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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  August 25, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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in the white house who thought gorka was a joke and wanted him and his baggage and his controversies gone, he wasn't actually doing much. sources told us at the daily beast that newly-installed chief of staff kelly did not actually know what gorka did except go on tv sometimes. >> thank you for joining us. that does it for "the rachel maddow show" tonight, rachel will be back monday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. you can find me, ari melber, at 6:00 p.m. on weeknights. it has been an easily very busy night of coverage. i want to turn now to brian williams who picks up our live special coverage forme the restf the evening. good evening from new york. brian williams here with you. lawrence o'donnell was suggested
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to have tonight off before the events of tonight started to unfold. so instead of the usual edition of "the last word" tonight, right on in and through "the 11th hour" which follows, we'll be bringing you live breaking news coverage this evening, because we have a confluence of so many breaking stories. first and foremost, because it involves lives and property in the state of texas tonight, we have a monster hurricane, the eye of which has just now made landfall. the definition, when the center of the eye comes over land. as you see, hurricane harvey has come onshore just to the north and east of corpus christi. there is some good news buried in where this storm came ashore. and that is a lot of the storm surge they were fearing in the port of corpus christi is thankfully not going to materialize because these storms turn counterclockwise. now the motion is back out to
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sea. remember for the communities that will now pass through the eye of the storm, that area of calm where you can hear even the smallest noises and you can hear the ocean waves, they will then get hit by this storm on the other end. we have hurricane hunter aircraft up tonight, 7,000 feet off the ground, flying through the eyewall and the eye of this storm in propeller driven aircraft. they're reporting back gusts of something north of 140 miles an hour. we've had gusts on land at around 116, 118. this is a very dangerous storm. this is the biggest storm to make land fufall in texas since 1961. it's the biggest storm to make landfall in this country generally, "major" defined as category 3 or 4, in the last 30
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years. it came onshore as a category 4. here is the problem. for all those along coastal texas who survive the initial storm surge, who survive the winds and 116, if we take that one gust we've had tonight inland from the shore, 116 will strip roofs off of houses, of course. it will uproot plants. it will toss anything not tied down. the problem is the next few days. this storm is going nowhere. these communities are going to get half of their precipitation for the year between now and wednesday. veteran meteorologists are saying they cannot recall precipitation forecasts like the ones we're seeing tonight in texas, precipitation being forecast in terms of feet of precipitation, between now and next wednesday. there is he evevery chance thism comes on land, meanders, it's
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got nearby fuel from the gulf of mexico, and then takes a northeasterly turn and drives itself on up the coast to houston. remember, as texas cities go, houston is the leader. corpus christi has seven cities larger than it in the state of texas. so we're awfully happy that the eye of the storm didn't go over the metropolitan portions of corpus christi. but the problems for the state of texas tonight are just getting started. and there are some communities that are really under the gun. hauntingly, there are reports tonight that civil managers have told folks in some of the smaller towns inland, especially people who refused mandatory evacuation orders, they're being instructed to do something that first responders did on their way into the towers on 9/11. they're being told to write their name and their vital stats on their arms with indelible
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marker. their blood type, their d.o.b., their social, in case the very worst happens. that's how dire and how broad this storm is on the coast of texas. so obviously, over these next few hours, we'll be covering this. we're a bit hampered because communications right at this point, after landfall, can often enter into a kind of dark side of the moon phase. some satellite television trucks because of rain fade and high winds lose their ability to broadcast a signal. even some satellite phones can't work. cellphone service is down along with power. so we'll bring you reporting from it from our friends at the weather channel, from our own meteorologist bill karins, when we can. now to the other news that is happening tonight. somewhat under the cover of the first natural disaster of his presidency, a category 4 hurricane making landfall in the united states, the president and
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this white house are out tonight with several controversial bits of news, several controversial presidential actions, chief among them, the president has pardoned sheriff joe arpaio, the famous lawman in arizona who was criminally convicted of contempt of court. joe arpaio famously had deputies charged with going out into the streets, stopping people, asking them for proof of citizenship. joe arpaio notably was awaiting sentence. but the presidential power of pardon is just about absolute. presidents can pardon americans in any -- at any stage of a legal action. and tonight, what was broadly hinted at, all but promised by the president at that raucous tuesday night rally in phoenix, arizona, has come true. to talk about this, the first of
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our white house stories, on the phone with us, our friend and colleague, the host of our 4:00 p.m. hour here at msnbc, nicolle wallace, the former white house communications director, of course under president bush 43. nicolle, you're reaction. >> well, it's important to stipulate, after listening to the top of your show, that i was the white house communications director during hurricane katrina, where the president for whom i worked suffered a lot of political damage for responding in a way that was judged as subpar. most importantly, by the people who lived there, by the victims of that storm. and to see someone, those were mistakes made inadvertently, those were, you know, sequences of errors in judgment made by many people at many levels. but all the blame ultimately ended up at the doorstep of the white house, and that's how it works and that's how it should work, the buck has to stop somewhere. to see someone do something that
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amounts to pouring gasoline on the open wounds in the wake of his charlottesville response by pardoning someone like sheriff arpaio while a deadly storm, a storm that from the space station looks as big and as dangerous as hurricane katrina, it's one of those things that knocks you over with its audacity. and to suggest that this president is addicted to chaos, to connect the questions from james clapper and republican senator bob corker about his competence and stability at this moment, would not be an exaggerated tie to draw. and to see him incapable of letting a single day be about anyone other than him and his inability to stifle a single political impulse is a stunning thing to observe. >> nicolle, from the podium in the west wing briefing room today, in realtime, on your broadcast, you chose to highlight something the president's kind of domestic security adviser said to a
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briefing about government institutions. do you recall that? and what's its relevance to what happened tonight? >> so the president's homeland security adviser tom bossard took to the white house podium and stood behind the podium and said it's a dangerous thing to question your government institutions, especially on a day like today where people need to have basic trust in evacuation orders, in weather forecasts and whatnot, that lives are on the line. and i don't know what could be more -- you know, what could drive that home more than the reporting you just shared at the top of your show about first responders, writing their vital information on their arms with permanent pens. so to have that thrust against the pardon of a man who the mayor of phoenix described as terrorizing the citizens of phoenix, who a judge found to have committed a crime, to have violated the civil rights of the
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citizens, is just staggering. i know we talk about the death of outrage. we talk about, you know, shame on us for continuing to be surprised by this president's gall, if you will. but there's nothing -- you know, someone pointed out today that this hurricane actually provided an opportunity for the president to for once show some interest in displaying that he has an interest in governing somewhat outside that base of 33% and to release and announce this pardon for joe arpaio shows that he simply does not. >> nicolle, i've got one more for you. that's sebastian gorka. not a household name. but certainly a well-known name in political circles. he did some time at breitbart. he has long been rumored to have political ties to very unsavory far right groups in europe. he had a minimal title in the white house, kind of a deputy
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assistant, but he was nonetheless a lightning rod. he is out tonight, again on this friday night of a category 4 hurricane making landfall in the lower 48. fair to say that he could not have worked in any other white house but this one? >> oh, more than fair to say. you know, i don't know that he could have been associated with any other moment in politics than this one. i think this is -- i think that john kelly's tenure as white house chief of staff, why it has coincided with really some of the most controversial moments of donald trump's presidency, those are all because of donald trump. but at a staff level, it is clear that, you know, if you view problems with paperwork as maybe 11% of the problems that this presidency has, he is really in firm command of that 11%. and getting rid of gorka was essential to that. i see it as sort of the other half of the oreo cookie of
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getting rid of steve bannon. >> nicolle wallace, thank you very much for joining us by telephone tonight. as i said, a number of stories breaking. one of them just happens to be the first and perhaps there's no way of knowing, perhaps the worst natural disaster of donald trump's presidency just coming ashore tonight in coastal texas on the gulf coast. nicolle wallace, our thanks. let's bring in our panel of journalists who will from time to time tonight we'll lean on for reaction. vivian solana is with us, we're proud to say an incoming nbc news national political reporter, after, if you ask us, spending way too long at that wire service, the associated press. but we're so happy to have her on board. matthew nussbaum, political white house reporter, is back with us. here in the studio, a "boston glo globe" columnist.
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indira, you're here with us. same reaction, same question as to nicolle, your reaction to these twin stories. and we're just getting started, there are others. >> triple, quadruple, quintuple. >> these two lead stories from the white house. >> certainly the arpaio thing, the president had telegraphed for everybody clearly, by saying let me tell you he's going to be okay, i'm not going to do it tonight, but you can be comfortable, all but promised it. this was clearly telegraphed. it is shocking. it's shocking because this is a man who flagrantly, although he was supposed to be law enforcement in upholding the law, he was clearly violating the law repeatedly in contempt of court. he was found to be so. he was doing this for years, specifically racially profiling people, picking them up not for any known offense, but simply because they were hispanic and he suspected them of being illegal aliens. and, you know, this has been a
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base issue for donald trump. it fits into the whole thing with the wall and the untruths he has told about illegal immigrants causing so much crime in america, which the actual statistics show is not true, that native born americans commit crime at higher rates than immigrants, legal or illegal. but, you know, facts matter to us, but not to the rhetoric that donald trump has promoted. >> can i ask you, and i don't mean to interrupt, a version of a question i just asked nicolle, fair to say no other president would have granted this pardon we're seeing tonight? >> well -- >> early term, before sentencing, all of those things. >> yes, i think that's absolutely right. and, you know, so that is a big surprise. i think the gorka news is you know, gorka has tried to go out on his own terms. the story out there is he submitted his resignation letter, he said forces aligned with make america great again are descend enter adescendant ad
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the ascendant forces are trying to get him out, and he was getting hit on all sides and wasn't able to do what he wanted to do. i agree with nicolle, he wouldn't have a job in any other white house even as an intern. there are a lot of people who question his academic credentials. he's a one-note sally on violent extremism all the time. a lot of people will be celebrating that he's out. the question is whether it changes the president's thinking. that's very much an open question. i don't think it will change the essential way the president sees the world and views things like violent extremism. >> matthew, because we've all been in this business too long, we ourselves made warnings at our editorial meeting around dinner time tonight that this is a friday night in summer. traditionally a time when you get news out. the problem is, you just don't
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traditionally do it while so many million americans are under the gun tonight and while the national weather service is issuing warnings for inundation along the coast of texas. >> well, there's never a quiet friday, it seems, in this presidency. but you're right, it's very odd to do something this politically controversial as the arpaio pardon, one, in the wake of charlottesville, which was a racially charged incident to begin with, to participated tdo sheriff who violated the civil rights and profiled the people in his district, and two, as you're saying, to make this move when we're facing a major natural disaster. the first real disaster of this presidency that wasn't of the president's own making. i think we can all agree on that. to make something this controversial, to sort of steal the spotlight like that for something that only pleases your political base, when you have this moment where the nation should be coming together to look after the folks down in texas and louisiana, i think
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it's really startling. like you guys were saying earlier, maybe we shouldn't be surprised anymore during this presidency, but sometimes it's hard not to be. >> vivian, of course there are other things going on, but these two are our lead stories. as nicolle and i discussed, as we've been talking about since we've been on the air, he couldn't have telegraphed any more strongly to that crowd in phoenix that this was coming. >> absolutely. and it's really important to remember that this is basically the latest chapter in president trump's war with the judiciary. he has taken great issue with the fact that the courts have stepped in and tried to block both his travel ban and his immigration efforts. and here, while he has been able to reverse that and he hasn't been able to sort of have a full-fledged victory against the courts, this is one way that he can push back, is by pardoning someone like sheriff arpaio, who is a controversial figure. it is also his way of flexing muscle and showing his supporters, look, i told you i was going to be tough on law and order and here is a guy who is
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tough on law and order, let's get him out there and working for us. there's one other thing to consider. this is president trump's way of rewarding loyalty. we know now that he is really big on showing, you know -- favoring people who have shown their loyalty throughout his campaign and into his presidency. sheriff arpaio is definitely one of them. he was an outspoken supporter from the start. the fact that he would come out, president trump would come out and now pardon him, it's really not that surprising because of how he's demonstrated, you know, his favor to anyone who has shown that loyalty throughout the course of his time in office. >> indira, we're starting to have this discussion about government institutions. you heard nicolle echoing what was said from the podium. earlier today, jim acosta over at cnn said on the air, this is why the fake news label is so pernicious, because we in the news business tonight really need the people along the coastline in texas, really need them to heed these warnings. we're not making up these stats
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from the hurricane hunters, the brave people who tonight are flying through the center of the storm. we're not making up these forecasts or the inches of rain they're expecting. but this is all of a piece. this is all a kind of slow motion attack on some of the aspects of our society. >> i totally agree with you, brian. i think the problem is, i don't want to sound too dark and orwellian here. i've seen it as a foreign correspondent in many societies that i've covered. when presidents do things like attack the news media and try to undermine our credibility, it's one pillar of a democracy. they try to attack other institutions. we've seen it going on in venezuela, attack the judiciary, attack the legislature. you want the people to only believe in you. that is what we've seen, president trump is trying to make his people believe only in him and not trust anyone else. where this becomes a huge
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problem, as you say, once you've convinced people that the media, that the national news media is fake news, then if they're not going to trust what we say, it becomes a danger to life and limb, as you say, if people are not heeding instructions that they should be evacuated from places like corpus christi, it becomes, you know, potentially major national disaster. >> i don't want to get two deep this early in the evening, but vivian, you're a former baghdad bureau chief at your young age. how often do you reflect back on that assignment, of all the assignments you've had in your life, what it meant during that time of your life and where you were, to be an american? >> i mean, it's fascinating to see, you know, even throughout the years before that, i mean, i was overseas in the middle east during the george w. bush years, and there was constant fear of anti-american sentiments because of the iraq war. then we went into this sort of, you know, peak where president obama came in and everyone thought things would reverse. then they found he wasn't supporting the efforts in syria to kind of curb that violence there.
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so, you know, it's sort of always been a roller coaster. but what's so interesting is the mix of views that i hear about president trump throughout the middle east and even in south asia. a lot of people really welcoming the fact that he could be tough on groups like isis and take a tougher role with his military to kind of intervene in some of the conflicts overseas. a lot of people overseas really welcoming that, because they feel they have no other option but the u.s. at the same time, they also look at the u.s. as this, you know, capital of liberty and democracy in the world, and the rhetoric he says when he's really rejecting certain groups, he's not promoting sweeping unity throughout this society, it really makes people's heads spin because they don't understand how this could be an american president, how the american people could vote someone in who wouldn't stand for everyone, who wouldn't represent everyone. >> i just need to pause our conversation, as we tried to make plain at the top of this broadcast, we'll be pivoting all night long, i'm afraid, between
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topics, between the political news tonight, and we're just getting started plowing through that, and the situation we're following on the coast of texas. i want to show you what's being broadcast right now by our friend at the weather channel. we have their permission to be dipping in and out of their coverage tonight. that's mike seidel up in the upper right hand corner. the fearless veteran meteorologist mike seidel in port lavaca, texas, where before the end of tonight, they're going to get all the storm they can handle there. he has been at times unable to stand up in the hotel they're staying in has quickly been surrounded by rising water. they're 25 miles inland, by the way. that gives you some visual idea. we are so fortunate to have in our very own studio here tonight our friend bill karins, our meteorologist. and bill, take it away. tell us everything we need to know about the storm, including are we calling it landfall yet as the center of the eye passed
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the median? >> i keep hitting refresh on the national hurricane center website for when they put the official word out. they have said we are very close to the official landfall. the northern eye has made landfall. the western eyewall is now onshore. but the center of the eye is not onshore yet. that should happen in the next hour or two. we'll officially have our first major hurricane landfall in over 12 years in our country. by the way, this would also be the strongest since charlie hit florida, being a category 4 storm. here it is now on the map. you can see this bright red, this is the eyewall that is clearly onshore. the first thing, the big concern was corpus christi. that's the biggest population center on the map here, near the center of the landfall. they are being spared the eyewall, good news for all the people that evacuated corpus christi who are watching this, there was so much concern for their property. there will be damage, there will be trees down, but there won't be a devastating wind effect on the city. we'll wait and see what the rain does in the days ahead, but as
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far as the winds and the storm surge, you dodged that. this is as classic as it gets for a buzz saw hurricane. you can see the well-defined eye over the barrier islands and moving onshore. even though corpus christi is being spared, there are small port communities that will be devastated by these winds in the storm surge. one of them is rockport. this little peninsula here across from corpus christi has about 25,000 people that live here. it was all completely evacuated. there's a couple of storm chasers out here that have been showing their video. it's incredible, 120-mile-per-hour winds it's gusting up to. this is where the storm surge is at its worst through the peninsula here. further up the coast, this is all barrier islands. this is all a national refuge area, no population here at all. that's were the 130-mile-per-hour winds are, and no one lives there, so that's fantastic as far as that went. wind gust reports, we're losing our stations, some of the stations break, they just kind of break down and won't be fixed until the storm is gone.
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we're still getting wind reports now in the 40 to 50-mile-per-hour range as far inland as victoria. about 300,000 people live in victoria. some of them didn't evacuate. you're going to get these winds and then you'll have to deal with the horrific rainfall forecast we'll have to deal with the in future with the storm. as far as the storm predictions go, i want to point out, in the next 12 hours, one of our short range computers only takes this storm about 45 miles inland. that is walking speed, brian. that's as fast as you and i walk down the sidewalk. that's how slowly this eye is going to move inland. for those people i just mentioned and small towns and communities getting hit by the storm, they'll still be getting hit 12 hours from now. it should begin to slowly weaken after landfall. this is as we go through 9:00, 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. the center of the storm is south of victoria and still the southern bands heading through chris christie. because of this crazy, wobbly forecast path, as we go throughout saturday, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, a
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little corkscrew action, that's the reason why this storm will be historic, a billion-dollar weather disaster, because of this forecast right here. this is pink, 20 inches of rain, widespread. look at all the square mileage that is from victoria to corpus christi, outside of san antonio, outside of houston, outside of austin, all the way through houston with upwards of 36 inches of rain. brian, the hiydrologists that ae responsible for the river forecasts, they're coming out for across the board record crest on all the rivers in this region. that's unheard of. that will go well into the middle of next week. there's people that will be spared from the wind and the surge that then will lose their properties from the epic flood about to occur. >> we've got to remember all the souls in the path of this storm, our fellow citizens tonight having a very rough friday
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night. bill, thank you. bryan norcross, the meteorologist who kind of came to fame locally in miami during hurricane andrew, because of his calming and constant presence and his exact forecasts, he's a meteorologist with the weather channel now. earlier tonight, he said some version of, i wouldn't want to be in victoria, texas tonight. our own correspondent is standing by. you know, it's going to get much rougher as we go on. and we get into the evening. but gary sanders, tell us, what's the wind speed, what kind of precip are you looking at tonight? norcross really did say that about where you're standing. >> well, i'm in town here in victoria. and we do not have the hurricane yet. we've had some tropical force gusts, that's about it.
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as you just heard bill explain, this harvey storm is going to come here and will kind of sit over this area. that's the greatest concern. there are two evacuation centers here. they're at capacity. they told people who came after they filled up, sorry, there's no room here, you'll have to go somewhere else. many of those people decided to return back to their homes, many of the homes in this neighborhood have people who have hunkered down for the night. the real concern of course is that when folks wake up in the morning, they're going to see this storm is sitting on top of victoria and will be continuing to hammer this area. and as bill said, for hours. now, tonight at the request of the texas governor, the president has signed an order releasing the federal funds for the disaster area before the disaster happens. but as we saw earlier with mike si seidel at port lavaca, we saw
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him getting hammered with those winds and those winds are coming here. it's a slow moving storm. for the folks that live in this area, the misery will be that this will continue. it's kind of hard to see in some of the darkness here. but there were some old oak trees, some of them 350 years old in this town, that are probably going to go down. folks told me they got out yesterday and started trying to thin the trees out so that they could get some of those branches out. they know there are going to be problems. the police right now are in the area. they're just patrolling. a curfew is going into effect. that curfew will continue tomorrow into the morning. they don't want people out and about. at the end of the day here, they know that harvey is going to be a rainmaker. there's going to be a lot of wind. and brian, they know there's going to be some long term damage here, something that's going to take the order of weeks for folks to recover, once they get through this. and it's not even here yet. >> they're in for a rough night, rough couple of days.
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kerry sanders, we'll try to come back to you. i want to talk to you about this emergency declaration tonight. thanking our viewers for rolling with us through these stories. we're going to fit in our first break. when we come back, a complete update on the hurricane, complete update on all the stories we're covering in the world of politics and the trump administration, when our special broadcast continues. >> the water has not encroached on 35. it certainly isn't over the lav ack can a bay bridge. no, please, please, oh! ♪ (shrieks in terror) (heavy breathing and snorting) no, no. the running of the bulldogs? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money aleia saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you
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we want to cover a little politics. the last tweet tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern time, 33 minutes ago from the president at camp david. "i am pleased to inform you that i have just granted a full pardon to 85-year-old american patriot sheriff joe arpaio. he kept arizona safe." let's fact check that last claim with our friend charlie sykes, radio talk show host, about to be bestselling author. he's with us from his home state of wisconsin. charlie, i have sesaw you on th reacting to this. i'll ask you for the first time and completely organically, your reaction to this tonight.
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>> well, first of all, what an insult this is to law enforcement. think about this, that you have a law and order president who is using his pardon power to pardon a man who defied the law and court orders in order to violate constitutional rights. this is obviously a political pardon. it is a dog whistle to the base that essentially you are reaching out at the moment when your whole wall, the promise of the wall that mexico is going to pay for is about to fall apart, that you have singled out this man whose career has been all about abusing illegal immigrants but also legal hispanic citizens. but i think the larger point here, and i really want to make this point, everything that nicolle wallace and your other guests have said is absolutely true. the juxtaposition of the hurricane and this particular decision. i do think there's an inflection point here. also, you actually have the
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president signaling that he is prepared to use this unchecked power to essentially say that if i like you and you're a political ally and i can score political point, that i'm going to put you above the law. now, some people may think we're going too far. but this send a signal to the russian investigation and other people involved in this as well, that the president is flexing this muscle, he's trying out this one power for which there are no checks and balances, to say, you know what, i can do this. if i can do it with joe arpaio, and i can skate and get away with this, what signal is he sending to other people who might be caught up in other investigations, in other wrongdoing involving his administration. so this is really an extraordinary moment in this presidency that has had so many extraordinary and stunning moments. >> so you think he is taking the power of the pardon out for a spin, to kind of -- >> yes. dry run. >> -- establish this ability in
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the public mind that this is something you do, especially, what are we, seven months into a term, that he didn't go through the usual just department process we've learned tonight, this was just something cooked up in the west wing. there are counsel at the just department for pardons. they didn't get a piece of this. >> right. one of the things we're learning is, we believe in our constitutional system of government there are checks and balances. but really, it is kind of an honor system when you think about it. the system assumes the president is an honorable person who will use that power in an honorable way. what the president is essentially -- he's really been testing. going down and seeing which doors are unlocked. he's obviously been fascinated with the areas in the constitution where the president is above the law, where there is no check from the judiciary or for congress. and he's using it in this particular case. look, joe arpaio is not -- was not just doing his job.
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he is a caricature of everything that is -- that people say of the bad law enforcement. that's why it's an insult to law enforcement. most people in law enforcement do not engage in these practices, do not abuse citizen rights, do not abuse prisoners, do not engage in the kind of unhinged birtherism and political chicanery. everything that people have said about jo ae arpaio has been pron out by the president of the united states. as you pointed out, the pardon power is virtually absolute. >> charlie, i have to get you on the record with the fact that the president started the day by taking a swing at republican senator bob corker of tennessee. >> right. >> friend of the white house. >> right. >> who very forthrightly, ita
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thought, and cautiously choosing his word very slowly, talked about his concerns over the president a few days back. if you stack up the broad swings the president has taken at people on social media, it's a long list of people of just one party, the president's party. >> right. well, the editorial in "the wall street journal" is that the president divorced the gop congress. look, you're seeing pure donald trump id this week with all the specification about the grownups in the room. senator corker has been a friend to this administration but donald trump has once again proved he is a thin-skinned snowflake. i think it was chris cillizza who ran the numbers and said donald trump has now attacked 20% of the republican senators. think about that. from a strategic point of view, that makes no political sense. if in fact donald trump is
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serious about advancing his agenda, if he's serious about governing, you know, these are self destructive moves. but i do think that donald trump has signaled he's more interested in settling grievances, punching back and launching what appearans to be grievance presidency rather than one where he wants to be judged on his accomplishments. >> that number of senators will be really tough if you attack a member of the home team. thank you very much for hanging out to talk with us late on an august friday night, we appreciate it, have a good weekend. i want to let folks know vaughn hillyard of our team was the first that we know of to contact joe arpaio tonight by telephone and get his first reaction to the news of this pardon. apparently his counsel, arpaio's lawyers were given a heads up
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late this afternoon, let's call it, by white house counsel. they knew this was come. members of the public and viewing audience kind of knew this was coming if you watched the phoenix event. but this is sound from vaughn hillyard's conversation with joe arpaio just tonight. >> i'm very prevent of what the president has done. right now, i have to thank the president for standing by me and standing by law enforcement. and so, very humbled. >> do you feel like you've been vindicated by the president? >> yes. and i think he -- i think he understands my situation. >> joe arpaio reached by phone tonight. again, we are balancing the stories in the world of politics with what you see in the corner of your screen, this massive, sprawling, menacing and dangerous storm that is not
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going to go anywhere for several days. it is going to make textbook landfall tonight, and that's about it. it's going to stay just over land, just off the very fertile gulf waters. they are full of nothing but hurricane energy this time of year. and sadly, millions of people are going to be in its path. that is a high shot at the city of galveston, texas tonight. a lot of folks in a lot of places having a very hard time with this. another break. our coverage will continue after this. ♪ hey, is this our turn? honey...our turn? yeah, we go left right here. (woman vo) great adventures are still out there. we'll find them in our subaru outback. (avo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. get 0% apr financing for 63 months on all new 2017 subaru outback models.
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[ sound of wind blowing ] there was nothing supposed to happen there. we just wanted to show you this. that was jim cantore, our friend from the weather channel, wearing what appears to be a specially fitted weather channel batting helmet and goggles. he is in corpus christi as we return to our coverage of the storm. important to remember, corpus christi is down and to the left. it's a southwest of the folks having the sportiest time with this weather tonight. corpus christi is getting the other side of the eyewall. traditionally, in a hurricane, the upper right, that is where most of the energy goes. that is where they get the toughest ride. our correspondent katy beck has
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been driving around the streets still remaining open tonight in corpus christi. katy, i said earlier tonight, the best news for that metropolitan area, they were off by just a few miles. and kind of like sandy here in new york, this was an intense low. but if it had been a little further south, those bands would have packed the water up into corpus christi bay. and instead, it's on the other side of the storm. i'm not sure that makes people more comfortable tonight. but hopefully it will lessen damage and flooding. >> reporter: yeah, brian, i think that's true. i think there is a sigh of relief for the people living here. that being said, driving around right now, it's pitch black in corpus christi. a lot of power outages as well as structural damage. i'm standing in a burger king parking lot. as you can see behind me, the entire sign was toppled over a
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couple of hours ago in this parking lot. a massive sign that really could have caused some serious threat to life had anyone been underneath of it. fortunately this area has been mostly evacuated since early this morning, not by mandatory order but by voluntary. a lot of people getting out of the way of this storm as these winds come through. now, it's not feeling like we're anywhere close to what was predicted in terms of, you know, 125-mile-an-hour winds. but we're definitely experiencing torrential rain and very heavy wind right now. >> katy beck in corpus christi, thank you very much. sadly, hurricanes love things like burger king signs and cracker barrel signs and the roof over gasoline pumps, among the first things to go when you cover a storm. we're fortunate to be joined tonight by john nielsen gamen, a ph.d. in meteorology, texas a&m
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professor of sciences, and a climatologist. you're the closest thing to an expert on the entire state. did we get it right earlier, that this is going to amount to a stationary waterfall on an already water logged portion of the texas coastline from now until mid-next-week? >> yes, brian, it looks like it could be a very big problem for texas. the strength of a hurricane doesn't really affect how much rain it produces. it's the speed, the forward motion that matters. with this storm stalling out, it looks like we're going to see amounts of rainfall over a widespread area that we really haven't seen before. the best way i can characterize it, if you think of the mississippi river, how much water it's delivering constantly, imagine that happening for five days straight over south central texas.
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then multiply that by 3.5, so the equivalent of 3 1/2 mississippi rivers dumping steadily on that state. that's going to cut off communities. all that water has to go somewhere, we'll see the rivers go out of their banks. >> talk about where we've been fortunate. >> i think what you referred to earlier with the storm missing major metropolitan areas is very good news. if you have a place like galveston with several tens of thousands of people, it takes a long time to evacuate. and with this storm forming right in the backyard over the gulf of mexico, making landfall so quickly, it was a very dangerous storm. we're lucky that it hit a place where there wasn't a large number of people that had to get out of the way. >> what if this is come up into the city of houston, a metropolitan area that large?
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>> we saw houston just barely dodged the bullet with hurricane ike back in 2008 with the storm surge. at this point, we would have seen more demonstration because the storm is a category 4. ike, for all the storm surge it brought was only a strong category 2. it didn't produce a lot of wind damage like what harvey is capable of producing. >> as this meanders and stalls and dances around the coast, we were saying last night the european models looked like a bird's nest. pick your route for this storm. but way too many projections have this kind of taking a hard right and going to houston at the end of a couple of days. as it meanders, is this -- i'm trying to explain it in human terms. will it always kind of have an arm to reach out over the gulf and get as much moisture as it needs to survive and keep
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turning counter clockwise? >> yeah. it's going to be tapping into the moisture from the gulf as well as the moisture it produces in terms of rainfall. the ground is going to be saturated. it's going to create its own moisture supply. some places will see the same water come back again as it evaporates and it's produced as rain following it. following it. the intensity of the storm will weaken as it's over land. trees and less moisture available. but the rainfall will be widespread. there lob pockets of heavy rainfall. those won't be where the storm itself is located. there will be a broad swath of rain with this storm. >> our great thanks to you. from texas a&m helping us explain to our audience what the 28 million residents of the state of texas can expect for their brothers and sisters who live close to the coastline. again, this made landfall
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tonight. about in the last hour as a category 4 storm. it won't stay at that designation. but then again, the wind, the storm surge has never been the greatest danger from this storm. it's been what's about to happen. it is a colossal rainmaker. there are no steering current aloft. normally, it would hook on to a tributary of the jet stream and you've seen hurricanes come up out of the gulf and scoot on out in a high arc that leads them out over bermuda and the cold waters of the north atlantic. they lose their energy. and they die. they end up as a cloud bank over scotla scotland. this one has no such plans because there are no such steering current to take it anywhere but coastal texas. we are looking at a rainey vept that could still be going on
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wednesday of next week. we will get our attention back to the world of politics. it says something about the pace of news we're covering tonight that we have yet to get to the fact that north korea launched three intermediate range missiles tonight. more on all of it when we come right back. my experience with usaa has been excellent. they always refer to me as master sergeant. they really appreciate the military family, and it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle,
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stories. cat 4 hurricane makes landfall in texas on a night when we have a pile of political news. chief among those stories, the pardon tonight by the president of sheriff joe arpaio in arizona. now, for some recent politics, remember that the president has gone after john mccain. remember that the president went after john mccain in his home state for the vote he cast on health care. he also went after the other republican senator from arizona, jeff flake. remember the president in arizona did not mention the "uss mccain" the tragedy on board. the namesake ship for the mccain familiment father and grandfather, who like john mccain currently served this country with distinction in the military. john mccain, arizonan has reacted to the pardon of sheriff
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joe arpaio. we just got this piece of paper. i'll reed it aloud to you. sno one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws presidethey swore to u. mr. arpaio was found guilty of contempt for profiling latinos living in arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge's orders. the president has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law. as mr. arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions. john mccain former p.o.w. in vietnam, former standard bearer for the republican party as you may know is back home in arizona undergoing round one of cancer treatment, including chemotherapy for a recently
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diagnosed glioblastoma. a very aggressive form of brain cancer. john mccain has now spoken. let's talk about all of this news with our panel. with one proviso. in about a minute we're coming to the top of the hour and have to welcome a new audience as our spot news coverage continues tonight. vivian salaam a, matthew nusbaum and endear a remains with us. powerful words from not just any member of the u.s. senate. >> absolutely. he's right to speak out. i'm glad he did. a gop congressman from michigan, justin a mash also tweeted that he was auto appalled that the president would pardon someone who is supposed to be a law enforcement official but who was flagrantly ignoring the fourth amendment, violating it. i don't think this should come as a surprise to us. our own president has repeatedly shown his disrespect for the
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first amendment with his disrespect for the freedom of the press, the way he has threatened the press. not just calling us fake news and we don't love our country. but the way he's threatened to jail reporters. so it's not a surprise. these are two birds of the feather. we were talking about this earlier. >> hold that thought. >> we've reached 11:00 p.m. eastern time. we want to welcome our normal viewers for our broadcast of the 11th hour. somewhat different tonight because we're covering as a matter of breaking news, a category 4 hurricane, hurricane harvey. having made landfall on the coast of texas tonight and a pile of political news on a friday in august from the trump white house. forgive me. >> i just -- no for giving needed. i just wanted to say as journalists, we operate on the basis of fact. i think it's important to remind your viewers and listeners what joe arpaio


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