tv Politics Nation With Al Sharpton MSNBC October 18, 2015 5:00am-6:01am PDT
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that grilled her top aide on friday. it could be a make or break moment for clinton's campaign and for the committee itself. with republicans already being accused of politicizing a national tragedy. four americans killed in a terror attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. it became an issue in the 012 presidential race, and now it's a political issue for hillary clinton. she was secretary of state at the time. she was there when the caskets returned to the u.s. >> today we bring home four americans who gave their lives for our country and our values. >> reporter: some republicans said she bore responsibility for what happened and called her to testify in congress. >> the fact is, we had four dead
americans. was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? >> reporter: seven separate congressional investigations, several led by republicans found no wrongdoing by the obama administration, but in the spring of 2014, speaker john boehner formed a new select committee to look into it. year later, a bombshell. >> our top story this morning in politics, the question being raised about why hillary clinton used a personal e-mail account only during her tenure as secretary of state. >> reporter: the e-mail controversy took on a life of its own, and became a focus of the benghazi committee. clinton apologized. >> at the end of the day, i am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions. >> reporter: but it took a toll on her approval rating and then
this. >> everybody thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? but we put together a benghazi special committee, a select committee. what are her numbers today? her numbers are dropping. >> reporter: democrats saw it as proof the benghazi committee was politically motivated all along. >> this was always meant to be a partisan political exercise. >> reporter: in the democratic debate, bernie sanders spoke for many on the left. >> the american people are sick and tired of hearing about your damned e-mails. >> thank you, me too, me too. >> reporter: the audience cheered. but she'll be in a very different room on thursday. joining me now is one of the top democratic members of the benghazi select committee, congressman adam smith. thank you for being here, congressman. >> thank you, reverend.
i appreciate the chance. >> let me ask you, this past week, a former investigator on the committee and another republican congressman both said the panel is partisan. what do you think we're going to see this thursday keeping that in mind, when secretary clinton testifies? >> actually they said something much worse than that, not just that it's partisan, but that it was specifically formed to try to take down hillary clinton. i mean it's actually even worse than i imagined when it was formed and when it was formed i didn't think, obviously i didn't think it should be formed. i was one arguing the democrats shouldn't participate. sumd it would be partisan and i also felt that having done nine separate investigations into benghazi that we had adequately covered that issue, but now it appears that there was far more specific than that. it was designed to help the republican presidential
aspirations in 2016. >> so againsky. >> yep. >> what then should we expect would happen thursday, and what are the democrats going to do to make sure this is not just some circus for them to just try and do what we're being told now by three different people. this is all about politics. this has nothing to do with what happened that led to the death of these american diplomats. >> well, i suspect that congress on the panel are going to desperately try to resurrect themselves. i would suspect they'll try to shift the focus back to benghazi for at least part of it. but at this point some 16 months after the commission or committee was formed, what's the point in that? i think they're going to try to do that and as democrats it's hard, because secretary clfrl
hag t clinton has testified on this issue. this is a very serious matter, i think clearly many of the reports said this, the security situation in libya was underestimated, more should have been done before these attacks, but some of the wilder conspiracy theories have long since been disproved and i think we've analyzed the issue. >> are there legitimate questions about the e-mails that can come up and should be answered on thursday? >> not by this committee. i mean, i think the e-mail issue is a separate and interesting question, something all government officials, even people in business have to deal with what's private, what's business or in this case what's private, what's government. how do you separate the two, how do you make sure you in the case of the government keep classified information classified. but that's not, i mean we have a government oversight committee in the house. they should investigate that. this is the benghazi committee.
>> let me ask you something indirectly. should democrats on the committee like you, congressman smith, walk out if they try to go beyond the boundaries of what they've been set up for. should democrats participate if they go out in a broader or in a very overt misuse of what this committee is set up for this thursday? >> look, it has long been my opinion that this benghazi committee made it clear that is aa partisan political exercise, that they are not interested in answering any questions about benghazi. even if you grant them their premise, which like i said at the beginning i reject that another investigation needed to be done. even if you grant them that premise that's not what they are doing. it has long been my position as democrats we should say this committee is not legitimate and we should not participate.
i follow my caucus leadership and i think congressman cummings is a very capable ranking member on this committee. leader pelosi is very capable. they still see a value and i'm willing to admit that i might be wrong so we will participate but if it was up to me i'd say you've proven you're not doing what this committee is supposed to be doing. you're proving you're wasting tax tare money. >> congressman smith thank you for your time. we extended invitations to each of the committee's republicans to come on this morning, they didn't seem to want to talk. coming up, president obama's big move on afghanistan. rachel maddow weighs in and carson closes in on trump, while others fight to stay afloat. bring us your aching
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we clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization. bulk of this country today is permissive. it's secure. >> defense secretary donald rumsfeld way back in 2003 claiming that afghanistan was "secure" and declaring an end to major combat. 12 years later, u.s. troops are still there and this week, president obama announced they'll be there even longer. thousands of troops will stay through the end of his term in 2017. over 2,300 americans have been killed in the war in
afghanistan. over 21,000 wounded. but the country is unstable and the taliban is on the rise. this was something the president didn't want to do, but felt he had to. >> enter the american people. i know that many of you have grown weary of this conflict. as you are well aware, i do not support the idea of analyst war and i have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflicts that do not serve our core security interests. >> back when the u.s. invaded afghanistan in 2001, few thought we'd still be there all these years later, and that is a major lesson for the current debate about what to do with syria, iraq, libya, and iran. joining me now is rachel maddow,
host of "the rachel maddow show" and author of "drift: the unmooring of american military power." such a great, great favor to have you come over and be with me this morning. >> it's great to be with you, reverend, nice to see you. >> the announcement this week clearly was something that president obama seemed reluctant to do. was he forced to do it because of the initial engagement in afghanistan, and these wars just take a life of their own, or could it have been handled different? >> it's a deep question, because on one level i want to say as an american citizen that war is never inevitable that the continuing of war is never inevitable, that the deployment of troops is never inevitable. it's an overt decision. i titled my book "drift" for a reason. we should never drift into something without making a decision to do it. on the other hand the way that the u.s. core national security
interests in afghanistan has been defined is that afghanistan should never be used again as a place, a safe haven from which terrorists can plot international attacks. you cannot say that our 14 years in afghanistan have ensured that in some ongoing way if we left. if that's the interest we've got to secure, then maybe we'll have to be there forever in order to secure that interest. it's very hard once you say that's what we're doing there. >> when you look though at the cost in afghanistan, i mean $685.6 billion according to the congressional research service, the cost, and then when you look at the amount of troops overseas, you mentioned "drift." we still have 53,722 troops in japan, 44,660 germany, south korea 28,579. now we're talking about keeping troops in afghanistan. just the cost and the amount of
manpower and womanpower military that we have around the world is startling. >> and the risk to those men and women who are still serving there. i mean, i just, when i first heard that president obama was going to give this announcement it wasn't a policy surprise but i feel in my heart when i think about iraq and afghanistan veterans. one of the hallmarks of being a post 9/11 veteran in our country, very few of them have one deployment. people especially who are operating in the really high demand parts of the service, they've got three, four, we used to think it was outrageous to find somebody with five deployments. people measure their deployments in years rather than times sent back. that's easier than telling somebody you've been sent back nine times. 9,800 american military families who have got somebody there now for them to hear you're not coming home next year and there's going to be a whole new round of deployments out of all these same units and same people going back again indefinitely
and the next president will take it up, it's a huge human cost to a very specific tiny slice of the american fabric, which is these military families, and them hearing it's going to go on forever it's policy thing but it's a heartfelt thing. >> in the backdrop of this, we have the question of syria, and libya, and how we look to the rest of the world. i spent most of this week in france and then south africa, and i watched the president's statement in south africa and how the world looks at what we're doing given one, we were going to pull out now, we're not, how we look to the world community, many allies, and then what does that say about syria still out there, and other nations, and are we again going to have to expand military personnel in these places, if we get further engaged? if we don't get engaged, what happens? >> right. i think that's the right perspective to take to this. and i think it sort of functions
on two different levels. one of them is, how is our political system at making decisions about this. we've got this red hot presidential election going on. >> correct. >> we've got all of this fascinating political stuff going on inside the republican party with them not picking a leader for congress. we're great at the horse race part of politics. is our political system and is our political media about our politics, is it capable of handling these tough decisions? the candidates are not talking about afghanistan. the candidates are barely talking about syria. we started a new war effort in syria with congress never taking a vote on it. i feel our political discussion lags way behind what we're deciding to do as a country and that feels dangerous. the other side of it is what is the principle keeping our troops in afghanistan. >> right. >> if the reason we're there is because we think there's a risk that international terrorist plots can be hatched in this place and somehow having thousands of american troops there will reduce that threat,
well, okay, so we'll stay in afghanistan but what about my year ja and boko haram and what about the philippines and abu sayyaf and al die coo day in the arabian peninsula and al shabab? should we have thousands of troops in big places all over the world? is that what we're going to do in the 21st century, where does that end? >> who decides where the principle applies or doesn't which leads me to ask you this. what does this do for the obama legacy? >> well, this president knew he was getting handed that baton from george w. bush, two wars that were started by the george w. bush administration and this president planned on not handing the baton to the next president and now for different reasons for the two different wars he is going to hand it to the next president and the thing that is spooky about that is that when barack obama got handed that baton, we knew at least what he
wanted to do. we knew what he would try to do. we think about that ba to be getting handed to the next person we have no idea among the democratic candidates and republican candidates i have no idea what we'll do with the bagram base, and the ja lalabad base. they start with 5,500 americans in the country for what at that point the 15th or 16th year we've had them there. it's deep. >> rachel maddow, thanks for your time here. >> thanks, reverend. congratulations on this wonderful show. >> thank you. be sure you watch every weeknight at 9:00 p.m. eastern for "the rachel maddow show" here on msnbc. ahead, did joe biden miss his window, and with trump still on top, who will be the next republican to drop out? hi.
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money talks, and in the gop presidential race, it's saying that the outsiders are in charge. new fund-raising totals show ben carson raised over $20 million in the third quarter. that leads the field. other candidates are struggling. george pataki has just $14,000 on hand, but is trying to put a positive spin on it. >> we don't have to worry about running out of money because we haven't had any from the beginning. we knew this was going to be a grassroots bare bones campaign. >> one guy who doesn't need to raise much money, donald trump. in an interview with nbc this week, he said he's thought about toning down his language. >> i can watch my words a little bit, maybe be a little bit more politically correct but to be honest with you i think one of
the reasons i am doing well is because i don't want to -- being politically correct takes a lot of time. it takes a lot of effort. i can be more politically correct than anybody than you've ever interviewed but it takes a lot of time to do it, and you're going around in different circles and you're never getting there. we don't have time for it anymore, kate. >> will you soften your language a little bit? >> i don't think i'm going to do much different. >> but right after that interview, trump didn't sound much different, going on the attack. >> hillary and bernie sanders, they couldn't give things away fast enough, and they're giving them to illegal immigrants. perry, he went wild. he was a nice guy. governor perry. didn't work out too well for him, but he really hit me, and then lindsey graham, i thought he was a nice guy, he went and made speeches about trump because they want to get their number s up not working.
they're all going down. guys like rand, i hate to say it, shing,' tacked me, he was much higher when he attacked, right? still to come, sink or swim in 2016. is the republican field about to shrink? the "politics nation" panel is next. ♪ ♪ (vo) making the most out of every mile. that's why i got a subaru impreza. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. it's more than tit's security - and flexibility. it's where great ideas and vital data are stored.
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bush and 9/11. jeb bush called those comments "pathetic." for more on the gop race let's bring in our panel, former governor and dnc chair ed rendell, msnbc national correspondent jori reed and republican strategist rich gaylen. thank you for being here. >> my pleasure. >> ben carson is way ahead ain raising money. does that say anything to us at the bottom, is anybody going to drop out, rich? >> sounds biblical. he who is last shall be first. you're the reverend, tell us a quote. >> it's sunday morning too. >> i've been wrong about this every step of the way, wrong about everything about it so asking me what's going to happen next is silly but what i do know is that it is different. i live in washington, d.c., and among republicans and democrats, we are looking at a different
world inside that beltway than everybody else in the country is looking at. they just don't see it the same way we do. we'll see whether we're as far as we think we are. >> the big haul by ben carson, governor, and then you see some of the "establishment republican candidates," george pataki with $14,000 on hand, acting as if he's a grassroots candidate, i mean, this is like the whole party is turned upside down. can you imagine republican governor george pataki talk about he's a grassroots candidate? >> he's social an establishment guy and look, the difference is the small contributors. ben carson is getting hadis money is small contributors. one thing we have to be careful about is look at the burn rate and look at cash on hand. ben carson raised $20 million during his period but spent $11 million. if he spent it building an organization to get people to the polls in iowa that's one thing. if he spent it on consultants,
that's another thing. guy who is most imwere'sive on the republican side is ted cruz who has over $13 million cash in hand. >> yes, and one of the things that is striking, jori, about ben carson is that it seemed like no matter what he said, his controversial statements, he went up in the polls, it hasn't hurt him. >> and ben carson is so far outside the mainstream conversation many people don't understand the appeal. lot of it is church folk, a lot of people who truly are not only fed up with the system but want somebody as an outsider outsi r outsider. ben carson is going around the country on this book tour, so he simultaneously getting people to read his fuller message to pick up and buy his book which is doing very well and also using that as campaign stops. while he may be burning through cash he's raising his name ek are in addition and his number of donors, rivalless the top
contenders on the democratic side. he has more than 400,000 individual donors. i think that his campaign which by the way just signed on to get on the ballot in alabama. they're not traditional any sense of the word. >> the thing about burn rates that i think we know for sure is that it's the old story in every campaign, congressional campaign or district campaign where you go into the lady who is the office manager and say the volunteers need bumper strips. no, i got those locked up. we're saving those. no, you're not, we need them. that's the other side of burn rate. to your point exactly what you're burning it on, not what the rate is. >> but look at the polls. when you look at the nbc news survey monkey poll of the republican field, donald trump 28%, down 1% since september. ben carson 23%, up 9%. rubio 9%, he's up 2%. then you have fiorina 6%, down
5%, cruz 6%, only down 1%, jeb bush at 5%, down 3%, huckabee 3%, he's up 1%, and when you look at jeb bush, he raised $13 million but he's sinking in the polls. what does this say, governor? >> it's stunning to me. jeb bush has been advertising heavily in new hampshire and iowa, and in those states where he's been on the air significantly, he keeps going down. it's what you said. i can't figure out what's going on. >> not only that, but jeb bush is the opposite of a grassroots campaign. he has few donors relative to the other people who are running. >> they're not small doan yodon. he and marco rubio are getting money from the republican party donor class. the problem is they're burning through money they can't go back to grassroots small donors and raise. the thing that barack obama did well and bernie sanders and also ben carson are doing, if you get
$20 from someone you can go back to them again and again and again. whereas the big donors giving to somebody like jeb bush or marco rubio will have problems writing another check if they're not going anywhere. >> except, joy, to the superpacks. you can be maxed out to george bush if you're a married couple $5,400 but you can write a $500,000 check to a superpack. >> the problem is also this, when you have the chair of the rnc saying, this is reince priebus, saying, i'm quoting "we have become, unfortunately, a midterm party that doesn't lose and a presidential party that's had a really hard time winning. we're cooked as a party for quite a while, if we don't win in 2016." >> that's absolutely correct. the conundrum to me is you say you can do the congressional districts because they're gerrymandered, and you can't lose. but yet we do very well in the
midterms in statewide elections both at the governor's level, the state house and senate levels but also at the u.s. senate level, so the problem is, and i don't have any idea what the answer is, but the problem is that we don't do badly at the statewide level. we just do badly at the national level. >> minorities aren't voting. the problem is in the midterm elections younger voters and voters of color eventually can stay home. that's the difference. >> after the midterm election, the new york post tweeted "we are about to find out whether this is a barack obama coalition or a democratic coalition." >> interesting statistic, rev, in the 2011 election in philadelphia, 5508,000 less votd than in the presidential election. >> well everybody stay with me. lots more to come.
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but i would be quick to add that if you listen to all of them, they all to a degree or so sound like him. they just don't have the pizazz and the hair. >> of course the other big question on the democratic side, vice president joe biden. late thursday, biden's former aide sent a letter to supporters saying "if he decides to run, we will need each and every one of you yesterday." we're back with our panel, ed rendell, joy reid, and rich gaylen. does the vice president get in or does he get out, and what will it mean? joy? >> it's getting awfully late. joe biden has to decide number one whether he's willing to lose some of the great popularity he has. once you get in, you have to attack people, whether he feels he'd be disruptive to the party he'd hurt the chances and number
three getting the infrastructure of a campaign set up in time. those are three important questions. >> infrastructure also meaning on the ground. >> on the ground, can he get actual apparatus on the ground. >> what do you think the itch indications are? >> well i think he's like the backup quarterback on a football team that's not doing well that well, he's the most popular guy in the stadium, he hasn't thrown any interceptions and hasn't fumbled the ball, hasn't called a bad play. everybody says give him a chance. he'll do great and gets in and he's like every other quarterback. the thing about that statement is that joe could have been in yesterday or the day before that or the day before that. so i think at some point he's just going to say you know what? it's just, i can do two states, i can do three states but once you get into march and these things start piling on you, 10 and 12 elections on the same day, it is very difficult to build out that kind of infrastructure. >> governor, i watched the debate from south africa. i was in south africa and the
thing that occurred to me is that, because the debate did not go into what i would consider, rich, a kind of cartoonish flavor, it give no compelling reason for biden to come in and say "i've got to save the party." >> no question. i think joe's not going to run for a lot of reasons, most of all because he doesn't want to trash hillary. he can't -- they are friends and colleagues in the administration and his only road up is to trash her because there's no ideological differences or space, and if you look at the new hampshire polling, hillary went from being 12 points down to 2 points up. she didn't take it from bernie sanders. bernie has almost the exact same number, 32. she took it from joe biden. joe biden is down to 11 now. i think the train has left the station. >> years ago when i was working with fred thompson, we kept polling, polling, polling, trying to decide whether to get in, not get in, and it turned out that what a lot of people
were saying to fred was, look, either get in or get out. if you're not going to commit to us, we're not going to commit to you. i think we may be seeing some of that. >> i think so. >> joy, they say widespread kind of analysis was that both bernie sanders and hillary clinton won the debate. >> yes. >> what is your view? >> i agree for different reasons, they both helped themselves during the debate. hillary clinton showed she has the graph tas to vitas to be pr the united states. i think bernie sanders had to humanize himself, get some name i.d., let people know who he is and also establish that this brand of socialist is not something that would prevent him from being a credible general election candidate and also just whip up his followers and make them more excited. he did what he needed to do. still a socialist label is a huge hurdle with voters who want a pragmatic choice, i'm talking about black voters, latino
voters want a winner and that is still an issue. >> and they want to preserve some of the obama legacy in terms of some of the things that were important. >> absolutely. >> governor, in light of what joy said, when you hear bernie sanders saying the american people don't want to hear about your e-mails, it also showed a level of leadership and character that even though it was interpreted as a gift to hillary clinton, i think it added to the stature and sort of balancing of the image of bernie sanders. >> no question. i think bernie did well in the areas that joy laid out, but i don't think he did well on the foreign policy questions. he seemed a little lost on foreign policy, and didn't do well on the gun question. i think i'm a pretty nomable guy. i didn't know he voted against the brady bill five times. that's shocking to me. the brady bill is the one thing we clearly know has worked. it's kept guns out of the hands of 2.5 million felons,
juveniles, people with mental problems. how can you vote against the brady bill? it's no excuse to say it's a rural state. >> it did show hillary clinton unlike bernie sanders had no problem going after bernie sanders on guns. >> i want to be the pad guy at the party as usual. i thought he was dreadful. i mean, he was like every polysci professor i ever had as an undergraduate of college in a class i didn't want to sit through, i was probably hung over. he doesn't know how to answer in two minutes, much less 30 seconds. he needs an hour and ten minutes to lay out his case. >> people love him. >> they love her more. >> clinton and sanders have $60.1 million cash on hand. all 15 republicans on hand have $61.2 million. what does that say to you as a republican? >> it says there's a finite amount of money in politics and whether you split it up among two real candidates on that side or four real candidates or five
on the republican side, it's going to add up to about the same amount of money. there's only so many people that especially on the big donor side that are going to write checks. >> did i hear republicans call the democrats real candidates? confession is good for the soul. >> two real candidates. i vote for lincoln chafee. >> enjoy the rest of your weekend. >> thank you very much. coming up, the new player in presidential politics. hillary clinton and donald trump have both sought him out and he's up next on "politics nation." sewife who's in control of the finances. actually, any wife, husband, or human person can use progressive's name your price tool to take control of their budget. and while the men do the hard work of making money, she can get all the car insurance options her little heart desires. or the women might do the hard work of making money. [ chuckling ] women don't have jobs. is this guy for real? modernizing car insurance with -- that's enough out of you! the name your price tool, only from progressive.
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donald trump, whose controversial comments about mexico set a tone for the campaign. few days ago, he was with hillary clinton. >> what concrete commitments are you able to make on reforming america's broken immigration system? >> i will not be breaking up families under deportation. i want us to get toward comprehensive immigration reform and i don't think the way to do that now is to undermine the family structure. >> latinos are a rising force. in 2012 around 11 million latinos voted in the presidential election. it's projected to be 13 million next year, over 10% of the electorate. i had a chance to talk to javier and i asked if candidates are waking up to the role of hispanic voters.
>> absolutely, reverend. i'm very encouraged having spoke on it all of the major or leading candidates on both sides of the aisle from ted cruz to bernie sanders, from martin o'malley to john kasich, from jeb bush to hillary clinton. to a person they have all acknowledged the importance and the potential of america's growing hispanic electorate and while i am very encouraged by that, i want to see more. >> now when you just said you want to see more, i know in my experiences including this cycle, when they come to those of us with african-american organizations, mine being national action network, others with naacp and others they come to, it's hard to, it's not hard to get meetings, it's not hard to get them to conventions but specifics. are you finding it difficult to get specific policy answers that you would want for your constituents? >> you've hit it right on the nail, reverend, as usual.
the reality of it is i am encouraged by the acknowledgment, but i want to see action. i want to see concrete policy proposals for how we are going to move forward, how they are going to court america's hispanic vote and how, frankly, they're going to fix this broken immigration system that, by the way, in my view, and my constituency's view this is an american issue, and america needs to fix our broken immigration issue and nobody wants that more than our hispanic community. beyond acknowledgment and to a person they acknowledged the potential of the hispanic vote i want to see concrete actions. i want to see concrete policy proposals and frankly of the three leading democratic candidates, the only one who has shown me anything truly concrete has been governor martin o'mall o'malley. he has a plan for how we move forward and how we begin to fix this broken immigration system.
>> interesting. now what came out of your meeting with donald trump? what did you hear in your private meeting with him, given all of the statements he had made? >> you know, that particular candidate i spent a couple of hours with him and members of his team. i'd rather move on to people who i believe really do take the hispanic community for what it is. it's an asset. it's something that's wonderful, that is a living embodiment of the american dream. i'd rather talk about candidates who take this process and the presidency as seriously as it should be taken and i don't believe that candidate does. >> no candidate can seriously feel that they would do well in the general election without dealing in a very concrete way with the hispanic community and vote. >> again, reverend, you're absolutely right, and the reality of it is, sir, we have a
responsibility, the hispanic community is part of the solution here and we need to stand firm and not commit our vote to any one candidate. we've been to this rodeo before where promises have been made to the community, only to be disillusioned in the long run. what i'm hoping is that a combination of resolve and responsibility on behalf of the hispanic community and acknowledgment and action on behalf of the candidates will lead to the final solution we need to see. we have much to learn from the african-american commute, from the african-american experience. we have a responsibility to change the dialogue that for too long has really defined our hispanic community. the narrative must be changed and we need to be part of that, of that process. >> when we newe need to find wa of coalescing and working together for shared interest around that progressive community. >> absolutely. >> javier palomirez thank you for your time this morning.
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