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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  January 27, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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01/27/17 01/27/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from park city, utah, this is democracy now! trump: much of the media is very dishonest. honestly, it is fake news. they make things up. amy: donald trump continues his attack on the media as his top bannon callsephen the opposition party and says it should keep its mouth shut. we will look at the rise of bannon and how he turned breitbart news into an online haven for white nationalist. the mexican president enrique pena nieto cancels an upcoming a meeting with trump at the white house.
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we will look at trump's false claims that millions of people illegally voted in the election, helping hillary clinton when the popular vote. >> what you have presented so far has been debunked. pres. trump: look at the pew reports. >> i call the author and he told me they found no evidence -- amy: while no evidence of mass footer fraud has been found, public records shows several members of trump's inner circle and family are registered to .ote in more than one state the list includes steve bannon, jared kushner, sean spicer, his daughter tiffany trump, and steve mnuchin. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the planet is closer to a catastrophic disaster than at any time since 1953. that's according to the
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scientists behind the doomsday clock, a symbolic timekeeper that tracks the likelihood of nuclear war and other existential threats. on thursday, the scientists moved the clock's minute hand 30 seconds closer to midnight. the hour now sits at 2.5 minutes before doomsday. this is rachel bronson of the bulletin of atomic scientists. >> perhaps most troubling has been to concerns that are adding to an already challenging global landscape. cavalier has been the and reckless language used across the globe, especially in the united states during the presidential election and after, around nuclear weapons and nuclear threats. and the second is a growing disregard of scientific expertise. expertise that is needed when it comes to responding to pressing global challenges, including climate change. there is a troubling propensity to discount or outright reject
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expert advice related to international security, including the conclusions of intelligence experts. amy: scientists are planning for a major march on washington, called the march for science on d.c. the idea came after millions of people rallied in d.c. and in cities across the world last saturday for the women's march on washington to protest the inauguration of donald trump. mexican president enrique pena nieto has canceled a meeting with president trump that was scheduled for next week as tensions between the two countries rise. the move came after trump announced plans wednesday to expand the border wall between the u.s. and mexico, a wall trump has repeatedly said he would force mexico to pay for. on thursday, mexico's top diplomat was at the white house to help pave the way for the visit when his team received word of a trump tweet suggesting that if mexico were not willing to build the wall, it should cancel the trip. trump claims the two leaders mutually canceled the upcoming meeting -- a statement pena nieto has refuted.
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this is former mexican president vincente fox. >> it is stupid. it is crazy. imagine him going to congress and saying to the american congress to authorize a budget come to lend money to build a useless wall -- a wall that is complete waste of money and which is useless. and he tells congress not to worry, i will get mexico to replace the money. mexico will pay for it. well, trump, here you go. amy: on thursday, white house press secretary sean spicer said the u.s. would impose a 20% tax on all goods imported from mexico and use the proceeds to pay for the expanded wall. that the u.s. would build. but after widespread outrage at the plan, spicer walked back his statements only hours later, saying the import tax was just one idea. we'll go to mexico city for more on the u.s. and mexico standoff later in the broadcast. donald trump is making his first official visit to the pentagon as president today.
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"the new york times" reports the white house has drafted a presidential directive instructing defense secretary james mad dog mattis to ramp up u.s. military action against isis. the military action could include u.s. army helicopters and ground artillery in syria. in hits first -- in his televised interview as first president, trump also openly embraced torture, including waterboarding, saying torture absolutely works. trump's comments sparked immediate criticism, including from international human rights experts and lawyers. this is ian seiderman with the international commission of jurists. >> this is almost unprecedented. we just came through many years of cleaning up the mess in this area that was made by previous u.s. administration under president bush. but even the bush and administration, while it engaged in torture and has been well documented, was very careful not
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to publicly condone torture. in fact, and a number of cases, president bush himself as well as a number of officials condemned torture. they understood it was criminal activity. they saw it as something embarrassing and to be covered up. amy: on thursday, top ranking republicans, including house speaker paul ryan, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, and senate armed services committee chair john mccain, signaled congressional republicans would not change the laws on the use of torture. ryan said -- "torture is illegal. we agree with it not being legal." british prime minister theresa may also indicated that britain may stop sharing intelligence with the cia following trump's endorsement of torture, saying -- "we condemn torture and my view on that won't change." may and trump are scheduled to meet for about an hour today in the oval office, marking the first visit by foreign leader to the white house since donald trump took office.
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prime and is to may, house speaker paul ryan, and other top republicans were all speaking out against torture from the republicans annual three-day retreat in philadelphia, which trump also attended thursday. more than 5000 people took to the streets of philadelphia thursday to protest trump's visit to the city and to denounce republican policies, including the efforts to repeal the affordable care act. trump's first executive order, signed only hours after his inauguration, made the prompt repeal of obamacare the administration's top priority. the administration has already pulled ads for the 2017 enrollment season of obamacare off the air, including the ads that were already paid for. the deadline to sign up for new plans is january 31. the entire state department's senior level management was ousted by the trump administration. the news wrote thursday,
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sparking widespread concern. former state department chief of staff david wade told the "washington post" -- "it's the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that's incredibly difficult to replicate." trump is continuing to call for a major investigation into voter fraud as he stands by his lies about the 2016 election, despite the fact that his claims have been widely debunked by experts. trump is falsely claiming that he lost the popular vote to hillary clinton because 3 million to 5 million unauthorized voters participated in the election. this is trump speaking in his first televised interview as president, with abc's david muir. >> when you say, in your opinion villains of illegal votes, that is something that is it's truly fundamental to our functioning democracy affair a pre-election. you say you're going to launch an investigation.
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pres. trump: sure. >> what you presented so far has been debunked. pres. trump: take a look at the pew reports. >> i call the author in he tell me they found no evidence. pres. trump: then why did he write -- amy: while experts have found no evidence to support trump's lies about widespread voter fraud by unauthorized immigrants, they have found at least five examples of voter fraud from trump's family members or inner circle. "the washington post" reports trump's son-in-law and close white house adviser jared kushner, trump's daughter tiffany trump, trump's chief strategist steven bannon, white house press secretary sean spicer, and treasury secretary nominee steven mnuchin were all registered to vote in two different states -- something that trump has claimed is evidence of voter fraud. we'll have more on trump's voter fraud claims later in the broadcast. the trump administration's war on the media escalated thursday, when trump's chief strategist steve bannon called the media "the opposition party." in a "new york times" article published thursday, bannon said -- "the media should be embarrassed
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and humiliated and keep its mouth shut." bannon is the former head of the right-wing breitbart media, which frequently publishes racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, and xenophobic news. we'll have more on trump's war on the media after headlines. the trump administration has announced plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants living in so-called sanctuary cities, where local officials and law enforcement are refusing to comply with federal immigration authorities efforts to speed up deportations. the plans for the weekly list, to be published by the homeland security department, were included in trump's executive orders that were signed on wednesday. author andrea pitzer, who is currently writing a book on nazi concentration camps, points out trump's proposed list recalls a nazi germany-era policy by which the nazi institute for research on the jewish question kept files on crimes committed by jews. the list is part of trump's
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attack on sanctuary cities, which also includes threats to cut their federal funding. mayors of sanctuary cities nationwide have vowed to resist trump's attacks. but miami-dade county mayor carlos gimenez has already announced the county will drop its sanctuary city status and comply with trump's executive order. in texas, governor gregg abbott says he will cut state grants to austin, a sanctuary city, and has vowed austin sheriff sally hernandez will lose her job unless she forces local police to begin cooperating with federal immigration agents in order to speed deportations. president trump is expected to sign more executive orders cracking down on immigration in the coming days, including one that would temporarily ban refugees from resettling in the u.s. and block all visas from being issued to anyone from syria, iraq, iran, libya, somalia, sudan, and yemen. the department of homeland security has already halted trips to interview refugees abroad.
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the interviews are an essential part of refugee admission and resettlement. the anticipated crackdown is sparking widespread protest in the u.s. and abroad. on thursday, oscar nominated iranian actress taraneh alidoosti said she is boycotting the academy awards ceremony over trump's proposed visa ban, calling it racist. "the washington post" reports trump personally pressured the head of the national park service to find and provide photographs of the inauguration day crowds on the national mall in efforts to counter news reports about the inauguration 's low turnout. trump and white house press secretary sean spicer have repeatedly lied about the crowds size, saying more people showed up to trump's inauguration than any other in u.s. history, which -- history. in fact, hundreds of thousands showed up compared to 1.8 million who attended obama's inauguration in 2009.
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trump reportedly also told ahead of the park service he was angry the services twitter had retweeted a photograph showing a side-by-side comparison of photos from trump inauguration and obama's inauguration in 2009. in africa, the gambian president adama barrow arrived back in gambia on thursday following the departure of longtime leader yahya jammeh, who had initially refused to step down. barrow's supporters lined the streets to celebrate his return from senegal, where he'd fled and held his inauguration last week in the gambian embassy in senegal's capital. this is one of barrow's supporters. today,re very happy adama ng the president barrow. today is the happiest day. we are here to enjoy. him andreparing for
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welcoming him. amy: hundreds of people on hawaii say they will protest against facebook ceo mark zuckerberg this weekend over his filing of lawsuits to force hundreds of residents including , native families, off their land in order to make his hawaiian beachfront property as private as possible. native hawaiian professor kapua sproat of the university of hawaii said -- "this is the face of neocolonialism." zuckerberg now says he's reconsidering the lawsuits. vice president mike pence will speak today on an antiabortion rally on the national mall called the march for life. it will mark the first time in 44 years that a sitting vice president will address the crowd, which i gathered each year since the 1974 roe v wade decision legalizing abortion. is well-known for his antiabortion views.
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his speech comes only days after trump's administration reinstated the global gag order, which bans u.s. funding for any international health care group that performs abortion, advocates for the legalization of abortion, or even mentions the word abortion. in ohio, federal judge has ruled ohio's new lethal injection process is unconstitutional host of the really concerns the use of a sedative which has been linked to botched executions in alabama and other states. thursday's ruling delays three scheduled executions in ohio. also in ohio, bresha meadows, a 15 euro girl who allegedly killed her abusive father, has been transferred to an adolescent treatment facility after spending 170 five days in a juvenile jail. jonathan meadows, her father, reportedly made life for his family a living hell, routinely attacking his wife, breaking her ribs, fracturing her blood vessels -- three-drug method
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to see our full coverage of bresha meadows case, go to democracynow.org. and george orwell's "1984" has become a best-seller in the days after donald trump took office. penguin, the publisher, reports a 9500% sales increase since last friday, the day of trump's inauguration. the classic dystopian work introduced the world to the terms "big brother," "thought police," "newspeak," and "doublethink" -- words that many are finding have new meaning under the trump administration. to hear a reading of "1984," go to democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the battle between donald trump and the press escalated thursday after one of trump's top advisers called the media the opposition party. in a rare interview with the "new york times," trump's chief strategist steve bannon said --
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"the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while." bannon added -- "i want you to quote this. the media here is the opposition party. they don't understand this country. they still do not understand why donald trump is the president of the united states." bannon is the former head of right-wing breitbart media, which frequently publishes racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, and xena phobic news. while he rarely speaks to the media, he is planning a key role in the new administration. according to reports, bannon wrote part of trump's and our penned hisand executive orders on every thing from expanding the border wall between the u.s. and mexico to weakening the affordable care act. he also recently capped the national security editor sebastian gorka, and immigration reporter, to join the trump administration. meanwhile, the president himself was interviewed by fox news' sean hannity last night and described much of the media as fake news.
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pres. trump: much of the media -- not all of it -- is very, very dishonest. honestly, it is fake news. they make things up. >> between twitter, instagram, facebook, i think you have reached 50 million people. we know now from wikileaks, some of these networks were colluding with hillary's campaign to defeat you. newspapers,major the debit networks that use the word "liar." does that make you want to rethink entirely how this in administration will deal with the media? pres. trump: they are the liars. when sean got up, he talked about the audience and said i had the largest audience. i did. i had the television and all of the sources. the largest audience in the history of inauguration's. i did. they are so demeaning and they are so dishonest. in many cases --
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>> i don't remember them treating barack obama this way all step pres. trump: that could never have happened. amy: joining us right now is sarah posner investigative reporter with the nation institute. in august, she wrote a headline grabbing article for mother jones about steve bannon titled, "how donald trump's new campaign chief created an online haven for white nationalists." her most recent piece in rolling stone is titled, "trump makes good on his nativist campaign promises." sarah posner, welcome back to democracy now! first, comment on stephen "the newstatements to york times" that the press is the opposition party and should keep its mouth shut. >> well, this is an effort by the trump administration to first.ate the media second, the comments are directed not just at the media, which i would predict is going to be not intimidated by bannon,
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but also directed at bannon's own audience at breitbart news and the entire constellation of the alt-right, for which banning claims that breitbart is the platform. you tell me in july that breitbart is the platform for the alt-right. so this is an effort to de-legitimize the media in the eyes of the breitbart audience, the trump phase more broadly -- by suggesting that the media has dishonestly covered donald trump, when in fact, the chief complaint that has been lodged against the media by the trump administration and amplified on by president trump last night in that clip you just played, is based on hard facts about numbers that donald trump does not like. now, ironically, the alt-right spends much of its time deriding universities across the states
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as havens for week and mystical people who need safe spaces and sugar warnings. the president of the united states, meanwhile, cannot accept the cold hard facts of how many people were at his inauguration and sent his press secretary out to complain that the staff had been demoralized by the coverage, which was just based on those facts. could tookyou more about -- if you could talk more about steve bannon, the top aide to president trump, telling the media to shut up. breitbart news. talk about this institution. also, bringing in two more breitbart news reporters to the inner circle of the white house. suggests does take a look at breitbart news.
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i know a lot of people do not want to look at it. they consider it to be fake news, rightfully so, basically just propaganda. but looking at it and reading some of the coverage and reading the headlines will give someone a lot of insight into how the trump administration is functioning. because bannon has the president's ear. breitbart news was founded by the conservative activist andrew breitbart. bannon took over after breitbart died suddenly about four or five years ago. under bannon's leadership, even former reporters and editors at breitbart have said that it became a haven for the alt-right , for what nationalists, for racists. the so-called coverage that was written by its reporters feeds
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into these racist and xenophobic themes and portray's refugees and immigrants as criminals. derived the black lives matter movement. in the coverage is not news, it is definitely from a very far right perspective. if you read it, it will cause you to question your sense of reality, it is exactly what they're looking for. you read it and think, wow, this is not what i've seen with my own eyes. that is exactly what the trump the administration wants the public to start questioning. so bannon, when i interviewed him at the republican national convention in july -- like i said, he told me that breitbart is the platform for the alt-right. he denied that the alt-right is a white nationalist movement, but basically admitted it is an etho-nationalist movement and
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pointed to these groups in europe that were the model for the alt-right. and he said these nationalist movements were alive and well in the united states before president trump became a candidate for president, that he did not create this movement. in been credited summit heels with really -- been accredited someone else with this movement, that is just session, who is about to become trump's attorney general. amy: let's go to steve bannon speaking in 2013 at the future of conservatism conference. at the time, bannon was the executive chairman of breitbart news. --i think you fewer fighting if you're fighting to save this country, fighting to take this country back, it is not one to be sunshine and patriots, it is going to be people who want to fight. andrew breitbart was all about the fight. we call ourselves the fight club. all not in agreement at
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that we need to be the party of input the. by that, i mean false empathy. that is just a slow walk the state's him. there's a certain point in time you would have to explain that these programs have not worked and they have enslaved people. amy: sarah posner, your comment on steve bannon? >> well, this is part of the ideology that has fueled the alt-right and fueled trump's rise. the idea that the civil rights movement or the women's rights movement has altered american society in terrible ways, that it has changed life for white americans in ways that have been detrimental to them. bannon'sis a fight in own words over the soul of what america is. is america pluralistic democracy authoritarianand
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nationalist, populist society? and this is the battle that steve bannon is waging from within the white house and trying the media into it -- drawing the media into it by portraying the media as an institution that is not an institution that is protected by the first amendment of our constitution. you notice in those, that he made that you just played, he does not talk about the constitution at all or how the constitution protects a free press or the free-speech rights and many other rights of americans. he portrays all of that as having run amok, basically. this is one of the chief advisers to president trump right now. chief strategist to president trump. facedteven bannon has questions about domestic abuse and anti-semitic comments. he was charged in 1996 with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a , witness. a santa monica, california, police report said bannon grabbed his wife at the time,
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mary louise piccard, "by the throat and arm" and threatened to leave with the couple's twin daughters. bannon pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were dropped later that year when piccard did not appear in court. she claimed in divorce proceedings bannon pressured her not to testify. piccard also said in a sworn 2007 court filing that bannon made anti-semitic comments when the two argued over whether to send their daughters to a private school. according to one document, piccard said -- "he said that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiny brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with jews." so this report of him grabbing his wife by the throat, now this whole idea of really trying to choke the press by telling them to "shut up." it is fairly obvious, even without those allegations in the domestic cases -- which bannon has denied -- i think it is obvious that he is behaving like a bully. if you have seen the reaction of the press -- there was a clip
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gems around last night of clappe tapper. the press is not going to listen or be bullied by steve bannon to "shut up." you and i both know that. i want to point out something about the anti-semitism charge. something that struck me when i interviewed bannon in july was that i asked him about what had happened to one of his former employees at breitbart, a reporter and editor by the name of ben shapiro. after shapiro left breitbart in the wake of breitbart not standing by its reporter michelle fields after she was grabbed at a trump press conference by then trump campaign manager corey lewandow abuse -- shapiro was -- on twitter and
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other social media, you know, and so on. one prime example of it was after he had announced on twitter the birth of his and his wife's second child, so when tweeted back at him "to the ovens with all of you." i asked bannon about that at the convention. he cut me off before i could even finish the sentence and said, "then shapiro is a whine r." i was surprise because i would've thought most people would have said something more along the lines of, i'm very sorry that happened to my former employee and i do not condone that kind of behavior. but instead, he just said that shapiro was a whiner. i thought that was telling of what bannon thinks about that kind of harassment and abuse online, and how seriously he takes the charges of anti-semitism. amy: sarah posner, thank you for
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being with us, with the investigative fund with the nation institute. most recent piece we will link to in rolling stone "trump makes , good on his nativist campaign promises." also author of "god's profits: faith, fraud, and the republican crusade for values voters." when we come back, the mexican president cancels his trip to washington, d.c., saying mexico will not pay for the wall. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "no wall too tall." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. parke broadcasting from city, utah. mexican president enrique pena nieto has canceled a meeting with president trump that was scheduled for next week as tensions between the two countries rise. the move came after trump announced plans wednesday to expand the border wall between
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the u.s. and mexico -- a wall trump has repeatedly said he would force mexico to pay for. on thursday, mexico's top diplomat was at the white house to help pave the way for the visit when his team received word of a trump tweet suggesting if mexico were not willing to build the wall, it should cancel the trip. trump later claimed the two leaders mutually canceled the upcoming meeting a statement , pena nieto has refuted. trump spoke more about the wall later in the day after a meeting with republican lawmakers. pres. trump: the hour of justice for the american worker has arrived. border security is a serious, serious national issue and problem. a lack of security poses a substantial threat to the sovereignty and safety of the united states of america and its citizens. most illegal immigration is coming from our southern border.
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i have said many times that the american people will not pay for the wall. amy: the u.s. already has 700 miles of fencing, tens of thousands of motion sensors, law enforcement agents along the u.s.-mexico border. on thursday, sean spicer said the u.s. would impose a 20% tax on all goods imported from mexico and use the proceeds to pay for the expanded wall. this was after the mexican president canceled the presidential visit to see trump. after widespread outrage at what spicer announced, he walked back his statements only hours later saying the import tax was just one idea. the proposal would require new legislation. republican senator lindsey graham criticized the suggestion, saying on twitter mexico could retaliate with its own tariff and that it could be a "huge barrier" to economic growth. in a national address wednesday night, president enrique pena nieto said mexico will not pay
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for trump's wall. >> i regret and is approved the decision by the unite states to continue with the construction of the wall, which has for years, far from uniting us, divided us. mexico does not believe in walls. i have said time and time again, mexico will not pay for any wall. amy: for more, we go to mexico where we are joined via democracy now! video stream by laura carlsen, director of the mexico city-based americas program for the center for international policy. she's joining us from san miguel de allende. welcome. can you talk about what is going on now with this escalation of tension in the mexican president canceling this presidential visit to see trump next week? a veryre witnessing bizarre situation. this was a direct provocation to mexico by tweeting on thursday morning that if pena nieto did
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not agree to pay for the wall, he might as well not come. he was essentially forcing president enrique pena nieto to cancel his trip. there is no way he could have sustained us. it is no surprise that mexico won't pay for the wall. this is the most inane proposal and probably the recent history of diplomacy -- or i should say, anti-diplomacy. there is no so respecting nation on earth, i guarantee you, that would agree to pay for a wall built by foreign country on foreign soil that essentially is built to keep out its own citizens who have been defined as undesirable elements. it is important to note that this definition has almost no basis in fact. the clip we played about trump's statement that our southern borders are insecure, there is no evidence -- and i have talked to people through the security system -- that there is any threat coming up from mexico
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over the southern border into the united states. in fact, the united states has paid millions and millions to supposedly secure the southern border. and what it has caused is this racist reaction against mexicans as if they were threatening, when that exley helped carry donald trump into the presidency. so this international crisis in diplomacy was carefully planned, and we have to take that into account. trumpnesday, donald issued executive orders calling to begin construction of the wall and a series of orders regarding immigration, enforcement measures to begin deportation of many -- over finally an undocumented mexicans in the country. thathappens the same day the foreign arrives in mexico to begin negotiating the meeting between donald trump and pena nieto the following tuesday. that is a slap in the face. that immediately began to cause
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a crisis. major pressure on pena nieto starting wednesday from mexico to say, you cannot go to this meeting. the next day, he tweets this again, forcing pena nieto to cancel. so what he is essentially saying, and with a 20% tax, is, we can destroy you. he is setting up a situation that not only bullies mexico, but places them in a no-win situation and could lead to dire consequences for both countries. aboutan you talk mexican-u.s. border organizing? activists on both sides of the border, laura? >> since the trump campaign, there has been a no trump movement coming up with committees in both countries. and now that he is president, there is a lot of scrambling to build binational connections.
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essentially, where there is a recognition that the threat of donald trump to both the people of the united states and to the people of mexico is severe. we see it here with the way he has cast the binational in aionship into jeopardy show that we don't really know what the purpose is, to strengthen his hand and renegotiation of nafta, is it to simply keep up the campaign promise that was always impossible, or if it is to mexico in the news in order to create conditions where he can mobilize his base to support this massive deportation and aggression against mexican community's in the united states? people are coming together. in many sectors, they're beginning to seek connections that were built at the beginning of the nafta negotiation when it was a rescue mission that many could haves of nafta a negative impact on people. and there it is worth mentioning
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that in terms of the nafta recognition, we know from 20 years of experience, it has never been a question of which nation wins or loses, but a question of the people -- workers, consumers, and others -- losing as transnational corporations gain privileges. it kind of waned for a while. and now it is happening again. of course, micro organizations that are in the united states and defending the rights of migrants as they prepare for these deportations and the hate crimes arising ever since his campaign with the kind of language [indiscernible] preparing for the defense of their families in the united states and also to receive people who will be deported and also people who are returning. this is happening in the labor sector as we begin to see the attacks that will be coming from the trump administration there. and in general, the public is preparing because these measures
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-- when you talk about a 20% tax on exports, could throw mexico almost immediately into an economic crisis. and that could increase poverty. i mean, there's a whole range of consequences. we're not just talking about a trade war. we're talking about a major collapse politically and economically south of the border, which is no good for anyone. amy: do you think this, laura, has anything to do with president trump's historic low ratings in the polls? i'm in, the lowest in modern history when he came in at something like 34% or 32%. do you think he is trying to gin up something here? >> absolutely. i think this is a factor. as a political analyst, as people who analyze international relations, i know we have to start thinking in different ways with this trump presidency
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because there is the psychological factor. you know, this motto bullying personality that indicates they're not always rational considerations that come into play them as such as provoking an international crisis with a close ally, neighbor, and the third largest trade partner. in, 32% tocomes maybe the 40's, lowest approval rating of an incoming president in recent history. what does a weak president do in that situation? he picks a fight especially if his name is donald trump any is who he is. the picking a fight with mexico is what is probably the bizarre factor for us who analyze this relationship, because, again, this is an ally. however, immobilizes his base. -- it mobilizes his base. the situation.
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it makes him look strong. he has picked a fight with one of the weakest presidents in the world. president enrique pena nieto has an approval rating of 12% according to some polls. so he is between a rock and a hard place. he has the entire population saying, you have to stand up to the united states. huge opposition movements. people are calling for his resignation in the streets of mexico. necessity among the mexican elite, his own group, really, to maintain a relationship almost at any cost with the united states. so the situation -- with all of these factors coming into play, especially the unstable actions and personality of donald trump thrown into the mix has created a very uncertain environment in
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which we are already feeling the impact with the drop in the peso and a lot of uncertainty regarding investment and other economic and political factors here mexico. amy: laura carlsen, thank you so much for being with us director , of the mexico city-based amicus program at the center for international policy. when we come back, donald trump's voter fraud allegations. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump is calling for a major investigation of voter fraud as he continues to stand by his lies about the 2016 election, despite the fact that his claims have been widely debunked by experts. trump falsely asserted that he lost the popular vote to hillary clinton because 3 million to 5 million unauthorized votes were cast in the election. during the abc interview on wednesday, david muir questioned trump about those claims. >> when you say in your opinion, no use of illegal votes, that is
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something that is externally fundamental to our functioning democracy of a fair and free election. you say you're going to launch an investigation. pres. trump: done. >> what you preprinted -- resented so far has been called false. >> take a look at the pew reports. >> i call the author last and they said they found no evidence . he said no evidence. pres. trump: then why did he write the report? then he is groveling again. i always talk about the reporters that grovel when they want to write something that you want to hear, but not necessarily millions of people want to hear or have to here. amy: donald trump claims a 2008 study published by the pew research foundation supports his belief of widespread voter fraud. however, according to politico, there is no 2008 pew study saying any such thing. there is another study published in 2014 and since widely debunked, that mistakenly claimed 14% of non-citizens said they were registered to vote in 2008 and 2010.
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brian schaffner, said trump is misinterpreting the study calling trump's claims absurd and not even plausible. while experts have found no evidence to support trump's lies about widespread voter fraud, they have found at least five member of trump's family or inner circle registered to vote in multiple states this fall -- something trump his kind is evidence of voter fraud. the "washington post" reports jared kushner, tiffany trump, steve bannon, sean spicer, and treasury secretary nominee steve mnuchin were all registered to vote in at least two different states. for more, we're joined by brian schaffner, one of those academics who collected the raw data that the erroneous study was based on. schaffner is a professor in the department of political science at the university of massachusetts and marts. -- amherst. he recently co-wrote a piece in the "washington post" titled, "trump wants to investigate purported mass voter fraud.
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we pre-debunked his evidence." tell us how he got it wrong. he is citing your study. our study,t citing he is citing a study that uses our data. i work with the team that put out a very large scale survey of american adults and one of the things we do is ask people a lot of questions and then we match the survey respondents to vote files. now these other researchers from other universities, took our survey data, which we make publicly available, downloaded it and basically took a question that really was not designed to noncitizens, but they used it for that purpose. they identified a small number of what they thought were noncitizens and found among that small group, there were about 14% of that group were basically had a vote record in a recent
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election. the problem is, that question happens at the end of a very long survey. it is not really designed to identify noncitizens. what we did was two years later, we went back to the same survey respondents, asked the question again, and found a lot of people who let initially identify themselves as noncitizens, actually identify themselves as citizens in the next way. some identify themselves as citizens the first time and change their answer to noncitizen, which is pretty much impossible change. which suggests some people are just clicking the wrong button. we took the people who said both times, both in 2010 and 2012, that they were noncitizens, and there was not any voters among that group. that is the group we can be more confident are actually noncitizens. among that group, nobody had a vote record. that essentially is the evidence we used to debunk their claim
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there were noncitizen voters. basically, when you identify with more confidence who do noncitizens are, you don't find any voters among that group. amy: in new york, we're joined by dale ho, director of the voting rights project at the emergence of a liberties union. his op-ed in the "new york " is headlined "trump's lies pave the way for an assault on voting rights." throughout history, it was true 100 years ago when states in the south were passing things like poll taxes and literacy tests, they said, we have to charge people money for their votes because if we don't, then poor people will sell their votes. we have to make sure voters can read. if they can't, then someone is going to be telling them how they should vote. and on and on. you look closer to the present,
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during the 1980's, what senator jeff sessions, the president's nominee for attorney general, was most infamous for was a failed voter fraud prosecution of three civil rights activist -- one of whom was a close aide of dr. martin luther king junior , and it was one of the incidents that health derail his home nation for federal judgeship back then. we see it in more recent times with things like restrictive voter identification requirements and new registration restrictions. we do not have a really significant systematic problem of voter fraud in this country. i think americans should feel secure our voting systems are a very high integrity. what we have a problem with in this country is a low participation rate and we should be doing every thing we can to encourage more people, not fewer people to participate. amy: the whole issue of people voting illegally has morphed.
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it was originally donald talking about, you know, illegal immigrants -- not a word we use. i don't think any person is illegal. who arecumented people not supposed to be able to vote. but in the examples he is using are the people in his cabinet and many people in his family who are registered in more than one state. tokeeps insisting 3 million 5 million people voted illegally. he says all of those people -- he was very clear -- not one of them voted for him, you know, voted for hillary clinton. >> i think that is because he senses he is somewhat of a legitimacy problem. he lost the election in terms of the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, by far the largest negative margin for anyone who has ever ascended to the presidency. certainly, in contemporary times. he knows there is a legitimacy issue. the electoral college is the law the land. we already as that. he is the president of the united states right now legally.
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but most people do not think that that is the appropriate way of selecting our leaders, that the legitimacy of our government derives the consent of the majority. i think he senses that, and that is probably why he is trying to attack the fact he lost the popular vote. amy: yet interestingly, when jill stein, the green party candidate, challenged the elections, wanted a recount and places like michigan and wisconsin, it was donald trump's lawyers who said that the election was not fraudulent. >> that's right. when he was president-elect, his legal team stated in court in a filing, something to the effect of, there is no evidence or all of the available evidence, rather, suggest the 2016 election was untainted by fraud or mistake. if that was true a few months ago, it remains true today.
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just because he is now the president and the most powerful person in the world, he does not have the power to warp reality and change what was true a few months ago. amy: so the guardian is reporting that vice president mike pence has privately told lawmakers the trump administration will "initiate a full evaluation of voting rolls in the country and the overall integrity of our voting system in the wake of this past election." the significance of this? the idea that this will lead to massive voter suppression, which is already taking place around the country ,dale? >> that is a concern. asre are a number of states, you alluded to, that have passed laws in the last five years that make it harder for people to register to vote and cast a ballot. the department of justice over the last few years has been active in pushing back those laws and fighting for the right of every american to participate. there are sick of it concerns the new justice department is not going to fully enforce the voting rights act in the
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constitutional protections for voting rights in this country, and instead we are going to see a rerun of what we saw 15 years ago when the bush justice department applied political pressure of u.s. attorneys around the country to investigate and prosecute voter fraud. they engaged in a five year project on this. they turned up little evidence, only a few scattered instances of people voting when they were not supposed to. u.s. attorneys around the country declined to devote a lot of resources to these investigations or prosecute them, in some cases, and they were fired for political reasons. it is one of the reasons alberto gonzales was removed as attorney general. it was one of the largest skittles of the george w. bush administration. i think the concern is that we are going to see something along those lines yet again. one would hope we would have learned from those mistakes in the past, but i guess time will
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tell. amy: i want to turn to john andfaz an attorney political activist specializing in constitutional law and voting rights. he is the co-founder and president of free speech for people, one of the organizations that launched the impeach donald trump now campaign just moments after trump's inauguration. more than 200,000 people from across the country have already joined the campaign. john, talk about what you are calling for right now. bewell, we think there must an investigation initiated in the united states congress based on the violations of the s which mayclause i clear the president of the united states cannot engage in the kind of corruption that we are seeing now of the oval office. this kind of corruption is massive and far worse than even watergate and nixon white house counsel john dean has said that. the presidency is not a profit-making enterprise for its occupants. it is a public office in the
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president's a public servant. this president does not seem to understand that concept. he is engaged in businesses all over the world and refused to divest from his businesses. as a result, he a serious conflicts of interest. from all of the foreign payments he is receiving, from foreign governments, and from the domestic payments from state governments and from the federal government that collide directly with the constitution. he swore an oath of office to protect and uphold the constitution. he is already violating it. this impeachment investigation must proceed. amy: it is interesting, john, in 2014, donald trump talked about the prospects for impeaching obama, tweeting -- response? >> maybe he was protecting
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what might happen if he became president. this is a president who does not obey the constitution. he defies the rule of law. no one in this country is above the rule of law, no matter how powerful he or she may be -- including the president of the united states. that is a bedrock principle of our democracy. that is why we launched with freeze action the campaign at impeach donald trump now.org. we already have 200,000 people around the country joining this campaign. i think it is only a matter of time before a member of congress introduces our proposed resolution on our site starting in impeachment investigation. we have to -- amy: how many signatures do you have right now? counting 250,000 and hdonaldtrumpnow.org. amy: is interesting a whitehouse.gov petition to manning the president releases personal income tax returns
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broke the website record for signatures at 380,000. five seconds, john. >> i think people need to join this campaign from all over the country to uphold our constitution and the rule of law. it is time we demand accountability and impeach this president. amy: i want to thank john bonifaz, dale ho, a professor brian schaffner. that does it for our show. i will be speaking here in park city utah at the park city at 1:00 today. people can check our website. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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