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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  August 25, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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08/25/16 08/25/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! mr. trump: hillary clinton ran the state department like a failed leader in a third world country. run like a third world country. accccess inors and exchange for cash. she sold it. mrmrs. clinton: what trumump has said i is rididiculous. statek as secretary of
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was s not influenceded by any outside forcrces. amy: new questions arise over hillarary clinton and the clintn foundation as ththe ap reveaeals that more than half of the private citizens she met with as secretary of state had donated to the clinton foundation. was she selling access to the state department? we will speak to two guests investigative e journalist david , sirota and former bill c clinn speechwriter paul glastris. then to senator bernie sanders. mr. sanders: i want to introduce you to a new independent nonprofit organization called our revolution, which is bernied by the historic 2016 presidential campaign. amy: bernie sanders has launched his new political organization called "our revolution," but the -- over 2600 watch parties were held to witness the launch. at the group is a ready facing its first crisis as the majority of its staff have abruptly resigned. we will find out why.
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we will speak with claire sandberg and larry cohen. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in italy, the death toll continues to rise from a devastating 6.2-magnitude earthquake. at leaeast 247 peoplple are confirmed dead. dozens morore people are still missing as search and rescue teams are using everything from bulldozers to bare hands to scour the rubble for bodies and survivors. the earthquake struck centraral italaly early wedndnesday morni. homemes, churches,s, stores, and even a hototel collapsed as peoe were sleining. this is a local resident speaking wednesday about the earthquake. last night i woke up with a
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sound that sounded like a bomb. it was deafening. it was also disheartening because everything was collapsing on me. tonight, we think we will slelep togethther with our r relativesd friends in the tents there providing us. amy: this comes as a 6.8-magnitude earthquake also struck burma on wednesday, killing at least three people. in afghanistan, at least 12 people have been killed in an attack on the american university in kabul. seven of the victims were students. the attack began with a car bomb explosion. gunmen then forced their way into the university and opened fire. so far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. two weeks ago, american university of afghanistan temporarily suspended campus operations after two teachers, an australian and an american, wewere kidnapped at gunpoint. in news on colombia, government officials and farc rebels signed an historic peace accord during a ceremony in havana, cuba, on wednesday. the signing is the latest step
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in the efforts to end one of the world's longest conflicts, which began in 1964, has claimed some 220,000 liveves. more than 5 million people are estimated to have been displaced. speaking in havana on wednesday, farc peace negotiator ivan marquez celebrated the historic agreement. >> i believe we have one the most beautiful of all battles, the battles for peace in colombia. today we closed in havana, cuba, the peace process we have most urine for. land, democracy, victims, policies, weapons also the limitation of the accords as international eyes look on. among others, these are the elements of an agreement that will need to be converted, sooner rather than later, by referendum and a norm to guarantee a future with dignity for all. amy: in news from the campaign
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truck, hillary clinton has slammed a new associated press investigation into her meetings with benton foundation donors while she served as secretary of state. investigation reveals more than half the private citizens she met with had donated to the clinton foundation. this does not include her meetings with u.s. or foreign government workers or representatives. in response, clinton has called the investigation absurd and said "there is a lot of smoke and there is no fire." she has also said the investigation is incomplete, but the ap says it has been asking for the schedules for three years and that what has been released does far covers only half of her four-year tenure. on the host a debate clinton foundation afterer headadlines. meanwhile, b british politician nigel farage joined donald trump at a campaign rally in mississippi farage was one of wednesday. the leaders of britain's campaign to leave the european union, known as brexit. trump has praised brexit, saying
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the british people were "taken -- had "taken our country back." farage did not endorsese trump n wednesdaday, but he did slam hillary clinton. citizen,as anan americann i would not vote for hillary clinton if you paid me. you can beat the pollsters. you can be the commentators. you can beat washington. and you will do it by doing what we did for brexit in britain. amy: donald trump appear to flip-flop on his immigration proposals during a town hall posted by fox news sean hannity that was b broadcast on wednesdy night.t. trump has made the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants one of the cornerstone proposals of his campaign. but at the town hall, trump appeared to go back and forth, at times saying that he'd be
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willing to work with some undocumented people to pay back taxes so they could stay in the country. many commentators have pointed out this proposal is very similar to the plan put forward by jeb bush, whom trump derided earlier in the campaign as being too soft o on immigratioion. many havave also pointed o out t undocumented immigrants already do pay taxes and are required to pay any ode back taxes as part the processes to legally stay in the country. sean hannity has acknowledged advising the trump campaign saying "i never claimed to be a journalist." the turkish military deployed tanks and special operations troops into northern syria wednesday babacked by the u.s. r force. the offensnsive helped the free syrian army take the town from isis control. the operation was a major escalation of f turkey's rorolen the e ongoing syrian w war.
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it came as the v vice president joe e biden visited ankara on wednesday. the pentagon says the u.s. launched airstrikes and helped advise the operation. meanwhile, the united nations team has concluded that syria's al-assasagovernmentnt and isisis militants hahave carried out repeateded chemical weapons in 202014 andia 2015. the repoport accususes him of ie using chlorine gas and accuses isis of using mustard gas. a new investigation by bloomberg businessweek has revealed police in baltimore have been secretly testing an aerial surveillance system that records the movement and actions of baltimore residents in real-time from a low-flying plane. the technology has been adapted from the u.s. military's surveillance programs aimed at detecting roadside bombs in iraq. the plane is equipped with multiple cameras that can record 30-square mile swaths of the city at a time. the plane is the creation of the private company persistent surveillance systems. the project is bankrolled by
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john arnold, a former enron trader and hedge funder. the plane has been circling above baltimore since january without the public ever being notified. meanwhile, in new york, a new report says the new york police department intelligence bureau frequently broke rules while surveilling muslim-american residents after the 2001 september 11 attacks. the report was issued by the office of the inspector general for the new york police department tuesday. it says the agency failed to offer information about the role of undercover cops and informants in intelligence gathering, and let deadlines pass during investigations. the inspector general office says the violations demonstrate the need for continued oversight of the new york police department. in kashmir, another protester has been killed and as many as 50 people wounded when indian security forces opened fire and threw tear gas at crowds of protesters. residents say the confrontation came after indian troops descended on the neighborhood, beating people and destroying a
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tent that was to host a meeting about kashmir's independence. it's at least the 70th confirmed death in kashmir since anti-india protests erupted on july 8 after indian security forces killed a prominent kashmiri independence leader. on wednesday, the indian home minister traveled to kashmir for a two-day visit aimed at diffusing the protests. ethiopian olympic runner feyisa lilesa is expressing concern about going home after he raised his arms in an "x" as he won a silver medal in the marathon to protest ethiopia's human rights abuses against his ethnic tribe, the oromo people. for over two years, the oromo have staged massive nationwide protests against the ethiopian government. the protests were initially sparked by the government's plan to lease a forest to private developers. ethiopian forces have responded with a brutal crackdown against the oromo protesters, killing hundreds of people. this is feyisa lilesa's wife,
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speaking about her husband's olympic protest. >> i was very scared at the time, but i was not surprised because i know him. he was burning inside when he sees on social media evil being beaten and arrested. so i was not sururprised becausi know he is a lot of anger inside. amy: in louisiana, the interior department's massive lease sale for oil and gas drilling in the gulf of mexico a attracted a rerecord low number of bids on wednesday. only three companies expressed any interest, bidding on only 24 of the 4000 tracts. industry experts blamed low oil prices for the low number of bids. on tuesday, four environmental activivists were arrested protesting the lease sale -- which came only one day after president obama toured flood damaged neighborhoods in baton rouge. some areas are still submerged in feet of standing waterer two
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weeks after the floods. the rainfall in baton rouge is the worst it has been in recorded history, and close to 175 years. in washington, d.c., hundreds of people rallied in opposition to the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline as a judge delayed his ruling in a federal lawsuit against the army corps of engineers over the pipeline's approval. the standing rock sioux tribe, which filed the lawsuit, says it was not sufficiently consulted before the corps approved the 1168-mile pipeline. the district court judge said he would announce a decision in the suit by seseptember 9. in north dakota,a, thousands of indidigenous people from dens sf tribes have gatherered at the sacred stotone spirit campmp to block k the pipeliline'ss construction. on w wnesday, campmpeaders announunced they wouldld continu the camp until the next trial date. this is vic camp. >> we need each other.
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we also stand together in unity to protect sacred water and mother earth. in andes and shall grandchildren -- our lives a and chilildren and grandchildren. amy: amnesty international says its sent a delegation to sacred stone spirit camp to monitor the police and law enforcement response to the ongoing protests. scscientists have discovered a w planet they say could have earthlike coconditions and maybe even liquid water on itsts surfrface. the planetet has been namedd proxima b. scientists say the planet may be home to life. and students at the university of texas at austin carried thousands of dildos to their first day of classeses to protet texas' new concealed carry law, which h allows license holders o legally carry guns on campus and inside university buildings. the new open carry laws went into effect on august 1 -- the
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same day texas marked the 50th anniversary of a mass shooting at the university of texas at auststin when an engineering student and marine veteran opened fire from atop the university clock tower, killing 14 people on camampus. this after he killed his mother and his sister. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. new questions have arisen this week over hillary clinton and the clinton foundation. on tuesday, the associated press published a new investigation revealing that while hillary clintoton served as secretetaryf state, more than half of the private citizens she met with had donated to t the clinton fofoundation. the ap investigation comes a afr a three-year battle to gain access to state department calendars. the analysis shows that at least 85 of 154 people hillary clinton had scheduled phone or in-person meetings with were foundation donors.
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this does not include meetings clininton held with u.s. or foreign government workers or representatives, only private citizens. these 85 donors contributed more than $150 million to the foundation combined. calling into cnn's ac360 wednesday, clinton slammed the investstigation. mrs. clinton: there is a lot of smoke and there is no fire. this ap report -- put it in context. it excludes nearly 2000 meetings i had with world leaders, plus countless other meetings with u.s. government officials when i was secretary of state. it looked at a small portion of my time. and it draws an inclusion anand made the suggestion that my meetings with people like the gates, or -- melinda nobel prize winner, or somehow due to cononnections with the foundation instead of their status is highly respected
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global leaders. that is absurd. these are people i was proud to , who any sesecretary of state would have been proud to meet with to o hear about their work and their insight. amy: the ap says it has been asking for the schedules for three years and that what has been released thus far covers only half of her four-year tenure. republican presidential nominee donald trump, who himself has donated $100,000 to the clinton foundation, has accused clinton of selling access s to the state department. mr. trump: going to end government corruption. hillary clinton ran the state department like a failed leader in a third world country. run like a third world country. she sold favors and access in exchange for cash. she sold it. amy: questions have also arisen ovover what wiwill happepen to e
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clinton foundation if clinton wins the presidency. according to a new report in "the wall street journal," the clinton foundation will stop accepting corporate and foreign donations, b but an exception my be made for the clinton health access initiative. "the journal" also reports that former president bill clinton will leave the board, but that chelsea clinton plans to stay on it. well for more, we are joined by two guests. david sirota is the senior editor for investigations at the international business times. his most recent article is titleded, "was there 'pay y to ' at the clinton foundation?" we're also joined by paul glastris, editor in chief of the washington monthly. he was president clinton's chief speechwriter from 1998 to 2001. we welcome you both to democracy now! paul glastris to these your reaction revelations of the associated press? >> i read the story carefully. i think secretary clinton kind
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of got it right. this was an eyebrow raising piece of math that said half of the private sector people she met with in her first two years were clinton donors. basically, there are two issues here. one, did she have special -- the people who gave the foundation, did they have special access and , two, did the access get them anything? on a special access part, that piece of math that the ap story shows suggests that. i think that is what people are paying attention. but it is the 85 people are 1% of the clinton foundation donors. there are 7000 donors. 85 got access. then you look at the individual highlighted in the story most of they are people like the holocaust survivor and human rights activist. there e are people like mohammed younis, who created the micro finance revolution that has
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lifted millions of the most destitute people out of poverty, people who are running aids campaigns in africa. for the most part, these are people that have no hillary clinton for years, even decades. hamid younis and hillary clinton were doing microro-finance in arkansas in 1985. what these people seem to be, at least from the evidence of the story am a are part of hillary clinton's longtime network and they also happen to be people who gave to her foundation. they don't seem to be people who gave to her foundation in order to g get to know clinton. there people who gave to her foundation because they know clinton. that is an important distinction. amy: david sirota?? ifmy reaction to it is that you look at some of these individual examples, i think paul is right, it is hard to argue that their donations to
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the foundation got them access. a lot of these people in the ap story are people who knew her. i think we should pull back and look at not just what the ap reported, but at the next is between the donors of the clinton foundation, major corporate donors, major foreign government donors, and what business they had with the state department. look, the clinton team, the foundation, the campaign is saying this is not going to happen if she is president. the question then becomes, why was it then allowed to happen when she was secretary of state? the secretary of state has a huge amount of power over a huge number of issues and policies and contracts, for instance, that many of these donors had an interest in. we did a series on, for instance, arms exports and how many of the governments that gave big to the clinton foundation saw huge increases in arms export authorizations from the state department and the state department is the chief
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regulator of arms exports. there have been stories about , liken governments giving algeria gave $500,000 to the clinton foundation at a time when it was lobbying the state department on human rights issues. wallad a situation at "the street journal" reported where hillary clinton herself intervene in a case dealing with taxes with ubs, the swiss bank, and suddenly after that, ubs began donating big to the clinton foundation. there are many examples -- there are oil companies, another i should mention, right now that oil companies are giving big to the clinton foundation while lobbying the state department, successfully, for the passage of the alberta clipper, the tar sands pipeline. again, there are many examples where the people and corporations that were lobbying the state department were giving huge to the clinton foundation. do we know that money made those deals and access ababout thosee deals happen?
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i don't think we know. but the key point is, ethics rules have typically been in place in states and at the federal level that have said we want to prevent the appearance or the potential conflicts of interest because we understand that if the appearance or the potential for conflict of interest is there, we cannot know if those conflicts are operationalized. that there are so many ways for them to be operationalized that we need to prevent the potential an appearance of a conflict of interest were potential appearance of conduct of interest. that is what is at issue. amy: can you respond to that, paul glastris? >> that as a whole lot of examples, and i can't respond, you know, to each one individually, but i think we have n now two big investigatio. one by the ap, the other as a result of the conservative judicial watch lawsuit that the --various members of
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x members of the clinton foundation and others trying to get meetings with secretary clinton. in virtually every case, the secretary's people made the right choice. ex-clinton foundation official wanted a visa granted to a soccer player who recommended a felony, the answer became no. when the crown prince of bahrain wanted a a special meeting with senator clinton, secretary clinton, they said, , you know, let's have a go through official channels. and he got the meeting, which is of course what he should have done. when mohammed younis asked for help because the government of bangladesh was sort of destroying his leadership team at the bank that he created and the entire international community said that was wrong, she did act.
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so in each of the situations where we have these internal records of what she did and who she met with, she did the right thing. i don't think there is a lot of dispute about that. we don't know what happened in these other instances, but we have had this kind of deep forensic now from some very, very -- with some very, very good data and it has shown a very tight ship and ethical set of choices. you can always raise these issues, but the f facts we have from this reporting pretty strongly shows that there were not favors granted for any of this. and it's a no favors -- david, go ahead. >> the bahrain example is a very good example. we saw that the e-mail came in from the clinton foundation for the crown prince of bahrain is the clintonllion to
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foundation. i don't think anyone is when a sit up and say the crown prince of one of the top leaders and editorial regime is giving money -- we have not heard anyone argue that money from dictatorss typically comes because dictators want to reduce poverey in the world. so money is coming into the clinton foundation from the crown prince. the clinton founundation reaches out to the state department and says he is a good friend of rulr where the obama administration roles. moreover, the decision to sell arms to this or that country, though the state department is the regulator, the ultimate regulator, these are made in interagency discussions pushed more by the pentagon and the white house and other parts of the g government than a anywhere elsese. there is no indidication t that bahrain was, by putting money into the clinton foundation, it was influencing the defense department that wanted to sell
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these weapons. you can question whether they should or should notot have. theyey were in t the middle of orchestrating the irran thing and they had arresested sunnnni natitions. if you likike the iran deal, you have to balance that out. so this is aa funcnction of what the clinton foundation and the clinton global initiative is. and d they are basicic business >> here's the question, paul. why were these leaders, let's say of these middle eastern dictatorships, why were they giving that money? these are sophisticated, politically sophisticated donors , them and corporations. they are repeatedly giving money to the clinton foundation. i don't think you are arguiuingi have not heard anyone argue the saudi regime or another dictatorial regime is giving money to the clinton f foundatin because theyey really, and a a p well of their hard, t ty want to help poor childrenen or solve povertrty. they are repeatedly giving money
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to the clinton foundation at a time they are seeking entirely controversial arms d deals. therere was a saudi deal with te state department says it wasas hillary clinton's pepersonal top prioiority to get one of the biggest saudi ararms deals througugh, thehe israelis are raising concerns about it. it went through. the money flflowed in to the clinton -- the clinton -- toto e clinton foundation. why were the donors giving? what did they think they were getting? the critics of this say what it ended up being was intentionally a way that donors saw way to curry favor with the state department on controversial issues. >> two points. one, the reason n e clintonn state department and the enentie obama administration was willing to give a lot of arms to the saudis and the bahrainis, is they were to bring the saudis and bahrainis while trying to
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open negotiations with iran. everybody knows this. we do not need to f find some nefariouous payoff in n order to understand the policy. yoyou can agree with a policy or disagree with a policy, but if you are in favor of the opening of iran, it is hard to say they should not havave sold these ars to the sunnis.s. they werere trying to kekeep a balance e of power g going in or toto bring some kind of peace ad resolution to these nuclear issues. on the clinton globalization, the point i was trying to make, the whole business model of this thing is, get rich people and governments to empty their wallets in order to help poor africans who cannot afford aids drugs. 11 million -- ththat the raini money and saudi money was spent on training midwives in ethiopia or lower-priced eight strokes for 11 million people. so that was the business model. you u can say it isis a terrible
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business model, they should not have set it up -- find, undederstand, it looks bad. but that is with the money went for. it certainly leaves open questions as to whether that money bought influence. all i'm saying, the deepest investigations we have had, this ap story and the judicial watch story, showed that is not the case. amy: david sirota? >> look, i think you are right to say that the clinton foundation has done projects and is involveved in efforts that ae laudable and philanthropic. but again, the deeper policy question here goes back to whether a potential copley to of a conflict of interest should have been permissible at the state department andnd what this money potentially bought. i want to go to onone other poit about the appearance of conflict of interest. i have heard a lot of pundits defending the clintons saying
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there is an appearance of conflict of interest in a live potential and that is all that can be proven. a lot of these same pundits, these democratic pundits looking at a republican situation, they would be screaming about how this is a huge scandal. the key on the appearance of conflict of interest is, if we want people to believe that their government is doing things in the right way, in a way that democracy is not being sold, that contracts are not being given out on the basis of preference of many going into a private foundation, appearances actually matter. it is not something to poopoo. the optics are not just some talking points. the optics matter in a democracy when people -- the public i is asked to believe it's government is acting on their behalf. in this case, the clinton people send understand those questions cannot exist which was president, butut why was it allowed to exixist when she wasn
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such a powerful position as america's top -- amy: we're going to talk about what should happen with the clinton foundation, if you are clinton became president. we are speaking with david sirota, of the international business times. ,nd also paul glastris president bill clinton speechwriter for a number of years and now the editor of the washington monthly. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we e continue our debate on hillary clinton and the clinton foundation, on tuesday, the associated press published a new investigation revealing that while clinton served as secretary of state, more than half the private citizens she met with had donated to the clinton foundation. republican presidential nominee
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donald trump w wasn't -- has accused her of selling access. last n night clintonon called io cnn with anderson cooper. mrs. c clinton: what trump has said is ridiculous. my work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces. i made policy decisions based on what i thought was right to get -- the american safe and protect u.s. interests abroad. the foundation is a charity. neither my husband nor i have ever drawn a salary from it. you know more about the foundation then you know about anything concerning donald trump class wealth, his busininess, hs tax return. amy: donald trump urged the justice departrtment to appointa special prosecutor to investigate if donors to the clinton foundation got special treatment from the state department. mr. trump: the clintons made the state department and the same kind of pay for play operation as the arkansas government was.
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now, think of whwhat happened bk then. think about it. and i love the state of arkansas , but i tetell you what, t theyw what went on. they know and they are not happy. paid the clinton foundation huge sums of money and throw in some big speaking fees for bill clinton, and you got to play. you got to do what you wanted to do. it is pretty sad. this is in front of the state department. this is in front of the state department. and long before that, you should have seen what they were doing in arkansas. same old story, folks. the amount involved, the favors done, and the significant number antimes it was done require expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately. immediately. immediately. amy: donald trump gave $100,000
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to the clilinton foundation himself. we are speaking to david sirota senior editor for investigations , at the international business times. his most recent fees "was there , 'pay to play' at the clinton foundation?" paul glastris is the editor in chief of the washingtoton monthy and was president bill clinton's chief speechwriter from 1998 to 2001. paul glastris, special prosecutor, what do you think about that? >> not going to happen. a silly donald trumpism. the point i was making before the break, and i i agree was dad sirota, the appearances raise questions. the appearances of these donorss who also h have business in frot of the statete department raise questions. speakingng a special prosecutor, we have just had twowo deep investigations, sort of like random audits, of whether any of this is true. we now have scores of examples of a attempts to gain access, attempts to get favors. in every case that we have on
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the record, through these investigations, we see that hillary clinton and her staff did the righght thing. dodoes that mean in every case they did the right thing? nono, but we know more about hillary's state department and the inner workings of the decisions and we have on almost any cabinet secretary that one cacan think of. in the bush administration, george w. bush has administration, his father had the points of light foundation. people were giving money to the points of light foundation, a charity, not unlike the clinton foundation, and we don't know anything about who gave, what favors were asked for, what access there was. partly because the bush administration expunged, accidentally, all of its e-mails. but partly because nobody asked those questions. ,my: let me put --david sirota respond. as we wrap up, what should happen to the clinton foundation if hillary clinton were to become president, this is democracy now!,
3:37 pm, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. >> the obama administration has barely -- has not prosecuted wall street after the financial crisis. the fbi said ---- raised questis about what it found. i think politically, the idea of the obama and the administration investigating hillary and bill clinton is not going to happen. there are still a lot of issues swirling around in the other issue outstside is bill clinton was paid millions of dollars from companies personally for speaking engagements at the very same time these companies were lobbying the state department. a special prosecutor, the only real way to get subpoena power to uncover and find out what really fully happen. paul mentitioned there weree investigations, but ththat did t have subpoena power and you are sort of at the mercy of freedom of information act west the obama admininistration itselelfs power over. point thatul's george h.w. bush also had a foundation when his son was president? >> certainly, this is an issue
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that has existed for a long time. a lot of people in the public are saying, at leaeast it is a good thing there is more scrutiny happening on this set of issues, presidential foundations and the like. it will be interesting to see what happepens moving forward. i am a journalist. i don't offer up what should happen, i think there are folks out there, critics on the republicans, purely opportunistic artisans, if you will, saying it should be shut down. clintons have agreed to this, an effort effectively on wanting the foundation to preserve what it does that is good, but unwind an extra kate the relationships from it. i think that is likely to happen in some of them although, "the washington post" i believe reported the promises they have made will not fully and all of the kinds of donations that are at issue here that we are
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discussing today. amy: paul glastris, do you think it should shut down or president clinton should step down from the board, the discussion now that chelsea clinton would remain on the board? >> a melancholy about the whole thing because this is spectacularly successful organization at helping millions and millions of deserving poor people around the world. you extricate the clintons from that and you extricate the polititical juice and energy and vision behind that so it will not be the same organization that it was before, and i think that is why the obama administration thought it was ok and the right choice to keep it going, to allow what h happenedo happen. the given all of these questions, i suppose it is really t the only sensible thin. i don't know i if it makes sense for chelsea to run it or not. i have not really thought that through.
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if she is one of the president of the united states, i think it should probably be wound down as david said, the best parts get going. i'm just a little sad about it because it has done a tremendous amount of good. amy: we will leave it there but continue to follow this issue. i want to thank paul glastris of the washington monthly, former president bill clinton's speechwriter. and david sirota, we will into your pieces at the international business times. when we come back, bernie sanders has launched a new organization. there were 2600 parties last night to hear him speak will stop we will have a debate. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. senator bernie sanders and his supporters have launched a new political organization called "our revolution." it seeks to support the next generation of progressive leaders, empower millions to fight for progressive change, and elevate the nation's overall political consciousness. more than 2600 watch parties were held across the country wednesday night to watch sanders launch the new group. mr. sanders: i want to introduce you to a new independent, nonprofit organization called our revolution, which is inspired by these historic bebernie 2016 presidential campaign. over time, our revolution will involve hundreds of thousands of people. these are people who will be
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fighting at the grassroots level for changes in their local school boards, in their city councils, in their state legislatures, and in their representation in washington. not only that, they will be involved in major ballot items dealing with campaign finance issues, environmental issues, health care issues, labor issues, gender-related issues, and doing all that they can in every way to create an america based on the principles of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. amy: former presidential candidate and senator bernie sanders went on to reiterate his concerns about the trans pacific partnership or tpp. mr. sanders: i have worked with president obama for a number of years and he is a a friend of
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mine, but on the issue of the tpp, the transpacific hardship, his support -- very strong support -- for that proposal is dead wrong. i intend -- [applause] i intntend to work with trade unions all over this country, environmental grgroups all over this country, religious groups all over this country to do everything that ii can as vermot senator to defeat the tpp if it comes up in congress in the lame-duck session. [applause] sanders: now, the tpp, as is always the case, supported by wall street. it is supported by corpoporate america, supported by all of the big money issues. but i believe if we stand together, we can in fact
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defeated. amy: that was senator sanders speaking last night at the launch of our revolution. he was in burlington, vermont. reports of emerged of political tumult within bernie sanders' own team. over the weekend, eight key staffers abruptly resigned in a dispute over the group's leadership and legal structure. that was more than half of the staff. well, for more, we're joined now by two guests in washington, d.c. larry cohen is a leader of our best incoming board chair of our revolution. he was a senior advisor to bernie sanders and past president of communications workers of america. he was also the first super-delegate for bernie sanders. and we are joined by claire sandberg was the former digital organizing director for bernie sanders' campaign. on sunday, she resigned as the organizing director for our revolution. larry cohen and claire sandberg, welcome to democracy now! larry, the significance of this new group that has been launched with 2600 parties around the country launching it last night?
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>> amazing. i was at one of the events in washington, d.c., in a small apartment totally packed with more than 80 people. incredibly enthusiastic. just as important we, as you said, across the country, 2600 events and another 200,000 people turned -- tuned in on their own to watch the live stream. the enthusiasm for this across the country is amazing. i was in iowa this weekend with a big statewide community organization. the enthusiasm there, across nebraska were the new incoming head of the democratic party was actually at the same event with me last night who came in to lead the party from the v victoy in the nebraska caucus. so i think it is literally from one end of the country to another, activists so enthused about t what we can do together. amy: claire sandberg, you are part of the bernie sanders
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campaign. you were the organizing director for our revolution, but right before it launched last night, you and more than half the staff quit. why? >> yes. --l, last monday as we were as the staff at our revolution was -- i'm sorry, there is an echo. last sunday as the staff for our revolution was preparing for a very busy week during up for the launch event last night, we learned that jeff weaver would be stepping in -- to actively manage our revolution, which was a decision that was met with unanimous concern among the entire staff at our revolution. amy: jeff weaver was the campaign director of bernie sanders during his presidential campaign. >> yes.
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jeff was the campaign manager at the organization. and all of us who worked on the campaign who moved over to our revolution did so based on the promise that jeff weaver would not be involved in our revolution or his role would be struggling constrained as it -- strictly constrained as a legal advisor or board member who would have somewhat of a token role. but it became clear -- or were two main concerns among the staff. one, we all saw how jeffrey in the campaign and there were a number of concerns about that. secondly, just's leadership -- jeff's leadership had already hamstrung our revolution before it even launched specifically just decision to constitute the organization as a 501(c) four, which prevented us from doing effective ballot organizing for candidates, also down ballot
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fundraising. amy: why is that? >> jeff has gone on the record admitting he wanted to form the organization as a 501(c) four for the express purpose of accepting billionaire money, which of course flies in the face of what all of our supporters are so excited about, that we were taken a country back from the billionaire class without visa billionaire money, $27 at a time. larry cohen, yourr response? >> the board of our revolution will be key leaders from the various movements that make up progressive america, civil rights environment will justice, from people who are running for office, and there will be no contributions from billionaires and i guarantee that. i think it is unfortunate that the staff left. they're good people. jeff has worked with bernie for
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30 years. he is very close to bernie. our revolution is not about jeff or me or claire, it is about the hundreds of thousands of people that are network across the country my job as board chair, the board will be all volunteers. support those networks and to continue the political revolution that we saw in this campaign and that has its ancestry from the many movements in this country. amy: claire sandberg, the e idea that it is larger than any one person and what you could not be a part of it moving into the future given that you so clearly endorse the tenants of the organization, you know, that is political philosophy? >> it was in a pushing decision for all of us. we thought about it for some time. the majority of the staff who resigned did not do so until
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almost a week later on sunday when seven people resigned. thinking veryter hard about it, expressing our concerns repeatedly saying we did not think we could work for jeff. i was a the concerns were really twofold. under jeff'sf -- leadership, the organization would not be well run given how we saw that he ran a campaign. secondly, jeff wanted to take the organization down this path ,f accepting billionaire money specifically, chosen a legal structure for the organization that had already prevented us from doing effective organizing for candidates like tim canova who has talked about how we have left him hanging. which is true. as the group was formed as a (c) (4), we could not mobilize
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thousands of supporters locally in miami or across the country to participate in his field operation because we cannot talk to him. the same thing -- amy: explain what you mean by this. >> a 501(c) four organization has a number of problems with it. one, federal officeholders cannot be involved in those organizations, so there is a real question about whether bernie could even be involved as a spokesperson, as someone who could send out e-mails. secondly, candidates cannot coordinate with 501(c) four organizations. we cannot have private not public conversations about, for example, how to mobilize volunteers or what voters we are talking to. we can't make sure we are not duplicate efforts, calling the same voters twice. amy: larry cohen, what about this? >> i'm not going to get into a legal wrangle with claire.
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i think the key is, all of us on the board believe we will mobilize millions of people. we are not here to run campaigns. that would be a different kind of organization. we will mobilize millions of the tpp.ainst we will enable people to donate to campaigns. we will be involved in eight ellet measures on the website right now it ranges from getting big money out of politics to single-payer health care in colorado. we will be supporting great candidates from one who is running for congress in seattle to people running for school board. this is not -- none of us on this board and the design of this is not to run campaigns. the design of this is really to continue the political revolution. amy: on wednesday evening, senator sanders stressed the importanance of electing progressivive candidates at the local level. mr. sanders: as americans, our goal must be to elect progressives at every level.
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and i want to menention just a w of the progressive candidatess who our revolution will be supporting. and there will eventually be over 100 of them in every region of our country, candidates from the school board to the united states senate. vernon miller, a native american, is running for the school board in nebraska. and let me tell you, we need hundreds of candidates all over this country to run for school board. [applause] mr. sanders: so i wish vernon the best of luck. jane kim is a member of the san francisco board of supervisors, and she is running for the state senate in california. either way, their state senate
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districts are like the equivalent of the entire state of vermont. it is not a small thing. [laughter] mr. sanders: i campaigned with cam when i was in san francisco. she will be e a great addition o the california state senate when she is elected. amy: that was bernie sanders last night in burlington, vermont. the miami herald has a headline, "bernie a no-show for tim canova in the south florida battle against u.s. representative debbie wasserman schultz." larry cohen, do you know why? >> i would not call him a no-show. amy: he just did not mention him in this list of people he was talking about supporting, and he was so significant in going after wasserman schultz and supporting canova before the democratic convention. >> unless a mistake was made, i'm certain tim canova is on the list that was put on the website last night. huge amounts of money have been raised directly from donors, but
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through the e-mails from the bernie sanders campaign and from our revolution. bernie has not campaigned since the convention in philadelphia for anyone. he is actually writing a book, so i don't think he is running away from tim canova at all. i think the question is, when does bernie go back on the campaign trail? that is not what our revolution will manage. what we will manage and support, are these networks of support people pushing to reform the democratic party, as i mentioned, at the state level like jing club, at the local level, independence like to have candidates running for the city council in california. in many cases, democrats and in many cases, not. that is the story here. , what will sandberg you go on to do given that you have donated your recent life to
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bernie sanders and our revolution before you quit? >> myself and the others who resigned will fight to continue the political revolution however we can undo the hope we -- do the work we hope to do in this organization in someme fashion. amy: thank you for being with us, claire sandberg, former organizing director for our revolution and larry cohen, incoming chair of our revolution. that does it for our broadcast. a very special related happy birthday to julie crosby. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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lalaura: this week on the laura flanders show, the struggle for the lack of economic independence. [captions made possible by kcet television] at 6000 acres, this was the largest tract of black owned land in the united states. he will fifind out whahat h hap, but the ideas behind it may be interesting. we have a few words from me on amamerica's grereatness at makig poor americans not feel great. the people that say it can't be done take a backseat to the people who are doing it.


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