tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 25, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PDT
>> thank you so much to you at home for joining us this hour. in 1997, a woman who's first name was marie caroline. she was running to become a member of parliament in france. something weird happened right before the election that year. the campaigning was hot and heavy. there was a lot of interest in her parliamentary race in particular. and her dad showed up to help her campaign. he showed up in her district to do campaigning for her and with her. and while he was in her district campaigning for his daughter while she was running for parliamentary he ended up on the streets of her district running into the woman his daughter was running against. he took a punch at her. he ran over to her. people were trying to hol him back. look. look at this picture. he pushed his way through, he grabbed hold of her and hit her. this was the woman who was running against his daughter for
parliament. i had known this story, i don't know, sort of pro-riffly. but today we actually went into the chives and we found old french news footage of that incident and turns out there aren't those images, there's also video, including a slo mo video where you can see him attack her, physically attack her. that assault by the candidate's father ultimately cost him his own job. his daughter was running for parliament in france. he was a member of the year parliament, the parliament for the eu, and they threw him out of that seat because of the physical assault on that candidate in the street. to add insult to injury, his daughter lost the race. the following year another one of his daughters also ran for
public office in france, and she did not lose, and he did not punch anybody out and she ended up winning. and that was her first election to public office. and it started her assent to the highest levels of french politics. her center's name was marie caroline, her name is marine. and when marine le pen won office for the first time in 1998, that started the process of handing over from father to daughter what for decades has effectively been the facist party of france, the national front. you will think i'm showing you this picture of juan marie le pen and marine le pen together because it's such an unflattering picture of the dad. but i have to tell you, i did not single this photo out just for that reason. this really is just what he looks like. this is what he looks like when he's happy. this is what it looks like when he's proud of his daughter. this is also his angry face.
for decades, he really has been the face of if a shichl in france. his daughter, pep pep who thrtd front national the party from her father, marine le pen is now one of two candidates in the runoff to be the next president of france. and whether any of us inherently care about the politics and stability of our allies around the world, whether or not you care about that, for us, watching this from america, part of what is very interesting about them having this election in france is this is just a story of incredible characters. jean marie le pen was really expel from the european parliament. he was also expelled from his own party, from the party that
he founded. he was forced out of the national front by marine le pen, by daughter, after he took it over from him. then today after she made the runoff for the presidential election, marine le pen also dropped out of the party. she runs the national front, she dropped her own affiliation with the party her father founded and she has held ever since. she's trying to get elected president of france, so she's dropped her political party entirely because it's bad baggage. but her making it to the runoff and potentially being the next president of france, this isn't totally untrod ground. her father made it this far in national politics in that country once before. in 2002, in france's first leaks after 9/11 in 2002, france scare itself to death because jean marie le pen defeated one of the candidates from the mainstream political parties and made it
into the presidential runoff himself. and that was seen as the equivalent of like, david duke backgrounds one of the two major candidates in a general election for our country. it absolutely terrified france and unified people against him like you you couldn't believe. ethnic absolutely destroyed in the general election. he was one of the last two candidates, but he lost hugely. he ran against jack shire rack, but he got 22% of the vote. and now his daughter is in the same position. and everybody sort of assumings that that won't happen again, that everybody will unify against her, that the national front cannot take over the presidency of france whether or not they drop their formal affiliation with the party. everyone thinks she will fail. but at this point it's like once
bitten a thousand times shy. i mean it seems i am plausible like le pen could be president, but weirder things have happened really recently, really close to here. that final election in france will be in two weeks from yesterday. if marine le pen wins, france honestly again whether or not you care about france as a country, it is important to know if she wins, france in many ways will be leaping into a political abyss, it will have big global consequences including for us. if she's elected frans will probably try to leave the european union. france leaving as well would be the end of that experiment, a fed rated europe that the world cultural never get drawn into another world war by europe
states going to war together. the eu would be over. marine le pen would take france out of europe which would end the european experiment. she would also take france out of the nato. we're in nato. france, like us, is a founding member of nato. the alliance was establish in 1949 with 12 countries. it has since expanded to 28 countries. it's one of the fundamental institutions of the world order. no country that is a member of nato has ever left. although i should say, charles degall back in the 1960s he pulled back french participation in nato because he felt it was to dominated by the u.s. and the brichlts at one point de gaulle ordered all nonfrench nato personnel to leave french soil. and is u.s. secretary of state at the time asked in response whether that meant he wanted the bodies of american soldiers in french cemeteries packed up and sent home as well.
france eventually gave up and came back fully committed. but that's as close as anybody's come to leaving it. now that's at risk again much more acutely and a lot more besides. if it is all going to go in france, it's going to go fast, that french runoff election is two weeks from yesterday. here at home, we are at day 90 something of the presidency that came into being because of the biggest shock presidential result in u.s. history. all week long the american media and political world certainly the beltway press will be dominated by the somewhat artificial hundred day benchmark for this new administration, what they've done, what promises were kept ask broken. there will be a lot of talk about the approval rights, and it's all interesting. in terms of what's going to
happen, i think we should expect some surprises. the administration is going to unveil their new legislation to overhaul the entire tax code sometime this week. in letters they're still asking people what they think priorities should be for that. how do you think we should approach it? overthanks for calling tax code is a big deelt. we also had hints that they would repeal obamacare this week, but this time for reel. they also said they will have a plan to fund federal government. in time to avoid a government shutdown on his hundredth day in office which will happen if they don't pass something. as part of that measure when it comes to paying for the wall, the white house line is that it's no longer mexico who's going to pay for the wall, it's now the democrats who are going to pay for the wall. sure. honestly, it is hard to believe
that any one of those things will happen domestically this week, let alone all of them. i do think it's fair to expect surprises this week because the white house itself seems to be so focused on this hundred day benchmark. meanwhile, the world doesn't stop for artificially imposed friendly to talk about how things are going in our country. regardless of what number day this is, i think it's worth keeping a very close eye right now on how this young administration, not just how they're handling the stresses, look at the government he's running. how is the administration dealing with being the most influential country that's quaking at its foundations? even if you don't care about france, this election in france is an earthquake. it's an earthquake even if marine le pen does not win.
the two main political parties in that country, their equivalent of democrats and republicans, those two parties have traded the president for 50 years. neither of those parties got a candidate into the runoff this time. they are also coping with russia and putin playing in their politics. vladimir putin is supporting le pen. russian brangs loaned her millions of euros. the "wall street journal" reports le pen's opponent, the centrist emanual macron has been targeted by an intensive, high-level hacking attack a cybersecurity firm according to "the wall street journal" is due to publish a report tomorrow that will attribute that attack on macron to hackers from the kremlin. so russia obviously wants to
blow up noochlt they see nato as their military rival in the world. they want year broken apart and as weak as possible. there are clear reasons why and clear evidence that russia and vladimir putin are pulling very hard for marine le pen. they know exactly how disruptive it would be not just to france but the whole western order of the world. and in terms of our own government, honestly you would expect any relatively normal american administration, either one to the right or one to the left, any normal administration of the american government you would expect to try to stand for sen terrorism, stability, strength much europe, certainly the strength of nato. if it was called into question in a major ally of ours like this, right? but that is not how this new president of ours in approaching it. last march, jean marie le pen, the dad, he explicitly enforced donald trump.
last week, donald trump implicitly enforced marine le pen. white house said this technically wasn't an enforced, but clear it was. take nothing for granted. things can change in an instant. improbable is not impossible. look, that's the president. the world is contested territory by all sorts of forces, good forces, bad forces, all in distinct competition. if the u.s. government needs to do stuff now, if we have to count on this administration to do it, even if you prefer another option. tonight, as we are once again on missile launch watch or potentially even on nuclear test launch in north korea again, because right now as i speak it's already with the time change tomorrow in north korea, and tomorrow north korea is a hoyle there. it's the birthday of their army which they sometimes like to celebrate with big military
tests. as we watch north korea again to see what they're going to do and display to the world, tonight there are signs in our own government that there are things in motion, especially on national security terms, but they seem to be doing things we don't yet understand the importance of. for example, here's something very specific. vice president mike pence was pulled home from his specific trip a day early today. why is that? this was a long-planned trip. he was supposed after end day in hawaii visiting the pearl harbor memorial. the white house has also new announced there will be an all senators briefing on north korea the day after tomorrow. weird thing about that is they're holding the all senators briefing at the white house.
there isn't a room at the white house that is configured classified information. they don't have a space like that. they are temporarily remodeling an auditorium in the eisenhower executive office building on the white house grounds to become a skiff for the day, they are going to refit an auditorium so it's okay to talk about classified information that day. why are they going through all it all that trouble? why are they making all the senators come to the white house? nobody knows. in this tense week. i know there's going to be a lot of attention on the president himself because the president and the hundred days thing is a personal thing. if you want to know more praudly how our government is doing particularly when it comes to our country in the world, i
think there are two things though watch to see if the government under this president is finally starting to get its sea legs, particularly on national security and international issues. watch the state department. turned new secretary of state, the state department has become something between invisible and inadvertently funny. today, for example, the biggest news about the state department is that they apparently were not invited to the meeting the president hosted today at the white house for all the ambassadors representing all the ambassadors on the security council. they were all invited to the white house along with nicki hailey. it was literally the president and 14 ambassadors all these different countries. and there's trump doing a photo op and everything, but no secretary of state. that was the big news about the state department today?
shouldn't they be there? the big news out of the state department today was their website was the state department getting impaired about the fact they put up a gushing taxpayer funded website advertising mar-a-lago as the alternative white house and talking about how beautiful it is. the state department may have those kinds of inappropriate feelings for mar-a-lago, but it is also a for-profit donald trump business entity. so there's that whole illegal profiting off the presidency thing. they eventually took down their we love mar-a-lago website after getting teased about it all day long. state department also announced their new spokesperson. it will be one of the hosts from "fox and friends," which is the president's favorite cable tv show. maybe she will be amazing. i hope she will be amazing. but watch the state department
this week to see if they put down roots at all, to see if they start taking up space at all, to see if they restart the process of doing detail state department briefings which we've done in this country since the '60s, but this administration has stopped. if you want a substantive window on this thing, but in terms of america and the world, watch the state department. also, watch the u.s. military. this is my last point. it has been i think a source of comfort to a lot of people that the military doesn't turn over with each new administration, right? trump said during the campaign when he became president there would be all new generals. remember that? that was a satisfying fact check during the campaign. no, sir, that's not how it works. the military stays the military. civilian government towns over,
the military doesn't. but on important matters of national security, i have to say even though it's the same military, during this young administration, there have been now a series of troubling incidents where the military has made public statements on important matters that are not true under weird circumstances. you'll remember the president's first major military decision was to order that special operations raid into 2kw4r5e78 went so disastrously wrong. multiple civilian deaths, even the destruction of a $65 million helicopter. after that disastrous raid, you might remember sent comcame out and publicly released a video that he said proved how skposht valuable that mission was because it gathered this incredibly important intelligence. they released this video they said was gathered during that raid. it quickly emerged that that
video they released has been around for almost a deck. it wasn't pick up in the yemen raid. it wasn't new. their explanation for why they released it was this. quote, we thought it was new. but now we know that it was not new. that was weird. that was right at the beginning of the administration. after that there was also a strange situation in which the defense secretary bragged the tomahawk missile strike on the syrian air base had destroyed 1/5 of the syrian air force. when he was questioned, he conceded that it might not be true but he said he made the statement because he had to get a statement out. okay? after that we had the debacle of two weeks missed communication from the administration, what appeared to be outright lies from the administration including the president himself, the white house spokesman, the defense secretary, all misleading the public about the
location of an aircraft carrier, the "u.s.s. carl vinson" and its associated strike group. we still don't have an explanation why the white house thought the aircraft carrier was going somewhere it was not going to find we're now ten days into this strange story out of sent come once again. that's not a very military spokesman kind of statement. it was nevertheless published as words of a centcom spokesman. he retracted that statement and said that person was not authorize today speak for cent come. happy to clear that up, but i would also like to clear up how they got a fake spokesman for a day. how did that happen? and how are we supposed to know in the future whether someone is speaking on behalf of the u.s.
military as a reel person support a pro-trump swearing imposter? we don't usually have to ask these questions about the u.s. military. we are nearing the 100 day benchmark for this new presidency but in a sensitive time for the world, keep your eyes not just on him as an official. keep your eyes on this government that he is running, because the very serious, important parts of it that we need and expect to be basically competent at placing america where we want to be in the world, those parts of government are doing some weird stuff lately. finding time to get things done isn't easy.
but we've got the digital tools to help. now with xfinity's my account, you can figure things out easily, so you won't even have to call us. change your wifi password to something you can actually remember, instantly. add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to xfinity.com/myaccount grand standing is not an unusual thing among politicians. it's actually one of the things you need to check off on the checklist of things you need to be able to do if you want to be an elected official.
kiss babies? check. raise money? check. grand stand? check. you have to be able to to grand stan. grand standing is not rare in washington, but bipartisan grand standing very much is. >> mark and i worked hand in han on this, and contrary to popular belief, we're partners to see that this is completed and we've got a product at the end of the day that we can have bipartisanship in supporting. >> we are going to get to the bottom of this. if you get nothing else from today, take that statement tot bank. >> those are the leaders of the senate intelligence committee and therefore the leaders of the senate intelligence russia investigation. richard burr is the republican chairman, mark westerner is the democratic ranking mechblt they say their project in the senate is totally different than the
method up one in the house. at the time they made their big bipartisan statement to the press, the house investigation you might recall was falling apart, was losing its republican leefrmtd they were cancelling their hearing in the house. but in the senate, no, things were different. the senators said they had 20 witnesses a loind up and staffers devoted to the vechlgts everybody was getting along. thektd all sorts of of glowing reviews about how much better the senate investigation was going to be. ahem. new reporting says the investigation may be in more trouble than the house. of the seven senate staffers who are reported to be working on this investigation, these are the people who actually have
access to documents, turns out all seven of the staffers on this investigation are working part time, also none of them have investigative experience or prosecutorial experience. not one of them is a lawyer. after tim mack of the "daily beast" plushd that today, they hired two new hires. meanwhile, investigative jaguar naught michael i say cough from yahoo news says the demetrius hasn't requested potentially crucial evidence such as the e-mails, memos and phone records of the trump campaign in part because the panel's chairman has so far failed to respond to
requests from the panel's to sign letters doing so. they haven't requested any documents, nor have they done any interviews. we're three months in. if you are keeping track of these investigations into the russian attack in our election and the open question as to whether or not the trump campaign colluded with them. they say there will be another public hearing on the house side, but who knows when. there's also one other major probe into russian interference in the election. that investigation has plenty of staff and also has plenty of investigative experience. but it has this other hurdle. which is the guy in charge. blockbuster, almost book length incredible reporting on fbi
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let's wallow in hindsight for just a moment. go back to september. presidential campaigns are in september we had two campaigns. we had two fbi investigations. an fbi investigation into each of the campaigns, each of the candidates. but only one of those investigations was discussed and confirm by the fbi outloud before people went to vote in the election. when you look back at it, you can see that there were democrats who you do not get the fbi, who tried to get james comey to go on the record about the investigation into the trump campaign too, but james comey would not budge of the he would
talk about hillary clinton being under fbi investigation, happy to do that, but el not talk about trump being under investigation too. would confirm nor discuss it at all. they were both under investigation. there were some democrats who tried at the time before the election back in september to make clear to him how nuts that was. >> is there a different standard for secretary clinton and donald trump? if not, what is the consistent standard? >> no, our standard is not we do not confirm nor deny. there's an exception when there's a need for the public to be reassured when it's public activities that the investigation is ongoing. but our overwhelming rule is we do not comment except in certain exceptional circumstances. >> aren't there exceptional circumstances when close officials to a candidate of a major political party for the united states says publicly that he's in communication with
foreign officials and anticipates further illegal activity? >> i don't think so. >> i don't think so. why should anybody worry about that? there's no public concern about that. from hindsight, it is now obvious we are living in and have lived through some exceptional times in politics. it wasn't until march that it was confirm there was an investigation. it was an investigation that had been going on since months before the election last year, even though he wouldn't say it at the time. >> the fbi as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigation the russian government's efforts to endear fear in the 2016 presidential election. and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the
trump campaign and the russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> why did fbi director james comey wait so long to do that? the clinton folks say their polling shows that comey's public discussion of the investigation into her before the election cost them the election. would it have affected the vote if james comey discussed the investigation into trump before the election? while his agency was investigating both candidates, did his speech, his public speech about one of those investigations before the election and his silence about the other before the election, did that change the course of history? if so, why did he do it? and what does that tell us about his handling the russia investigation now? joining us is matt apew zero of the "new york times."
he's part of reporting team for this new blockbuster story in the "times" this weekend. comey tried to shield the fbi from politics, then he shaped an investigation. thanks for being here tonight. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> let me ask about the way that i laid this out. you describe in our report that people who are close to james comey says he still no regrets about the way he handled the investigations, the two different paths he took on those two matters. does he believe his decisions had any influence on the election? >> first off, jim comey has not sat for an interview on this typical with us or anyone else. we conducted dozens of interviews with people in all walks of life to get a sense of what the discussions were around him. i think he feels like he made
the least bad decisions that he could have made given the be a circumstances he faced. i think that's what he would say. and whether that influenced an election or not, i'm not sure they feel that's a knowable thing. they think they made the least bad decision. >> the thing the consistently comes through even if you don't see james comey is a partisan actor, his actions and words will be received on various sides of the political spectrum. he seems acutely tuned to republicans criticizing him for being helpful to hillary clinton in some way, particularly with the expectation that hillary clinton would win that election. i think the reason that is so resonant is because it gives
rise to concerns about how he will -- if he continues to be motivated by those things that that will shade the way he conducts the investigation into trump. is that a fair reading as part of your story? >> i think it's absolutely a fair reading that jim comey, and the fbi in general, was very acutely aware of what i'll call politics with a lower case "p." i want to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton because he's a democrat, but acutely aware of what the politics of the city was, especially in october when he's considering sthaengd letter to congress announcing essentially the clinton investigation is open again. there was a deep awareness that hillary clinton was likely to win, that the very day their debating whether to send this letter or not. i think there was a real
sentiment at the fbi if they told the public that the clinton investigation was closed, then they found there were potentially more e-mails rest of it to the case, they started looking at them. shektd elected and later they found something and then told the public, by the way, we found these e-mails and knew about them before the election and didn't tell you about it, that they were going to get destroyed as an agency. that is a political consideration, and one that frankly fbi directors normally don't take into consideration. this is a just the facts organization. >> the thing that i think is remarkable about it is looking at it turn telescope around. if that's the kind of thing you're weighing, how can you not then look at the trump investigation and say there's a chance he will be elected president and it turns out we
had a month's long counterintelligence investigation into him and whether he kwoortd a foreign power to seize the presidency through the help of a foreign intelligence operation, we will have to answer for not letting people know that before the election. the same concerns seem so much greater than what they were investigating trump for. >> i think that's right. one of the ways to think about it is it wasn't that he handled the trump investigation wrongly. he handlinged the trump investigation absolutely by the book. it's just that he to find the rule book out on several different occasions when it came to hillary clinton's investigation, and we have to have a better understanding of why he did that. whether people draw the distinctions between the two cases is going to determine where you come down on jim comey's decisions. >> matt puzzoe. i know you have a lot of demands on you. thank you for being with us here tonight. >> great to be with you.
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the workers who did the work were the target of death threats, ever since the city of new orleans announced that this monument would come down. new orleans now has three more removes planned. all commemorating confederate soldiers. the city has not said when the rest of the statues will be removed but new orleans mayor mitch landrieu says it will happen sooner rather than later. this was the great city of new orleans very early this morning as the first of four confederate memorials was being removed in the middle of the night. even so, folks showed up, including some who held a
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morning as the first of four confederate memorials was being removed in the middle of the night. even so, folks showed up, including some who held a candlelight vigil for the memorial that was being taken down. a memorial to a white supremacist uprising in the 1870s that took dozens of lives. joining us now is mitch landrieu. he is the mayor of new orleans. thank you so much for being with us tonight. i really appreciate your time. >> thank you, rachel. i appreciate you having me. >> let me ask you how you perceive the range of reactions. what's the reaction? >> i think most people in new orleans are pretty happy about it. after katrina when we really got destroyed, 500,000 homes hurt, 250,000 destroyed, we had to rebuild the city. we're thankful to the rest of the nation for gasping at the possibility of losing what a lot of people think is a city that is the soul of america. as we began to rebuild our city and started to think about who we were and what we were, these monuments popped right up. why do we have monuments that are revering the confederacy right in the heart of the most prominent circles in the city in places of reverence? and we had two years of discussion over.
this this wasn't a secret. it didn't happen overnight. we had hearings of historic landmark commission, city councils, et cetera, et cetera. and we've within through every court you can go through. the reason why we did this thing in the middle of the might is the threats that the contractors received. the first contractor we had had his car blown up. for the safety and security of the people, we decided to take the monuments down at night. we have three others that we're going to take down. we're not going to tell people when we're going to do it, but it will be in the future. >> what do you know about the origin of the threats? >> well, it's really hard to tell, because as you know on social media and other things, it's really hard to kind of capture it. but they're there. anybody can go on social media and look at the kind of vitriol that is coming from folks that want to preserve. this but essentially what this is, it's called the cult of the lost cause that wanted to promote white supremacy at a brief time in our history when the confederacy tried to tear our nation apart. these statues were put up over a brief period of new orleans' history.
we can reclaim our past, we want to tell the whole history of our city, not just a very small part of it. and we want to celebrate the thing that makes new orleans really wonderful and beautiful that everybody experiences when you get there, which is our diversity. that's the gift that new orleans has given to the rest of the country. and these statutes are an aberration in terms of what new orleans has been and what new orleans wants to be. >> briefly, mr. mayor, you said there are three more that you do expect to come down. you want to give us a sense of the time frame in which this is going to happen? or should we expect this to happen soon? >> you should expect to have it happen soon. well got clearance from the court the other day and we began forth width last night. robert e. lee who never stepped in the city of new orleans. it makes absolutely no sense because everybody now remembers the point of the confederacy was to tear the nation apart, not to support it. i think those are going to come down. and we're going to put things there that reflect the history,
the diversity, the beauty, the culture and all of the history of new orleans as time alobby, mitch landrieu, mayor of new orleans, thank you. appreciate you being here. >> thank you for having me. we have some breaking news to get to tonight that is just coming in out of arkansas, disturbing news, actually. but we'll have that for you right after this.
well, lawyers for the second prisoner have requested and now apparently received a stay. so the second prisoner who was due to be killed tonight may apparently not be killed tonight. it's temporary stay. his lawyers requested the stay because of what went wrong in the first execution tonight. in their application for the stay, they say, quote, the infirmary staff tried unsuccessfully to place a central line, which is a form of iv in mr. jones' next for 45 minutes before placing one elsewhere on his body. after they got the lethal injection drugs flowing into him, they say for five or six minutes, he was moving his lips and gulping for air. the lawyer for the second prisoner tonight due to be killed say his movements after the first of the drugs in the lethal injection cocktail were administered to him was evidence of his continued consciousness. so, again, we've had -- there has been some sort of trouble in the first execution that was carried out tonight in arkansas. there has been a temporary stay for the man who was due to be
killed second as soon as that first execution was done. we will have more ahead for you on that story in coming days. i want to tell you, though, that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. lawrence o'donnell has a special while i've been gone? >> barack obama back in the spotlight. the former president delivers his first public remarks since leaving office and steering clear of trump talk. plus, with the government shutdown looming, president trump signals a willingness to back away from the border wall fight. arkansas's first double execution in more than two decades. . good morning, everyone. it is tuesday, april 25th. i'm