tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 11, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
amenable. >> oh, my gosh, that's one of the clear dangers to the people of america that this administration is not just ignoring but is working their heads off to exacerbate and make more dangerous. >> tom steyer. thank you. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening. thank you my friend. thanks at home for joining us. lot going on in the news. big show. legendary investigative reporter mark hoezen ball is here from reuters with his latest scoop that answers a mystery about the russia investigation that's been lingering for months now. he's got the goods on it in way that nobody else has been able to get. also jody kantor here live for the interview. "new york times" reporter who broke the news about hollywood megaproducer harvey weinstein and the numerous serious sexual
harassment and assault allegations against him. she broke the story in the "new york times," it's become a supernova in the news. lots of different reporters and news outlets took a shot at that story over the course of a decade. jodi kantor is the one who got it to press. you've seen the impact. there are been increased reports of including ryan zinky. charged taxpayers to fly him on private jets to give inspirational speech to hockey team owned by his biggest contributor and to fly to
awesome sounding snorkeling tour to the virgin islands before the hurricanes hit. also charged zinke to fly to ski resort and alaska. for him to attend republican political fundraisers. member of the cabinet, federal agency, allowed to go to political fundraisers but only on his own time and dime. we the taxpayers are not supposed to be baying for him to do that. so far the republicans shown little appetite for anything. flagrant waste and junkets but congress hasn't shown appetite to police members of the trump
administration over serious stuff like the prospect that some of the trips might have been illegal if they violated the hatch act, bans public officials from having taxpayers fund their political activities. whether or not zinke will face music. you have to admire how he treats this job as boy's adventure. shut down traffic in d.c. to do that. screw you taxpayers, i'm commuting by horse in downtown washington. how awesome is that? then the steakhouse in alaska and pro hockey practice and snorkeling tour. if nothing else trump's interior secretary is making the most of what he could conceivably get
taxpayers to pay for. conceivably will be able to white water raft into his hearing if he gets called to it. and shoot this place up with paintball. but at least the department of the interior has somebody nominally running it even if treating it like best funded cub scout troop. nothing against the cub scouts. in this new administration, largest federal agency in government after defense and veterans affairs is homeland security. there's been nobody running that since july. that's when retired general john kelly left his job as homeland security secretary to instead become the new white house chief of staff. there has been a thrum of reporting over the past few days about what john kelly's job is like these days in the white house. there's been vaguely sourced but
alarming reporting about the extraordinary measures he's had to take to basically constrain the president. in terms of president's access to people and information that he might otherwise seek out and in terms of how john kelly is allowing the president to be seen and who he's allowing him to have contact with. also reporting over the last few days over the prospect that the white house chief of staff job under this president may be impossible one for anybody and john kelly may not be able to stay on longer in his role running the white house. gabe sherman at "vanity fair" added eye-popping details to earlier reports in this short piece at vanityfair.com. citing two sources familiar with the conversation, trump vented to his longtime security chief
keith schiller, quote, i hate everyone in the white house. there are a few exceptions but i hate them. also citing several people close to the president, who have recently described the president as unstable, losing a step and unraveling. gabe sherman says quote west wing aides have also worried about trump's public appearances. one adviser tells sherman white house staff were relieved when he canceled appearance on "60 minutes" last month. he's lost a step. don't want him doing adversarial tv interviews. and in light of the report from early this morning that trump randomly and out of the blue insisted that u.s. should add nuclear weapons. increase by factor of ten the number of nuclear weapons we have on hand, in light of that
reporting, gabe sherman quotes former administration official willing to speculate to a reporter about what the nation may now have in terms of novel nuclear failsaves dealing with this particular president. even inspect lated that kelly and mattis have discussed what they would do in the event trump ordered a nuclear first strike. would they tackle him? the person said. in case that's not unsettling enough, here's how the piece ends. some west wing advisers were worried that trump's behavior would cause the cabinet to take extraordinary constitutional measures to remove him from office. according to two sources, steve bannon told trump that risk to presidency wasn't impeachment but 25th amendment, provision by which majority of the cabinet
can vote to remove the president saying unable to handle the office. president reportedly said in response, what's that? according to a source, bannon has told people he thinks trump has 30% chance of making it through first term. 30% chance of making it. that would make it a 70% chance that trump's only cabinet could remove him from office because he's unable to serve as president or he'll be impeached or he'll quit or i don't know, be removed some other way. that's attributed to former white house chief strategist steve bannon, giving him 30% chance of finishing the term. take that for what you will. bottom line, that's not good, when that's the general character of the leaks attributed -- leaks and comments
attributed to current west wing staffers and former administration officials and people personally close to the president and people who have served as his top advisers. i'm highlighting this reporting specifically because there is something here about what may be about to happen next. quoting from same report, two senior republican officials say chief of staff john kelly is miserable in his job and is only remaining there out of a sense of duty to keep trump from making some disastrous decision. today speculation about john kelly's future increased after politico.com reported that kelly's deputy kirsten nielsen is likely to be named director of homeland security. saying kelly wants to give her a soft landing before his departure from the white house. politico.com was first to report that nielsen would be the new nominee to run homeland security
and nbc news has confirmed she'll be nominated for that job. who knows, maybe that expected nomination does foreshadow, did come about because of some yet to come further drama about more staffers fleeing the administration. maybe that's why it's happening. presumably the white house could keep running even if just president and immediate family right? maybe eric could be chief of staff, could the first lady fill in? i don't know, is tiffany busy? when you have this many senior people leave the administration, you start to wonder, how many do we really need? whole trump organization was like six guys right? who weren't related to the president. how many people do we think he needs to run the federal government?
if further departures are expected, if that's the reason we're about to get homeland security nominee, maybe we're still about to get a homeland security nominee, and you know what, that could matter a lot more than any of the soap opera and palace intrigue and continually unspooling chaos around this president and his unbelievably chaotic impenetrable white house. regardless of why it's going to happen, i don't really care why. if we get homeland security secretary because of that mess and out of that mess, that would be important. if only because it would be really nice for us as country to have someone running the agency that oversees fema for example. fema is part of homeland security. who is running homeland security? nobody since july. today very bad news out of puerto rico. puerto rico, home to 3.5 million
americans, three weeks since hurricane maria made landfall, governor of puerto rico confirmed first deaths on the island he attributed to bacterial disease called leapt ospearosis, a bacterial infection that humans can get using water sources contaminated by animals. humans drinking or in contact with water contaminated by urine from wildlife, particularly rodents, this is the disease you can get. it's treatable but not treated, can kill you. two weeks ago we spoke to the mayor of san juan, puerto rico, told us on air having turned around supplies because she found a mayor that needed them more. mayor in town in puerto rico where people not just hard up like san juan but two weeks ago, telling us about people in other
puerto rican towns, mayor where they had zero access to clean water and already drinking from creeks and streams to stay alive. that's how you get something like leapt sporosis. and this is not us doing investigations, this is me sitting and talking to local officials. puerto rican mayor sounding alarm, letting mainland united states know through the national media as far as back two weeks ago this is what americans were having to do for drinking water, springs and creeks and streams. three weeks into the crisis, still how they have to cope. third of the island with no drinking water as of now. not by choice but necessity, american citizens still drinking from rivers and creeks, springs. collecting rain water.
speak of useful trump cabinet officials. scott pruitt's environmental protection agency put out this hurricane maria update today. did you see this? quote, reports of residents obtaining or trying to obtain drinking water from wells at hazardous waste superfund sites in puerto rico. epa advises against tampering with sealed and locked wells or drinking from these wells. may be dangerous to people's health. imagine if you and your family, american citizens, town is landlocked, penned in, no way out. three weeks out assistance, electricity, water, you can't live without water. so you, for your and your kids and family choosing between death because of lack of water or drinking from a creek or trying to drink from sealed locked well of the epa superfund site.
which would you pick? now we've got confirmation from the top public official on the island that waterborne illness is starting to spike the death toll there. of course it is. that's what happens when people have to drink from creeks and streams for weeks. before the governor's confirmation today had heard reports of deaths suspected to be from leptosporosis, now it's the governor confirming and follows pattern of the overall toll of the disaster. vox.com, even though the death toll reached 48, good reason to suspect real death toll may be considerably higher. well into the hundreds. vox found additional 36 deaths attributed to hurricane who have not been listed in official
death pole. npr reported additional deaths and largest newspaper saying there's bodies stored at medical office, 350 bodies, many of which still awaiting autopsies. president went to puerto rico and threw towels and congratulated them on the death toll. it's now 48. that's not because the hurricane kept hitting. now 48 and continuing to climb. including the first confirmed deaths from treatable waterborne illness. at time we know that whole towns have gone for couple of weeks subsisting on water sources like creeks and streams. yeah a big hurricane, caused huge amount of damage but this is the united states of america, deaths happening now not results of the hurricane but results of
the response to the hurricane, which is an organizational disaster. i can be specific about what that means. death that governor is attributed to leptosporosis, treatable with penicillin and iv antibiotics if advanced case, deaths happened in one of the beleaguered hospitals in puerto rico. you've heard that hospitals have had such trouble. one component of the trump administration's response to this disaster was belatedly send the "uss comfort" down there. incredibly well-equipped floating hospital ship. not sent right away for some reason. hospitals were struggling to find generators and fuel to run them and people dying in intensive care because no power
but finally kpached down there. "usns comfort" is really a miracle. 800 highly trained medical personnel on board. some of the best trained in the world. hundreds of beds. state of the art full service facilities on board. can make clean drinking water and power and provide advanced medical care to hundreds of people at a time. as of monday of this week, two days ago, "usns comfort" was treating seven patients. in total. while people were dying of treatable bacterial infections and having dialysis cut short and turned away from hospitals on the island where the "comfort" is docked. sitting basically unused while americans are dying. great to have containers of food and water and medical supplies
sitting at capital city and port and have the "usns comfort" sitting there ready to serve. but if it's so badly run three weeks in you can't get containers out of the port, dying patients on to the hospital ship that's read roadwy to serve them. problem is not shortage of resources, people's willingness to help, first responders or size of the crisis. problem is who is in charge? who is running this ongoing catastrophe that is the failed response that followed the natural disaster? as of today there is a rumor we may eventually get somebody put in charge of the agency that oversees fema, maybe because of continuing chaos in the white house. maybe that's only happening now
because another senior white house official is going to quit. at this point, who cares why. putting someone in charge is starting to seem like good idea, no matter why they're going to do it. meanwhile the death toll in california fires has risen to 21. many of the worst fires are still burning completely out of control. parts of northern california warnings about the worst ever readings for dangerous air quality. ash is falling from the sky in far-flung corners of the densely populated san francisco bay area. in face of ongoing, lethal and worsening natural disasters, what is happening in washington? president made news at white house invaying against the first amendment saying in oval office it's frankly disgusting that the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.
people should look into it. then threatened to take nbc news off the air by revoking its license to broadcast. not something that actually works that way but we know what he means. source is reportedly the nbc news report that cited three officials in the room saying president springing news on the military leaders that he wants 32,000 nuclear weapons like in the '60s. stockpile is 4,000, he wants 32,000, more than there's ever been presumably because more is more, it's bigger. there are a couple of different kinds of existential threats to the citizens of a country that has unstable or incoherent or corrupted leadership. one of them is one you think about most often in advance when it's hypothetical. imagine the leader create a new
disaster for the country like starting war or launching a nuke on purpose or not, or trying to dismantle other branches of government. that's one potential existential crisis for country with leadership problem. imagine creating new disaster out of whole cloth. other great existential risk is not hypothetical thing to worry about but something that's happening to some scale right now. it's already killing americans. and that's not some sci-fi dystopian thing, it's risk, inevitability that stuff will happen, crises will arise in more or less normal course of events. disaster, have a terrible hurricane season. when that happens won't have basic governing organizational capacity to deal with it.
not a sci-fi hypothetical dystopian risk, that is what we're living through right now. what americans are dying because of right now in puerto rico. oh, not so fast, carl. ♪ oh no. schwab, again? index investing for that low? that's three times less than fidelity... ...and four times less than vanguard. what's next, no minimums? ...no minimums. schwab has lowered the cost of investing again. introducing the lowest cost index funds in the industry with no minimums. i bet they're calling about the schwab news. schwab. a modern approach to wealth management.
pro--putin interests. then running the presidential nominee's campaign. intriguing question how and why. been told that close trump friend wanted paul manafort to help trump campaign deal. included these words, i'm not looking for a paid job. that was key to being hired. i'm affordable outsider. don't have to spend anything on me. don't ask why i want to do it for trfree, okay? but appears the bridge was billionaire friend of trump. tom barrack. he's given a fairly heartfelt interview about relationship with the president.
talking about paul manafort going from obscurity in the soviet union, former, to running campaign to be president. said tom barrack wanted him. but tells the story other way around. quoting fr quoting fr quoting from post said he wanted to navigate what they expected to be a contentious affair. i really need to get to donald trump mr. manafort said according to tom barrack. maybe this helps us understand it. maybe it was paul manafort who was desperately trying to join the campaign. not sought out but launched
himself to get to the republican fro frontrunner. did join the campaign. may running whole campaign and july showing up in dossier where he was alleged to be part of a quote, well-developed conspiracy of cooperation between the trump campaign and russian leadership, managed by republican candidate's manager manafort. for the record he stridently denies that allegation but seems important to know how he came to be in charge of the trump campaign, given where he's been before. that partial explanation or alternate explanation how it happened comes from interview with tom barrack in "the washington post" and comes as reuters veteran reporter mark ho
hoez hoez hoezen ball got. that story in next. senball got. that story in next. next. s next. when it comes to heartburn trust the brand doctors trust for themselves. nexium 24hr is the number one choice of doctors and pharmacists for their own frequent heartburn. and all day all night protection. when it comes to frequent heartburn, trust nexium 24hr.
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if you're raising your kids to be investigative reporters someday, mark hosenball is one of the textbook entries you'll be consulting for what it means to be investigative reporter and why it's worth it. national security reporting after 9/11 for example is and will be taught in journalism schools for the rest of the time any of us are alive.
he's real deal and today he nails down something important in relatively low profile report for reuters. three congressional committees fighting among themselves over the trump russia dossier put together by christopher steele, former british spy under auspices of dcs. key republican members of congress working to undermine the dossier and intelligence officer who put it together. we know it's been subject of congressional investigation. mark hosenball documents how some republicans are trying to undermine it and turn it into a scandal. valuable stuff. but there's a very specific part of this we've been trying to suss out for months. trying to figure out if any of the investigation in the dossier thus far has disproven any of
the claims in the dossier. know they're looking into it, fighting about it, partisan fighting about it. but while looking into it, has there been a conclusion in the committees that anything in the dossier is false? we've been trying to figure it out for months. democratic senator sheldon whitehouse is on the committee. one of them doing investigation. privy to what they're learning and he goes on the record with mark hosenball today. this is what he said, quote, as i understand it, a great deal of his information, in the dossier, remains unproven but none of it has been disproven and consider amounts of it have been proven. oh, really? tell me more. joining us is mark hosenball, national security correspondent
for reuters. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> keyed in on this quote because we've been trying to figure out if any of the investigations that have followed the dossier or tried to problematicize the dossier have found parts that are definitely not true. is he asserting he knows it hasn't been disproven or not in position it has? >> i think he's asserting he knows it's not been disproven. certainly bits of it denied by characters. trump has denied salacious bits about his unconventional behavior in moscow during the miss world competition in 2013. also trump's lawyer michael cohen has emphatically denied an
allegation that he went to prague and met with people there. certainly no proof i'm aware of has surfaced to prove he was in prague. people i know who have worked on this in government are willing to accept the possibility he was. perhaps he was. i don't think what's the name steele supporters have abandoned that. certainly it's possible to get to prague from over land in the european union without using a passport across a bunch of country lines. so i don't think anything in the dossier's been conclusively disproven. some parts have been confirmed. carter page, suing everyone in sight, was in moscow at the time
steele said he was there. whether he met the people steele says he met is unclear. denied some of it but at the same time it has been established he was under investigation with the fbi i believe because he was in contact with russian undercover spy, officer of a bank based in the united states or bank office based in the united states. some of this is certainly true. and there's certainly a lot of people in the intelligence community who believe the basic point of the dossier. from what i can tell, the dossier itself really touched off this entire investigation into trump and russia. and remains kind of the spine of both investigations by intelligence agencies, fbi and at least senate intelligence committee, which is why two other committees in congress, house intelligence committee and
senate judiciary committee seem to be devoting energy and resources to try to discredit it. >> do you get the sense from your reporting and what you know that real investigatory work is happening on the committees? any of them? >> i have no doubt that senate intelligence committee is conducting a serious investigation into the allegations that trump was somehow manipulated or compromised by russia or russia somehow manipulated the election. i also know that senate judiciary committee is conducting a rather aggressive investigation into christopher steele and his associates to apparently try on the demonstrate somehow that fbi misused steele's dossier when seeking some warrants to do surveillance on people in investigation.
clearly congressman devon nunez, even though removed from investigation related to steele and russia is still conducting his own personal investigation related to steele and only yesterday sent subpoenas to fusion gps, a washington private investigations research firm which hired christopher steele to gather information on trump initially for a republican supporter i believe of jeb bush, then later for the clinton campaign. committees are doing things but not necessarily things that complement each other shall we say. >> mark hosenball, national security correspondent for reuters, i respect your work and have for a long time. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. jodi kantor, "new york times" reporter who broke the harvey weinstein story after many tried and failed.
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told him to stop or else. told mr. weinstein would go public or initiate legal action unless he changed his behavior. in response his company sprung into action. 25-year-old assistant confronted weinstein directly, one of the entertainment lawyers got sent to london to offer a settlement. the company will pay you money to make this go away. that's one way to make it go away. how about taking it up with the company, directly in writing? young woman, executive at company, seen other employees quitting for years. because of alleged behavior. she had her own experience of it, wrote it up in scorching detail. memo made it to board of directors of the company, one member insisted that lawyer outside the company should look into it, see if allegations are
true. but no. instead of investigating, paid her a cash settlement and sent her out the door. at least eight women got settlements, most agreed to confidentiality clauses to keep them quiet about the things they said they knew about harvey weinstein. one accuser tried talking to the cops. groped by weinstein in 2015. went to nearest police station. police wired her and sent her back. recorded a conversation in which he continued to have harassed her and explained his groping the day before. back to the cops. police took the tape recording and nothing. local authorities dropped the case. go to harvey weinstein himself, go to the company, go to the police. finally how about going to the press? we had ronan farrow on the show,
new yorker pushed the story further this week and published the audio story. told us the tactics didn't stop when women left the company. victims he talked to got harassing phone calls from weinstein's lawyers to keep them from talking to him. one had dramatic effect. one source farrow spoke with was threatened with legal action if spoke on the record, withdrew from the piece after previously being willing. ronan also threatened and also true of the new yo"new york tim" first to report out. when the bombshell dropped, opened up a spigot of stories from alleged victims still flowing today. this story, first on record account of alleged abuse against
women spanning decades. all along a story about alleged abhorrent behavior and victims. he's denied allegations of nonconsensual sex or retaliation against women for refusing advances, board has denied knowledge of alleged conduct. but beyond record of the alleged behavior, this in ongoing way is story about time after time women coming forward for years, finding all sorts of ways to raise red flags and all the different ways they were silenced, paid off and bullied into going away. until finally that stopped working. joining us now, jodi kantor, investigative reporter who broke this story last week. congratulations. >> thank you. great to be here. >> how come you were able to break this story after so many years of so many different people trying and failing it to get to print. >> can't talk about other
reporting but little bit about ours. "times" had a huge commitment to reporting. did stories and had a playbook on how to figure these stories out. and also the fact we reported so hard on settlements helped us. able to find legal and financial trail that became almost the ladder we were climbing in the story. normally settlements do, as you described, hush people up. right? involve using money to make things go away. but we found there was that legal and financial record that said something happened here. not conviction in court of law but a lot of money paid to lot of women over the years and some sort of trail. even though in stories of course want brave women to go on the record, also want a lot of other
forms of proof. internal company memos you described. settlement accounts, and women speaking personally about what they experienced. in a way our story not just abo the harassment allegations but the cover-up again and again. >> and it's -- which makes it a corporate story which makes it a systemic story, but also, you're sort of unraveling the playbook of how things are hidden in industry talking about powerful people accused of these kind of things. >> the system seems so broken. settlements are kind of a society's way of dealing with sexual harassment and settlements mean the clauses that the women who have these allegations can't tell anybody about what happened. >> right. >> they can't warn other people whereas the people who are accused of harassment, they get to pay money and the record is wiped clean. >> not their money that's being paid. >> not that much money. if you look at what we were able to find that weinstein paid,
$800,000, $100,000. this is compared to movies making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. >> jody, can you stay there for a second? >> yes. >> we'll be back after this. utr, not just being in the military, but at home. she thinks she's the boss. she only had me by one grade. we bought our first home together in 2010. his family had used another insurance product but i was like well i've had usaa for a while, why don't we call and check the rates? it was an instant savings and i should've changed a long time ago. there's no point in looking elsewhere really. we're the tenneys and we're usaa members for life. usaa. get your insurance quote today.
>> of course. >> one of the things i was struck by in your follow-up piece in "the times" was the damage you describe to women's careers when women were able to get away, resist, rebuff these advances and these attacks somehow. that's always the implicit threat in any sexual harassment situation and in this case it feels like a threat a lot of women say was carried out and forced out because of saying no. is that litigatible? does that pave the way for there to be a court-ordered remedy here? >> that's a really hard question. i would say that the social and legal deaf anythings of sexual harassment are all over the place. if you talk to people about this reporting, like, even when i did this reporting, people don't agree on a common definition of sexual harassment. even with casting couch stuff. a lot of hollywood people will diminish it saying, oh yeah, he chased her around a desk once
and then the description by the woman is terrifying and legally there's confusion. the supreme court definition of sexual harassment is severe and pervasive. when's to say whether a court of law -- i would be fascinated to see how a court of law would treat the kinds of charges that we reported. >> will it make a difference and how important was it in your reporting to find the way that the company was involved? the assistants were involved. other executives, lawyers were involved. both in knowing that this was happening, witnessing it, also making it go away. >> i think we have to raise the question of complicity because there is essentially a chilling description that emerges from this reporting of weinstein having a system. look. plenty of actresses in hollywood will tell you, okay, there's like casual sexual harassment. i had an unwelcomed hand on my thigh, you know, a leering comment at an audition, a producer hit on me at a bar.
this was something different according to our sources. what they allege is that weinstein essentially constructed a system of harassment that -- and as was reported alsoal gags of sexual assault basically constructed around, you know, all of these logistics to get women alone. >> all involved other people. >> all solved other people, company assistants, hotels, essentially creating the appearance of work meetings. but in fact, when the women got into what were explicitly designated work meetings they said that something very different happened inside. >> jody canter from "the new york times" who broke this story, congratulations. i know it was a daunting thing to approach if only because of the other people that tried to get there before you and didn't and you did and broke it open and deservedly huge story. congratulations. >> thank you. >> thank you. we'll be right back.
this is one of those nights when a reporter ends up featured in great detail at the top of my show. gabe sherman. the new eye popping reporting on the white house and "vanity fair" tonight and then, and then, this same reporter turns up live with my colleague lawrence o'donnell in the very next hour on this network. so that does it for me tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow and meantime you must stay because "the last word" starts right now and he is talking to gabe sherman. good evening. >> good evening. it's what we call team work here in prime time. >> yeah. >> rachel, i was watching your coverage of the latest in the harvey weinstein thing and this story is now mushrooming and every day. >> yeah. >> just moving in directions that you couldn't even anticipate a couple of days ago and it's hard to say where it is next week. >> well, just the number of women coming forward, you know, hour by hour, especially om