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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 13, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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sometimes three jobs. they sacrifice every day for the furniture and future of their children. >> as we said, these things are tricky tools of our trade. that's our broadcast for a friday night and for this week. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. the last 24 hours has been a weird whiplash news cycle. late last night the administration announced suddenly that it will deliberately throw a wrench into the american health care system. a policy change from the administration that didn't have to go through congress. it will have the effect of costing the government about $200 billion over the next ten years. in, change for spending that extra taxpayer money, there
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will be an estimated 1 million americans who will lose their health insurance coverage all together because of this change. and health insurance costs are likely to go up for everyone. so that's worth paying for, that's a heck of a bargain. this is not repeal or replace when it comes to obamacare, this is just paying a lot of taxpayer money to make the health care system work more poorly and cost more and insure fewer people. sure, why not? that news from late last night. and that was followed today by the president flinging another wrench into the iran nuclear deal. that nuclear deal was not just between the united states and iran but between all of the countries and the u.n. security council and the eu and germany and iran. the president's remarks today making clear that he doesn't think the united states should be party to that agreement anymore, even if everybody else is staying in it. he said he's basically against the deal and followed by the state department coming out and saying, don't believe those silly tv headlines you might be seeing saying we're abandoning the iran nuclear deal.
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those silly tv headlines were written by people who were writing down what the president said. but the state department says don't pay any attention to that. like i said, it's been kind of a whiplash 24 hours. we'll get expert help on both of the stories over the course of the hour. we have a big leap forward on what we think is a spy story, it's an intriguing kind of murky story we've been following since this summer. there's a big leap forward tonight. we'll bring that to you this hour as well. we'll start tonight with a scoop. we're going to start tonight with a scoop from nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel. it's about paul manafort, the trump campaign chairman. today we learned that the man who was the republican party chairman for the last several years, who was the republican party chairman during the presidential campaign, reince
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priebus, reince priebus we learned today was just interviewed by robert mueller, by the special counsel investigating the russia attack on last year's election and the question of whether or not the trump campaign may have been in on that attack. we were told a couple of weeks ago mueller's investigators were going to start interviewing white house officials and former white house officials. apparently last week they started those interviews with keith kellogg, the chief of staff of the national security council. and today they have done their interview with former rnc chair and white house chief of staff reince priebus. his lawyer telling the "new york times," it was a voluntary interview. just for a second you should stick a pin in the question of who is paying for that lawyer who gave that statement to the "new york times" tonight? who's paying for reince priebus' lawyer who informed reporters
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reince priebus had just had this interview with the mueller investigators. it's not the most important thing in the world but it would be truly amazing if the rnc which reince priebus ran for six years, was paying the legal fees on the russia investigation for donald trump and donald trump jr. but not paying legal fees for reince priebus who ran the organization for six years. as far as we know, we can't verify that anybody is getting their russia legal fees paid for by the rnc other than 2 billionaire men named donald trump jr. and senior. so i don't know who's paying for reince priebus' lawyer, but he has a lawyer. we'll stick a pin in that factor for a moment. he was able to have this conversation with mueller and the investigators in the context of a voluntary interview. mueller's investigation has taken a very different approach when it comes to the trump
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campaign chairman paul manafort. this summer in july used a no-knock search warrant to raid his home in virginia and told paul manafort that they are going to indict him and he should expect that indictment. if that's true and they are going to indict him, we don't know what they will indict him for or when. theoretically it's possible they already have indicted him, we just don't know about it. whatever his legal troubles are, richard engel's scoop tonight for "nbc nightly news" shows why paul manafort has been a glow in the dark target for investigators looking into the matter. richard's scoop has to do with the relationship between paul manafort and this guy, a billionaire russian oligarch. the way that works in his case, the soviet union used to own and state control a massive industry for the production of aluminum in the soviet union.
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now that the soviet union is no more, somehow that whole industry belongs to oleg personally. that's how the oligarch thing works there. he is not to be not just loyal to but very close to vladimir putin and sees no separation between his own interests and any interest of the russian state. he reportedly cannot get a visa to visit the united states because of what u.s. officials believe to be his ties to organized crime. he contests that but it's almost more interesting to know that the russian government has treated that issue as a matter of state concern. they have repeatedly brought up his personal visa situation as a priority issue for the russian government in the dealings with the united states government. so he is connected, capital "c" connected.
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in paul manafort's life, he has been a recurring and interesting presence. he was a major backer of the pro-putin political party that paul manafort worked for in ukraine for years, the work for which he belatedly registered as a foreign agent for this summer. and worked on his funded political projects in the nation of georgia and montenegro. it has a few things about it that really go right to the heart of what mueller is investigating in the special counsel's office. if you want to know overall if the trump campaign was aware of russia messing in our election and helping with that or complicit in that in some way,
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then paul manafort and his connections, they keep coming up as soon as you scratch the surface of the timeline here and the characters involved. in march, for example, the associated press reported that he entered into a contract in 2006, a $10 million a year contract for paul manafort to advance the interest of vladimir putin's government around the world. the ap reported that in march. paul manafort and oleg denied that. that's one. here's another. they are also now famously connected by a series of e-mails first reported by "the washington post" this past month and further reported on by the
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"atlantic" magazine. in the e-mails he appears to have offered private briefings on the u.s. presidential election to oleg deripaska, offered private briefings while he was serving as trump's campaign manager. on july 7th, last year in the e-mails two weeks before trump accepted the republican nomination, manafort was e-mailing his old business associate in ukraine to tell oleg deripaska, quote, if he needs private briefings, we can't accommodate. by the end that month, end of july last summer, manafort's colleague wrote back telling him he had a five-hour long conversation with deripaska and i have several important messages from him to you. he asked me to go and brief you on our conversation.
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it has to do about the future of his country and is quite interesting. his country being russia. so while paul manafort is running the trump campaign, he's conducting private briefings and receives a visitor, his business colleague from ukraine because he says he's bearing important messages for manafort for the russian connected oligarch, about the future of russia. that meeting happens in august while manafort is still running trump's campaign. intriguingly, manafort seems desperate to convert his standing as trump's campaign manager into something oleg deripaska might value. from the e-mails, quote, i assume you have shown our friends my media coverage. has ovd's operation seen how do we use to get whole? and we don't know what paul nan
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-- manafort said when he was hoping to get whole with deripaska, thanks to his job running the trump campaign. what can you do that will help you get whole with a russian billionaire? whatever that means, would seem to point to the third major point of connection which makes manafort and his relationship with the russian guy glow in the dark for this investigation. that relationship, that part of their relationship, of course, is the money part. we know from previous reporting that deripaska sued paul manafort in 2015 for $19 million. that was money that manafort was going to invest for deripaska but something went wrong with the investments and deripaska lost his money and for a time he was not even able to con manafort and sued to try to get the money back we also know from previous reporting that manafort appears to have needed to put his hands on cash money in short order last year after he got booted off the trump campaign, after he left the campaign in
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august, he appears to have taken about $20 million in cash as loans from various entities. using his real estate holding as collateral to get that cash. these included a strange cash lone from a small chicago bank run by a trump supporter. the cash that little bank loaned to manafort was a huge proportion of the bank's asset, like a quarter of their lendable capital and nobody knows why a bank like that would have been making that gigantic loan to manafort. a small bank based in chicago and run by a veteran and their business caters to veterans, former service members, paul manafort is not a veteran but they gave him a quarter of their lendable assets in a hurry? something was going on in paul manafort's life where he needed
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a lot of cash. and he got a lot of cash from a lot of different entities very fast. and if he, as a guy who was having cash flow troubles at the time, it's always seemed a little weird when he took the trump campaign chairman job, he specifically offered to take it for free. if he needed to scramble to put his hands on that much cash that fast, why was he looking for an unpaid job. he offered he didn't want to be paid for his work on trump's campaign. we also know from an interview published in the "washington post" just this week. contrary to earlier reports that trump's friends had sought out paul manafort and offered him as a good choice to run trump's campaign. contrary to that earlier reporting, actually it was apparently paul manafort sought out the trump campaign, telling tom barrack, "i really need to
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get to trump." why? now richard engel filled in a piece of the financial picture that puts manafort and this large russian billionaire in a much more intense spotlight. the "new york times" previously reported that manafort and deripaska used the offline banking in cyprus, made a $7 million loan or payment of some kind to a company run by manafort, $7 million. well now tonight, richard engel reports at nbc news that that same company connected to deripaska in cyprus, it didn't just shovel $7 million to manafort, richard found another $26 million that was loaned from this company controlled by deripaska to a company controlled by manafort. it's a loan but there's no
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specific date on which he has to pay the loan back. so this is a major update to previous reporting about this financial relationship between the trump campaign manager and russia during the campaign. it's apparently not $7 million before the campaign. it's more like $33 million. and then, combine that $33 million with another $26 million that a court filing says deripaska appeared to have shoveled to manafort as a private equity fund. some sort of investment plan. you add those together with all of this new money that richard has found and total amount of money he appears to have received in one way or another from this russian billionaire linked to vladimir putin is on the order of $60 million. which is starting to seem like real money. and again, we don't know if these things that look like loans on paper were actually loans and, therefore, manafort
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had to pay all that money back. it's possible they were made to look look loans, but they weren't really loans and this was deripask giving manafort this much money. if that was the case, what was he giving him that money for? here's the detail in this story that to me was the gulp moment. when richard and his team first started working on the story they sent a request for comment to paul manafort's spokesman, jason malonely, he himself has been subpoenaed, which is kind of unusual. when he responded to nbc's request for comment, he sent a statement to nbc that was several sentences long and it included this. it included this, mr. manafort is not indebted to former clients today nor was he at the time he began working for the trump campaign. okay.
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not indebted nor was he when he was working for the trump campaign. later on, manafort spokesman told nbc news he wanted to revise his statement. he sent a new statement to nbc news that included all of the other things he said before but he dropped that line. he dropped that line, mr. manafort is not indebted to former clients today nor at the time he began working for the trump campaign. manafort claimed he wasn't and then he stopped claiming that. we don't know the overall status in the investigation. we don't know how much further they have to go or how high they are aiming in terms of who may be the targets. they are interviewing white house staff including the former chairman and white house chief of staff reince priebus today. we do know they have told the campaign chairman to expect to be indicted. but if this new nbc report from richard engel is correct,
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anybody following the money between the trump campaign and russia, while russia was attacking our election, may have just found the pot of gold or the pot of ious that was sitting at the end of this little rainbow. richard engel joins us next. there's a denture adhesive that holds strong until evening. fixodent plus adhesives. just one application gives you superior hold even at the end of the day fixodent. strong more like natural teeth.
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bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. using official company records from several countries, we were able to trace two loans, one for about $26 million and another for about $7 million, made by a company owned by deripaska to two companies linked to manafort in cyprus, they in turn lent $27 million to a delaware company named after manafort's two daughters. in total, at least $60 in loans from deripaska landed in accounts connected to manafort. >> $60 million.
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that exclusive reporting about the trump campaign chairman and his previously undisclosed financial ties to a russian oligarch breaking tonight from nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. that was a piece of his report. and we have been doing this -- particularly chasing this cypress angle for some time and came out with this report tonight and we'll be having more reports to come. >> what do you think overall is the significance of this scoop you got. as you said, this followed some of your own reporting, some
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good -- it's almost like -- thanks for being with us and i guess it just goes back to following the money. a lot of people are doing that. the "new york times" has done great reporting and we have been doing this particular chasing this cyprus angle for some time and came out with this report tonight and more reports to come. >> what do you think overall is the significance of this scoop you got? as you said this follows previous reporting, some of your own reporting from the "new york times" about these offshore overseas accounts. it seems like cyprus was almost incidental, but this is a lot more money than we ever knew was being transacted between this putin linked oligarch and the trump campaign chair. >> it's a lot more and i think for the first time we have a pretty clear chain of events and let's just start with this company owned by deripaska, we know that because he disclosed to the stock exchange in hong kong that this particular entity was fully owned by himself. this company, the deripaska company loans -- makes two loans, one for about $7 million and other for $26 million. the $7 million is the one the "new york times" talked about. let's leave that aside. the $26 million is the one we're talking about now, that's the new reporting. so that loan is made to a manafort linked company in cyprus and at some stage, it's happened -- the loan is for 2012. that same manafort linked company in cyprus -- maybe it's not the same money -- takes amount the same amount and reloans it to another manafort linked company, that one called just and. and the reason the name is jessica and andrea, the name of manafort's daughters and they together bought a new york payment for $2.5 million. when you look at this together and see a $26 million loan from deripaska's company to a
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manafort company in cyprus. and then another to a company named after manafort's daughter which in the past has been used to buy real estate for members of his family, i think you get a much clearer picture of what we're talking about instead of some sort of complicate d offshore finances. >> richard, is it clear to you if these are actual loans, if this is money that deripaska is shifting to manafort and expecting it back? they are listed -- you make clear in the reporting they are listed as loans. is it possible these aren't loans, just a money transfer and designed to look like a loan for tax purposes or some other convenient financial reason? >> reporter: so we've spoken to experts, people, former experts at the department of justice, and they say that using loans look this and particularly self-loans is a tool used by mon mon
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launderers and raises flags. we don't know if they were loans or payments. there were no indication they were paid back. they were unsecured loans. meaning there was no collateral put up according to the documents that we have, which were the accounting documents an audit of the cyprus linked company and payable on demand. no specific time line when it was to be paid back as well. frankly, either way it's troubling, if they were direct payments from a putin linked oligarch to manafort, that's one thing. if he's indebted to the tune of tens of millions, that's also troubling but at this stage we really don't know. >> richard engel, chief foreign correspondent, thank you for helping us understand this. i know that financial stuff is complicated but you've been able to trace this in a clear way. congratulations. thanks, richard. all right. $60 million. all right, we promised some expert help on these two big policy changes that the president just flung out the
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the trump administration has passed no significant legislation much of any kind. there's maybe one exception to that. last night we talked about the bill to impose sanctions on russia for interfering in our election. that bill was passed by both houses of congress with gigantic bipartisan margins and even though president trump was
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opposed to the bill, he be grudgingly signed it anyway. i should mention even though that piece of legislation did pass and did get signed into law, once it was law, the president ignored it. he signed it into law but then he just let the deadline pass for imposing sanctions on russia for messing in our election. he never did anything. so he did sign one significant law but then he ignored it. and that's it really. that's pretty much all that has been done when it comes to legislation and this new administration. and whatever anybody thought about the new president coming into office, especially with one party control of the white house and senate and house, i think nobody expected that he would have passed nothing ten months into his time in office. i think it may be as much as of a shock to trump supporters to see this presidency only advance one idea so far, to only actually take action to accomplish one category of
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things so far. the only thing this administration has actively pursued and done anything about is to undo things done by president obama, no matter what they were. president obama moved to shield the d.r.e.a.m.ers from deportation, trump is stopping that. president obama negotiated the trans pacific partnership trade deal to outmaneuver china economically, trump is stopping that. president obama played a key role in negotiating the 195 country paris climate accord. trump is pulling us out of that. president obama started normalizing relations with cuba, trump is stopping that. president obama's clean power plan, kill it. president obama's rule to keep seriously mentally ill people from buying guns, kill that.
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covered by health insurance, kill that. the obama flood protection rule so we don't build critical infrastructure -- kill that. it's not like we're ever going to have a flood again. president obama played a key role in getting the deal between the five members of u.n. plus germany and eu to limit iran's nuclear program. everybody else is still on board. trump today started to pull us out from that. although republican congress has now given up on trying to repeal and replace the affordable care act, trump last night announced a new policy to try to wreck the health insurance market, to throw a million americans off health insurance, to make health costs go up for everyone, and to spend $200 billion taxpayer dollars to do that. and you can take apart any one of those decisions on their own at a policy level. what i want to know, though, is
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have we ever had a president who pursued nothing of his own legislatively? nothing. have we ever had a president -- whether or not they had complete control of congress -- have we ever had a president whose only action as president for the first ten months was only to try to undo everything done by the previous president? is that also an unprecedented thing about the trump era. joining us now is michael beschloss. it's great to have you with us, thank you for being here tonight. >> thanks, rachel. of course. >> has this happened before? >> no. in a word. you look, roosevelt ran against hoover and roosevelt said i did i agree -- i disagree with the
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way hoover is dealing with the great depression. roosevelt won and he brought about the new deal, this huge amount of federal programs to try to improve people's lives. ronald reagan in 1980 said i disagree with jimmy carter in all sorts of ways and came into office, it was a revolutionary change and tax and defense spending and other things, but it wasn't this -- it's almost as if donald trump when he was running and even during this first year, the centerpiece of this administration is i loathe barack obama and all he stands for and i'm going to be the opposite. >> i feel like in trying to understand trumpism and where president trump came from not just as an individual but in terms of this moment in american history, i feel like there has been a sort of quasiintellectual argument that maybe the two parties were not so similar but so locked in place in terms of partisan combat and american policy making and partisan combat had become so predictable and gridlocked that maybe having a meteor strike, maybe having somebody really from outside that system, even if there was something destructive in terms of his agenda and democratic norms, it would at least shake things up and make things happen in a different way.
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we would start looking at politics and possibilities of legislation with sort of a different number line. >> that's right. >> this feels like the opposite of that is happening. >> right. that was his argument, that bring me in and i'll get all sorts of things done because i'm going to do it a different way. remember what paul ryan said at the beginning of all of this. he said, welcome to united republican government, look at all of the things you'll see happen. they haven't happened. >> in terms of the -- i don't know if this is personal. i do know that there is an unusual and singular focus of what president trump and republicans in congress have accomplished. they have undone obama administration initiatives full stop, that's really all they've done. i don't know if that's personally motivated. but should we expect a personal response from the previous president when other presidents have come in and made a real issue about their immediate predecessor's record or tried to
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undo things close to the legacy issues, do you see previous presidents rise back up and resurface into public life? >> sure, eisenhower, for instance, campaigned in the 1962 mid-term elections when he felt that kennedy was criticizing him and turn back things he had done. you'll see that with barack obama. he's going to campaign for ralph northam in virginia very soon, and i guarantee you'll see him in the mid-term election doing the same kind of thing next year. if you look at history, especially the last 100 years, never the kind of personal animosity you see from donald trump towards his predecessor. there's nothing like it. >> michael beschloss, nbc news presidential historian. thank you. appreciate you being here. >> thank you, rachel. be well. >> busy news night tonight. stay with us.
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a few weeks ago the president was campaigning for luther strange, the appointed republican senator who ended up losing a seat in the primary down there, even though the president tried to help him out. while the president was in alabama campaigning for luther strange, the president's thoughts drifted to nuclear weapons and briefly to math. >> it's amazing the way all of a sudden missile defense system sounds so good and by the way, these systems, i watch them and see what's being developed. they are taking out rockets that are going so fast it's -- and the percentage of success is so high, it's so brilliant what we
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can do so that we can do what we have to do to have a safe country. >> the percentage of success is so high. the ceo of the truman national security project is a man named mike breen, he was apparently watching the speech when the president drifted into that topic. this is his reaction, he said, oh [ bleep ] -- we blurred it out -- oh [ bleep ] he thinks it actually works. >> maybe the president is enjoying all of the taunting of north korea on the nuclear thing. maybe he's doing that because he thinks it would be actually no problem if they did shoot a nuclear weapon on a missile at someone, including us. maybe he thinks he would be super easy to shoot it down. it's not a risk. i raise that because apparently the president wasn't just getting carried away with fan at a sizing about the high success in alabama, he said it again
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this week. >> we build the greatest military equipment in the world. we have missiles that can knock out a missile in the air 97% of the time. if you send two of them, it's going to get knocked out. >> in reality, we're like ten of 18 since 1999 in tests of the missile defense system that he appears to be talking about. we do hit the target some of the time. that one we just showed in may, the test over the pacific, it hit. yup. and mathwise, 10 out of 18 is sort of not bad for what's essentially trying to catch a bullet with another bullet but 10 out of 18 is not 97% of the time. it's nowhere near what the president has been saying and describing when he gets asked about north korea. so i have a nuclear question. is it possible that the president is playing the game he's playing with north korea and maybe even playing the game he's playing with iran and their nuclear program in part because someone once told him some
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missile defense happy talk, wildly optimistic numbers that made him believe that nuclear missiles aren't actually dangerous anymore? is it possible he's playing the kind of political games he's playing because he doesn't think there's a real risk because he thinks missile defense is magic. nuclear question one and nuclear question two, did he actually blow up the iran deal today? if so, is that dangerous? joe, thank you for being here. >> my pleasure, rachel. >> nuclear question one, does the president have a wildly optimistic view of missile defense? >> yes. and what worries mike breen, war vet, two tours of duty, is that if your manneders think that they actually have a system that can protect you, they might commit troops under the illusion that they can defeat the enemy's counterstrike or might commit
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troops to korea thinking that you can protect korea or japan or the united states. you cannot. there's not a snowball's chance in hell we can shoot down a long range ballistic missile from a determined -- >> when he said that in alabama, he had numbers. he said it's a 97% possibility and therefore if you send two, you're guaranteed you'll be able to knock 'em down, look it's an impenetrable shield. do you even know what he was referring to? even if he is incorrect?
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>> i do. there has been some testimony years ago by proponents of the missile defense system that cited numbers saying, if you do this, shoot four of the interceptors at each ballistic missile you have a 97% chance of knocking them down. turns out that's not true but some people did say it. >> that was four interceptors. >> not one, not two. you have to do four. >> glen kesler in the "washington post" took this apart in today's edition. quoting experts and showing why the math is wrong, why those assumptions are wrong and that we have some of these missiles that -- the missile interceptors we depend on. we know they have faulty circuits in them. we know the kill vehicle in some of the gmds in alaska. we know if we fire them they won't work. you can't count on a third of the force. >> do you believe, if he has got that kind of specific misunderstanding. do you believe that may be one of the things that is under -- undergirding the kinds of decisions he has made on nuclear decisions. the kind of decisions he has made on nuclear policy both around north korea but also this iran deal announcement today? >> yes. he wants to assure the american public that, even though he is being aggressive and tough, he can protect us. he will protect us.
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and that's what he is talking to his crowd about. that's what he is bragging about a couple days ago. don't worry. i got this. it's dangerous territory. >> our msnbc nuclear security president of the ploughshares fund, thank you. always talking to you about super scary stuff. you're so nice about it. we'll be right back. stay with us. braden: so, i was at mom and dad's and found this.g) cds, baseball cards. your old magic set? (sigh) and this wrestling ticket. which you still owe me for. seriously? $25?
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i didn't even want to go. ahh, your diary! "mom says it is totally natural..." $25 is nothing. (alert beep) abracadabra, bro. pay back a friend day is october 17th. get the bank of america mobile banking app today.
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♪ if you could book a flight, then add a hotel, or car, or activity in one place and save, where would you go? expedia we finally got it. after all this time we have been following the story for months now with no way to make heads nor tails of it. we finally got something.
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it was august 9th. cbs radio was first to report, vaguely, cryptically on u.s. diplomats showing symptoms of something in cuba. later that day, the ap flushed it out a little bit and said americans working for the u.s. government in cuba had suffered hearing loss. then over the next several weeks, the list of injuries got worse and scarier. not just hearing lost but permanent hearing loss. also mild traumatic brain injury, central nervous system damage, headaches, dizziness, memory loss. by the end of august, the state department confirmed that 16 u.s. diplomats had been hurt. state department officials at the time said they had no idea why. they did, though, say they were sure it was over. they said the incidents are no longer occurring. that was august 24th. eight days later, the incidents were occurring again. the state department said the number of sick diplomats rose to 19 people. three weeks later, it rose to 21. then the number rose to 22. we don't know if 22 was some sort of magic number.
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without really offering an explanation of what had changed and why they were reacting this way, at the end of last month the state department really did take dramatic action. in one fell swoop, more than half the u.s. diplomats in cuba were ordered to leave. all non-essential personnel ordered out along with families. they limited short term travel to cuba. announced u.s. delegations would not travel to cuba for meetings. issued a travel warning for american civilians that we shouldn't visit. suspended routine issuing of visas. really dramatic action. they didn't say why or what changed about this crisis the u.s. has been so cagey and tight-lipped about? why the sudden dramatic action? we still don't know. white house chief of staff said yesterday they believe the cuban government could stop the diplomat attacks if they wanted to. we don't know what he means by that either since the u.s. doesn't appear to be blaming the cuban government for carrying out the attacks in the first place.
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but there has been one through line since day one of this story, there's been speculation since day one that some sort of son being weapon might to be bli blame for all of it. that speculation has been, in part, because the first reported system was hearing loss. i think the speculation has been there in part because we know there is such thing as a sonic weapon. the u.s. navy used them against the is somali pirates. the other reason people suspected the injuries to americans, that they may have been caused by sound weapons is because a lot of people who were hurt described hearing a sound when they were injured. from a u.s. press. a blaring, grinding noise jolted one american diplomat from his bed in a havana hotel. he moved just a few feet and there was silence. it was as if he had walked through some invisible wall cutting straight through his roof. others felt vibrations, heard sounds, loud ringing or high
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chirped singing. it's been almost a year since toes diplomats that got jolted awake by mysterious pains that were just in parts of their rooms. now we have the noise. the "associated press" reviewed several recordings from havana taken under different circumstances. all variations of the same high-pitched sound. individuals who have heard the noise in havana confirm the recordings are generally consistent with what they heard. one told the ap, that's the sound. now, because ap got this sound, we can play it for you. don't freak out. i can tell you the recording itself as played through your tv is not dangerous to listen to. i swear. i have listened to it like a thousand times. i'm fine. you ready? we've got the sound. here it is. [ high pitched screeching sound ]
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>> so the ap published that short piece of sound, five seconds long. they say when they had it analyzed turns out it's 20 or more different frequencies or pitches embedded in the sound. the recording of the sound and others like it have been played for people still working at the u.s. embassy to teach them what to listen for. they've been given recorders so they can turn them on and try to capture the sound if they hear anything like it. the recordings were sent to the navy to try to figure out what they might mean. also to the intelligence services. we don't know what type of device made the noise, who set it up. or why or how it might hurt people. now, finally, after months of speculations, we do at least have a noise. [ high pitched screeching noise ] >> we don't know what it means. the mystery continues. i will tell you, the nbc news
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was first to report on this about the vehemence with which the cuban government denied having anything to do with it which has led to interesting speculation about whether or not this might be the work of another government that has considerable leeway to operate in cuba. north korea doesn't have an embassy here but they have one in cuba. russians have a lot of facilities in havana specifically and in cuba. syria, iran have embassies in havana. could it be some other government. is there somebody over whom the cuban government could exert control to stop this even if they're not doing it themselves? we don't know. but at least we've got a sound. and that's got to be part of starting to figure this thing out. that does it for us tonight. now it's time for "the last word." ali velshi is in for lawrence tonight. >> can you stay one extra minute. i am an economics guy. when i hear that the chairman of the campaign of a presidential candidate may have had a loan for $60 million from a russian oligarch as an economy guy that

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