tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 18, 2022 1:00am-2:00am PST
invest in getting voters in the state of florida for any other party? >> yes, bianca padro ocasio, great reporting and you explained it's a one. thank you so much. i really appreciate it. that is all in on this thursday night. reporting and explained it so well. that's "all in." >> important segment in these times. >> thank you to all of you at home for joining us this hour. you have ever seen one of those comedy central roasts? they are tv specials with comedians get together and roast or make fun of some person, and that person has to sit there all night in front of an audience and just take it. in 2011, they held one of these roasts of donald trump, and the comedians that night, they were brutal, they made fun of his hair, his face, his family, his
sex life and his allegedly racist business practice, and there was not a single joke i could repeat here, because, of course, this is a family show. there was one thing the comedians said they could not joke about, absolutely no jokes about donald trump not being as rich as he says he is. one of the writers for the roast said that was the red line for trump, quote, any joke that suggested trump is not as wealthy as he claims to be. the comedian that roasted trump that night said trump's one rule was to say don't have less money than i say i do, and his kids and and wife were fair game.
he pursued one case against a reporter that said he was not a millionaire, but when they tried to pin him down on what he was worth, trump testified under oath, quote, my net worth fluctuates and it goes up and down with markets, attitudes and with feelings. he lost that suit. sometimes trump needs something to back up about what his feelings are, he needs a piece of paper to show a seller to buy real estate, and this he could hand to a potential lender or seller and say, see, this is
what i make, i am rich. you can imagine how his accounting firm announced they were quitting and renouncing a decade's worth of statements they made for trump, those statements, quote, according to them should no longer be relied upon, and we have come to this conclusion based in part by the filings of the new york attorney general. letitia james has been investigating trump's business practices in particular whether he fraudulently reported his assets, and his accounting firm says we can no longer vouch for trump being as rich as what he
says he is. trump put out a statement, and i am paraphrasing, i swear i am rich, even richer than you think. trump claimed the mazara statements under counted how rich he is, ultimately, of course, his statements end up about hillary clinton and why she should probably be put to death. remember, the main thing here, don't listen to anybody that says donald trump is not as rich as he says he is, and that is one the one thing prohibited, not allowed. that was just the start of donald trump's week, which has gone from bad to worst. today an attorney appeared in court to argue why the trumps should not have to comply with subpoenas from new york attorney general, letitia james. it did not go well for them.
for starters the judge's cleric had to keep reprimanding trump's lawyer for interrupting the judge. the judge appeared unimpressed by trump's lawyers repeatedly bringing up, who else, hillary clinton, and asking why letitia james is not investigating her. after that performance it took the judge hours that, yes, donald trump, trump jr. and ivanka must comply with the depositions about the trump organization business practices. their testimony could be shared with the manhattan district attorney that is conducting a parallel criminal probe, or they could all just plead the fifth as eric did over 500 times.
one thing that is important to understand here is the snowballing nature of trump's legal and financial legal predictment. today's ruling compelling trump and his children to testify is, in part, a result of mazara's, trump's accounting firm, abandoned him this week. the implication seems to be, yeah, this sketchy thing is exactly why you need to go testify about your business practices. but you know what? being compelled to testify to the new york attorney general may not even be the worst thing that has happened to donald trump as a result of the dodgy financial statements. as you know donald trump runs a hotel down the street from the white house, and he doesn't own the building but leases the building from the federal
government under a deal he struck before he was president. like many of his properties, his hotel in d.c. has been losing money but trump has found a lucrative way to get out of the d.c. hotel, and he's found a buyer willing to buy the lease for him for a cool $375 million, which is over the market rate. trump seems to need that money. he has hundreds of millions of debt coming due in a few years, and deutsche bank said they will not be doing business with him in the future, and he has that $375 million to sell that d.c. he tell, right? right? today the oversight panel committee said they should consider canceling the lease.
why? because his accountants just announced that nobody should rely on the financial statements they prepared for trump and their financial statements is what trump submitted to the federal government to get the lease for his hotel, and submitting false financial statements of the lease would breach the terms of the deal, meaning the government could terminate the lease, and if there's no lease then trump can't sell the lease, which means no $375 million. as if that was not bad enough news for trump, the committee obtained a gsa portion of an agreement between the deutsche bank, and that agreement relied on one of the financial statements from mazars. if trump provided false information, in theory deutsche
bank could decide the deal is broken and call in the repayment of the loan right now. that's how any normal loan would work, anyway. in other words, thanks to the report from the house oversight committee today, not only could donald trump lose his ability to sell his d.c. hotel for a handsome profit, he could be on the hook for a giant loan for that same hotel much sooner than he planned. joining us now is democratic congressman, one of the authors of the letter sent to the general services administration today regarding trump's d.c. hotel. congressman conley is also on the sub committee of the operations. i know you are very busy and we very much appreciate your time. >> my pleasure, alex. >> and then the consideration of
terminating trump's lease on the d.c. property, why do you think the gsa has the right to terminate that lease? >> well, alex, this goes back six years. i felt six years ago that gsa should not have given the lease any first place, because once president trump game president trump he was disqualified from benefit from the terms of the lease financially. gsa indicated they agreed that he would be disqualified if he were elected. after his election they changed their minds and they never gave a proper explanation to our committee at that time. the letter that chairwoman asked was the validity of the lease
given what mazara has done, which was invalidate ten years of financial statements they prepared for him and said nobody should rely on them. that's a profoundly unprecedented kind of move by a major accounting firm and should raise alarm bells all over washington and new york as to the reliability of the trump organization and trump personally in any kind of financial statement, whether it be for a loan or a lease or payment of taxes. remember we had testimony before our committee by michael cohen, his former attorney, that said he committed fraud, he inflated values of property to qualify for loans and other investments but deflated his assets when it came time to pay taxes to the state of new york and both are
criminal in nature. i believe the trump hotel might very well be ironically the key that unlocks the whole enterprise that resembles a classic criminal enterprise. >> that's what the manhattan d.a. and letitia james are trying to get to the bottom of as well, right? convenient inflation and deflation when it concerns trump's net worth. if trump's company does manage to sell the lease on the hotel in d.c., trump could net a personal profit of more than $75 million even though the hotel property is losing money. what is the timeline here? when do you expect the gsa to respond to your concerns that trump likely violated his contract with the government? >> obviously i hope they would expedite their review and come to the same conclusion many of us have already, which is that
on its face the action of mazara this week negates any financial information or discloser trump has provided to gsa for the lease he was granted six years ago. that ought to happen right away. this could be fraud. gsa should have nothing to do with it and ought to do the right thing and pull the plug expeditiously. >> this hotel project has been fraught from the beginning, always been the focus of lawsuits and consternation. what do you make of the deutsche bank loan? they agreed to loan trump $170 million for this property but were only given access to two pages of his tax returns and were not allowed to keep any copies of financial statements. do you have a theory of why deutsche bank would agree to loan him so much money under
those conditions? >> deutsche bank is a financial institution and has had a strange bromance with donald trump, it has cut corners and has taken risky moves that nobody else would touch and has given him favorable treatment, as it did in this circumstance. what bank in its right mind would loan anybody $170 million based on two pages of a thin gruel by way of a financial disclosure. the nature of the relationship is something that i think is highly questionable and worthy
of examination by a da, but the u.s. attorney and by frankly the department of justice. >> speaking of strange bromances, there's the hotel group, miami-based cbi merchant group trying to buy this lease to the tune of $100 million over the market value of the trump hotel in d.c. do you know anything about this group? what kind of concerns do you have about gsa approving a sale of this property to an unknown investor that is willing to pay an inflated price? >> i don't have particulars on this group, but, again, it just smells. why would anybody pay a premium above any kind of reasonable market value for a lease on a hotel that has been losing money and trump has been lying about
it, and that's before the mazara decision to essentially renounce ten years of financial disclosures. what is going on here? why do you want to enrich donald trump at such a premium and that goes back to your other question about gsa and how quickly they ought to act. nobody is above the law. gsa should not be an enabler to enrich trump in clearly the falsification of documents by way of financial information and falsification of valuation and falsification of income, and he's engaged in all three and that should not be rewarded by this potential investor, and the lease and certainly not by gsa. gsa can bring it all to a screaming halt and not see trump rewarded for bad behavior by pulling the lease and pulling it now. >> i think it's an underestimate
today donald trump and his two adult children, don junior and ivanka were ordered to testify about their company's finances in a civil investigation brought by new york state's attorney general. the decision comes day after trump's accounting company, mazars, cut off the statement, and using truly inspired logic,
trump's lawyers wanted to use mazara's decision to say there was no need for any investigation, but the judge overseeing the case was not having any of it. the idea that an accounting firm's announcement that nobody who rely on a decade of financial statements somehow exonerates that entity, that's reminiscent of louis carol. it just means what i use it to mean, either more or less. to proclaim that mazara's statement that the statements are unreliable is audacious as is it as preposterous.
scathing rulings are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fallout trump is experiencing after getting dumped by his accounting firm, and it could have all kinds of implications for trump's ability to secure future loans or to keep his current creditors from calling in its debts. he personally guaranteed $421 million in debt, a rare step that lenders only require of businesses that may not be able to repay. what happens to these loans that trump has been deemed unreliable by his own accountants. joining me now is one of the reporters that broke the story about trump's debts, and she and her team has done more reporting by far on trump's family and
finances. thank you for coming on. >> thank you for having me. >> who does trump owe all this money to? >> well, it's a small group of lenders. it's interesting, if we step back and we think about, you know, there has been a lot of talk about now that not only this has happened, his accountants stepped back and the chief financial officer is under indictment and his company is under indictment, a lot going on here, and the covenant can be breached and he has in the coming years hundreds of millions of dollars he will have to renegotiate, and the accounting firm, what we heard about this week, and i went back after i heard about the news and i found it in a filing that was in january, it kind of took on new meaning that there is a new accounting firm, that's a first step and they are out of texas, so he moved to get another term in place for some of his
accounting, but what happens to all of these loans. the first one that comes up and it's coming up this year is on the trump tower. there's a $100 million loan that he will have to renegotiate. if this was a public company, you would be like, wow, it would be so much trouble for them and so many ramifications, but on that loan he will be able to renegotiate it, and it will probably be at a higher rate but he knows the lender, and the rates have gone down on trump tower, but i think he probably will be able to get that one over the line with higher rates, but there are other loans that are going to be more difficult. you know, i think about doral, he bought it in 2012 and spent $100 million to buy that golf course and it's losing money, and deutsche bank is the lender.
they have signaled they may not want to do business with them, and when he comes up against that there could be problems there. none of this is good news. i just think when you think about how he's going to have to handle just this immediate debt, there's going to be higher rates and also in some cases, you know, i wonder who the lender is going to end up being. >> i think we are all wondering if the charm of donald trump will be able to get away with a higher rate and that's all. as a side note, donald trump turns out not to be a great businessman. there is hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt on properties he has been pumping money into. >> you were talking about the old post office earlier, and i was thinking there's so much going on there. first, we don't know how much he is going to get out of that. everybody is saying he's going to walk away -- i have heard $70 million, $100 million, and we don't know the terms of the
deals, and he will have to pay back $100 million to the lender. i was, like, hang on, i have not seen that and i want to caution people about that. the old post office, he's selling it. that's the last asset that he put a lot into, and he's selling it. he must need cash or he would not be selling it, and that's one of the things i think about when i hear that. he has very few of his main assets, his golf courses he has that are making money, you know, he has golf courses overseas and none are making money, and i have seen his tax returns and that's the exception when he is making money, and in 2018, the last year i saw his tax returns he lost $70 million and change, and from there he went into covid where a lot of his
properties were struggling. this is not a company that is doing great and having banner years, it's the opposite of that. >> i don't mean -- i am not joking here when i say it's possible that the only asset trump may have in a few years that's worth anything is a potential bid at the presidency, is the potential power that could keep people off his back. >> mar-a-lago made money in the past, but there are very few that are. you don't know -- he will have to start selling off, and we're seeing that, selling the old post office and it's a major sale for him, and it's probably not something he wanted to get rid of. i think that's what you are going to see as he moves forward in order to keep these other properties going, you know, you start looking for where you can raise cash and you do that by
selling assets. >> and steaks, and vodka and ties, i guess. >> thank you so much for your work and thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me. much more to come here. up next, president biden warns russia will invade ukraine in a matter of days while russia submits a suspicious report to the u.n. it could use as justification to do just that. we'll go live to moscow, next. .
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prepared to go into ukraine. my sense is it will happen in the next several days. >> that was president biden this afternoon saying the chance of russia invading ukraine is very high and could happen in the next few days. lloyd austin spent today in belgium speaking with nato, and vice president harris left for munich where she will meet with president zelensky, and blinken pointed blame at russia. that point was notable given that it appears russia may have done something exactly along those lines today at the u.n. nbc obtained a copy of the 45-page report russia submitted
to the u.n. this afternoon, one claim is that ukraine is committing genocide, and this is a claim the international community has deemed as misinformation. we will not go into the allegations in detail as it could be used as propaganda. this is russia very formerly accusing ukraine of committing genocide, certainly not something you would do to de-escalate a situation. it comes as the u.s. and international partners insist that russia is continuing to add to their buildup of more than 150,000 troops at the border with ukraine. it also comes amid an escalation in force where ukraine and russia-backed separatists are accusing each other of a cease-fire. there were no fatalities, but
about 20 children were in the building at the time. ukrainian president zelensky called it a frontline separatists. the highest level of u.s. diplomats are fanned out across the world attempting to push this towards a diplomatic off-ramp, but where do things stand in moscow, and what is the sense on the ground there as to whether or not russia is really ready to go to war? joining us now is anne simmons, moscow bureau chief for the "wall street journal." thank you for getting up so egregiously early once again. >> thank you for having me. >> we have such little perspective from moscow. how is this playing out in
moscow? is the russians buying the claims of ukraine aggression, including genocide on the part of the ukrainians? >> well, many say there's a sense of huh steera in the west. there's a sense that negotiations are still possible. i say that bearing in mind, of course, the russians have sent mixed signals. on the one hand the kremlin said they are withdrawing some of the troops from the ukrainian
border, and then we see there's actually a buildup. and russia sent a document to the u.s. basically saying it feels the u.s. has dismissed russia's concerns about obtaining security guarantees, biden's security guarantees, and russia threatened to take some kind of what it calls military technical measures if the u.s. does not comply and take into consideration these security guarantees. so we're at an extremely troubling stalemate and tensions remain high. >> the messaging is so key here, and the rhetoric, how is russian media covering from president biden says? he was so clear today with the
press about what he believes russia to be doing. does that get aired in moscow? >> it certainly does on state media and it certainly does on some of the talk shows that are very much pro kremlin, and the tone is that the u.s., in fact, is making this into a far greater and more tense situation than it needs to be. there's the sense, that tone that it's the west that is causing this problem. >> where do you think putin's head is at in terms of what he might accept diplomatically at this stage of the game? >> it's difficult to know what is in the head of president putin, only he alone knows that. certainly, number one, his
playbook has been in many ways to keep people guessing, and in that way he creates a sense of insecurity and uncertainty. the one diplomatic off-ramp which might be possible for moscow is implementation of the so-called agreements from 2014 and 2015 call for a cease-fire, but they also call for the disputed -- i say disputed, or the break-away regions of eastern ukraine, the self proclaimed republics to have some kind of special status. if they were to gain that special status, this could mean they could still influence the politics in kyiv, and that could give russia a chance to have sway over ukrainian politics as
well. but that for russia would be a diplomatic off-ramp. >> it seems like putin is covering the waterfront, and he's accelerating the military presence, and they are keeping the door to diplomacy open, and we know within the last hour blinken, secretary of state, may meet with russian officials if there's no war, so diplomacy is being pursued. is there a risk with the russian public not being on his side, or do you think russians themselves will stand with putin? >> well, russians are proud and nationalistic people, and they want to have a sense of unity and stability. many people -- if you speak to
many russians, they will tell you we do not want war. invasion is not what we are looking for. many russians and ukrainians are related. they will say they feel they are brothers, and they share cultural and linguistic and religious ties. in general there's not a sense here on the street in terms of the man on the street that russians are looking for war. >> ann simmons, thank you so much for helping us understand all of this tonight. >> thank you. up next, even with what appears to be overwhelming evidence proving that the men who killed ahmaud arbery were motivated by hate, still not easy. details, next. easy details, next.
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trial again for the murder of ahmaud arbery. they were found guilty of murdering the jogger back in november, but this week they are facing federal hate crimes charges. ahmaud arbery's murder along with the killing of george floyd and breonna taylor, advocates demand justice, and this is the first time race is taking stage in a trial over their deaths. prosecutors introduced more than two dozen posts. i have to warn you, the messages read like a dictionary of racist slurs and promote violence against black people. the judge warned the courtroom
valley that many could find the language morally repugnant, and one juror asked the judge if there were federal funds for counseling given the nature of what the juror heard. if you need to skip this part or leave the room for a bit, this is the time to do that. okay, the bulk of the communications were from travis mcmichael, the man that fight annually shot arbery. in 2019 using the n-word, he said he liked his job because he did not work with black people. quote, they ruin everything, that's why i love what i do, not an expletive in sight. in response to a facebook video depicting a fight between black people and white people, he wrote my .38 says five of them would be taking a dirt nap. i say shoot all of them
expletive, those monkeys. there are several more posts like that from travis mcmichael and similar writings from the other two defendants. his father shared a meme saying white areurb slaves were treated worse than any other race in the u.s. when it comes to bryan, he made comments about his car's boyfriend who is black. many of those were written days before the death of arbery. the family objected to the terms of the deals so the judge threw them out. former prosecutors say federal hate crime prosecutions are hard
to prosecute, requiring more legal firepower and expertise than other criminal cases. a justice department analysis found 82% suspected race crimes were not prosecuted. can the prosecution prove the statement they made in their opening arguments, if ahmaud arbery would have been white, he would have won't a run and checked out a cool home under construction and home for dinner. joining us now is the policy director of the aclu of georgia. mr. bruce, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me. i have to go right to the messages that we heard. do you feel like these are the smoking guns in the hate crimes trial? is this enough to prove that this was a hate crime?
>> as we know, hate crimes are very hard to prove in very areas and different aspects of it. these just add on to the factors that go towards the trial within it. these messages are disgusting and every juror should be thinking about what has come out of these individual mouths back then and what has happened during the trial of ahmaud arbery altogether. these are smoking guns, but this is not it. this is the trial that has just begun. >> i guess i wonder, you know, when prosecutors choose not to prosecute a case for hate crimes, how much does the component of the jury have to do with that? we know in the jury trial of ahmaud arbery, the jury had 11 white people and one black person, and do you think that's the reason they chose not to go down the road focus not on race
in that trial? it's a blind spot in our legal system because it's so hard to prove a hate crime. >> back in georgia, back then the state did not have a hate crime. we were one of eight states that does not have hate crime protections or to be prosecuted. even while the racists said what happened was racist, there was no recourse for that district attorney to charge them with the hate crime, which is why it's so important for the federal government to look into this under the hate crimes act to make sure that these people are brought to justice, because otherwise communities within here in the state of georgia and the rest of the nation may ignore the problems that are still happening with racial bias in the state of georgia. >> to that end, we know after those text messages were presented in the courtroom today, marcus arbery, ahmad's
father, said i am glad the world can see this. what is the realization that you think the country should be taking away from all of this as they hear these text messages and see the hatred in the heart of these three men? >> well, let's remind the country that this is not where it started, racial strife. i can remember february 26th of 2012 when trayvon martin was murdered and then you go forward eight more years on february 3rd of 2020 when ahmaud arbery was murdered. we have the dates when black men are literally murdered in our minds. that is not right. it shouldn't be right now and it should not have been right back then. the question is when is it going to stop? that question needs to be answered by the american people, knowing that these continuous actions happen in the state of georgia, around the south in other areas of the nation, so it's important for the federal government to bring these hate
crimes charges and to charge them to the fullest extent. for ahmaud arbery's mother saying no, we are not going to accept the plea deal, and i stand with her, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. >> the entire country will be watching and we will continue to cover it. christopher bruce, the director of aclu, thank you for joining us. >> doing great, alex. thank you. >> thank you. >> we have one more story. stay with us. stay with us
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state of wyoming, this month she was censured for failing to understand the mob attack on the capitol was not a violent attack, but political discourse. put it in a tote bag. kevin mccarthy has taken the step of endorsing cheney's opponent. politico reports that donald trump and his allies have been courting wyoming's governor to support legislation that would prevent voters to switch party affiliation on the day of the primary in an attempt to further
damage cheney's chances in the primary. the republicans' allegiance to donald trump is more important than getting to the truth of what happened on january 6th. we will see you shelling intensifies in eastern ukraine as the u.s. warns that russia may use the fighting as a pretext to invade. the question, is moscow now ready to launch military action in ukraine? and, it's that conflict on the world stage that sent the dow spiraling yesterday, suffering its worst day of the year. the question is, what impact will further geopolitical tension have on the economy? plus, the latest in a string of legal defeats for donald trump as a judge rules that he and his two eldest children must testify in new york state's civil case into the family