tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC August 22, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
that's all for this evening. good evening. >> how are you preparing for how different it will be? >> there's meetings and rehearsals. a lot of time is being spent on this. >> rehearsing blocking? >> yes. how we shoot different things. we have to do set changes. we have to figure out where the ste steady cam is. there's a lot of blocking and tackling. >> i was struck by fear by proxy today when it occurred to me in the middle of our meeting, i was like, what's chris going to wear for pants? none of us have to think about that. >> i will be in pants. those pants have been purchased. >> you have purpose bought pants for the live show? >> i do pants for the live show. live show pants. >> i would like to put in a bd d
to buy them for the museum. >> you are the first and last bidder. >> now that we put it out there, you would be surprised. thanks for joining us. the first one who dropped out was rick perry, interestingly enough, in the trump presidency it would eventually somehow be decided that good old rick perry was exactly the right person to be put in charge of america's nuclear capability. oops. but way back in september 2015, rick perry was merely the first republican candidate who leave the republican presidential primary for the 2016 race. he was the first candidate to go poof. when rick perry dropped out, we drummed up this fancy new animation to show that rick perry had poofed out of the race.
that turned out to be kind of a thing on this show. after rick perry, ten days later, the next candidate to go poof was another high profile republican governor. scott walker is quitting. which means we get to poof him off the list. ready? scott walker going bye-bye in three, two, one. poof. gone. poof. we started doing this for candidates in the gigantic republican presidential primary in 2015 and 2016. i think we didn't really think through the fact that i was actually signing us up to do that over and over and over again, to do a lot of poofing. once you start, you can't stop. can't poof just one. it became this thing we had to do all the time for months. good-bye mike huckabee. poof. rick santorum.
you ready? three, two, one, poof. chris christie, poof. and jim gilmore, poof. in 2015 and 2016, we ended up tracking the demise of 16 different republican primary candidates right down to the bitter, bitter end. are you ready? here it goes. senator ted cruz dropped out. thank you for your time. poof. john kasich, the last man to get poofed. that leaves alone among the smoking wreckage, he who will not be poofed. donald trump. you win. the poof machine is retired. all gone but one. the republican primary is over. now i want something new to poof. that was this show on may 4,
2016, same outfit. but it has taken this long, it has taken more than three years to find something new to poof. but we do, of course, now have that new responsibility once again. as the impossibly large press pr presidential field is on the democratic side. we are already in august of 2019, we are already even earlier than the republicans started shedding candidates. a eric swalwell left the race on july 8. three, two, one, poof. he was the first one poofed off the list. he was the first one. last week we got the second one. it was john hickenlooper. poof. now here last night on this very program, washington state governor jay inslee became the
third to get out of the race. now for first time three, two, one, poof. i thank you kindly for coming to talk to us to make your announcement about why you decided to get out. now here is where we are at. there's still a big, huge field of democrats out there. the winnowing process has started. the stuff these candidates are leaving the presidential primary to do instead is already interesting even with only a few guys out. as he hinted about in his announcement last night that he was leaving the presidential race, jay inslee today confirmed to the people of washington that he is going to run for a third term as governor of washington state. there are not term limits. he can run for a third term. he is popular. there's nothing that went so wrong in his presidential
campaign other than him not winning. nothing from his campaign that should give him too much baggage for that third term run. we now know officially that that's what governor inslee is going to be doing. colorado governor john hick enlooper announce he had will keep running, even though he is no longer running for president will keep running, even though he is no longer running for president. after people asked him during his presidential run why he wasn't running for senate since there's a vulnerable republican incumbent senator in his home state, he said, no, no, no, wasn't considering it. he would make a terrible senator. as of today, he has officially jumped into the race for u.s. senate in colorado. he will be targeting that vulnerable republican incumbent, cory gardner. what you are seeing is part of the launch video for that senate campaign today. because cory gardner is seen as so beatable in the senate race next year and because colorado
is shading to the bluer and bluer side of purple all the time now, john hickenlooper is a highly anticipated contender for the democratic nomination in that race. he is going to jump into a primary where there's a crowded field and a well-funded field of democrats. for example, his own wife is a maxed out donor to one of the other senate candidates who is in that race besides her husband. he is in as of today. he is popular in colorado as a theoretical senate candidate. there was polling that showed him way, way, way out ahead of every other democrat in that field, like 50 plus points ahead of any other democrat. now that he is an actual candidate and not just an idea, that fight might get a bit closer. we shall see. i think politico.com won for the best headline on the story of hickenlooper jumping.
meaning, he wasn't that big a deal in the presidential race. in the senate race, he is a very big deal. we will see about john hickenlooper making that late change and trying to be the goliath in that u.s. senate race that the democratic party sees as absolutely winnable. we will see about jay inslee going for a third term as governor in washington. watching inslee and hickenlooper make those leaps today, i think only puts a further spotlight on what we're expecting to come in days ahead. right now i think the smart money says we're going to see a few other iterations on this theme in the next few days. that's simply -- it's not that i have any intel on any individual candidate. it's because simply, the deadlines are rolling in. the middle of next week is the deadline for democratic
candidates to qualify for the next democratic presidential debate. they need to qualify by fund-raising numbers and by polling. so far, this whole list of democratic presidential contenders has not yet qualified for the next debate. they are trying to get there. they have got until the middle of the next week to do it. some aren't close. some of these folk s may try to gut it out and stay in the race even if they don't make the next debate. a bunch of them likely will not. this is likely to be a cut bait moment for more candidates than just the two who have dropped out within the past week. over these next few days, i think for some number of these folks, we may see them looking for the kind of off ramp, this onward and upward next big thing that hickenlooper and inslee pulled out of their respective hats today. all but one of the democrats is going to go poof.
one will be the nominee. all the rest of them are going to figure out what they will do instead. there's better ways and worse ways to get out of the race. i think inslee and hickenlooper think they have picked the right next thing to do so their presidential campaign isn't going to hurt them or not too much. a bunch staring down that deadline in the middle of next week, they are looking for the strongest, most constructive, most dignified way to get out of the way. again, i don't have any intel on any individual candidate. i think that's what we are all expecting to happen over these next five days. i will tell you right now that tomorrow night on this show, after chris does his special live audience show with his specially bought pants and the blocking and everything, we're all very excited about it, right after chris' special live audience show tomorrow here on this show we will have our own sort of special. it's not a live audience.
it's still a live show in studio. i'm not taking off or anything. tomorrow night, we will have a special show that's focused on the 2020 race specifically and on this crucial question of the strength of the democratic field. individual strength of individual candidates but their strength as a field as whether their competition is building a better nominee to take on donald trump. we are working on that special show for tomorrow. i'm excited about it. that's to look forward to. tonight, we have a bunch of stuff. new york's attorney general is going to be our guest live in studio tonight. being the attorney general of the state of new york is always a big deal job. in particular because of the stuff that new york as a state uniquely has jurisdiction over that makes a lot of new york state cases and new york state sort of attorney general crusades things of national significance. it's a big deal job. it's a very high profile job, usually the highest profile
attorney general state job in the country. in the trump presidency, all that has been even heightened. in the trump presidency being new york state's attorney general means stuff that it didn't used to mean before. it means getting sued by the president. it means suing him back. it means fighting for subpoena documents from the president's banks and financial institutions he dealt with and his various businesses. as of right now, being new york's attorney general also means suing the administration specifically over their new anti-immigrant policies. she's right at the center of a bunch of stories of national significance where she's taking on the trump administration and the president and his business history in a way that nobody else is positioned to do it. i'm happy to have her here. before we get to attorney general james, there's one other story that i want to talk about tonight first. it's a story that broke late
this afternoon. the reason i want to get to it is because we have somebody who will join us in a second who was there in the room when it happened today. by the room, i mean the courtroom. this is a legal drama that unfolded today in a way i don't know anybody thought to expect. the deputy chairman of president trump's campaign who is the deputy chairman of the president's inaugural committee, he is awaiting sentencing on two felony charges to which he pled guilty. while he awaits sentencing, he has been a cooperating witness for prosecutors. it turns out they have been using him for multiple criminal cases. rick gates was the star witness in the federal criminal trial against the president's campaign chairman paul manafort. when manafort went on trial in the eastern district of virginia, rick gates spent three days on the witness stand explaining the various financial schemes he said he had been involved in with manafort or
even at manafort's expense. rick gates admitted on the witness stand in that trial to stealing money from paul manafort, even as the two of them were busy defrauding other people and institutions to steal money from others. honor among thieves and all that. today the alumni reunion of the president's campaign continued in court with rick gates back on the witness stand again as a star witness for the prosecution. this time he was testifying in the trial of greg craig, the former obama white house counsel. the only member to get caught up so far in one of the prosecutions that derived from mueller's investigation. prosecutors say he lied to the justice department about his work on a paul manafort project in the ukraine which took place after he left the obama white house a few years before the 2016 election. the basic allegation against craig is he didn't want to
register as a foreign agent being paid to work for a foreign country because that might interfere with future jobs he might be able to get in the u.s. government and because it would mean having to report way too much shady and embarrassing detail about this ukraine scheme he was involved in with paul manafort and how much everybody was getting paid and by whom. i think the good news for greg craig today on what is by far the most dramatic day of his trial, the good news today is that the star witness against him really is this guy rick gates. deputy chairman of the trump for president campaign. who is not exactly a paragon of virtue or truth. if you had to pick the star witness against you, you might want a guy who had to admit to tons of crimes while he was also testifying about bad things he said you did. on the witness stand today, gates described what his life has been like as a cooperator. he mentioned that he is
unemployed. he said he has met with federal investigators about 40 times since he has been a cooperating witness. 40 meetings with prosecutors. defense attorneys made rick gates today admit that he was testifying in this trial as part of his cooperation deal because he hopes his cooperation with the government would result in him not having to serve prison time for the felonies to which he has pled guilty. the defense cross examining him said, quote, you also under the plea agreement get a promise you won't be prosecuted for other crimes. and you have committed quite a few, to which rick gates replied, yes. this is a dark moment even when you are a cooperating witness for the government. yes, yes, yes, i have committed quite a few crimes. are we going to go through them all? we are? okay. even as rick gates is forced to admit that he has committed quite a few crimes, today he
also appeared to accuse a lot of other people of committing quite a few crimes as well. under oath, on the witness stand, whetoday rick gates not y testified against greg craig to support prosecutor allegations that he lied to the justice department about the work he did for manafort in ukraine, today, surprise, rick gates also testified that there are more d.c. big wigs in on that scheme, specifically more d.c. big wigs who knew they were working for a foreign government because he, rick gates, says he told them they were working for air foreign government. did you tell them who the client was? yes. who was the client? the government of ukraine. before the 2016 campaign ever happened, president trump's
campaign chairman ran this scheme in ukraine. president trump's campaign chairman in prison now. his deputy who was trying to stay out of prison now is acting as a cooperating witness in part by unraveling this scheme in open court. the scheme now threatens to put in jail president obama's first white house counsel. it has caused president obama's first white house counsel's super fancy law firm to enter into a formal non-prosecution settlement with the justice department. in court, rick gates started implicating multiple high end d.c. lobbying firms in the scheme as well. firms run by democrats and by republicans. you know, part of the story is that the sitting president turns out to have hired some amazing people along his way to the white house. quite a number of whom have since been sent to prison or are awaiting sentencing. but this part of it about this scheme in ukraine, that preceded
the campaign, that involved -- this part seems to be metastasizing all across high power washington. joining us now is josh gerstein who was in the room as it happened today. it's great to have you here. thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you. >> let me ask you when rick gates on the witness stand today started saying, yeah, these lobbying firms, they knew definitely that they were working for a foreign country and the reason i know is because i told them directly, did it seem to you that that was a surprise in the courtroom? was there reaction in the courtroom to that? >> it came at the tail end of his testimony. it came at a point where we didn't really expect we would be getting much new out of him. i think for those who were attending, it wasn't as crowded as the last time rick gates testified when it was definitely sort of a capacity almost standing room only crowd. there aren't as many people interested in greg craig as in
paul manafort. it did come as something of a surprise, kind of a collateral damage kind of thing that we weren't exactly expecting. it should be said there have been court filings and other articles and stuff indicating that the lobbying groups involved here, the mercury is one of them and the podesta group is the other. there hasn't been as much directly pointing at specific individuals, which is what happened today, the head of podesta and gates saying that they knew they were working for the government of ukraine yet they went ahead and told the federal government they were just working for a private sector think tank. >> does it seem like -- you used the phrase collateral damage. we know a little bit about this ukraine scheme. we know manafort engaged this fancy law firm where greg craig was working.
we know that he engaged at least one pr firm. he engaged lobbying firms. it's starting to feel like everybody who touched this, everybody who worked with manafort on this particular gig has got some sort of exposure or a lot of hassle in terms of the kind of work this was and the fact that the justice department is newly interested in prosecuting people for potentially working for foreign governments without registering as foreign agents. >> they definite have hassle. the justice department has poured through all kinds of e-mails and other communications. i think that the notion that prosecutors would tie a case specifically to someone like rick gates -- in other words, would they build a case where they don't think they could prove it but with rick gates they think they could prove it, i'm a little doubtful of that. he listed as you were saying so many lies that he has told over the last several years.
so many deceptions, so many crimes. he was arguing with one of the defense lawyers about whether he told this particular lie or not. it seemed he couldn't keep them straight. i don't think he is the kind of guy that you would bring in unless you thought you had a pretty strong case to start with. if it's just a matter of rick gates' word and i told these people and i told them something different, prosecutors will want something solid and corroborating to go with that. >> am i right that gates, however trustworthy he is as a human, has ever insensitive to not be caught out telling an untruth in part because the judge who is about to sentence him taking into account his cooperation and how truthful he has been and how effective he has been as a cooperator for the government, the judge who will sentence him is the same judge who is overseeing this trial right now against craig before whom he was testifying today. >> right.
it seemed there were two cases going on. craig's case, which is almost removed from what we were talking about with weber and podesta. but a dry run for the sentencing of rick gates. he was sitting there eight or ten feet akway from the judge. it seemed like he was actually impressing her, despite the history of lies. she defended him during this hearing, blocked defense lawyers from -- she thought they were -- she told them to back off. whether that means he gets away with probation as he is hoping for, that's something we will see when he comes up for sentencing. >> amazing. josh, your dispatching from the court are the next best thing from being there.
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congress is it allowed to see anybody's tax returns. even the president's. it's black letter clear law. it's not legally controversial. there's precedent to support it, even getting the president's tax returns that way. it's been that way forever. it's been that way for a century. a few months ago in april, democrats in the house decided they would use that power. the chairman of that committee, told the treasury department that he was going to invoke that authority. therefore, he requested from the treasury department six years of president trump's tax returns. he set a deadline for them to respo respond. then another deadline. the treasury blew through them. the house democrats decided they would subpoena the treasury department to get the president's tax returns. treasury blew that off, too. in response last month, the committee filed a federal lawsuit to enforce the subpoena. ever since that case has been
sort of plunking along slowly. until this week, suddenly there was this confetti cannon of new activity. the committee asked the judge for expedited consideration and a summary judgment because there are no genuine issues of material fact at issue in this case. on the other side, the trump justice department told the judge to go slow, not fast. they are claiming there are complex constitutional issues at stake. they told the judge there's no reason to bring these proceedings to a gallop. this is a horse that would prefer to trot and go slow. this is a case, it's been moving its way. all of a sudden there's been a ton of action in this case. a ton of paper. literally, a ton of paper. for the motion from congress this week, the one that asked the judge to rule, asked for a summary judgment, there were 54
attachments filed to that motion. i decided i would print them out, which was a bad move. except turns out tucked in there if you read enough, you get to exhibit qq. you have to use letters twice once you get -- it's qq. it's a letter from the chairman to steven mnuchin. on july 29, 2019, the committee received an unsolicited communication from a federal employee setting forth credible allegations of evidence of possible misconduct, specifically potential inappropriate efforts to influence the mandatory audit program, meaning the mandatory program that requires the audit of the income tax returns of a sitting president. what the committee is saying that they didn't ask for it but a whistle-blower came forward to
them from inside the government to give them information, to give them kridabcredible allega of something to do with the way the irs is handling trump's taxes and the audit. the whistle-blower has come forward with evidence of possible misconduct. back to the letter. in light of the serious and urgent concerns raised by this new information, i have requested a rolling production of certain documents and communications of specified treasury and irs employees. thank you in advance for your prom prompt attention to this matter. it's amazing in this news environment, this is the only -- exhibit qq, the only thing we have seen about this. the issue of president trump not handing over his tax returns, the first president since watergate to not hand over taxes, that's one of the highest profile and longest standing controversies about him as a
politician. but it's being pursued as an oversight matter in the house now by one of the quietest and lowest key committee chairmen. he is not on television ever for a reason. he likes to do this all very, very quietly, very, very methodically. here is this eyebrow raising claim that a whistle-blower has come with credible information. it's buried as exhibit qq among 51 other attachments to an unheralded court filing. we don't know what this is about. we don't know what this whistle-blower has alleged. we don't know what these credible allegations are. we don't know what this whistle-blower says has been the inappropriate effort to influence the audit of trump's taxes. we don't know. the judge in this case may find out soon. if you go to the footnotes, the
committee is prepared to submit to the court the materials that led to the chairman's request. just another day in the president's finances. it's a federal judge being offered information from a congressional committee about an unsolicited whistle-blower who has come forward with credible allegations of inappropriate efforts to influence the handling of the president's tax audit in the irs. that is now on the burner. tomorrow first thing tomorrow morning another pot is about to come to a boil. that's next with our government tish james, the attorney general of the state of new york. stay with us.
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here is something to keep an eye on tomorrow morning. before the second circuit court of appeals in new york, there will be oral arguments in the case of donald trump and donald trump junior versus the committee on financial services. this is the president trying to block democrats in the house from getting his financial records. in april, two committees in the house subpoenaed capital one and deutsche bank to gain access to financial records related to the president. michael cohen testified that the testify inflated his assets and lied about the value of things that he was in control of in order to secure bank loans or for insurance purposes. the way michael cohen described it, he said those things could amount to criminal bank krafrau.
cohen's testimony led to the subpoenaed by house democrats to pry loose the president's financial information to see if documents from the institutions might corroborate his allegations. since then, there have been more allegations of that kind. he said in his american public filings that those properties were worth more than $50 million. at the same time, he told authorities in the uk that the properties weren't worth anything like that. they were $65 million in debt. they could be either. but they can't be both. what's lurking in the president's financial and business records that congress has been working so hard to get? that fight is on. this is a red hot fight waged in
large part by the president to keep anybody from knowing what's in his taxes or financial records. we will see oral arguments tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. over whether congress will be get trump's bank records. that's one of the lawsuits the president engaged in to try to stop congress from getting his financial records. there's a bunch of them. whatever happens with all of those federal cases and his fights with congress, president trump has another thing when it comes to a different adversary. the new york state attorney general. in march, she subpoenaed deutsche bank for the trump organization's financial records, including those related to the schemes that michael cohen described. she's leading an incredibly potent investigation right now into a key trump political ally, the nra. that's an investigation that has already plainly managed to freak out the nra and its leadership. just this week, she laufnched a
new lawsuit over the administration's immigration policy. what have you been doing with yourself this summer? joining us is tish james. >> thank you for having me. >> that summarizes a tiny piece of what and your office are doing right now. that's some of the stuff i have been trying to keep up with. >> 17 cases since i took office. one every two weeks. >> tell me about the financial piece of this. it has been interesting to me to watch the president fight tooth and nail. he hired a new raft of lawyers that are only trying to keep him taxes and financial information secret. he has a bear of a fight over that on his taxes and financial documents with multiple committees in congress. he has a fight with you on that. tell us about the progress. >> before i get into the litigation, let me tell you about who i am. let me set the table. we are a country of laws and rules. it's critically important that we adhere to those. what guides me is i believe in
equality and i believe that the law should apply to all of us and no one is above the law. those are simple concepts that i believe in. i believe that as the attorney general of the great state of new york, that i cannot sit by and allow someone to basically subvert the united states constitution or the constitution of new york. that explains all of the litigation that we have been involved in. we have a federal government which unfortunately has been engaged in retrenchment. a federal government which is closed. all of these lawsuits are defending the rights of immigrant, the rights of women, the disabled, the rights of individuals that and their health care, the environment. the list goes on and on and on. if we again are to continue the progress we have made in this nation, if we are to believe in the simple concepts of equality for all and justice for all, then you have to fight back and you have to stand up. you have to use the law as a sword and as a shield. getting to your question, there are a number of investigations
going on in our office as a result of the testimony of michael cohen. they raise some legitimate concerns. the president of the united states has been complained i'm engaging in some sort of political witch hunt, i have personal vendetta against him, i campaigned against him. that is not true. i have not politicized the office. mr. cohen raised questions and issues that i am onbligated as the attorney general to pursue. we are following the facts and the evidence. some of the cases unfortunately i cannot divulge, give you an update where they are. i can tell you that the office of attorney general is standing up for the law. again, no one is above the law, including the most powerful individual in this country, the president of the united states. >> the financial issues in particular, one of the things that we can watch in those federal court fights happening between the president and congressional committees is that we can see how the president filing individual lawsuits, the president employing the justice department in some cases to come
in on his side in the lawsuits against congress and them trying to act. we can see how his legal strategy has stopped those inquiries or slowed them down. in terms of the way he has fought you, do you feel that you have been stopped or that you have been diverted from anything that you are pursuing? >> by no means. the president of the united states uses the lawsuits, he hides the law. what we need is accountability and transparency. the trust act was an act passed by the new york state legislature which basically says that the three committees in the united states congress can ask for the president's tax records in the state of new york. his state taxes. so we are in litigation because the president individually and personally filed a lawsuit against me, the ways and means committee of congress as well as new york state taxation and finance, blocking his taxes. every president has offered up their taxes. state and federal taxes. not this president. why shouldn't the law apply to
him? why shouldn't he be held accountable? why shouldn't he provide transparency to individuals who would like to see his taxes? >> let me ask you -- this is a naive question. you can tell me i'm dumb for asking it. >> i would never do that. >> i might deserve it. don't rule it out. on that last point that you were making about this new york state law that says under certain circumstances a person's state -- the president's state tax returns could be handed over to the appropriate members of congress, if that gets to the end of the line in terms of the president trying to sue you and trying to block that in court and trying to fight that out through litigation and the president decides, i'm going to flout that law, what is new york going to do, arrest me? where does that end if the president decides that's a state law and he doesn't feel bound by it? >> the reality is, we are fighting this case because it was filed in the district of columbia. we believe new york is not subject to the jurisdiction of the district of columbia. he is arguing that the trust
act, which would reveal his state taxes in violation of the first amendment and that we are retaliating against him because of his political views and nothing can be further from the truth. if he loses and right now the case is being held up until we resolve the jurisdiction issues. if we win and if the chairman requests his state taxes in furth furtherance of congressional responsibility, we will turn over the taxes. the chairman has yet to ask us. it's premature to bring it lawsuit. i'm confident his lawsuit against me, against taxation and finance and the chairman will be dismissed because it's premature. >> one other matter i want to ask you about. when we come back, you appear to be driving the national rifle association to distraction right now with your investigation that involves their non-profit status. i would like to ask you about that when we come back. k you ab
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joining us is new york state attorney general tish james. thank you for staying with us. a few days ago i talked about you being sued once again in your official capacity as attorney general. in this case, i was puzzled. the nra was suing you, your office has launched an investigation into the nra looking into the group's financial dealings, looking into whether the group may have abused its non-profit status. as i understood it, and as i explained it to our viewers, the nra was suing you because you subpoenaed oliver north, you were planning to depose him pursuant to that and the nra was suing because they wanted their own lawyers in the room while you deposed him. >> correct. they lost. >> okay. why did they sue you? >> basically saying it was in violation of certain privileges.
and they lost. so we will be deposing oliver north and we will be looking into the nra and their finances to determine whether or not they violated not for profit law in the state of new york. there's been a a number of allegations and there has been a number of individuals who stepped forward who serve on their board who want to cooperate with our office. clearly, we have a responsibility and duty to ensure that individuals who contributed to the nra, that it has been done in accordance with new york state law. >> i know that your office subpoenaed something like 90 people who, including a lot of current and former board members of the nra. >> correct. >> some of the people who have either served in the past or currently serve on the board are helping with the investigation? >> a number of individuals reached out to us with respect to the nra. >> in terms. nra's non-profit status, it's in your jurisdiction whether or not they hold on to that status, is that specifically what is at risk for them if these allegations are borne out?
>> they are chartered in the state of new york and we have a responsibility and a duty to ensure that all not-for-profits in the state of new york add here to the laws of the state of new york and protect individuals and they follow the law. we are assigning and ensuring that they comply with the laws as all of the not-for-profits have to do in the state of new york. >> i feel like every story that i cover has this angle. either time you would like to correct me or help me understand it, please. >> the president of the united states says i'm bludgeoning him. to me, that's a badge of honor. he needs to understand that the rule of law applies to him as well, no one is above the law, and the law should be used as a shield to protect vulnerable people and protect the state of new york. i can't believe i'm standing up for state's rights. that's what i'm doing. >> in a very specific way. attorney general james. thanks. we'll be right back. stay with us.
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one thing i want to mention about something we just talked about with attorney general james. i mentioned at the top of the show that former presidential hopeful john hickenlooper, two-term governor of colorado, announced instead of continuing his presidential race he is going to run for a u.s. senate seat in colorado. currently, that senate seat is occupied by freshman republican cory gardner, who is widely considered to be among the most
vulnerable republican senators up for re-election in 2020. if democrats are going it take the senate and remove mitch mcconnell from his job as senate majority leader, there probably isn't a path to do that that doesn't involve beating cory gardner and taking his seat. that is why you should see this. in addition to john hickenlooper joining that primary field against gardner, in addition to this newly upped pressure on gardner from the democrats who want to replace him, we just exclusively got this new ad from every town for gun safety, which is about to turn the pressure on corey gardner up another notch. >> a lone gunman opens fire in aurora, colorado. >> newtown, connecticut. >> orlando. >> vegas. >> parkland, pittsburgh. >> mass shooting in el paso. >> dayton, ohio. >> it seems like every day there is another shooting. this isn't normal. it's time our elected officials did something about it.
tell cory gardner and mitch mcconnell to stand up to the gun lobby to keep guns away from people to pose a danger to our communities. >> again we got that exclusively from every town for gun safety. that ad is part of a national campaign pushing on republican senators around the country. in that one targeting gardner on an issue where they think he may lose votes and be vel nationvul colorado. t as this democratic presidential field starts narrowing down, these candidates may, some of them, be heading back to very real fights back at home. democrats seem increasingly confident part of the way they will win hard races is going hard on the issue of gun reform. we'll be right back. stay with us. with us
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that does it for us. we will see you tomorrow. we will be doing a special show focusing on the strength of the democratic 2020 field. very excited about that. see you then. now for the last word a lawrence o'donnell. >> wish me luck. i am going to do something i am not good at here. i am going to be interview one of my heroes. i'm not good at hiding my awe in those situations. so it's going to be what it's going to be. we'll see where it goes. >> do you need tips? >> well, what's it like when that happens to you? >> i leave my body