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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  September 12, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT

12:00 am that is our broadcast for this wednesday night, september 11th, what does this mean? 2019. thank you for being with us. >> it means that cy vance's team has picked up the investigationn good night from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. into falsifying business records in the trump organization. it means they're sort of tugging that piece of yarn in this sweater and seeing how it o this is interesting on lots of tonight on "all in." different levels, not only in how they would do it and what they would find but can they >> john wasn't in line with what we were doing and actually in really get information from some cases he thought it was too cohen so that they know where tt tough what we were doing, mr. tough guy.wa >> the bolton fall out from the go to find more information so iran negotiations to nuking a h that eventually he never has to be a witness because you know he's not a very good witness hurricane to north korea. because of his convictions. n >> i don't blame kim jong-un for what he said after that.e and he wanted nothing to do witt but they can get information on john bolton. hes falsifying business records >> tonight new details about which can be a felony and a serious offense. exactly why trump no longer has a national security advisor. and it could lead as you tug on plus, breaking news. that yarn in the sweater from michael cohen makes a new falsifying business to some kind agreement to tell all about the of a criminal tax fraud case. trump organization. and so we just have to wait and then -- impasse as states star see what they get, in addition taking the matter into their own hands. what they've got out of ami. what they've gotten out of the ' records from the trump and the scheme pulled off by north carolina republican while
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democrats were at a 9/11 and in the course of their commemoration.h investigation, have people in the trump organization lied to >> if this is the way you them, is that another charge? believe democracy work, shame oi you. so this is just the beginning to >> when "all in" starts right pull this yarn on this sweater. now."a good evening from new >> let me ask you this, nick, for people, cynthia was just hampshire. talking about cy vance, so i'm ali velshi in for chris hayes. manhattan district attorney. we've mostly known about michael it's been only a day since the president fired his national cohen through the work of the mo security advisor john bolton or southern district of new york. john bolton quit between who you >> the big difference here is that cy vance is the local a he is the state prosecutor in or it's hard to pin down the exact new york county.e so he is not concerned with reason for the split between the federal crimes. president's comments and he's concerned with state crimes.ce but i think we have a continuous different reports, it seems the two men disagreed on just about everything. theme here that pervades all of for one we now know that one ofg this. the reasons trump got rid of bolton was because some of on and it's simply that all roads lead to donald trump's tax trump's friends didn't like him returns. to make this a serious crime and >> take a look at what happened to gaddafi with the libyan model a serious felony falsifying and he's using that to make a fi business records is usually deal with north korea, and i associated with falsifying don't kim jong-un for what he numbers so that they falsify in turn the tax returns. >> interesting. nothing to do with john bolton. >> so in this particular case it >> so the north korean dictator
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who imprisons and murders his could very well be that they are own people didn't like john bolton. looking at the false state tax returns that have been filed by the trump organization, filed by quote, the main irritant that drove mr. trump to distraction donald trump, and there could be was his belief that bolton or all kinds of people who could those close to bolton leaked a have criminal liability here. story about mr. trump asking os if it's just donald trump, about whether nuclear weapons obviously, the problem there is indicting a sitting president, could be used to abate hurricanes. although the manhattan da's office is not under the same stickture as the department of justice.e that could indict a sitting president. multiple reports have centered around the two men disagreeing secondly, there are lots of around how to deal with iran. people around donald trump who could be indicted for aiding and abetting and assisting in this. bloomberg reports discussing sanctions and meeting with the country's president causing the for example, in the watergate notoriously hawkish bolton to push back. in june following trump's prosecution we could have decision not to order a military indicted richard nixon up until the point he was pardoned by president ford. however, we wound up indicting attack on iran after it downed an unmanned u.s. drone, bolton was devastated. four other people who assisted yet another point of contention nixon in the preparation of hisr false returns. between trump and his former national security advisor was the president's secret plan to so here you've got people like weisselberg who was given host taliban leaders at camp immunity by the feds, but that david that he later canceled immunity doesn't carry over to b
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the state. you've got people who were involved in actually dealing ot here's how politico described it. bolton's ousting came after widespread reports that bolton with this hush money, dealing tried to stop trump from with the books and records. inviting leaders of the afghan so there are lots of potential e taliban to camp david for peacel defendants here who could be charged with crimes related -- >> this is the pulling on the yarn. trump ultimately scrapped the cynthia, what can cy vance offer michael cohen? idea but multiple people said what does he get for it? the news reports about bolton's >> first of all, revenge is a dissent believed to have been planted by bolton's aides infuriated trump. wonderful motivation which another reason why you don't donald trump wanted to host want him on the stand. leaders from the taliban at camp you know, cy vance isn't in a that was the plan. just days before the 18th position to do anything about anniversary of 9/11, which is s americans across the country his federal time because he's held solemn vigils to honor the serving time in a federal nearly 3,000 people who died that day. prison. president trump held a moment of and he can't really do anything silence at the white house and spoke at the pentagon warning le about that. the taliban not to mess with the united so i would say, you know, cohen but here's the weird thing. obviously feels it's deeply donald trump is the guy who invited the taliban to camp unfair and i would agree with him that he's the only person serving time for the campaign david on the week of 9/11. finance violation. it is unclear exactly what and it has inspired him to findi happens now, but one thing we do know is that trump appears to b,
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ways to make sure the authorities in new york state bumbling his way through foreign policy. joining me now is a man who h know about the violation and worked with john bolton in the will follow all the leads.ut because after all in the new york state prosecution there is george w. bush administration. no bar to shut it down, you he was chief of staff to secretary of state colin powell. know, the attorney general. there is no olc memo and there' colonel, good to see you. if you didn't know what john no pardon power associating with bolton is about, donald trump is the state court crimes. surprised by john bolton, he's about the only person in the world surprised by john bolton. >> so nick, one will remember john bolton has been exactly who that michael cohen was not , jumping over himself to john bolton is for 30 years. cooperate with authorities the r >> you just put your finger on it. i said john bolton wouldn't last whole way. there was always something ther. very long when he was appointed. that prevented him from fessing up to everything he's done. he's worried about i didn't think he would last as long as he did, but you just put >> spending three years behind your finger on it. it's a reflection of the i can guarantee you he's not sitting there now just making president and his ability to license select people who were not just compatible with his views and he's looking for ways he can personality but the strategies and policies he wants america to cooperate and get his cooperation before judge pauline in the southern district of new york so he can rack up those brownie points and bring down that pursue, if yous as much a refl i'm sure he's cooperating with jerry nadler's investigation, of trump's inability to get along with other human beings with the da's office.
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and to select people who are and at some point his lawyers good for the job as it is bolton's irascibility, are going to go before the judge warmongering and noted penchant and say michael cohen while he's to be a hard nose character. been in prison has cooperated >> well, if martians landed on with a whole series of pr earth and said earthlings what is this war hawk you speak of, you could direct them to a investigations and therefore, judge, you should lower his sentence. definition of john bolton. and that's what he's going to try and do.nt >> thank you, both. we appreciate it. coming up next while "the wall street journal" republicans continue to obstruct gun legislation democrats are u reporting from january of 2019 finding new ways to get things that after militants fired three how one governor is taking matters into his own hands after this. mortars into baghdad's sprawling diplomatic quarter, baghdad being allied with iran, mr. trump's national security team led by john bolton led a series of meetings conducted a series of meetings to conduct a forceful onu.s. response includg what many saw as the unusual request for options to strike iran. quote, it definitely rattled people a former senior u.s. administration official said of the people were shocked.
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it was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hittin- iran. john bolton has invested a lot of time in the same way that peter navarro has invested a lot of time in getting the president to impose tariff on china. john bolton invested a lot of time to get out of the iran deai and take hawkish militaristic position with iran. >> and as i can see the crafterh of security policies such as s they are we've seen to this let's remember ronald reagan wanted to be president of the united regardless of what we think of ronald reagan, he wanted to be president of the united states. he had six national security advisers in eight years, no one said much about it. we moved all the way from the beginning to people who weren'ta allowed to see the president to at the end colin powell and frank who got in almost any time they needed to. this is not ronald reagan, this is president who doesn't get along with people. this is a president who can't manage policy except that the policy is his and his alone. and we've seen how disastrous s that sort of policy is, if you can sayy we have a policy,
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foreign policy is if you can say we have a policy. you name it, we're in disarray right now. john bolton wasn't responsible , for that the president is responsible. d >> it's an interesting point that you brought up that ronald reagan had six in eight years. we're now at three in the time that donald trump has been in office. so maybe the time is not the issue. it's the who. you need a national security w advisor who's prepared to stand up and at the same time you've got someone who has a good strategic sense of national security policy. >> and compatibility with the president. if you want to look at the ideal national security advisor you look at george herbert walker s ecurity foreign policy t decision making team since eisenhower. m that's the way it's supposed to be. >> what makes that work? >> what makes it work is the personality to the president and the personality to the national security adviser and the experience of both, both.
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he was vice president to ronalde reagan for eight years, ambassador to china, head of the rnc, director of the cia.or he had experience. he'd been jerry ford's national security advisor and ran the changes in the national security council. he knew it and if there was onet word that says what you ought to have in the white house in both then, president and national security advisor is experience.r and if you don't have it in the president and you often don't, you need it in the national security adviser. >> there's some late reporting tonight from cnn. the president is considering gh mike pompeo to remain as id secretary of state and take on e this position. >> henry kissinger did that. we saw how that worked. it didn't work at all. the congress should take great exception to that because you've got a person with no portfolio e i know the pain of losing a that's subject to their advice child to gun violence. and consent not elected in the national security advisor but immensely powerful because of his proximity to the president
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and not anyone in this room, and a cabinet officer subject to all of that and equally bi powerful. anyone in this country should you don't want someone with both ever be faced with that pain, and for every single day that we portfolios. >> thank you for your time and fall into not taking action, mothers and fathers across this analysis tonight. all right, john bolton's out. yesterday president trump's country will live through the same nightmare that i did. first national security advisor >> that was congresswoman lucy mike flynn learned he's going to mcbath of georgia yesterday be sentenced later this year for before the house judiciary committee voted to advance three lying to the fbi. and now tonight we have learned bills designed to counter the that donald trump's former personal lawyer michael cohen is gun violence epidemic in this cooperating with officials from behind country. he's signed a proffer agreement with the manhattan district d attorney's office. m it's the latest gun safety push from the democrat controlled now the proffer means cohen will house which voted earlier this year to require background cooperate with the investigation checks on almost all gun sales, and get limited protection something supported by the against prosecution in return. overwhelming majority of the da is looking into the os americans. possibility that the trump but senate republicans have organization was falsifying business records. refused to take up any gun joining me now are two of our safety legislation with senate legal experts, cynthia, former majority leader mitch mcconnell prosecutor in the department of insisting he needs to know what donald trump would sign before justice's civil rights division he brings a bill to the floor which is unusual because the and now an msnbc legal analyst. senate is part of the congress, and nick acerman, former assistant watergate prosecutor, which is a co-equal branch of
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also a former u.s. attorney. thank you both for being here. u the government. today donald trump said he was working with the senate lawmakers on gun safety measures that will be, quote, acceptable to everybody. another thing that seems unattainable. i a he appears unlikely to support any gun legislation. just last month he reportedly assured the nra that universal background checks are off the table. with republicans continuing to have struck gun safety levels at the federal level, some states are stepping up. governor phil murphy signed an executive order mandating that his state not do business to people who don't adopt more stringent gun safety laws. joining me now to tell me more about this governor phil murphy. >> thank you for having me on, ali. >> we've seen across this cony over the last few years, gun safety advocates point this out all the time while the focus seems to be on the congress to pass meaningful gun legislation
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in fact there has been meaningful legislation passed across the country and they argue in fact a lot of progress has been made on that front. >> ali, it's quite appropriate to have a discussion on public safety on this most solemn of days, so god rest the souls of we lost 18 years ago. yes, there's been progress at the state level because we frankly have no choice. there's inaction in washington. i hope the president has seen the light in senator mcconnell, i'll believe that when i see it. but we have from day one in our administration taken a whole series of actions, executive orders, legislative action forming a coalition with other like-minded states called states for gun safety and yesterday as you pointed out, an executive order that would require gun vendors, financial institutions that finance those vendors as
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well as insurance companies to adhere to a set of principles that we think are consistent with the values associated with a smart gun safety state. and we'll keep at it because at the end of the day we all know that we need congress to act. but in the absence of that we can't stop it and continue to stay at it. >> we have a second amendment in this country, it is the law of the land regardless of what people think about it or not. it is what it is. how does your new executive order stand up to that? when you say that these vendors, these companies that finance them, insurance companies live up to a set of standards that you think are acceptable, how do you do that while standing up to a potential court challenge? >> so we entered this executive order and the execution of it in a spirit of good will.itthe ven that's guns, ammunition, other equipment.
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we've spent over the recent period of time over $70 million. we have right now six vendors that deal with the state. again, we entered that with a spirit of good will. financial institutions we spent a lot more in fees. i think we spent about a billion dollars in fees with financial institutions. and last low on the insurance carrier side it's unclear yet what the exact magnitude is. but none of what we're doing in any way challenges the second amendment. this is asking vendors to adhere to a set of principles that they respect universal background checks, that they won't sell to straw purchasers, that they'll take training and communication seriously and likewise financial institutions will choose in their dealings to finance only the vendors, whether they be retail or manufacturers, that also would adhere to those principles.
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i don't think any of that goes near the second amendment and i think we can make that case quite clearly and i would hope we could continue to do so not just in new jersey but across our country. >> i want to ask you really quickly the president says he's going to come up with something that everybody's going to be happy with. those red flag laws across the country are an example of common ground with gun safety advocates advocates are worked with gun advocates to say there are people dangerous who maybe shouldn't have guns but that will be adjudicated. >> yeah, red flag laws are good examples of steps that are broadly if not overwhelmingly supported by americans of all political stripes. universal background checks, i think, clocks in at 90%. it's completely shameful that congress and this administration haven't acted already on those steps. i'm hopeful that they will, but in the meantime i'll hope for
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the best and we'll prepare for the worst and keep at it here in new jersey. >> we appreciate it, governor phil murphy of new jersey. coming up next, new reporting tonight the white house was involved in the ultimatum to noaa. either back up the president or lose your job. details of that next. hat next - in the last year, there were three victims
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another day, another round of reporting on the white house pressuring a government agency to back up president trump's incorrect claim that hurricane dorian was threatening the state of alabama.
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what had devolved into the ridiculous when trump held up an out dated hurricane track which had been sharpied by him according to "the washington post" citing an unnamed white house official became far more serious when the national oceanic and atmospheric administration or noaa actually issued an unsigned statement backing president trump up and rebuking the national weather service in birmingham for correcting the president. but that's not it. then we learn that wilbur ross, the secretary of the commerce department which oversees noaa, reportedly personally directed the acting administrator of noaa to issue that statement or risk having top political appointees at noaa fired. that's according to "the new york times." wilbur ross denies that and now there's new reporting that the pressure on noaa came straight from the white house. "the new york times" is reporting, quote, mick mulvaney
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the acting white house chief of staff told wilbur ross, the commerce secretary, to publicly cis avow the forecasters position that alabama was not at risk. and "the washington post" reporting, quote, president trump told his staff that noaa needed to deal with a tweet that seemed to contradict his statement that hurricane dorian posed a significant threat to alabama, senior administration officials said. when asked today if he had directed mulvaney to do that, the president denied it calling it a hoax by fake news. that has not stopped the inspector general of the commerce department of directing that unsigned statement saying this was a matter of, quote, scientific integrity. in an e-mail to craig mcclain he condemned the agency's response as quote political and a danger to public health and safety and he's investigate why noaa issued that statement. so this is far from over. as for president trump's treatment of actual victims of
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(vo) with fair, transparent value for every trade-in... enterprise makes it easy. as thousands remain missing and tens of thousands more are homeless in the bahamas in the wake of hurricane dorian a trump administration official tells nbc news that the united states will not grant protected status to people who are displaced by the storm. now that status would allow bahamians to live and work in the united states until it's deemed safe to return home. it's the same status granted for example to victims of haiti's earthquake in 2010. this news comes on the same day, quote, bahama's emergency services listed 2,500 people as missing. the government official says the list has not been checked against government records of who's staying in shelters or who has been evacuated. the number of people confirmed killed in the bahamas stands at 50 tonight. that number is almost certain to
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rise. joining me now is a member of the house oversight committee. congressman, good to see you. thank you for being with us. in the wake of a humanitarian disaster which i saw with my own eyes, i just returned from the bahamas, the president uttered language he's used about all asylum seekers, mexicans, he talked about criminals, drug dealers, gangs, people who are not legally in the bahamas, and actually a lot of that is a reference to the haitians who went thereafter the earthquake in haiti. it is not the normal tone you would expect in the face of a humanitarian disaster that the bahamas is facing. >> ali, it's morally outrageous. let's be clear what this administration is doing. they're turning away poor black people who are coming after having faced a category 5 hurricane, and they're coming here for temporary relief. these are climate refugees. i mean, they faced a more severe
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hurricane because of the warming of the ocean caused in part by our carbon policies. the least we can do is to allow them here on a temporary basis. and this administration is just really despicable that they're being turned away. >> and to be clear we have systems in place for doing this. the temporary protected status law allows for us to bring people in with documentation know where they are, monitor it when the temporary protective status ends, they would go back. this isn't a they're invading us thing. >> not at all. and senator marco rubio is asking they be allowed in. the idea you're going to require first documentation when they've just gone through a hurricane and you expect that they have their passport or visa defies any common sense. and second, almost any president in the past has allowed people when there's a natural disaster to come here, they get to work, stay here temporarily and then they go back. we've done this when there was a natural disaster in haiti, we've
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done in natural disasters in other parts of the world. what this president is doing is also unprecedented. >> it's worth noting a lot of people in the bahamas are descended from american loyalists who went there in many cases with slaves. so the connection is very strong. let's talk about this whole noaa thing, the president, the sharpie, the alabama thing. would have been bad enough if it just happened, but the president continued to keep this in the news, continued to talk about it. and then it went a step further. it wasn't just the doctored map. it went somewhere else, and with each passing few hours, we're getting more information about how close the order to issue a statement to noaa came from the president. >> well, as they say in washington the cover up is almost always worse than the original misconduct. i mean, all the president had to do was admit a mistake, but this president is incapable of ever admitting that he's wrong.
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and so he's engaged in this elaborate cover-up to the point where the chief of staff to the president is allegedly directing an independent agency to put out a tweet defending the president and interfering in an independent process. so it just shows what can go wrong in a democracy when you have a leader who has a disregard for facts and who has no sense of humility, no sense of willingness to admit that he made a mistake. >> i have to say i have a lot of reasons as a guy who's reported on hurricanes to not want the administration or the national weather service or noaa or journalists to misrepresent storms because people already have issues taking it seriously. but the idea that the chief of staff may have called the commerce secretary who may have called the head of noaa to cause them to put out a public statement because they didn't want to contradict the president seem to be a greater offense to democracy. >> it is and a pattern with this administration. this is what got the president
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in trouble with the mueller report, he was trying to interfere with the justice department, interfere with the fed. he's now trying to interfere with the commerce department. he's not king, not a dictator. he lives in a constitutional democracy and there are independent agencies who operate totally independent from his power. and he refuses to acknowledge the very basics of the checks and balances of our constitutional democracy. >> thank you for joining me. >> ali, great to be on. coming up next did north carolina republicans really stage a legislative coupe in the middle of a september 11th memorial events. the governor roy cooper joins me to break down what happened after this.
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and take your business beyond fast. don't miss out on this limited time offer. call 1-800-501-6000 today. all right, in north carolina one day after special congressional elections netted two republican seats republicans in the state legislator pulled off a move that the raleigh news and observer called a quote shameless theft of democracy.
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while the governor and some democratic service members were at a service commemorating 9/11, democrats say the vote was not scheduled. they were under the impression they didn't need to be there, so only 12 democrats were in the statehouse when it all went down. >> mr. speaker, you are making a mockery of this process. you are deceiving all of north carolina. your leadership is an embarrassment to the history of this great state. at this moment in time you are doing the unspeakable. is this the legacy you want? are you proud of this? are you proud of yourselves? look at you. there's no one here because we have been deceived. the trustworthiness is gone.
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we will not yield. >> all right, joining me now to talk about what exactly is going on in north carolina is the governor of the great state, democrat roy cooper. governor, i was just in your state last week as we were covering the hurricanes and i never cease to tell people what a beautiful state it is with great people and terrific food. what is going on with your politics? >> well, there's no question that north carolina is a great place to live and raise your family. but, ali, what we saw today was an assault on democracy by when republican leadership. i vetoed this bad budget because it valued corporate tax cuts over investment and public education and denied health insurance to 500,000 working north carolinans with medicaid expansion. over two months instead of negotiating with me this republican legislature continued to try to override my veto.
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they did it by bullying legislators. they did it by bribing legislators. even offering to move the entire department of health and human services to any legislator's county who would vote to override my veto. they couldn't get the votes. so what they did was lied. they told democratic legislators and they told the media that there would not be votes at 8:30 this morning on 9/11, a day when americans should be standing in solidarity. they scheduled this vote and overrode the veto. and the people of north carolina lost today, teachers lost today, working north carolinans who don't have health insurance lost today and it is wrong. it is wrong. >> wrong it may be, is it illegal? >> i believe it is. i also believe that it is unethical. and the way they did it, these legislators are citizen
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legislators. and they have been showing up every day there's a session for over two months. one legislator had to get off her chemotherapy bed to get there. they missed family events. they have missed work in order to be there. and there have been some days when the republican leadership has told them there's not going to be a vote. and this was one of those days. and i think it's all part and parcel of this republican leadership and our legislature, which in fact has not reflected of who we are as north carolinians. they were elected under illegal gerrymandered districts. and i think it is the last gasp of a dying majority here. i was elected governor in 2016. i i appointed by far the most diverse and qualified cabinet in
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the history of our state. i've been fighting offshore drilling, issued an anti-discrimination order, pushed for public education. and then we went last year and recruited enough people to run for the state legislature. and even under terrible districts we were able to break the super majority in both the house and senate and this year we've been stopping bad legislation, so they had to resort to trickery. and now our state courts unlike the u.s. supreme court, our state courts have found partisan gerrymandering to be unconstitutional. so now they're having to redraw their districts. and every single one of those house members and state senators are going to be up for election next year along with me running for re-election for governor. and there will be a judgment day in north carolina. >> gerrymandering is an important and serious issue across this country and it is driven home in north carolina. in fact, i'm just showing our viewers a picture of north carolina's 12th congressional
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district which was formerly the most gerrymander district in the united states. this republican dominated legislator in north carolina, when you became governor they attempted to strip you of most of your important powers. >> they did. we were able to sue them and get a lot of it back. but you're talking about a legislative leadership when they drew these congressional districts, they did it with partisanship in mind first and foremost. and in fact we are a state that votes pretty evenly democrat and republican. and they drew districts that resulted in ten republicans and only three democrats. and when asked this particular leader who told our democrats today that there had be no votes at the 8:30 session, this leader when asked how in the world when it's so even in north carolina can you end up with ten republicans and three democrats,
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his answer was we couldn't figure out a way to make it 11-2. now, that, that is straight partisan game playing, gerrymandering, and it is wrong to the core and resulted in the extremism we've seen from our legislature in north carolina. but we are winning here. we are turning things around. we still have a fight in the senate. we broke the super majority in the senate as well, so we're going to fight it. but our best chance was in the house, and they had to use lies and deception in order to get this done today. and it's wrong. and i believe the people are going to react positively next year when every one of them are up for re-election. >> north carolina governor roy cooper. coming up, the last gasp effort of how they broke the harvey weinstein investigation. joining me next. - in the last year, there were three victims
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it's an ongoing need. now is the time to make sure that you have the right plan in place. don't wait. - [announcer] norton 360 with lifelock. use promo code get25 to save 25% off your first year and get a free shredder with annual membership. call now to start your membership or visit my body is truly powerful. i have the power to lower my blood sugar and a1c. because i can still make my own insulin. and trulicity activates my body to release it like it's supposed to. trulicity is for people with type 2 diabetes. it's not insulin. i take it once a week. it starts acting in my body from the first dose. trulicity isn't for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. don't take trulicity if you're allergic to it, you or your family have medullary thyroid cancer, or have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. stop trulicity and call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction, a lump or swelling in your neck, or severe stomach pain. serious side effects may include pancreatitis.
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taking trulicity with a sulfonylurea or insulin increases low blood sugar risk. side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, belly pain and decreased appetite, which lead to dehydration and may worsen kidney problems. i have it within me to lower my a1c. ask your doctor about trulicity. it's been nearly two years since two reporters for "the new york times" broke open one of the most consequence stories of our time about sexual harassment claims against harvey weinstein whose trial on rape and sexual assault charges will begin in january. that story galvanized the "me too" movement, reaching dozens of men in the highest echelons of power. now the two pulitzer prize-winning reporters jodi kantor and megan twohey are telling their story and the change they kicked off in a new book entitled "she said."
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they join me now. thank you. congratulations on the recognition that your writing has justly been given. but in this book you tell of a journey. this is not just reporting a story. this has intrigue and mystery and threats and confidential sources. two years ahead of this, two years from when this first started, what has changed in your mind? what is different today? >> well, there is no question that this story helped break the silence that had basically governed hollywood and other industries in which women were scared to speak out and go on the record their allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. we realized our weinstein story, the first weinstein story was really just the beginning. we had been able in the first story to connect some of the dots of his alleged predation going back over the years and how it was covered up. since then we have been able to piece together so many other additional pieces of the puzzle.
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the machinery that was in place to silence women and try to stop our investigation, and also the way that individuals and institutions can become complicit in abuse. that's something that really goes beyond the weinstein story to all these, you know, to this issue as it plays out across the country. >> let me ask you, jodi, when people say that because of "me too" women can make uncorroborated claims against men and they are taken seriously, your reporting shows otherwise, that there is no -- that's not how this went down? >> well, that's not how we operate. one of the things we explain in the book is every one of those allegations we talked about has to be vetted, it has to be corroborated. we were writing under legal threat. i think you are also talking about something more general now, which is a fear that "me too" has somehow gone too far. what megan and i have seen in our reporting is there are three questions "me too" that are unresolved.
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what kind of behaviors are under scrutiny? is this about serious claims of assault or bad jokes, bra snapping in school hallways? number two, how do we evaluate these claims? what are the tools we use? what's the process we use for figuring out the truth. what is punishment and accountability look like? this these controversial cases what you often see is that all three of those questions are torturously mixed up. >> are they answerable? do we know when you get a report of something that you need to pursue, do you know how to answer those questions? >> well, so with we are able to walk readers through is the way that journalism works. and so there was -- i just got my -- i started my career at a newspaper in wisconsin and my editor had a saying above his desk, if your mom tells you she loves you, check it out, which i think applies to all types of reporting and investigating. i think people can mistakenly
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think, especially in the "me too" era, if a woman comes forward to a newspaper with an allegation that the newspaper turns around and publishes it. we are able to walk readers through the rigorous amount of work required to go to print with a story like this. we were able to basically amass a financial trail of payoffs that weinstein had been able to, that he used to pay off and silence women over the years. we were able to extract internal company records documenting complaints against him, in addition to women going on the records with their stories and the corroboration we used in those cases. so what you are able to see, and also in the final stretch that we go to weinstein himself to give him adequate time to respond. >> who then came to your offices right as this was about to go to press? >> yes. well, he got this strange call very close to when the article was ready, and it said harvey weinstein is on his way over. and we said, what?
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he is coming to the office? and he was going to show up within a matter of minutes. and actually my partner megan decided to take the meeting. >> yeah, he basically barged into "the new york times" with many high-powered lawyers by his side, including lisa bloom, the feminist attorney, one of his staunchest defenders. he came in with folders that he had containing information and photographs that he thought he would be able to use to smear the woman preparing to go on the record for our stories. >> you mentioned you were able to follow a financial trail. you had a source that was helping you with that? >> we did. one of the things, it's sort of a relief to finally be ae to tell certain stories in this book and to take people into these events. one of the things we can finally disclose there was a kind of deep throat figure in the weinstein investigation and his name is irwin rider.
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he was harvey weinstein's own accountant for his companies for about 30 years. so he was very much an insider. company when i started meeting with him late at night in the fall of 2017. and he provided crucial information about more recent allegations that helped us nail the story. >> what a remarkable story. when you started this did you get how big this was? >> we certainly had no idea what the impact would be. at "the new york times" all we know in 2017 is that we were committed to reporting on sexual harassment across a variety of industries from the restaurant industry to silicon valley to hollywood to auto plants, and our hope, obviously, was they would help bring about change, but we couldn't be sure what was going to have what impact. >> the tip of the spear. thank you for not only your remarkable reporting, but for this book that tells us about how it all went down. megan twohey, jodi kantor. and that's it for all in this weekend.
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the 11th hour with brian williams starts right now. he attacked the reporting that he tried to change the weather forecast. meanwhile, at a federal prison in upstate new york, inmate michael cohen has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as they investigate if the trump family business cooked the books to pay people off. and ten democrats now just hours away from their next debate. will they go they attack cheeseg
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