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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 14, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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and more people are going to start signing up, political strategists from salon, thank you both. >> that is all in for this evening. the "rachel maddow" show starts now. >> prepare for the ceiling to fall in. thank you for joining us at this hour. this is awkward this is a photo taken on 46911, this past september 11th, 2013 and it's at the world trade center heighth in lower manhattan. it was published today. one of the ambient things about the new jersey bridge scandal that has been particularly disgusting about this scandal is the fact that the bridge shutdown happened on the week of september 11th. if there are dirty tricks in politics somewhere, it's not like everybody expects september 11th to be an armistice day for
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politics or anything, but gridlocking a town in northern new jersey and portions of the george washington bridge on september 11th was particularly nasty, not only for people in new jersey who might have wanted to use it for events, this was a hard hit area of the country. but also because frankly the bridge itself is seen as a terrorist target. it's not a landmark, it is the busiest bridge in the world. on the anniversary of 46911, you worry. the mayor told new york times while the bridge lanes were closed, quote, his blood pressure rose two ticks each day. but he says it quote went up twice that on september 11th specifically. but the reason this photo which was taken on september 11th, during the traffic jam is because the guy he is interrupting with, the guy in
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the dark shirt and white shirt and red tie is david wildstein, the chris christie appointee to the authority who personally ork fiezed the shutdown of the bridge lanes when the government's chief of staff ordered time for traffic problems in ft. lee, it was david wildstein who said got it and he at the port authority secretly organized the traffic engineers and maintenance department and everybody else who had to be in on it to get those lanes shut down then he swore them all to secrecy in terms of not letting anybody in ft. lee what to know what hit him. it was david wildstein calling the mayor that little serbian, david wildstein said don't feel bad for those children stuck in the traffic jams in the first day and the first week of school in ft. lee, because those are the voters, the democratic candidate running against chris christie.
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david wildstein ordered radio silence as the response of complaints from the mayor and ft. lee officials even when they were complaining about delayed ambulances trying to get to injured people and people who were having heart attacks. that's david child stein and that's david wildstein with chris christie during the bridge shutdown on september 11th and for a governor who wassest desperately trying to bridge himself from the scandal saying he had nothing to do with it. he was with the guy that shut down the bridge while the bridge was shut down. it's even worse than that for governor christie because of the governor's insistent over the top efforts to try to deny any connection with david wildstein to try to deny personal history and past association, any real current fam familiarity with the guy he is seen talking to right there. >> is he your friend? >> let me clear something up
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about my childhood friend david wildstein. it is true i met david in 1977 in high school he's a year older than me. david and i were not friends in high school wemp not even acquaintancings in high school. i had a high school in livington, a three-year high school that had 1,800 students in a three-year high school in the late '70s, early 1980. i knew david wildstein was, i met david on the tom kain for governor campaign in 1977. he was a youth volunteer, so was i. really after that time, i completely lost touch with david. we didn't travel in the same circles in high school. i was the class president and athlete. i don't know what david was doing during that period of time. i have had no contact with david wildstein in a long time. a long time. well before the election. you know, i could probably tell
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on one hand the number of conversations i had with david since he worked with the port tort. i did not interact with david. >> i did not interact with david during the traffic jam. there's the governor interacting with david. a couple of months before the traffic jam, there again is the governor interacting with david. this is ingion of another port tort event. in case you are interested. the guy on the right is david samson, the port authority chairman and the guy on the left is bill ba baroni. in the middle. governor chris christie and again david wildstein. the governor says he can count on one hand the number of times he has interacted with mr. wildstein since he was hiefrd at the port authority in 2010. if mr. christy has the expected number of fingers, that would mean it happens five times. hey, there happens to be photographs available two of the five times, including one during
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the shutdown on september 11th. there is something else going on, too, that does not jive with how the governor explained the scandal and his role on it. the day he took it together during the traffic jam on september 11th, the day after that, that was a thursday. the day, so that was a wednesday, the day after that was a thursday, which is while the shutdown was still going on. on thursday the day after that photo was taken, thursday this e-mail was sent between two of his top staffs, christy is that genovese renna, it's obscure. people have job titles in new jersey, it can be confusing, she worked in the governor's office, she reported to bridget kelly. who is the governor's deputy chief of staff, we now know ordered "time for traffic
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problems in ft. lee" which david wildstein said, got it. before the director intervened and forced them to stop doing what they were doing. ft. lee was into its fourth day of gridlock because of this man made shutdown and on that fourth day on thursday chrischristina released this memo. this afternoon, evan received a call from mayor sokolich, first responders are having a terrible time maneuvering the traffic because the backup was so severe. he said he has no idea why the port authority did this. he simply can't understand why that would be the case, however, because he has been so supportive of the governor. evan told the fine mayor, he was unaware that the toll lanes were closed, but he would see what he could find out. this is an e-mail during the
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bridge shutdown. it's to bridge et kelly from christina renna who worked in the governor's office the evan referenced in the e-mail we think is probably evan j. ridley who works in the governor's office. nobody seems to know what his exact title is, other than aide to the governor, public payroll shows he works as an aide and gets paid $52,000 a year. other than that we know he works in the governor's office, all of them do. >> that means during the shutdown, three people who work in the governor's office are e-mailing about the ongoing bridge lane shut down and if disaster it is causing. there is no discussion whatsoever about there being a traffic study, which is governor says was the prevailing belief of what was happening with that bridge. this was contemporaneous to the problem. this wasn't long after the fact when there was a newspaper article about it in retrospect that alerted everybody to the fact there was a problem now resolved. this was during the event and
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that means that the governor has absolutely and blatantly not told the truth about what was going on in his office. >> yeah, well, that's your characterization not mine. but there was nobody on my staff who had any knowledge of this issue until after the issue was already done. >> that is not true. here's the other part of this that makes no sense against the governor's description of what happened here and why nobody should believe that he was involved. remember, governor christie's defense, in part, is that this sort of thing, this shutdown of the bridge couldn't have been done to punish the mayor of ft. lee. governor christie says he didn't know who the mayor of ft. lee, what he couldn't pick him up in a lineup. pick him ut on your radar governor christie insisted on. >> the other thing that shocks me, as i said to you all many
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times before, mayor sokolich was never on my radar screen. i don't ever remember meeting mayor sokolich last night on television, i wouldn't be able to pick him out of the lineup. >> did anyone say the mayor is going with your opponent? >> his name was never mentioned to me. his position was never mentioned to me. i never heard the ft. lee mayor's name mark sokolich his name until all this stuff happened. so he was not on my radar screen at all. plenty of other mayors were. i don't even know this guy. i mean, i don't know this guy. but i'm telling you, until yesterday when i saw his picture on tv, i wouldn't have known, if he walked in the room, i wouldn't have been able to pick him out. >> it's a big part of the governor's defense, nobody ever heard of this guy, why would anybody bother to hurt this guy nobody heard of in his town, nobody's ever heard of. right? look at the first line of this e-mail sent from two of the
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governor's top staffs, while the shutdown was still under way. look. this afternoon evan received a call from mayor sokolich. not evan received a call from a mayor named mark sokolich from ft. lee or the mayor of ft. lee. a man named mark sokolich, this afternoon, evan received a call from mayor sokolich. no further explanation needed. it came from a number he was not familiar with. that was a secretary who patched the mayor through to evan. that's the way the ema ill to bridget kelly starts essentially saying, hey, don't be mad, right? i'm sorry to have to tell you evan took a call from mayor you no who. then the closing line of the e-mail is this evan told the fine mayor he was unaware of the toll lanes closed. he would find out. undoubtedly, mayor sokolich is a fine mayor. fine.
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why the smirk? why the fine mayor snark here? why the implicit apology for having taken his call? evan didn't recognize the number. the number was a secretary's number, implicitly, otherwise, he would have known not to take the call. in closing, this backhanded fine mayor like ah this jerk complaining about the first responders not being able to get to people having heart attacks. the governor's staff were discussing the shutdown and the mayor of ft. lee in provocative terms while the shutdown was still happening. despite governor christie's denials, it seems like something was going on between the governor's office and that specific mayor, that specific man and lots of people who work wage for governor christie and who work in the governor's office and who are in the governor's inner circle were in discussionings about that shutdown while it was happening. obviously, bridget kelly, the
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governor's chief of staff, the one that said, time for traffic problems in ft. lee, christina renna who sent that e-mail about the mayor to bridget kelly, we also know involved in that e-mail one of the governor's aides. evan j. ridley, the governor's campaign manager, a few days later he wrote, quote the mayor is an idiot talking about the mayor of ft. lee. regina agia, who is next in line to be his chief of staff after the one that he had before is promoted to attorney general. the morning the toll lanes were opened up, she got sent the angly letter from the director, kept totally out of the loop of the shut down and reacted with furry saying he quote believed this hasty and ill advised decision violates the federal law and laws of both states. the governor's soon to be chief of staff, regina egea got that
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e-mail on the last morning of the shutdownings as the lanes were finally reopened. the mayor's spokesman stays after if shutdown, fielding inquiries from reporters starting to call about it. with ten christie appointees at the port authority start to freak out about the press, this is how it goes, david wildstein texts bill baroni, hey, the "wall street journal" called my cell phone. he responds, jesus, less than a minute later, call drewniac. the chief of staff, top to authorities and aide to the governor the governor's director of departmental relations, they are all in the loop on this crisis while it is still under way and immediately thereafter. >> there was nobody on my staff who had any knowledge of this issue until after the issue was
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already done. >> that is not true. provedly not true. today remarkably the gods of timing blessed us with this. governor christie had to give his state of the state address today, it is the start of a new legislative session. his first words of in the state of the state address are about the scandal, even though he never described it wage. >> the last week has certainly tested this administration. the stakes were clearly made and as a result, we let down the people who were entrusted to serve i know our citizens devdeserve better, butch u much better. i am the governor, i am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch both good and bad and without a doubt, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquirys to
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insure this breach of trust does not happen again. but i also want to assure the people of new jersey today that what has occurred does not define us or our state. >> not to be blunt, but nobody thinks that shutting down that bridge is anning a of political retaliation is something that defines the people of new jersey. nobody i know from new jersey did that except maybe chris christie. or at least the people who work for christie. this was an opposite of and i feel your pain moment. this was a don't you feel my pain moment? i want to assure you that this doesn't define us. nobody is worried about it defining anybody except you. we'll see. substantively what the governor said there about the ongoing investigation into this matter may end up being important. what he said specifically, i'll quote him wage, we will cooperate with all appropriate
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inquirys to insure this breach of trust does not happen again. well, in order to make sure this doesn't happen again, we still need to know what happened here in the first place and why it happened and who did it. whether or not the governor thinks that is an appropriate inquiry or not, that's what he said, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries, it is happening. in an ongoing way in terms of a potential criminal investigation being looked into by the federal prosecutor in new jersey and aggressively in the new jersey state legislature, both in the senate and assembly. tomorrow they will be convening to define and vote for the powers of these new investigative committees they are putting on this scandal. heading into that new phase of the investigation, that starts tomorrow, is the uncomfortable fact for governor chris christie that his own assertions thus far about what he knew when and who he was in contact with and who was involved in his direct staff, all of those assertions are looking pretty lovely at
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this point. new jersey john wisniewski joins us next. ♪ [ ding ] i sense you've overpacked, your stomach. try pepto to-go. it's pepto-bismol that fits in your pocket. relief can be yours, but your peanuts... are mine. ♪ the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ over the pizza place on chestnut street the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713.
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♪ this magic moment it's hard to describe, because you have a numbness, but yet you have the pain like thousands of needles sticking in your foot. it was progressively getting worse, and at that point i knew i had to do something. once i started taking the lyrica the pain started subsiding. [ male announcer ] it's known that diabetes damages nerves. lyrica is fda approved to treat diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is not for everyone. it may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eyesight including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or skin sores from diabetes. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. ask your doctor about lyrica today.
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it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain.
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ask your doctor about lyrica today. when i first started shopping for a hybrid... i didn't even look at anything else. i just assumed you went and bought a prius. so this time around we were able to do some research and we ended up getting a ford... which we love. it's been a wonderful switch. it has everything that you could want in a car. it's the most fun to drive... because it's the most hi tech inside... i think this c-max can run circles around the prius... the biggest difference would definitely be the acceleration of the car... if you can get someone to test-drive a c-max... they would end up buying this more times than not. >> now i'm the governor and i am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch, both good and bad and without a doubt, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to insure that this breach of trust does not happen again. >> joining us now is new jersey
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assemblyman john wisniewski, chairman of the transportation committee, they have been leading this investigation so far. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me here. >> governor christie said he would cooperate with all appropriate inquiries, is that a change in attitude or is that consistent with what he said in the past? >> he didn't use the word appropriate when he made his apology the other day. today he chose to use the word appropriate. i hope he considers the assembly committee an appropriate authority. we do consider ourselves that. it's our job. we will be asking questions, we'd expect his cooperation. if he went through the trouble of saying those words the other day and again today, they ought to mean something. >> the assembly started its new session today. on thursday you will be convening as i understand it to make some votes and decisions about exactly what's going to happen with the new committee that you are going to be heading, including the involve
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him of a special council. what will happen on thursday, what happens after that? >> we will adopt a new committee. we are looking at the port authority. it became much bigger and took us into the governor's office, it's more than the port authority. it's about an attempt to conceal the abuse of power. it's making it wider and bring in assistance to help us. the issue has become more complicated. instead of looking at one agency and talking to people in the agency, we are talking potentially into the governor's office about people who work for the governor and other state agencies. we wanted to make sure we have the right kind of legal counsel, making sure we are not doing anything that would impinge only the investigation.
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>> this may take it to a new level you are to start on thursday. can tell us who is being considered and is there advice you distribute there or would it have anything to do with prosecutions that might emerge out of the investigation? >> we are a legislative body. so their role is not one of being a prosecutor. what we are looking at are law firms and individuals who have the type of experience who know about running investigation, people who have been involved, for instance, working in the u.s. attorney's office or other federal investigative agencies to make sure we have the right type of guidance so we make sure we are making the right decisions. >> in terms of what's going to happen next, obviously, in the documentation that was released at the end of last week, a lot of people in the governor's top tier staff are mentioned wage in those e-mails. those of us guessing where you are going next are expecting subpoenas from people like bridget anne kelly.
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can you tell us if that will be the next step? >> they will be zaeef receiving subpoenas. they will be subpoenas into the governor's office. there will be a lot of subpoenas. i don't want to surprise people by telling them tonight, but they're going to be coming and we're going to be looking at figuring out where that chain of e-mails came from. i mean, you've pointed out. others have pointed out. you don't get an e-mail, it's time for traffic problems at ft. lee unless there was a discussion beforehand, somebody higher than you made you believe you had the authority. right now, we don't know who that is. we'd like to find that out. if way to find that out is look at documents that bridget kelly may have had, bill stepien may have had. was the new jersey party directing operations of at least one person in the governor's office? that would be stunning if proven. >> have there been any orders to either the governor's office or any of these other groups or individuals who may be involved telling them not to destroy
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e-mails an communications related to this matter? i'm thinking if i was one of the staffs who got my name mentioned in one of these e-mails without orders not to do so, i'd be burning my hard drives. >> i understand that. that's one of the reasons we are bringing on special counsel, those types of notices go out to all potential targets of our investigation. this is going to be a lot larger than it had been. we will be looking at all of the relevant and realistic leads to find where all these questions go to. >> in terms of the senate also looking into this, senate lorretta weinberg will be with us about the senate now taking up their own committee, which will have subpoena power. they are pursuing on that side of the legislature. is that a competing body or will you work in the way it dove tails? >> senator weinberg and i have been working jointly, even though it's been in an unofficial capacity, it's been a senate committee investigation. i've included her every step of
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the way. i'd like to continue that process as we move forward. >> assemblyman, john wisniewski, soon to be heading up the super committee on this investigation in new jersey, thank you for your time tonight. as always, please keep us posted, still moving fast. >> i will. >> lots ahead, stay with us. increases at the age of 80. .
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>> we got more on the new jersey bridge scandal and other news coming up. the excellent frank rich is here tonight. there is late breaking news out
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of the red state of oklahoma. a federal district court judge in oklahoma tonight has ruled that that state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional under federal law. the judge calling it quote an arbitrary irrational exclusion of just one class of oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit. last month when a similar ruling struck down the marriage ban in utah the collective response nationally was basically, oh my god, utah, utah is the reddest state in the nation. not true as it turns out. utah is a really, really red state. really red. you know, what's redder than utah? oklahoma. and now as of tonight, these are the two most recent states to have their gay marriage bans struck down in the courts. the oklahoma ruling did not allow couples to start getting married in oklahoma like it worked in utah, but the oklahoma ban is struck down now pending
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appeal. as we learn more, we will let you know. we'll be right back.
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. >> we know everybody is fascinated by bridgegate.
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i know that the reality is that i think we'd all like to two to the last chept chapter of the book and read what is going on here. there needs to be a systematic approach to this. >> this has become more than a transportation issue. it's now gone beyond that and i want to issue we get all the resources and toolsz to this committee to actually be able leave no stone unturned. >> we need to be thorough. we need to have every question answered. >> that last person speaking was the new jersey senate speaking after governor christie's awkwardly state of the state address. so far it is the state assembly taking the lead on this investigation in part because they happen to have subpoena authority left over from a different investigation into the port authority. but on thursday, not only will the assembly extend its subpoena power on thursday the state senate will be launching its own
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investigative committee, which will also have subpoena power. the senate committee will be headed by the majority leader lorretta weinberg, she has been on this issue since the beginning, going to port authority meetings since the crisis, to figure out what went wrong here and who represents the district. lorretta weinberg, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you, rachel. >> governor christie addressed the controversy at the state of the state speech saying he will cooperate, essentially he wants to move on. as you are taking this new leadership role investigating this, what do you want from the governor? >> the truth, we would like the gaps in the story filled in. i don't think anybody in new jersey politic, anybody who has any personal knowledge of this thinks that bridget anne kelly sat in her office one day and said i'm going to create a traffic jam in ft. lee. >> that came in the context of
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something in the context of some reason for doing it. you know, this is a part of the pattern of an environment of ret trybution of calling people names. but this was carried to a point of, you know, i've described really a vicious act. we put thousands and thousands of people in jeopardy. you think they were little kids, kindergarteners and 1st graders going to school for the first day, caught in traffic jams. it's the week of the 46911 observance. apparently, from what we have seen in the press reports today, the governor and two main characters in this drama, david wildstein and bill baroni spent some part of 46911 together pattern observance. perhaps they never whispered to him, gee, there is something going on in ft. lee t. mayor is upset. the people are upset. there is major traffic jams.
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nobody ever exchanged any words. what i want from the governor is what i think the people of new jersey want and deserve. >> as -- >> that is the truth. >> as you are starting this new investigation, obviously, you have worked closely with and seem to have a good relationship with assemblyman wisniewski running it on the assembly side. now you both will be running parallel investigations. how do you expect to use that to maximum benefit and not get in each other's way? >> we haven't gotten in each other's way thus far. when i started going to the meetings, i brought with them, sense you are not forthcoming, i am asking for assembly power. having forgotten they had subpoena power. it came from the toll hikes. so when assemblyman wisniewski
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and i talked about this, he said, i have subpoena power. i said, use it. tweel see what the legislative brings. i have been trying to coordinate our schedules, our witness subpoenas and i talked to leadership about that today, leadership in both houses and i look forward to continuing working with him to really be an asset to each other. >> in terms of coordinating subpoenas, does that mean we should determine a different list from your committee and his? >> no, i think we have many of the same people are involved, but perhaps dividing up how we will use these subpoenas, that sort of thing. >> lorretta ween berg, thank you for your time tonight. please stay in touch about this. >> thanks, rachel. >> apparently even when an administration is knee deep in
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scandal, there is always still time for name calling. new york magazine's frank rich joins us straight ahead. join us. copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. .
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. >>. >> so you won't taste sillk this
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and dam on the ohio river, it's
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apparently great fishing in the melville pool, there is a lot of fly fish there. at least it used to be good fishing there. one of the rivers that spills into the ohio river is the elk river in west virginia. the elk river, of course, is nationally famous because it's home to the massive chemical leak that contaminated the drinking water 300,000 people in nine west virginia counties. it flows into the canall river and it flows into the ohio river. it's all downstream. some west virginia residents are starting to get their water on after a five day do not use order. their spill is not west virginia's own. a 60 mile chemical plume that started in the elk river in west virginia is now starting to drift downstream in ohio and kentucky and rifting towards indiana. today the ohio river sanitation
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reported the chemical spill reached the locks and dam, that chemical licoricy smell is now in ohio. it is still moving. as the slurry closed in on cincinnati the 3rd highest city, the mayor there is preparing to shut down the travels tonight for 48 hours. it starts tonight. trying to keep what happened in west virginia from what happened in cincinnati, too. a federal investigation into this ongoing disaster is now under way. members of congress have started calling for a regulatory hearing to figure out how this could have happened. you know who is not calling for a leg e regulatory hearing? the most prominent member of congress, woes district includes parts of greater cincinnati. >> i am entirely confidence that there are ample egs regulations on the box to help protect the health and safety of the american people. somebody ought to be held accountable. we try to look at those
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regulations we think are cumbersome and over the top. that's where our focus continues to be. >> house speaker john boehner asking about the spill today. he represents the cincinnati suburbs, where the ohio valley is being protected from a 60 mile chemical plume about to hit them. he says he is confidence there are ample regulations and incidents like this, probably in his estimation, too many regulations, if you think about it. >> that chemical storage facility that leaked into the elk river, it had not been inspected if decades. it turns out, west virginia law, doesn't require inspections for chemical stompblg facilities at all. if you are making chemicals, yes, sure, then you can inspect it. if you are storing them in west virginia like these guys were, go nuts, you are on your own. one local official telling the charleston gazette there was no local planning for a spill at this facility. quote, that's something that's
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kind of fallen by the wayside, he said. and so it took five days to get the water back on for some of the people in west virginia and hundreds of people reported getting sick from that chemical and now the water is almost back on in charleston. but that chemical plume that crippled that part of west virginia is on its way downstream to ohio and kentucky and indiana and watch this space. [ female announcer ] you get sick, you can't breathe through your nose...
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energy lives here. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. >> one of new jersey governor's chris christie's challenges of escapeing the scandal of the punitive 2013 traffic jam in ft. lee, new jersey is that as incredible and over the top as this thing seems, messing with the busiest bridge in the world in order to punish a small town
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mayor, as crazy as that is, chris christie and his administration have a long record of abuseing over the top retribution to settle tiny political scores. there was the rutgers professor who sided with the republicans on the redistricting map, chris christie line vetoed the items at rutgers in retribution, the former governor who blocked a couple christie nominees, he responded by stripping mr. cody of his state trooper protection, which is something all former governors have always had in new jersey. then on the same day, he fired mr. cody's cousin and he fired one of his former staffers working in state agencies. he did that on the same day him message received, in jersey city in the second largest city in new jersey, a day long slate of meetings with state officials up to and including the state
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treasurier, a day long scheduled painstakingly pieced together over the course of weeks and months by the governor's office to try to help out jersey city and its newly elected mayor, that whole plan, every single one of those meetings came as soon as that mayor said he was not going to endorse chris christie in his re-election bid. this is what they do. this is what governing means if chris christie is the governor in charge of where you live, which is part of why the otherwise ridiculous bridge can dal has not gone away. well in the midst of that ongoing bridge scandal the e-mails showing what happened in jersey city, that retribution the documentation about it. those e-mails were in response to an open records request. today in the midst of the bridge scandal on the day that governor christie had to give the state of the state address, today governor christie's office responded to those jersey city
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documents, this may be all you need to know about whether or not christie survives the scandal and outlives this crisis. look at how the spokesman responded? the e-mails show as soon as the endorsement message went to the governor's office, all that was yanked immediately, in most cases within the hour the mayor said he would not endorse, they yanked all the meetings, when his spokesman responded to that today, he offered into explanation, no alternate explanation, did you, in fact, yank the second largest city simply as political retribution not endorsing the governor for re-election? did you do that? this was the governor spokesman's response today, quote, mayor philip's words anding as must be viewed through the lens of his attempt to advance his own personal agenda. when in doubt, attack.
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even when you are caught, attack, even when you are caught deed right in front doing what you said you would never, do attack, attack, attack. god, i love this story. joining us is frank rich, writer at large, frank, thanks for being here as always. >> in the big picture, does it help or hurt governor christie the behavior in the scandal, shutting down the bridge is almost too outrageous to believe what has now proven to have happened here is unbelievable? does that have anyway? >> i don't think it does the pattern you mentioned to a pattern of other stuff beyond the so-called bridgegate that you know is going to come up in the wash. one thing that's been sort of forgotten in all this is that mitt romney vetted this guy to be his vice presidential running mate. there was a lot of pressure on
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romney from the eastern establish. to use it. he was a favorite of rupert murdock's, rogge early ayles. he didn't because he saw something in that veting process that made him, he did a lot of reckless things in his campaign back away from this guy. so i feel we probably will find the george washington bridge is a lost leader for whatever else is going to turn up. >> it will be interesting to see if there are criminal charges here and they may have to be state charges. it will be fascinating to see, if this does take a turn towards the criminal the documented behavior alleged to have been directed for political reasons, it seems clear somebody will have to get prosecuted. if that takes him off the table politically, entirely, will the message be christie turns out he was a bad egg or will it be
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about governing more broadly? >> probably it will be gobt good afternooning for broadly. we had it with guiliani, he tolerated bernie car rick ultimately go to jail. he edmontoned him to the biggest security job in the united states at that time, homeland security because he was a crony it was all sort of covered up. he had a pad above ground zero after 46911, so it comes out that he rushed to his defense over the weekend. but this kind of, go back to tammany hall, go back to jimmy walker as mayor of new york, things that have happened in many states the country, this kind of thing usually exloads in the end. >> i find this saga in new jersey to be fascinating even
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totally independent of chris christie's presidential hopes. he does clearly want to run for president. at least before this all happened the republican other than rand paul most likely to run for president. but a lot of the national discussion about it as the national press picked it up belatedly is asserting breezily that chris christie is not going to run, but he was the likely nominee. >> that both doesn't seem important to this scandal, but i am not sure that i believe that. do you think that's true? >> i never believed it. i felt that the republican base loathes him. his position is amazingly strange to us, they are to the left of the current republican party on gun control, immigration reform. he embraced barak barak after sandy. >> literally. >> toxic hug. >> the hug the toxic huck. if you listen to right wing media, not fax, in christie's
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camp, if you listen to the radio shock jocks, all of them during the republican convention, they like him. he's not invited to conservative groups to week. they like rand paul better. they like ted cruz better. so i never understood how much support he got from what's left of sort of moderate conservative northeastern establish. republican support, how he was going to win the nomination of that party. >> so maybe it is fitting guiliani was out as a surrogate, defending him, he is playing the guiliani role in 28, where all the new york media assumed he would be the nominee, when the voters came face to face with him, they had no interest. >> it was going to be a rudy-hillary race in the murdock connection is interesting. even when the sort of northeastern elites like somebody and the bays doesn't, that's a different dynamic than
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when fox news likes somebody and the bays doesn't do you see evidence more broadly sticking by christie and help him through this process. >> it was an interesting split. i think there is some evidence on fox news the new york post turned savage last week on christie and the "wall street journal" is reporting on christie has become pretty aggressive so i'll not sure whatever fox news says about it. >> when i was reading the exhibits on friday, i kept seeing "wall street journal" ted mann, throughout the documents, doug lee pursuing the story. i couldn't help but think how uncomfortable that must have been. frank rich, new york magazine writer at large, thanks for your time tonight. you know you are busy with tons of beat stuff. it's nice to have you here. >> it's nice to be here. >> that does it for us tonight.
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we will see you again tomorrow night. i got to tell you what's happening right now is that the scandal in new jersey is broadening into a bigger problem affecting state republican today, we heard the state of chris christie's denial. >> the last week has certainly tested this administration. >> chris christie is set to deliver his annual state of the state address. his fourth state of the state address. >> today, chris christie returned to the stage. >> to tout his bipartisan accomplishments. >> we have chosen to work together. these are our achieve. s. >> keeping his focus on all the other issues facing his constituents. >> the state of the state is good and getting better. >> not everyone is moving on, though. >>' what you have is political blood in the water. >> this last week has certainly tested this administration. >> the super committee is going


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