tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC August 17, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
mitt romney. but for a drix of 7,000 of them differently. republicans think they can win this way. thank you guys. appreciate your time. thank you. and that is all in for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. good evening. >> great to see you. thank you, my friend. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. there's a lot going on tonight. a lot of different stories, very different types of stories that we're following this evening including the terrorist attack or terrorist attacks in spain. the terrorist attack earlier today in barcelona at this hour is known to have claimed 13 lives, with another 80 people injured. there was a confusing sequence of reports all day long as to exactly what happened in that attack. the number of attackers, whether or not the perpetrators were all known and were all in custody or were any of them dead. those reports evolved in a confusing way over the course of today. there's also been confusion all
day greeting this claim of responsibility for that attack that was issued by the terrorist group isis. now, it's not inconceivable that isis members or people inspired by or ad hearing to isis ideology could have carried out this attack. this is very much in keeping with their style and their tactics of terrorism in the west. what was unusual about this claim of responsibility from isis today is that in the past isis hasn't claimed attacks like this. they haven't identified itself, they haven't identified their adherence as the perpetrators of terrorist acts like this while anybody associates with the crime was still at large or was in custody. as a pattern, isis tends to only claim responsibility for attacks once all of the attackers are known to be dead. the thinking is that isis doesn't want to give investigators to use against any
living suspects to try to pry information out of them about their isis affiliations or their isis contraacts. isis doesn't claim attacks in the west until the people who committed the attacks are known to be dead. so isis claiming responsibility for this barcelona attack today while the alleged attackers were not dead or at large or in custody, that was weird. that's an unusual thing. we're going to take life in a couple of minutes with a reporter who specializes in isis in al qaeda, one of the foremost experts in the world in terms of explaining their m.o., their strategy and how they remote control attacks in places like western europe from their home base in iraq and syria. we've got that life report coming up in a moment. here's the latest in what we know about the terrorist attack in barcelona today and perhaps another attempted attack that spanish police may have thwarted
tonight in a city south of barcelona. a police operation that took place just in the last hour or so. in the barcelona attack from earlier today, spanish authorities say 13 people were killed -- actually the number of people injured was 80 people. it's up to 100 people said to be injured. 15 injured very seriously. that happened when a van deliberately plowed through a crowded pedestrian thorough fare in the heart of barcelona. the van drove down a popular plaza, filled with tourists and shoppers on a beautiful day. the van actually zigzagged down the pedestrian plaza for several hundred yards trying to hit as many peep as possible before the van came to a stop. the driver then fled the vehicle and spanish police today were saying that the driver of the van, after he fled the vehicle, he is still at large. now the police shay they have taken two people into custody. they're saying neither of those people was the driver.
but that brings us to what has happened in the past hour. we've been getting reports in the last hour of a place operation in a different spanish city, 75 miles south of barcelona. we always have a note of caution whenever we're reporting stuff close to the time that it happened. whenever there are terrorists attacks, particularly ones that where we're getting translated contacts with foreign police services and everything, often the initial story changes once we ultimately understand the truth of what happened. and so i will give you a cautionary note that there are conflicts reports as to exactly what happened this evening. whether police were responding to a second attempted terror attack or whether this second incident tonight was actually just a police operation against the perpetrators of the parse loan that attack and it wasn't a second attempt to kill people by terrorist cell of some kind in spain. we'll let you know as soon as we
have more clarity on that. whatever the second operation was tonight, police do say they have killed several alleged perpetrators. so again was it another attack, we don't know. was this the police moving in on the people who committed today's earlier attack. we don't yet know. this is -- those are the two things that we knew about a as of this evening heading into show town. in a town an hour further south we're now being told to expect a connection with an incident that mapped last night. when it happened last night we didn't see it as anything other than a one off. south there was an explosion that leveled a house. and when that happened last night, we didn't know it was connected to anything but the spanish authorities are saying that explosion last night may be linked to today's attack in barcelona. a senior u.s. official who was briefed by spanish authorities is telling nbc news tonight that
investigators in spain are looking at that explosion last night to see if that house might have been some kind of bomb making factory connected to a terror cell that then struck in barcelona today and maybe sfruk in cam brils tonight. one theory is that the possibility of today's truck attack in that pedestrian area in central barcelona, maybe that was actually a rushed attack as a result of that explosion last night that blew up the house. perhaps a bomb plot was the original plan and then the vehicle attack in barcelona today was a plan b after the attackers lost their source of explosives and they worried that their cell might be unravelled as investigators follow the leads from that explosive blast that happened last night. as i said, this is all -- these are all open questions at this point. we will learn more as this unfolds. we're learn more in days ahead. but the tactic in the downtown
barcelona today, the use of a vehicle to target pedestrians, we've seen a bunch of attacks like this recently. beyond the parallel that a lot of the americans have fresh in their minds today because of the vehicle attack in charlottesville, virginia this weekend. we've seen six vehicle born terrorist attacks in europe in the past year, all with multiple fatalitie fatalities. the attack that stands out similar to the one today is the one that happened in nice, in france when a man plowed a large truck into a crowd of pedestrians celebrating bastille day. he killed 86 people. but that's probably the most high profile one. not the only one. just before christmas last year a man slammed a truck into a holiday market in berlin killing 12 people. in march of this year a man drove a car into people on the
westminster bridge. that man killed four people. and then the following month, apr april, in sweden, a man hijacked a vehicle, five people were killed in that attack. then the month after that, in june, in london again, eight people killed when three men in a van deliberately ran down pedestrians on london bridge, got out of the vehicle and stabbed several people before being shot to death by police plp there have been a whole series of multiple fatality vehicle as heavy weapon attacks on innocent civilians in the past few months. but today's vehicle born attack in barcelona is the first attack of this kind for spain. that said, the last mass attack in spain with multiple casualties was more than a decade ago. actually one of the most deadly terror attacks ever on european
soil. spain, of course, was home to the madrid train bombings that happened in 2004. >> good evening, spain, a partner of the united states and the iraq war was hit by a massive and deadly terrorist attack today killing more than 190 people, wounding more than 1,000 in madrid, the spanish capital. >> today's attack is for this country the equivalent of america's september 11th. >> today in spain life changed in an instant. 7:349 a.m., 13 bombs one after another exploded in less than 20 minutes, ripping through packed commuter trains during the height of rush hour. police say some bombs were placed in backpacks on board the trains, others hidden on the train tracks. >> what it means is that tee terrorists see a high body count as the true objective of their attacks. it's not just a political message anymore.
it's much more radical and that is a very disturbing development. >> one expert said countries need to understand it won't be easy to say that the war on terror is over even if osama bin laden is caught. >> either islamic militant groups are able to stage massive attacks without him or other groups that have to do with al qaeda islamic terrorism are adopting the means of al qaeda and targeting innocent civilians to i show look, we can be as bad as them. >> that massive attack in spain was 13 years ago in madrid. osama bin laden wouldn't be killed for another seven years and isis did not exist at this point. certainly not in that form. but the evolution has continued and the attacks that isis promotes around the world now are not the massive kind that the madrid train bombings but the kind that we saw in barcelona today.
and in nice last july and in berlin at christmas time and in london a handful of people or just one person using the means closest at hand, a vehicle to kill as many people as possible. the isis media outlet has claimed today's attack. it is unusual for them to claim responsibility for an attack before we know that all of the perpetrators of the attack are dead. they don't like to give investigators a way to pressure their interrogation suspects in to giving up their isis contacts. if this was isis, what does that tell us about what might happen next? and if this was isis, why are they claiming responsibility now and breaking their previous pattern of how they have handled other attacks like this. joining us now from barcelona is nbc correspondent claudio. thank you for staying up in the middle of the night to help us understand this. what can you tell u us about the
investigation right now and about what we're hearing about the second attack this evening? >> reporter: well, that's right, rachel. there is no respite from the respecter of terror here in spain. only hours after that van plowed into the crowd in one of the most popular if not the most popular avenue here in barcelona and very famous all across europe as well. that's always packed with tourists and residents going shopping on the stores, heading down to the sea because that goes from the center of the city down to the sea. and it would have been particularly packed today because it's summer. and look at it now. behind me is the plaza, one of the main squares here. and usually this time of the year this place is buzzing, busting with tourists and residents. look at it now. not even on christmas day you
see barcelona so empty, so eerie. this is what you feel here, an eerie sensation. and the fact that the driver of the van managed to run away, to get away. the fact that only hours after that attack there is another terrorist attack in a town that is only two hours south of barcelona. the fact that two people have been arrested in connection to the barcelona attack. four people have been killed in this other terrorist attack plus another one seriously injured as the police said. can only mean that there is a wider organization at play. we don't know yet of course whether these two terrorist attacks are related. but the fact that there are so many people involved suggests at least that there was some kind of organization behind it and it's not as in the case for instance of london, the lone wolf having just decided to run people over and that was it.
rachel. >> let me just ask you one question about this second attack, claudio. thank you for that understanding in terms of what we're looking at behind you and how eerie it is in barcelona. it's hard for me from this distance to get any kind of sense of what might have been the target of the second attack. if in cambril that wasn't just a police action chasing down the perpetrators but in fact that was a second attempted attack, one police responded to or were able to interrupt. do we have any detail or understanding of what might have been the target for the second attack? >> reporter: well, i can't speculate on that yet because the police hasn't revealed any information on why they were there and why they carried out the attack there. but what i can tell you is that cambrils is down south 2 1/2 hour drive. and another 45 minutes south, there is another town, a town
when on wednesday night an explosion took place. on wednesday night they thought it was because of a face leak. but as you mentioned in the intro at the top of your program, now they believe there could be a connection between that explosion and today's attack in barcelona and perhaps the one in cambrils. could have been a bomb making factory where the explosion went off and they had to rush these two taye tacattacks. the fact that these two towns are not far from each other, that could be an indication that all these three towns could be related, rachel. >> reporting tonight from barcelona. claudio, thank you for being up. i appreciate you joining us tonight. joining us from iraq is the "the new york times" foreign correspondent who focuses on isis and al qaeda. thank you for being here. i know it's also the dead of the
night there. >> my pleasure. nice to be with you. >> i was talking a few minutes ago basically what i learned from you and your reporting at the "the new york times" about what to watch for in isis claims of responsibility. before we got word of this second attack possibly or at least this second police action tonight which appears to have left four people dead and another person seriously injured at the hands of police, we did get what appears to be a claim of responsibility from isis. >> we did. >> am i right that that's unusual? how do you view that ? >> it is unusual if we assume that the two people in custody right now are the perpetrators of this attack. i don't know if they are the actual actors of the attack. but you are right. isis in general does not claim attacks when their assailants are still at large specifically because, as we assume, they are not trying to create a case against them and make it easier for police to put them away. >> in terms of what we know
about the operation today, we don't yet -- it's always hard in the immediate aftermath of these things to know what's connected. it's possible that that house that blew up south of barcelona last night really was a gas leak and it wasn't a bomb and wasn't connected to these things. it's possible that this action tonight was somehow a separate course from what we saw today with that van attack in barcelona. but if it turns out that these things are connected, there was an explosives component, a vehicle born attack, that there were surviving attackers who then mounted a second attack after this spectacular event barcelona today, does that tell you whether this is inspired by isis rather than directed by isis? whether this is home grown? whether this might have been directed from abroad? >> just starting with the very first attack, the van attack. we know that there were at least two people that came out of that car. so already we know that the lone wolf hypothesis is out of the
question. there are two people directly involved in that attack. the police have been flexible on their twitter feed in saying that the taye tack that we believed was a gas attack from last night and the cambrils attack appear to have some connection to this. this is their working theory right now. and in that theory proves to be correct, then we're talking about a multisite terrorist attack. that takes planning, that takes a network, that takes resources and that to me suggests something more than an inspired attack. this could be a true directed isis attack. >> one last question for you. i mentioned in the introduction that spain was home to the devastating madrid train bombings in 2004. >> yes. >> and we've been told that spain is a weigh station, a stopping off point for western european fighters who are leaving home to go fight with isis in iraq and syria. that said, spain has not been the target of a lot of the style
attacks that we've seen in london, in berlin, in nice. >> right. >> do you have any sense of how spain is viewed as a particular target by isis and this current iteration of isis? >> it is indeed an attack by isis, it's the very first attack by isis in spain. spain is much lower down than france, the uk, than the united states and germany in isis's rhetoric. those other countries have been repeatedly threatened by isis. the very first terrorist attack i covered when i joined "the new york times" was the charlie hebdo attack in paris and the attack at a supermarket a couple of days later. the man who did the attack is considered the first isis inspired directed attacker in france. and before he did that attack,
he travelled to spain, specifically to madrid to drop off his girlfriend so she could catch a flight to istanbul and join the caliphate and be spared imprisonment afterwards. before this attack i used to view spain as a weigh station, not as a place that would necessarily host its own attack. but obviously the events of the last hours have radically changed that. >> "the new york times" foreign correspondent, focusing on iraq and isis. i really appreciate you taking the time and effort to be here. >> thanks. >> we have so much news developing tonight from around the world, from around the country, from inside the white house. stay with us tonight. lots to come. you don't let anything
tonight the vice president, mike pence, returns early from an overseas trip he's been on to south and central america this week. we're still not sure why vice president pence gave up his panama trip dinner with the president and his trip to see the panama canal tomorrow in order to fly back early to washington tonight. but the vice president's office has now said that he plans tomorrow to attend a high level national security meeting on the subject of the war in afghanistan. now, why does the vice president need to be there for an afghanistan meeting? nobody knows. if the vice president does need to be there for the afghanistan meeting, why couldn't he just call in for the meeting. job knows. we do know that what has been
circulating recently in terms of the administration's plan for afghanistan is a very provocative proposal to turn the afghan war into a private for-profit enterprise instead of an effort run by the u.s. military. this is betsy devos, the trump administration's education secretary, although she barely made it into cabinet. the fight over her nomination was close enough that vice president pence has to come in and break the tie on the vote for her nomination. before becoming education secreta secretary, hae she had no experience in the public sector at all. but she comes from one of the richest political donor families in the country, as does her brother, eric. the founder of black water pep and eric prince doesn't live in the united states anymore. but in december resurfaced
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of russian president vladimir putin in the islands. it was a meeting organized by the crown prince of the quite i. united air of emirates. he wanted to facilitate contact between the trump campaign and vladimir putin and the way he did it was bringing in putin's emissary and erik prince. and they held this meeting on this remote island during the presidential transition. the meeting reportedly happened in december. it was reported in the "washington post" in april. erik prince has sense acknowledged that the meeting did take place and the washington post was right. but he's downplayed the significance of the meeting. he's described the whole purpose of those discussions, the whole purpose of him being in the seashell islands as just business. well we have since learned that one business proposition erik
prince has been selling is that the u.s. government should pay him $10 billion a year so that he can run the war in afghanistan as a private for-profit enterprise instead of as a u.s. military action. erik prince has done a handful of interviews on the subject. he's proud of the idea. he's cited colonial rule under the british empire as the role for how they should conduct the next x years of the afghanistan war. the idea of the education secretary's billionaire brother being installed in afghanistan to be paid billions of dollars a year by the taxpayers to run his own private war there, it's enough to curl your eyelashes. it is hard to believe that would ever be taken seriously outside of hollywood. the news reports about erik prince making this proposal, they've generally taking the tone that this idea is not really being seriously
considered by the trump administration. honestly that reporting has been offered in the same nonspecific spirit in which we all keep getting reassured that there are real adults in charge somewhere behind the scenes in the administration and therefore nothing too terrible will happen. forgive me skepticism. james mattis, secretary of defense was recently asked about erik prince's big business plan to take over the war from the u.s. military. and although we keep hearing that secretary mattis is one of those adults who won't let anything too weird happen, he didn't sound dismissive of the idea when he was asked about it. >> mr. secretary, the afghan strategy at this point contain provisions for a significant number of contracted security forces or -- >> there's been public discussions of significant increase, 5,000, 5500 contracted security forces, 90 fleet
private air force. >> strategic decision has not been made. it's part of the options being considered. and the president is open to the advice of the secretary of state and myself and the director of the cia >> it's part of the options being considered, he says. what at this point is too crazy to imagine. that the president might threaten to rain fire and fury like the world has never seen on north korea, that the president might endorse a rally by white supremacists and neo-nazi, is it more unconceivable than that stuff, that the president might say the war in afghanistan might be run by this guy erik from here on out? the stated reason that vice president mike pence is having to come home early from his overseas trip is because of a meeting that thaz just been called to discuss afghanistan
stret gi tomorrow at camp david. we shall see what comes out of that meeting. mike pence was also supposed to do a bunch of republican party events and fundraisers this weekend in virginia. those events have been canceled. again we will see what comes out of this afghanistan meeting. i don't think it's unreasonable to brace for some truly bizarre news on that subject. but if something like that is going to happen, if something like that is going to get announced, it's worth considering that this is a particularly difficult, challenging and sometimes strange time for the u.s. military. this is a difficult time for the u.s. military because we're at war and the military bears the entire brunt of that while the civilian world pays very little attention to it at home. today we learned that an army green beret was killed and 11 guardsmen were killed. the young man had been identified as a 27-year-old
aaron butler from utah. he was the seventh of eight kids in his family, one of seven brothers. his family says he signed up if are the utah national guard while he was still in high school which means even if he signed up ten years ago, doing the math, that means the united states was already many years into the afghanistan war when sergeant butler enlisted to serve in the war that eventually took his life. so those other 11 national guardsmen being hurt in the same incident, that is huge and very sad news in utah tonight and in the national guard and in the community of iraq and afghanistan veterans. u.s. navy was also rocked tonight by the publication of the navy's first investigative report into that bizarre crash between a u.s. navy destroyer and a japanese cargo vessel back in june just off the coast of japan. this is a devastating report. it describes in detail and at length how the sailors on board the destroyer fought for their
own lives and fought to save each other when the two ships collide maryland the middle of the night. the efforts to save each other included heroic efforts to save the captain of the ship. the report describes how five sailors used a sledgehammer and a kettle bell from the ship's gym to smash their way into the destroyed state room of the ship's captain. the ship's captain, his state room took a direct hit in that crash. the sailors trying to save him did get in. the ship's captain according to the report was hanging off the outside of the ship for his life by the time they smashed their way in to save his life. those sailors were able to save him but he will now lose his career. he's being relieved of command, as well as the second command on board as will the commander in chief. seven u.s. sailors died in that crash. apparently the navy has not yet
determined the overall determination of how the crash happened. but without waiting for the final conclusion they already know enough to fire the top leadership of that u.s. navy destroyer. that is serious news in the navy. they're taking very dramatic action and it can't help in a stressful and high stakes time like this that all of the branches of the military are also this week facing a new unnecessary crisis that was created out of thin air by the u.s. president. a crisis in which all of the chiefs of all of the branches of the u.s. military have felt the need to break with their long standing strict practice of avoiding politics. all of the service chiefs this week have felt compelled to put out public statements bluntly disagreeing with, bluntly departing from statements made by the president on race after the charlottesville rioting this weekend. the navy chief of operations was first to respond this past weekend saying quote, events in
charlottesville are unacceptable and mustn't be tolerated. the u.s. navy forever stands against instointolerance and hatred. there's in place for extremism in the marine corps. chief of staff of the army saying the army does not tolerate racism in our ranks. followed by the chief of staff of the air force who put out a slightly milder statement saying i stand with my fellow service chiefs in saying we are all always stronger together. less blunt but i think we knee what he means. followed by the chief of the national guard, said, quote, i stand with my fellow joint chiefs in condemning racism, extremism and hatred. our diversity is our strength. service chiefs in the military don't usually do this. let alone the chairman of the joint chiefs. but tonight the chairman of the joint chiefs said this to america. >> and i can absolutely and unambiguously tell you that
there's in place, no place for racism and bigotry in the u.s. military or in the united states as a whole. >> or in the united states as a whole. the service chief, the chairman of the joint chiefs, they stay out of domestic politics strictly. both stylististylistically. and usually as a rule they stay out of it. uniformed military personnel are not allowed to be involved in partisan politics. that said, even when the civilian leadership of the u.s. government is making nice with and being complimentary to white supremacists, the military feels the need to separate. the military has its own very acute history on the subject and its own operational reason to make clear that they're not following this particular president down that particular
path. here's one example . in april 2014 there was a domestic ter terror attack that targeted a jewish retirement center in kansas. this nutty old man who committed the murders was a committed white supremacist and neo-nazi. he acted as his own lawyer at his trial. he gave the nazi salute in the courtroom after he was convicted saying his only regret about the murderings is that none of the people he actually killed turned out to be jewish each those he picked those location in the hopes that he would be singling out jews to murder. at his trial he unsuccessfully tried to introduce video evidence from his past leadership of a uniformed group of white supremacists in north carolina. turns out he had been a founding member of the white patriots party in north carolina in the 1980s. before that it was the ku klux klan and before that the carolina nights of the ku klux
klan. they did military style training and freaked a lot of people out at the time by the fact they had access to some military grade weapons. one of the things that was most unset lipg about those klan groups and that why patriots party when they emerged and they started going to marches and demonstrations in the 80s, their leader at the time, the guy who all those years later would end up shooting those people at the jewish community center in kansas, their leader in the '80s, turns out he had built up his leadership skills, his organizational skills, his weapons training and military training which he 'em bued to those clans groups while he served for 20 years in the united states army. but the instructive thing to know about that now is that when the army, even way back in the day, when the army figured out what they're dealing with with him, they kicked him out. he participated in the greensboro massacre in 1979 when klan groups and nazi groups
ambushed a rally in greensboro, north carolina. they murdered five people. he was in the nationalists movement at the time. he was in the american nazi party at the time and attended the ambush. and the army therefore kicked him out for distributing racist propaganda a after they found out he had participated in that event. all of the branches of the military have long hads a history of kicking people out if they find them to be part of racist or extremist groups. under ronald reagan in 1986, secretary of desense issued a special directive re-upping that directive. september of '86 he sent out a priority message reminding all services that all military personnel duty bound to uphold the constitution must reject participation in supremist organizations. in 1990 five air force mps were thoun out of the service for
being klan members. 1995, when they caught the guys that did the oklahoma city bombing, they met and made friends in poert riley. in '86 the military strengthened its regulations. military personnel must reject participation in organizations that espouse supremist. that had the authority of full range, including separation or displa nation action against military personnel who actively participate in such groups. in 2009 they re-upped it again clash fieing that you could be thrown out to have scervice for fund-raising or organizing or leading members. you could be thrown out of the service for distributing racist materials. in 2012 making it clear you could be thrown out of the service, preprevented from
joining the service. if you do all of that active stuff to participate in racist groups, but even if you have a tattoo or a body marking that is associated with a racist or extremist group like that. the military now gives commanders an extremist tattoo decision support matrix so you can get advice and figuring out whether that stupid winged dragon on your recruit's forearm is just a stupid winged dragon or maybe it's a nazi winged dragon. the u.s. military has as mouch of an infection as the rest of the society. the difference is that in the u.s. military it's not terrible to be a nazi scumbag. in the military it's illegal and they freaking police it. and it is crucial to u.s. military leadership and it has been recognized for decades as crucial to military leadership that the military is absolutely
crystal clear on this subject. and so when the president, the commander in chief starts blurring that line, then yes, the service chiefs of the u.s. military feel the need to jump in immediately to try to make that line clear again, to try to erase any confusion that anybody might have on that subject. as if they didn't already have enough on their plate before this. right? as if they didn't already have enough to deal with before this was shovelled on to their plates by the president of the united states. more ahead tonight. stay with us. four seconds on the clock, down by one.
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this is kind of a flavor of the beltway news cycle right now. white house aides wrestle with trump's race comments. trump staffers said to be wringing their hands about whether they should quit their jobs over the president's defense of racism and the confederacy. at that press comment on tuesday and his comments since. politico reporting there's a strong feeling of unease among white house officials. aides say they were startled by the president's defense of neo-nazi and white supremacists. the political desire to be seen as blindsided by all of this, but how could you not have seen this coming? >> our immigration system is worse than anybody ever realized. countless innocent american lives have been stolen.
dangerous, dangerous, dangerous criminals. deadly, and it is deadly nonenforcement poll iciepolicie. thousands of criminal aliens crawl all over the detained un they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came. my first hour in office, those people are gone. their days have run out in this country. the crime will stop. they're going to be gone. it will be over. >> that speech happened almost exactly a year ago in phoenix, arizona. now the president has announced plans to go back to arizona, presumably for another high-minded, soothing performance like that. but now the mayor of phoenix, arizona, is asking the president to please stay away. please don't do it. please don't come to our city.
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the president has just announced he wants to do a campaign-style rally next week in phoenix, arizona. the mayor of phoenix is asking the president to not do it, and he's raising the question of why the president wants to do it in the first place. the mayor says, quote, our nation is still healing from the tragic events in charlottesville. if president trump is coming to phoenix to announce a pardon for recently convicted former sheriff joe arpaio, then it will
be clear that his true intent is to inflame emotions and further divide our nation. joining us now is greg stanton. he's the mayor of phoenix, arizona. thanks for being with us. >> happy to be here, rachel. >> let me just ask first if the white house has responded at all to your request that the president should cancel this event. >> well, they've not responded directly to me, but all indications are a campaign-style rally in phoenix will occur on tuesday night. as i said in my statement, it's very, very unfortunate. it's ill-timed after the tragic events in charlottesville and the very disappointing response of our president to unequivocally condemn racism, unequivocally condemn white supremacy, to have this campaign-style rally, and then obviously to openly discuss the possibility of pardoning sheriff joe arpaio. the timing could not be worse. >> do you think there's a connection between the events of charlottesville, between the president's recent bellicose
statements on race, and his choice specifically of phoenix. do you think race is part of the reason why he's coming to your city and why he's coming to arizona? >> i think the reaction of the president trump to the tragic events in charlottesville, where racists and nazis and white nationalists, one of them engaged in murder of a young lady, his unwillingness to unequivocally condemn white supremacy in the united states of america was shocking to us, so disappointing to so many of us, and his willingness to consider a pardon of sheriff joe arpaio, who systematically violated the civil rights of so many latino residents in our community for so long, made them live in terror. i do believe there's an unfortunate connection there. so i think the timing of the rally is really, really bad. and even considering a pardon for this sheriff who terrorized our residents is a really bad thing as well. put it together, it's a bad, bad combination. >> are you worried about violence or major protests if the president does show up?
>> yes, i am. i know that people from around the country, because he's announced this and put it on his social media, that he'll be doing this campaign-style rally openly, teasing that he might be pardoning sheriff joe arpaio, the criminally convicted sheriff joe arpaio, that he might be pardoning him. people have put it together, and i think this might be happening at this event. so, yes, we're expecting many, many people from around the country to attend. and i am concerned about what -- the purpose of doing this to inflame passions, i'm concerned about what might happen as a result. >> greg stanton, the mayor of phoenix, arizona. this event fast approaching, tuesday of next week. stay in touch with us over the next few days, mr. mayor, if you don't mind. we'd love to be able follow follow this story through your eyes. >> thank you, rachel. >> thank you very much. we'll be right back. stay with us. with this level of engineering...
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