tv MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall MSNBC November 4, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST
joseph gliniewicz. gliniewicz was found dead in fox lake september 1st after calling for back-up saying he was chasing three suspicious men on foot. authorities later revealed he had been shot with his own gun. gliniewicz' family has denied the claim that he took his own life. in fact in an interview last month his widow responded angrily after the coroner first said he would not rule out suicide. >> i wholeheartedly believe he was murdered. >> and to say otherwise? >> is disrespectful. hurtful. irresponsible. >> joining me now from round lake beach is nbc's john gang. we are waiting for this news conference, it appears it's about to start right now so let's listen in. >> good morning. i'm detective christopher
covelli, public information officer for the lake county major crime task force. i'm joined today by commander of the lake county major crime task force, chief george filenko, and lake county coroner dr. thomas rudd. two months have passed since the death of lieutenant charles joseph gliniewicz. since day one of this incident, investigators have tirelessly worked day and night diligently searching for answers. this investigative team included members of the lake county major crime task force, as well as our federal partners -- the fbi, the atf, secret service, homeland security, and the u.s. marshal service. this was an extraordinarily complex investigation with many moving parts which resulted in over 150 separate investigators spending over 25,000 hours investigating this case. over 430 leads were examined.
over 250 pieces of evidence were collected and submitted to local and federal crime labs for analysis. thousands of pages of financial documents were reviewed. over 6,500 pages of text messages were reviewed just from lieutenant gliniewicz's personal cell phone. over 30,000 telephone numbers were reviewed for comparison. over 40,000 e-mails were reviewed. during this process we appreciate the cooperation and assistance from the village of fox lake and village administrator ann marin. the interest of justice require a methodical, thorough and complete investigation. this has been done. even though some developed their own theories, or felt a need to criticize, we had a job to do, and we have done it. while some wanted the results fast, we wanted them right. we were obligated to prove our
conclusions before we reported to you and the public we serve. we are thankful for the support and patience of the fox lake and surrounding communities while we inspected all of the evidence, systematically explored every tip, every lead, and every possible option. today we will discuss the findings and conclusions of our investigation into the death of lieutenant gliniewicz. we have two principal speakers, george filenko and the lake county coroner, dr. rudd. we will take questions at the end of the statement and ask that all questions be held until then. i'm first going to turn the mic over to commander filenko. >> good morning. we're here to wrap -- we're here this morning to wrap up the investigation into the death of lieutenant charles joseph gliniewicz. this extensive investigation has
concluded with an overwhelming amount of evidence that gliniewicz' death was a carefully staged suicide. we have determined this staged suicide was the end result of extensive criminal acts that gliniewicz had been committing. in fact, he was under increasing levels of personal stress from scrutiny of his management of the fox lake police explorer unit. we have the highest degree of confidence in the facts that led us to this conclusion which lake county coroner dr. rudd will confirm. in addition, we have concurrence of our investigative partners, federal, state, including the fbi, their behavioral analysis unit, and the atf. with those partners, our investigation strongly indicates criminal activity on the part of at least two other individuals.
because that part of the investigation is open and will be ongoing, we will have no further comment on that aspect of the investigation. here's a brief summary of the important elements of the investigation which led us to these conclusions. further elaboration and further detailed information regarding these facts are provided to all of you in your handouts. the investigation found gliniewicz had been stealing and laundering money from the fox lake police explorer post. this had been occurring over the past seven years. gliniewicz was also found to have forged signatures on official documents. thoulzs of dollars were used by gliniewicz for personal purchases, travel expenses, mortgage payments, personal gym memberships, adult websites, facilitating personal loans, and unaccounted cash withdrawals.
the documents discovered what forged signatures were requisitions for federal surplus commitment and official police explorer documents. we recovered electronic messages that were deleted from gliniewicz' personal and work cellular phone, including incriminating statements that had been deleted prior to his suicide. a selection of those deleted messages is available in your media handout packets as well. our investigation has determined conclusively that gliniewicz intentionally left a staged trail of police equipment at the crime scene. analysts determined the trail of equipment consisting of pepper spray, a baton, and his personal glasses, was an attempt to mislead first responders and investigators to believe this was a homicide scene. it was learned through investigation gliniewicz had
significant experience staging mock crime scenes for police explorer training. the fbi's behavioral analysis unit has concurred that this was a staged scene, in part because there were no signs of gliniewicz being dragged after the initial shot, and no physical signs that he fought for his life. we have also concluded that gliniewicz strategically aimed the first of two shots from his own weapon at the lower abdominal area striking his cellular phone and bulletproof vest which absorbed most of the impact of the first shot. advanced ballistic testing with the use of ultraviolet photographic equipment conducted by the northern illinois regional crime lab confirmed both gunshots were fired at close range. gunshot residue was found in the
interior of gliniewicz' bulletproof vest cover when the second fatal round was fired which indicates the gun was placed underneath the vest carrier when the fatal round was fired. as we pursued gliniewicz -- the gliniewicz investigation, all possible death scenarios were considered, including the possibility of homicide, as well as suicide. in this matter we presumed no facts prior to or during the investigation. we had no preconceived notions as to what occurred, nor did we prejudge the outside of this investigation. justice and our system of law demand nothing less. there are no winners here. gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community. the facts of his actions prove
he behaved for years in a man per completely contrary to the image he portrayed. thank you. >> i'd like to introduce dr. thomas rudd. >> good morning. i'm the lake county coroner. i have two statements to make before we review the findings of the autopsy. first, i want to acknowledge the hard work done by all of law enforcement agencies involved in investigating the scene and circumstances of the death of this officer. what appeared to be a slow process was done in my opinion in a very timely manner. second, by law, the lake county coroner's office is mandated to investigate all deaths within our jurisdiction, which means within lake county. we are to do the cause of death, as well as the manner of death. the cause of death of lieutenant gliniewicz was established as a result of objective scientific
medical evidence obtained at the autopsy. this office follows the principles and protocols of the national association of medical examiners. the cause of death was published earlier, approximately ten days after his death, by me in a newspaper article that said there was a catastrophic gunshot wound to the torso. we can now expand on that. as chief filenko said, this appears to be a staged suicide and the first shot hit his right chest region. it went through the phone, lodged in to his bulletproof vest. it did not penetrate his skin. therefore, it did not penetrate any body cavity, either the plural or the abdominal. it was just below the rib cage. however, it did cause a bruise that measured four inches by four inches. it was reddish-pink indicating a recent injury by the bullet. this means that the small blood
vessels ruptured in the superficial surface of the skin. these are the capillaries that are easily damaged. the fatal catastrophic gunshot wound as chief filenko said was in the left upper chest. it was located approximately two inches between -- below the collar of the bulletproof vest. therefore -- the gun had to be placed in such an angle that the gun was close to the chest. it went under the vest at a 40-degree angle which was confirmed by the trajectory of the bullet. it hit the pulmonary artery causing massive blood loss, approximately 1,200 ccs which would be equivalent to a little less than three pints of blood. as this officer is bleeding internally, the lung is collapsing. blood is filling up in to the lung. the bullet then hits the region
on the left side where the major bronchi and blood vessels go in and out of the lung, coarsurses through the bottom of the lung, collapses and causes bleeding. there issen a exit wound but the bullet doesn't come out because it hits the bulletproof vest. instead of being a cookie cutter sharp exit wound, it is a ragged-edged wound. in summary, we have two bullets shot into this officer. i agree with the findings that this was a carefully staged suicide. this officer killed himself. >> we'll open it up now for questions and answers.
understanding the fact that there are criminal investigations ongoing from what we have learned from the investigation into lieutenant gliniewicz. we ask that media personnel here raise their hands just so we can answer everybody's questions in a timely fashion. chief? >> sir. >> was it your sense that investigators were closing in on him? tell us specifically what you believe was the pressure point that led to the suicide? >> i think it was a culmination of issues over a six-month period. that's what we learned in great detail from the text messages that we recovered. and that's 6,500 pages of text messages. combined with bank records, thousands of pages of those that were analyzed by an fbi forensic accountant at our request. so this process probably began
about six months ago, and then culminated to a peak within the week of this staged suicide. >> i wonder if you can address the fact that for many of us, phone calls were coming in within 24, certainly within 48 hours raising the word suicide. certainly that must have come up in your task force. during this time, a massive community memorial service was held, an honor funeral which was attended by thousands of police officers, hailing him as a hero. some in the community would probably ask you at this point how you could allow that kind of thing to happen when questions were being raised about the veracity of the crime so early. would you address that? >> the question is -- i'll summarize it for those in the back -- is how we could allow a massive tribute to occur when there were rumors spreading
throughout the community that this might be a suicide. it would be irresponsible on our part not to conduct a thorough and detailed investigation, and in the first several weeks of this investigation, there was nothing that we had that was leading us towards determining this as being a suicide. we conducted a thorough and detailed investigation that ultimately, with the support of the fbi who worked with us lockstep, and other federal agencies, by providing us support and all this information that ultimately led us to this conclusion. [ inaudible question ] >> we knew on october 1st the bullet came from gliniewicz's gun. what is the last month of the investigation entail? >> the last month of the investigation has entailed the review of those documents that we have obtained, those text
messages that -- you have a small sampling of. i mean there was 6,500 of those deleted within a short period of time prior to this staged suicide. so the combination of all of that and other discoveries that we made throughout the investigation within the last 30 days led to this conclusion. >> you say there's pressure -- >> -- you made aware of this investigation into the financial activities that he's now alleged to have been involved in? >> as is our protocol -- >> what was the question? >> the question was, how soon after his death did we start looking into the financial aspect. am i correct? did i become aware of that. as is our protocol, in any investigation in a homicide, we immediately start requesting financial and background information. that's referred to as a victimology. that's inclusive of that. part of the delay in obtaining
that is some of that isn't readily available or immediately available from the sources. in this case, we had to extract that information through quantico. specifically i'm referring to the text messaging which took a substantial amount of time. bank records -- banks, some cooperate very quickly. others it may take 30 to 60 to 90 days to retrieve some of those records. >> is it possible that lieutenant gliniewicz's misdoings might not have been discovered had he not taken his own life? >> i could tell you that eventually they would have been discovered because, regardless of the fact that lieutenant gliniewicz staged his suicide, the village of fox lake had
begun conducting a thorough internal audit of all of their assets, and eventually, as we found was indicated in some of those messages that we retrieved, that that was a concern that that audit was going to eventually lead to discovery of this financial malfeasance. >> was that prompted by suspicions of the lieutenant or prompted just because they were doing an audit? >> no. i believe -- i don't want to answer out of turn for the village of fox lake, but i believe they're doing a systematic audit of the entire village. i understand the village administrator is going to be making some closing comments here. that would be a question i'd defer to her. >> -- were there signs of a struggle that he left? because i mean was it torn clothes? was he dishevelled? what were the signs of a struggle -- >> as you approach the crime
scene itself, and i apologize, we don't have any visuals for you. but we did provide you with a map, an overview, of the area itself. as you approach it, you see first a canister of pepper spray with the safety taken off of it laying there. some number of feet forward, now you see an expandable baton laying there. again, towards the swampy area, now you find his personal glasses laying there. and in fact, that's where we eventually discovered a shell casing, and that's where we believe that first self-inflicted wound took place. then further on ultimately you find gliniewicz. this is pretty classical if you look at any police policy of a use of force type of it
continuum. you start with your physical presence, you move on to another force weapon such as pepper spray, a baton, so this was laid out to seem as if there was an ongoing type of struggle through the scene. >> we are listening to officials in illinois describe what they have concluded was a carefully staged suicide by an officer, lieutenant charles gliniewicz, if that county. this has been a case that we've followed since september 1st when officer gliniewicz was found dead and now we are listening to a very detailed account of how authorities both the fbi and the sheriff's department reached its conclusion that this was, as one official said just now, the ultimate betrayal. lieutenant gliniewicz's parentally being investigated over the past seven years for
potential criminal financial disputes in his background. officials saying they looked over 250 pieces of evidence, tens of thousands of phone cell records collected, tens of thousands of pieces of information from his background, both from banking and other sources. this as you well know resulted in a massive manhunt in illinois that went on for many weeks. it cost an estimated $300,000 and 99 agencies at one point responding to the manhunt for two individuals -- or three individuals at the time. the lieutenant had made a distress call saying that he was attacked by two white men and one black man and that they had taken his gun. he was later found in a field dead and now according to officials the two gunshot wounds were self-inflicted. the officials noting that the fatal wound was beneath his body armor -- on his body and
apparently, according to them, he actually placed the gun beneath that protector and that's where the lethal shot was made. this is an incredible story. i think people often refer to things like this as bizarre but there is a father, a husband, his wife recently, in fact last month, saying that she did not believe early reports that this could be a suicide. it was early on that the coroner investigating this said that he would not rule out the possibility of suicide. and now we're hearing from officials, including the fbi who took part in this investigation in the conclusion, the stunning conclusion is that this was a care flip staged suicide. we'll have much more reaction to what we just heard but i do want to get you caught up on other news of the day. that of course means starting off with politics. there are new polls this morning that find ben carson stands the best chance of beating hillary clinton in a general election match-up. this comes in from the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. it shows carson tied with clinton in a dead heat of 47%.
that's better than any other gop candidate. and a new national quinnipiac poll puts carson even further ahead of clinton, behind -- or beating her by ten points. he continues to draw huge crowds outside of those book signings with more scheduled for this afternoon. carson is still technically on a break though from the campaign trail. but leads the gop field with 29%. six points ahead of donald trump. yesterday carson responded to comments made by donald trump claiming he did not have the experience or temperament to be president. >> what would you expect him to say? would you expect him to say, yeah, he's got a lot of experience, more than i do and he'd be a great president. he's not going to say that. experience comes from a variety of different things. it doesn't only have to be in one segment or the other. so i've had a lot of experience, for instance doing things that have never been done before. particularly in the medical field. >> joining me now, press
secretary for dr. carson's campaign. dina, thanks for joining us again. >> thaurnk you so much for havi me. >> you have erick erickson who wrote this article just yesterday, it reads, in part, "everyone focused on carson's impressive $20.8 million in the third quarter, money that he's raised. but few noticed that he's burned through $14 million of it with $11 million going to raise the $20 million. carson's actual expenditures list reads like wealthy republican getting played by consultants. as carson goes up in the polls, he's going to need to reassess his campaign. they are saying the money that's coming in is being burned in campaigning. >> well, you know, tamron, first of all, you have to recognize that dr. carson is not a politician and many of these other candidates came with lists -- they started their campaigns with deep lists of people in terms of support.
dr. carson had to begin from the beginning so we did have to spend some monoacquiring names and acquiring lists. but i think when you look at the people who are actually donating to dr. carson's campaign, over 800,000 donations to date. and so the individual donations are coming from regular americans, $52 here, $25 there. so while dr. carson is not a politician, he says that over and over, but what he is, he's someone who's appealing to every day americans. when every day americans take money out of their own pocket to support a candidate, we believe that that says a lot. >> that may be the case, but when you have a headline like this one that reads, "is ben carson's campaign one big con? that was an article again pointing to the fact that much of the money is going to the fund-raising itself mostly through direct mail and money spent to raise money is just gone. >> you know, i think that -- we have been from the very beginning on this campaign, people have talked about the
campaign imploding, the campaign not having a strong structure, people leaving the campaign. all of those things -- all of those claims have proven to be false. dr. carson is running a very stable campaign. we have wonderful state directors across the country. a wonderful impressive ground game and we simply would not be in this position if dr. carson did not have the leadership to lead -- i'll admit, it is not -- we're not playing from the same playbooks that other campaigns may be playing from because we are not a typical campaign. our candidate is not a politician. so we're doing things a little different. america is recognizing that. people are very attracted to -- even the numbers that you're seeing show that people trust dr. carson, they trust what he would do with america. and that's why regular every day americans are support -- our support is coming from regular people working paycheck to pay collection to support this candidate because they believe that he has solutions for america. >> but a lot of those solutions are being questioned, as is the
case with all of the candidates, as you know. but you say that they trust dr. carson. but we still don't know, for example, what he plans to do, for example, his idea how to face isis. his foreign policy agenda. what does the carson agenda look like as it relates to these global issues. he's already changed on what he believes should happen with medicare. last week he backed away from the original plan to end medicare. so, do we really know dr. carson's plan for the country, or, as you pointed out, many people are engaged in the fact that he was a successful doctor and a nice guy, but where is the leadership? >> dr. carson has spent the last several months talking to americans, engaging americans, getting their ideas and opinions. and actually on the issue of medicare, he has never, ever -- he's nef said th he's never said that he wants to abolish medicare. >> what did he say then? >> he wants to give people
options. his option, he does talk about health savings accounts but he does not talk about abolishing medicare. the idea that dr. carson is going to share his plan in sound bites, it's not going to happen. but he will in the coming weeks be revealing his plans on the economy, on foreign affairs, on taxes, on all of these things. it will come in time. what he's doing now is he's listening to americans, and that's what -- another reason why he has received such success is because people recognize that he -- this last quinnipiac poll shows that people recognize that he cares about them and he cares about their situation. because he's listening to them and he's not just making proposals without actually listening and engaging the american public. and that is what he's doing. you talk about the crowds that are coming to his events and his rallies, and that's because people know that they can ask questions, they can get
responses, and there are no attempts to keep him away from people. he really -- he wants to listen to america, he wants to listen to what -- >> but the same could be said for donald trump. there's no one who would say that donald trump wants to stay away from the people. he was just in new hampshire a few hours ago with a crowd around him, showed up at a kindergarten class. both of the men willing to expose themselves and listen as you pointed out to what people -- >> and that's very important. that's why again -- donald trump, i think one of the reasons he's probably doing extremely well in the polls is because he also is out and listening. people certainly have demonstrated that dr. carson and donald trump are different types of candidates but they both are engaged and -- >> but they're also both being heavily criticized for being short on presenting their policies. to your point, yes, so much of this has to be the ability to listen to the american people, but trump is saying that carson does not have -- dr. carson does not have the leadership or the experience. how does he prove him wrong?
when will we see the first big policy rollout from dr. carson? >> dr. carson's policies will be rolled out in the coming weeks and at that point i think rather than working from sound bites and stip nets americans will be able to dig through it and i'm sure that the political class and journalists will certainly dig through it and they will see that dr. carson has a plan and solutions for america and to the point of dr. carson's experience and his ability to lead, we believe that that is his greatest strength. for the better part of 36 years, as i've said, he has been doing things that no one else has done. he understands that decisions are not made in isolation. he understands that you have to bring people -- talented people, diverse communities together to solve these complex problems and it's not just going to be him. he's -- he brings to this table -- again, we have a great bunch of republican candidates but dr. carson brings a degree of wisdom and intellect and he
is a solutionist. that's what americans are attracted to. and in the coming weeks they will be able to see that he's listened to them, he's brought together experts to create plans that will bring solutions to america. >> thank you very much, press secretary for dr. carson. we appreciate you joining us. in the last hour donald trump was greeted by a large crowd as he filed his paperwork to run in the new hampshire primary. >> trump! trump! trump! trump! trump! trump! >> trump is among the first gop candidates to file in new hampshire's first in the nation primary. meanwhile, he is facing new criticism this morning over his activity on social media. overnight trump retweeted a photo montage slamming jeb bush. one picture included an image after bush next to a swastika. another showed him wearing a sombrero with the caption reading "adios, jeb, a/k/a jose.
it triggered backlash online and trump has since removed the tweet. the tampa bay times is reporting senator marco rubio still has not turned over some records related to a state party credit card while speaker of the florida state house. earlier statements show that rubio charged personal expenses like repairs to the family minivan and rubio says records will be released very soon, possibly within the month. "washington post" column nis eugene robinson joins me, and republican strategist john fiore. we'll have more details in the coming weeks maybe within the month from ben carson but they're still riding high on this notion that he's wise, he's been a successful doctor, and that is what's keeping dr. carson at the top of the polls. is that how you see it?
>> well, your guess is as good as mine. he's all over the map on a number of issues. contrary to what we just heard, he did say he wanted to replace medicare. he said that -- >> yes, he did. >> he's said that for quite some time. then he started saying, well, we want to give people an alternative to medicare and that once we see this wonderful savings account alternative they'll just naturally gravitate towards that. i don't quite understand how that's supposed to work, but it is an example. at least the campaign acknowledges that his positions -- his actual positions on the issues are very much in flux and very much still evolving. >> he describes it as a listening tour and that he's making himself accessible to people out there at the book signing. i mean those are fans and those are the people who are showing up there. >> right. but the thing about politics is that you can't be a vessel and a conduit for everybody's wants and desires. right? you have to make choices and you
have those choices come out in policies that some people will really like and other people won't like at all, and then you try to persuade people that what you want to do is right. nonetheless, this is a bizarre election cycle. >> it is. >> and i think that predicting how it is going to go is kind of a mugs game at this point. yes, ben carson is riding high. talking about donald trump and ben carson, two people who have never run for office and they are clearly leading for the republican nomination. >> i want to follow up to eugene's point, and gene we're hearing, to your point, about how strange and unusual i think might be a better word that this campaign cycle has been when you ask a question of the carson team or the trump team, the reply is often, well, he's not a politician, he's not a politician so you can't hold him to the same standards of expecting a policy rollout. you can't expect him to be specific on the economy or what
he would do regarding isis. he's not a politician. eugene. >> yeah. well, absolutely. but guess what? he is a politician now because he's doing politics. by definition. if you're running for president and especially if you're doing as well as ben carson and donald trump, you are -- they are inexperienced politicians so they stumble and they make mistakes, but they are definitely politicians. at some point, as we've seen trump learn to be incrementally a better politician in many ways, perhaps we'll see that same sort of growth of skill in ben carson. but at some point they can't keep saying that because you're doing politics. >> john, let me bring you in. one of the politicians now, the establishment front-runner, marco rubio, getting a lot of scrutiny about his finances. trump attacking him, clearly seeing an opening there. the "tampa bay times" said it's become legend in florida
political circles, a missing chapter in marco rubio's convoluted financial stories. two years of credit card transactions from his time in the state house when he and other republican leaders freely spent paerpt money. wh party money. when does marco rubio have to different a different answer rather than the avoidance of that answer during the cnbc debate? >> tamron, that's a really important question. these allegations have been out there for a while. rubio had to face those allegations when he beat charlie crist in florida successful. the interesting thing about this election right now, it is not that different from a couple other elections where you had a lot of volatility. right now people are going to start returning negative campaigns. jeb bush is starting to attack rubio because he sees him as a threat. so you can probably see, you have carson and trump at the top of the polls. i predict by new year's day that won't be the case. a lot of these candidates are going to face a lot of scrutiny
of everything they've done in the past. that really hasn't happened yet. we'll start to see it in the next couple months. because right now is when the voters start paying attention. >> specifically though the heat being on marco rubio because he is, at this point, the establishment front-runner. that brings a certain, obviously, level of pressure given especially where jeb bush stands at the polls which is at the bottom. we don't know if the fix jeb bush campaign is going to work. but i do want to play what marco rubio said regarding these financial questions on "good morning america." >> people need to undersfan what they're talking about leer. it wasn't a credit card. it was an american express charge card secured under my personal credit in conjunction with the party. i would go through -- bills would be mailed to me at home. every month i would go through it. if there was a perm expense i paid it. if it was a party expense, the party paid it. i recognized in hindsight i would do it different to avoid all this confusion. but the republican party never paid a single expense of mine. >> obviously many say that's simply not true. >> yeah. i don't know the details.
i do know that rubio faced a lot of the scrutiny when he faced charlie crist and it didn't matter in florida. i think that rubio tends to turn his back -- listen, i've had financial difficulties in my life, i put a spotlight on that, i'm like a lot of other americans that have faced financial difficulties. this credit card is a little bit of a different story because it has to do with actually the republican party paying for personal finances. rubio has to explain himself on that. but he has been successful in fending off attacks in the past and i expect that he'll be successful fending off attacks in the future. >> quickly, eugene, let me get your reaction to this quinnipiac poll, clinton versus the gop. ben carson at 50%, hillary clinton at 40%. this is the new quinnipiac number that we have and the nbc/"wall street journal" poll, carson is the only gop candidate who tops her. again, how do you explain the numbers? >> what i understood about the
quinnipiac numbers is that african-americans in that poll are backing carson a lot more than in other polls which can explain kind of the difference. >> but hillary clinton still wins that segment of voters in the polling. >> right. exactly. but within that particular poll. we're real early right now. i don't trust any of these polls to be honest with you. >> eugene? >> i would tend to agree. clearly people are taking a look at ben carson and there's something winning about his personality, perhaps about his soft spokenness. his personal story is inspiring. so i think people are reacting to that. but raise the word "medicare," and i think that that number changes a bit. we'll see. >> thank you both, gentlemen. great pleasure having you on with us today. a programming note, msnbc's rachel maddow will host a democratic candidates forum this friday, 8:00 p.m. eastern time only on msnbc. coming up, three million
people have watched chris christie's emotional story about a close friend who became addicted to drugs and he's not the only presidential candidate talking about the effects of drug abuse in middle america. >> i can just look in the eyes of people and know they've gone through the exact same thing we have. >> jeb bush getting personal on the topic, as well as carly fiorina. will new hampshire voters rank drug abuse as the most important issue? this as a new report finds death rates are rising for middle aged white men driven by suicides and prescription drug abuse. ♪ ♪ it's the final countdown! ♪ ♪ the final countdown! if you're the band europe, you love a final countdown. it's what you do.
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the u.s. every day from prescription drug overdoses. the figures reveal a 400% increase since 1999 in deaths among white americans. meantime, the epidemic is getting a lot of attention from the presidential candidates on both sides. hillary clinton's offered a $10 billion plan for treating what she called a quiet epidemic of heroin and prescription drug addiction. during the gop debate in september, carly fiorina talked about her stepdaughter's death from a drug overdose in 2009 after battling addiction to prescription drugs. fiorina called on the country to do more to prevent addiction. and just last night in new hampshire, jeb bush again talked about his own daughter, noel's struggle with prescription drug addiction. a new video that's gone viral. it's received over 3 million views on facebook. new jersey governor chris christie talks emotionally about a close friend who became addicted to a prescription drug. here's part of what he had to say. it was recorded by "the
huffington post." >> when a year-and-a-half ago on a sunday morning, mary pat and i got the call that we had been dreading forever, that they found him dead in a motel room with an empty bottle of percocet and an empty quart of vodka. 52 years old. by every measure that we define success in this country, this guy had it. great looking guy. well educated. great career. plenty of money. beautiful, loving wife. beautiful children. great house. he had everything. he's a drug addict. and he couldn't get help and he's dead. and when i sat there as the governor of new jersey at his funeral, and looked across the pew at his three daughters sobbing because their dad is gone, there but for the grace of god go i. it can happen to anyone.
so we need to start treating people in this country, not jailing them. we need to give them the tools they need to recover, because every life is precious. every life is an individual gift from god. and we have to stop judging and start giving them the tools they need to get better. >> joining me now live in studio, brad lamb, founder and ceo of breathe life healing centers, also "wall street journal" reporter heather hanna who just wrote about this, the drug epidemic becoming a 2016 presidential campaign issue. thank you both for joining us. heather, what chris christie said emotional, passionate. but it came from a place where it was personal, it was someone like him, someone from his neighborhood, someone from his wheelhouse. he says we need to be compassionate. but there are many people in underserved communities who say, well, their solution has been incarceration and now we are looking at different ways. >> we're really seeing a generational shift in how
presidential candidates are talking about substance abuse issues. in the past this was an issue to be avoided, it could bring up past substance abuse they may have in themselves, their family, just recreational drug, marijuana use, or what have you. but now it is being talked about more as an illness instead of just tough on crime, war on drugs issue that it had certainly decades ago in the past that was really part of the republican party platform. >> even then when we're talking about the war on drugs, it was not just about marijuana. it was about heroin. it was about crack and cocaine. but it was about a neighborhood that did not look like the neighborhood described by chris christie. >> yeah. this has really shifted into the suburbs, into wealthier communities. my fstory focused on new hampshire. this has taken a huge toll on the state. there was a death a day last year over opiates.
>> breathe and other centers have been saying for a long time it is time for ow lawmakers to take a realistic and modern look at the issue of drugs. especially prescription drugs. >> it is remarkable that it's coming out as a talking point now. i'm excited and thrilled and cautiously optimistic, but i think the personal focus of it makes it possible to talk about it. i think the number, too -- 44 deaths a day, there's no other possibility but talking about it. because such a massive epidemic right now. yesterday i had a mom call me from new england. she had seven adult children. all seven adult children are addicted to heroin and opioids. they started with pills and now they are addicted and they're trying to get into programs and in many parts of the current it is just a tragedy even trying to get help. >> we know people have been talking about it within their homes, maybe within their churches, within their family circ
circle. but now it is on the campaign trail. how does the talk turn to action. what would impress you and other people on the front line? >> well, parody certainly is one thing. we've been talking about it for years. it was mandated in congress that mental health and substance abuse be treated with the same coverage, insurance coverage, as physical health problems. we're starting to see more parity meaning they're paying for substance abuse like they would if you had cancer or a broken leg. but it is still a fight. we spend half of our time at breathe life healing center with insurance companies. they don't want to pay. they create loopholes. >> this is an opening you feel for one of the presidential candidates? >> absolutely. when i saw president obama talking about it, he has an initiative that we're going to see i think november 19th in d.c., more talking about the federal government now today. but then hillary talked about it. i was very encouraged to see more people out on the campaign trail talking about it because it is an epidemic. >> heather, you talk about in your piece the numbers, the impact of drug addiction on the
economy. i should also point out ted cruz wrote about losing his half sister to drug overdose. on at cnbc, many people criticized what questions were asked, but there was an opening there because this has an economic impact as well. >> the story in rural areas, virginia, i talk about employers can't find anyone who can pass drug tests anymore because so many people are addicted and it's having an impact on employers and gdp for states like new hampshire. so it is starting to cross out from just a medical health issue into economic as well. >> and you have advocates pushing for a forum. they would like to see this be the focus of a forum discussion, broader than what we've seen. >> so there's a campaign kicking off next week. it's called the now campaign, the kennedy forum and some other groups are involved in that. and they are going to be really pushing presidential candidates in key primary states on this issue. they're raising a lot of money. they are hoping to have some
potential multi-candidate forums to just talk about mental health and substance abuse issues. because they do feel like it's being talked about some on the personal town hall meetings but not in a more formal setting. >> and a more formal setting where the candidates can be challenged to brad's point of what they would like to see happen and manifest in this. thank you both. >> and it's also the treatment works. so it's opening up to that possibility, too. >> and not just incarceration, which has been the option for so many long years. thank you, both, for joining us. we'll be right back. at planters we know how to throw a remarkable holiday party. just serve classy snacks and be a gracious host, no matter who shows up. [cricket sound] richard. didn't think you were going to make it. hey sorry about last weekend, i don't know what got into me. well forgive and forget... kind of. i don't think so! do you like nuts?
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air bag maker takata is facing a fine and that tops our news around the nation this morning. u.s. safety regulators are hitting takata with a possible $200 million fine for failing to disclose defects in their air bags. the air bag deflators contain an unstable chemical that could cause the air bags to explode. u.s. safety regulators say the company sold the defective air
bags for years claiming they were safe. seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries have been attributed to the air bags in the u.s. alone. takata has recalled nearly 20 million vehicles from a dozen automakers and the recall could still grow. isis is making the new claim of responsibility for downing that russian passenger plane in the desert over egypt last week. nbc news has not verified this latest claim. meanwhile, investigators have started to analyze the black boxes hoping to identify what caused the plane to crash killing all on board. a u.s. satellite detecting a heat flash from the plane showing there was an explosion, but it has yet to determine what the cause was. and the number of people sickened by an e. coli outbreak linked to chipotle has jumped to 37. the company has closed several states in washington and oregon as a precaution. the outbreak is linked to fresh produce. and the former walmart ceo bill simon crash-landed a small
plane on an arkansas highway yesterday. this is the video after the plane's oil system failed. simon deployed the aircraft's parachute. yes, that's actually the parachute over the aircraft that allows it to, as you see there, float down. thankfully, no one was injured. it did hit a truck nearby. but again, no injuries there. quite incredible technology available there. that does it for this hour of "msnbc live." i'm tamron hall, up next, "andrea mitchell reports." there's no catch. you want me to give up my two aleve for six tylenol? no. for my knee pain, nothing beats my aleve.
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