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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 18, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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staying with us this hour. i want to tell you upfront near on the interview tonight which is happening later on this hour, we've got a really big deal guest. here for the interview. the malaysian airlines plane that went missing had three american citizens onboard. two of them were little kids. toddlers. one of them is a 50-year-old ibm executive named philip wood. philip wood is one of the people on that missing plane. his partner, his girlfriend is going to be joining us live this hour. that is the interview tonight. i want to make sure you know that's coming up this hour. it's a big deal tonight that we get to speak to her. i hope you'll be here for that. we start tonight in mayflower, arkmayflower, arkans. almost a year ago, last march 29th when this happened. when an exxonmobil pipeline burst under the ground in mayflower, arkansas. when it burst, it suddenly became very, very, very clear how much of a mess they were in. that massive spill caused exxon
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to shut down the whole length of its pegasus pipeline which runs not just through arkansas, it runs all the way through illinois, all the way down into the gulf coast, all the way down to texas. that spill more than just shut down mayflower, arkansas. exxon ended up buying out some of the people who lived in the zone. exxon embarked on and paid for a solid year of dirty, toxic cleanup work in mayflower, arkansas. as of this weekend according to the "arkansas democrat gazette" exxonmobil said they're done, all taken care of. completed the cleanup of contaminated soil stemming from the burst pipeline last year. seems like part of the reason they want to declare it is over, they want to open their pipeline up again. they put in a formal request to restart the 200 miles of that runs through texas. you know, it's awkward for them. texas is right next to arkansas.
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this is what exxon did to arkansas with that pipeline. you can understand it's a rather sensitive matter. even as exxonmobil, though, is saying they are done with their environmental cleanup in arkansas, the company does admit there may be some trailing ends in that town. the company saying now even though it would like to wrap up what it's doing, they're planning to come around to monitor whether there is still an oil sheen on an awesome fishing lake nearby called lake conway. they'll come by wasn't a week to see if there's an oil sheen. if so, they promise to skim it off. they'll come by within 48 hours after it rains to scoop more of the oil off the lake after it presumably washes into the lake from the nearby soil and trees. they promised to leave trails of boom around the water ways in mayflower, arkansas. ah, yes, boom. the oil industry's most flaccid and pivotal reminder of how they have invested basically nothing
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in improving the technology to clean up oil spills even as they as an industry have invested billions and billions and billions in learning how to drill more oil. getting it out of the ground, no expense spared. cleaning it up, we're still using technology we had in the '60s. exxonmobil in mayflower, arkansas, says they will leave some boom laying around. they say they'll leave it in the water and promise to come by every three months to pick up that boom once it's sullied with oil. that's their leaving plan. that's what mayflower, arkansas, can expect from exxonmobil. maybe this is the best that exxon can do, but it's hard not to expect more from the richest company in the history of companies. from a company as massive and as powerful and as rich as exxon. exxon holds the all-time record in the united states for quarterly profits for a corporation. ever. to achieve that record, they had to beat out themselves since
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exxon held the previous record for the most profitable corporation in any one quarter ever. last year exxon's $45 billion profit, profit, $45 billion take home, last year exxon's $45 billion in profit ranked it number two on the fortune 500 list of the most profitable u.s. companies. that $45 billion profit last year represents a down year for exxon. steve coll's book called "private empire" describes an empire that's so big and rich it's adopted an internal corporate philosophy not just global in outlook, not just transnational, it's basically post national. internally the exxonmobil ethos is governments come and go. but exxon needs to think bigger than that because exxon will survive when others don't. you'll never know from the way they're treating mayflower, arkansas, right now.
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leaving some boom behind they plan to check quarterly. exxonmobil is absolutely massive in corporate terms. they're historically huge. they were surpassed by these guys, rosneft. right before the olympics, vladimir putin put on a show of letting dissidents and political prisoners out of prison ahead of the olympics? remember that? he released two imprisoned members of the band pussy riot who had been in prison two years. the other high-profile prisoner he released ahead of the olympics was this man, once russia's richest man. when he was still free, he decided to use his economic power to fund and help lead an opposition effort against vladimir putin and his seemingly permanent reign in russia.
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he had him jailed for over a decade when he released him before the olympics. putin also seized the assets of his company, yukos oil, the company who made him so rich. they jailed the guy, took his company and made the assets of his company part of rosneft. it is by gobbling up other companies and trading for other companies' assets that rosneft is the biggest in the world. surpassed exxonmobil to become the largest oil company on the globe. and if it is hard to imagine a company bigger than exxonmobil, imagine a new joint venture between the company that is even bigger than exxonmobil and exxonmobil. larger than anything before seen in the history of capitalism are doing a joint venture together.
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they're due to start drilling any moment now. their first joint well in the arctic is tick, tick, tick, due to start this year, sometime soon. this joint venture will have them building a natural gas export terminal in rush she's far east. drilling a new deep water well in the far east. fracking fields in siberia and drilling oil in an area of the arctic that is larger than size of texas. that deal between, basically between the mother of all oil companies and the mother of the mother of all oil companies, that deal was signed at vladimir putin's house. literally at his vacation home in sochi. that's where they signed the deal in 2011. last year, the ceo of exxon, rex tillerson, he went to st. petersburg in russia so vladimir putin could bestow upon him this medal. russia has been giving out this medal since 1994. more often they give it to
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foreigners who russia sees as having made the world better for russia, essentially. this medal has existed since 1994. before that, it also existed under a different name. it was called the order of friendship of peoples. instead of just the order of friendship. under the soviet union, they called it the order of friendship of peoples. see they sort of kept the basic shape. star with a little circle inside it. little stripy hammer. at the exxonmobil website, the official bio for rex tillerson lists proudly he's been ordered the medal of friendship by vladimir putin, president of the russian federation. today the european union announced individual targeted sanctions against 21 people in russia and in crimea who the eu says were instrumental in trying to break crimea off from the nation of ukraine and make it
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part of russia instead. those 21 individuals will be banned from travel to any european union country and any assets they have in any european union country as of today are frozen. that list is the product of negotiations by the various countries in the european union, all their foreign ministers had to agree. but the united states also announced sanctions today because of u.s. law, we do it differently. the decision on american sanctions in our case was just made by president obama. he didn't have to consult with congress or anybody else. he could just make the decision as an executive action. in his executive action today the united states named seven russian officials and four crimean officials. 11 people. they'll be subject to a visa ban. these people on the u.s. list will not be allowed to travel to the united states. also an asset freeze. any assets they have in the united states as of today are frozen. how serious is this as an economic move today?
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how tough are these sanctions? for what it's worth, stock markets around the world went up today upon the announcement of those sanctions. they went up especially in russia which is not a sign anybody thinks russia just got hurt or this is any serious economic punishment. on a sunny side, though, this does mean there's plenty of room to escalate sanctions, right? if the european union and the united states want to make the sanctions hurt more, if they really do want them to hurt enough to dissuade russia from the course it's on in crimea and eastern ukraine, there's a lot more they could do. they could add more people to the list. the european list, 21 list. american list, 11 people. there are four people on both lists who they overlap, sanctioned by the european union and the u.s. the lists could expand. could start to be more overlap between the two lists which would make things harder for the people on them. it would not be unprecedented to extend the sanctions list, adding those individuals but more individuals, also their
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entire families. that has been done before. not only makes the sanctions wider ranging but stops ways people can use their own family members to evade those personal sanctions. president obama also announced today he signed an executive order giving himself the authorization to sanction businesses. specifically he mentioned people involved in the russian arms trade. it would sharply increase the bite of sanctions to essentially stop the international economic activity of individual russian businessmen and businesswomen and russian companies operating abroad. in the years of ratcheting up sanctions against iran, what ended up being the most devastating -- when those sanctions went after iranian banks. they essentially cut off all iranian banks from doing any international transaction. isolated iran's economy from the world in a way that was absolutely crippling and happened almost immediately. that's not just any other kind of sanction. that's kind of an economic death blow.
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and that is, in theory, at least, on the menu of choices for the europeans and for the united states. those kind of things work best if you coordinate. they could do that to russian banks. it could take a lot of international coordination, diplomacy, determination, but it would basically in one blow backhand russia 40 years into the past in terms of its economy. and then there's also the matter of not just russian companies and russian banks, but american companies and european companies. it is illegal for u.s. companies to do business in iran right now except in very limited circumstances. as the u.s. and the world look at their menu of options for tries to stuff russia back in its box essentially, to stop russia from what looks like an expansionist march west toward nato. should it be legal for european countries, for american countries to keep doing business inside russia in companies like boeing and ford and pepsi have huge stakes inside russia including lots of americans working for those american
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companies inside russia. but you know what, nobody has anything like exxon. if you really wanted to make vladimir putin take notice, the thing you would probably want to rattle first is that largest oil deal in the history of oil deals which was literally signed in his living room. you want to get to something he cares about? he cares about that. nobody expects an actual shooting war between the west and russia over their behavior right now. no matter how much senator john mccain might want one, nobody expects one. but an economic war started today. the u.s. and the eu fired the first economic shots today, and russia is apparently firing back by saying it, too, might sanction and freeze russian assets for a number of u.s. and european officials. there's some reporting today that could happen tomorrow. that russia will announce its own sanctions against u.s. officials. how far and how fast is this war going to escalate? and ultimately, how far can an economic war escalate before it eventually starts to get very
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close to being a shooting war? joining us now is michael mcfaul. professor, thank you very much for being with us. >> sure. thanks for having me. >> let me ask you about the range of sanctions, range of economic options i just laid out there. do you think that is the actual realm of what's possible? is that the menu of options that american and european officials could consider? >> yeah. i think you laid it out quite eloquently, frankly. i was wondering what i could add. but to say a few things, i think you rightly said these were the first shots, right? it's clear to me that the europeans and the obama administration are preparing for further sanctions should there be further actions by president putin. it was clear as day that president obama in signing this new executive order was giving
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himself more authority to go after those not just for their behavior related directly to crimea, but to their standing. that is to their position in the government and to their position in the economy. and i think they're holding those now, but if russia does annex crimea and go forward with that, i think you'll see further sanctions. >> this may be a naive question, but it struck me today that the ousted president of ukraine, viktor yanukovych was on the rich. mr. putin is not. there are other high-ranking officials. why is that? >> i don't know exactly. my guess is having participated in previous sanctions debate when i used to work with the government, the president wants to be able to meet with president putin, deal with him in a direct way on a range of issues. therefore, there are certain categories of people that will not appear on the list.
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however, you alluded to i think will be the critical decision for the europeans and the united states which is do they go after economic actors, individuals that run these large corporations? including rosneft as you mentioned just earlier. that's run by somebody close to vladimir putin. that would be a dramatic move. that would be a very dramatic move to go after that joint venture. >> when american economic interests are involved, i talk about exxon as an american economic interest, i guess, in technical sense. they're headquartered in irving, texas. they think of themselves more as a global entity. how does that manifest in the u.s. government? when decisions are made for diplomatic or security or political reasons in terms of our relations with other countries and potentially has an impact economically on american businesses, how do they make themselves known? how do they lobby on international issues like this?
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>> well, of course, i don't know if the technical term is lobbying, but i have no doubt that if they are reaching out to government officials in the executive branch in congress, i worked with exxonmobil very closely as the u.s. ambassador to russia. i know all their people. in fact, i was just staying in the hotel in sochi with the presidential delegation and we happened to be in the same hotel with rosneft and exxonmobil. we saw them at the bar just a couple weeks ago. they, of course, are making their argument. it's clear what they're saying, that, look, yes, this is a problem, but don't mess with the american, don't mess with the european economy. and that's what these sanctions will do. so that's their argument on one side. they have certain people that will listen to that. and on the other side, within the government, are people saying, there has to be a real price for this outrageous behavior. i have no doubt that that's
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exactly the debate happening at the white house right now. >> i tell you, one other thing i've read today, people talking about this that makes no sense to me is the great fear russia could strike back economically in a way that would hurt the world as much as the world could help russia. russia is a big country. it doesn't have a giant economy when it comes to contrasting it with, say, the united states or china or some major economies in the world. it's hard for me to imagine in an economic war, there's much that russia could do to us. it seems like most of the things they could do would be to hurt the countries they're hurting with the kind of aggression they're showing on the ground. is that naive? >> i think it's basically right because there's an inner dependence there, right? if russia, for instance, shuts off the gas to europe, that hurts the revenues of the russian government. it's a petro state. let's be clear. they depend on that. there's a difference between capacity and will, right? and if you're very motivated and
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you answer to nobody and you don't answer to your citizens, as president putin doesn't right now, he may be more motivated to take the economic hits in this tit for tat escalation. that's the difference, whereas western leaders have to listen to exxonmobil. they have to listen to their constituents. they have to listen to shareholders. they have to listen to those whose pensions will be affected by economic sanctions. and that is a more complicated game in a democratic political system. >> former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. thank you very much for helping us understand this. it's invaluable to have you here. >> thanks for having any. the missing malaysian airlines 777. a tiny bit of information today and a ton of wild speculation. coming up, we've got the facts in evidence as distinguished from the speculation. also a distinguished guest tonight. an american woman in beijing whose loved one, whose boyfriend is missing on that airplane. that's the interview tonight and that's coming up.
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life being what it is, i do not say this often, but check this guy out. his name is kemp burdett. he's a river keeper which means he watches out for the health of a river. in this case, the help of the cape fear river in north carolina. thursday last week mr. burdett traveled up a canal, the tributary, so he and his friends could take samples of something seeping down into it.
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particularly interested in this orange stuff, whatever it is, leaving this orange trace along the banks. at the top of that canal, it connects to an old shutdown coal burning power plant that belongs to duke energy. that plant went dark in 2012. you can still see the leftovers from the coal that got burned there over the decades. the site has three ponds for the leftover coal ash which is filled with toxins and heavy metals like arsenic. we asked duke energy today why the water in the coal ash ponds is so weirdly teal blue. the spokesperson said he did not know but had seen the sky blue color in lakes and rivers sometimes. okay. last week, kemp burdett and crew of river keepers took an old flat bottom metal boat for a ride on what they believe is a public canal. wanted to get a closer look at the coal ash ponds so close to the river. when they were out on the boat, the nice people from duke energy
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and local sheriffs department came out to get a closer look at the river keepers. the guy in the but jacket is peter harrison, the river keepers' attorney. the other guy in the discussion here, obviously, is the law. >> what y'all got going on today? >> just cruising. >> why when these gentlemen tell you not to go new further you keep going? >> i thought we had the right to use the water. >> you do. what's the point of going all the way up there? fishing or anything? >> we're just looking around. >> okay. well, y'all have your i.d.s or anything on you? >> yeah. >> just need to see those real quick. >> have we done something wrong? >> i'm just checking your i.d.s, man, you all coming up. here this is all the power plant's property. >> including the water that we're boating on? >> pretty sure. i can get wildlife out here. they'll scratch you a ticket. i'm not going to scratch you a ticket for nothing. i'm going to check your i.d.s and let you go ahead and go back down there and tell you not to
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come back. >> go on down there and do not come back. when you are the river keepers and duke energy is the power company, very often the power company wins. not always. last week the river keepers didn't just take their john boats out on the canal, they also flew over the coal ash ponds and from above they took these aerial photographs of the weirdly blue ponds filled with toxic ash. and look what they found. what's going on by that pickup truck down there? the river keeper spotted duke energy pumping water out of the bizarrely blue ponds with the toxic coal ash in them and into the canal. the canal that feeds into the river which incidentally supplies drinking water downstream. they spotted duke pumping water out of this pond and also out of the next coal ash pond over. the next pond over. they took these pictures monday. a week ago today. duke energy moving water directly from the coal ash ponds into the canal and into the woods.
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after they posted those pictures, the story got written up in "the new york times" and "l.a. times." this is national news now what's going on in north carolina, ever since duke energy's coal ash pond on the dan river in eden, north carolina, broke loose super bowl sunday and coated the river bottom for 70 miles. tons of toxic sludge fouling the river and drinking water has a way of forcing an issue, not just in that one place, but everywhere. this weekend duke energy told "the new york times" the pumping at the coal ash ponds along the river was part of routine maintenance. the company said they had notified state regulators last fall they were doing it and it was a perfectly legal action. state regulators said, no, that's not how it went. state regulators said they only learned of the pumping when they stumbled across it last week as part of their statewide tour of coal ash pits after the dan river mega spill. when we asked duke energy about it today, they told us this routine maintenance happens all
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over the state, across north carolina, wherever they need to do it and wherever their permits allow to. the state plans to be out there inspecting the coal ash ponds again tomorrow. they're investigating whether the pumping into the canal was legal. they say it might have been legal. when they figure it out, they will let the public know. the public in north carolina has learned a lot recently about these 30-odd coal ash ponds across their state. scattered across 14 different sites in north carolina ever since the contents of the dan river pond washed away down that river. first the "associated press" reported the administration of governor pat mccrory blocked environmental groups that were trying to sue duke over those coal ash ponds so instead the state could work out a settlement with the company, called for a minnow-sized fine and no promise from duke they would ever actually clean up their pollution. pat mccrory spent nearly 30 years working at duke before he became governor. last year in his first year in office, he fired, cleared out
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the state's entire environmental management board so he could stack that board with members of his own choosing. today the "associated press" further reported that move set the stage for a change in state law that let duke energy pollute larger areas around their coal ash pits without cleaning them up. thanks, governor mccrory. "the associated press" is not letting this story go. their work and the work of other reporters around north carolina is having an effect. the week after the "ap's" expose about the street's sweetheart deal with the governor's former boss, the week after that the u.s. attorney's office in north carolina opened a federal criminal investigation into the state's handling of coal ash. federal prosecutors subpoenaed duke energy and subpoenaed the mccrory administration. 18 separate staffers of the mccrory administration's environment agency. prosecutors specifically asking staffers for details about money or items of value they might have exchanged with duke energy. those subpoenas call for
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testimony, testimony, in-person testimony before a grand jury in raleigh, north carolina, starting tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. and possibly continuing through thursday of this week. that testimony happens in closed court starting tomorrow morning. north carolina's environmental agency tonight said they wouldn't confirm whether the hearing is still scheduled for tomorrow or how many staffers they expect to testify. so what happens before that grand jury could remain a mystery. or the details may keep spilling out. as they have been with this story. still on the front pages day after day after day. watch this space.
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there's obviously been a lot of speculation on the whereabouts of malaysia airlines flight 370 in the days since its disappearance. lots of disproven leads, baseless theories, irresponsible speculation. disputed reports from across the world. but there is some data about what happened to that plane after it took off. some data that we now know for sure. at least it seem like we know it for sure. for some people who have a very personal connection to this potential disaster, this new information is cause for hope. and that is ahead tonight on a very special edition of the interview. please stay with us. this is a big deal. [ female announcer ] the secret to luminous, shiny color?
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glass on floors. daily chores. for the little mishaps you feel use neosporin to help you heal. it kills germs so you heal four days faster. neosporin. use with band-aid brand bandages. one rule of thumb that the rest of the world is learning over the courses of what is now more than a week that malaysian airlines flight 370 has been missing is that if a malaysian government official or a specific aspect of the malaysian government is breaking new news about the missing plane, don't be so sure about what they're saying.
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it's not like anybody has been breaking all that much real new news about the missing plane. there are still only a handful of verifiable facts about the loss of that aircraft amid the sea of speculation. but the malaysian government has contradicted itself on so much now. they started by contradicting themselves on when and whether the plane flew west, dramatically off course after departing from its flight plan. first, the government said that it had. then it said that definitely that did not happen. then they said they didn't know if that happened. now a review of that data by officials from other countries including the united states seems to indicate that, yes, the plane did turn hard to the west. far off its original flight plan. the malaysian government has also contradicted itself, what seemed this weekend to be crucial and damning information about the pilot of the plane. the malaysian defense minister said this weekend that after one of the communication systems onboard the plane had been manually shut off, the pilot thereafter made voice exact with air traffic controllers on the
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ground and said, good night and never mentioned that there was a major communication system onboard the plane that had been shut off. that seemed damning because it would seem to indicate the pilot effectively deceived controllers about something important that was going on onboard the plane. malaysian authorities coupled that revelation this weekend with an announcement that the investigation into the missing plane was now being handled as a criminal matter. as soon as that bombshell started to sink in, though, the malaysians were changing the story, again, clarifying that actually there is no indication that a communication system had been shut down onboard the plane before that last communication from the cockpit, oh, and by the way, it might not have been the pilot, might have been the co-pilot. also continue ticketed themselves. malaysian officials said initially the pilot and co-pilot's homes were searched. part of the "wall street journal" supposed scoop last week that it had to be walked back.
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malaysian authorities first said the pilot's house and co-pilot's house in kuala lumpur were being searched by local authorities. then, though, the malaysian government denied any such searches have taken place. you have to feel for anyone who the world is looking to for answers right now and what is still an utterly unanswerable question of what happened to that plane. but when it comes to dramatic announcements of new leads and new lines of inquiry, when those announcements come from the malaysian government, basically the new rule of thumb we've all been learning is not to get your hopes up about whatever it is they're saying. yes, hope, but verify. try to get multiple sources. don't be surprised what is announced as true now is apologized for or flat-out denied tomorrow.
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with all that said, the new data the malaysian government is standing by right now, and they say other agencies including the american faa and ntsb who are basically the international gold standard for investigating these things, the new data the malaysian government is standing by right now is that a commercial satellite that made minimal contact with the plane was still making that minimal contact with the plane past 8:00 in the morning on the day that it took off. the plane took off at 12:41 a.m. they now say that somehow that plane was still evident to that commercial satellite more than seven hours later. two transponders on the cockpit stopped transponding within 40 minutes or so of takeoff, but there was reportedly something about the plane that was evident to a commercial satellite run by a company called inmarsat 7 hours and 30 minutes after takeoff. the plane was fueled for a planned flight to beijing that was supposed to be a roughly six-hour flight. if the plane was, in fact, aloft
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for more than seven hours, did it run out of fuel? could it have been landed at that point somewhere in the world, light on fuel and with a skilled pilot at the helm? our guest for the interview tonight is the partner, the longtime girlfriend of the one adult american who was onboard that missing flight. she says she believes the plane was not lost, but that it was brought down deliberately. she says she does not believe it has crashed. she believes there are survivors. and she is here for the interview, next.
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the girlfriend of the one adult american onboard malaysian airlines flight 770 joins us live, next. i think we both are clean freaks. i used to scrub the floor on my knees. [ daughter ] i've mastered the art of foot cleaning. oh, boy. oh, boy. oh, boy. [ carmel ] that drives me nuts. it gives me anxiety just thinking about how crazy they get. [ doorbell rings ] [ daughter ] oh, wow. [ carmel ] swiffer wetjet. you guys should try this. it's so easy. oh, my. [ gasps ] i just washed this floor.
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if i didn't see it i wouldn't believe it. [ carmel ] it did my heart good to see you cleaning. [ regina ] yeah, your generation has all the good stuff. [ daughter ] oh, yeah.
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late this afternoon, we got new video related to the missing malaysia airlines flight 370. this is cctv footage which i should say has not been independently verified by nbc news. what it appears it show, though, is the pilot and co-pilot of malaysian airlines flight 370 going through airport security right before they boarded that plane. this, of course, is more than a week ago. and honestly, as you can see from the footage, there is not new and useful information in this video even if it does turn out to be what it seems to be. it's notable because it's one of the only scraps of publicly available information that has become available to us since the plane disappeared. after a long list of what we thought was going to be new information, new leads that ended up being nothing. where it was the supposed leads about oil slicks that turned out
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not to be connected to the plane or the supposed sightings of debris in the gulf of thailand. one of those turned out to be logs tied together, another a floating rid of a large crate. satellite images showing something floating in the south china sea. large piece of what might be debris from a plane. then the chinese government said that releasing those images was a mistake. they shouldn't have been released. they showed nothing related to the plane. after a long period of conflicting reports about it, we do now know after all communications ceased from the cockpit of the plane, military radar did detect the plane moving west far off its planned course. and now the authorities in malaysia say, and they say it's also verified by the american faa and the ntsb, they say that even though the plane's signaling systems were disabled, the plane was still communicating, just a ping with no identifying information.
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the plane was still in communication with a commercial satellite 7 1/2 hours after takeoff. the last pulse or ping was sent at 8:11 a.m. and, no, they don't know where the plane was at that point. and, yes, that is longer than the scheduled flight of the plane that day. it was scheduled to land in beijing about six hours after taking off from kuala lumpur and apparently it was still aloft 7 1/2 hours after takeoff. it was still aloft 7 1/2 hours later. somewhere. there were three american citizens onboard malaysia airlines flight 370. two little kids. two toddlers. and this man, 50-year-old imb executive philip wood. his partner, sarah bajc, lives in beijing. she teaches economics there. sarah says there is no reason to conclude, no reason to assume that the plane necessarily crashed. that it is possible the plane has been brought down and landed somewhere. that even though that would mean something obviously went terribly wrong, it should also mean there is no reason to give up hope. joining us now from beijing for the interview is sarah bajc, her
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partner philip wood was a passenger on flight 370. thank you very much for being willing to talk to us. thank you for being here. >> rachel, thank you for taking me on the show and applying your factual and logical reporting style to something that so many other news agencies are just sensationalizing. >> thank you for saying that. i think that's an important part of this. for those of us just watching this story from afar, the conflicting information, the disproven and in many cases very irresponsible speculation, i mean, it's been hard to follow, hard to understand. i can't imagine how hard it has been to handle from your perspective with your personal connection here trying to understand what may have happened to philip and what you need to know about the plane. how have you been handling your own information about what happened? >> well, it's been an excruciating process, but the way to handle it is to think
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first and let your heart guide your mind but to focus on what could only possibly be true. and as early as sunday, just a day after the flight disappeared, already amongst my group of friends we were already talking about the fact that a crash didn't make any sense, that this clearly looked like an abduction. and you know, without evidence of them doing something immediate and visible with that very powerful tool of a big plane filled with people, that they have to have a future purpose for it. you know, if they just wanted to, you know, make a statement, they could have crashed it into the petronas towers. that clearly could have been within their power. but they didn't do that. so i believe this is just one step in a bigger plan and sooner or later we're going to learn what that is. >> in terms of the way this has
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been approached not just with the reporting but the way that governments in the region and also the american government, governments around the world have tried to look for it, have prioritized searching and resources toward trying to answer this mystery. is there something -- given what you think may have happened, is there something you wish was being done differently and the way governments were responding to this and devoting resources to it? >> well, i like to think that our government is a lot smarter than it's behaving right now. same thing for china. same thing for malaysia. so i have to trust that we're just being misled in this cycle. you know, if there's something else going on and if they are indeed investigating that path, then the easiest way to keep us out of the way would be to provide evidence or false evidence at least that would keep us distracted so that they can be focused on the real problem. >> there is immense
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international focus on this issue. i went out of my way over the weekend hoping that i was going to get a chance to talk to you today to try to check this news out around the world to see if this is just an american media story or if the world is riveted as everybody in this country is. and it does seem to be a story of global interest. i have to ask if watching this from china, watching this from beijing, if there is a different narrative on the ground, a different popular understanding where you are than what you're seeing in the american media. >> well, i don't really read the chinese news. what's the point? it's just all packaged messaging from the government anyway. but if you talk to people on the ground and what they think, the only access to real information that people here have is the national news sources, which are often blocked.
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so within hours almost of this process starting, so saturday morning, already my internet was crashing. i couldn't get through to anything. you know, i had to go to great extents to get access to some alternate more private internet connection. i'm sure my phone is being monitored. you know, they're trying to keep it quiet. and china has been taking an almost incendiary approach with the way they're managing their own people, which i think is very damaging. it's a very immature and irresponsible approach. the chinese families are being whipped into a frenzy. it's bordering on violent behavior. and that's not going to help anything. what we need to do is find a way to be part of the solution, not to be aggravating the situation because it's just a giant distraction. i've kept myself as separate from that as i can. i've refused to go down to the counseling centers that they've got set up down in the city and basically stayed holed up in my apartment. fortunately, i work for an international school with a very secure ground. and they've offered me just
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amazing protection and privacy so i can try to keep my attention focused on seeing how i might be able to be part of helping the situation, not hurting it. >> sarah bajc, it is hard to imagine what you're going through both emotionally just -- and spiritually in terms of this lack of information. i really appreciate your willingness to talk to us tonight and i hope if there's at any point any time you would like to talk to us again that you won't hesitate to be in touch. we'd love to stay in touch with you during this process. >> great. thank you, rachel. >> thank you. >> sarah bajc. phillip wood ways pang on mission malaysia airlines flight 370. obviously we all of course continue to hope for the safe return. however unlikely the passengers and crew in this unbelievable mystery. we'll be right back. the secret is out. hydration is in.
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at least we have explained the counter narrative. that's a newly released text message from former port authority executive bill baroni to new jersey governor chris christie's campaign manager at the time, bill stepien. that text message is in reference to mr. baroni telling the new jersey legislature that had some traffic study explained why access lanes had been closed onto the george washington bridge. we now know that was an untrue cover story. this new exchange in these text messages comes from court filings from the new jersey legislature. they show bill stepien texting bill baroni the day after his now proven to be false testimony. he texts him, hey, great job yesterday. "i know it's not a fun topic and not nearly as fun as beating up on senator frank lautenberg," which is a reference to a heated exchange bill baroni had with frank lautenberg in a hearing in 2012 in the u.s. senate. but the text message continues, "but you did great, and i wanted to thank you." mr. baroni responds, "thanks, william."
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william stepien. "loretta and wiz meeting new jersey senator loretta weinberg and senator john wisniewski will keep up their nonsense but at least we will have explained the counter narrative." the counter narrative. aka the cover story. so bill stepien who'd been chris christie's campaign manager tells bill baroni great job about his cover story, and bill baroni celebrates having sold the counter narrative. also disclosed today are e-mails that show bill stepien, then in the midst of running chris christie's re-election campaign being made aware of the infamous traffic problems in fort lee and fort lee's mayor being upset about it. the same week that the traffic problems were happening. contemporaneous to the lane closures bill stepien was in on it. chris christie's campaign manager was being made aware of the situation. these new texts are part of the latest court filings for a superior court judge in new jersey to consider whether or not bill stepien and bridget kelly have to comply with the committee's subpoena or whether they can still refuse to hand
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over documents to the legislature. a ruling is expected on that matter at the end of this month but almost daily new revelations in the story are expected to continue in the meantime. watch this space. we'll keep you posted. . good tuesday more than. right now on "first look," plane theories. was the missing plane's flight path altered inside the cockpit's computer system. and vice president rushing to the region to shore up nato support. p. and mick jagger cancels concerts in the wake of the death of his long time girlfriend. plus a new round of recalls for general motors. chaos in mexico as police battle one another. and just in the nick of time for this stranded soul. good morning, everyone. thanks for joining us. china finds no terror link to th

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