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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 15, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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history and your role for bringing it about. i if we end up with peace with iran, it will be your destruction. think carefully about whose advice you should listen to. tell these senators how you feel. war and peace is too darn important to leave to the professionals. that is "all in" for this evening, the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> amazing show, chris. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. say you are in new jersey and for some reason you want to go to new york, the most famous way to do that is up top here, it's how you cross from fort lee in new jersey over to the top of manhattan, the george washington bridge, it's famous now for the chris christie bridge scandal, it's also a landmark in its even right. the busiest bridge for vehicular traffic in the entire world. the george washington bridge
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that is not the only way to cross the river from new jersey into new york, below the george washington bridge, your next option is a tunnel, the lincoln tunnel. the next option is another tunnel. the holland tunnel. and three bridge options, that go from new jersey to staten island, first you get to the bayone bridge, the goerfels bridge and there's an outer bridge crossing. my partner susan was born under the outer bridge in perth amboy. something really bad happened on the outer bridge, it was a huge screwup, and it got people really mad. >> shortages blamed for the massive backup for residents trying to get home on easter sunday, only one cash lane was open at the tollbooth which
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backed up traffic for all the other lanes. >> it was so bads that the website gothamist did a feature on the galacticly stupid traffic jam on the bridge. saying the port authority ruined easter. look at the coverage the next morning, that was easter sunday, right? the next monday, monday morning, right after easter, it's from the staten island advance, motorists fume as port authority creates an hour's long bridge backup. easter spirit gave way to traffic outrage yesterday, on what should have been a reasonable holiday commute turned into an hour's long ordeal. only a single toll collector was working at the outer bridge toll plaza, meaning one cash lane was open, and there were miles of backed up traffic behind it. whether they were trying to get home after visiting family or friends from out of state or trying to catch easter dinner with loved ones on staten island, motorists found themselves in parking lot conditions for hours.
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on easter. the traffic nightmare spurred numerous calls to the staten island advance throughout the day yesterday and through the early morning hours today. with motorists claiming to be stuck in three hours of traffic. that was the monday coverage of the sunday traffic jam. by tuesday, the staten island advance found people who were stuck in traffic for four hours, in one case more than five hours. more than five hours for a journey that takes 50 minutes. one woman's trip that usually takes 75 minutes took her more than 7 hours. you expect some traffic on a holiday, but a trip that should take one hour and a quarter takes seven hours? we could have travelled to new hampshire in seven hours. i don't know why they had only one person taking tolls. turns out the port authority didn't know why they had one person taking tolls either. after conflicting information
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from them, the night the traffic jam was still underway, people were stuck in the parking lot on that bridge until well after midnight on easter sunday. after some initial conflicting and confusing information that night, the port authority did issue a statement on monday. the port authority apologizes for the disruptions that travelers faced. that was not good enough. they had the executive director of the port authority get out and make a public apology to the people of staten island. >> i'd like to apologize to staten island resident thes and everyone affected by the skroortry delays. >> this is after the agency closed down all but one cash lane. that was an apology at a public meeting called to apologize that apology to the public came after
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that executive director had already met with local officials and apologized face to face to them. it was after that executive director had already apologized to the commissioners of the port authority. even after that, it still wasn't enough more penance had to be made. the chairman of the port authority was out in public making sure everybody knew that he knew as chairman that this port authority caused traffic jam was not okay. we consider this unacceptable. we've got mother's day coming up, we have memorial day coming up, we've got the fourth of july, it is unthinkable that we would have these problems. unthinkable, unacceptable. that was david samson who was then the chairman of the port authority. he is still chairman of the port authority. david samson was furious and
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outspoken about that april 2011 debacle, and he lambasted the executive director of the port authority for having caused that traffic jam on that bridge two and a half years ago. when the port authority caused this even bigger traffic jam for four straight days, the same chairman didn't say beep no public comment on the issue, no apology. no telling the press it was unthinkable, nothing. not a word. why is that? in contrast to the outer bridge backup in 2011 where david samson raked the director over the coals. here's what we know he did this past september. he e-mailed the vice chairman of the port authority david
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sampson's complaint was that the executive director of the port authority talked about it. pat foy is the leak, stirring up trouble in this case, he's playing in traffic, made a big mistake. in the earlier bridge backup, david samson's mad at the executive director because of the backup, and he says so. in the more recent one, the ft. lee one, there's nothing said publicly, the only thing david samson is mad about this time is that he's talking to the press about it. he's playing in traffic, he's the leak, stirring up trouble. he's made a big mistake. that's when some of the first press about the ft. lee disaster came out. during the ft. lee disaster itself, during the shutdown itself. when that executive director intervened to ungridlock ft.
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lee, david samson turns up again. ft. lee got back all three lanes this morning, we are appropriately going nuts. david samson is helping us to retaliate so says david wildstein on the last day of the shutdown. it was only after that document came out that david samson made his first public comment of what happened in ft. lee. the backup that was caused by the port authority. that was the first public comments that he made. he put out a statement saying i had no knowledge of the lane closures. he said he was extremely upset and distressed by the documents that were released. that's it. that's all we've heard from limb. david samson is chris christie's top appointee at the port authority. before that, he was the head of the transition team for chris
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christie when he was first elected governor of new jersey. chris christie and david samson are close political allies. chris christie calls him general samson. when frank lautenberg died and chris christie needed to pick someone to take that u.s. senate seat, chris christie tapped jeffrey ciasa. when governor christie started his term as the chairman of the republican governor's association, david samson was among the group of close advisers who went to arizona with chris christie as a sign that samson is seen as important to christie's potential run for national office. david samson and chris christie are very close, when it came out in those subpoenaed documents, david samson is helping us to retaliate. that was a big deal in terms of
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how high the scandal goes and how close the scandal gets to chris christie. and on the day christie apologized and said he was humiliated and called his deputy chief of staff stupid and the other people involved were stupid and deceitful and showed poor judgment. on that day, when everyone has seen the david samson is helping us to retaliate e-mail, he took a different tone when talking about him. >> i think general samson put out a statement yesterday that he had no knowledge of this i interviewed him yesterday. i am convinced that he had no knowledge of this, i sat and met for two hours yesterday with mr. samson, general samson, and again, i'm confident he had no knowledge of this, based on our conversations, and his review of his information. >> something along the lines of,
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we're taking appropriate action against the new york side, and samson is working with us. >> yeah, it was something. i asked general samson about that, it said something to that effect. i don't know what it was. he said he has no idea what it's referring to. >> that's that, settled, he definitely didn't have anything to do with it. two things to mention here, there is one other mention of david samson in the subpoenaed documents done last year, it was a chain of text messages submitted by david wildstein. other e-mails and pages of text messages submitted to the committee from david wildstein were redacted or partially redacted. he inked out big swabs of conversations. the assembly does not like those
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redactions. and is seeking to get them unblacked out. the reason he redacted some things in his submission is because those things that he blacked out were outside the time frame the assembly asked about, or they were just not relevant to this matter, they were not relevant to the closure of those lanes on the bridge. that's why he blacked out what he blacked out. keeping that in mind, david wildstein did not black out, did not redact this exchange of text messages that mentioned david samson, which means, implicitly, david wildstein at least believes -- david wildstein holds that these messages were relevant to the closure of the lanes on the bridge. look. this is august fifth. 10:52 a.m., samson cannot do friday august 16th. why? he's away, the whole week? on a friday, the 16th. that's the only day that works for the governor. response. we will tell samson.
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august, one week before the governor's deputy chief of staff, orders time for traffic problems in ft. lee, and chris christie says, got it, one week before that someone is trying to set up a meeting between david samson and chris christie, and david wildstein tried to set up that meeting to the assembly, as documentation somehow relevant to shutting those lanes down on that bridge and gridlocking ft. lee. why is that? and how will we know? >> i sat and met for two hours yesterday with mr. samson, general samson, and again i am confident he had no north of this. >> why are you confident of that. here's the other thing to know here, today is january 15th, which means today is the deadline for the port authority to respond to a list of questions that have been put to
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them about this scandal from the u.s. senate committee that overseas the port authority as an agency, there was a letter sent in mid december to david samson at the port authority. senator john rockefeller submitted a list of questions he wanted answers to by today. among those questions, prior to the closure of those lanes, who at the port authority knew about the decision. what concerns were raises. the deadline for david samson to submit his question was today. we talked to senator rockefeller's committee today, they could not tell us if they had heard from the port authority, but the star leather is reporting the port authority has transmitted its responses to the senate committee electronically by 6:00 p.m. this evening, still no word on whether they will be releasing those responses to the public and no word on why date samson was so upset about that 2011
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backup and not a peep about the one that happened in september on the orders of governor christie's deputy chief of staff. joining us now is the reporter covering the new jersey port authority for the star leather. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> you are more informed on these matters. you've been covering the port authority for a long time. having covered that backup when it happened, did i screw anything up there? >> you got both the ft. lee backup and the goethel pretty right. >> tell me what people should understand about david samson, his role in this agency and new jersey politics? >> samson is a long time player in new jersey politics, not oath on a republican side with christie, he was named attorney general by a democrat, jim
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mcgreevey. he's a partner in a prominent law firm. they're very well connected like many law firms in new jersey. and he obviously can play both sides of the political i'll. >> what can you tell us about his relationship with governor christie specifically, as an outsider to these matters. it seems important to me he was the transition director, that looks to me he must be a close political i'lly, rather than just a run of the mill supporter. >> i don't know what their entire history is, but as you say, the governor has a lot of confidence in mr. samson named him to one of the most important
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positions in the christie administration. samson has spoken for the governor almost anybody who's named at the port authority by christie appreciate as anything they say with, well, on behalf of the governor or thanks to the governor and, well, he's the chairman. >> in terms of how he fits into this scandal, the contrast between the way he was so verbal. in the backup on easter sunday and the way he made no comment about the backup in ft. lee, that could be explained by him not knowing what was underway, why would he make a public comment about it? is he usually loathed to make public comments about things once they become political -- matters of political discussion
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zm does i not like to talk to reporters generally? >> he will talk to reporters in the port authority meetings. there used to be huddles at the back of the meeting room, and chairman samson was always a regular participant. then they moved those discussion into a conference room adjacent to the meeting room, he's not been one of the regular participants. that's generally left to pat foy and bill baroni. he's not been adverse to talking, but i have not found him real accessible in terms of people able to call limb up and trying to talk to him. i tried to talk to him about this. i tried to e-mail him about this, we have his and some other people's e-mail addresses now, he was not forthcoming with me.
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he released a couple statements today, there were a couple stories, suggesting -- he may be leaving the port authority real ear early. it's no seek relate he will leave long before his six year turn expires. the thought now is that he's going to leave possibly before his next meeting. >> the question now is whether he's going to get a subpoena. >> your reporting on the outer bridge crossing and goethels back upi relied on totally in order to get this right tonight. thank you for being here. >> thank you. we have more ahead on this story and many others tonight. stay with us. ♪ [ female announcer ] we lowered her fever.
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last week the defense secretary chuck hagel took a trip. he went out west for a two-day tour of our nation's nuclear arms installations. he went to new mexico to check on a nuclear weapons vault. he got to visit nebraska where he visited a missile launch control center, making him the first secretary in 30 years to venture into one of the totally enclosed capsules, from which america's missile ears can launch our nation's giant intercontinental nuclear missiles. he also went to cheyenne, wyoming. he visited with some men and women whose job is to maintain the nuclear missiles and warh d warheads we have stockpiled. he was primarily there to give the officers a pep talk. to deliver a moral boosting speech. there's been a series of high
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profile firings of top nuclear division commanders. the last few years have seen a series of disasterous inspections and whether our forces can handle the job they're assigned to do. chuck hagel went to wyoming to give us your important pep talk, we need you to be great pep talk. you're appreciated, guys. >> just as the press secretary was headed up to the podium to give the pep talk, he got word that two officers had just been removed from duty over drug charges. and these were not just two run of the mill air force officers, they were two launch officers, nuclear missile launch officers, two of the officers who worked shifts, 60 feet underground in charge of ten nukes each, and each of those ten nukes, has three nuclear warheads on top. giant world altering missiles that are on 24 hour alert, ready
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to go at a moment's notice. two officers with their fingers on the actual and not proceed verbial button being hauled in for possession of drugs. the day before, the commander had been put up for promotion. everything's been great, other than the alleged drug ring. thursday the defense secretary hagel got the word about the two nuclear weapons launch officers. the following day, on friday, the drug investigation expanded to include not two, but ten nuclear launch officers at multiple bases here and abroad, including at fe warren which is the base where secretary hagel was there to give the keep up the good work speech. today they announced it's 11 officers being investigated as part of the drug ring.
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the drugs in question include ecstasy and synthetic pot, which i'm too much of an old person to understand. the reason we got an updated statement on this, from the air force today, is because it's not just a drug ring investigation any more while investigating the drug problem in montana, which is one of the three bases. air force officials item bleled upon evidence that dozens of officers all of the rank of captain or lieutenant, dozens of officers have been cheating on their certification exams. these are the tough steps the launch officers are required to take monthly. to ensure their ability to do their job. their job taking care of nuclear weapons. some of the officers were caught sharing answers via text message, while they were taking their exams. in all 34 officers have reportedly been implicated. 34. those 34 officers have had their
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security clearances immediately suspended. and we have been stripped of their nuclear certification. at a press conference today, the air force chief of staff attempted to assure the public that the nuclear ballistic missiles is not threatened at all. this is not about the compromise of nuclear weapons, it is about compromise of the integrity of some of our airmen. to be clear, though, the compromised airmen allegedly involved are the ones who handle nuclear weapons. the air force says they are now retesting all of the officers involved in the cheating ring. fingers crossed they all pass about having the answers fed to them. if they don't, though, don't stress. what could possibly go wrong? explore what's new for 575 calories or less on our lighter fare menu. enjoy fresh tossed. go fish. and try our new rosemary garlic chicken
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to broadband internet at home. it's a place named one america's most veteran friendly employers. next is information and entertainment in ways you never thought possible. welcome to what's next. comcastnbcuniversal. in 2010 and 2011, rod blah guy viery much went through two trials. in the second of those two trials, one juror tried to get excused from jury duty for a very, very chicago reason. which is that 2011 was not just the year of the second governor rod blagojevich corruption trial, it was also the last year of oprah. and i kid you not, one woman tried to get off jury duty for the blagojevich trial because
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the current governor of the great state of illinois is pat quinn. he's a democrat, elected in 2009. of the eight governors preceding governor quinn, four have gone to prison. they're patting 500 in illinois. 50% of the governors of the state of illinois have gone to the crowbar hotel. of these four, the most recent is governor rod blagojevich. he was arrested in december of 2008 on an astounding array of corruption charges. corruption charges that became public when it was revealed the fbi was wiretapping his home and office phones. he was promising state funding for a children's hospital, only if a top executive at that hospital donated $50,000 to his
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campaign also extorting the media, by promising favorable business deals to newspaper companies, only if those companies fired specific journalists. and, of course, most famously, trying to sell a united states senate seat. specifically the one that had been vacated by the one named barack obama when he had to go be president. the charges against rod blagojevich were enough to make a hardened fbi agent, an agent from the chicago office of the fbi marvel at the new low for illinois. >> i can tell you one thing. if it isn't the most state, it's certainly one hell of a competitor, this wiretap i can tell you, from the fbi agents that participated in this wiretap investigation were thoroughly disgusted and revolted by what they heard. >> governor blagojevich has been arrested in the middle of a
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political corruption crime spree. the most cynical behavior in all this is the fact that governor blagojevich tried to sell the senate seat vacated by president obama. the governor's own words describing the senate seat. it's a bleeping valuable thing you just don't give it away for nothing. another quote, i've got this thing and it's bleeping golden. i'm just not giving it up for bleeping nothing. i'm not going to do it, i can always use it. i can parachute me there. those are his words. >> that was the day that rod blagojevich was arrested. the wiretaps that the u.s. attorney was quoting from there, they really did capture blagojevich saying that stuff. we know that, because the eventual tapes are released. >> i mean, i got this thing and it's [ bleep ] golden. and i'm just not giving it up
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for [ bleep ] nothing. i'm not going to do, and i can always parachute you there, parachute me there. >> rod blagojevich the day after the men shall election in 2008, that's when he was speaking there, talking about how he had a golden opportunity on his hands in the form of president obama's soon to be vacant senate seat, he wasn't going to give that away for nothing. he was going to get something out of that for himself. there were two trials for governor blagojevich, the first ended in a mistrial, the second ended in prison. he was found guilty on 17 counts of wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion and bribery. he was found guilty of trying to sell that senate seat. rod blagojevich is serving a 13-13 13-year-term in prison. here's how that became relevant today. patrick fitzgerald ran the blagojevich investigation, but the person in his office who was the lead prosecutor in both of those trials, the person who
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eventually led the successful prosecution of rod blagojevich and put him in prison for more than a decade was the assistant u.s. attorney for the northern district of illinois, a man named reid char and now as of today, that same reid char is the special council leading the chris christie investigation for the assembly of the state of new jersey. yes. that happened today. reid char was patrick fitzgerald's deputy u.s. attorney for an unusually long amount of time. he also led the prosecution of one of rod blagojevich's fund-raisers. that was him there standing behind patrick fitzgerald in the big, unbelievable rod blagojevich was arrested press conference. he was there for 12 years, he oath recently went into private practice in 2012 about the new jersey state assembly could have picked any lawyer in the country for the chris christie bridge investigation. if you could pick anybody in the
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country you could see why you might pick this guy. in terms of what happens next, the new jersey senate is also expected to appoint a special council on their investigation of the bridge scandal. we thought that announcement might come today. the announcement could come as early as tomorrow, certainly by the end of the week, meanwhile, it is expected that the next round of subpoenas from the assembly investigation, those is a peinas could go out as early s tomorrow. that could include the person that was most directly at the center of the scandal, chris christie's deputy chief of staff who appears to have ordered time for some traffic problems in ft. lee back in august of last year. could bridgette ann kelly be issued a subpoena? could that happen tomorrow? joining us now, the newly elected speaker of the new jersey assembly. thank you for being with us. >> it's good to be here. >> why was reid char selected
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for special council of this special body? >> the people that i spoke to, reid was the person that made the most sense to help us and guide us in this unchartered territory for us. the assembly did not have a lot of staff to be able to do this, and there may be other agencies that may be investigating into this, and we don't want to be an impediment or obstruction, and i think mr. char was the most qualified person that woue coul seek out. >> as the newly elected speaker of the assembly, it was your decision whether or not there would be a continuing investigation, subpoena power for the transportation committee that had been investigating, expired with the close of the session. it was your call. i have to ask you if you how you made the decision that the investigation would continue. there would be subpoena power, and whether or not anyone tried
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to influence you in that decision. >> i was never influenced by anyone. i was never even approached by anybody. i told somebody today it was ze zero. but i was not the speaker until yesterday. so i had to wait until then. my ideas were that the transportation committee did a fabulous job under chairman wiesnewski. and it had to be moved because it's no longer about a transportation issue. it's about public safety and abuse of power. we wanted to make sure we armed this committee to make it something that we can get to the bottom of this, because we're a legislative body, and we make laws, laws were broketh, we want to see how we can correct this. those positions are still there, they will be filled by other people, and we want to make sure this does not happen again. >> in terms of the relationship between the different parts of government in new jersey, i was looking at the legislation today
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that's creating the special investigatory body, it's explicit about how this has moved beyond just the port authority, just a transportation issue, there have been questions raised about possible abuse of power. possible attempts to conceal abuse of government power. how do you as the speaker balance your desire and the people's interest in seeing that found out and rooted out with the need to work with the executives, the need to work with governor christie and his staff, and get the people's work done? >> the way i look at it, everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty. everyone is given the benefit of the doubt. we still have to run government, that's why the special committee made sense, because the transportation committee has to take on the challenges that it has. and our staff is limited as i said, so the special council was key because that way they could do the research, they could advise us and guide us in the best way to get to the bottom of this. >> obviously, you are not
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running the special investigatory committee, you are speaker of the assembly, the vote will be taken tomorrow to formally create that body. do you expect that is a peen thats may come as soon as tomorrow? >> potentially. tomorrow we have a session that we will adopt and pass the resolution. and then we will convene a committee. the committee will convene and then from there, the chairman under his guidance will see what goes out, potentially subpoenas could go out as early as tomorrow. >> speaker vincent prieto, who's the newly elected speaker of the assembly, taking over at a time of turmoil in your state, a lot of responsibility, thank you for taking the time to talk to us tonight. we'll be right back. chestnt the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins.
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as the bridge scandal continues to dominate the political headlines in the country, the house of representatives today in washington moved head with work on a spending bill that will keep the government funded through september. one of the big unknowns in washington right now is whether the senate democrats are going to defy president obama on another issue. whether they are going to vote for and make the president veto what we're calling the let's go
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to war with iran measure, which new jersey senator bob menendez and other senators have been cooking up in the last few weeks. as of monday of this week, 59 senators including 16 democrats were openly endorsing a bill ne sanction against iran. that means one more senate vote for the bill and that prospective sanctions bill could withstand a filibuster in the senate. although 60 votes still wouldn't be enough to override the president's promised veto. over this past weekend, the obama administration leped to secure the hugely important deal that would temporarily freeze iran's nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief in iraq. iran agreed to that deal. that deal is due to take effect next week. we're supposed to be trying it out for six months to see how it goes. one of the sticking points, though, one of the things iranians have said would be a reason for them to leave the negotiating table and scrap this historic deal is if the u.s. moves to enact new sanctions against iran during this process.
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that's what the senate has been working on and president obama says he is not prepared to let that happen. tonight, there was a meeting between senate democrats and president obama at the white house where those iran sanctions were reportedly on the agenda. also all we know thus far in terms of the reporting out of the meeting is that the president urged the senate democrats, don't do it. watch this space. there's a saying around here, you stand behind what you say. around here you don't make excuses. you make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up, and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it when you know where to look.
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in the middle of the bridge scandal in new jersey, the rnc announced yesterday that they're going to ramp up their spending this year on state republican parties. they say they plan to help the state parties directly with more cash. they told us today they also plan to spend more money than ever on national republican staffers working in the state
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parties, helping with 2014 campaigns. the rnc says tell us don't believe anything you hair to the contrary. don't believe an ap article earlier this week that suggested the opposite. what you need to know is the national republican party is doubling down on the party in the states. interesting timing. in the sunday new york times this week, mayor mark sokolich explained how and when he was asked if he would please endorse chris christie for re-election. he said it happened last spring. it was not a high pressure pitch, but he didn't want to tell the "times" exactly who the chris christie staffer was who asked for the endorsement. yet "the wall street journal" named the guy. it was a guy named matt mowers. matt mowers was responsible for calling ft. lee mayor mark
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sokolich, and other democratic mayors across the state asking them to endorse chris christie. that may or may not have been reasons why the entire city of ft. lee were shut down for four days in september, but it's definitely how jersey city lost all that help they were due to get from the state of new jersey this past year. you say no to the endorsement, you lose everything we were going to give you. in any case, now that matt mowers has been named as playing a sort of key role in this huge scandal wrapped around the new jersey governor's office like a giant squid, what's happening to old matt mowers. interesting story, it turns out. it turns out the day after chris christie was, in fact, re-elected as governor of new jersey, the very flexion day, he got a new job. he was pinted the executive director of the republican party in new hampshire. not new jersey, new hampshire. why would a chris christie campaign guy want to be working in new hampshire head into this next campaign cycle?
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since it became clear that matt mowers was pretty much right in the middle of the bridgegate scandal, the new hampshire press and the new jersey politicos have been in a bit of an uproar of him being the executive director of their republican party. he spent years working under a new disgraced aides of chris christie and we're wondering what plans he has to use them in new hampshire. so far, the republican party has responded with statements defending matt mowers in a general sense but not mentioning the fact that he used to work for chris christie. does matt mowers hold on to that really important political job as the executive director of the new hampshire republican party? it probably depends on whether his name surfaces again in a more damning way in any of these more subpoenaed documents that we expect to get, once the assembly investigation moves forward. but that is not the only state republican party reeling from this scandal right now. in new jersey itself, they've already lost their new party chairman for the republican party in new jersey.
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the day before the bergen record published the e-mail from the deputy chief of staff that said time for traffic problems in ft. lee, the day for that e-mail and the rest of the documents came out, which showed governor christie's campaign manager e-mailing the guy who shut down the bridge and calling the mayor of ft. lee an idiot, the day before those e-mails came out, chris christie's came pan manager bill stepien was put forward as the new executive director of the new jersey republican party. on thursday, that was over. chris christie announcing he had lost faith in his judgment, and he was asking him to withdraw his name for consideration from leading the new jersey republican party. so the bridge scandal in new jersey has already claimed the head of one state republican party, and it's causing big trouble for the new executive director of another state republican party in a really politically important state. and now the national republican party has announced a new strategy for funneling at least some additional help from d.c.
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headquarters to the state parties. hey, how about that? when new jersey has trouble because the chris christie bridge scandal, right? that's why it's happening, right? new hampshire has trouble because of the chris christie bridge scandal and you know what? a lot of other state republican parties recently have had a lot of trouble. in oregon, the new chair of the party is the guy who said we should sprinkle low level radiation over everyone's houses because low-level radiation is good for you. in alaska, that's where the new chair of the party took over and changed the locks and wouldn't let anyone over. in iowa, it was taken over by the wrong people. but they're better than the crew who was in there before who completely bungled the iowa caucuses the last time around. in minnesota, the state republican party got an eviction notice from their landlord. and now we have this in new hampshire and new jersey. and so here comes the national republican party to rescue them, to help those little state parties out more than they helped them out before.
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and maybe none of those miserable failings is why national republicans are deciding to do that now. but they're deciding to do that now. whatever this interesting national decision does to the parties in the state is going to be fascinating to watch in this new election year. it is a low-profile decision that could have a very high-profile political impact. now time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. tonight, chris christie's donors are worried, and the first national poll on chris christie since the bridge scandal broke turns out to be very, very good news for hillary clinton. >> 4 in 10 veoters say christie is a bully. >> we has a nation remain stuck in the news traffic jam. >> chris christie's jersey jam.

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