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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 24, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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he wants to win. and our hope is that, you know, that after 100 days that have been brutal for him that he'll look back on these 100 days and learn a little bit of something that the way he's doing now is not winning. >> thank you all for watching. see you tomorrow. in 1997, a woman whose first name was marie caroline. she was running to become a member of parliament in france. something weird happened right before the election that year. the campaigning was hot and heavy. there was a lot of interest in her parliamentary race in particular. and her dad showed up to help her campaign. he showed up in her district to do campaigning for her and with her. and while he was in her district campaigning for his daughter while she was running for parliament, he ended up on the streets of her district running into the woman his daughter was running against.
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he ran into his daughter's opponent in the street and took a punch at her. he ran over to her. people were trying to hold him back. look. look at this picture. he pushed his way through, he grabbed hold of her and hit her. this was the woman who was running against his daughter for parliament. i had known this story, i don't know, sort of peripherally. i had definitely seen these sort of famous still images of that moment. those were in my head. but today we actually went into the archives and we found old french news footage of that incident. and turns out there aren't just those images, there's also video, including a slo-mo video where you can see him attack her, physically attack her. that assault by the candidate's father ultimately cost him his own job. his daughter was running for parliament in france. he was a member of the european parliament, the parliament for the eu, and they threw him out of that seat because of the
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physical assault on that candidate in the street. to add insult to injury, his daughter went on to lose the race. so the woman he punched out beat her and got the seat. the following year, another one of his daughters also ran for public office frae, and she did not lose, and he did not punch anybody out and she ended up winning. and that was her first election to public office. and it started her ascent to the highest levels of french politics. her sister's name was marie carolyn. her name is marine. and when marine le pen won office for the first time in 1998, that started the process of handing over from father to daughter what for decades has effectively been the fascist party in france, the national front. you will think i'm showing you this picture of jean marie le pen and marine le pen together
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because it's such an unflattering picture of the dad. but i have to tell you, i did not single this photo out just for that reason. this really is just what he looks like. this is what he looks like when he's happy. this is what it looks like when he's proud of his daughter. this is also his angry face. this is just him. this is what he looks like. for decades, he really has been the face of fascism in france. and also he likes to hit women. his daughter, marine le pen, who inherited the front national, the party from her father, marine le pen is now one of two candidates in the runoff to be the next president of france. and whether any of us inherently care about elections in other countries or the politics and stability of our allies around the world, whether or not you care about that, for us, watching this from america, part of what is very interesting about them having this election in france is this is just a
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story of incredible characters. jean marie le pen was the face of post-european fascism. he was also expelled from his own party, from the party that he founded. he was fced out of the national front by marine le pen, by his daughter, after she took it over from him. then today after she made the runoff for the presidential election, marine le pen also dropped out of the party. she runs the national front. she dropped her own affiliation with the party her father founded and she has helmed ever since. she's trying to get elected president of france, so she's dropped her political party entirely because it's bad baggage. but her making it to the runoff and potentially being the next president of france, this isn't totally untrod ground. her father made it this far in national politics in that country once before.
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in 2002, in france's first election after 9/11 in 2002, france scared itself to death because jean marie le pen defeated one of the candidates from the mainstream political parties and made it into the presidential runoff himself. and that was seen as the equivalent of like david duke becoming one of the two major candidates in a general election for our country. it absolutely terrified france and unified people against him like you couldn't believe. he got absolutely destroyed in the general election. he was one of the last two candidates, but he lost hugely. he ran against jacque shirak but he got 22% of the vote. now his daughter is in the same position. and everybody sort of assumes that that won't happen again, that erybody will unify against her, that the national
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front cannot possibly take over the presidency of france whether or not they drop their formal affiliation with the party. everybody is betting that she will lose very badly and the centrist candidate she's running against will definitely become the next president. everybody assumes that will happen. but at this point it's like, once bitten, a thousand times shy, right? it seems implausible that somebody like le pen could be president but weird things have happened. really close to here. that final election in france, the run-off election will be two weeks from yesterday. if marine le pen wins, france honestly again whether or not you care about france as a country, it is important to know if she wins, france in many ways will be leaping into a political abyss. it will have big global consequences including for us. if she's elected, france will probably try to leave the european union.
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since the uk is now pulling out. france leaving as well would be the end of that experiment, a federated europe with countries bound to each other that the world could never get drawn into a world war by european states going to war together. the eu would be over. marine le pen would take france out of europe which would end the european experiment. she would likely also take france out of nato. we're in nato. france, like us, is a founding member of nato. the alliance was established in 1949 with 12 countries. it has since expanded to 28 countries. it's one of the fundamental institutions of the world order. no country that is a member of nato has ever left. although, i say, charles de gaulle back in the 1960s, he pulled back french participation in nato because he felt it was too dominated by the u.s. and
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the brits. at one point de gaulle ordered all non-french nato personnel to leave ench soil. and is u.s. secretary of state at the time asked in response whether that meant he wanted the bodies of american soldiers in french cemeteries packed up and sent home as well. france eventually gave up and got back in to nato fully committed. but that's as close as anybody's come to leaving it. now that's at risk again much more acutely and a lot more besides. if it is all going to go in france, it's going to go fast. that french runoff election is two weeks from yesterday. here at home, we are at day 90 something of the presidency that came into being because of the biggest shock presidential election result in u.s. political history. all week long the american media and political world certainly the beltway press
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and partisan politics will be dominated by the somewhat artificial hundred day benchmark for this new administration, what they've done, what promises were kept and broken. there will be a lot of talk about the president's approval ratings. it's all interesting. in terms of what's going to happen, i think we should expect some surprises. we've had vague promises from the administration that they're going to unveil their new legislation to overhaul the entire tax code some time this week. in letters they're still asking people what they think priorities should be for that. how do you think we should approach it? overhauling the tax code say big deal. we also had hints that they would repeal obamacare this week, but this time for real. they also said they will have a plan to fund federal government. it will be passed by both parts
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of government and in time to avoid a government shutdown. as part of that measure when it comes to paying for the wall, the white house line is that it's no longer mexico who's going to pay for the wall, it's now the democrats who are going to pay for the wall. sure. honestly, it is hard to believe that any one of those things will happen domestically this week, let alone all of them. i do think it's fair to expect surprises this week because the white house itself seems to be so focused on this hundred day benchmark. meanwhile, the world doesn't stop for artificially imposed media friendly round number benchmarks to talk about how things are going in our country. regardless of what number day this is, i think it's worth keeping a very close eye right now on how this young administration, not just how they're handling the stresses, and how the president is doing personally and whether his promises are being kept. look at the government he's running.
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how is the administration dealing with being the richest and most influential country that's quaking at its foundations? even if you don't care about france, this election in france is an earthquake. it's an earthquake even if marine le pen does not win. the two main political parties in that country, their equivalent of democrats and republicans, those two parties have traded the french presidency for 50 years. neither of those parties got a candidate into the runoff this time. they are also coping with russia and vladimir putin playing very aggressively in their politics. vladimir putin is supporting le pen. we have these images of putin and le pen meeting publicly at the kremlin. russian banks loaned her millions of euros. the "wall street journal" reports le pen's opponent, the centrist emmanuel macron, has been targeted by an intensive, high-level hacking attack.
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a cybersecurity firm, according to "the wall street journal," is due to publish a report tomorrow that will attribute that attack on macron to hackers from the kremlin. so russia obviously wants to blow up nato. they see nato as their military rival in the world. they want european broken apart and weaken by any means possible. there are clear reasons why and clear evidence that russia and vladimir putin are pulling very hard for marine le pen. they know exactly how disruptive it would be not just to france but the whole western order of the world. and in terms of our own government, honestly you would expect any relatively normal american administration, either one to the right or one to the left, any normal administration of the american government you would expect to try to stand for centrism, stability, the strength of europe, certainly the strength of nato if it was
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called into question in a major ally of ours like this, right? but that is not how this new president of ours in approaching it. last march, jean marie le pen, e dad, he explicitly endorsed donald trump. last week, donald trump implicitly endorsed marine le pen. his daughter. white house said this technically wasn't an endorsement, but clearly it was. take nothing for granted. things can change in an instant. improbable is not impossible. look, that's the president. the world is contested territory by all sorts of forces. good forces, bad forces, all in distinct competition. and we have only got one u.s. government at a time. if the u.s. government needs to do stuff now, we have to count on this administration to do it, even if you prefer another option.
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tonight, as we are once again on missile launch watch or potentially even on nuclear test launch in north korea again, because right now as i speak, it's already with the time change tomorrow in north korea, and tomorrow in north korea is a holiday there. it's the birthday of their army which they sometimes like to celebrate with big military tests. as we watch north korea again to see what they're going to do and display in terms of threats to the u.s. and our allies and the world. tonight there are signs in our own government that there are things in motion, especially on national security terms. but they seem to be doing things we don't yet know the importance of. presumably it will be clear soon enough. vice president mike pence was pull home fromis pacific trip a day early today. why is that? this is a long planned trip. supposed to be spending the day tomorrow in hawaii visiting the pearl harbor memorial. instead, they sent him home
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early without saying why he was coming home. the white house has also now announced there will be an all-senators brief iing on nort korea the day after tomorrow. they're holding the all-senators briefing at the white house. there isn't a room at the white house that is configured for the discussion of classified information that can hold 100 senators plus the people briefing them. they don't have a space like that. they are temporarily remodeling an auditorium in the eisenhower executive office building on the white house grounds to become a skif for the day, they are going to refit an auditorium so it's okay to talk about classified information there that day. why are they going through all that trouble? why are they making all the senators come to the white house? nobody knows.
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in this tense week, i know there's going to be a lot of attention on the president himself because the president and the hundred days thing is a personal thing. if you want to know more broadly how our government is doing, particularly when it comes to our country in the world, i think there are two things t watch to see if the government under this president is finally starting to get its sea legs, particularly on national security and international issues. two things to watch. number one, watch the state department. under the new secretary of state, rex tillerson, the new state department has become something between invisible and inadvertently funny. today, for example, the biggest news about the state department is that they apparently were not invited to the meeting the president hosted today at the white house for all the ambassadors representing all the countries on the security council. they were all invited to the
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white house along with u.n. ambassador nikki haley. it was the president and 14 ambassadors from all these incredibly important different countries. ambassador, ambassador, ambassador, and trump doing the photo op. no secretary of state. no representation from the state department whatsoever. that was the big news about the state department today? shouldn't they be there? the big news out of the state department today was their website was the state department getting embarrassed about the fact they put up a gushing taxpayer funded website advertising mar-a-lago as the alternative white house and talking about how beautiful it is. the state department may have those kinds of inappropriate feelings for mar-a-lago, but it is also a for-profit donald trump business entity. so there's that whole illegal profiting off the presidency thing. they eventually took down their we love mar-a-lago website after getting teased about it all day long.
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state department also announced their new spokesperson. it will be one of the hosts from "fox and friends," which is the president's favorite cable tv show. and who knows. maybe she will be amazing. i hope she will be amazing. but watch the state department this week to see if they put down roots at all, to see if they start taking up space at all, to see if they restart the process of doing daily state department briefings which we've done in this country since the '60s, but this administration has stopped. if you want a substantive window on this first hundred days thing, i understand the temptation to focus on the president and his campaign. watch the state department. also watch the u.s. military. it has been -- i think a source of comfort to a lot of people that the military doesn't turn over with each new administration, right? trump said during the campaign when he became president there would be all new generals. remember that?
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that was a very satisfying fact check during the campaign. no, sir. that's not how it workss. you do not get all new generals, nor do your suits get epilates, nor should you appear in public in mirrored sunglasses. military stays the military. civil government turns over. the military doesn't. on important matters of national security and life and death issues around the use of military force, even though it's the same military it's always been, during this young administration, during these 90-something days there have been now a series of troubling incidents where the military has made public statements on important matters that are not true. under weird circumstances, right? you'll remember the president's first major military decision was to order that special operations raid into yemen that went so disastrously wrong. a navy s.e.a.l. was killed. four others injured. multiple civilian deaths. even the destruction of a $75 million helicopter. after that disastrous raid, you might remember that centcom came out a few days later and
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publicly released a video that they said proved how important and valuable that mission was because it gathered this incredibly important intelligence. they released this video they said was gathered during that raid. it quickly emerged that video they released had been around actually for almost a decade. it wasn't picked up in the yemen raid. it wasn't new. centcom's explanation for why they released it, this was crucial new information obtained in the yemen raid. quote, we thought it was new but now we know that it is not new. that was weird. right at the beginning of the administration. after that, there was also strange situation in which the defense secretary james mattis bragged that the tomahawk missile strike on the syrian air base had destroyed one-fifth of the syrian air force. when he was questioned to back up that information, he conceded it might not be true but he said he made that statement because he had to get a statement out.
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okay. after that we had the debacle of two weeks of miscommunication from the administration, what appeared to be outright lies from the administration, including the president himself, the white house spokesman, national security adviser, defense secretary, all overtly misleading the public on the location of an aircraft carrier. the location of the "uss carl vinson" and its associated strike group. that -- we still don't have an explanation for why the white house thought the aircraft carrier was going somewhere it was not going. and now in addition to tharkts we're now ten days into this strange story out of centcom once again where somebody who was not a centcom spokesman nevertheless talked to reporters, identified himself as a spokesman and bragged about how president trump was now bombing the bleep out of isis just like he said he would. that's not a very military spokesman type of statement. it was nevertheless published as the words of a centcom spokesman. centcom later retracted that statement and saying that person was not authorized to speak for
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centcom. well, okay. happy to clear thaupt, but i would also like to clear up how centcom got a fake spokesman for a day. how did that happen? and how we are supposed to know in the future whether somebody is speaking on behalf of the u.s. military as a real person as opposed to a pro-president trump swearing imposter who we shouldn't trust as far as we can throw. we don't usually have to ask these questions about the u.s. military. we're neither the 100-day benchmark for this new presidency but in a very sensitive, anything can happen time for the world, keep your eyes not just on him as an official. keep your eyes on this government that he is running. because the very serious, important parts of it that wee need and expect to be competent at placing america where we want to be in the world, those parts of government are doing some weird stuff lately. you don't let anything
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grandstanding is not an unusual thing among politicians. it's actually one of the things you need to check off on the big, imaginary checklist of things you need to be able to do if you want to be an elected official. kiss babies? check. raise money? check. grandstand? check. you have to be able to grandstand. grandstanding is not rare in washington, but bipartisan grandstanding very much is. >> mark and i work hand in hand on this, and contrary to popular belief, we're partners to see that this is completed, and we've got a product at the end
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of the day that we can have bipartisanship in supporting. >> i have confidence in richard bird that we with the members of our community are going to get to the bottom of this. if you get nothing else from today, take that statement to the bank. >> take it to the bank. we're going to get to the bottom of this. those are the leaders of the senate intelligence committee and therefore the leaders of the senate intelligence russia investigation. richard burr is the republican chairman, mark werner is the democratic ranking member. they say their project in the senate is totally different than the messed up one in the house. at the time they made their big bipartisan statement to the press, the house investigation you might recall was falling apart, was losing its republican leader. they were cancelling their hearings in the house. basically stopping work altogether on the investigation. but in the senate, no, things were different. the senators said they had 20 witnesses lined up and staffers devoted to the investigation. everybody was getting along. they got all sorts of glowing reviews about how much better the senate investigation was going to be.
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ahem. new reporting says the take it to the bank senate investigation may be in even more trouble than the house. in the sense that it may not be actually doing anything. of the seven senate staffers who are reported to be working on this investigation, these are the people who actually have access to documents, turns out all seven of the staffers on this investigation are working part time. also none of them have any prosecutorial or investigative experience. most of them lack a background in russia expertise. not one of the seven is a lawyer. after tim mack of the "daily beast" published that today, the committee announced two new hours a, although neither of them will be working specifically on the russia investigation either. meanwhile, investigative juggernaut michael isikoff from
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yahoo! news says the committee hasn't requested potentially crucial evidence such as the e-mails, memos and phone records of the trump campaign in part because the panel's chairman has so far failed to respond to requests from the panel's democrats to sign laters doing so. they haven't requested any documents, nor have they done any interviews. we're three months in. if you are keeping track of these investigations into the russian attack on our election and the open question as to whether or not the trump campaign colluded with that attack, we have this senate investigation which appears to have done, more or less, nothing. we have the house investigation tying to get started again. they say there will be another public hearing on the house side, but who knows when.
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there's also one other major probe into russian interference in the election. and whether the trump campaign was part of it. that investigation has plenty of staff. also has plenty of investigative experience. but it has this other hurdle which is the guy in charge. blockbuster, almost book-length incredible reporting on fbi director james comey and the russia investigation in the "new york times" this weekend. incredible story, very worrying in terms of this investigation. the lead author of that story, the guy who got that scoop joins us live, next. at lincoln, we're all abt making things simpler for you. like, imagine having your vehicle serviced... from the comfort of your own home. introducing complimentary lincoln pickup and delivery servicing. because the most important luxury of all... is time. pickup and delivery servicing on the entire family
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let's wallow in hindsight for just a moment. go back to september. presidential campaigns are rolling. republicans all chant "lock her up" at hillary clinton because she used a private e-mail server for some of her work communications and that's being investigated by the fbi. the clinton campaign has to slog through the political fallout of that unusually unprecedently public fbi investigation into those e-mails. we now know in hindsight that the republican campaign was also under fbi investigation at the same time, not for a private e-mail server but the possibility they helped the russian intelligence services interfere in the election of a
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candidate. in september we had two campaigns. we had two fbi investigations. an fbi investigation into each of the campaigns, each of the candidates. but only one of those investigations was discussed and confirmed by the fbi out loud before people went to vote in the election. when you look back at it, you can see that there were democrats who tired to get the fbi, who tried to get james comey to go on the record about the investigation into the trump campaign, too, but james comey would not budge. he would talk about hillary clinton being under fbi investigation, happy to do that, but would not talk about trump being under investigation, too. they were both under investigation. there were some democrats who tried at the time before the election back in september to make clear to him how nuts that was. >> is there a different standard for secretary clinton and donald trump? if not, what is the consistent standard?
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>> no, our standard is not we do not confirm nor deny the existence of investigations. there's an exception to that when there's a need for the public to be reassured when it's apparent given our public activities that the investigation is ongoing. but our overwhelming rule is we do not comment except in exceptional circumstances. >> aren't there exceptional circumstances when close officials to a candidate of a major political party for the united states says publicly that he's in communication with foreign officials and anticipates further illegal activity? >> i don't think so. >> i don't think so. why should anybody worry about that. there's no public concern about that. from hindsight it's now obvious that we're living in and have lived through some very exceptional times in politics. it wasn't until march, wasn't until last month that the fbi director finally felt it was a good time to, y confirm there's
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an investigation confirming the campaign of the person who is now the president of the united states. it's an investigation, though, that had been going on since months before the election last year. even though he wouldn't say it at the time. >> the fbi as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> why did fbi director james comey wait so long to do that? the clinton folks say they're pulling shows that comey's public discussion of the investigation into her before the election cost them the election. would it have aferkted the vote
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for trump in comey had also publicly discussed the investigation into trump before the election? while his agency was investigating both candidates, did his speech, his public speech about one of those investigations before the election and his silence about the other before the election, did that change the course of history? if so, why did he do it? and what does that tell us about his handling the russia investigation now? joining susmatt apuzzo of "the new york times." he's part of the reporting team for this new blockbuster story in "the times" this weekend. comey tried to shield the fbi from politics, then he shaped an election. congratulations to this scoop. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> let me ask abouthe way that i laid this out. you describe in your report that people who are close to james comey say he has no regrets about the way he handled the clinton investigation and the trump investigation.
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the two different paths he took on those two matters. does he believe his decisions had any influence on the election? >> i don't -- first off, jim comey has not sat for an interview on this topic with us or anyone else, so, you know, we conducted dozens of interviews with people, you know, sort of all walks of life to get a sense of what the discussions were around him. i think he feels like he made the least bad decisions that he could have made given the bad circumstances he faced. i think that's, you know, that's what he would say. and whether that influenced an election or norkt, i'm not sure. they feel that's a knowable thing. they felt like they tried to make -- not even the best decision. just the least bad decision. >> i think that the thing that consistently comes through, even if you don't see james comey as
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a partisan actor here is that he's acutely aware of partisan wins and the way his actions or words will be received in various sides of the political spectrum. he seems acutely tuned to republicans criticizing him for being helpful to hillary clinton in some way, particularly with the expectation that hillary clinton would win that election. i think the reason that is so resonate and so many people are focussing on that aspect of the story is because it gives rise to concerns about how he will, if he continues to be motivated by those things, that that will shade the way he conducts the investigation into trump and russia that continues now that trump is president. do you think that is a fair reading of that part of your story? >> i think it's absolutely a fair reading that jim comey was -- and the fbi in general -- was very acutely aware of what i'll say -- i'll call politics with a lower case "p."
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not partisan politics. i'm jim comey, historically republican. i want to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton because she's democrat. but what the politics of the city were in october when he's considering sending that letter to congress announcing essentially the clinton investigation is open again, there was a deep awareness that hillary clinton was likely to win, that, you know, the very day they are debating whether to send this letter or not, jason chaffetz, the republican on the hill, is saying he's got years of hearings teed up in anticipation of a clinton presidency. i think there was a real sentiment if at the fbi, if they didn't -- if they told the public the clinton investigation was closed, they found there were more e-mails relevant to the case, they started looking at them. she t elected and later they found something and then told thpublic, hey, by the way, we found these e-mails and knew about them before the election.
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we didn't tell you about it. sorry. they were going to get destroyed as an agency. now that's a political consideration and one that, frankly, fbi directors normally don't take into organization. this is a just the facts organization. >> it's just -- i'm sorry to interrupt you. the thing that's remarkable about it is the -- looking at it from the other -- turning the telescope around. if that's the thing that you're weighing, how could you not then look at the trump investigation and say there's a chance he will be elected president and if it turns out that we were -- we had a months long counterintelligence investigation into him and whether he coordinated with a foreign power to seize the presidency through the help of a foreign intelligence operation, we'll have to answer for that letting people know that before the election. the same concern seems so much greater with what they were investigating trump for. >> i think that's right. i think, you know, one of the ways to think about it is, if wasn't that he handled the trump investigation wrongly. he handled the trump
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investigation by the book. it's just that, you know, he tossed the rule book out on several occasions when it came to hillary clinton's investigation. we have a better understanding of why he did that. whether people draw the distinctions between the two cases really is going to determine where you come down on jim comey's decisions at the end of '16. >> and your expectations for how he'll handle stuff going forward. >> matt apuzzo, from "the new york times," you have a lot of demands on you because of the high-profile nature of this story. thank you for being with us. >> great to be with you. much more to come tonight. stay with us.
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bryan denton: we spent almost the entirety of the next 10 hours under fire. you know, everybody was very focused, looking out the window, scanning for car bombs. being outside of a vehicle was suicide. to say that i wasn't operating at a constant level of fear, i'd be lying to you. if i didn't believe in the importance of journalism, i wouldn't be able to continue to do this work. ( ♪ ) i'm bryan denton, photojournalist for the new york times. i'm bryan denton, tbut with lightning fast shifts instant. and dynamic track-tuned suspension, what the road demands, the gs delivers. experience high performance through high technology, in the lexus gs 350 and gs turbo.
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♪ energy lives here. about 1:30 this morning a team of construction works are started in on a new project that had not been announced in advance. this was next door to a parking garage in new orleans. if you look closely, you can see there are things about this that make clear it's not your typical construction project. these workers went to work after midnight. they wore military style helmets and bulletproof vests. they hid their faces. they covered their company's logo with cardboard and plastic and tape on the side of the truck. you see that? and seriously here, they had a team of police snipers on rooftops overhead, overseeing them while they worked. this construction crew needed this extraordinary security because of what they were in the process of doing. what they were in the process of undoing. nine years after the civil war ended in 1874, new orleans was
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trying to stabilize and stand up its new government, including the city standing up a police force that included both white police officers and black police officers. and they came up against armed resistance to that idea. in september 1874, a paramilitary white supremacist militia mounted a military effort to try to overthrow the local government. they targeted the city's police force in a bloody battle that ended with 13 police officers dead, six civilians dead, 16 of the white supremacists involved in that battle were also killed. but the white supremacist militia was able to seize control of the city government for three days before federal troops came in and restored order and kicked them out. a few years later up popped a monument to commemorate the event. to honor the militia. to honor the white supremacist militia that started it. to honor the white supremacists
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who died in that coup attempt. and that monument has gone through many iterations since. it's been edited to honor the victims of both sides in that bloody vae. the target of graffiti. a few years ago, it was moved to a less visible location, but it has remained more or less in the heart of this dynamic, beautiful american city of new orleans. and it's been there for well over a century. until early this morning. the city of new orleans had it removed under very difficult circumstances. they had it hauled away in pieces on the back of a truck bed. it took about four hours. workers who did the work were the target of death threats ever since the city of new orleans announced this mon oumt would come down. new orleans now has three more removes planned. all commemorating confederate soldiers. the city has not said when the rest of the statues will be removed, but new orleans mayor mitch landrieu says it will happen sooner rather than later.
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this was the great city of new orleans very early this morning as the first of four confederate memorials was being removed in the middle of the night. even so, folks showed up, including some who held a candlelight vigil for the memorial that was being taken down. a memorial to a white supremacist uprising in the 1870s that took dozens of lives. joining us now is mitch landrieu. he is the mayor of new orleans.
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thank you so much for being with us tonight. i really appreciate your time. >> thank you, rachel. thanks for having me. >> let me ask you how you perceive the range of reactions. what's the reaction? >> i think most people in new orleans are pretty happy about it. after katrina, when we really got destroyed, 500,000 homes hurt, 250,000 destroyed, we had to rebuild the city. we're thankful to the rest of the nation for gasping at the possibility of losing what a lot of people think is a city that is the soul of america. as we began to rebuild our city and started to think about who we were and what we were, these monuments popped right up. why do we have monuments that are revering the confederacy right in the heart of the most prominent circles in the city in places of reverence? and we had two years of discussion over this. this wasn't a secret. it didn't happen overnight. we had hearings of historic landmark commission, city councils, et cetera, et cetera. and we've been through every court you can go through. the reason we did this thing in
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the middle of the night is the threats that the contractors received. the first contractor we had had his car blown up. for the safety and security of the people, we decided to take the monuments down at night. we have three others that we're going to take down. we're not going to tell people when we're going to do it, but it will be in the future. >> what do you know about the origin of the threats? >> well, it's really hard to tell, because as you know on social media and other things, it's really hard to kind of capture it. but they're there. anybody can go on social media and look at the kind of vitriol that is coming from folks that want to preserve this. but essentially what this is, it's called the cult of the lost cause that wanted to promote white supremacy at a brief time in our history when the confederacy tried to tear our nation apart. these statues were put up over a brief period of new orleans' history. we rebuild our city and reclaim our past, we want to tell the whole history of our city, not just a very small part of it. and we want to celebrate the thing that makes new orleans really wonderful and beautiful
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that everybody experiences when you get there, which is our diversity. that's the gift that new orleans has given to the rest of the country. and these statutes are an aberration in terms of what new orleans has been and what new orleans wants to be. >> briefly, mr. mayor, you said there are three more that you do expect to come down. you want to give us a sense of the timerame in whicthis is going to happen? are you going to space this out or should we expect this to happen soon? >> you should expect to have it happen soon. well got clearance from the court the other day and we began last night. robert e. lee who never stepped in the city of new orleans. it makes absolutely no sense because everybody now remembers the point of the confederacy was to tear the nation apart, not to support it. i think those are going to come down. and we're going to put things there that reflect the history, the diversity, the beauty, the culture and all of the history of new orleans as time allows. >> mitch landrieu, mayor of new orleans, thank you. appreciate you being here. >> thank you for having me. we have some breaking news to get to tonight that is just coming in out of arkansas, disturbing news, actually. but we'll have that for you right after this.
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stay, they say, quote, the infirmary staff tried unsuccessfully to place a central line, which is a form of i.v. in mr. jones' next for 45 minutes before placing one elsewhere on his body.


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