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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 27, 2019 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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rachel's got the night off. 2015, it marked the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. and since it's rare to celebrate the 70th anniversary of everything much less the history altering event with the magnitude of world war ii, the anniversary was a very big deal here in the united states. frankly, it was a very big deal all over the world. it was a chance for veterans of the greatest generation to be recognized by their fellow countrymen.
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while most countries use the 70th anniversary of world war ii to honor those who fought in those wars, certain countries had an ulterior motive. they used the anniversary to hold gigantic displays of military power. china, for example, somehowed off their tanks and missile launchers, much of which in this weird digital blue camo. they rolled out dozens of weapons known as carrier killers, missiles designed specifically to target u.s. aircraft carriers. another missile they paraded out was given the name of guam killer because it was supposedly capable of striking the u.s. naval base in guam. they even had helicopters spelling out 70 while in formation. that year the russians also held a military parade to honor the 70th anniversary of world war ii. it was the biggest military parade that country had ever seen. missiles, tanks, thousands upon thousands of troops. no expense was spared. the chinese may have used helicopters to spell out 70.
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the russians spelled it out with fighter jets. the same year the north koreans also had a giant military parade which i guess is to be expected. that is what north korea does. it's what the country's known for, parades featuring thousands of goose stepping soldiers with massive missiles mounted on trucks being rolled through the streets as well as forced displays of excitement from the crowds gathered to watch the whole thing. parades like that have been something we've shied away from here in the united states. that is until president donald trump. when he was planning his inauguration the president-elect told "the washington post," quote, we are going to display our military. that military may come marching down pennsylvania avenue. that military may be flying over new york city and washington, d.c. for parades. i mean, we are going to be showing our military. and even though the white house did not roll tanks down pennsylvania avenue for president trump's inauguration,
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that kind of bizarre quote stuck with one reporter at "the huffington post." she wanted to know if trump's inaugural committee had actually tried to use the president's inauguration as a chance to show off the country's tanks and missile launchers, and what she found out was that, yes, that's exactly what they had done. according to e-mails she obtained the trump folks had been, quote, seriously considering adding military vehicles to the inaugural parade. quote, the conversation started as can you send us some pictures of military vehicles we could add to the parade. a defense department official later told his or her colleague, quote, i explained such support would be out of guidelines. i am extremely reluctant to produce an improvised list of military vehicles, also concern that we as a command need an opportunity to staff this request and to make deliberate decisions about vehicle choice and configuration, paint scheme, uniform for crew members et cetera before we start providing pictures which might be regarded as binding.
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so the pentagon was freaking out. here they were being asked to produce a military parade and not even to commemorate the end of world war ii but to celebrate the new president, donald trump. and even though the pentagon eventually relented, they eventually let trump bring tanks to the nation's capitol last summer for an event he dubbed salute to america, it's worth noting just how much at odds that placed the president with his own military. one that was just one item in what would become a long list of things in which trump and his military leaders actually were at odds. because for all of trump's talk about appointing generals out of central casting to serve in his administration the president has not always seen eye to eye with those military leaders. take president trump's handling of north korea, for example. after meeting with kim jong-un in 2018, trump abruptly announced that he would suspend military drills with south korea. he was canceling them because they were, quote, provocative.
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that announcement was so ought of the blue, so unexpected that it caught the pentagon flat-footed. in one fell swoop the president publicly contradicted his own defense secretary's whole military strategy. nato has proved to be another sore spot. several times over the course of 2018 president trump told top officials that he wanted to withdraw from the military alliance, an alliance seen as one of the most effective deterrents to russian military aggression. those repeated threats sent the president's national security team including defense secretary jim mattis scrambling to keep american strategy on track. same thing with syria. last december the president announced he was withdrawing 2,000 american troops from that country, that decision relayed in a tweet. it appeared to be the last straw for defense secretary jim mattis who resigned in protest. trump later backtracked agreeing to leave some 1,000 troops on the ground, but in october he decided he had had enough.
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he announced he was pulling those remaining troops. the effect was not just bipartisan backlash but also strong, strong rebukes from american troops on the ground who felt that we as a nation had betrayed our kurdish allies in that country. one soldier told "the times," quote, they trusted us and we broke that trust. it's a stain on the american conscience. while it was widely assumed president trump had the broad backing of his troops, a new poll conducted by "the military times" shows that half of active duty military personnel now hold an unfavorable view of the president. while the president may not always see eye to eye with his military leaders or even members of the rank and file, a lot of times those disagreements were over huge policy issues, matters of war and peace. but the story of retired navy s.e.a.l. eddie gallagher is very different. this is case that the president
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has been personally involved in despite the wishes of many currently serving in the military. chief gallagher served as the platoon leader of s.e.a.l. team 7. it was during his final deployment to mosul, iraq, in 2017 his fellow s.e.a.l.s they they witnessed behavior that caused them to speak out. among other things those s.e.a.l.s accused gallagher of quote, stabbing a defenseless captive to death, of picking off a school-aged girl and an old man from a sniper's roost and indiscriminately spraying neighborhoods with rockets and machine gunfire. gallagher eventually stood trial on charges he murdered that captive who was an isis prisoner, but he was later acquitted after a star witness in the case changed his testimony, later claiming that he himself had killed the prisoner. gallagher was found guilty on a single charge for having posed for a photo with the corpse. president trump has taken special interest in this case after the navy demoted
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gallagher, the president reversed the demotion. when the navy tried to remove gallagher from the s.e.a.l.s the president once again stepped in ordering the pentagon to step down. the navy secretary was later fired for his handling of the case while just last weekend gallagher on the right was seen meeting with the president at mar-a-lago. but tonight there is another development in this case. "the new york times" reporter david philips has exclusively obtained navy interviews with the s.e.a.l. team members who accused gallagher of misconduct in the first place. "the times" has published those interviews with the investigators and its tv series, "the weekly" has now published the video. what you're about to see shows them speaking on camera with investigators about their platoon leader eddy gallagher. and a warning what you're about to see and hear is disturbing. >> in the summer of 2019 we get leaked a trove of navy materials that includes thousands of
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documents, helmet cam footage, photos, text messages and all these confidential interviews with the s.e.a.l.s, stuff that no one has ever seen before. >> i heard more rumors and stuff like that of eddie like targeting civilians. >> i saw eddie take a shot at probably a 12-year-old kid. >> what was his official position? >> he was platoon chief. >> this massive leak gives us insight into a very secretive brotherhood of commandos that otherwise we would never get to see. >> the guy got crazier and crazier. >> you could tell he was perfectly okay with killing anybody. >> i see eddie run over with a knife. >> this is case where some s.e.a.l.s who are not supposed to take things outside the family turned in their own chief. >> the guy was toxic. you can't let this contain you. it's [ bleep ] up. >> these guys who believe in doing good and had the courage to act, it's just the things didn't turn out how they thought. >> there were civilians
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everywhere. >> we have a problem. >> he's a psychopath. >> the guy's freaking evil, man. >> gallagher has long proclaimed his innocence. gallagher's lawyer has accused those platoon members of having personal animosity with his client. he says he plans to file a lawsuit against "the weekly" and the reporter behind that story. nbc news has not spoken with any of the individual s.e.a.l.s shown in those taped interviews but "the new york times" has reached out to them and they all decline to comment. joining us now dave philips, national correspondent for "the new york times" who's been doing groundbreaking reporting on the story since it first broke. dave, thank you for being with us tonight. dave is knee chured in this week's episode of "the weekly" where you can see those newly published witness interviewed. dave, so much of this story has been about eddie gallagher but
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one of the remarkable things you see in those videos is just how many members of this s.e.a.l. team came forward. now gallagher has been exonerated by the trump administration. what does that mean for people like that serving in the armed forces or in the special operations units? >> well, i think that's an open question. certainly a lot of the s.e.a.l.s who did come forward and testify fear retribution. some of them are out of the navy now, some of them are not. but certainly there's been threats of violence and other kinds of intimidation. but i think your earlier point is really something to focus on. what these platoon members accuse their chief of is very serious and very grim, and it's a terrible story. but this is also a story of a number of remarkable young men who had to come -- overcome like pretty serious cultural barriers and other obstacles to do the right thing, and they stuck with it, and they have continued to stick with it. >> the interviews paint a startlingly consistent picture of the alleged inappropriate
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behavior by eddie gallagher separate and apart from the stabbing of that prisoner at the center of this case. that pattern of behavior, why wasn't that given -- why wasn't that sort of a bigger part of the case made against gallagher who was ultimately convicted of taking a photograph with the body of this prisoner? >> the story that the s.e.a.l.s tell is that when they started witnessing these crimes they say their chief was committing, they immediately turned him in. they say first they turned him into their low level platoon commander. then they tried to tell their troop commander. and they worked their way up the chain of command, and no one did anything. and so by the time a real criminal investigation started, it was almost a year later, and a lot of the physical evidence was gone. in fact, when these guys came forward they had no idea that later navy investigators would find photos of the dead victim with the chief posing with him on the chief's phone.
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so they got lucky, but these guys came forward not because they knew there was a smoking gun. they just felt that it was a necessary and right thing to do. >> gallagher's lawyer says he plans to sue you personally, saying you left out important context in your reporting. are you confident about what you included in your story? >> we go through a careful and collaborative process at "the new york times," and we stand by our reporting. >> i mentioned some new polling that shows donald trump is losing support with member of the armed services. as someone who reports on that area, give me a bit more context into this because donald trump seems to feel that his support of and constant talk about troops should, you know, put him in good stead with them. >> i think the most important thing to remember when talking about the armed forces is that it is full of millions of individuals, and so you have to make a lot of distinctions. i mean, certainly donald trump still has a lot of approval
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amongst the demographics in the military that he does in the civilian world. but you can see a slip and that is because the military is culturally conservative institution. it likes to plan, it likes to go by regulations. and as we know, the president is much more of a wildcard, and i think that they see that as a real liability at a lot of levels. >> the president's reliability in this case has been a source great controversial amongst people in the military, many of them who say there's a system and they like order and the president is sort of intervening in this thing in the middle of it has throne that into disarray. >> like i said there is a range of opinions within the military. you wouldn't be hard-pressed to find s.e.a.l.s that would say openly, hey, even if he did kill that guy i'm okay with that. and you can easily find some that just find it absolutely abhorrent, but the general consensus especially amongst the chain of command, the officers,
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the people who are trying to guide this institution, the senior people, they think that their inability to discipline someone who they see as totally unfit to serve is crazy. >> dave, thank you for your reporting. david philips of "the new york times," and thank you for being with us this evening. i want to turn now to ben rhodes. former national security adviser to president obama. ben, good to see you. thank you for being with us tonight. >> good to be you. >> president trump entered office touting his generals, he often talked about mattis being out of central casting. three years in most of those career military officials have resigned. talk to me about the effect you think trump has had over the armed forces. >> well, you know, in a way he's been something of a wrecking ball. he's been completely out of step with them on really core national security issues. should the united states remain and engage active participant in
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nato, should the united states continue to stand by an ally like south korea? instead he's threatened to pull out of nato, threatened to pull troops out of south korea. he's cozied up to vladimir putin. he's pulled troops out of syria in objection to his military and now what we see very clearly is he's interfering in the military chain of command on behalf of a war criminal here. let's be clear. let's not mince words. somebody who committed war crimes. and by doing that he's sending a message to the military, to all the other types of troops who might stand up and call out behavior like this, he's saying don't do that, that i'm actually going to support the people who break the code of conduct that our military kpedepends on. >> when you were in the obama administration what sort of conversations did you have about trust in these institutions, the rule of law in the military? how did you end up negotiating those kinds of -- those kinds of minefields because obviously the president is the commander in chief, and there are some who say the president can do
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whatever he wants with the military. but how do you manage that relationship? >> the reality is we obviously defer to the military a lot of these internal matters how they police the conduct of their personnel. if the white house were to get involved that would be an extraordinary situation. but what we found is the biggest advocates for things like avoiding civilian casualties, avoiding the kind of behavior we saw with gallagher, the biggest advocates were general officers because they understood it was in our national interests there be rules and norms upheld because if we alienated civilian populations, if we lost the trust of those civilians, we would lose the mission. it would put our troops at risk. if they were committing those types of atrocities. we also wanted to make sure if our troops ever fell into harms way there were international rules how you treat prisoners and so the u.s. is a national secure interest in this, never
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mind the moral and ethical obligation we have to abide by national standards. >> i want to ask you about a "new york times" story, the claims the pentagon is looking to draw down some of its troop presence in africa and it's part of a broader focus, the idea being we can't be in every one of these places in which there's a power vacuum so that terrorists and non-government actors don't take power. tell me about the strategy and what it means to you. >> well, the u.s. has had a growing presence in africa to fight al-qaeda and isis affiliates in places like somalia and niger for some time. frankly, i would like to see the united states government and military be more transparent about this. frankly i thought at the end of our administration and these deployments have only grown. i think what you see here is some fatigue with our military in fighting this forever war against terrorist groups and their affiliates and a desire to focus on bigger threats from geopolitical adversaries from russia and china. we do know there are still terrorist threats emanating from portions of from africa and at the same time we have president
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trump deploying thousands of u.s. troops to saudi arabia to protect his friend and ally mohamed bin salman. i think we would be better off deploying the troops to the persian gulf than taking away the troops on the front lines against terrorist organizations. >> is there some danger in getting out of these forever wars or playing police in some of these countries, not the ones you necessarily mentioned but there are still countries where there are entire power vacuums that did lead to al-qaeda training camps back in the late '90s and 2000s. is there some danger that our adversaries fill gaps we leave behind in those places? >> yeah. but i want to be fair here. i think you have to accept some of that risk. this is something we wrestled with during obama era. you never can have perfect assurance that the situation is going to be completely secure when you leave. however, what you also don't
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want to do is what happened in syria where president left in such a precipitous way that our allies were put at risk and isis troops were freed from prisons. you want to make sure you're leaving judiciously in a deliberate matter and you're training up security forces on the ground and probably leaving some u.s. logistics and intelligence capability to continue to support them. what we have to be careful here is trump isn't just pulling up the infrastructure so fast because he wants out of these places in a way that makes us less secure. and that's what we've seen him do frankly already in syria. >> ben, good to see you. good to see you tonight. ben rhodes is national security advisor under president obama. senator susan collins of maine is coming under fire from her fellow republicans over the impeachment trial. how will she respond? we'll have that next. man: sneezes skip to the good part with alka-seltzer plus. now with 25% more concentrated power. nothing works faster for powerful cold relief.
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i am willing to travel the road wherever it leads whether it's to the conviction or the acquittal of the president. but in order to do that i need more evidence. i need witnesses and further evidence to guide me to the right destination, to get to the truth. >> senator susan collins in 1999 during the clinton impeachment arguing for witnesses at the senate trial.
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of course democrats are hoping she will feel the same way now about the impeachment trial of donald trump. democrats only need four republican senators to come out in support of witnesses to force mitch mcconnell's hand. with 71% of americans in favor of the president letting his top aides testify in the senate trial and collins' bff senator lisa murkowski saying she's disturbed by mcconnell's promise to be in total coordination with the white house on this, a group of republicans who are critical of president trump saw their opening and took it. >> key witnesses in the ukraine scandal must testify in the senate impeachment trial. these witnesses include rudy giuliani. >> you did ask ukraine to look into joe biden? >> of course i did. >> mick mulvaney. >> what you just described is a quid pro quo. >> there's going to be political influence in foreign policy. >> mike pompeo. >> rudy giuliani delivered ukraine files to mike pompeo. >> and john bolton.
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>> a lawyer for john bolton says he has new information on these meetings with ukraine. >> call senator collins and tell her these witnesses must testify. >> paging susan collins. what should be noted she's up for re-election in 2020. she's not the only one with a new ad in her honor. senators romney, murkowski, lamar alexander and collins all got taylor-made these witnesses must testify ads for christmas. i'm guessing that wasn't on their christmas list this year. at chevy, we're all family. we're a festive family. we're a four-legged family. we're a get-up-and-go family. we're a ski family. we're all part of the chevy family. and as we kick off the new year, we'd like you to be a part of ours. because our chevy employee discount is still available to everyone. the chevy price you pay is what we pay. not a cent more. so happy new year, and welcome to the family. the chevy family! the chevy employee discount for everyone ends soon.
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think of this holiday break as one big cliff-hanger in the ongoing saga of the impeachment of donald trump. when will speaker pelosi send the articles of impeachment to the senate? don't know. will there be witnesses? i don't know. what about those documents that chuck schumer wants? same thing, i don't know. here is something we do know. as of today care of joe biden. >> do you standby your earlier statements that you wouldn't comply if you were subpoenaed to testify in an impeachment trial before the senate? >> correct. and the reason i wouldn't is because it's all designed to deal with trump doing what he's done his whole life, trying to take the focus off him. this guy violated the constitution. he said it in the driveway of the white house. >> good to know. joining us now senator jeff
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murk lee from the great state of iowa. democrats only need four votes to force the senators hand to call witnesses in the trial. this week we heard lisa murkowski of alaska suggest she's not in lock step with mcconnell. she particularly took exception to the fact mcconnell said he's working hand in glove with the white house, and now we see these ads taking aim with susan collins. you worked side by seed side with both of them in the senate. do you think it's likely that either or both of them could vote with democrats on this? >> i think it is possible. all sorts of developments are going to occur here. this ad campaign, it's not a big buy, but it's making a big point. and that is that we in the senate, all of us, democrats/republicans, set aside our party identities. we have a responsibility under the constitution to conduct a full and fair trial, and that is
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very important that we do that, not just for this moment but for the precedent it sets for the future of our country. >> and i'd like to remind people you will all take a separate oath for the impeachment trial separate and apart from the oath you've taken when you were sworn in as senators. on monday the president tweeted his endorsement for susan collins in her re-election bid which is coming up in 2020. it's five days later now and collins has not reacted to donald trump's endorsement. her campaign has not provided any comment about donald trump's endorsement. tell me about the fine line that susan collins and others like her are walking here. >> well, this is a situation where -- where senators are aware of the impact of the views of their base, and if their base believes strongly that the process should end quickly, they're feeling the weight of that, but they're also recognizing that they not only took an oath to the constitution but they're going to be taking
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an oath that says they will be an impartial juror. this responsibility to look fully at the facts and participate in the analysis, this is something that no senator should be able to set aside. a senator who says i'm not going to be impartial shouldn't take an oath that says you're going to be impartial. in fact, they shouldn't even participate in the trial if that is their position. and of course this is real concern that mitch mcconnell has been very clear at saying he's not going to be impartial. that's a problem for our country. it's not the right role for our senator to take. >> richard blumenthal was talking to him last night and he said he hopes mitch mcconnell's splitting on that particular matter could, quote, be contagious. do you agree? do you think murkowski's carriage in saying this could catch on, and who do you think
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it's most likely to catch on with? >> well, i do think it opens the door for others to say i like the position she took. a few weeks ago she said you should be able to reach the same conclusion as you would if the president was of the opposite party. that's the way i'm looking at this. that's what it means to be impartial. what if you had the same evidence and information and the president was in this case a democrat? how would i look at it? i need to be able to reach the same conclusion in either case. lisa was right when she said that a few weeks ago. she's certainly right in supporting a fair and full trial, a process that seeks justice is going to involve key witnesses, and i think that ad really pointed to the fact there are folks really central to this story who know a whole lot and the president prevented them from testifying in the house. but an indictment, which is conducted by the house through the impeachment process, is
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different than a trial that reaches a verdict. and so we need to have those folks come before the senate, and i think a lot of our republican colleagues feel that's the right thing to do. >> senator, good to see you as always. thank you for joining me from the great state of oregon. all right, coming up, 2020 is just around the corner and democratic presidential candidates are feeling the pressure. who's strategy is about to pay off for them in primary season? we'll give you clues just ahead. off for them in primary season? we'll give you clues just ahead. off for them in primary season? we'll give you clues just ahead. off for them in primary season? we'll give you clues just ahead. off for them in primary season? we'll give you clues just ahead. we'll give you clues just ahead.
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we can overcome four years of donald trump at home and abroad with some significant difficulty, but if we give him another four years, we give him another four years i think he will permanently alter the character of this nation. >> we have a president who thinks he's going to get re-elected because he's dividing -- trying to divide us up. we are going to defeat trump because we are doing exactly the opposite. we're bringing people together as americans.
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>> all right, with the christmas holiday season behind them and the new year approaching many of the leading 2020 democratic candidates were out in force today campaigning across the early states. riding a wave of positive press and fresh momentum in the polls vermont senator bernie sanders held three events today in new hampshire, a state in which he defeated hillary clinton easily in 2016 and where he currently leads the pack heading into the new year. meanwhile, in iowa, the national front runner, joe biden sat down with the des moines register editorial board where he confirmed he would not comply with a senate subpoena if called as a witness in the trial of donald trump saying testifying would only create a diversion from the real issues at hand. also in iowa senator amy klobuchar who held four events in the state today, completed her goal of visiting all the hawkeye state's 99 counties before the end of the year. >> if you believe a president sets more than policy for this
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country but also the tone, the civility for this country, and if you believe a president should not just stand her ground, yes, but also seek common ground, well, i'm amy klobuchar and i'm running for president. >> klobuchar from minnesota is banking on a strong finish in her neighboring state of iowa where south bend mayor pete buttigieg currently leads the polls ahead of biden, sanders and elizabeth warren. warren spent the day in california visiting a day care center as part of the service employees international union's campaign to walk a day in the shoes of workers across the country. but that news was overshadowed by her campaign announcing in a fund-raising pitch to supporters it would fall short of its third quarter fund-raising total when the next fund-raising deadline closes in a next few days. the warren campaign says it has raised $17 million to date in the fourth quarter. about two thirds of it -- two
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thirds of what the previous three months' haul was. warren's last minute appeal is just one of many democratic pitches as candidates look to project strength ahead of the iowa caucuses which are now just 38 days away. joining me now, pbs news hour, white house correspondent and i so love adding this part to your title now, one of the moderators at the last democratic primary debate. yamish, great to see you. thank you for joining us tonight. a lot has been made of the fact joe biden and bernie sanders sit at the top of national polls today almost exactly where they were a year ago when the race started. this is kind of -- it's an amazing development given all the people who have come into the race and some who have dropped out. what do you make of it? >> well, it's an incredible thing that a year into this primary with so many candidates coming out on the democratic side that bernie sanders and joe biden are really struggling and
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really struggling for that number one spot. and what you see there is the fact they have people who feel very passionately about their campaigns. as someone who covered bernie sanders in 2016 the people who really liked bernie sanders really liked bernie sanders and they don't want to change that idea. they don't want to have a second pick. there's been a lot of the talk of the fact some of his voters might go to elizabeth warren and the people who like joe biden especially those older african-american voters people loyal to joe biden, and i've heard it's a loyalty to barack obama. it's not just that he's barack obama's vice president but he's really a reflection of barack obama's decision making because he stayed for all eight years. so what joe biden has is a loyal group of people continuing to think about barack obama as they
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pledge their support for joe biden. >> there are a -- joe biden is so far ahead of everybody else in terms of african-american supporters. that's going to play a major role not just in the south carolina primary but in the election as a whole. what do you make of the fact he's that far ahead and others are continuing to struggle despite being ahead in polls in this state or that. bernie sanders, pete buttigieg, elizabeth warren, they continue to struggle with that audience. >> it is. and the thing i've heard from a lot of voters is that people really want someone who's stable, and they're also, frankly, very, very nervous about donald trump. there are a lot of people who think president trump being an incumbent president, that he has upper hand in this race, and as a result they want someone they feel comfortable with, someone they feel like can go all the way. and when you talk to joe biden supporters and i would also say bernie sanders supporters their candidates are people have been known to the american public, who have shown they can be in office for a long time and as a result they're sticking with them. but when you see someone like pete buttigieg doing so well in
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iowa, how these early primary caucuses in early primary states are going to shake out, that's going to tell people whether or not they feel that person now is someone they can put their trust in. if pete buttigieg wins iowa and joe biden and bernie sanders who had much more name recognition to put it lightly, that tells voters including the super tuesday states saying hey maybe you can look at pete buttigieg. but right now i think a lot of voters are frankly scared of president trump. and as a result they're looking to someone they feel like would be comfortable with other democratic voters. and as a result they're picking people like bernie sanders and buttigieg. joe biden because they're picking people who have the experience to go all the way. >> they've announced she's raised 17 million so far this quarter which ends in a few days. talk to me about what you think is happening with elizabeth warren right now. >> there was a time elizabeth warren was on the rise, but i think what we saw with elizabeth warren is frankly what we saw with other candidates including
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senator kamala harris and beto o'rourke and other people on the rise for a bit but then could not capitalize on that momentum to then push them forward and raise the kind of fund raising that would put them in a different league and that would sustain them through other primary states. i think what you've seen in elizabeth warren is people you're interested in. i've heard a lot of people say she's very fiery and i could see her on the same stage as president trump. but at the same time, she hasn't been able to use that to say okay, here are the people i can take away from joe biden when there's a lot of talk of the fact but reel both of their campaigns tell me and their aides tell me they've always been looking at joe bidens voters and saying these are the people we need to win over. and elizabeth warren hasn't been able to capitalize and as a result she hasn't been able to go over her short rise. >> thank you for joining us tonight. a lot more to come on msnbc tonight including outrage and an
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fbi investigation over what one ex-governor did on his way out of office. stay with us. ♪ hello. the united explorer card hooks me up. getting more for getting away. rewarded! going new places and tasting new flavors. rewarded! traveling lighter. rewarded. haha, boom! getting settled. rewarded. learn more at the explorer card dot com. and get... rewarded! (children laugh and scream) (dog barking) ♪music it's the final days of the wish list sales event. hurry in to your lincoln dealer today
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and just plain weirdness to the office. the first thing bevan did upon taking office was to shut down kentucky's well-functioning popular obamacare health insurance marketplace. then he set about trying to kick thousands of kentuckians off medicaid, going so far as to sue individual medicaid recipients by name. he accused his local paper of being part of an america hating global conspiracy. he opposed mandatory vaccines saying he had taken his kids to a chickenpox party to expose them to the virus instead. and he spent much of his term making sworn enemies out of kentucky's teachers when they went on strike to demand better pay and resources, bevan accused them of being responsible for children being sexually assaulted and shot. that will get them back to the negotiating table. so when matt bevan lost his re-election bid last month, a lot of kentuckians breathed a sigh of relief. but it turns out he wasn't quite finished. the day after he left office a
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reporter at the "louisville courier journal" were first to report that bevan had issued hundreds of pardons on his way out of the door including several that appear highly questionable to put it mildly. "the courier journal" noted that one pardon went to a man who had served two years of a 19-year sentence for reckless homicide and other charges in a home invasion. and that convict's family had raised tens of thousands of dollars for matt bevan's campaign. two other men convicted in that home invasion didn't get pardons and they're still in prison. the heinous nature of some of the crimes themselves sparked national outrage over several of the pardons. but the pardon that has generated the most shock and disgust is the pardon of a man who had just started a 23-year sentence for repeated rape of a 9-year-old girl. "the new york times" contacted the victim's mother who described how she learned that
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her daughter's convicted rapist was being set free. quote, she had been at home making dinner and a milk shake when she got a call from the commonwealth's attorney's office. i just picked up the blender and threw it against the wall she said in a phone interview. i still have to scrub the ice cream off my walls. she said her family had only begun to recover from the trial which wrapped up last year. matt bevan justified his pardons as acts of christian forgiveness. but the pardon of the man convicted of raping a 9-year-old bevan said he had a very different reason for that one. and i have to warn you what the governor said is a little graphic, but this is really what he said. >> he was accused of sexually assaulting repeatedly for over the course of almost two years, well over a year every single wednesday i believe it was, repeatedly sexually assaulting her and her sister. this girl claimed. these girls both were examined
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medically. they were examined physically. there was zero evidence, zero, both their hiymens were intact - this is perhaps more specific than people would want. but trust me if you had been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically. there was zero evidence of that. >> bevan's theory of the case has been roundly rejected by experts as flatly incorrect, legally, medically and anatomically. and bevan may no longer be the governor, but this week the courier journal reported that the fbi is asking questions about the last minute pardons. joining us now is joe sanka, politics reporter with "the louisville courier journal." what do we know about this last part, the fbi investigation into these pardons that matt bevan handed out? >> we do know the fbi contacted a state legislator who asked questions about bevan's pardons.
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and asked for federal and state investigation. we don't know if they started an official investigation or they're just calling around asking questions, but we do know that there is interest from at least one state legislature who says he was contacted. >> this pardon of the rapist, put it in context for us. is this matt bevan being matt bevan or is this nuts even for matt bevan? >> well, there are about a dozen or so controversial pardons from the six dozen or so pardons he issued from the time he lost the election to the time he left office. for this one and a few others, he say that is the person convicted of the crime is innocent. he says he's poured through all the pages of documents. he's learned about the case and he believes that the jury was wrong. and in some cases he believes there was wrongdoing by the prosecutors or law enforcement in those cases. particularly the case in northern kentucky, he says the
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jury's wrong and there's no way this person committed this crime against a 9-year-old girl. >> it seems bevin doesn't have a lot of defenders on this. republicans in kentucky, including mitch mcconnell, the state senior senator have come out against some of these pardons. talk to me about what that means politically? >> well, it was really mitch mcconnell that kind of broke the tide and all of the republicans started coming out against it after he said -- he called the pardons completely inappropriate. it was a few hours later, maybe less than an hour later that the republican presidents of the state senate issued a statement calling the pardons a perversion of justice and called for a federal investigation. and that statement was signed off by almost his entire republican caucus. and you see republican prosecutors around the state, the one in kent county rob sanders has come out and he said he started an investigation into bevin over the pardon over the
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9-year-old girl who was raped. and also a republican prosecutor came out where bevin convicted a few people. he's a republican prosecutor, too. in fact there was a joint statement from all county prosecutors, commonwealth attorneys who put out a statement blasting bevin over the pardons. >> joe sanka, thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back.
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this year according to the good mocker institute 17 states enacted some form of restriction on a woman's right to abortion. the tally includes new outright bans of varying severity that would go into effect in 12 states if the u.s. supreme court overturned roe v. wade. there's another side in this fight. this year nine states took some kind of step to protect or expand access to abortion shoring up now what could otherwise soon be lost. on monday night rachel and her team will bring you a special in-depth look at the anti-abortion movement and the
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people who are working to defend womens' rights now against long odds and in places where you might not expect it. this special report happens here on this network monday at ammon. >> it's the last show for you as well. so get some rest and enjoy your weekend. good evening everyone. donald trump is still rage tweeting about impeachment and today he was again spreading conspiracy theories about ukraine and he still does not seem to understand the impeachment process. we're going to try to clear it up for him. impeachment was the dramatic conclusion to what has been a year of showdowns between president trump and nancy pelosi. democrat whose doubted pelosi and whether or not she


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