tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 22, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
thank you so much. >> that is all in for this evening. good evening, rachel. >> thanks my friend. and thanks to you at home for joining us. i have to tell you in advance that we are tracking a developing story tonight. this hour. news out of new jersey tonight that the fbi is interviewing new witnesses in the new jersey abuse of power investigation kurning the administration of chris christie, this is a late breaking story. we're just getting confirmation tonight. we're just confirming the last details of the story before we bring it to you on the air. that story is developing right now, and i expect to be able to give you further details this hour. new fbi interviews reported tonight in new jersey connected to that abuse of power investigation. details ahead. meanwhile, though. this was the nbc nightly news lead story on june 27th, 2011,
watch. >> big news out of chicago today, former illinois governor rod blagojevich convicted this afternoon of 17 out of 20 corruption charges against him. most of the charges related to his attempts to benefit from choosing a replacement for president obama in the u.s. senate, in effect trying to sell a senate seat. jurors said fbi wiretaps of his phone conversations were the key here. and as he met with reporters after the verdict today, blagojevich told him he was trying to learn his lesson about talking too much. >> i frankly am stunned. there's not much left to say other than we want to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them. and then try to sort things out. >> jurors added they wanted the verdict to send a message to public servants about the line between deal making and corruption. blagojevich will become the fourth illinois governor in recent memory to go to jail.
his predecessor george ryan is still in federal prison, also for corruption. >> before illinois democratic governor rod blagojevich started serving 14 years in federal prison for corruption, while he was still governor of illinois, while he was fighting those corruption charges against him. rod blagojevich did a round of media interviews in new york to try to tell his side of the story. this was after the charges against him were unveiled, it was after the u.s. attorney had gone public with what was on the wiretaps where the governor talked about selling barack obama's senate seat and what he could get for it, it was after all that but before he was impeached and went on trying. in that interim of his corruption, he came to new york because he wanted to get his side of the story out there about one of the people who got to interview rod blagojevich at the very weird time was me.
the thing i will always remember about that interview is the striking sense, even face to face with him, even looking him in the eye, walking into and out of the interview when we were not on camera. there was a striking sense that he didn't really get why he thought anyone would think what he did was wrong. he didn't dispute he tried to sell the senate seat. he just didn't think it was so wrong. >> do you agree it would be wrong, it would be criminal for you to try to exchange barack obama's u.s. senate seat for something that would be of value to you? do you agree that would be wrong? >> personal -- one for the other, personal gain, absolutely. >> you didn't do that? >> absolutely not. >> on the wiretaps you're quoted as saying, if they're not going to offer anything of value, i might take it, i have this thing, it's golden, i'm not giving it up for nothing. in what possible context could you say things like that, if you weren't trying to exchange
things of value for the u.s. senate seat? >> let me answer that two ways. >> why can't the construction -- i want them to help me pass a public works program. >> even if you wanted food for the hungry, i mean, if you wanted justice itself in exchange for the senate seat, you're not supposed to exchange anything for the senate seat. >> i don't disagree one for the other isn't, but there are political negotiations and leveraging which is all very much a part of the process. >> when you -- again, this is from the wiretap calls. i realize you're not going to testify to their veracity, speaking about barack obama's advisers, they're not willing to give me anything but appreciation in exchange for the senate seat. [ bleep ] them, what would you want for appreciation, what could be kosher to exchange for a senate seat? >> how about helping pass a jobs
bill, helping illinois. >> i will appoint person x instead of y if you don't do this for me? >> no, that's not what i'm saying. i'm in a political business. >> well, now, he's in a federal prison, because making politics into that kind of business is criminal bribery and extortion and conspiracy to commit bribery and extortion. that's why rod blagojevich is in prison. it's those same charges that have been leveled against another governor with above average hair. he's vehemently asserting his total innocence of the 14 felony charges that have been levied against him as of yesterday and his innocence will be add jude indicated in federal court now. he's also asserting that nobody has ever been convicted of charges like this ever before. >> i come before you this
evening as someone who has been falsely and wrongfully accused. the federal government's case rests entirely on a misguided theory. no other elected official has been successfully prosecuted for such conduct. yet federal officials in washington in their zeal for finding a basis to charge maureen and me -- >> no other elected official has been successfully prosecuted for such conduct. mr. mcdonnell meet mr. blagojevich. mr. blagojevich, meet mr. mcdonnell. the claim that the bribery prosecution of bob mcdonnell is novel, it has never been done before. that claim itself is pretty novel, right? there are going to be two interesting things to watch. most of the charges in the bob
mcdonnell case are chaired by the governor and his wife. the two of them worked together to exchange official acts by the governor for material things and money that they took for themselves the governor alone is charged with lying to a bank about the money that he took from the downer in question, a man named johnny williams. tales the governor's wife alone who is charged with obstructingage official proceeding for concocting a fake story about all the clones she was bought by that donor. most of the charges are for both the governor and his wife. they do have two separate legal teams defending them, though. does the prosecution and the defense proceed against them as a couple. because the two of them do face
different lists of charges. remember when bob mcdonnell apologized for the scandal the first time, he tried to put some of the blame on liz family members. he apologized for their behavior before he apologized for his own behavior, and he apologized for their behavior separately from his own behavior, and then he put it out there that some of this stuff was done by his wife without his knowledge. does the defense of these two parties in the corruption case about does the defense of the two of them diverge for their two cases. that's one question that remains to be seen the other thing to watch is what happens in new jersey right now. the scandal is being investigated by the state legislature, unlike new jersey, this corruption scandal in virginia has never had other politicians involved at all, at least in the legislature, the legislature never investigated governor mcdonnell.
they never formed an inquiry into the allegations. bob mcdonnell is a republican, and it is republicans who control the virginia legislature, and whether or not that's why they stayed out of this whole thing or whether it was just a sequence of veents after the fbi started their federal investigation last spring, one big contrast between these concurrent scandals in new jersey and virginia is that in virginia, there really has been no occasion for the other parts of state government to weigh-in on this scandal at all. to be part of sorting it out, or to decide whether they would side with the governor or not. he's been denying this thing already. they haven't had to say whether they've been siding with bob mcdonnell, they've been declining comment. that sort of has to change now, because today is day one of the full scale push back against the federal charges that have been levied against bob mcdonnell and his wife. his push back is partisan.
his push back is that these charges are federal government overreach. the reason he's being charged is the obama administration is out to get him because he's a republican governor. look from his motion filed in his defense. the government's decision to use these deceitful tactics in order to prosecute a popular and serving governor is contemptuous of the citizens of virginia who elected him. if that is going to be bob mcdonnell's defense to these corruption charges, that really does put virginia republicans and to a certain extent national republicans in the position of deciding whether they are with him. deciding if this really is, as he says, just bob mcdonnell being persecuted for partisan reasons by a democratic administration. or whether this is bob mcdonnell caught with his hand in the
cookie jar. bob mcdonnell's defense is partisan. will other republicans in virginia and around the country line up with him? will they continue to stay out of it? or will they walk to see the prosecution pursued. watch this space? >> i'm here to tell you right off the bat, i am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, i intend to stay on the job, and i will fight this thing every step of the way. i will fight, i will fight, i will fight until i take my last breath. i have done nothing wrong. >> got lots to get to tonight, including again as i mentioned this developing story i think we're going to be able to bring you in a moment about new fbi interviews tonight in new jersey, in the abuse of power investigation in that state. stay with us. lovely read susan. may i read something? yes, please. of course. a rich, never bitter taste cup after cup. 340 grams.
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on election day if you want to, you can stage a protest anywhere in america on a subject of your choosing. it's a free country. if you want to stage your protest on election day, you may want to stage that protest where you know you will have a captive audience with politics on their minds. you might want to stage your protest at a place where people are voting at a polling site. you have the right to do that, you have the free speech right to do that, but because we have laws that protect prospective
voters that fulfill their right to vote. you can protest on election day, but you can only get so close when you do it. you have to abide by a buffer zone, so you don't interfere with people as they go about casting their votes. the size of the buffer zone varies from state to state. you have to stay 150 feet away from the entrance of a polling place when voting is underway. but there are also buffer zone laws at military funerals. if you're someone who believes the best use of your time is to protest at the funerals of american service members, there are people who believe that, god bless their souls. the u.s. constitution and right to free speech means you have a right to protest at funerals, but again, buffer zone. federal law says you can get no closer than 300 feet to the entrance of that military funeral that you are protesting. that's how the law and the courts balance that particular right to free speech with the
rights of the loved ones of that fallen service member not to be harassed and terrorized as they attend the funeral of the person they loved. same general idea for protesters at the supreme court of the united states. if you're protesting at the supreme court in washington, d.c., whether you're happy with the supreme court or mad at them or anything in between, if you're protesting at the court, have you to stay a certain distance away from the entrance to the court. there are no protests of any kind, no public demonstrations of any kind allowed anywhere on the 250 foot plaza of the supreme court. you want to protest at the court you're welcome to, but there's a very specific geographic limit on that right which gives the court espectively a 250 foot geographical buffer zone from any protest. on december 30th, 1994 a man with a gun, 22-year-old man walks into the planned parenthood clinic in massachusetts, walked up to the receptionist and said, is this
planned parenthood, when the receptionist told him it was, he shot her and killed her. he was not done. >> eyewitnesss say he arrived dressed in black, pulled out a 22 caliber rifle and as they tried to flee opened fire, the gunman shot four people before escaping here, one woman a clinic worker died at the scene. the terror wasn't over, just ten minutes later, a similar attack at a clinic blocks away, by a gunman also dressed in black. >> he dropped the dufflebag, pulls out a rifle, and i was stunned when i saw the rifle. before he hit the girl i'm talking to, she falls. >> three people were injured at the second clinic, including one woman who died at the hospital. a massive manhunt involving federal, state and local police agencies is underway, but authorities stopped short of saying the same gunman carried out both attacks.
>> we are presently in the beginning phase of an intensive investigation to find the individual or individuals -- >> the two clinics are just a mile and a half apart, and anti-abortion activists have protested frequently at both. officials confirm that both clinics received death threats over the last few weeks. >> that gunman killed two women that day in brooklyn. it was the same guy. the people he killed were shannon and leann. he killed them both on the same day in 1994, they were both receptionists at two different clinics on the same street in brookli brookline. he got away, he fled to virginia it turns out where he kept up the rampage. he shot into the doors of another abortion clinic in norfolk, virginia. he was captured by police. the shootings at the clinics, they were routine targets for anti-abortion protesters at the time. an hour after the gunman killed
shannon at the brookline planned parenthood, someone called the same clinic and told a counselor there, you got what you deserved. shannon's family later announced they were creating a fund to help provide protection at clinics, both for patients who attended the clinics and employees who work there. eventually the state of massachusetts did pass a specific law aimed at protecting those people. in 2000, massachusetts republican governor signed a new law that said even though can you protest outside a clinic that provides abortion services, you cannot get closer than 18 feet to the entrance. that's why you see those yellow lines painted on the ground around some clinics in massachusetts. they can state their case, they can say whatever they want, they just can't physically approach the people entering a clinic. in 2007, the buffer zone law in massachusetts which was enacted after those two young women were
shot and killed. it was strengthened to 35 feet. it is that 2007 law from massachusetts, the 35 foot buffer zone is awaiting word on its fate in the supreme court. the court ruled in favor of colorado's version of this law. this year, everyone expects the rule's going to rule against the massachusetts buffer zone or at least they're going to weaken it. the court has heard the oral around uchlts in the massachusetts case already, they're expected to rule on it in june. if they do rule against the 35 foot buffer zone, that ruling could have reverberations not just for massachusetts, but for any state with a similar buffer zone set up for clinics that provide abortion, and not just abortion clinics. military funerals, other places where buffer zones limit free speech geographically in the name of protecting other rights, polling places. the supreme court itself. today, of course, is the
anniversary of the supreme court's landmark ruling protecting a woman's right to get an abortion in this country, 41 years ago today was roe versus wade. president obama put out a statement calling the decision part of reproductive freedom. because it is the anniversary of roe, anti-abortion protesters took to the national mall for their big anti-abortion rally. they call it the march for life. republican elected officials always, always speak at the march for life. the republican party sort of tripled down on their support for this march. they delayed the start of the republican parties annual winter meeting so members of the rnc could go to the march and not miss of the meeting. the chairman of the republican national committee himself attended the march and chartered a bus to and from the march for rnc members.
once the winter meeting got underway, the rnc introduced a big new anti-abortion resolution for its members, stating that republican candidates for office must stop shying away from being anti-abortion. they should loudly declare how anti-abortion they are. if a republican candidate for office does note talk enough about just how against abortion rights they are, this revolution says the rnc should not support that strategy as that cath cand runs for office. they're set to vote on that new be louder about abortion by friday of this week. in congress, they're considering these measures not just a matter of marching in the streets and dealing with the supreme court, the legislature matters here too, in congress, republicans control the house of representatives, the judiciary committee of the house of representatives, specifically the republican majority on the judiciary committee on the house of representatives which looks like this, all these lovely ladies. they decided that the first bill
they would mark up in 2014, the way they would start this new session of congress, the very first thing they would work on would be the no taxpayer funding for abortion act. which concerns abortion coverage and whether or not washington, d.c., is allowed to spend even its own money providing access to abortion for low income women in that city. that was the very first thing that the republican controlled house judiciary committee decided to work on this year, and all the male republicans in that committee which is all the republicans in that committee unanimously voted for it, but not before telling the one representative of washington, d.c., in congress that she would not be allowed to speak on the issue. republicans in the house are also expecting this year to make their most concerted pusher for a federal nationwide ban that would criminalize abortion all across the country at 20 weeks or later. the house voted to pass a 20 week ban last year, this year they are on a renewed push for
it, they think they can try to get it through the senate too, they are going to mount a concerted effort to target centrist democrats would help them get that abortion ban through the democratic controlled senate, whereupon it would be vetoed by president obama. the supreme court just last week struck down arizona's version of a 20 week ban on abortion, they allowed to stand the lower court ruling that struck down the arizona law. republicans still say theyen watt that for the whole country, this is the year they're going to get it passed. as we wait, probably another ruling on 20 week bans, federally clarifying that issue after what they did to arizona. and as we await the judicial fate of the mass mass buffer zone law that passed after that fatal rampage in brookline and created a safety buffer zone around clinics. as we await those things judicially, the republican party is declaring that more than
anything else, more than any other policy issue in the country, the one thing that unifies the republican party in the united states, is how opposed they are to abortion rights. war and peace, spending versus not spending. hands off government, versus hands on government. guns, gays, the voting rights acts, there are real differences of opinion among elected republicans on all of those issues, but on abortion, unity. there is one republican position on which you can say there is unity, and they are putting it at the forefront what have it means to be a republican. they think it's not just the right thing to do, it's going to work for them strategically. why do they think that? and what does it mean for our politics? joining us now is jong stanton. thank you for being here tonight. >> it's good to be here. >> on this issue, there's a lot of talk by people who don't know, such as myself, about what was going on inside the republican mind about losing women by 12 points, about all the senate seats they thought were going to be winnable that
they lost, about the resonance of the idea of a republican war on women, and people who don't know were thinking, republican mind-set here, they're going to have to start soft peddling this issue, they've gone in the completely opposite direction. do you have any insight as to why? >> they look at this as -- a thing that unites their base, it does bring their people out to vote, they see this as a very good political issue, they don't have any notion that this is going to pass, they understand that if by some miracle, they found the 20 some odd votes they're going to need to get it to the senate, it would be vetoed you could not override that he veto, they see it as a way to gin up their base. they also, i think, see this as a way to try to win back that -- at least get it through a stalemate with democrats on this issue of the war with women, they're trying to put some of these moderate democrats into a bit of a tough bind by saying
you're for late term abortions or you don't want to help the parents of children that are having an abortion that they're having it. there's a moral thing to this. i think members -- the rnc committee and for some members of the republican party, a lot of them this is a political issue. >> and that is the part, seeing it as a moral issue and having a moral debate about what's right in terms of policy, is something i understand completely, and i think everybody believes is a legitimate debate. the thing that we're just figuring out now, is that the electoral acalculus, i can't believe republicans are shooting themselves in the foot like this taking this into a general election. no, we want to be more loudly known as anti-abortion. >> it goes against what everyone would say is the obvious evidence, the virginia election is a great example. it's a very conservative state, a state where abortion is very much frowned upon, and yet they
push this issue. it became a thing and it helped democrats in the end. the gender gap between cutchinelli and terry mccall is. >> in washington, are there any issues where this issue gets complicated? where it means they don't know what to do? >> the biggest one is israel. my colleague did a great story about how we give them billions of dollars every year, israel has the most progressive or liberal law on abortion, they are providing taxpayer funded abortions to people in israel, and you cannot find a republican that will criticize that, and they say, well, that's money, but they say in the case of columbia or planned parenthood, those arguments don't come into play on a domestic level. it's really the place you've seen a republican party back away from the criticism. >> this is going to be the hardline fight. the republicans telling each other, you support funding for
israel, you're a murderer? >> right. >> specifically on the issue of abortion? >> right. >> i want to see that bite. i want to see that bite because i'd like to bet on it. >> thank you very much for being here, john. good to see you. a major development in the federal investigation into the abuse of power allegations against the christie administration in new jersey, we've got that breaking news story for you next. the new new. open to innovation. open to ambition. open to bold ideas. that's why new york has a new plan -- dozens of tax free zones all across the state. move here, expand here, or start a new business here and pay no taxes for ten years... we're new york. if there's something that creates more jobs, and grows more businesses... we're open to it. start a tax-free business at startup-ny.com. [ car alarm chirps ] ♪
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at a company that's bringing media and technology together. next is every second of nbcuniversal's coverage 0f the 2014 olympic winter games. it's connecting over one million low-income americans 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. we have breaking news from
new jersey tonight. nbc news is reporting tonight that fbi agents have begun questioning witnesses in new jersey as they investigate the explosive claims by hoboken mayor dawn zimmer concerning the administration's governor's statements. three sources are confirming that federal agents have been in hoboken questioning the mayor's chief of staff and her communications director, those two are among a reported five witnesses who may be able to confirm or not confirm that mayor zimmer previously told them her account of a conversation that she had with the lieutenant governor of new jersey, that is a conversation in which mayor zimmer says the lieutenant governor told her that super storm sandy relief funds might flow more freely to hoboken if the mayor okayed a private real estate deal in that town. federal agents have instructed
key witnesses to preserve all documents and e-mails related to those allegations. the lieutenant governor denied any wrongdoing yesterday in a public statement. governor christie's office has also denied the allegations and called them partisan politics. whatever the charges amount to ultimately or not, the feds are obviously taking the charges very seriously. they are in hoboken, according to nbc news tonight. and they are asking questions, five witnesses interviewed by the fbi. stay tuned, we'll keep you posted. i'm beth...
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go national. go like a pro. it's five years ago this week that former president george w. bush left office. they welcomed the new guy, shared some hugs and handshakes, and then president bush and first lady laura bush climbed into the helicopter and flew away. whenever that moment meant to you at the time, it has a whole new meaning now, because under federal law, once a president has been out of office for five years, the public gets to see a whole lot more about what that president was up to while he was
in office. this monday, five years exactly after george w. bush left office, the george w. bush presidential library started accepting freedom of information act requests, that's what reporters call it, we say we are foia-ing documents. individuals, state and local companies can submit foia requests for records. this is a particularly great variety of nerd christmas. you, your grandmother, adoring wanna be george bush biographers, folks needing to settling a longstanding bet about the scooter libby prosecution, all of us, anyone, we can all now file requests demanding to know just about anything about the george w.
bush presidency. anything that isn't classified. most of the really interesting stuff is classified, still, he's very exciting. if you want help starting your own foia request, the dallas morning news has published the contact information and steps you have to go through to file your very own foia if you want to. it has been five years this week since george w. bush has been in office. that anniversary also means it's been one year since this happened, since president obama took the oath of office to begin his second term as president. the real and final end to an election where americans in a surprising number of places waited hour after hour after hour just for their chance to vote. a lot of people called this the stay in line election.
do you remember this man, 102 years old, standing in line more than three hours to cast her ballot in south florida? we may never know the full effect of those long lines in the 2012 election. lal tinos and african-americans and young people in particular, waited longer than other people. and not everyone could afford to wait it out for hours. after the election, one study found that 200,000 people in florida alone likely gave up in frustration over the long lines in the florida polls. the night he won that second term, he thanks everybody who voted. he mentioned specifically the voters who waited in line for a very long time. and then he said, by the way, we have to fix that. he brought up the issue again in his inaugural address. >> it is now our generation's
task to carry on what those pioneers began. our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. >> a few weeks later in his state of the union address last year he announced a way toward trying to fix it, a year long effort. a national commission headed up by the top lawyer from his own re-election campaign and the top lawyer from mitt romney's election campaign. the two of them working together to try to come up with bipartisan solutions, consensus solutions that democrats and republicans may like to stop americans from having to wait hours in line to vote. today they reported back. joining me now are mr. bauer and mr. ginsburg. gentlemen, thank you very much for being with us. >> thank you.
>> mr. ginsberg, let me start with you, the premise of the report and it's very specific, is that no citizen should have to wait more than 30 minutes to vote. do you think that is feasible and what do we have to change about our system in order to get that? >> in the commission studies, which was involved in detail, we talked to many of the administrators who had long lines in their districts. and what we discovered is that the problems that caused the long lines were all identifiable and solvable. and what the report does is go through quite a large number of recommendations and best practices with which to fulfill that. but we primarily found there's not adequate planning by the local administrators to do that and in one of the things the commission discovered in its testimony was there are a number
of very good online tools that are available to administrators to help them plan, understand the flow of elections, kind of get things right. and those will be available. they're available now on the commission website, and will be housed permanently on cal tech m.i.t.'s website. >> in terms of fixes like that, ways that local administrators who want to do a good job can do the good job that they want to do that seems relatively noncontroversial at least in ideological terms, you're a guy who's been close to the politics of getting things done, what do you think the hopes are for improving these things that you guys say could be improved. who has to buy into it? >> the pieces of the commission was, if we went around the country and spoke to the people who ran elections in the states and localities and listened to
the experts and talked to the stakeholders, the groups that are representing the interest of voters across the spectrum, that we could build from the ground up, from what we heard and on the best social science and data available we could build from the ground up a set of packages that would really sell. and we're confident from what we're hearing from the states, from the localities just in the last few hours and quite frankly over the period of time we were discussing some of these recommendations, we're confident that we can sell it, that there's a significant motivation, significant appetite within the community of election administrators to do something to solve this problem because -- and this is something we discovered, they know the voters expect it, and our guideline all along was the interest and the evolving expectation of our voters. >> do you expect that most of these important fixes will be
expensive? >> i'll invite my co chair to comment. some will require resources, there may be some equipment, facilities that will require funds, we, however are going to help election administrators make the case for those funds, often they tell us their budget priorities are shuffled to the bottom of the deck we're trying to help them build a case for that which does require resources, there are other resources we made available to them. other tools they could use that would not require the expenditure of a specific sum of money and the planning advice and support we would like to give are along those less expensive options. >> mr. ginsberg, let me ask you about some of the politics here. in political science 101 they teach you that republicans historically have benefited when
turnout is lower, and democrats have benefited when turnout is higher. whether or not you think that's true, that is the widespread belief in political circles, given that, how do you take this goal of making it easier for people to vote out of something that has partisan implications that republicans may not like. >> i may have missed that part of the class you're referring to. what we present are a series of bipartisan recommendations aimed at the voter and making voting easier for all legally qualified voters. as bob said, our mission in this report was to improve the voter experience. i reject the notion that somehow republicans don't want people to vote. >> mr. ginsberg, i am really happy to hear you say that i promise to clip that sound byte and play it over and over again
in years to come. >> thank you. >> thank you for your time tonight in talking to us. you guys are busy guys who bill a lot for your time, and your devotion to do this for the country and to spend a year doing this in a totally nonpartisan way is an honorable thing to have done. much okay with me turning her home into an ice rink. ♪ she'd just reach for the bounty select-a-size. it's the smaller, powerful sheet that acts like a big sheet. look, one select-a-size sheet of bounty is 50% more absorbent than a full size sheet of the leading ordinary brand. use less, with the small but powerful picker-upper, bounty select-a-size. ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪ ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪
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>> it has been an extremely long day. i'm having a hard trouble talking at the moment. i would appreciate it if we could wrap this thing up. >> we actually have a lot of questions. it's been a long day for a lot of people who don't have water. there are no systems in place to alert you of a leak at your facility other than a smell? >> at this moment in time, i think that's all we have time for. thanks for coming, thanks for your time. >> we have more questions. hey, hey, hey, we're not done. we're not done. no. anyone else have any other questions? >> that's the charmer who runs freedom industries which two weeks ago spilled chemicals into the elk river in west virginia which rendered undrinkable and toxic the water supply for one in six people who live in that state. since the company president's i've had a long day press conference, that company has been sued many times. they've declared bankruptcy.
the people of west virginia have, of course, gone days without access to safe water. even after some of their water was declared safe, it was then still found to be unsafe. hundreds of people have gone to west virginia mopts with symptoms consistent with exposure of the chemical that was kispilled. the governor claimed people were on their own. they have to make their own personal decision as to whether or not your water is safe to drink. that's nice. it's been a bad two weeks in west virginia since freedom industry tank number 396 spilled its contents into elk river and started this whole disaster. and now there's more. turns out freedom industries just realized there was something else in that leaking tank. a second chemical was in the tank. the president of freedom industries decided to tell the state yesterday, 12 days into the spill, about there being a second chemical in that tank. the company had never listed this chemical on its chemical
inventory that it had filed with the state. it never told any of the authorities involved in responding to the spill that this other chemical might be implicated. but yesterday at about 10:00 a.m., the head of emergency response for the state's department of environmental protection says just before the daily meeting that they have now about that leak to try to coordinate the response, just before that meeting at the leak site yesterday, the president of freedom industry pulled the state official aside and asked to speak with him privately. he then told the state official about this second chemical that was also in the tank and handed him data sheets on the material. the freedom industries president then told the state official, quote, i'm going to have a terrible day today. yes, he's going to have a terrible day. meanwhile, 300,000 people in west virginia are just finding out that thanks to him and his company, their drinking water was contaminated, yes, with a coal washing chemical that smells like licorice that makes you sick and has long-term
health effects, but it was contaminated with pph, which is also said to irritate the eyes and skin and to be harmful if swallowed, but how harmful? don't know exactly. the race is now on to find out what information exists in the world about the health effects in humans of exposure to this chemical and how to test for it and how to treat it out of the water and how to find out if it is still in west virginia's water even now. not being particularly helpful in the race so far is freedom industries, who is now claiming that the exact identity of that substance is proprietary to their business. after the company's bankruptcy hearing yesterday when reporters approached the freedom industries president to ask him about these new revelations 12 days into the spill that there was a second chemical involved, he walked away from reporters and said he had another meeting to attend. busy guy.
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>> this is my favorite story of the day. funny thing happened in the news today, and not in the sense that something funny happened. it was the release of the aforementioned presidential commission on election administration, the voting fix thing right? it's not that funny, but the way it was reported is really funny. this from "the washington post," president obama called the commission's suggestions imminently glittering after receiving them today. imminently glittering? let's check another source. check politico. yep, quoting the president. obama said the recommendations contained in this commission report are imminently glittering. president obama admittedly can turn a fancy phrase, but did he really call the votingminently glittering? check for yourself. >> the recommendations that are on contained in this report are
imminently doable. >> doable. imminently doable. where did they come from? white house transcript, remarks by the president. the recommendations contained in this commissions report are imminently glittering. >> imminently doable. >> how did doable become glittering in the white house transcript and then in all the press reports today? i have no idea. but if this was a really strange meta gay rights protest by. >> disgruntled transcriber in the white house press office, i am all in favor of fixing whatever they're mad at because this was really fun today. have a glittering night. we have breaking news tonight. nbc news has learned that the fbi is questioning witnesses about allegations that chris christie's administration withheld disaster relief funds for political