tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 22, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
big news obviously. we had thought that next week would be the moment of truth when we would find out this republicans would be able to kill obamacare if they would be able to repeal the affordable care act. it would result in 21 million americans being thrown off hire health insurance. we thought we'd learn that next week. instead of waiting until next week, the decisive moment may have happened this afternoon when arizona john mccain put out this statement explaining why he will not vote for this plan. three republican no votes is enough to kill this ning. senator rand paul was number one no vote. he's a definite no.
susan collins said she leans no. there's also additional i a lot of bee searching and wondering about the vote of lisa murkowski. but this mccain is out it looks like this thing may be dead or almost dead. republicans have a few more days. they have another week ultimately to cook something else up but it does not look good for them. we'll have more ahead tonight including what i think led to this latest failure by the republicans. here's another piece of news that arose unexpectedly today. starting this afternoon individual states started putting out out of the blue statements about whether or not they're election infrastructure had been hacked during the election by the russians. all these different states started one by one making declarations as to whether or not that happened to them this past year. we really didn't know what to make of it. we started to see the statements
coming in. we didn't know why it was happening today until god bless wisconsin. the wisconsin statement finally explained what else was going on with these other statements. it said in part, quote, wisconsin is one of 21 states who is chief election officials were notified today by the department of homeland security that their systems were targeted by russians. the homeland security department did not disclose which other states were notified but said the states were free to disclose the information. and then some of them did. not all of them did, but some of them. we didn't know what was happening when it started to happen. basically what we've figured out is homeland security knew at least by june that 21 states had been targeted by russian hackers during the election. they announced that they knew that in june. they didn't actually tell those 21 states that it was them until today. why did it take this long?
and now that the states know, not all of the states are telling us the public about what happened. npr and associated press both caught on to what was going on this afternoon. they both tried to round up what we now know, according to their monitoring of the various statements coming from the various states. it looks of the states that finally got told, it looks like these are the states that have made that information public today. we posted this kind of in clip and save form. so when more states say publicly whether the russians hit them too we'll add to the list. so far we have fees. alabama, arizona, colorado, wyoming, wisconsin, pennsylvania, chicago, virginia, we have no idea why the security
department didn't notify these states before today since they've known since at least june which states were attacked. sure why not wait until mid september. what the heck. how about a friday afternoon. probably a excellent time to submarine the news by letting it drib and drab out from individual states rather than make a actual government announcement about this thing. it's been a weird news day. president trump is in alabama where he's exchange for a candidate in a republican primary. not in a general election he's exchange in the republican primary which is not what president's typically do for their own party. we've learned interesting new information about what's become of the giant slush fund of tens of millions of dollars that's floating around inside the trump administration unaccounted for
since the inauguration. we had stunning reporting on that inauguration fund last night on the show and we will share with you tonight what else we learned. which will probably make you laugh out loud. but the biggest news in america right now is something unfolding 1,000 miles south east of miami florida. you know levittown, right? it was on long island outside new york. they started selling homes in levittown in 1947 after world war ii, then there was levittown pennsylvania, one in new jersey which dropped the name levittown and picked up a new name in the 1960s these whites only suburb and towns were made by leaf it and branded with his name. whether you see it from the street level or aerial few it's
iconic, sprawling, highly planned, cookie cutter, american suburbia, the north east suburb and version of the american dream. the last town built as a levittown it wasn't a place built in the northeast, it was built in 1963 in puerto rico, the last levittown was built about a dozen miles west of the capital of puerto rico, san juan, they mod ld different styles of the house, they cost between 10 and $15,000, the arc the te -- it was built as a american dream fulfilling middle class as the stateside levittown. it remains one of the largest planned communities in puerto rico and remains a suburb and
middle classon clave. it's built on marshland. when they built it in 1963, they drained the marsh, used the drained water to create a artificial lake right next to all the housing. on wednesday night, in the wake of hurricane maria coming assure, when rivers started to swell, that artificial lake overflowed massively. and even though the worst of the storm had passed by then, the flooding trapping thousands of residents in levittown rose up after the storm had passed. "the washington post" reported residents had never been flooded out by a hurricane, they also thought the danger was over before the flooding started because the worst of the storm had passed. even once water receded, the question is now, as it is in so
many places in puerto rico, the question is how to get help, supplies, while streets remain unpassable with power and phone service out every where. nbc david gutierrez was west of leaf it tawn. >> it's devastating, you lose everything. >> reporter: 30 miles west of san juan, he's desperate. the water flooded her entire first floor and the local shelter has run out of food. >> we need gas, food, i don't know, someone to help us. >> reporter: the town's mayor tells us at least eight people drowned here and authorities have rescued 4,000 to 5,000 trapped by flood water. he's coordinating with rescue crews from florida and virginia. new video shows a woman and two children being hoisted to safety after they were stranded on a cap sized boat off the coast.
while a building in this historic neighborhood crumbled next to here, she rode out the storm. for many in puerto rico, more help can't come soon enough. >> gabe gutierrez reporting there tonight. that was the mayor of san juan puerto rico that he showed going house to house by boat calling out to see if people are there and if they need help. that's san juan today. but on the northwestern part of the island in this area you see circled there, 70,000 people are currently being evacuated as fast as possible tonight because of a danger that a dam there is about to collapse. this is the wthey said at 2:00 this afternoon it was failing. 70,000 people live downstream of the dam.
the national weather service sent out these messages in kick succession, flash flood emergency for a dam failure, followed by dam operators report the dam is failing causing flash flooding downstream on the river. this is a extremely dangerous situation buses are evacuating people from the area as quickly as they can, all areas surrounding the river should evacuate now, lives are in danger. these all caps warnings from the national weather service couldn't have been more clear. but it raised the question of how are people supposed to get the message with power done, almost no phone or internet service. even with a urgent evacuation message it's hard to reach people. the worry that the man made lake held back by this dam is going to come all down this dam all at
once, officials went back to basics to try to get people out of the way of that failing dam. today they just started using sirens and bull horns, they flew over endangered areas down the river, flew over the river area and surrounding neighborhoods with loud speakers urging people to get out. but all over puerto rico people are facing unprecedented and terrifying conditions right as i speak, when people get a little internet connection they're sharing video like this. you can see the water is under water. even where the flood water has receded the power is out and may be for months, power is out 100%. the truth is we don't know the condition about much of the island particularly interior
puerto rico because it's a communications black hole. we know hundreds of people have been rescued from roof tops. we expect death tolls to climb. authorities say they worry we're going to learn about many more deaths in puerto rico as reports come in. there is a all night occcurfew effect. unless they have a generators and were able to get gas, everybody's in the dark. this storm came on shore wednesday, it is now friday night, 3.5 million americans in a increasingly dangerous situation. joining us by phone from puerto rico. i realize it's not easy to get communication. >> reporter: thanks for having me. >> can you tell us what you've seen, what you were able to get out to, and what your assessment
of the damages and the danger. >> reporter: we were in san juan today in some of the inland and also ocean side beach towns that got a lot of the earlier flooding. this has been a slow moving event where we are seeing the flooding first in the east then the west of the island. the water has been unrelenting. not everyone gets water high enough to have to be rescued from the roof. so they're not paying attention to them. they haven't had any help. that doesn't mean their lives are any less destroyed. we went to a beach town which is essentially under water it's a couple blocks from the ocean. they said they thought the storm was over after the winds this peeled off their roofs, then came the water. now many of them are living without roofs and in muddy water, and they are going to run out of food and water in a few days unless they get help.
and every person, three people in a span of 30 minutes asked me in town if i was from fema because they thought maybe i was coming to help. i have to say no. and they were disappointed but not surprised and they covered me their cold water bottles which i thought was stunning considering the conditions they're living in. >> what are they able to get in the way of help organized by civilians or the government. >> reporter: right now we only see in these towns neighbors helping neighbors. san juan, there are crews of people moving trees and picking up debris and soldiers directing traffic as of today. but inland, the residents told us they have seen no help. they have a little hopeful because they have seen helicopters fly over their towns. those might have been reporters taking photographs and video. they hope that help will arrive
soon. but one grocery store was open today. and the owner said he ordered water two weeks ago before hurrican irma. he has bred every day and people stand in line for bread and that's all he has that's new. everything else is old stuff and nonperishable. it's all a cash economy, there's no banks open. it's a risk for his business to keep all that cash. it's one compounding problem after another. >> you're seeing dire circumstances. it seems like you're talking about the brink of despair. >> reporter: for some of these folks it really is. they are trying to put a brave face to it. but you know just because they're not the ones who are getting evacuated in urgent circumstances doesn't mean they're not going to be in trouble for a long time. they have no communication. they think some of the water will take a month to recede based on flooding they've seen
previously. even folks who have cars don't have usable cars anymore. they don't have to worry about the gas storage because they don't have a way to get around. >> thank you for helping us understand what you've seen. please keep us apprised and thanks for helping us understand. >> reporter: we will. my. >> joining you the the puerto rico secretary of state. he joined us as the storm was coming assure. i asked you to keep us apprised. thank you for your time. >> welcome. it's important that we keep all u.s. sittance abreast of what's happening in puerto rico and the flooding waters seem to be our most important challenge. >> can i ask you about niece dramatic reports see heard and the dramatic warnings we got from the national weather service about the dam and the urgent need to evacuate about
70,000 people downextrestream f the dam. what's the latest. >> we did a fly over, the governor right now in the area together with structural engineers and what happens to be a imminent danger as to a structural damage to one of the largest dams in the island. we currently trying to, with the lack of communication, with the darkens, we're trying all the communities downstream to make them aware and get them to safer ground. it's around 80,000 citizens that could be affected if the dam goes because of the water pressure because of the rain. >> in terms of 80,000 people how successful from the evacuation efforts been so far. we don't have a exact prediction if there is going to be a
catastrophic failure of the dam, what is the scale of the evacuation thusfar? >> it's -- we're using from our rudimentary sirens to tsunami sirens in place. we are using helicopters. and social media. and probably this program being watched. it's a way to advise people. previous to the storm it was emphatic as to the predictions of natural weather service as to the amount of water and they had ferocious winds but it was followed by moment alrains in excess of 25 inches. and with roof tops, close to 200, 300 people already, and search and rescue continues. the issue with the dam is a very
delicate one. as we speak, we are working with the communities to make sure we don't lose any more lives. it's been six casualties up to date and we don't want the number to increase any more casualties because of maria. >> mr. secretary we spoke with a reporter from the miami herald a moment ago and heard from other reporters today that it seems like interior puerto rico, there -- people have not had any help. there have been rescue efforts off roof tops but no supplies, people haven't been getting water, offers of evacuation, people in the interior of the island feel likes it's just neighbors helping neighbors thusfar. is that true and do you expect that to improve and soon? >> well, we get 78 -- the mayors
of each municipality, and we are in touch with all mayors. tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. i'll be in a meeting with all mayors making sure that fema supplies, satellite telephones, any additional aid as to bottled water, first aid, any equipment that might be needed. so we are all in one making sure that in the shores, the coast and the hills, even puerto rico. power is a issue, because of irma, complaints about the power returning to all house holds, we were 90% on recovery, but now we are back to ground zero in terms
of getting up again in terms of energy, water is coming back, and we'll make sure. it's going to be a tough recovery but we are resilient and we're ready to get up and make sure every puerto rico and gets taken care of. >> the secretary of state of puerto rico. i know these are trying times. thank you sir. please keep us apprised in the days ahead. >> any donations, the first lady set up a account for united for puerto rico.com with your prayers. thank you. >> keeping a eye on one of the largest dams in puerto rico that officials are saying are failing. 80,000 people live downstream from the dam, it holds back a man made lake. if it gives way, all of the water from the lake will be added to the downstream. those evacuations are under way,
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get the best with xfinity. the first one failed in march. minutes before republicans in the house were supposed to vote on their first kill obamacare bill they had to rank it off the floor they realized at the last minute they didn't have enough votes to pass it so they pulled it. then they tried again in may. this time the house did pass it but just barrel. squeekd through my four votes given the republicans have a almost 50 seat majority in the house. but after that squeaker is when they had the goofy celebration
at the would you say with the rich diversity of white men in suits saying they got their health care bill one-third of the way through the legislation. despite the rainbow fee he , th republican controlled senate took one look and chucked it in the garbage. next in june the republican senate wrote their own bill to kill obamacare then that one promptly went bust. that didn't have enough support to entertain the idea to bring it to the floor. they scrapped it and came up with another one in july. this time what they called a straight repeal of the affordable care act. they got it to the floor of the senate. but dramatic late night death. mccain gave his big thumbs down.
okay. that was very exciting. for seven years republicans have been saying they need to be in control of washington so they can kill obamacare. it's the one thing they have all insisted they would instantly do as soon as they got the reins of power. but they have failed over and over again at trying to do it. since the inauguration the republicans have held the white house and senate and a large majority in the house but they have passed zero significant legislation of any kind. they have not passed a single major bill not one. and i think that's in part because they assumed they'd just pass this health care thing first. they assumed killing obamacare would be the low hanging fruit and everything else they'd figure out there after. but this low hanging fruit isn't getting picked. that's because, well, this was
front range colorado today. hundreds of people pouring into the streets of denver. you hear them chant it's a human right, fight, fight. in texas, these guys stood on a busy highway overpass with a sign if you can -- repeal and replace senator ted cruz. giving his support for repealing and replacing obamacare, that sign was met by a healthy dose of support from honking cars. in roanoak virginia, eligible for medicare, his constituents through him a party and asked him not to cut americans off health insurance. they brought a clown, paraded cupcakes and balloons, donating the rest to a local hospital in
the congressman's name. in new york city, they talked about how they could lose their health insurance while the board looking staffer took notes on what they said. the best and sharpest reason why they haven't been able to do what they said they could do, why obamacare hasn't been killed yet because people like this mom decided they would change their own lives around to try to save it. >> i've been here before to talk about his health care and his needs and i'm not sure why in this country we're asking mothers to justify why it's important to keep their children alive. why do i have to keep coming here to ask senator more and to protect my son's health and life? it's, you know, having a child
with a disability is stressful enough, it's hard enough. but we push on and live our lives like anybody else. he goes to school, we're out and about, we're every where in our community. we're proud of him. and we have -- i have -- i have no regrets about his life and who he is. but what makes that possible is health care. what makes that possible is medicaid. and the cuts in this bill will devestate us and families around this country. >> that kind of personal local being there, showing up is a big part of why republicans have failed over and over again to erase obamacare because that's what their staffers have been listening to at every event they do, what their contituents are telling them, and the beltway doesn't report on it that way but you can see it around the
country over and over again. what is different about this new republican effort to kill obamacare is that this one comes with a deadline under senate rules the republicans have to pass this thing by next saturday if they're going to. the prospect of that is hanging by a thread with the news mccain will vote no. republicans can only afford to lose two no votes. counting mccain they have two definite no votes from paul and mccain, lisa murkowski voted no the last time and this is way worse for her case. if they loose one more, this bill is toast. we've seen them lose on this before and we know why. but they've got a few more days to try to pull it off. watch this space. 3 toddlers with boundless energy. but lower back pain won't stop him from keeping up.
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than a dozen countries, it was nato countries and the ukrainian military doing a joint exercise together. the pleerch marines touched down at dawn and they were to create facilities, doing good will stuff like building play grounds and working on sports facilities for the local population, to get stuff ready and to build stuff for the locals. they did not expect the welcome that they got. here's now lieutenant kofrl described what they -- we had rocks thrown at us, buses were rocked back and forth. we were just trying to get to our base. the u.s. marines were attacked by thousands of angry protestors in what everybody thought was this sleepy resort city in crimea in you kreeukraine.
they were unable to move, they hunkered down but couldn't get to their supplies, the base, their supply ship at the town's port, they were dealing with gigantic protests. one of the commanding covers said they brand dished ukrainian cocktails, plastic bottles filled with diesel fuel. the marines laid low for two weeks and basically snuck out in the dead of night, boarded a jet and flew home. they ened up cancelling the entire military exercise, this joint ukraine nato exercise they called it off. george q. bush cancelled his planned trip to ukraine later
that month. that happened in 2006. we now know those protests that were meant to threaten u.s. marines, anti-nato, anti-american protests orchestrated by the pro russia political party with ukraine called the party of regions. if that sounds familiar it's because the part of regions we know was reportedly paying former trump campaign chairman paul manafort millions of dollars to provide them -- ukrainian officials and some former u.s. diplomats are convinced paul manafort knew about and possibly helped plan the anti-american protests that resulted in the attacks on those u.s. marines. that was 2006. paul manafort being paid millions of dollars by anti-american interests to work
against american interests. doing so very effectively. new disturbing reports he is at it again. that's next. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker.
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this is something russia has been supportive of but something the united states and most of our allies vehemently oppose. ever since we went into yark. er it has been the central u.s. policy that the united states is trying to shore up the irky government and keep the nation of ear ac. the fbi conducted the no knock predawn raid paul manafort took on a new gig getting paid to help the referendum opposed by the united states which must have been particularly fun when the secretary of state
recollecti met with the prime minister. please let's not talk about the trump campaign chairman. working against u.s. interests for money is a new and increasingly present idea in terms of how we understand our world in the trump era. here's a small weird thing. this from the new york times story. mr. manafort himself may return to the region in the coming days for the vote. so paul manafort's working with the kurd's to break from iraq. he's going to go there for the vote? he's flying there now? does he have a return ticket? given all the heat paul manafort is under from the special counsel and the trump administration going out of its way to distance from him and blame it on him saying it was him and no one else, it looks like he's leaving the country or
maybe already has for the kurd referendum. we reached out to mr. manafort's speaksman today who said he's not going to answer our questions but insisted it is perfectly legal to work overseas if his activities require a foreign registration, he will comply. if he is leaving the country are we sure he's coming back? is anybody checking on that? joining us now a senior editor at task and purpose. he's reported extensively on paul manafort's activities working against u.s. foreign policy in crimea, ukraine and now more. thank you for being with us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> you reported provocatively and interestingly with a lot of good documentation on paul manafort's connections to those u.s. marines coming ununder
attack in crimea in 2006 frmt do you have any idea why the officials who spoke to you and the ukrainian officials that spoke to others why manafort may have been part of the effort to led to those attacks on those marines? >> it should be said at this point beyond what those officials and sources have said to us and have reported to other folks in the media, this is a pretty circumstantial case, all be it a damming one. we know manafort was working at that time for the party of regions. we know he was advising them to stoke the flames of russian nationalism in crimea and the ukraine where there is a large russian population. we know those officials particularly u.s. state department officials you can see
it in the wikileaks of state department, were highly confident the they were behind the protests. it happened to dof tail with manafort's counsel. >> i guess the accountability of that sort of thing. we know about the logan act, that prohibits american regular civilians, private citizens from acting to undermine u.s. foreign policy abroad. is there anything else that prohibits regular americans to work against american interest or the safety of u.s. military service abroad. >> it's subjective and a judgment call. when it comes to direct threats against u.s. military there's a lot of regulations that cover that and possibly rules of engagement depending where it happens and what the
circumstance is. beyond that, there is sort of this wilderness territory and there has been for a very long time that's been plumd by republicans and drots of counseling foreign governments or would be foreign governments on political strategies. the fine line where that is just merely problematic for money reasons and where that becomes a real problem for u.s. policy, that's a line that's kind of subjective in a lot of places, and i think we're going to be asking a lot of those questions about a lot of the things that manafort's done, not just ukraine. >> add many i know at task and purpose your mission and your personal background gives you some insight into the next thing i'm going to ask you. is there anger consternation, worry in military circles about the national security implications of this and the personal dimensions of what he did in terms of whether he was
involved in endangering americans. >> yeah, those service members i've spoken to, certainly people on our staff, we have our concerns. and i think there has been a general kind of consternation or general sort of we're not sure exactly what to make of trump or the people that he surrounds himself with in the rank and file military. they don't need to be concerned with those things day-to-day just yet. these sorts of stories raise that issue of for god's sakes, paul manafort's mentor was james baker, he worked for ronald reagan. this is a man that believes with a red meat strong foreign policy and support the troops. if he can be working dash we don't know whether he's involved in these riot or got. for him to be in the same room with some of these same people,
collecting a check from them, you got to ask yourself like where does that guy's loyalties lie? >> really good reporter. thank you for being here. appreciate your time tonight. we have much more ahead tonight. stay with us. $700 off select mud spa packages for two... and up to $1,300 off family packs of venison. ( ♪ ) save on a world of possibilities with deals on select 2017 can-am vehicles. only until october 31st at your local can-am dealer. ( ♪ ) when you drop a 603-horsepower at v8 biturbo engine dealer. into one of mercedes-benz's finest luxury sedans,
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one question. at home this weekend and unplug standing on a river bank, trying to catch a fish still thinking about this one thing. where's all that money going? could the trump presidential inaugural committee which raised what? three times, four times as much money as they needed for the inauguration this year, could that same inaugural committee use the leftovers, use the unaccounted for tens of millions of dollars they have leftover, could they use that to pay for other stuff now? like, maybe stuff they didn't want to talk about paying for like legal defenses for the russia scandal. i put that question last night to craig holeman. could they pay the legal bills for campaign officials for more administration officials? legally, do you think that's possible that they could do that? >> yes. they can do that. the only rule coming to inaugural funds is that the
source of funds has to be disclosed after the inauguration. but how that money gets spent is anyone's guess. no rules, no regulations. it can, quite frankly, it can go into the pocket of donald trump if he chose to do so. >> wow. >> yes. it's a wild west area. >> wild west area. that was what we heard from craig holman last night. who knows as much about american campaign finance as any one on earth and even though i was surprised enough to respond with just, wow! which you're not supposed to do on tv, it really does appear, no surprise, he's -- he's right. what he said last night is right. it shocked me hearing it but we talked to two different experts on this stuff today who told us, yeah, he is right. told us the same thing. there really is very little law about how an inauguration committee to spend any money left over after the shindigs. i wonder if that's why they raised triple and quadruple
the amount of money they did. they have to disclose who gave more than $200, how much they gave and they have to report how much they raised overall. we have seen that. that's it. that's the end of the required reporting ever. that's how we know they raised $107 million. what they do with it is the question. after they file that one thing, anything that can be considered to fit with the mission of celebrating the president's victory, anything they want to spend it on, go for it. no disclosure. that's pretty much the wild west. saddle up. write checks to lawyers if you want for president or family or anybody else. go ahead. the sheriff is drunk and passed out under a shade tree. do whatever you need to do. spend it! i do have one update to report on this tonight, though. for the record, we still got an overall no comment from the inaugural fund. as to whether or not they -- the inauguration money will be used to pay russia legal fees or has
been used to pay russia legal fees and they told us no comment but i can report that vice president mike pence for one is not using inauguration funds to pay for his legal defense. mike pence does have high legal reputation on russia know how he's paying for the legal representation. his very nice lawyer tells us that the vice president is not using inauguration funds. he also says the vice president is not using trump re-election campaign money and the vice president is not using money from the rnc and the vice president is not using money from his own pac. but he is somehow paying his lawyer. right? we're checking now to see if anybody mike pence is selling his plasma. or, cleaning out the garage on craigslist? i don't know. we'll keep figuring on it. watch this space.
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> that does it for us tonight. now it's time for "the last word" and joy reid is for lawrence. good evening. >> i wrote down what i think and correct me if i'm wrong. three days that you can afford to work for the trump administration. from be a mill their. afford to pay for the lawyer on retainer. sell your plasma. or be a trump so the rnc and the re-elect pays for -- do i have that right, i think? >> favorite detail in all of this is so far looking at the