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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  March 17, 2019 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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♪ darkest days. the world mourns after a devastating terrorist attack on two new zealand mosques. >> this is and will be one of new zealand's darkest days. >> though heinous attacks on muslim worshippers broadcast live on social media. u.s. ambassador to new zealand scott brown joins us next. and -- hate on the rise. in the wake of the new zealand attacks, president trump downplays the spread of white nationalism. >> it's a small group of people. >> but statistics show white
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nationalist hate is growing. we'll talk to congresswoman rashida tlaib, one of three muslim members of congress in minutes. plus, middle of the road. he's running and beto o'rourke is hoping to catch fire again. this time in iowa. >> i'm running to serve you. >> but a candidate from the center of her party and the country has the same goal. >> iowa has picked winners. >> presidential candidate senator amy klobuchar joins us in moments. ♪ hello. i'm jake tapper in washington where the state of our union is disgusted and horrified after yet another white nationalist terrorist attack. there are now at least 50 people dead and as many injured in new zealand after a horrific terrorist attack on two mosques. overnight the prime minister of new zealand promised to take up gun reform saying there will be changes to our gun laws. in the united states and around the world it's reigniting questions about white
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nationalism after a manifesto reportedly from the suspected gunman spewed anti-immigrant hate and white supremacist ideology. in the hours after the attack, president trump condemned the killings but he did not notably offer any direct words of support to the muslim community here in the united states or abroad, and he did not speak out specifically against white supremacy or white nationalism. when asked if white nationalism is a growing threat around the world, the president said this. >> i don't really. i think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. >> when the new zealand prime minister was asked if she agreed with the president's comments she said, no, and statistics and data in the united states and around the world are with her, not with the president. joining me now, the u.s. ambassador to new zealand, former republican senator from massachusetts, scott brown. mr. ambassador, thanks for joining us. i want to start with what we know about the terrorist who committed these attacks. we're learning he's an
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australian national. he's traveled extensively. visited bulgaria and turkey. the prime minister of new zealand said while they monitor various hate groups, this individual was unknown to their security services. was he ever on the radar of u.s. intelligence services? >> jake, first of all, thank you for having me on and thank you for covering this. no, i have no knowledge of whether he's on any type of watch list for us and i take the prime minister at her word. they've been very thorough deal with the victims and the families and also making sure the members of the muslim community are cared for. but more importantly, they are doing their deep dive to make sure they get the legal case strong and ready to go. >> from what we've seen, mr. ambassador, are u.s. and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies tracking dangerous white supremacist terrorists as closely as they are tracking other threats such as, for instance, islamist terrorists?
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>> well, i can't comment on what's happening back home because i've been here for a couple years. i can just say being here and the reason i think that this person may have gone to christchurch is because of the amazing diversity. christchurch had an earthquake which devastated that city some time ago, and they made major efforts to rebuild and amazing inclusiveness. so the islam phobic attitudes of this rotten to the core terrorist really is not something that i have ever seen here in new zealand. i think that's what's so shocking to the people of new zealand that it -- that muslims in this country specifically would be targeted in this manner. >> i know that president trump has spoken with the prime minister of new zealand. have you spoken with president trump about this attack? >> i speak to the, obviously, the white house, the situation room and all parties to be on a very regular basis. certainly there's been contact from the president to the prime
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minister and the secretary and vice president to the deputy prime minister. all the agencies are speaking at a very, very high level. there's no need for me to specifically speak to the president because i'm here as his representative and do what i have been doing, which is making sure that whatever the new zealand government needs, including the prime minister or any of the other agencies, we make sure it's available. >> so the prime minister of new zealand jacinda ardern said in her phone call with president trump, he asked her what support the u.s. could offer. and she told him, quote, sympathy and love for all muslim communities, unquote. now you specifically have made a point, including in this interview, of saying that you are, quote, standing with our muslim brothers and sisters. president trump, it's been observed by many muslims and others, president trump has yet to offer any kind of message or support specifically to any muslim community. would you like to see him do so? >> well, as you know, jake, i'm the president's representative
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here. and i have done it. we -- my wife and i brought 49 lilies representing the 49 deaths at that point down to the islamic center in my hometown. tonight we participated in an amazing vigil with over 10,000 people reaching out to our muslim brothers and sisters. so i am the representative. that's how i feel. i have to refer you to what's happening in washington because it seems like it's 14,000 kilometers away, which it is. so we're doing everything we can here. there's been amazing reach out. amazing vigils and i'm encouraging people to start in their local community. i want to commend you for what you and cnn are doing by posting on your -- i believe on your dotcom site, things people can do to help. that's really important and i encourage folks to take a peek at that. >> would it make your job easier, though? the prime minister has specifically said to the president that she would like to see him say something to address the muslim community. there are american muslims very
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concerned. muslims worldwide concerned about this horrific anti-muslim massacre. would it make your job easier? would you like to see the president specifically say that he is standing with our muslim brothers and sisters, exactly the way you did? >> well, first of all, jake, as you know as a former u.s. senator and a diplomat now as a member of the state department, there's been no time in my political or diplomatic life that i have ever questioned our government whether it's this government or any other prior government's commitment to end racism, to stop bigotry, to really deal with the islam phobic attitudes and not only there, but here and especially here. everything is focused right here, jake, right now. and what's happening around the world really seems a little bit irrelevant because we're dealing with taking care of those muslim brothers and sisters and family members and community members and friends that are hurting right now. we have to make sure they're safe and secure and we can
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obviously move forward and deal with a lot of the things we're talking about. the biggest priority is to deal with the -- make sure that love over hate, reach out to your local communities and do the things important to make this country heal. >> i want you to take a listen to what president trump said when asked if white nationalism is a rising threat around the world. this is president trump on friday. >> i don't really. i think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. i guess if you look at what happened in new zealand, perhaps that's a case. i don't know enough about it yet. >> experts say that white nationalism is on the rise, obviously, right wing nationalist parties with such tendencies have had double-digit vote totals over europe. the anti defamation league said they carried out 78% of all extremist murders in the u.s. and when the prime minister of
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new zealand was asked if she agreed with president trump that it's not on the rise this threat, she simply said no. do you agree with the prime minister or with president trump? >> listen, i think they have their own opinions, obviously. i know what's happening here. and there seems to have been a person who had those types of tendencies and he went out and murdered -- systematically murdered innocent muslim women, children, obviously, and men, and that's unacceptable. specifically with regard to racism as i said, i do not condone racism, whether it's white supremacist or any type of racism. and i am the president's representative. so i refer you to what he's saying. i'm not focused on it right now. i'm focused on what we're doing here. but as the representative and someone who has been in the federal government and now works at the state department, there's never been any doubt that we condemn racism. and all types of racism. >> sure. but do young it's on the rise? >> and extremism, obviously. >> but do you think it's on the
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rise? >> i haven't seen -- jake, i've been here for almost two years. i haven't seen it here. that's why it's a little bit numbing. i am trying to come up with words. i wish i could come up with words as to how i and others feel here. i can only attribute it to how i felt during boston and the boston bombing being then a new englander. that same type of, oh, my gosh, what just happened? and that's what's happening right here right now. is there an up tick of violence? there was here a couple of days ago. we have to find a way to put that back in the bottle. >> we know that the terrorists cited president trump as a symbol of white identity in his document. obviously, the perpetrator is the only one responsible for this horrific massacre, but what did you make of the fact he cited the president as a symbol of this? >> i don't give any credibility to the ramblings of someone rotten to the core and, clearly,
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is an extremist of the worst kind who could walk into two mosques and without any care whatsoever kill people. i don't give any credibility to it. i'm not going to read it. i encourage others not to read it. i'm not going to give him the time of day. i hope as quickly as possible they can find a way to get this guy convicted and lock him up and throw away the key. that's how i feel. and i think a lot of new zealanders feel the same way. >> ambassador brown, thank you for your time and leadership in new zealand in conveying the loss we all feel and the love that we're all sending to the new zealand community and specifically to the muslim community in new zealand. thank you for that. >> jake, thank you to you and your viewers and help start locally, reach out to your muslim brothers and sisters and push love over hate. that's the only way that's going to work. thank you very much for your time as well. in the wake of the horrific tragedy in new zealand,
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congresswoman rashida tlaib, one of only three muslim lawmakers in congress, posted a personal response tweeting a picture of her family and saying she hugged her, quote, two brown muslim boys a little tighter and longer. congresswoman tlaib is joining us from michigan. congresswoman, thanks for joining us. let me say we're all thinking about the muslim community today and sending our love and support. you released a statement about how difficult this is. how do you talk to them about what happened on friday? >> oh, it's so difficult. i don't know, how do you talk to your child about this? i remember my son at 9 years old hearing me talk about how "usa today" had depicted muslims as nazis. they had done this cartoon and was talking to his father in the bedroom about how awful that was and how people are going to want to kill us when they see this cartoon. i was so distressed. my boy walks in, mama, don't
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worry. if anybody asks if i'm muslim i'll lie and tell them i'm not. i cried even more realizing my son, you know, who is 13 today, is growing up in a country where he's become a target. just for his faith. just for the fact that he's arab american. i can tell you it's very distressful. now i'm a member of congress, and i have to speak up and be loud and clear. i don't care if it's anti-blackness, xenophobia, anti-semitism, whatever form of hate, we need to really be starting to connect together on these, all forms of hate, against white nationalism. this is domestic terrorism. it's actually something we should be very, very much at the forefront condemning, being very loud and clear that we're going to go after you. we're going to make sure you're held accountable and you'll not target a person based on their faith or sexual orientation or color of their skin or income status. we've got people targeted from all forms of all over the country right now.
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it's distress. as a mother it's hard to sit your child down to help them understand. all i can do is some from a place of love and give them a sense of hope. there are more of us than of them, meaning more people that are coming from a place of respect and equality and justice. and if they truly believe that, then they'll feel a little more safer in our country. >> the president condemned the attack but he has not yet given a direct message to muslims in the united states or around the world. you just heard ambassador brown talk about that. he has. he's talked about standing with our muslim brothers and sisters in his words. do you think president trump needs to make such a gesture? >> absolutely. ambassador brown is doing what he needs to do, but he needs to understand president donald j. trump is the most powerful man in the world right now. he's in a position, president of the united states. he from the oval office, from
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that power position can be able to send a signal very loud and clear. we've done this in the past against foreign terrorism. we need to do it on domestic terrorism, against white supremacy that's growing every single day that we stay silent. not myself, but the leadership, the administration, when they continue to stay silent, it's going to increase. i remember oak creek. i remember hearing about the pittsburgh synagogue. these are constant from the black church in charleston. it will not stop until we send a loud signal and put the resources together to combat it and to stop it. because it is probably the most dangerous element of terrorism, and that's making us less safe in our country than what we might think about what's happening outside of the lines of our country. we need to be focused on what's happening from within. >> you also said in a statement after the attack that you were angry at those who follow the white supremacy agenda in my own country that sends a signal
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across a world that massacres like this is some kind of call to action. who were you specifically talking about? >> the ones that stay silent and the ones that support the muslim ban. not only once, but twice, three times did we in this nation say to the world and to everyone in this country that muslims don't belong here. from the fact that every time we talk about a wall, it's not about a structure, but about xenophobia. it's about racism. it's a symbol in so many ways of targeting brown and black people in our country. the fact that we continue to stay silent is what's going to make us as a country less safe. and i can tell you, it's not just brown, black people speaking up. it's also white americans across this country that are very distressed and also feel less safe because we're not speaking up against white nationalism. >> president trump didn't see white supremacists as a rising threat when asked about it on friday and called them a small group of people with very, very serious problems, unquote.
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what did you make of that? >> he needs to pick up the phone and call the department of justice. there's real data and information of the rise of white supremacy right here in this united states of america. he needs to look at the data and information and facts and actually listen and understand the tremendous responsibility he has in being our president. our leader of our country. he cannot just say it's a small group of people. there's too many deaths. not only from the synagogue to the black churches to the temples to the now the mosques, we need to be speaking up against this, and it has to start with him. reiterating the importantance of real information and data that says it's on the rise. you can't justice say it isn't when the facts say the opposite. he needs to do better by us and the country. he needs to speak up and condemn this very loud and very clearly. >> chelsea clinton was confronted by an nyu student at a vigil for those killed in new zealand this weekend. over the way that she, chelsea
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clinton, had condemned recent comments from congresswoman ilhan omar. take a listen to this confrontation. >> after all that you have done and all -- >> i am so sorry -- was never my intention. >> this right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words you put out. and i want you to know that, and i want you to feel that deep inside. 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there. >> i don't know if you could hear that. that's a video that's gone pretty viral, but basically this nyu student is saying that because chelsea clinton confronted ilhan omar, congresswoman omar in the way she did, that the massacre is partly her fault. i don't know if you saw it. i'm wondering what your response is? >> i know, you know, congresswoman omar and myself have gotten so many death threats. i think she is probably
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really -- i actually pray every day for her safety. i can just tell you the kind of public disagreement and the kind of language that sometimes is being used toward disagreeing with her on a number of fronts, foreign policy issues. people need to be very careful. she's become very much a target. and right after not only the west virginia, you know, poster putting her face there with the 9/11 towers in the background. this is a woman that's a mother, that is an american, that is serving her country. and we need to be careful when we disagree publicly, when we disagree publicly on various policy agreements, we have to be very careful in the language we use. and i can tell you, look, i have seen the letters and have seen the various posts from not only republicans but also democrats that when we target or disagree, we need to be very careful in that it's not feeding into the islamophobia growing in our country. >> before the attack in new
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zealand you said something about islamophobia in legislation to congresswoman omar and her comments about israel supporters that i want to ask you about. you were asked why democrats responded so strongly to her comments about supporters of israel and this is what you said. >> this past week, i feel and i know this would be somewhat shocking for some, but i think islamophobia is very much among the democratic party as well as the republican party. >> obviously, we condemn all islamophobia. i'm sure you and i would agree on that, and the poster of congresswoman omar, the death threats against her. all of that is reprehensible. but are you suggesting, just help me understand here, are you suggesting that democrats who took issue with congresswoman omar's comments did so because of anti-muslim bias? >> i think that's part of it. but let me tell you why. i've been there only for a short period of time. and there are members on the
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other side of the aisle that have been very, very -- using various tropes and regarding -- against my jewish brothers and sisters. using different kinds of -- so-called tweets and different kinds of rhetoric that they support. and many of those are the same people that support this president who doesn't want to condemn white supremacy in our country and white nationalism that's growing. and i want to say, you know, this is what i saw is this double standard. is it because she's a black muslim? is it because it's around the issue of human rights violations from the country of israel? i don't know. but i can tell you, if it was really about anti semitism and condemning that, then we need to be able to say to all the members, and that's what we ended up at the end condemning all forms of hate, but also holding every single person accountable to the same standard. and that's what i didn't see. and that's when i think to myself and pause as a person that ran a racial justice campaign for years, who grew up in the most beautiful blackest city in the country in the city
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of detroit. i pause and think to myself, is it because she's a black american and she's muslim? and so that's where i pause and say to myself, is there an issue here? i guess our mere presence there. the fact that now there's not only one but now three muslim americans serving in congress that our mere presence is going to be able to possibly break down any of these racialized, you know, opinions, these -- this kind of islamophobia that i do feel like is still very present on both sides of the aisle. and i think my colleagues are not seeing that as an attack, just saying that we have a lot of work to do. >> but you don't think that those democrats, including nancy pelosi, the speaker of the house, who viewed congresswoman omar's comments as anti-semitic, you don't think they legitimately felt that way? you think they are -- there is anti-muslim bigotry that's part of their criticism of congresswoman omar? >> i think she becomes an easier target is what i'm trying to say. i don't understand why some
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others can day similar, probably things that could be said to be anti-semitic that are not being held to the same standard. that's what i'm saying. and i can tell you, i have been there long enough to see that there are some issues there, again, on the other side of the aisle that continue to be -- they're being held unaccountable. so i just want to be able to say when we uplift and uplift like people like ilhan and others and saying we need more people like us to run for office, i realize again our mere presence being there. understanding that, for many, they have never met a muslim before, but also probably the fact we're women of color. it's very vocal against, you know, human rights violations, especially in the country of israel or even saudi arabia that we are coming from a place of personal experiences as being people of color with my living grandmother in the west bank in the occupied territories, that we want to be heard and want to be seen. beyond whatever these kinds of
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labels that people like to put on us. and i think we just become an easier target for folks. and that's what worries me is that i don't understand why others can say something probably is worse and probably stemmed on white supremacy can get away with it but then ilhan, who is really coming from a place of disagrees with the policies of the country of israel, where my grandmother lives currently right now with inequality, is not treated with any human dignity. that if she speaks up, that it's seen and because she's muslim and because she's black, she's an easier target for them to attack and target. and again, i am saying this from my experience being a member of congress that it is somehow embedded, i believe, in her being someone that was easier to make so-called an example of. >> i have a lot more questions for you but we're out of time. congresswoman rashida tlaib, i hope you'll come back or on my
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daily show "the lead" to talk about all sorts of issues including impeachment and middle east policy. and please, again, i would just like to say, our sympathies to you and to the entire muslim community around the world. go to cnn.com/impact to impact your world. president trump punted when asked about the rise of white nationalism. how are the democratic presidential candidates responding? up next, we'll go to iowa where presidential candidate amy klobuchar joins us live from the campaign trail. stay with us. everyone's got to listen to mom.
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welcome back to "state of the union." i'm jake tapper. after friday's horrific terrorist attack in new zealand, democratic presidential candidates are offering their condolences and highlighting a contrast between their responses to the international tragedy and president trump's. democratic presidential candidate and minnesota senator amy klobuchar joins me now from cedar rapids, iowa. let's start on the terrorist attack in new zealand. richard blumenthal suggested, i think the public discourse from the president on down is a factor in some of these actions. do you agree? >> i don't think you can
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actually take each of the murderous acts and say what role donald trump played, but i can tell you this. his rhetoric doesn't help, and many of these people, whether it was the person who tried to bomb barack obama or this murder in new zealand have cited donald trump along the way. so to me, that means at the very least, he is dividing people. they are using him as an excuse. and he, at the very least, should be giving strong statements, public speeches defending muslims in this world because i can tell you having the biggest somali population in the united states of america, i know they get hit all the time. and one of our jobs as a leader is to stand up, whether people are jewish, whether they're muslim, no matter how they worship or what they look like, we have to remember that they are all part of a country of shared dreams. and that's the united states of america. so making that point as the
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leader of the most famous democracy in the world, you have to make that point all the time, and he has not been doing that. >> president trump said he did not see a rise in white nationalism around the world. he called it just a small group of people. data from the organization for security and cooperation in europe shows reports of hate crimes are up in many countries worldwide. the adl says the rise of white nationalism, white speparatism s also happening here in the united states. what would you do as president to fight this? >> we have to make a major effort to figure out what's going on with these groups. there has been an increase in hate crimes. there has been an increase in very negative rhetoric at groups, and like the congresswoman said, no matter how someone looks, it happens to them. they could be orthodox jews, it happens to them. they could be hispanics, it's been happening to them. there was a little girl that went out to dinner with her parents in minnesota and these
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guys walked by, muslim family. a guy walks by and says you four go home to where you came from. and the little girl looks up at her mom, this is in minnesota and says, mom, i don't want to eat dinner at home. you said we could eat out tonight. you think of the innocent words of that little girl. she only knows one home. and that's my state. she only knows one home. and that's the united states of america. so in addition to the murderous acts we just saw in new zealand and that we've seen all across the country, every single day there's these acts, these daggers for people that are just trying to live their lives and trying to make it in our country. so i think it's on all of us to condemn this hate. our faith groups, in my state, have come together. the muslim groups and the jewish groups and our christian groups have come together. and with signs everywhere that say when it's ramadan, happy ramadan and teaching people in the catholic faith what the koran is about.
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we have tried to share that. and that's part of it. but it is also what you do when a crisis happens. people are watching. he does not meet that standard. >> the shooter broadcast the attack for 17 minutes on facebook live. and now social media companies such as facebook, twitter, youtube are under fire for failing to halt the spread of that gruesome video. even hours later in some cases. should any punitive action be taken against those companies, do you think? >> those companies for so long have said we have your back. meanwhile, your data is getting shared. you send an e-mail and next ting you see an advertisement about the thing you sent the e-mail on. so that's why, one, privacy legislation to say, hey, we have a right over our data. stop messing around with us. and then also, putting plain language what your rights are instead of 50 pages. and then notify us when there's breaches. and when it comes to hateful violence like this, they should have to get this off the internet immediately.
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there is no place on the internet for people watching murders. >> so let's talk about your record if we can, from 1999 to 2007, you were the top prosecutor for the county that surrounds minneapolis. a study from around that time, from during your time heading that office by one of your pred sors then with the council on prime and justice found wide racial disparities in the justice system at the time you took office. it preceded you, but they issued this report during your time there. minnesota public radio wrote, quote, the ratio of blacks sent to minnesota prisons compared to whites is the highest in the country. people who are black account for 70% of the county's drug cases. they are sentenced at three times the rate of whites guilty of the same offense. that was from the start of your term when you were the county attorney. did you do anything to try to improve these broad, stark, racial disparities, and if so, what did you do?
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>> of course i did, jake. in fact if you look at the data, you'll see there was a 65% decrease in incarceration of african-americans when you go from the beginning of my term to the end. and we worked very hard on several fronts. the first is to diversify the office and to add more people of color to the ranks of prosecutors. and i did that. the second was to look at how we were handling drug court and make sure that we were doing it in a way that wasn't racist. and you can always do better. i can tell you. you learn in retrospect when you look back. things you can do better. the third thing was to up our focus on white collar crimes. things committed in the board rooms are just as bad as things committed witha crowbar if someone is trying to break in a house. so i really made a major effort on that. and then finally, i was one of the first prosecutors in the country to work with the innocence project to do a dna review on our cases to do
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something differently when it came to eyewitness identification so you'd have the police officer who was not involved in investigating the crime show the photos. and you would show the photos one at a time instead of all at once. and then we had videotaped interrogations in minnesota. we were one of the only states that did it at the time to make sure that suspects were treated fairly, miranda rights were being read and we ended up debating the queen's da about that to defend that practice to protect individual rights. so i made this major effort because i truly believe that our mission is to convict the guilty, yes, but protect the innocent, and there has been racism in our system, and there still is. >> according to the "minneapolis star tribune" you atribbed falling crime levels to aggressive police attacks on drug traffic. in light of what we know about how in general crackdowns on
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drug crime exacerbate these racial disparities in the criminal justice system, what are -- you said on this issue of drugs, you said there are always things you can do better in retrospect. what do you wish you had done better in retrospect? >> well, that's a great question. one of the things that we are starting to resolve is the federal drug sentences. and i was a sponsor of the first step act, a co-sponsor. and that was the important law that just passed on a bipartisan basis that brought down the federal drug sentences, which were much higher than the local drug sentences for nonviolent offenders. it's called the first step act because there has to be a second step act. and that gets at what you're talking about which is nonviolent offender drug sentences in localities all over the country. 90% of those nonviolent drug offenders are in prison not in the federal system. that's got to be the next step is that in washington, we create incentives for all of the local
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das' offices to reduce their drug sentences. >> you are looking -- what do you wish you had done differently at the time. you're talking about what you want to do in the future. >> i would have looked at -- yes. i would have looked at those drug sentences and seen what we could have done differently at that time. that's one thing. we had a -- as i said, we had to diversify the office. i did that. i looked at our sentences as much as every single case. we had a huge office. over 400 employees. but i would try to make sure we were fair or regardless of race. and i actually close to the people that ran the study that you talked about from the beginning of my term. and i had met with them and talked to them about that back then. and i knew that changes that we needed to make. felony dwi, drunk drivers. a lot of those perpetrators were white. people with 20 dwis. i made that a major purpose because i don't think you should have seen that differently than
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you did drug offenders. vice president joe biden all but declared his presidential run last night in delaware. take a listen. >> i have the most progressive record of anybody running for the -- of anybody who would run. i didn't mean -- of anybody who would run. >> so putting the slip-up aside about would run versus running and he's obviously going to run, is that true? does vice president biden have the most progressive record of anyone running? >> he has been running things for a long time as a senator and then as vice president. i'm sure he'll be able to point to some major accomplishments that are progressive. and then he'll have to explain things that weren't as progressive. i think every candidate is going to do that. you just asked me about my
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record as a prosecutor, and i am happy to talk about that. and i am also happy to talk about things that we have done to address racism when i got to the senate, as well as things i'm going to continue to do. i think every candidate is going to have to look back at their positions in the past and look forward to what they want to do as president. but i think what's most important is that we put someone forward that, one, is going to have the backs of people. two, understands the issues here from bringing down the prices of pharmaceutical drugs and, three, is able to get it done. and that's what i bring to this table, jake. i'm someone with just ranked by vanderbilt as getting the most done for any democratic senator on 15 different metrics. and that's because i've been able to find common ground to get bills passed and to respond to my constituents. and i think that's what we need in the white house. >> lastly, senator, the u.s. ambassador to new zealand, scott brown, told me he's not spoken
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to president trump in the wake of the terror attacks. but the president has found time in the last few days to attack the late senator john mccain on twitter, twice in just the last day or so. personally attacking him by saying mccain was last in his class at annapolis, talking about, quote, stains against john mccain's record. you and senator mccain were close. he's, obviously, not with us anymore. so he can't defend himself. what's your reaction. >> this is just another outrageous action by the president. john mccain was a war hero. he served our country well. and he died. and the courage he showed in life was matched when he was in that cell for five years in vietnam as a prisoner of war was matched by the courage he showed us when he died. and the fact that the president would be now attacking john mccain for things like turning over a report to the fbi, which was, of course, the right thing to do, for things like serving our country. i cannot even express -- i think
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back to when i saw john mccain the last time at his ranch, my husband and i went there to see him and cindy. and the words he pointed to me are the words that donald trump should remember and those are words from his book where he said, because he couldn't speak very well, there is nothing more liberating than fighting for a cause larger than yourself. that's because john believed in america. and john believed, as i believe, that when a tragedy happens like in new zealand, you do all you can to reach out to that country and you do all you can to stand up for the simple belief that people are different in our country, but we were all part of a greater america. and the president chose to take the different road. that's not what they want to hear here in iowa. i spent all day here yesterday. and i can tell you, they didn't like how he reacted to that horrible murder. and i'm going to see them again today at the parade in cedar rapids and in cafes all over this state, and they are decent
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people that want -- expect a president to behave decently when things go wrong. >> senator amy klobuchar, thanks for joining us. have fun in iowa. >> thank you. happy st. patrick's day. beto o'rourke is already facing backlash over his campaign roll-out. why is he apologizing? that's next. biopharmaceutical researchers. pursuing life-changing cures in a country that fosters innovation here, they find breakthroughs...
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white supremacy after the terror attack in new zealand. let's discuss. walid, you've been critical of the president. what's your reaction to him saying the white supremacy, white nationalism he doesn't see as a threat. it's just a few disturbed individuals. >> i thought senator klobuchar's response was a little disappointing. i appreciate joe biden's strong words that the president doesn't feel like he needs to condemn white nationalism or sympathize with muslims right now because he's sympathetic to white nationalism. this is a president and a politician who peddled the birther conspiracy about president obama, call for a complete and total shutdown of muslims, said he was open to closing down mosques in this country after the paris attacks. has suggested he's open to getting rid of muslims in this country. if that's not white nationalism, i don't know what is. >> what do you think? >> the president condemned white nationalism and the actions that happened in new zealand. no question about it. none of us can be -- >> i don't think he specifically
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mentioned -- he condemned the attacks. >> none of us can be emphatic enough in our condemnation of hate in all of its forms. that's why we have to step back and talk about what we can do about it. and i'll give you an example. when white nationalism reared its ugly head in the house of representatives, the republican leader kfin mccarthy stripped steve king of his committee assignments. representative omar still sits on the foreign affairs committee after her anti-semitic comments because democrats and nancy pelosi refuse to do anything about it. >> that's a very shameful comparison to make, congressman. i'm disappointed you'd use this moment to do that. steve king has, for years, made all sorts of horrendous comments that have gone without a deafening silence from your party. and i think this is a moment to lift this up. you are correct, jake. the president did not specifically call out white nationalism and the way that we have to combat hate and sexism and bigotry and anti-gay bias, you name it we have to name it.
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we have to say it. we have to have that courage. and we cannot just resort to ilhan omar, she apologized and i think ended up by having a resolution to be against all forms of hate to see what then happened this week was the right thing to >> this is years after representative omar made some comments too. look, all i have to say is, what is our responsibility in all this? i get so tired of the blame game, it's because of somebody else that we're doing this. when do we take responsibility for our own actions? when i was in high school, i remember teaching a swimming class. after six weeks of teaching this little boy he looks at me and he says, i want you to know my parents don't like you because you're brown, but i do, you're my favorite teacher. what i realized in that moment is that racism isn't in your dna. it's taught. it's a nasty seed that grows and poisons the soil around it.
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martin luther king said it best, darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. i'm waiting for people to start talking love language and shedding some light. you cannot sit there and say i'm going to spew out hatef fuful language in reaction to other hateful language. you have to stand up and say what is my responsibility for what we're doing for the american people. the american people are tired of it. we need a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of light and unity so that we can narrow this widening gap. >> briefly, that's why, though, i actually thought the ambassador was quite fantastic in the way he talked about -- >> ambassador brown. >> ambassador brown this morning. i would have liked to hear our president talk like that. not because i blame him, we can go into all the ways he's played fo footsie with white nationalists.
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we should stand in solidarity and say, we're all americans. there's no identity politics, no this is your issue or this is my issue. >> that's not what's happening in congress right now. people are actually going on out and trying to find these moments on social media that will go viral to make them popular instead of actually talking about the issues that will help solve this problem and heal americans. >> congressman, i want to bring it back to something that mia said about what president trump has said about muslims. there was a story that he told on the campaign trail about general blackjacker abo er abop. i want it's not a true story at all. here is an excerpt from it. >> he took the 50 terrorists and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs' blood. he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people
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and they shot 49 of those people and the 50th person, he said, you go back to your people and you tell them what happened. >> so that is not a true story. and he continually shared it. and it was in the philippines. but the president, i just think, as a factual matter, talks about muslims in a way that you don't, in a way that nobody at this table does, and he has continually done that. don't you wish he would talk about muslims the way that scott brown does, the ambassador to new zealand? >> likewise, ambassador brown was unequivocal of the condemnation of hateful actions in new zealand. what the president said yesterday, over the past 48 hours, condemned the actions of this crazy, hateful individual. none of us can do enough, none of us can be emphatic enough in doing that ourselves, that's what i've done, i'm sure that's
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what each of your panelists and you have done as well. >> willie? >> for years we've heard this call to condemn radical islam terror but i don't think republicans are doing enough to hold president trump responsible for his rhetoric. you have billionaires like rupert murdoch, any time you read breitbart, it's about how muslims are to blame for the world's economic problems and no one is standing up to any of these people, no one is standing up to donald trump. no one is standing up to rupert murdoch. >> that's not true. as a former member of congress, that's what i did. he talked about s-hole countries, and i spoke out against it. this is why it's so important to make sure that you hold everyone accountable to the principles that you believe in, democrats and republicans. and you can't follow a person blindly because they have an "r"
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behind their name. i would actually say we've been republicans longer than the president has and it's important for us to hold him accountable for the preinciples and platfors that we believe in, and who help heal what's happening in the united states. i think to say people aren't coming out to hold the president accountantable isn't true. we need more of that but we're each responsible. >> do you think muslims are waking up every morning, seeing the president degrade muslims, and saying why is this man president? >> i feel more unsafe than i ever have in my own country. there's a lot of solidarity around how terrifying a feeling that is, to know that you can't trust your own government. at the same time i hope that in 2020 people take seriously that this is the kind of question we should be asking of the people running for president. what kind of moral leadership will you offer this country?
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as you put to your guest. >> an important conversation, i wish we had more time. thank you all for being here. beto o'rourke says he's born to be president. does that remind you of anyone? you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills?
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magazine and jess particult ges iowa. >> he told "vanity fair," "man, i'm just born to be in it." he embodies every epic movie you've seen from "star wars." >> i won't fail you. i'm not afraid. >> to "the lord of the rings." adding, quote, "this is the moment where we're going to win or lose everything." running for president is the culmination of o'rourke's lifelong journey to find himself. he sees himself, as he's written, as a political jack kerouac, going on the road again, looking for voters. >> the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved. >> but before our political
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kerouac can get to donald trump, he may face another obstacle. >> as they say, get a life. a new series explores richard nixon's rise and political destruction. >> i don't give a damn. >> richard nixon has lied repeatedly. >> no reporter from "the washington post" must ever be in the white house again. do you understand? the tougher it gets, the cooler i get. i have what it takes. >> impeach nixon now! >> i'm going to say this to the television audience because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. well, i'm not a crook. >> this crap about watergate. >> late others wallow in watergate. we're going to do our job. >> i'm going to kick their ass. >> nobody's going to package me. i'm not going to engage in gimmicks or wear silly hats.
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if people looking at me say that's a new nixon, then all i can say is, well, maybe you didn't know the old nixon. >> "tricky d y dick." a new cnn original series. tonight at 9:00. this is "gps," the local public square. welcome to all of you around the united states and the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live from new york. today on the show, the mosque massacre in christchurch. the prime minister called it one of new zealand's darkest days. we'll bring you the latest. and brexit breakdown. what's next on theresa may' quest to pull britain out of europe 87. ukraine will elect a new president two weeks from today.
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