tv Richard Engel on Assignment MSNBC November 19, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
♪ ♪ every night i turn the tv on and cry ♪ ♪ i cry, i cry ♪ i say why, i feel like we're all gonna die ♪ we never had an american president take office with so many live business interests. not to mention business interests that he didn't extract himself from before taking the oath of office. president trump kept his business interests for the most part. he did pass day to day control of his real estate companies to his sons. then his daughter and son-in-law joined the administration with high level positions. all this has created a historically unprecedented
situation in which we don't know if the president of the united states and his family are using his position to enrich themselves. that kind of concern is one of the main reasons that presidential candidates or their tax returns, it's a main reason why people want to see this president's tax returns in particular. people want to know about his foreign sources of income. how much money he is receiving from foreign sources. can any of that money be traced back to foreign governments, which would be illegal under the constitution? that brings us to tonight. tonight i'm very excited to say we've got the perfect person to take us on an unprecedented journey inside president trump's web of foreign financial ties. nbc's chief foreign co correspondent richard engel
takes us to panama. >> reporter: this 70 story building, curved and lit up like a christmas tree, is unmistakable. this is the trump ocean club. we have spent months going over paperwork and talking to lawyers and, investigators and businessmen. we were trying to figure out who exactly was involved, the investors, brokers and who bought the apartments and hotel rooms. what we found out is that this building attracted enormous amounts of dirty money in particular from russia because of the name on the building, that name is trump. good evening. we're on assignment in panama city tonight. this is a notorious money laundering center.
it's where the first tower to be built outside the united states and carry the name trump on it was built. our investigation shows that criminals from all over the world use this building as a laundromat for their money. the trump organization doesn't actually own the building. it made a licensing deal with a local developer. so the president basically just gets paid for the use of his name. does that mean he can't be held responsible for any of the criminal activity that happened here? the trump organization says it does mean just that. anti corruption experts disagree. it's a question of good business practice, they say. because we have a president who owns a global business, business practices matter. here is our exclusive investigation in conjunction with our friends at reuters into that building. >> hello. i'm ivanka trump. >> reporter: it was the first trump branded tower to go up overseas.
and the first trump project ivanka led from inception. >> visit our lobby, our pool deck, our state-of-the-art -- no request is too large or too small for our team. >> reporter: now that sense of ownership is gone. the trump organization, which no longer runs the building, says it had no hand in vetting the people who financed, sold or bought it. now that president trump is in the white house, do you think the trump organization and the trump family are trying to distance themselves from you? >> i wouldn't say that they're trying. i don't think that i can harm them. >> reporter: it took months to track alexander down and persuade him to sit down for an interview. he asked that we disguise his appearance. he's on the run from the law in panama where he is wanted for fraud. he says he sold hundreds of units in the trump ocean club to people who also went to a lot of trouble to hide their
identities. the banks weren't asking where the money was coming from? >> no. never. >> reporter: sounds like nobody was asking questions. >> nobody, no. >> reporter: not you. not the trump organization. not the bank. not the developers. >> nobody checked anybody out. >> reporter: people were spending millions for apartments -- >> they were buying five, ten, 10 units at a time. the money would go to ventura. >> reporter: if you want to know about the flow of dirty money through panama, monty freezener is the man to ask. he was convicted in federal court of 20 counts of money laundering and fraud. he still knows all the players. and all the plays. do you think it's possible trump didn't know the kind of people -- >> he didn't know. >> reporter: how could he not have known? >> because you don't walk up to somebody, are you russian mafia. >> reporter: trump didn't ask because he didn't want to know?
>> would you want to know? >> i would want to know who is buying. >> because it's you. >> reporter: a team from global witness, an anti-corruption watchdog that is critical of businesses and their connections to government officials spent months investigating trump branded prombrand ed properties around the world. patrick alley is the co-founder. >> it was a money laundering hot spot. any responsible businessman should want to know who their clients are and where the money is coming from. if that responsible businessman is now the president of the united states, this is a matter of public interest. >> reporter: the idea for the trump ocean club was born long before the businessman became president. it was in the 2000s on his hit tv show "the apprentice" ceo trump made all the decisions. >> you are fired. you are all fired. >> reporter: his children were joining the family business. ivanka trump suggested that they take the trump brand global.
panama seemed like a good place to start. >> my interest in panama really began when we had the miss universe contest in panama, which i own. it was one of the most successful contests. i was in panama. i was there for quite a bit of time. i fell in love with the place. >> reporter: the panama he was falling in love with was not the panama where more than a third of the population lived in poverty. it was the glamorous waterfront where brand-new luxury towers were being snapped up by the international hot money crowd. >> plane loads of people were coming. they would advertise in miami, toronto, russia. they were pre-selling all the buildings. the more they built, the more they sold. nobody occupied the apartments. >> reporter: they were empty in. >> empty buildings. >> reporter: the buildings he says were a great place to bury dirty money. he says the buildings were
almost literally made of drug money. >> cocaine concrete. >> reporter: what is cocaine concrete? >> it's the money that came from cocaine. a lot of it was drug money. >> reporter: take the cocaine and you turn it into a building? >> yeah. >> reporter: how do you know this? >> i was directly involved. i saw it happening. >> reporter: it was this booming market that the trump organization was entering. plans as seen in this marketing illustration were drawn up for an ambitious tower, the tallest in latin america at the time, with a mix of hotel rooms and high-end condos. all on a plot of land owned by a small-time local businessman, roger kafif, who was going to be the main developer. ivanka travels to panama to meet the team. >> roger introduced me. my company would be selling the units. >> reporter: ivanka was planning to pre-sell units for around $120,000 each. ventura said he could sell them for a lot more.
what did she say in. >> she was happy with that. can you sell it at that price? i said, yes. the agreement was i had a week to sell 100 units. >> reporter: how did you sell 100 in a week? >> it was easy to sell with his name. >> reporter: the name of the most famous man in real estate who was also the building's salesman and chief. >> one of the great things about panama, not only the building but the incredible view. >> the name trump was magic. he came down, donald trump came down. he has a great presence. he is a fabulous marketing person. >> reporter: according to ventura, it was ivanka trump who handled all the details. what kinds of things did ivanka do? >> meeting with the architects, deciding the finishing of the project. the prices. when it's going to be released. everything related to the project. according to the contract, trump
organization has to approve everything because his name on the project. >> reporter: it sounds like the trump organization specifically ivanka was deeply involved. >> yes. i mean, she was the person responsible for the project. >> reporter: ventura, who had a small real estate agency, was now selling the trump brand. he had made the big leagues. >> he became overnight a mover of money. >> reporter: who was it that ventura and the firm holmes were targeting? >> russians. russians that had dirty money. >> reporter: specifically? >> specifically. then the russian mafia came in. a guy called alexander sasha ulchult. >> reporter: what was he doing? >> made a proposal to ventura. made him an offer he couldn't refuse. >> reporter: he became a partner in ventura's marketing firm. we can't verify his connection to the russian mafia because although the allegation lai'laln
repeated, he seemed to fend off the charges every time. another partner also bought several units in the building. he has since been accused of running a prostitution ring in canada. the case was dropped when both key witnesses disappeared. the firm's representative in kiev was later found by a ukrainian court guilty of people smuggling. one of the customers who bought units was an exconvict who served time for kidnapping. those are the ones we manage to identify. while claiming he didn't know it at the time, ventura admits he was selling units in the building to members of the russian mafia. >> i had some customers with some questionable background. >> reporter: what does that mean? >> you know. i found out later, not in the beginning, from belongs to mafia, russian mafia or thing like that. anyway, i was not getting paid
in cash. >> reporter: that's not the story we heard from freezener. >> half a dozen lawyers would pick up a million dollars. >> reporter: that was happening at the trump ocean club? >> yeah. >> reporter: ventura was marketing it as part of a real estate portfolio where corrupt people could park their money? >> you got it. >> reporter: and they did? >> yeah. but they didn't just park the somebody. their money was turned over consistently. >> reporter: how does a luxury tower become a money laundromat. the buyer buys unit 1605. then sometimes just two weeks later, unit 1605 gets resold. the money coming out of the building is now clean. the proceeds of a legitimate real estate deal. the only way to trace its dirty origins would be to go back to the beginning and identify the original buyer. that should be relatively easy. but not in panama.
our investigation led us here to panama's public registry. many of the units aren't owned by individuals but corporations, off within generic names. so why would someone use a corporation to buy a condo? often to hide the identity of the real buyer. >> one of the things with the shell companies is you can simply transfer the company -- the share to anybody you want. >> reporter: you set up a shell company. nobody knows who the actual owner is. you buy the unit. get a piece of paper that says you own the unit. >> you are the owner. >> reporter: you can do what you want with that. >> you are holding a million dollars. it's not even a check. you can transfer it to anybody. >> reporter: you can fold it and
put it in your pocket. >> correct. >> reporter: you were coming in with hundreds of buyers? did the trump organization want to know who the buyers were, where the money was coming from? >> no. not that i'm aware of. not at all. >> reporter: did they ask you? >> no. >> reporter: were the buyers planning on living in the units? >> most of them, no. >> reporter: that never raised alarm bells with you? somebody buying 15 units, doesn't want to live in the place from russia? >> no, because that was normal. >> reporter: it wasn't just russians. one of the most famous money lawnerers in the world bought units in the building, too. we met a former panamanian prosecutor who worked on the case. >> translator: the investigation was a vast case. as part of it we had information
alexander ventura was the partner. >> they were business partners. after a couple years, they became business partners. >> reporter: how did that -- >> david would bring the money in. the money would get distributed. >> reporter: what about guzman? >> they basically slept in the same bed. >> reporter: guzman is in u.s. custody convicted of laundering millions of dollars from mexican drug dealers. were you -- >> i had $45 day wi4 45 days wi. >> reporter: he did admit that he and guzman did some business together. you moved some of his money into the trump ocean club in. >> yes, i did. >> reporter: how many? >> it was not many. i think maybe maximum ten units. >> reporter: did you investigate ventur
ventura? >> translator: yes. alexander ventura was under investigation for fraud. >> reporter: what did you find out? >> translator: well, at the time i was working four or five fraud cases he was involved in. >> reporter: fraud because ventura seems to have gotten too greedy. after a while, collecting a 3% commission wasn't enough. he started selling units on paper in several buildings to more than one buyer at a time. eventually, his pyramid scheme collapsed. he was arrested and charged with fraud. somehow he managed to get bail and escape the country. in a statement to nbc news, a spokesman wrote that the trump organization was not the owner, developer or seller of the trump ocean club panama project and that the trump organization was not responsible for the financing of the project and had no involvement in the sale of units or the retention of any real estate brokers. the spokesman said the trump organization had no relationship with ventura or knowledge of the allegations against him.
we also asked ivanka for comment. but her team referred us back to this statement. i believe this is the picture of you with president trump. >> that's correct. that's mar-a-lago. >> reporter: you are meeting with him. you stop. you pose for the photograph. >> yes. >> reporter: ventura didn't mind showing us old pictures as long as we didn't show what he looked like now. your interaction with him is, good job, keep up the good work? >> keep selling. >> reporter: how many units did you sell? >> i believe i sold about -- between 350 to 400 units from the project. >> reporter: that would be worth how much? >> a little bit over $100 million. >> when the trump organization goes into a licensing deal, when it sells its name and its brand, on one side the trump organization is deeply involved. the family are involved. they can be very hands on, very, very interested when they want to be. when it come to problems like
dodgy money involved, they don't want to know. that's the developer's responsibility. >> reporter: you spent your life around criminals or investigating criminals. >> i was a criminal. >> reporter: what do you think about the kind of business that trump was lending his name to? >> i'm not trying to protect him. but he is not the one that's doing all of this. he simply has a name. corporation. that's what it is. >> reporter: do you think people should be judged by the company they keep and the businesses they run? >> definitely, 100%. if i was somebody like trump, i would do a background check. i would want to know who they buy their underwear from. so there isn't any connection to any form of crime. >> reporter: as a former money launderer, the trump ocean club, how would you rate it? >> for money laundering? >> reporter: for money laundering. >> i would say aaa.
>> reporter: there's no suggestion the president or his family were directly involved in any of the illegal activity that went on here. as we said, they were just licensing out the trump brand. initially managing the building. it's just that this building was a magnet for dirty money. we found no sign of an attempt by the trump organization to protect that brand which is perhaps now our nation's most prominent brand from being tarnished by association. the building was opened in 2011. and on stage were three men, our future president, the developer and panama's president who was then a close friend. >> thank you very much for being here today. you are my friend. >> reporter: he is now awaiting an extradition decision in a jail cell in a federal detention center in miami. we will tell you that whole story next.
welcome back to panama. since it was completed in 2011, that building behind me, the trump ocean club we told you all about, has seen some hard times. the development company went bankrupt. it seems most everybody who invested in the building lost money. except, of course, for the trump organization. it was forced out of the building's management but still runs the hotel side. we found when we stayed there the building seems almost empty, the trump organization continues to collect a licensing fee, just for the use of the name. financial filings suggest that by 2010, those fees added up to more than $70 million.
the former president of panama, he didn't do as well. the man who helped the trump ocean club get off the ground is now in a federal detention center in miami feeling a lot less presidential than he did when he helped inaugurate the building. a bill air with sharp elbows and political ambitions. he was a perfect match for donald trump. >> i want to just thank you very much for being here today. and you are my friend. great honor. >> reporter: he was first to realize his political ambition by the time the trump ocean club opened in 2011, he was president of panama. his very presence sent a message, this was a well connected project. >> he liked to mention every time that he has a very good business relation with trump. >> reporter: a law professor is an opposition member and
outspoken critic of martinelli. he said the trump building could not have opened its doors without the blessing of the president. did he help get this building off the ground? >> sure. because panama, you can do this kind of thing without the president advice or president agreement. >> reporter: martinelli, who a u.s. diplomat described as having a limited attention span and making strong impulsive decisions had much in common with the future president of the united states. like trump, he also built himself a lucrative real estate business. money wasn't enough. he wanted power. which is why he decided to run for president. this woman is head of the branch of transparency international. she found many similarities with candidate trump. >> lack of experience in
government management. campaigning on the ticket of the outsie outsid outsider. >> reporter: martinelli ran a colorful campaign. his antics earned him the nickname the crazy one. a name he happily embraced. >> he created a slogan that he used during the campaign. we the crazy people are the majority. >> reporter: and they were. martinelli won by a landslide on the promise of a better future for panama. for a while it seemed he kept his word. the economy boomed, unemployment dropped, he oversaw an expansion of the panama canal and opened a subway system. soon allegations of corruption started to surface. >> martinelli was more than a president. he was a monarch.
>> reporter: this man accuses martinelli running the business like his own business. >> he ruled not only the executive branch, he had his hands in the legislative branch. he had his hands in the judiciary. he broke the law. he broke the constitution. violated every possible rule. got away with it for a time. >> he really was a person that was looking out for his own interest and not the interest of the country. what happened in the country was without precedent. it was the largest scale robbery of our treasury. >> reporter: not long after his term ended, he quietly boarded a private jet and disappeared. days later, panama's supreme court charged him with embezzlement and illegal wiretapping. what did he do to you? >> he violated and tapped conversations i had with my wife, my kids. my entire staff, my professional
staff. also with my combampaign manage and my campaign team. >> reporter: he ended up living in the lap of luxury in miami. eventually, the law caught up with him and he is now sitting in a federal detention center waiting a decision on his fate. panama is demanding his extradition. he is appealing to the courts. ultimately, the decision will be made by the state department, raising the question of whether there could be interference from the white house. >> if would you have asked me in january before mr. trump took the oath of office, i would have said no. but with everything that we have learned since january to now of how there are very blurred lines regarding the business interests of the trump organization and the business of government, my answer will be i don't know.
>> i would be outraged if mr. trump intervenes and overrules the lawyers and legal department at the state to help his friend mr. martinelli stay in the u.s. and avoid justice. >> reporter: whether or not the president would still call martinelli a friend is now anyone's guess. that's not the point really. what this situation shows is how sticky the whole issue of conflicts of interest, real or perceived can be. how do we frame what we have uncovered here? do we see it through the lens of corporate responsibility and ethical standards or are there also legal issues to consider? we will be talking next to a former prosecutor about that. nice man cave! nacho? [ train whistle blows ] what?! -stop it! -mm-hmm. we've been saving a lot of money ever since we switched to progressive. this bar is legit.
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welcome back to panama city. we have told you all about our investigation into the building behind me and how we found that it drew in dirty money from all over the world. keep in mind that even though it's called the trump ocean club, this building doesn't actually belong to our president. he is just licensing his name for a profit. the question is, does that mean that he and his company should not be held responsible for what happens in the building? to help us answer that question, we turned to arlow brown. mr. brown, thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> should we be concerned about
this? >> well, any u.s. real estate company that makes a decision to do business in a high risk jurisdiction where money laundering occurs needs to be careful, needs to take a number of precautions. >> does it seem to you that those precautions were taken, or do we not know at this stage? >> i don't know based on your reporting. but i can tell you what the real risks are in a situation like that. basically, the u.s. company needs to be careful both in terms of going into the deal and on the way out. going into the deal, you need to worry a little bit about whether money is going to grease the skids for any foreign politicians, which is a violation of u.s. law. then, of course, when it's time to sell the condos, you do have to be cautious about whether the people buying those condos are criminals looking to wash their money. >> here the issue, the statement
we received from the trump organization made a clear line saying that it wasn't directly involved in sales. so, therefore, doesn't really take responsibility for who was buying, who was selling. does the fact that the trump organization was getting a piece, getting a percentage of the units that were sold, does that make a difference? >> the fact that it was licensing its name really doesn't make a difference at all in terms of how u.s. money laundering law operates. the only issue really that's -- >> i'm talking about getting a piece of the units that were sailed. it was incentivized. every unit, the trump organization got a check for it. >> that may or may not matter. the critical question is, did the trump organization or any similar organization know that the money coming in was criminal -- from criminal activity or did it turn a blind eye? >> you prosecuted cases like this. what would it look like if you are talking about a company that was operating here in panama but
wasn't directly controlling the buying and selling but it turns out -- our investigation has shown the people buying and selling were dubious. does that parent company, the company that was lending its name, bear any responsibility? >> it's all going to turn on not the technical niceties, not the formalities of were you licensing, were you not. it's going to turn on nitty-gritty facts of what did the u.s. company know about its panamanian partner and its conduct and what didn't it know. that's a very fact intensive thing that is very interesting. >> it's about intent really. if they knew what was going on and didn't do anything, it's a problem. if they didn't know, they can claim they didn't know. >> right. that's exactly right. >> former public corruption unit chief of the southern district of new york, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you.
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donald trump rose to national prominence as a casino mogul. >> opening day at what donald trump in typical understatement is calling the eighth wonder of the world. the trump taj mahal. >> then the casino business caught up with him. >> a witching hour for donald trump if he can't make an interest payment of $47 million on work out a deal with his creditors. his taj mahal casino in atlantic city faces bankruptcy. >> a series of the financial troubles resulted in him filing for corporate bankruptcy six times. he got out of the casino business. he expanded his interesting overseas. the panama tower is one of many international business ventures he dabbled in. the business empire now spans across five continents and nearly two dozen countries. according to "the washington pos post", donald trump has licensed his name to at least 50
different licensing or management deals. take, for example, argentina, where donald trump licensed his name for a 35 story trump tower. when the president of argentina called president trump to congratulate him on his win, local reports in argentina surfaced that president trump asked the president to help him get approvals for his project pushed through. those reports were denied by the argentine president's office. the city also denied the permit. trump has a deal for a tower under construction in uruguay. eric trump traveled there to check on the progress. his trip cost$100,000 in hotel rooms for secret service. the russian billionaire used a state-run bank to finance the project, a bank under u.s.
sanctions. in the former soviet republic, trump lent his name to a five-star hotel. according to the new yorker, donald trump's partners in the deal were a powerful family with ties to iran's revolutionary guard. a few weeks before taking office, trump canceled the deal. leaving an almost complete never opened hotel. not before earning nearly $3 million from the project according to his financial disclosure forms. in turkey, trump has licensed his name to trump towers istanbul. his partner comes from a wealthy well connected family in turkey. but more recently, the turkish president has gone after trump's partner. the president is exerting political pressure on trump. turkey's leader asked the u.s. to extradite someone they want. those are some of the deals. there are many more. most of the business deals are
with foreign heavy hitters and with the president refusing to divest ownership of any of his businesses, some experts argue that they are potential violations of the clause of the constitution. which prohibits the president from accepting payments or anything of economic value from foreign governments. in fact, we're going to have one of the experts on next. she said something that really struck me. because i've been traveling the world for a living for quite some time. lately, i'm hearing what she's hearing. >> what's distressing to me is people laughing at us. they're laughing at us. i don't want to sound paranoid, but d'ya think our recent online sales success seems a little... strange? na. ever since we switched to fedex ground business has been great. they're affordable and fast... maybe "too affordable and fast." what if... "people" aren't buying these books online, but "they" are buying them to protect their secrets?!?!
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choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit, or go to xfinitymobile.com. welcome back to panama city. as we told you, we spent a lot of time here in panama investigating the dirty money that poured into the trump ocean club building over there. one of the things we kept hearing from people we talked to was, what do you expect if you do business in panama, corruption is just part of the deal. people don't just say that about panama. they say that about many of the countries where the president's company does business. there's an often repeated suggestion out there that the trump organization targets countries with lax regulations and a culture of corruption. that got us wondering, is that a fair suggestion? we decided to look at all the countries we could find which the trump organization considered as possible locations to expand into and run them
against the annual ratings published by transparency international, a well-respected anti-corruption campaign group. the results are pretty telling. take a look at this. out of all the countries where the president has explored or closed deals, more than half are in countries that get a score below 50. that's out of 100. in school, we used to call that a fail. transparency international gives it just 30 points. the philippines doesn't do much better coming in at 35. ar gn t argentina and indonesia score a little better. the country we're in, panama, gets 38 points. compare that with our own national average which stands at 74 out of 100. that's quite a difference. does the fact that president trump has so many businesses in places with a bad reputation harming out national reputation.
are we all guilty by association? i spoke to one person who has been thinking about that a lot lately. >> i thought the american system was supposed to be designed amem was supposed to be designed differently. i thought we were not suppose today look like panama and the philippines or you name it. >> sarah chase learned about corruption the hard way. she learned for nearly a decade in afghanistan where she investigated and exposed dirty official, a risky thing for an american woman to do. >> so he's using his governmental power to protect that monopoly. >> now she's brought that experience back to the u.s. where she provides expert testimony to congressional hearings. now a court case which the president himself is a defendant. >> the president of the united states is receiving money, fees.
just a flood of items of value from a variety of different foreign governments without ever having consulted congress or congress made a statement as to whether that's legal or not. >> that, according to the liberal watchdog group that filed the lawsuit is a violation of the foreign emoluments clause. it states no tit. the wording is quaint but she believes it has a modern application. >> if you choose by shouldering the people of the united states as their president you can't be serving yourself as a business man. choose, one or the other. >> why not let congress pursue this?
why the lawsuit. >> this is a violation of the constitutional provision. congress has shown no interest in defending that constitutional provision. if we can't test the constitution in the courts, where can we test it. >> chase wrote a brief for the case. high on that list, the trump ocean club in panama. she says the president continues to receive items of value in the form of infrastructure repairs and permits from the panama government. >> what if this was the first project he chose to do internationally? >> it is of concern to me because what it suggests is that this was a business operation seeking easy money. that often means illegal money. it means dealing with a
government that is bent on self-enrichment, rather than bent on serving its own people. it's a bad sign. >> before he took office, the president tried, some say unsuccessfully, to draw a line under his past, by putting his business empire into a trust held by his sons. his lawyers also dug deep into the statute books and pulled out a get-out clause which excepts a president from prosecution from conflict of interest. >> i have a no conflict because i'm president. >> is he right? is the president above conflict of interest laws. >> america has been relying on a tissue of norms and expectations. it turns out that a determined
cleptocrat will blow through -- >> the current laws weren't build for the trump administration but chase, who wrote a book, believes that as a nation we are on a slippery slope. >> the united states is somehowisomehohowing really concerning signs that i recognize from most of the corrupt countries around the world. so when the united states starts doing things, it's like a green light. it sets the example for other countries. >> what does that do for america's standing in the world. >> it dents america's standing. what's distressing to me is people laughing at us. but similarly, in other countries where governments really are bent on maximizing private gain, they see
similarities between how they want to run their country and how president trump is running the united states. it just opens the vanguards. >> in a district court in new york, the president's lawyers argued for the case to be thrown out. claiming the interpretation of the emolument clause was flawed. chayes says whatever the outcome, speaking out is what counts here. >> we are americans. should we demand any less of our government than south koreans are demanding of theirs? we don't get a democracy because god handed it down, we get it because we demand it and insist on it. i'm really struck at how passive, frankly, the american people seem to be at the moment when our very system of government is in danger. >> when you hear sober,
thoughtful people start talking about our system of government being in danger p, i ap time to start paying attention. you're watching "on assignment" panama city, stay with us. (chris) the very first time i met bruce i saw on his lapel he's got a purple heart. (bruce) we started talking about the service. i outrank him. (chris) [laughs] yeah. meals on wheels reaches so many people. it's impactful beyond anything i've ever done in my life. (bruce) the meals and his friendship really mean, means a lot to me. (vo) through the subaru share the love event, we've helped deliver over one-point- seven million
in panama city. there's been a lot of reaction to our story already. ranging from a democratic congressman calling for an urgent investigation into this story by congress, the justice department, robert mueller to the on the other hand a viewer who wrote in to tell me, go trump my 401k doing great, medimead med ya still mad at losing the election. should it play by whatever rules the local or global market play by. we know which side of the argument president trump is on, he told us himself. in 2012 he called into squawk box to express a very clear opinion about the law that forbids american companies from bribing foreign officials. >> every other country goes into
these places and they do what they have to do. it's a horrible law and it should be changed. i mean, we're like the policemen for the world. it'sry dig yous. >> question answered. rachel will be back on monday and on assignment will be back in the new year. so for now, good night from panama city. what are you trying to conceal, buddy? >> a repeat offender smuggles contraband into the jail. >> my case is considered high profile because the guy killed was a local celebrity. >> after murdering a louisville rap star, an inmate becomes a marked man. >> he might as well do himself a favor and kilel