of the day it doesn't matter if she's going to stay in office if it means telling lies and she's not the only person on the committee who is willing to potentially throw away their seat. elaine luria is also in one of the most competitive re-election races in the country right now. her district in virginia was redistricted and it's even redder than it was and it is still one of the median in all of the statistics across the country, but there is a risk for her, as well.
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there are risks that all of the members are taking here by engaging in this investigation, but according to some recent polling that has been circulating amongst progressive groups and was commissioned by these groups in order to help democrats who are running in vulnerable district with their messaging with regard to the january 6th investigation, the committee is breaking through. it shows that there's been a jump in an increase democrats and independents from 8% overall according to the research conducted by lake and that it's actually breaking through to republicans, as well. there's been a 16% jump amongst republicans who didn't support trump's second impeachment and now support what the january 6th investigation is doing and we're only half way through the investigation and cassidy hutchinson i think marks the half way point for them and they're likely to hold out bombshells for the finale. >> i didn't mean to suggest on
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the motive, but the reality is liz cheney's decision to put her country and the constitution over her party, it is more of a reflection of the republican party, and it's a tragedy. it does put her in a league of her own, betsy, frank figliuzzi, harry littman thank you to all of you. how democracy is under threat from the united states supreme court. we'll talks to one of the lawyers seeking to make sure it doesn't happen. seeking to make doesn't happen
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when state executive officials refused, he applied more pressure. when state legislators refused to go back into session and appoint trump electors he amped up the pressure yet again. >> he can also do what the florida legislature was prepared to do which was to adopt a slate of electors yourselves. i don't think it's just your authority to do that, but quite frankly i think you have a duty to do that, to protect the integrity of the election here in georgia. >> the january 6th committee showing through depositions and evidence just how donald trump tried to use state legislators to overturn the 2020 election which he lost. now the united states supreme court could help him set the stage for round two, taking up a
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case involving a fringe constitutional theory, the independent legislature theory which could put democracy, as we know it, on the line. "the new york times" rights this, the court would up end nearly every facet of the electoral process to set new rules and potentially create a system, established through the state courts could essentially vanish. the ability to challenge new voting laws at the state level could be reduced and the theory underpinning the case could open the door to state legislatures sending their own slates of electors which, think, as you all know is exactly trump's plan. let's bring in mark elias, he's the founder of democracy docket and partner at elias law group. he is lead counsel for the
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upcoming case we told you about. this seems so pipelined and directly from, not the conservative right, but the trump maga right. how does this end up before the supreme court? >> nicole, that's the question we're all asking ourselves is how did a theory that has never been adopted, has been rejected and frankly, as you said, you know, has really been viewed as an out there fringe idea, how did that all of a sudden migrate itself to the centerpiece of a case that will be heard next term by the united states supreme court? and it should worry everyone who cares about free and fair elections that this case is being treated seriously, and that those of us who are fighting to protect democrat democratacy need to treat it as such. this whack-a-do theory.
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the vigilante enforcement which was unheard of, there was a fear and there was a real sense that it was too crazy, too out there. it is the law of the land in texas. just tell us what would happen if they were to prevail. >> yeah. so at its core, what this theory says is because the constitution uses the term state legislatures, when talking about the timing and the place and the manner of holding federal elections, that it literally means just the legislature, and not the state courts and perhaps not even the governor that whatever the legislatures want is the beginning and the end of the story and that's crazy. whether you look at it from a standpoint of common sense or you look at it from a historical originalism or the stare decisis in precedent. this kind of theory that would cut out of the process, the
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state court system has no basis in fact or in law or in history, and if you did that you would essentially revert to a system where republican-controlled legislatures could, on their own, decree that this is a voting law or this is a right or this is the method by which things are going to happen in their state. >> well, and we know that states are moving in this direction on their own, the georgia law cuts out the georgia secretary of state. some states are already moving in this direction. what would the motive be? why would the supreme court do this? >> well, look, what they'd be cutting out are the state courts upholding their state constitutions. the provision that the republicans are challenging in north carolina is a provision of the north carolina constitution that guarantees free and fair elections, okay? and they are saying that the
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state supreme court cannot adopt and use that clause when judging a law passed by the state legislature. guess what? many, many state constitutions and many state constitutions have similar clauses because citizens, when states joined the union were entitled to a republican form of government which has been understood to mean a form of government where there are free and fair elections and where courts protect the rights of citizens. if we take the state courts out of that equation, then we will see legislatures being able to pass whatever kind of laws they want without the state courts being able to weigh in. >> we used to speak all of the time about the push for federal voting rights legislation. that seems to be -- seems to have come to a sad end without filibuster reform and there was no rights legislation and where are you on sort of deeply
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concerned breaking glass in case of emergency to mildly optimistic. where are you right now? >> i'm at least in deeply concerned. i said in january that it was not optional for congress to pass comprehensive voting rights legislation, and i meant it at the time. the other part of the clause that gives legislatures the ability to set the time, place and manner of elections gives congress the right to override those decisions in the cases of house and senate elections. so congress has, within its authority to head this off, but only if it has the political will to act and nicole, as you and i have discussed that just hasn't been present given the require iments of a filibuster in the senate. >> but i promise you, mark, and i hope it doesn't happen, but if republicans take control of the senate the filibuster will be
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put aside. take my word for it. >> i fear you're right. >> these are not always the most uplifting conversations, but thank you for spending time with us today. >> happy to do it. thank you. up next for us, the behind the scenes planning to prepare for what we're talking about. what comes next from the newly extreme supreme court. extreme prsueme court.
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there's a monster problem and our hero needs solutions. so she starts a miro to brainstorm. “shoot it?” suggests the scientists. so they shoot it. hmm... back to the miro board. dave says “feed it?” and dave feeds it. just then our hero has a breakthrough. "shoot it, camera, shoot a movie!" and so our humble team saves the day by working together. on miro. joining our conversation about this historically
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distrusted united states supreme court is brian fallon, the executive director of the progressive judicial advocacy group demand justice. brian, when people say what the left needs to do to match what the right has done for 40 years, i always talk about your group and what you're trying to do, and i have to know if the last week has drawn more attention and activists and resources to your cause. >> yes, nicole. it's a silver lining and a small silver lining and the public rallies to this cause of the need to do something and to rein in the out of control supreme court. our leaders are not just there and the progressive legal establishment are not there and the public is telling us that the rallies and the protests in public polling that they stress the court now more than ever and
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that they believe the court is making decisions on politics rather than law and they want to see their candidates on the ballot in 2022, articulate a vision for how we can rein in the court, and there it is there and the judiciary act with the bill introduced in the house and senate and it's more and more each week, gaining new support just today from the legal and other groups that have been on the front lines and advancing lgbt rights and they saw that gay marriage could be next and they're calling for the court expansion as of today, but our party leaders have been adopted and leading figures in the progressive legal establishment have been slow to embrace it and at the end of the day when you press the people about what the alternative plan is, they don't have one. they're basically crossing their fingers and hopefully at some time it will change the configuration of the court.
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they just talked about on the independent state legislature. this is going to be a decision that has the potential to give donald trump and his forces the ability to steal the next election and we need a plan to directly confront the supreme court's path. >> you dissents in dobbs and overturning abortion and then in the epa case yesterday, and it's almost like the three liberal justices are blinking in morse code. i mean, what do you -- what is the message that -- and you look at mitch mcconnell's norm busting, i mean, it's the nicest way to describe what he did to merrick garland. how do you wake democrats up to the fact that any good faith approach to the court will only be met with real political hardball on the right? >> nico is a professor at harvard law school and i think he's articulated the path forward as well as anybody out there. he's said, we're not going to
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out-litigate our way out of in problem. it is not going to come from, you know, more legally honed arguments made at the supreme court and better amicus briefs being filed. the progressive legal establishment is not the answer here. we are going to have to do this at a grassroots level. we're going to have to organize our way out of this problem. the grassroots understands that the supreme court has been politically captured, and we're going to have to organize those people, and it's going to take years, unfortunately, nicole. we can start right now, because i do think people are really provoked and really inclined to vote in big numbers in the midterms so we can start now but it's probably going to take a couple years, at least, to build the consensus that we need at the party leadership level for doing something like the judiciary act and so we're going to have to galvanize support at the grassroots level and they're not used to where democrats might have the upper hand on the court situation but that's the world we're entering because
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there's been such a backlash to these court rulings. >> to your point, you can thank ginni thomas's pro-insurrection emails, you can thank clarence thomas's, we're coming for you, same-sex relationships. they're saying out loud, you know, what their associations are. it's a great conversation. we will do a better job paying attention to those efforts as well. brian fallon, thank you so much for spending time with us today. a quick break for us. up next, a first look at nbc's big primetime special raising attention and resources for ukraine on sunday night. i'll show you that after a quick break. don't go anywhere. a quick break. don't go anywhere.
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on this friday, we have something exciting to show you. for the first time here, for the last eight weeks, i have worked as one of the executive producers on an hourlong primetime special to help return the country's focus to the war still raging in ukraine. that hour airs on nbc sunday night at 7:00 p.m. eastern and then again at 7:00 p.m. pacific. it's called "ukraine: answering the call." it features tons of incredible experiences, including a performance from paul mccartney, an appearance by billie eilish and her brother, phineas, sheryl crow, brad paisley, brandi carlile and many others. ukraine's president zelenskyy also delivers remarks. here's a first look at ben stiller's message to all of us on why it's so important to pay
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attention and get involved. >> having just returned from ukraine, i've seen firsthand the profound human toll of this war. i'll be introducing a leader who's standing on the front lines of history. but first, how do we answer the call? by doing whatever we can to help. by doing something more than nothing. >> ukraine: answering the call, again, airs sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on nbc. it's on at 10:00 p.m. eastern and 7:00 pacific here on msnbc. and it will be available any time you want to watch it to stream the next day on peacock. you won't want to miss it. up next for us, the detainment and trial of wnba star brittney griner in russia. as that trial gets under way, we'll look at what's really going on behind the scenes here to help secure her release. that's next. don't go anywhere. elease that's next. don't go anywhere.
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we are happy to see that people are making moves. we saw the petition signed by all of the women's leagues and the women's sports foundation urging the president to take action. we need president biden to take action, all right? please take action. can somebody do something for the mercury? i mean, please. right? help us. bg needs to come home, and the only way that she comes home is if president biden decides she needs to come home and trades somebody, and look, yeah. let's do it. >> hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in the east. that was as clear and direct a plea as you will hear. it came from vanessa nygard, the head coach of the wnba's phoenix mercury, to president joe biden directly about a member of her team. brittney griner has been wrongfully detained. that's an official designation from the u.s. state department in russia if more than four
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months now. she was arrested at the moscow airport one week before russia launched a war against ukraine over alleged drug smuggling charges. airport officials alleged she was carrying vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage. if she is convicted there, griner could face up to ten years in prison. today was the very first day of her trial. "washington post" reports, a russian prosecutor accused griner of transporting a significant amount of cannabis oil. that's according to russian media reports on her trial. griner, seated in a cage in the courtroom with a bottle of water and a bag of cookies, said she understands the charges. she did not enter a plea. court officials initially barred media and cameras from the court. that's according to russian media. but two journalists were later admitted. the next hearing is scheduled for this coming thursday. griner is a superstar in the basketball world. she has won two olympic gold medals and one wnba title. she plays for a russian basketball team in her off
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seasons, which is why she was in moscow in the first place back in february. as you heard, griner's head coach allude to there, there's now speculation that griner's return home could be dependent on a prisoner swap. there's new reporting in "the new york times" that peels back the curtain on a man named victor boot, who russian media outlets have directly linked to griner's case in recent weeks. here's that reporting. "he is a notorious russian arms dealer known as the merchant of death, serving a 25-year federal prison sentence for conspiring to sell weapons to people who said they plan to kill americans." the times adds, "the vast disparity between the cases of bridny griner and victor bout highlight the extreme difficulty president biden would face if he sought a prisoner exchange to free ms. griner, the detained wnba player, from detention in moscow." the biden administration reluctant to create an incentive would be hard pressed to justify the release of a villainous
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figure like mr. boot. meanwhile, all of this comes at a time of extremely heightened tensions between russia and the u.s. as the war in ukraine rages on. the ongoing detainment of brittney griner in russia is where we start the hour with something our most favorite reporters and friends. michael crowley is here, his byline is on that "times" reporting. also joining us, "wall street journal" moscow bureau chief ann simmons and tom firestone is here served as a resident legal advisor at the u.s. embassy in moscow and was a former u.s. district attorney for the eastern direct of new york. you can speak to both these pieces. obviously, the russian criminal is serving time for a crime he did commit and was convicted of. brittney griner, there's no evidence that she's guilty of anything. talk about the dynamic that moscow seems to have set up here.
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>> yeah, no, it's an excellent question. there has been a lot of speculation in the russian media about a possible exchange of griner for boot and there's been a lot of speculation that maybe they will impose a very significant sentence on her in order to induce such an exchange. we'll have to see how her trial plays out. i'd have to point out, though, that the exchange doesn't just have to be boot for griner. there are other americans held in russian prisons right now, paul wielden was sentenced to 16 years on what appear to be trumpedp espionage charges. just about a week and a half ago, another american citizen was sentenced to 14 years for possession of 17 grams of marijuana, medical marijuana, coming into the country. mark fogle, a 60-year-old teacher so it doesn't necessarily have to be the way it was presented as a one for one. it could be boot for multiple americans. there are also other russians incarcerated in the u.s. who could be the subject of an exchange, so it might be a
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little bit more complicated. we just don't know. these negotiations are conducted in conditions of the highest confidentiality. they have to be so it's hard to say what's going on in terms of the negotiations right now. >> tom, are the russians -- is it part of the russia playbook to simply target and arrest and deta somebody like brittney griner for the express purpose of getting back some of their most heinous convicted criminals? >> well, we have seen cases in the past where the russians have apparently set people up for whatever kinds of bargaining leverage. what -- again, we don't know the evidence in griner's case, because we haven't seen it. there's very little public information that will come out during the trial. what may have happened is that she actually possessed this tiny, tiny amount of cannabis, according to the russian prosecutors, it's 0.702 grams, so a tiny amount. it may be that they took what would ordinarily be a very, very
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minor case and have tried to make it into a much bigger case in order to get leverage and to use her as a bargaining chip. so, we don't know. the fact that she may have possessed this doesn't mean that she's not being used as a bargaining chip, and of course, as you pointed out, the state department has declared her wrongfully detained and has transferred her case to the special envoy for hostage affairs, so that means the u.s. government thinks she's being held as a hostage and is going to be used diplomatic means, does not believe that the justice system in russia can be trusted to get her out. rather they've taken a position that only diplomatic intervention can get her out, because she is wrongfully detained. >> wow. okay, so, michael, i want to read from more of your reporting, but first, take me inside what that looks like. this is one of the more sort of sensitive processes that goes on in the state department where a lot of what they do is pretty sensitive. but tell me what you understand
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to be happening there. >> the u.s. doesn't want to do these negotiations in public, as they say, and they're extremely wary of setting any kind of precedent where this all just becomes a horse trading game. you know, when you do deals like this, you essentially create an incentive for bad actors to grab americans and demand prices for them. there was a similar dynamic, you may recall, with al qaeda and a lot of terrorist kidnappings we had sort of in the mid 2010s, and there was a big fight where the europeans were paying lots of ransoms. there was a big argument about whether this was incentivizing this kind of activity. so the state department and the biden administration are very cagey, but they do continually emphasize this point about the risk. and there is a notable exception here, which is that in april,
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there was a prisoner trade, and this has got to be painful for griner's family and friends and supporters, that freed an american, trevor reid, a former u.s. marine, who had been held in russia on charges that he had assaulted police officers. we traded a convicted russian pilot who was convicted of smuggling drugs for trevor reid. however, the white house made very clear that this was an unusual case because they were very concerned about trevor reid, who was in failing health. so it was kind of an emergency. so, it's not necessarily a precedent. but beyond that, they're extremely secretive about what their next move might be. >> ann, i want to show you what brittney griner's former olympic coach had to say about her condition on msnbc earlier. >> the more and more you see, we see brittney appear in court or outside of court or walking in and being handcuffed, you just
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feel for her. she is a free-spirited woman who's got a great heart. so, for what she's going through, i do think she's doing as well as anyone. we're in a place where it's foreign to us. it's foreign as to what her day-to-day is. it's foreign to the communication barriers that you have. you know, but we are expressing a meeting with president biden, to meet with the family. we know that when you meet with the president of the united states, you know things are being done. >> ann, what is your understanding of what the russian end game is here with griner? >> well, nicole, it's really difficult to say.
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the kremlin came out today, actually, and said that -- specifically, that griner was not being kept -- they have said that justice needs to take its course, and they have argued that ms. griner came into the country, she was in possession, according to prosecutors, of these cartridges, vape cartridges with hashish oil, and they're arguing that that's against the law, and anyone in that position needs to be punished. now, of course, it's been really, really difficult, as you mentioned, the state department, the u.s. government, has deemed her case to be that of someone who is wrongfully being held. it's not clear on what grounds, and they have come to that conclusion. relations between the two countries are really tough right now. but seeing griner in court, it is quite heartbreaking.
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she looks terrified at times. her lawyers have said, though, that she is doing, you know, the best that she can be doing given the circumstances. she is sharing a cell, from what we understand, with a couple of other russian prisoners or prisoners, we're not quite sure of their nationalities, but they're also on -- being held on drug-related charges. we have been told in the past that she does have reading material and that she is trying to keep physically active by doing exercises in her cell and also walking. so, it's a really tough situation. her lawyer said today that she's a tough lady and that she is really kind of keeping up her spirits, and in fact, she relayed a message through the u.s. deputy head of mission today, saying, just letting everyone know, she's like, i'm keeping the faith. and that's what she has said
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that she wants to kind of be conveyed, that although she is under duress, obviously, it's a tough situation, she's trying to hold up to the best extent that she can. >> ann, if none of that was true, would you know, and would you be able to say so on tv? >> it's a really tough situation because so much isn't known in terms of what goes on behind the scenes in the russian courtroom or in the russian court of law. it's not just this particular case. cases are often held behind closed doors. oftentimes, the proceedings are delayed on many occasions, postponed. it's difficult to know when the court will actually take place. they do set dates, but sometimes, again, the dates are pushed back. so it is difficult. no one really knows, apart from her lawyers, what's really going on behind closed doors.
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the u.s. government, u.s. officials in moscow have expressed frustration that they haven't always had the opportunity to have the type of access they want to ms. griner. so, it is a difficult situation. not all journalists were allowed into the courtroom today, for example. there were lots of journalists who turned up at the court, but they were mainly russian journalists who were allowed in, and the reason given is that it's a very small courtroom, as a courthouse on the outskirts of moscow. >> tom, while ann was talking, we flashed a headline that says this, in the associated press. "fewer than 1% of all defendants in russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the u.s., it is the acquittals that can be overturned." what is the chance that -- i mean, it seems that there is no
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chance. i mean, we know what the chance is, fewer than 1% chance, that this trial will be free or fair and that it will result in her release. so let's focus on the second path that michael crowley laid out. with an american president that has accused russia of genocide, an american speaker of the house of representatives that has described russia as a state sponsor of terror and is interested in that designation, what are the prospects of success for getting her out? >> well, first of all, i just want to say, i agree. the courts are theoretically open to the public, but somehow there's just never enough seating in the courtroom to get in all the media. this is a common situation. the cases are adjourned. the witnesses don't show up, as happened today, which is why the next day is july 7th and let's not forget we don't have a jury in this case, which is, of course, a great barrier against prosecutorial abuse. so, it is a -- there is about a 99% conviction rate in judge trials in russia, and the
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prosecutors do have the right to appeal an acquittal and get the acquittal overturned. the prospects for the second half, as you mentioned, the exchange, again, it's extremely difficult to say. the fact that the relationship right now is terrible between the u.s. and russia is obviously an impediment, but as michael pointed out, we had an exchange not too long ago, constantine for trevor reid, so even in these conditions, it's possible if the sides are willing to give and get to yes. so, we'll just have to see how much each side is willing to give on this one. >> michael crowley, i want to show youer plea directly for president joe biden. this one is from brittney griner's wife, speaking directly -- addressing the president. >> the most beneficial thing that i have been told is that, you know, you meet with president biden. you know, he has that power. he is a person, you know, that ultimately will make that
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decision for bg to come home, so while everybody else wants to tell me they care, i would love for him to tell me he cares. >> if you were to sit in front of him, what would you say, speaking directly to him? >> honestly, the first thing is, i want to humanize my wife to him. >> there's talk of prisoner swaps being the thing that needs to happen. is that what you think should be done? do you think that the administration should say, we will swap who you want for brittney, bring her home? >> to be very honest with you, i don't really listen to much of the talk about the how in measures of, you know, what is necessary to get her home. but if that's what's necessary, then yes, do it. >> i think that is the answer that every single spouse or parent or child of someone held hostage anywhere would give, but
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i wonder what the human toll is of these very public pleas now for griner, and if it's having an impact. >> nicole, i think it has to have an impact. just the nature of human psychology and politics is that if brittney's case is on television and in the media, they know that in the white house. there was also a letter that was sent to the white house a week or two ago, signed by dozens of groups representing core democratic constituencies who have an interest in griner's freedom. and there's no way the white house can ignore that. but this goes to some of the most fundamental philosophical questions, you know, the old adage about whether you would flip a switch to divert a train that's about to run somebody over, and the train goes in another direction and it might, you know, hit two other people. philosophically, what do you do to free this person who is in
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immediate peril if you think that it may put americans who are out traveling around the world right now at risk of being arrested or abducted by russia or iran or any other country that says, hey, we can get people out of jail, or we can get some assets unfrozen. and this is what the white house is wrestling with right now, and it's excruciating. >> michael crowley, ann simmons, tom firestone, it's an excruciating human experience. i appreciate all your reporting and expertise on the topic. thank you so much for starting us off this hour. when we come back, another brutal attack by russia on civilians in ukraine. this time, it is an apartment building near odesa as the ukrainian government urges the world not to look away. our good friend, igor nobikov, will be our guest after the break. and later for us, here at home, we're entering the fourth of july weekend with fewer freedoms than we had one year ago. most notably, the chaos women
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right now are enduring after the supreme court overturned roe vs. wade. in florida today marks the start of the republicans' "don't say gay" law. it is already having devastating effects. it is already having devastating fects.
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helps control stress and emotional eating, and losing weight. go to golo.com and see how golo can change your life. that's g-o-l-o.com. devastating headlines continue to come out of ukraine, where russia continues its barrage of air strikes into civilian targets in ukraine. this time, hitting near the port city of odesa in one of the deadliest attacks since the war began more than four months ago. last night, russian missiles
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struck residential areas 50 kilometers from odesa, including an apartment building, killing 21 people, including children, and injuring at least 30 more. that's according to ukrainian media. ukrainian officials believe the attack was retaliation after russian forces on snake island, a small piece of land off the southern coast of ukraine, were forced to withdraw under ukrainian shelling. the new attack comes after nearly a week of air strikes by russian forces all around the country, including in kyiv and that shopping mall we told you about in the city of kremenchuk that killed at least 19 people. joining our conversation, our good friend, the former advisor to president zelenskyy, igor nobikov. you're back in kyiv. tell us what it is like right now. >> hi, nicole. it's quite a dangerous and depressing situation. basic, we have continuous air strikes all around the country, every night, pretty much. it all started with kyiv on
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sunday and we actually had a near miss with that because our daughter, sofia, was staying with some relatives some 700 meters away from where the rocket hit in kyiv, and just imagine your 13-year-old child, she told us she woke up because she heard the sound of missile, and then there was a massive explosion a few seconds later, so they had to run down 14 flights of -- 14 floors down to the parking garage. so, as you can imagine, it's quite traumatizing. then there's kremenchuk and death toll was way higher than 19, unfortunately. then there was mykolaiv. a 6-year-old girl was killed in her bed and this really disturbing image when she was dug up that's circulating around the media. there's odesa yesterday and i've been told there's way more to come, unfortunately. that's the situation now. >> igor, is it a fair read to suggest that, for russia, this
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is now bifurcated? there's the intense fighting in the east and in the south, but there is now almost daily attacks on civilian targets. >> well, it reminds me a lot of those terror attacks we witnessed early in the 2000s. kremenchuk was a bit like 9/11. there's a civilian target in the middle of the day, crowded with people, and you just hit it for no reason. these are hate crimes, and what blows my mind here is that -- the fact that we all agree -- there's a consensus in the world that he's a bad person and yet putin has killed way more people already in the last four months, so it's devastating. and yes, i mean, there's no logic, no military logic to what russia is doing. >> well, and i mean, there's a conversation -- i don't know if that's the right word -- a debate. there are some pleas to designate russia as a state
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sponsor of terror here. it hasn't happened yet. but it is clearly a terrorism campaign being waged against your country. what is your understanding of sort of the diplomatic conversations to obtain that designation? >> well, to be honest, i mean, there's a lot of conversations happening at the moment, but it's just that denial we're experiencing. the world has changed quite a lot over the last four months, and it's difficult, especially for the politicians, to actually grasp it. i mean, i got asked a question yesterday, am i afraid this war is going to escalate? and i just quoted pirates of the caribbean. i said, you better start believing in ghost stories, ms. swan, you're in one. that's the situation. and hopefully the political process will resolve itself as well, but it's going to be slow. >> have you -- i mean, can you plan your life if you live in ukraine? is there any part of the country that you feel safe, that you feel like your kids are safe?
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or are you sort of in this suspended reality in a country at war? >> i would say it's probably the latter. i mean, i would describe kind of my experience on the ground as a major case of cognitive dissonance. on one hand, most of the, you know, hospitality joints are operating, and you know, life seems normal. and then you hear the air raid alerts, and then out of the blue, major tragedies happen that remind us of the early days of the war. so, obviously, there is no long-term planning. we don't know what's going to happen next week. and you know, by the way, i'v heard something -- i've written something down, i'm joining you before the fourth of july so i want to take this opportunity, first of all, i won't see you before the fourth of july, so to wish you all in america a hap independence day and just on behalf of the ukrainians, to remind you that, you know, such things as independence, liberty,
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freedom, and human rights, they are fragile. they should not be taken for granted, and you should keep a close eye on what's going on, because certain events, globally, are very scary, and it's the future of our children we have to worry about. >> so, it is things like that, that you have said on this program over the last four amongst, inspired something that you and i have been working on rather quietly over the last eight weeks. you and i were talking about what the world could do. you talk about it a lot on this show with your metallica shirts and talking about the power of music and celebrity to change hearts and minds and keep up the connection that people -- ordinary people feel with ukraine. and so, the fruit of that labor is this special on sunday night, and i just -- i want you to tell us, in your own words, why these efforts maer. mean, does , you kn, do people sort of nd tnow that it's not just our government but ordinary people are thinking
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about them and care? i mean, just tell me what these sort of soft power events can do. >> well, to me, and having spoken to a lot of ukrainians, they mean as much as the military assistance. the reason that is, if people keep talking about us, if people remember us, it means that we're still alive, and once again, i want to address the audience directly because you're a modest person and you're not going to say it, but ladies and gentlemen, nicole wallace is a true hero. >> no, no. >> i've seen a lot of people saying they stand with ukraine, but there's a difference between saying something and doing something, and you know, i was behind the scenes for this entire journey, and you know, she did the impossible, and you know -- >> you're going to make me cry. >> i wholeheartedly thank you, and you know, i'm hopefully, you know, the presidential office will surprise you as well in the coming weeks. >> well, it all came from my
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audience falling in love with your and your family and seeing those videos of your young daughters at the beginning of the war, and my team knows that i would wake up every morning and say, has anyone heard from igor today? and then message you. so, it is a connection that all of our viewers and certainly my entire family feels with yours. we're still waiting to take you to disneyland or universal. we work at universal and we're really proud that you inspired this idea, and we thank you for everything. all your contributions, igor, thank you. >> thank you, nicole. >> as igor just said, our special, "ukraine: answering the call" airs sunday night at 7:00 p.m. eastern and 7:00 p.m. pacific. it's on nbc. if you miss that for some reason, it will be on at 10:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. ahead for us, as we head into fourth of july in this country, a look at the rights republicans have already managed to take away over the last year from reproductive healthcare for millions of women across the country to first amendment
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rights of the lgbtq community and one of the biggest states. how to fight back against this erosion of liberties is next. don't go anywhere. t this erosion of liberties is next don't go anywhere.
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first off, as igor just reminded us, a very happy fourth of july weekend to you and your families. we deserve every barbecue, every family and neighborhood gathering coming our way, but before we disconnect for a well earned weekend, holiday weekend,
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something to think about. this independence day, many of the freedoms we celebrate, especially this time of year, are under direct assault, the most obvious example is the most recent, a rolling back of reining, a taking away reproductive rights. it's now being fought out in the states. news today, florida and kentucky became numbers four and five of the list of states where judges have issued halts on those states' laws to restrict access to abortion care. a similar lawsuit in oklahoma could soon make that state number seven. president joe biden today met virtually with governors looking to protect those freedoms. he repeated what he has been saying for days, at the end of the day, it comes down to voting. >> this is going to be a big deal if we get people out to vote, because i hear that's going to happen. i predict. if we don't, if we don't take this -- keep the senate, increase it in the house, we're going to be in a situation where the republicans are going to
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pass a nationwide prohibition consistent with what the supreme court ruled. and so, there's a lot at stake here. >> joining our coverage is host of "politics nation," right here on msnbc, and the president of the national action network, our friend, the rev, al sharpton. and amy mcgrath is back. she's a former marine fighter pilot, former candidate for the u.s. senate in kentucky. rev, i start with you. it is a -- it is an independence day perhaps like none other in recent memory, and i wonder what you make of the right projecting and -- we can't even call it the quiet part out loud anymore, just shouting from the rooftops that they're coming for more freedoms after overturning the constitutional right to an abortion. >> well, it is a very challenging fourth of july, and really, many of us are saying rather than use our cookouts to celebrate, we need to use our
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cookouts to organize. i'm in new orleans at the essence music festival, the largest gathering of black women in the country on an annual basis, and we're talking about organizing. to take women's right to choose and to say that you're going after lgbtq rights, and contraception rights, and they already have been chipping away state by state at voting rights, is really antithetical to what independence day was supposed to be about. it was celebrating this country saying they were no longer going to be under a monarchy, and now this country is moving back toward a rulership where democracy means nothing, votes mean nothing, as we saw with january 6th. the spirit of that is to undermine voters. now off supreme court that undermines the will of the people. every poll taken says that they support women's right to choose, so it is a day that i think that
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we should not take it as getting depressed but getting organized and saying, we're determined to live up to the spirit of what this country said, never fully lived up to, but it has never tried to regress like we're seeing now. >> amy, you ran against the only other human who isn't on the supreme court who is as much to blame for a 50 -- a right that has been held for 50 years being taken away from all women and all americans. just one week ago today. what do you think -- you know, as someone who ran against mitch mcconnell, what do you think about this concept that's sort of out there of the dog catching the car? i mean, do you think republicans were prepared for, as the rev said, huge pluralities of all americans across both political parties supported roe staying as it is, i mean, you look at what they're already doing, the statewide bans eliminate exceptions for rape, incest, and
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life of the mother. those are wildly unpopular. they have the opposition of upwards of 80%, 90% of all americans. >> yeah. well, i think they don't care. i think the republicans don't care so much about what most americans think. and look, we are paying the price for four years of donald trump in the white house, and many years of, unfortunately, mitch mcconnell as senate majority leader. and i think, you know, i'm somebody that wants to look forward and try to figure out, okay, what do we need to do in the future? i think the most important thing is to make sure that donald trump never gets in the white house again, and that's why elections matter, as reverend al sharpton just said, and it's why we have to focus on making sure that the trump people who he's trying to insert in these key election positions of secretary of state around the country do
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not get into these positions. that's why i'm working so hard on the s.o.s. project. so as we look at july 4th and what we've got to do, i think it's kind of celebrate and our independence, but it's also a time to step back and say, what can i do for my country? and for me, it's staying in the game and making sure that these maga right-wing crazies, for lack of a better word, don't get into these oversight positions around our country. >> my colleague had a tweet that both of your comments made me think of, and i want to read it to you. he tweeted, "most americans, including educated, informed americans, including people working in politics and the media, still do not understand how close we are to fully losing our democracy. the authoritarians have flooded the zone. it's hard to keep up with how many attacks there are on our democracy right now from state courts, the supreme court and key members of the u.s. senate and house, every day it's
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relentless. the authoritarians have flooded the zone. it's hard to keep up with just how many attacks on our democracy there are right now." i mean, rev, what is the umbrella, i guess, under which the coalitions that were electorally successful in 2018, in 2020, before that, in president obama's presidential year, what are the -- what do you need in terms of sort of your organizing prowess and the coalition that could be activated to make sure that the other side, which i think many accurately describes as authoritarian in instinct, impulse, and policy, does not prevail? >> i think that we must build coalition to understand that all of our rights are at stake. we cannot let them isolate us to say this is a women's issue or this is an immigration issue or this is an lgbtq issue or this is a black issue.
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we are all being robbed at the same time, and as long as they keep us separate, and we fight one silo at a time, they win. when we come together and understand we must protect everyone's rights in order to protect our own rights, that's when the majority of this country will have a groundswell and deal with this authoritarian type of atmosphere that is setting in, i think, that was accurately read in what you just read. and i think when we look at the fact that mitch mcconnell and them are just absolutely going full steam ahead, let's not forget when mitch mcconnell blocked barack obama as president from having his choice of supreme court, then supported someone who was antithetical to their values to stack the supreme court with three seats. we need to wake up and realize where we are is a lot closer to an authoritarian state than we
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thought it was. this is not theoretical. this is not ivy league or ivory tower kind of things. this is happening in realtime, and we better come together across all of our silos and organize to save ourselves. >> the rev and amy stick around. when we come back, today marks the start of florida's low point, can we call it that? the enactment of the "don't say gay" law. it's already having a chilling and terrifying effect. law it's already having a chilling and terrifying effect.
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white house press secretary karen jean-pierre said, some of florida's most vulnerable students and families are more fearful and less safe today. that is because of that state's so-called "don't say gay" bill and the fact that it goes into effect today, barring educators from teaching children, kindergarten through third grade, about sexual orientation and gender identity. we're back with the reverend al sharpton and amy mcgrath, whose group, the american sos project we were just talking about is working to elect secretaries of state who don't back the big lie. in normal times, amy, it would be a weird thing to have to separate out, where for the people who aren't for the big lie that incited a deadly insurrection. but here we are. i want to ask you about this florida as a laboratory for the most maga-like policies being
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quickly and alarmingly efficiently put into practice and put into law. what does the -- because you're on the ground in the states, what does the state-by-state pushback and campaign against that look like? >> well, i think people are alarmed. i mean, you know, here in kentucky, people don't like these types of things. what i am really concerned about are military families. you know, a lot of the military are based in some of these states, nicole, particularly in florida. i know that the air force already has instituted a program through the exceptional family member program where they're literally trying to protect military family members who are -- happen to be transgender or gay, and military families are afraid to move or be assigned into those areas, because they may not be able to get the care for their children, for example, in some of these
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states. and so, really, we're in a position in this country where our military is having to protect our own service members from these radically right-wing laws in our own country. i mean, it's really striking r o. i mean, it's really striking
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once you can make people the other, you can reduce their humanity, you can treat them in ways that are not appropriate for a human being to be treated. and this is the element that is in front through by white supremacy, basically white male supremacy, that we talked against in this country. which is why we got to come together, what gives me hope is that i am seeing people come together, some of us backing toward each other, even when they're not coming forward for but we will end up to come together to save ourselves and unless you get people like amy in the military to stand, to stand with people like us and civil rights and people to understand this is not quite things want to eradicate us from even the story of this country. take us out of the textbooks.
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this is dangerous to the intellectual development of american young people. and where would we be in 20 years of we allow this to happen. we will be back with only white male landowners have say so in this country, and we can go back. >> a blunt and direct message from both of you on this friday. the reverend al sharpton, amy graff, thank you both so much. a quick rake for us, we will be right back.
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i have two kids that are well aware of what's going on. they are watching with a lot of interest in this. and i am trying to teach them the parallels between what is happening now and our july 4th. we have a generation right now that will be growing up in a world that is different than the one we grew up in. because of this. and i hope it is a better one when it is all said and done, but it is going to be up to all of us to make it a better one. >> brad paisley performs sunday night in that prime time specially been talking about all week as paul mccartney, brandi carlile, john batiste, stars from broadway you don't want to miss any of it, it is sunday night at 7:00 a.m. eastern over on nbc. again, 7:00 p.m. pacific time, 10:00 on msnbc, as well, if you miss the erring on the network, it is called
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ukraine, answering the call. give it a watch if you have the time or aren't so inclined sunday night. quick break for us, we will be right back
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thank you so much for letting us into your home during these truly ordinary times. we are so grateful. from katie thing and ari melber starts now. hi, katie, happy friday. >> thanks michael, you seem to, and i hope you have a great holiday weekend. you too.
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welcome to the beat , i am katie thing in for ari melber. we start with a big story that gained traction, potential witness tampering at the january 6th probe following star witness, cassidy hutchinson's bonsall testimony in this week's surprise hearing. nbc news has now confirmed at least one exhibit liz cheney read out loud, detailing a concerning message in which a trump ally seems to be coaxing the witness into testifying positively on trump's behalf. well, that was received by cassidy hutchinson. >> the call received by one of our witnesses , court, a person let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. he wants me to let you know he is thinking about you. he knows your loyal, and you are going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition. >> reporter: nbc news has also confirmed that

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