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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  September 14, 2020 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. to say that donald trump, who has been described as a political arsonist is a bad fit for today's trip to the western united states, which is described this afternoon as apocalyptic and engulfed in flames would be an understatement. with the death toll at nearly three dozen skpouand counting a california, oregon, and washington state, thousands of buildings destroyed and the air quality in the worst-affected areas equivalent to smoke 20 packs of cigarettes, that's according to california's govern governor. "the new york times" reports, across a hellish landscape of smoke and ash, authorities in oregon, california, and washington state battled to contain mega-wildfires on sunday as shifting winds threatened to accelerate blazes that have burned an unimaginable swath of land across the west. enter donald trump, who's on the
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ground in california this afternoon, sticking to his one note when it comes to the fires, claiming lives and land and livelihoods in unprecedented numbers, claiming it all just comes down to forest management. cleaning up the forest floor and something about exploding trees. listen to this from the president today. >> there has to be good, strong forest management, which i've been talking about for three years with the state. so hopefully they'll start doing that. when trees fall down, after a short period of time, about 18 months, they become really dry, they become really like a matchstick and they get up -- you know, there's no more water pouring through and they become very, very -- they just explode. they can explode. i was talking the head of a major country. he said, we have trees that are far more explosive -- he meant explosive in terms of fire -- but we have trees that are far more explosive than they have in
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california and we don't have any problem, because we manage our forests. >> paging sarah cooper. that talking point was fact checked moments later by one brave speaker at a briefing on the fires who tried to confront donald trump with science. >> we want to work with you to really recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests and actually work together with that science. that science is going to be key. because if we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the skpaand and think it's a about vegetation management, we're not going to succeed together protecting californians. >> okay. it will start getting cooler. you just watch. >> i wish science agreed with you. >> well, i don't think science knows, actually. >> so not only does donald trump continue to deny climate change, his administration has actively taken steps to work against climate reform. "the new york times" also reports this, quote, nearly two years ago, federal government scientists concluded that
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greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels could triple the frequency of severe fires across the western states. but the president has used his time in the nation's highest office to aggressively promote the burning of fossil fuels. at the same time, mr. trump and his senior environmental officials have regularly mocked, denied, or minimized the established science of human-caused climate change. the burning western united states and the president who brought a broom to the fight over climate change is where we start today, with some of our favorite reporters and friends. former chief of staff for the cia and the department of defense, jeremy bash is here. plus, white house correspondent for pbs "newshour," our friend, yamiche alcindor is back. and energy and climate change reporter for axios, amy harder is here. amy, let me start with you. can you take me through the view on the ground? governor gavin newsom has been outspoken about the sort of
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fruitlessness of debating climate change at this point, but it does continue to damage his state. so just take me inside the ground truth. >> right. well, there's a lot of factors that influence what makes wildfires worse. and i'm tuning in here from seattle, washington, where we've been cloaked in wildfire smoke for the last few days. and soy really have a first-person perspective on this. and there's several reasons why wildfires are getting worse. the president is actually correct that forest management is one of the factors, but so is climate change. which is drying out the forest, which is making hotter temperatures, which is creating more drought, all of which feed into this pent-up for that when fires are started, whether it's by a bolt of lightning or humans, that fire is like a tinderbox. and it gets going and it ravages more places than it would have otherwise. so the president is focusing on just one factor, when it's actually a lot of factors, including, most of all, climate
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chang change. >> jeremy bash, i just want to ask you to broaden the lens for me. you go back to the hurricanes heading towards this country and donald trump took a sharpie skparand altered the path of a hurricane. i think it was weeks later, maybe months, that we learned that the scientists inside noaa had written to their superiors about just desperately trying to keep politics out of science. there's example after example in the fight against covid. we've got a whistle-blower who was -- who left or was forced out because he refused to go on the hydroxychloroquine scam with donald trump and rudy giuliani and his friends at fox news. there's example after example of donald trump pushing medical quackery. i mean, it is a very, very difficult moment to be on the side of science. >> well, donald trump is waging a war, nicole, against science, against data, and against experts. and his m.o., as bob woodward
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pointed out, is to downplay any threats. you see that playing out now with respect to the wildfires, consuming an area, i think the size of connecticut, in the western part of the united states. you saw trump downplaying threat from covid-19. and of course, he took way too long to speak to it or acknowledge it. and even to this day, he continues to have mass sblees of people that can become super spreaders events. and with respect to the election, he consistently downplays t s foreign actors. so his first job in the constitution is to protect americans from certain threats. >> yamiche, people in your line of work know that the president is very late to this rolling crises. california, oregon, and washington have been on fire for
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many, many days. this is the first event he's had on it. what does your reporting suggest about his personal degree of concern? >> well, it's hard to say what, of course, is in president trump's heart. what i can say is he has been someone who has wanted to at least show that he is concerned about these fires. but he also is someone whose political career has really been founded on the idea that he knows even when health officials and scientists say otherwise. it goes to show you, when he was running, he talked about climate change being a hoax by the chinese, and now you see him as president rolling back environmental regulation after environmental regulation. he essentially says that he's on the side of business, not science and you hear him today saying essentially the same thing. there are a lot of critics for the president who would say, this is really par for the course. but as we look at the political ramifications, the president hasn't had to pay large
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consequences in his fight against science. it goes to show that, yes, he's in oregon, california, out west, talking about these fires, but has not been someone who's made his presidency being about being empathetic for people. instead, he's been someone who's been hard charging and saying, i have the answer, everyone else is essentially wrong. >> amy, let me show you governor gavin newsom on friday. >> i'm a little bit exhausted that we have to continue to debate this issue. this is a climate damn emergency. this is real. and it's happening. this is the perfect storm. >> amy, he appeared in a forest at the democratic national convention. his state has been hard hit by the two crises facing that region, coronavirus and the forest fires. what is sort of the view on the
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ground? do people feel like the first issue that you talked about, land management is -- has been not up to par? do people feel like climate change has been ignored. or do people feel the way the whole country deals with these crises, it depends on their political camp? >> i think it certainly depends a lot on your political perspective. unfortunately, climate change is the most polarizing issue, according to data from pew and gl gallup, so you really look at this issue through the lens of your political party. i think right now these wildfires are hitting blue states, and that is, of course, not going unnoticed by the way the president is handling his interactions with these states. i think there are some people here in washington state, for example, that do acknowledge climate change, but also want there to be better forest management. and the problem with a problem like climate change is that it takes decades to occur and also
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reverse. even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, we would still have bad wildfires for decades to come. which is why smart people, including people like governor inslee and other people on the ground, governor newsom of california, they're -- they should take a two-pronged approach, right? address climate change, but also deal with things that they can do now, which is better management of the forest, more measured burning, and colder seasons, where the tinderbox isn't as present. so it's really not either/or. but when you get into the political arena, unfortunately, it boils down to whether or not you believe in climate change. and belief isn't even the word we should be using. the word is acknowledge. because climate change is a science. so president trump doesn't acknowledge the science of climate change. he doesn't -- there's no belief to be had here. >> and to amy's point here, jeremy, he's filling his government with not non-believers, but non-accepters. not non-acknowledgers to use
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amy's term. here's a headline in "the washington post," today noaa taps davitt legates. donald trump re-tweeting this morning from an account of someone who dent accept the reality of climate change. let me show you how joe biden is talking about this issue on the campaign trail. >> if we have four more years of trump's climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires? how many suburban neighborhoods will have been flooded out? how many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms? if you give a climate arsonist four more years in the white house, why would anyone be surprised if we have more america ablaze? >> i mean, jeremy, joe biden, i would say, is going on his third week of really trying to get himself and his campaign on the
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offense on all the crises facing this country. and this one, turning donald trump's fearmongering efforts about the suburbs on its head and pointing it back against donald trump. >> i think it's a very sophisticated and accurate critique that the former vice president launched against the president. because, of course, the president would like to think of it through the rubric of what we were discussing, red state or blue state. but nicole, and you're from the barrier, you know, you know that the fire doesn't give a hoot whether or not you are republican or democrat or independent. it doesn't really care about your station in life. so these fires, these hurricanes, these floods are an equal opportunity destroyer. and the president who, yes, he's running for re-election, we get that, but he's also the president of the united states. he should act that way and look out for the best interests of all americans. >> you know, yamiche, jeremy is sort of hitting on this leadership argument. and i think that was the broader stroke that i noticed from joe
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biden. that joe biden is seeking to step in to every crisis where donald trump has decided, like jeremy just said, that the public will benefit them. and we can debate the strategies for how to deal with it, what america's role is in that, but it would seem that this is the third issue in three weeks that is a national crisis, an undeniable one for the vast majority of americans, but one that donald trump has been awol on. >> i think that what you see in the president is really him doubling down and really saying, what has worked for me in the past, what got me elected in 2016 is going to somehow also get me re-elected in 2020. and the big question is, will he pay the consequence, a negative consequence, for questioning science, for not believing, acknowledging climate change,
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for not taking the virus seriously. for not acknowledging other things that are clearly threatening the united states. you talk to jeh johnson and others who think about national security every day, and they will say that climate change is one of the number one or the number one national security threat facing the united states and the world. but the president is essentially banking on the idea that if he fills his government with people who don't believe that, if he rolls back regulations and makes the argument that he is helping americans by somehow betting energy companies and big companies that don't also want to follow a lot of the regulations that the obama administrations and others put in place to try to protect america from climate change, that he will somehow benefit from that. so you see from joe biden is him really banking on the idea that people are going to take these issues seriously, they're going to see climate change and see a whole state on fire. the biggest fire in california's history and say, we need a change and we need someone who's going to take this seriously. but i think fact that you see the president continuing to do
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what he did in 2016 and what he's done his whole president, it tells me that he either, one, is seeing numbers that's telling him, this is going to be working for him, or he doesn't know how to change, even if people around him are asking for him to change, he's just not doing so. >> jeremy, i want to pick up on yamiche's point about national security. we know that jim mattis saw it in exactly that way, climate change as a national security threat. there are other republicans, john kasich, and certainly evangelical voters across the ideological divide view climate change in a different way than i think donald trump thinks they do. can you just talk a little bit more about what maybe -- and "the new york times" has written about this. donald trump is playing what he thinks republicans are. it is not a monolithic denial of climate change on the right. he's really, again, microtargeting a sliver of it. and a generational sliver, at that.
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>> nicole, inside the pentagon and inside the intelligence community, there is a consensus that climate change and its affects impact national security and if we're going to field capabilities or field troops to defend the united states, they're going to have to be aware of things like rising sea levels. obviously, the navy is very concerned about that. of migration flows, which affects the stability of certain partner nations in europe and the middle east and africa and across the world. so the fact that climate change is out there, i think, is undeniable by national security leaders. yes, there can be a debate about what we should therefore do about climate change. but the fundamental facts that, the kind of consensus view inside the national security establishment is that the president is way outside the main stream of national security thought leaders on climate change. >> amy harder, a quick last word. what do you think scientists thought when donald trump said, it will get cooler, just wait and watch?
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>> well, i can tell you my reaction, and my reaction was two-fold. it was, one, that he's going to be wrong. it also struck me the similarity between that phrasing and what he said about the coronavirus. he said, for weeks or even months that it was going to disappear. and of course, you know, the reality has proven that to be incorrect. here, we'll be proven correct over decades that the temperature of the earth, which has already gone up, will continue to go up. but i will say that we're getting into the fall and winter seasons, you can bet that the first really cold snap, and there will be a cold snap in the united states, because that's how climate change works, it's still cold, that we'll get a tweet from the president, emphasizing that that is why climate change isn't real. that's not how climate change works, but nonetheless, that's something that viewers should be aware of and understand that climate change means more extremes. i liken it to diabetes for the planet. so we've always had wildfires, they're going to be more
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extreme. we've always had cold weather and new england knows that better than most. we'll have more extreme cold weather. but over time, in the next hundred years, planet earth is definitely getting hotter. >> and just show an 8-year-old a picture of the ice caps. they get it. amy harder, thank you for starting us off. jeremy and yamiche are sticking around for more. when we come back, one of the key witnesses in the impeachment trial against the president is speaking out today. lieutenant colonel alexander vindman calls donald trump, quote, putin's useful idiot. but he warns that he's a dangerous one, at that. more of what he had to say. and the issue of law and order is, indeed, a concern for many americans heading into the november election. but new polls show that if that's the question, donald trump is not the answer. plus, team biden prepping a war room of sorts for a post-election landscape. all of those stories, coming up. post-election landscape. all of those stories, coming up. from prom dresses... ...to soccer practices...
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the president suggested you are a never-trumper. are you a never-trumper? >> i joined this administration -- i joined the president's team. i joined this administration well into this administration with the hopes of being able to do my job, with the hopes of being able to advance the u.s. national security interests. i could say that i am now a never-trumper. i was not a never-trumper before. i was nonpartisan. regardless of what administration, i would just try to do the best i could to advance national security
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interests. but i think as the president has attacked and politicized me directly, and in taking a very sober view of where this president is taking this country, the divisions, the catering to our adversaries, the undermining of our no one was hurt interests that i am absolutely a never-trumper. >> retired lieutenant colonel alexander vindman explaining in that clip to our friend lester holt how the president drove him to abandon his non-partisan stance. that he'd adhered to his whole career. vindman's powerful testimony on trump's call with the ukrainian president during the impeachment trial left trump fuming. vindman was removed from his role at the national security council two days after trump was acquitted. and in july, vindman left the military after 21 years, citing a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation from the president. but regarding his decision to speak out when he felt something
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was wrong, vindman told jeffrey goldberg of "the atlantic," quote win had to choose between the president and the constitution. i was aware of the fact that i could be compelled to testify. but i chose the constitution. no army officer wants to be put in that position, but there i was. jeremy and yamiche are back. yamiche, i remain stunned that the president's allies on fox news and some of the pundits there went so far in their efforts to smear this sort of lifelong public servant. they suspected whether or not he was a spy for ukraine. i mean, the smear campaign against vindman turned him into a never-trumper, not the other way around as donald trump likes to fantasize in his paranoid delusions, that there's some deep state out to get him. that's not where alexander vindman came from. >> that's not where alexander vindman came from. and his testimony said that he was someone who was nonpartisan,
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who really wanted to serve his country and serve his country well. and he felt a moral obligation to speak out when he felt like the president was not adhering to the values of the constitution and was putting his own political benefit in front of the country's benefit. it's, i think, troubling that he says that he was bullied essentially out of his lifelong passion, which was serving this country. i also think it underscores the risk that president trump continues to take to vilify someone like alexander vindman, to vilify someone like john mccain and others, that are really in some ways american heroes. that are people that america looks to to say, these are the kind of people that we want to be serving to our gothvernment. having talked to alexander vindman's attorney, he was someone who felt compelled to move forward. we all remember that passionate and heartbreaking moment where he said, dad, i know you're probably worried and i'm going to be okay. he understood what he was up against when he spoke before millions of gooenls the
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president during that impeachment, those impeachment hearings. so i think it's important to listen to him and it's also in some ways kind of sad that he's now turned into someone who feels like he has to take a political stance. not just a stance against what he seies as not the values of america, but a stance that says, this president must go. that in some ways underscores the argument that president trump is trying to make. they think president trump is dangerous. of course, president trump has been vilifying alexander vindman and will likely continue to do so. >> you know, jeremy bash when you work in the white house, almost everyone you know from the cia and the intelligence community from the pentagon, everybody you know from the pentagon is nonpartisan. not a single one of them are political. and it is so disturbing to hear him say that he had to choose between the president he served and the constitution that donald trump frankly should be serving and isn't.
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do you think it's a precursor for what is to come? you have donald trump telling judge jeanne piero that he's going to use the insurrection act. you have judge milley apologizing for his role. vindman says he pushed the constitution. that's more than just norm busting. >> yeah, of course, the way we know about alexander vindman is because the president of the united states saw fit to shake down a foreign leader, the president of the ukraine, and said, unless you dig up false dirt on joe biden, you're not going to get these weapons you feed to fight the rupssians. and he improperly used military aid that was appropriated by congress and jeemoverseen by th pentagon to try to achieve a political effect. the president got impeached for that, nicole. and alexander vindman's sole sin was he told the truth.
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people in uniform are trained to tell the truth. we have an army lieutenant colonel, purple heart winner, told the truth to congress and he was pushed out. that is the scary dynamic we can look forward to if donald trump is commander in chief for the mexico four years. >> jeremy and yamiche, stay with us. we have some breaking news from the justice department. sources are telling nbc news that an internal watchdog is investigating roger stone's sentencing. if you remember this, they're looking at events from february when prosecutors say they were told to seek a lighter sentence for stone than they had considered. several resigned from the case and one from the department. joining us now to talk about that breaking news, nbc news justice correspondent, julia ainsley. julia, tell us what you're reporting. >> so my colleague, ken dilanian andry learning, nicole, that the inspector general at the justice department have began looking into those events in february. just to recap what happened there, there were career prosecutors a to the justice
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department who had been investigating stone. many were from mueller's office, the office of special counsel. they had already charged him with seven felonies, including obstructing congress and they were moving forward with sentencing when they started to get pressure from timothy shay, who was then the u.s. attorney for the district attorney. and as prosecutor aaron zelensky testified before congress in july, it was his belief that there was political pressure from the top rungs of the justice department to go easy on stone for political reasons, mainly that he was a long tooum and close friend of the president's. now, their recommendations ended up even after that pressuring with thrown out, because then attorney general william barr sbree intervened and said that there should be a lighter sentence, and he ended up only getting a 40-month sentence that again was tloub out when the president stepped up and commuted the sentence entirely. but for this exact period of
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time, the inspector general is looking into what led up to those events and whether there was up due political pressure when these prosecutors were told to go easy. barr has said, stone was 67, it was a nonviolent crime, he should not have been given the maximum recommendations for sentencing guidelines, but these prosecutors have testified that they thought they were told to go easy on him, give him special treatment, because he was a friend of the president's. and now we understand the inspector general is looking into that and talking to people involved to figure out what pressures came to influence those prosecutors and whether or not those were an issue of misconduc misconduct. >> well, in the public record, julia ainsley, we have bill barr on the record saying that the sentencing was just, was righteous. and then reversing course after campaign from donald trump. we also have -- it's not just that he was an ally, he was
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covering for the president, that we've learned in subsequent reporting. how deep is the ig allowed to go or expected to go? >> the ig can start collecting documents, interviews. we expect them to look at the district of columbia, we should expect them to be interviewing those four career prosecutor who is all quit. he has a lot of evidence at his fingertips. it's unknown at this point how far this investigation has gone. we understand it was triggered because of that july testimony from the prosecutor, aaron zelensky. but to us, it seems very obvious. there's been testimony on the record about the political influence these prosecutors were under when they were trying to do their job and recommending a sentencing for roger stone. also, by the way, they were following the directions that the justice department lays out that prosecutors need to seek the highest penalty when they are submitting their sentence recommendations. that's something that started under jeff sessions.
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they were following jeff sessions' advice. and there was an intervention, not just from people within the u.s. attorney's office, but then eventually from the attorney general himself saying this was too high of a sentence. barr has defended this also to congress and said that he intervened, because it should be that he was giving stone special treatment, but he shouldn't get worse treatment just because he's a friend of the president. but it's really hard for that defense to stand after we saw trump himself take such a personal stake in this sentencing that he indeed did commute his sentence entirely by the end. >> jeremy bash, let me bring you in on this. roger stone certainly didn't think it was too strong of a sentence when he said that he agreed with it. and the only intervening events really was that pressure campaign from the president. this is the second workday in a row that the light is flashing yellow at the barr justice department.
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in this hour on friday, the heartfort kurartford currant re the barr blessed deputy had resigned because of political pressure from bull barr around the timing of that report. you had all the prosecutors on the stone case quit the department when the sentencing memo was upended by bill barr. you've got bill barr sitting for interviews where he is getting his facts wrong and almost a desperate effort to shill for the president's conduct for voting twice. the current sitting attorney general of this country saying, i'm not sure if that's illegal. where do we stand with barr's obliteration of the rule of law? >> we've got to be concerned, because 50 days out from an election, we're looking for a massive opportunity for the russians to interfere and a lot of domestic interference through the post office and many other
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things that the barr justice department will have to defend in court and when it comes to voter suppression, eligibility to vote, mail-in ballots, recounts, contests of presidential elections, we've got to be careful here. we're treading on very thin ice as a democracy. if the justice department can intercede and intervene on behalf of the political fortunes of the president. it's a total and complete abuse of power. what he did with stone is one example, but i'm actually a lot more worried about what's gong to happen before, on and around election yamiche, let me ask yot this barr/trump relationship. i've understood from both sides, from both orbits that while donald trump -- oh, yamiche, we lost you. julia, you can weigh in on this expertly. what is sort of the state the barr/trump dynamic? while barr is exactly what donald trump always wanted, someone willing to term prosecutions and investigations into political cudgel, he's very inartful. he's hideous on television.
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he is not a slick messenger. he doesn't gain donald trump a single vote where he's looking for them in the coveted suburbs. and he has a lot of missteps. he fumbled the firing of the u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. he fumbled the fact pattern in that interview where he was asked about voter fraud. he has done all of these sort of attempts at erasing the mueller probe in such a ham-handed, ham-fisted way in that every wunl of them has resulted in resignations from those cases of kpreerts. what is sort of the report card on bill barr's intellect and acumen? >> well, certainly, his defenses of the president are getting harder and harder for him to make. i mean, take this case just on its own. the fact that the inspector general is saying, you know what, there is something to see here. after barr time and time again in interviews said he did what anyone would do to intervene with stone, that there's nothing to see here, there's no
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political influence, the inspector general said, not so fast. we actually think that something might have happened here and we need to take a look at it. the pint you made about the fact that the attorney general is the exact attorney general trump probably always wanted, certainly more so than jeff sessions,ic also say that are trump is the president that william barr always wanted. he was already attorney general in the '90s, he didn't need to come back. but barr is someone who believes in the power of the president. the power to expand the white house into areas that we haven't seen. and so it makes sense for him to be an attorney general in a presidency like this, where every single day, we are asking the question, can the president do that? and time and time again, we're seeing the attorney general say, yes, he can. >> julia ainsley, jeremy bash, thank you both so much for spending some time with us. julia, thank you for breaking your news in this hour. we're always grateful when that works out.
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after the break, the "law & order" president vuging to show he's the man for the job. we'll turn to presidential politics and surprising new poll numbers on those questions, after this. needles. essential for sewing, but maybe not for people with certain inflammatory conditions. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz. the first and only pill of its kind that treats moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or moderate to severe ulcerative colitis when other medicines have not helped enough. xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections. before and during treatment, your doctor should check for infections, like tb and do blood tests. tell your doctor if you've had hepatitis b or c, have flu-like symptoms, or are prone to infections. serious, sometimes fatal infections, cancers including lymphoma, and blood clots have happened. taking a higher than recommended dose of xeljanz for ra may increase risk of death. tears in the stomach or intestines and serious allergic reactions have happened.
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♪ i got it all from you ♪ i'm always pushing through ♪ i know we'll make it to the finish line ♪ ♪ i know you're waiting on the other side ♪ ♪ i'm like you on-demand glucose monitoring. because they're always on. another life-changing technology from abbott. so you don't wait for life. you live it. donald trump has presented himself for months now as the law and order candidate, using fearmongering and racist rhetoric to try to convince
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voters that they won't be safe in joe biden's america. while we're all living, of course, in donald trump's america. yesterday, in front of a mostly maskless nevada crowd, trump again pledged to preserve law and order and to quote, make america safe again. but again, we're already living in trump's america, and that fact seems to have registered with a lot of people in this country, blunted my political gain. according to a new monmouth university poll out today, nearly two-thirds of americans say maintaining law and order is a major problem in the country right now. but more than half of americans say biden would do a better job t a mainta at maintaining, or maybe in their view, regaining it than trump has. joining me now, mara gay and editor in large of the bull warwar work, charlie sykes. this is not an advantage that trump could have fathomed he would lose, but it turns out that's the case based on the current snapshot of polling.
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>> it's interesting and i would like to hear more from historians about why that might be. i don't think we fully understand or can appreciate folks and why they're changing their views on low and order, but it does remind me of the polls we saw earlier this year that showed a lot of think for black lives matter prosecutorses. and my best guess here is that the idea of law and order is actually changing, especially for younger americans across the country and of course, what you pointed out, nicole, is exactly right, which is that the lawlessness that we're seeing in some pockets soft some cities is actually happening under donald trump. and so i think that kind of chaos and unrest something that voters are tiring of. it's no longer -- law and order is no longer enough to scare white voters into the arms of republicans on its own. i think that people are seeing
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narrow own eyes the unrest that donald trump has stoked and created. and dhint like thathey don't li. >> i think it's simpler than that. i remember peter baiker's lead n "the new york times" seven, eight months ago when he said that donald trump is the match to the tinderbox that is this country's churn around issues of race. and you cannot find a single example where he wasn't gone running for the match. i mean, every time there is a crises in this country, he doesn't even, you know, do it through surrogates or try to hide. he is out there with the poker making things worse. and so i think where he may have been successful in evaluate iin sort of the broad topic of law and order, he has also evaluated his role as the heckler, as the instigator, as the person making
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everythi everything, exacerbating violent actors. and if you're on the ground and trying to move towards ridiculo reconciliation, condemn the criminals, but bring everyone else to the table, that's what joe biden is doing. >> and this is what makes it so difficult for the president to be the firefighter in chief when you spent last four years being an arsonist. that is exactly the point. i will point out "new york times" siena poll at least show s, before we zpidismiss this, t will might be a little softness before the bad luck biden support. there is a little bit of vulnerability, but i do think what's happening is exactly what you described, is that the president, rather than seizing a leadership position, decided he was going to exacerbating when it goes into kenosha and turns it into a prop, when he begins to justify and defend vigilante
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action. he is a figure of chaos and division and i think that's what's really hurting him. also, i think in the last week, what we've seen is that the focus of the twain has shifted to these other failures. first of all, joe biden did address this effectively, but donald trump wanted this to be what we talked about, as opposed to the coronavirus, as opposed to the fires out west. and i think that as you start to see the shift of the focus of this campaign, it's going to be harder and harder for donald trump to use this as the way. he really did think for a while that this was going to be the edge issue that might bring joe biden down, but i think he's mishandled it. >> and mara, some of it is an error in how he sees himself. there is political porn that people like tucker -- oh, my god -- carlson -- can coevery
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night that builds an audience that's interested in political porn. it's like, it's naughty, it's disgusting to say, what'd you expect to happen when there's vigilante violence. those same viewers that like political porn in their cable news may not necessarily like it in the country's commander in chief. it is sort of this one place where never understanding that his job isn't to feed the base political porn, but to actually rise above that and lead from time to time, may end up being a political perilous miscalculatio miscalculation. >> that's right. i think donald trump really does believe sometimes that he's in the 18980s and the law and orde message has resonance with far more voters than it does. at this point, his outward racism makes it clear that he's talking to a very small portion of the american public that are
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at the heart of his base. and i think the majority of americans, excuse me, are actually more interested in seeing the country brought together. and also think if you think about the voters who are independents or conservative democrats or even republicans who voted for barack obama, once or even two times, white voters, there's a lot of contingent of those voters, especially in swing states in the midwest who actually don't want to see so much division. they want somebody who is, as you said, not going to stoke the fires, who's going to bring us together. they want to feel good about the commander in chief. confident and good. they want to feel confident about his humanity, frankly. and i think that joe biden has an opportunity to kind of scratch that itch. >> mara and charlie are staying put. and i know charlie is going to
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jump in with something to say about political porn. it's his expertise, not mine. i want to leave you with two more polls before the break. 61% of respondents think that trump's handling made the situation worse. and by a margin of 45 to 28, americans think that joe biden would handle these crises and those situations better than donald trump. when we come back, preparing for battle. how the biden campaign is readying for a fight, a legal one around a fair and accurate election day. l one around a fair and accurate election day
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this will be, in my opinion, the most corrupt election in the history of our country and we cannot let this happen. >> the only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged. >> the democrats are trying to rig this election because it's the only way they will win. >> none of that, none of what he said there is based in reality. donald trump has given us every indication though that he's readying for battle come november, which is why the biden campaign is taking extra precautions to ensure fair and safe election. from new york times, joe biden's came pain is establishing a new legal operation bringing in two former solicitor's general a and the largest election protection campai campaign. it will include some elements common to past presidential
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campaigns such as fighting off voter suppression and ensure people understood stood how to vote and some more unique to 2020 such as administering an election against a pandemic and guarding against foreign interference. it's unprecedented despite the fact it will be some veterans of the 2000 florida recount, it's unprecedented to have to deal with the president pushing out lies and disinformation about an election being rigged when it is not. pushing out lies and disinformation being backed up by the a.g. about voter fraud that is nonexistent and having those messages echoed irresponsible on facebook and other places. >> it is. you mention political porn because this. this is the new political porn the democrats will have some sort of stealing the election. i think it's very real danger. whatever the size of joe biden's legal team, i think he ought to
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double it. when i'm talking to a lot of trump supporters, there's a moral certainty among them that donald trump will not only win but will win big. if he loses, this will come as a huge shock and there will be a willing audience to anyone that claims that there is a cue, this is being taken way. we need the fight back. you're seeing over heated rhetoric from the folks at the federalist about the election coup. you're seeing roger stone talking about how donald trump needs to seize power. the president is sowing doubt and chaos and this concern this will not be a legitimate election. the biden folks better -- and the media better be prepared to handle this disinformation campaign as well starting on election night. >> donald trump gave this away when he told his spofupporters his first year of don't believe
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your eyes, don't believe your ears. just believe me. he is running that campaign to wave people off of his admissions that he knew how bad coronavirus was in his voice talking to bob woodward back in february. >> that's right. i think going back to what happens if joe biden wins and there's a massive legal battle to defend that win, i also think that because of all of the damage that donald trump has done to the public trust especially among his supporters, there's going to have to be a similar battle waged for hearts and minds of americans who are going to have a hard time believing that a joe biden presidency is even possible. information, disinformation like that is very hard to combat. it's very hard to combat conspiracy theories. one way to do it is return to civil society. you need folks, say historians
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who study this. you need people from family members, community leaders, local folk who is can talk to their neighbors who are voters. people really want know they are getting information from someone they trust. it's not so much about the information. it's about the messenger. i hope the biden campaign is thinking about that as well. >> mara gay and charlie sykes. to be continued. thank you both. next hour of deadline white house starts after a quick break. don't go anywhere. use starts afk break. don't go anywhere. which egg tastes more farm-fresh and delicious? only eggland's best. with more vitamins d and e and 25% less saturated fat? only eggland's best. better taste, better nutrition, better eggs. they grew their first tomatoes right here. and when it snows, the kids go sledding right there. the frels family runs with us on a john deere 1 series tractor. because this is more than just land, it's home.
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the president of the united states has a duty to warn the public will understand that. if they get the feeling they're not getting the truth then you're going down the path of deceit and cover up. >> nothing more could have been done. >> nothing more could have been done. does he remember what he told me back in february about it's more deadly than the flu? it almost took my breath away. i say the president is the wrong man for the job. it's a conclusion based on evidence. overwhelming evidence that he could not rise to the occasion with the virus and tell the truth. >> it was an interview for the ages.
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bob woodward's book and more importantly at this point, donald trump's voice on tape confessing to lying about the severity of the coronavirus is what new york times reporter pointed. donald trump self-served september surprise. as the wanting to reenforce that image of himself as the science de deny, life endangering, failure on managing the coronavirus pandemic here in america, donald trump just last night displayed reckless disregard for the lives of his own support rs at an indoor rally at henderson, nv neva nevada. it was a violation of a request to not endanger the lives of nevadans from the state's governor who spoke with my colleague. >> he's only concerned about his own health. not the health of anybody else in the state of nevada. all the the work, sacrifices that have been made by residents, by people in this
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state of nevada, countless things that they have gone out with. they have gone without being able to go to church, without being able to visit their family in the hospital, without the kids being able to have in-person education are all going to be impacted because of a selfish, irresponsible reckless decision by donald trump. >> donald trump's disregard for sdooins and following the rules are proving aprilly damaging for him as well. a new abc poll shows 65% of americans disapprove of donald trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. other world leaders call for new shutdowns amid rising case numbers, trump is stumbling into ka tcatastrophe by pushing unpr treatments. his reckless endangerment of his own supporters and the woodward tape is where we start this hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends.
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i have to start with you and fire coming from the governor of nevada. nevada has struggled with the decimated economy so depen dent on casinos and gamble and indoor recreation. the kind that represents super spreader risk which i learned from folks like yourself but donald trump's open defiance of the science and the things that will keep his voters safe on display last night. it was stunning to see. >> it was an embarrassment to him and his administration. these shenanigans, enough is enough. this is one of the worst types of events i've seen. that is saying something coming from president trump. you had the majority of individuals, thousands not socially distanced, not
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practicing masking. almost basking in the glow of participating in an event where the president was presiding over something not science base and doubling down on the recklessness of the advice he was given in early february. i can't get my head around it. anybody that is dealing with this can't get their head around it. it's shocking he didn't put into place, whether it was defense production act, whether it was messaging appropriately or i alerting health systems covered in smog, might i add. alerting us to what the threat was. right now he's doublie ining do that strategy that he doesn't believe in science and people are not at risk. >> this despite the fact that herman cain was see not wearing mask at tulsa rally. here is donald trump with the las vegas review journal on his
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insistence of doing it his way. >> we had many sites. outside sites. the governor, what he did is a disgrace. he's in charge of ballots. he made it impossible for these people to give us the sites. they were exterior sites. last night we had 29,000 people. we had people outside by the tens of,0 thousands but tonightt was very interesting. i said how are we doing? they cancelled six different sites because the governor wouldn't let it happen. all exterior. a friend of ours let us use this. >> he sounds so confounded. the governor wouldn't let it happen. because coronavirus is still here and mass gatherings are outlawed in that state and most others. what is wrong with him? >> nothsit's not a decision the
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governor made because he's a political foe of the donald trump. he made the decision because the pandemic is raging across the country and killing hundreds of people every day and continues to spread. he like so many other states, is following the guidelines that the federal government has set forward. for how to behey savely and prevent and limit the spread of this virus. trump by campaigning in these large venues is openly defieide that recommendation. >> nick, i want to come to you on the topic of open defiance. donald trump is at this point in open defiance of the reality that he sat for 18 or 19 interviews with bob woodward. i think thanks to the washington post reporting and what has been released, we heard about five minutes of 18 or 19 interviews. you appropriately branded them,
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donald trump's september surprise delivered and created by donald trump. i couldn't help but watch that woodward interview on "60 minutes" last night and have the feeling there's more to come and two, this will be the conversation around the tables of voters that don't know where they stand. if you can read science, if you accept science, you probably have a pretty good sense of what you can do in november. if you're waiting the hear it from donald trump, here it is. donald trump in his own words not under any duress but making the calls himself saying i knew it was deadly. i knew it was airborne. i lied on purpose. i still do so. >> it's amazing right. he admitted on the record back in the winter time he knew this was danger. he knew it was airborne and here he is in nevada having a big rally indoors with thousands of people. i couldn't help but think as i watched that, i saw some photos
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where it appears there were people behind the president who only put on their masks when he got onto speak as if it was part of the show. it reminds me what he said about de defiance. it's more than a rally. it's a place where the president communes with people who share his disdain for the ideas in washington and the science around coronavirus. it's maiamazing he is endapgeng his own voters and refusal to sanctify the rules being put in place. last thing, if he wanted to set up a better contrast with joe biden on the issues, he couldn't have. there's a great story in politico about the measures that joe biden's campaign puts into place to protect the vice president and his volunteers and his staff from getting coronavirus. they are handing out masks to people who don't have them. they are abiding by the rules at
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places they are holding rallies. the president is having a contrast here with biden. it's bad one and biden is doing his messaging by example. >> we should point out too that joe biden is also add hering to cdc guidelines to the degree we still have them. on ta topic i want to bring every every one's attention to new york times. the times reports that a man named michael caputo said in a live video streamed on his personal facebook page that the centers for disease control was harboring a resistance unit determined to undermine president trump and this individual claims without evidence that quote, they haven't gotten out of their sweat pants except for meetings at coffee shops to plot how they
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will attack donald trump next. there are scientists who work for this government who do not want america to get well. not until after joe biden is president. caputo predicted there could be violence after the election saying when donald trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin. the drills that you've seen are not. if you carry guns, buy am knew in addition because it's going to be hard to get. those comments from that individual, the most senior communications official at hhs follow politico report late friday that detailed his team's interference with the cdc official reports outlining how he does not have any medical or scientific background and a top aide routinely demanded that the cdc revise, delay or stop publication of morbidity reports that undercut the president's message of the pandemic as totally under control.
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politico is reporting that house democrats launching an investigation into the allegations in that report. this is worth spending some time on. let me start with you dr. gupta about the comments about the cdc and one of most alarming things and we'll get into the stock up on your guns and ammunition in a second. the doctors of the morbidity and mortality reports. what does that signal to you? >> this should be denounced in the strongest of terms. mmwr, the reports published by the cdc, that is dogma. docs like myself, my colleagues we look to that for guidance. for early signals on an epidemic that might turn into a pandemic. that's vital information. i can cite maybe 20 instances where those reports are critical to savoring american lives. the fact that michael caputo, peter navarro, you name it,
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scott atlas are the spokes people for this administration, the fact the fda commissioner, the cdc director, the surgeon general are enabling those individuals to have the mike. that says a lot. they should be resigning. number two, these individuals should have nothing to do with the mmwr reports. these should be dogma science based because the rest of us rely on it. if these were give tennessee platform they deserve, we would have known as the public, that maybe the virus come out of china, covid-19 was airborne in early february and that is the big problem. we didn't have that transparn ty and we couldn't prepare. >> phil, i'm attempted to ask how someone like this could still have a job. in there was anyone in the bush administration or the obama administration or the clinton administration who said these things on a website or where
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ever you share personal views, they would be gone. the white house chief of staff would have called over to the department and they would be gone and fired. is there anyone left who cares? >> we'll have to see. i am surprised that caputo has not been fired for the remarks because they are breathtaking. perhaps that could happen in the next couple of days. i don't know. he is speaking to pattern, a mind set that we have seen from donald trump himself, from the president the last few years. there's so many echoes in what caputo was saying about his false conspiracies. with the way trump would talk about the deep state, the conspiracies that would harbor. the intelligence community in this country. the way he would talk privately according to our reporting about the individuals and those
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departments very similar mind set here. we'll see. it might be the president sees caputo as an ally and wants him in this government. this is somebody caputo who worked on the president's 2016 campaign. he ran communications for a period under paul manafort when he was the campaign chairman in the 2016 year. >> nick, this is what he accused the cdc of. top communications official at the powerful cabinet department if charge of combatting the coronavirus accused career government scientists on sunday of quote, sedition in their handling of the pandemic and warn that left wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election. it's dangerous.
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it's false. it's a guy who we pay. he's a government employee and it suggests that maybe he is not the most balanced person to be running communications at the department in charge of the country's coronavirus response. your thoughts. >> this is taxpayer funded disinformation coming from michael caputo is a protege of roger stone who is also a master of disinformation. it is astonishing to hear that from the words of a high level assistant secretary for health. a high level government spokesperson. it's a new thing. t i have to say he's doing his job. he was installed in that job to make sure that the public health pronouncements from the american public health would not injure
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the president politically. his concern is not they are true or not. his concern is they are politically damaging to the president or not. that's why he was put in that job as an enforcer for the president and it is part of a trend. we have seen this. there are certain parts of the government that americans have come to expect and hope would be immune for the most extreme kind of partisan pressures. the administration and the irs and the administration of public health. these are areas in which pure politics and partisanship are not supposed to invade. under trump they have. >> this is beyond politics. i worked in an administration often critical of politics. this isn't politics. let me read you some more from the new york times report. this is mr. caputo on sunday on facebook. complaining he was under siege by the media saying his physical health is in question and his
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mental health has failed. this is him. sounds like cry for help. dr. gupta i'll let you tell me. i don't like being alone in washington. shadows on the ceiling, in my apartment, there alone. shadows are so long. end quote. >> in hearing that, i worry about his mental state and to your point, i'm sorry he might be going through a tough time and he needs to get medical attention. should he be in charge of communications and co-opting the mike that the cdc director should be manning. his deputies, career scientists should be having to speak to the american people. hoe shou he should step aside. >> when you see joe biden's 30-point advantage on handling
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coronavirus, maybe that has something to do with the folks carrying the message for donald trump. thank you for spending some time with us. phil and nick are staying put. wildfires raging up and down the west coast. joe biden and kamala harris look to make donald trump's denial of the very existence of climate change an issue in the upper coming election. donald trump helped make that case for them. that stiory is next. florida is one of biggest battleground states of all. now mike bloomberg is spending big money to help make it a biden state in november. after months of protest against police brutality in this country, the nfl season kicked off with social justice issues front and center. "deadline white house" is back in a quick minute. hoe"us is back in a quick minute. veryone, we m. my job is to help new homeowners who have turned into their parents. i'm having a big lunch and then just a snack for dinner. so we're using a speakerphone in the store. is that a good idea?
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meanwhile, donald trump warns that integration is threatening our sbuburbs. that's ridiculous. you know who is threaten our suburbs? wildfires are burning the midwest. hurricanes are hurting suburban life along our coast. we have four more years of trump's climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned? how many suburban neighborhoods will have been flooded out? how many suburbs will have been blown away in super storms?
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>> pointing out the contradiction in donald trump's approach to the wildfires out west. donald trump would have america ablaze. it's an especially effective message given this exchange between trump and a california official earlier this afternoon. >> we want to work with you to really recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests and work together with that science. that science is going to be key because if we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it's about vegetation management, we're not going to succeed to get a protect in california. >> okay. it will start getting cooler. you just watch. >> i wish science agreed with you. >> i don't think science knows, actually. >> joining our conversation former aide to the george w. bush white house and phil and nick are still here. he's got one answer to the tragedy and it really is, bring
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your broom, sweep your floors. this braver scientist and this is instructive. you have to imagine that before him came dozens and dozens whether they were at noaa or the cdc or hhs or whether they were at the cia or the pentagon. people presenting donald trump with fact, try to be collaborative and donald trump saying nope. poof. it will get cold. it will go away just like that. he said it to chris wallace. it's still stunning to see and hear. >> nicole, it's stunning too when you see so many places on the west coast just being absolutely ravaged by fire and men and women faenlmilies fleei and yet donald trump is pinning his hopes on cooler weather fixing the problem. it's tragedy across the board with this administration. you look at immigration and how donald trump wants to build a
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wall but perhaps if he dealt more with climate change and in impact in central america, that would actually address the root problem. it's another extension of this non-scientific basis of so much of donald trump's thoughts and how that translates into devastating policy for americans who need to see the federal government do something about their country that's literally on fire right now. >> there's also a pattern of human suffering that donald trump can't find way into. a lot of the areas of my home state that have burned are areas he might find a lot of supporters. same with the places in washington state and oregon state. not that that matters to normal people but to someone like him to just see these as blue states
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that didn't clean their fires, is we have fallen so far when that is kind of what we accept from the country's current president. >> life in the west right now is incredibly tragic. it's incredibly fragile and what they are hearing from the president is an argument over what's to blame for what's transpiring right now. people's homes are being burned. they are having to evacuate. they don't know whether they will have a home to go back to. that's incredibly frightening. the president of the united states is in their state, in their region today to complain about what is to blame. where it's people out there not raking the forest enough or whether it's really the science behind climate change. when we talk about the president's denial of climate science we should keep in mind it's not just his words but his actions. this administration has worked to pull back, to reverse tons of
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regulations, environmental regulations many from the obama era but many before that designed based on science to help prevent some of the disaster that we see playing out now like the trump administration has rolled those back. >> nick, it's politically calamitous to be on the wrong side of environmental issues especially among women voters in the suburbs and i speak from some experience. the environmental crisis are better spoken to by experts in the policy but i can speak to the communication crisis and the political fall out from polling and concerns about mercury. every time and the bush administration is worthy of scrutiny here but just on the question of the politics of this, it's a political calamity to be seen on the side of fire
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danger but more broadly dirty air, dirty water and denying that the climate is warming. every one is living that reality. >> this is an astoirning age we're in where climate change is happening now. it's no longer off in the future. the effects of it including some more severe weather and some wildfires like we're seeing on the west coast are right in front of us. hurricane, tropical storms, tornadoes. these are all affecting people. i think it's done a good job of connecting the dots and making people understand what they are seeing is a consequence of climate change. i think the president in the long term is on the wrong side of this. he is thinking short term he has millions of reasons to ignore the science on this.
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>> phil, nick, what time. what a day. thank you for talking us through it. when we come back, joe biden gets 100 million dollar boost in the battleground state he would like to win. that story when deadline white house returns. that story wn hedeadline white house returns. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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the race continues to be tight. the recent nbc news poll shows biden and trump tied at 48% in florida. from politico, conspiracy theories about biden are swamping latino voters in florida and inundating spanish speerking residents. clogs their facebook feeds and radio air waves that threaten to shape the outcome in the biggest and most closely contested swing stat state. how do you combat that? that is like campaign funded
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domestic disinformation to microtargeted regions? >> it helps to have $100 million from michael bloomberg. florida is a state that people forget. there's a lot of focus on the upper midwest. wisconsin, michigan, ohio, pennsylvania. florida is not only did donald trump win it by about 1% or less. this is state where biden throws the entire map out of whack. there's 29 electoral votes there. it wouldn't say it's like the election over but it's an early announcing state. it can set a narrative very early, earlier than salespeople expe -- people expected. it sounds like they are targeting it pretty closely to hispanic audiences, african-american audiences. it's unclear what the trump campaign is doing. whether they are behind in any of this disinformation stuff. the fact is florida is a very
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unpredictable dynamic. it's one where biden's numbers have been durable over the last few months and he's been helped by trump's struggles with older voters which seem to be a lot harder than last time around especially with the coronavirus. we'll see. florida and bloomberg and i'm sure the input of other democrats know that florida is the game changer here and if you can flip that and if you can have trump start worrying about it and spending more time there, it's sort of a tipping point for the whole rest of the map. >> the trump campaign views as arizona as increasingly out of reach. it's interesting to me that there are still so close in florida and this reporting in politico about disinformation being spoon fed in spanish language media is a clue. i wopdser nder, to mark's point
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florida worth all of joe biden's efforts or do you let someone like mike bloomberg and his effort to do that fighting for you and go back to fighting over pennsylvania? this must win for trump. there's many other path ways for joe biden without florida. what do you think? >> i think for the biden campaign, the bloomberg infusion of cash and resources is important because they can actually use those resources elsewhere. they still have to campaign pretty hard in florida but there are other ways that they can re-shuffle and rework some of those resources to focus on states like arizona and wiscons wisconsin. it's important because the state party has been doing well in terms of money p they are contesting in every race throughout florida.
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areas are more in play for biden than they have ever been. we're looking at the fact that, you know, it's still important to be vigilant with respect to voter engagement because the appeals court recently decided that all of those former incarcerated felon who is had their rights restored now have to pay their outdated fines to be able to go vote which is the imposition of a poll tax. other states like texas and wisconsin have had similar negative judicial announcements from the appeals courts that hurt democrats. we still have to one, pay attention to judges and two, still be individual lanvigilante that people want to vote can exercise their vote and that it gets counted. >> my honest feeling is that florida looks like a playground for all of donald trump's sins.
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he's got a trump friendly governor there. a little mini me. he's got this dark op funding disinformation in spanish language media and sort of under coverish. you've got some court decisions going against right to vote movements that have swept lots of other states. what do you make of florida? >> i like that analogy. it's a petri dish of all of donald trump's dirty deeds and goings-on. i think keeping up the pressure there when so many presidential races are so incredibly tight. i was struck by a stat there had been over 50 million ballots cast in presidential elections in florida since p 1992 and the margin of victory -- the
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difference between republican and dems has been about 20,000 votes. that's astonishing. you have way more experience on the ground in florida politics than i do. the donald trump's lack of support among senior citizens and the support he's losing there will compensate for any losses that joe biden isn't going to match up to hillary clinton levels in 2016. >> i think it's hard to understand what it's like when you live in state where the disinformation that comes from the president is echoed by the same disinformation from the governor and then is funded in really micro targeted, sort of extreme disinformation in the form of political ads. i think they are just inundated with pro-trump and really below the belt anti-biden message there. the polling suggests that it's having an impact. i think florida is a tough
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state. i think it's been trending very red. i think it was much harder in '16 than it was in '12. i think the trends in that state make it a difficult state for joe biden. i also think if you got people like beto o'rourke saying that texas is possible, as you said, as you all say. you have to stay in fight in florida. florida, florida is what they call it. all right. no one is going anywhere. i had to think of something to say. when we come back, nfl is back with a new focus on a renewed focus on social justice. we'll be right back. d focus on sociajul stice. we'll be right back. from fidelity. now you can trade stocks and etfs for any amount you choose instead of buying by the share. all with no commissions. stocks by the slice from fidelity. get your slice today.
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it's out of the back of the end zone. we had a feeling this may be something that took place before the game today. both teams are taking a knee after the kick off. >> wow. it was the knee on the opening kick off between seattle and atlanta. it was one of several moments of protests and activism across the nfl in week one. demonstrations range from the personal like cam newton making his patriots debut in warm up cleats that said no justice, no peace to the commune yal like in yap l minneapolis where the vikings, yesterday since it became a
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tradition to do that, that horn went silent. they honored george floyd and welcomed members of his family to the game. as for the anthem, across the league, some players, some coaches decided to kneel. others opted instead to remain inside the locker room while the anthem was played. joining our conversation, co columnist for espn, bill roden. bill, how has the nfl been forced to move to the moment in ways they didn't want to as recently as last season? >> they have been forced because more than 70% of their labor force are young african-american male players. when your labor force is the same demographic of many of the people who are being murdered by
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police, you have to listen particularly when this labor force is acting in unison. that's why they were forced. i guess what i will say is that i think this is great. the kneeling is great. until the multi-billionaires who own these teams and many of whom support the president, until they get -- they really get roll their sleeves up and put not just throwing money at this problem but really use their leverage and use their money to put pressure on local politicians, mayors, police unions, the players have gone as far as they can go. you're really going to need the muscle of the multi-billionaire who is run the nfl to take this to another level. >> bill, to that point, i've always marvelled at how much more comfortable the nba is standing with their work force,
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standing with their players than the nfl. if you could just expand a bit on this dynamic with the owners. have the owners been dragged along reluctantly to embrace the players or are they partnering. are any of the owners involved in fight? >> they are party to an extent. again, when the milwaukee bucks decided they weren't going to play, that took it to another level. again, i can't emphasize this enough. when the wroraw material of you m multi-billionaire business are black players and they decide they will shut down your business, people listen. i was wondering if the houston texans when they played in kansas city, what would happen had they decided that they with were not going to play. when you say partnering, i think
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these multi-billionaires are in unique position and that they their labor force are young black men who are beginning to now do things together. we'll see but we definitely need the money and the muscle of these multi-billionaires to move this power dynamic to another level. >> mark, this is very familiar terrain to you. you wrote a book about some of these ordinary reason and prudence. do you sense any of them either breaking with trump or for the purposes of what bill is talk about, standing with their players, standing with the most valuable assets in sports team has. has this moment created any tension for any of those owners and their relationship with donald trump? >> i think certainly in the relationship with donald trump and certainly with they players. i think bill would agree, they haven't gone very far. every owner is different. there's some who have been more proactive than others.
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you look at roger goodell who works for the owners, he's hired by the owners. if you look at his evolution over the summer. i got to know him farely well or a got to know a lot of people around the league who know what his heart is. it sounds like i thought over the summer the had a real evolution on his thinking on this. my sense from listening to him is he really was starting to get it. then yesterday he made a comment about how well this isn't about politics. i just said, that's just -- this is about unity. the safe sort of sound bite that a lot of the owners and the commissioner has sort of fallen into here is unity, unity. that's the safe word. they can sort of afford to do that yesterday when there's these pre-game demonstrations because there weren't crowds in stadiums for the most part who would have created an optical problem. to say it's not about politics at this point is ridiculous.
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no one has ever in that league stoods up to donald trump. not any of the owners. not the commissioner. to me that would be the ultimate political act at this point. >> bill, bill, is anyone standi with colin kaepernick? i'm just a fan, but i haven't read in the sports pages if he's been hired by any of these teams or given a shot. >> now, but colin kaepernick is now -- he's in "madden" which is kind of a big deal. but nobody has given him a call as far as i know. but i think we're sort of beyond all that. and just sort of the point, again, even with roger, and roger is a good guy, his heart is in the right place. but this is really not about that. there is still a problem, when you look at the power and control in the national football league, the team presidents,
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even black head coaches, even who they do business with, how many black vendors do they do business with. again, the symbols and all that are good. but, again, this business is about power and control. and right now, nobody, the owners, nobody, when you ask them to really give up power and control, more black team presidents, more black head coaches, more black -- you know, that's still is an issue. so i'm saying we've got to get -- the symbolism is great. i like it. but we have to really get -- we've got to get past that. we really have to get past the symbolism. >> go deeper. bill, mark, thank you very much for helping me understand what's really going on. thank you all for staying with us and spending so much of the hour with us today. when we come back, remembering lives well lived. back, remembeg lives well lived miralax is different.
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when it became clear that their month-long fight with coronavirus was coming to an end, hospital staff moved 67-year-old johnny lee peoples and 65-year-old cathy darlene peoples into the same room, in a north carolina icu. you see, they had been together since they were teenagers, and 48 years of love and marriage later, it sadly seemed
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inevitable. this is going to be time to say goodbye. according to their joint obituary, johnny had been in the army, a sergeant, before having a career with the states department of corrections. cathy was a teacher's assistance, and a lab tech nick. he loved coaching sports and playing music. she loved playing cards and listening to music. but for both of them, family was their pride and it was their joy. their son described the pair as a blessing to whomever they met. and they were certainly a blessing to each other. especially in those final moments. they lived together, hand in hand, and according to wbtv, that's how they died, too. in the same hospital room, within four minutes of each other, hand in hand. we'll be right back. ♪ everyday it's a-getting closer♪
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♪ going faster than a rollercoaster ♪ ♪ love like yours will surely come my way ♪ ♪ a-hey, a-hey-hey [music playing] ♪ love like yours will surely come my way ♪
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these extraordinary times. "the beat with ari melber" begins right now. i thought of you today when i covered this caputo character, who i've only ever seen talk and answer questions on your program. >> he's been on "the beat," as you know. he was part of the four pack we did and is an example of so many people in trump's orbit who they go in and out. he was a little bit out of it during the campaign, but he's back in it and trusted by the president. >> they go in, they get investigated by a special counsel, they go out, they go back in. the usual stuff. >> just normal administration stuff. good to see you as always. welcome to "the beat." i am ari melber. thank you for joining us, as we track these stories now. joe biden calls president trump a climate arsonist amidst these wildfires in california. and a star impeachment witness
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