tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 30, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
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communications director. she was not the spokesperson at the podium on tv every day and -- she was working on communication strategy overall. she quit, april 21st 2009. word from the white house, it wasn't a good fit. did seem to be an amicable departure. she left the white house but what she did is move over where -- to the commerce department where she became chief of staff there and served happily for years. but she was the first. ellen moran became the first high profile departure of the obama administration. so from day one, january 20th, they made it two months and one day, to april 21st -- three months and one day. january, february, march, april. sorry, three months and one day. and nobody's saying that first terms are easy. particularly when it's a period
who can't run anything at the federal level before, right? there's definitely a learning curve and you gotta figure out if you got the right people around you and there's going to be some turnover. so with the brand-new obama administration, that one-term u.s. senator coming in to be president for the first time, of course ellen moran wasn't the only white house official who turned out to be a good fit. the following month, there was the director of the white house military office. he resigned after he approved a dumb photo-op. this was the photo. where air force one flew really too close to the statue of liberty and people got nervous in new york when they saw it. so he left a month after the white house communications director. then three months later in july, it was the top adviser on the auto bail-out, who left. and then the month after that, in august, it was the obama administration's adviser on cyber security who resigned. then in september, it was van jones.
van jones is very well known now because he's a cnn guy now. but he was less well known then as an adviser to president obama on green jobs. in september he resigned too. so if you were looking for signs of a brand-new administration having trouble finding its feet, maybe even an administration in turmoil, that's what you had in terms of major departures from the obama administration in the first 252 days. when the obama administration was as old as the trump administration is today, they really had their fair share of departures, high profile departures from the new administration. the white house military office, a short-lived communications director, couple of advisers, they were all out. well, we are now 252 days into the trump administration let's see how they're stacking up on the same scale. so in the same time period when those were the major departures from the obama administration, the trump administration, we
couldn't even keep them all the same size. we do not mean to imply that any of the smaller heads are less important than the larger heads, it's just tough to squeeze them in. the trump administration has been here 252 days and so far the trump administration has lost or fired the acting attorney general, the national security adviser, the deputy white house chief of staff, the director of the fbi, the dep if i national security adviser, their first white house communications director, mike dubke there. the vipt's chief of staff, that's pit dock. the chief of staff the noteworthy security council, the white house press secretary, sean spicer. the assistant white house press secretary of state, the white house chief of staff, another white house communications director, mr. scaramucci. the senior director for intelligence at the national centre court counsel, the white house chief strategist, steve bannon, also the special adviser to the president on regulatory
reform, high professional deputy assistant to the president who nobody really knew what he did, remember sebastian gorka? nobody knew what he did. but he was deputy assistant to the president. we also lost the vice president's press secretary and now today the secretary of health and human services. everything okay, you guys? sorry we couldn't keep all your heads the same size. i mean, i realize, barack obama, new president, losing his green jobs adviser in the first year, i mean, that was something that was of grave concern to like fox news, for not just weeks, but months. but what's happened at the trump administration, this is an order of magnitude different. we've never seen anything like this. this latest departure tonight from the trump administration is notable because it's a cabinet secretary, tom price, right? a cabinet secretary happened to resign in a big corruption scandal. and it's notable because it
really is the latest in a tremendous flood of major departdures from this very young administration, right, in this slo short amount of time. it's also notable because you really could see this one coming. this time last night, i said we were on resignation watch when it came to tom price. but you could see it coming a long time ago, from the minute he got nominated to the cabinet. he was dogged from the beginning by a scandal from his time in congress, where he enthusiastically bought and traded health care companies' stock while he was taking actions on the health care committee that he ran that affected the stocks of those companies. he was questioned about the fact that some of the trades he did in health companies were vip deals where only he and a few other select clients were allowed to trade those stocks at those prices. hair mr. chairman of the house subcommittee, how'd you get
those special deals? tom price, when questioned about that in his confirmation hearing, he just denied that he'd been in on any vip stock deals. he said, no, the public could have been in on any of those deals, which was not true. he was under oath at the time and he never went back and corrected those statements. but the republicans on the committee and in the senate at large were happy to vote for tom price anyway. and you know what, it turns out when somebody during their confirmation process shows a proclivity for self-dealing in government employment and when they're more than happy to lie about it and not even bother to clean it up once they're caught lying about it, even under oath, when somebody shows you that's who they are, as they say, believe them. if that's what you paid for in a cabinet secretary, that is what you will get as a cabinet secretary. but thanks to investigative reporting from rach ana prad an and dan diamond at politico, health secretary tom price will not go down in history as the
health secretary to tried to take away health insurance coverage from tens of millions of americans, he'll go down in history as the second casualty from the trump administration related to direct and serious allegations of corruption. they made it 252 days and only lost two people to corruption scandals. the first was carl icahn who left his regulatory adviser position under a cloud of allegations about how he appeared to have used that position for his own enrichment. for tom price, the proximate cause of his resignation is the embarrassment over his extensive and enthusiastic private jet travel, which was all charged to taxpayers. as scoop after scoop was published about tom price's million dollar plus luxury private aviation, including hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of flights he took with his wife on military aircraft that cost taxpayers up to $25,000 an hour, after those scoops mounted at politico daum over the last ten
days, the white house got dragged into it too. the president himself telling reporters he was bothered by what he'd heard about tom price and these flights. then the white house press secretary took care yesterday to say that the white house had no role in approving any of tom price's private flights. but then at 7:00 last night, yet another scoop about more than a half million dollars in military flights for tom price and his family that the white house did, in fact, approve. which makes it harder for this to get written off as some case where the president was upset to hear about this wasteful behavior by tom price. given that his white house approved it, that will be harder to get away it. or it should be. trump's health secretary is out now. so maybe the focus will shift to trump's epa director, who has not only got the same private jet travel fetish as tom price, he's lined himself up an 18-man, 24 hour a day security dedale
and bizarre he, he's having the epa pay to build a secure sound-proof phone booth in his office which is costing taxpayers about $25,000. now his agency first tried to say that his magic sound-proof room was a security necessity. it's a skiff. they tried to say this is just the epa building its a sensitive compartmented information facility so employees can handle super top secret epa materials. but it turns out the epa already has a skiff already built, already exists on a separate floor. what they're building for scott pruitt is just what the contract calls a privacy booth for the administrator. a privacy booth in which we will presumably be safeguarded by his 18 bodyguards and to which he will be flown on one of several
private jets. if it's not epa administrator scott pruitt who gets the attention next, it may instead turn to interior secretary ryan zinke, who, it turns out, doesn't always use a horse for his commute. sometimes ryan zinke has taxpayers pay for a private jet flight on an aircraft owned by an executive from an oil and gas exploration company in wyoming. while, as interior secretary, he's also moving to give away more federally controlled public land for oil and gas exploration. the one private jet flight the taxpayers paid for on the oil and gas executive's plane, that one started in las vegas, where secretary zinke had been giving a motivational speech to a hockey team owned by his biggest campaign donor. that's where the trip started. it ended at ryan zinke's house in montana. and taxpayers paid for that to
be a private jet flight on an oil executive's plane. secretary zinke has also charged taxpayers to pay for his private jet flights to republican fund raisers and then there were the multiple private jet flights he charged to taxpayers for flights to and around the u.s. virgin islands. you know, to be fair, that's the kind of one where you think, okay, that may make sense. we know how hard hit the u.s. virgin islands were by the hurricanes, but actually, no, in this case, ryan zinke charged taxpayers for private jet flights to and from and around the virgin islands in march! way before the hurricanes, when everything was fine. in fact, what he did there was go on a snorkeling tour. which the taxpayers paid to fly him through on a chartered private jet! and with ryan zinke, again, could have seen this coming. they decided they did not mind that official report on him from his time in the navy when he got in big trouble in the navy
because he, according to the navy, had fiddled his expenses, in order to get the government to pay for his personal travel. if you decide you don't care about ethics issues like that when you nominate people to things, you get headlines like this once those people are in office, you get behavior like this. and you can just keep going on this same theme. it really is a very deep theme in this new administration. there's also trump's treasury secretary who requested a $25,000 an hour military flight for his european honeymoon. he didn't get it. he did have to settle for flying his new bride on a military jet that expensive to kentucky, to ft. knocks where the publication coin world reports the happy couple inspected the gold. but there's more. there's also trump's veterans affairs chief and his wife who taxpayers apparently just paid to send on a ten-day european vacation -- sorry -- work trip,
that included a championship tennis match at wimbledon and i do mean championship, it was the women's final, we're talking serena williams. the trip included a tour of westminster abbey and a river tour down the thames and they saw the little mermaid statue and trips to four separate palaces. in the middle of this trip, trump's vip secretary had four straight days with no daytime business whatsoever on the calendar. they were very efficient. he and his wife made the most of it. four palaces is a lot. "washington post" points out tonight that secretary shulkin took this whole taxpayer-funded shebang less than two weeks after he signed a memo for other staff at the va, telling them to please review their planned travel to determine if it was really truly necessary. quote, i expect this will result in decreased employee travel and generate savings with the department. signed, secretary shulkin.
so he signs that, and then on his way out the door, bye, gotta go, i'm going to four different palaces. and i'm going to see serena williams. i'm going to wimbledon! you guys get these travel costs under control. i gotta go, my wife's waiting. so trump's health secretary is gone as of tonight, his va secretary, his treasury secretary and his epa administrator appear to have done the same stuff as the health secretary. so theoretically, if the administration is going to say that tom price's behavior is a problem, we should be watching to see if those other four officials from the trump cabinet are going to go now too. to encourage you not to hold your breath on that, after tom price resigned today, the president chose to display his personal disapproval of tom price's terrible taxpayer-funded conspicuous waste by himself flying on air force one to his golf resort in new jersey. today as the white house
absorbed a second day of blunt headlines about their tax plan and its expected effect, which would be to shovel lots more money to the richest people in the country and to corporations. today as one of the multiple trump cabinet members caught up in a private jet corruption scandal finally had to resign, today the ninth day of a legitimate crisis continued to unfold for the three and a half million americans who are the victims of a terrible storm that hit more than a week ago now, but who continue to be victims of what thus far has been a botched and dramatically inadequate federal response. the president over the past few days has been insisting like a bizarre fantasy mantra that everything's going great in puerto rico. >> and our team has been incredible. we've had tremendous reviews from government officials. we are doing a great job. everybody has said it's amazing the job that we've done in puerto rico, we're very proud of it. >> as far as puerto rico's concerned, that's been going, as
you know, really well. i think it's going really well. we've made tremendous strides. it's been incredible the results that we've had. people can't believe how successful that has been. we have done an incredible job. we've done a really good job. i'm there to help, i can tell you that. >> this is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water. we will not rest, however, until the people of puerto rico are safe. >> after saying today that he would not rest until the people of puerto rico are safe, then right after that is when the president flew to his golf resort, which is where he is right now. presumably he's not resting, though. no, we're going to be live from puerto rico with the mayor of san juan. stay with us. where are we?
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so as a country, we do not have a health secretary as of tonight with the resignation of tom price. we don't have a secretary of homeland security anymore. we haven't had one since july when the head of homeland security, john kelly, left that job because the white house chief of staff got fired and he got that guy's job. kinda been like that. the acting director of homeland security is named elaine duke. >> the relief effort is under control. it is proceeding very well. the response today as been phenomenal. it has been strong today and we are committed to continuing keeping it strong until recovery is complete. the feedback from the governor, the mayor of san juan, has all been positive. i know it's really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people. >> the mayor of san juan is
carmen yulin cruz, the administration should stop citing her as backup for their self-satisfied assertions about how great they're doing. >> maybe from where she's standing it's a good news story. when you're drinking from a creek, it's not a good news story. when you don't have food for a baby, it's not a good news story. when you have to pull people down from their building -- i'm sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me. this is not a good news story. this is a people are dying story. this is a life or death story. this is, there's a truck load of stuff that cannot be taken to people story. this is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water. >> the mayor of puerto rico's largest city has been sounding the alarm all week long. today she very clearly hit her
limit. >> we are dying here. and i cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles long. so mayday, we are in trouble. fema asks for documentation. i think we've given them enough documentation. and they have the gall this morning -- look at this, look at this! they think that weighs enough? they have the gall this morning of asking me, what are your priorities, mayor? well, where have you been?
and i have been very respectful of the fema employees. i have been patient, but we have no time for patience anymore. so i am asking the president of the united states, to make sure somebody is in charge, that is up to the task of saving lives. they were up to the task in africa when ebola came over, up to the task in haiti, as they should be. because when it comes to saving lives, we're all part of one community of shared values. i will do what i never thought i was going to do. i am begging. begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying. if anybody out there is
listening to us, we are dying. and you are killing us with the inefficiency. and the bureaucracy. we will make it with or without you. because what stands behind me is all due to the generosity of other people. again, this is what we got last night, four palettes of water, three palettes of meals, and 12 palettes of infant food, which i gave them to the area where people are drinking off a creek. so i am done being polite. i am done by politically correct. i am mad as hell. because my people's lives are at
stake. and we are but one nation. we may be small, but we are huge in dignity and in our zealous for life. so i am asking the members of the press, to send a mayday call all over the world. we are dying here. and if we don't stop and if we don't get the food and the water into people's hands, what we are going to see is something close to a genocide. so, mr. trump, i beg you to take charge and save lives.
afterall, that is one of the founding principles of the united states of north america. if not, the world will see how we are treated, not as second-class citizens, but as animals that can be disposed of. enough is enough. >> on day nine of this crisis, that's mayor carmen yulin cruz of san juan, puerto rico. she's joins us live next. she chooses to take the stairs. at work, at home... even on the escalator. that can be hard on her lower body, so now she does it with dr. scholl's orthotics. clinically proven to relieve and prevent foot, knee or lower back pain, by reducing the shock and stress that travel up her body with every step she takes.
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this bed. united states of north america. palett united states of north america. palett palettes. >> for 3.5 million americans, this is their second week living in darkness, wondering when food and water and fuel they need will arrive. on tuesday the mayor of san juan told us about the dire situation, specifically inside hospitals, and in nursing homes, in puerto rico's capital city, patients dying in hospitals because the generators are running out of fuel, people needing to be evacuated out of nursing homes, that were going day after day after day with no power, no running water, no ability to provide food to their patients. and despite what are now insistent references from this administration, from the president personally about how
great the rescue effort is going, the reality on the ground is something very different, and there's been nobody trying to sound that alarm louder that know the mayor of san juan. mayor cruz, i know you have a million things to do and places to be. thank you for helping us understand what's going on to s tonight. >> thank you for helping us get the voice out and have some connection between what is being said and what the reality of what people are living in the streets, and in the hospitals and in their homes. >> you told us earlier this week that the problem seemed to be the chain of command, it seemed to be bureaucracy. it wasn't that there wasn't supplies in puerto rico. wasn't that there weren't capable people who were willing to help. it seems there was no organization to get supplies out to people who needed them. has that improved at all? >> no, it hasn't, actually. it has gotten worse. yesterday i got the visit from the mayor very late at night, asking me if i had any leftovers
that he could have for his people that were drinking from a creek. that's the mayor of comb rio. today a got a mayday call from two different neighboring mayors, saying, look, we've gone to the fema distribution centers. we get there and they give us one pallet of water, or they have nothing to give you. and say please call us next week. they're asking people, you're not going to believe this. everyone knows the power grid is down, so internet connection is almost nil. so they're asking people if they want to be, you know, just helped by fema to register via internet, or to call. for heaven sake, what don't you understand? we don't have any power. so our internet connection is limited. there is such a thing, there's a
moto for t motto for the marine corps, you adapt, you overcome. so if you don't have internet, don't ask people to register using internet. you adopt and do a different way. so they said, well, everything is going according to the plan. maybe when you're sitting in air conditioning, everything is going according to the plan. today i had to rant and rave and i had to thank regional manager john raven for helping, because i was still getting questions from fema of, what are my priorities. it seems pretty simple. you save lives with food, water and medical supplies. it just doesn't seem like the most powerful nation in the world could be incapable of just having in a 100 by 35-mile-long, the ability to put fuels into hospitals. then i was told, hospitals have to request to be put on the list. for heaven sake.
there's a list of all the hospitals in puerto rico. you just don't have time for any of those. it's appalling. you know what, rachel? because it's a disconnect to the reality of the heart of the american people. i lived in boston. i lived in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. i gave birth there. and i know that the american people are brave people, they're whole-hearted people, and they just charge when something is not wrong, they invent it. when you have to move it, you move it, when you have to go around it, you go around it. so i have no idea why this is going on. and there's a disconnect between what the fema people are saying is happening and what the mayors and the people in the towns know that is happening. so i was promised from mr. john raven himself. miraculously, i was told i was going to get two containers of food and water and lo and behold after i ranted and raved, i got
a lot more. but you know what, that's not the way things should happen. >> when you say you rent a rig -- sorry to interrupt you. when you say you rented a rig, you're saying you had to pay cash to rent a semi- tractor, an 18 wheeler in order to move the containers. >> no, i moved some of the containers. i said i screamed and shouted literally and said, my people are dying here. what do you want to do? i mean, we have given fema pods and pods of information, but you gotta fill out this information and fill out the other form. i understand there's a process, but there are lives at stake here. when you are at war, you just don't say, oh, let me see if there's a radar in this field so i can land the plane to rescue somebody. now, you land the field, you land in the part wherever it needs to be done, you do it.
so it seems to me, in this emergency management, a lot of management and very little sense of emergency. >> the one thing that i saw today that made me feel like there was a change in the organizational approach to this, mayor, was that the army started to send out releases about dispatching teams by helicopter into far-flung towns. obviously the army has taken organizational control of the relief effort, we're told, as of today. have you seen any evidence of change because of the army taking over? are you hopeful about that? >> not today. i'm hopeful that the logistics that the army is providing in this humanitarian mission, is going to provide for much needed relief. and also for the continuance of this relief. you can't just feed people one time a day, one day a week. you have to do it continuously. so we are hopeful, as we are, and we keep pushing on. we keep seeing communities come together and just doing a lot of
the clean-up themselves. or cooking for 400 people and so forth. we keep getting people from different counties and cities, mayor of boston, the mayor of columbus, ohio, they're reaching out and they're saying, mayor, what do you need? and whatever i get, i will share with the rest of the municipalities in puerto rico, because we're just one. we're just one. and we're giving an sos. this is for you. i'm going to give this to the production, because you've been very helpful in getting out the sos call for everybody and making sure that our voices are heard. so we thank you very much for that. >> san juan mayor carmen yulin cruz, thank you for talking to us. please keep us apprised and tell us what we need to know. and take care of yourself. a lot of work, a lot of late nights there, you gotta make it through this too. >> thank you very much. >> we'll be right back. stay with us.
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with one phone call, he sets me up with tailored products and services. and when my advisor is focused on my tech, i can focus on my small business. ♪ a dell advisor can help you choose the right products with powerful intel® core™ processors. ♪ >> sorry. i need to make a correction from the top of the show. it's friday. there was one whole night this week when i didn't get any sleep because my back hurt. then i got the knock-on effect where you're not really tired the next day, you're tired the day after. sorry. so that's my excuse. here's what i screwed up. i said at the top of the show that when the veterans affairs chief went to wimbledon this year, serena williams was playing in the women's final. here's what i have to correct, the veterans affairs chief and
his wife did take a taxpayer-funded ten-day european trip including trips to four different palaces and a tour of westminster and a river cruise and a canal cruise and four straight days with no scheduled events in the middle of their european vacation -- i mean work trip. and the veteran secretary on this taxpayer-funded trip with his wife, did go to wimbledon, where he did see a championship match, he did see the ladies final, but it wasn't serena, it was venus. clearly my mistake, my apologies. very sorry. we'll be right back. i love you, basement guest bathroom. your privacy makes you my number 1 place to go number 2. i love you, but sometimes you stink. febreze air effects doesn't just mask, it cleans away odors. because the things you love the most can stink.
>> their response was frankly inadequate on almost every level. >> mark warner, the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee. he was among a lot of lawmakers who emerged from much heralded private meetings with twitter executives yesterday to pronounce themselves dissatisfied by what twitter told them. they're unhappy about the limited information that twitter was able to hand over to congress about the russian activity on twitter during our presidential election last year. well, today twitter defended their conduct in response to that criticism from congress. they said the congressional committees hadn't requested any specific information from us. like, i know you guys didn't get what you wanted, but we didn't know what you wanted.
we knew from reporting in "the wall street journal" and elsewhere that twitter's limited disclosures had angered congressional investigators. there's one new detail report about why they were so annoyed. a source familiar with twitter's presentation on capitol hill yesterday tells us that twitter did disclose to investigators that there were roughly 200 twitter accounts active during the election that have been linked to russian actors. that seems like a low number. what congressional investigators are annoyed about, twitter apparently didn't discover those twitter accounts themselves. facebook did. and so they just got that information from facebook. and what's worse, twitter did not come prepared to tell congress anything about those fake accounts used by the russians at all. bupkis. according to our source, when twitter executives turned up with great fan fair to brief investigators who they had discovered about how russia used their platform during the
presidential election, twitter executives would not provide lawmakers with the names of any of these accounts they now say were linked to russia, nor would they describe any of the content that was spread by any of those accounts. so then, who cares, right? as "the wall street journal" reported, people close to twitter say the company is months behind facebook in determining the scope of nefarious bot activity on its social network. they're behind facebook? facebook is only barely admitting that russia was operating on their platform at all. anybody who was observing anything having to do with the american political election last year knows from experiential use knows there were fake accounts that were messing with everybody's streams of information, both on facebook and on twitter. facebook and twitter appear to
be completely convinced that we're going to have no serious questions about why that happened, and they appear to have done almost no work on their own behalf, to help investigators understand how their platforms were used as th their platforms were used as the scenes of a significant crime. the question is why they don't care. joining us now is georgia wells. thanks for joining us. appreciate you being here. >> i don't know about the internal guts of how twitter and facebook work. i don't know where they see their privacy rights and intellectual property rights as clashing with investigators here, but it -- even from that position of ignorance, it seems surprising to me, dwiter has no information about russian activity to hand over to congress yesterday? >> i think it has to be uncomfortable. i think one thing to keep in mind is, twitter thinks of their constituency much broader than capitol hill, and much broader
than the u.s. they think of it as a place for people to safely and aknown mousily share their opinions. they genuinely care about the privacy of these users on the platform, when at times, there are allegations that there were actors who were attempting to interfere with the american political process. and i think this is a point where in many minds, the privacy concerns of these foreign actors will be outweighed by the american political concerns 37 and i think this is the equation that twitter is having a hard time with. >> it's one thing we're talking about individual anonymous speech rights, in this case, what seems to be the conclusion of intelligence agencies is that twitter wasn't used by individual actors to express unpopular opinions. twitter was used as a venue for
state sponsored actions. that were run by foreign governments to effectively illegally influence an american election using large scale approaches to their platform, automated approaches to their platform. given that, and given that that's clear even from a distance, that's clear even if you're nowhere near that company, you can see that, because we experienced what that was like during the campaign, why is twitter months behind facebook in your estimation. in terms of sorting this out? >> yeah, so we've reported that people close to twitter say that -- kind of just their understanding of the problems is months behind facebook. but i think also twitter would point out that they have shared more information now than they've ever shared on it previously, including data, and the longest blog post they've ever written about it. >> i love that they're bragging about the length of their blog
posts. like that's -- we're all supposed to bow down and marvel at its height. >> i think they've been caught flat footed, which is hard to understand given some of these concerns did begin to emerge months and months ago, right after the election. i think also, though, the understanding of this problem among tech companies has changed a bit. we've seen this with facebook, right after the election mark zuckerberg, ceo of facebook, made a comment that the idea that kind of misinformation on facebook, could have influenced the election was crazy. now he's rolling that idea back. a couple days ago, he posted saying he shouldn't have dismissed those concerns because these issues are far too serious. and so it will be interesting to see how their understandings of this evolves. >> yeah. and if it evolves in time to help investigators who are trying to figure this out?
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say? and that was all the information we got in that initial report. cbs radio had the scoop, but it raised more questions than it did cogent worries. the government our government, the state department was the opposite of forthcoming on this matter. we have since learned these mysterious attacks have injured more than 20 americans. and the effects are serious, they range from permanent hearing loss to mild traumatic brain injury. we have no idea how these injuries were inflicted. some of the attacks occurred at diplomats residences. some of them appear to have occurred at cuban hotels. we know the cuban government is adamant they are not behind the attacks. cuban government offers to let the fbi come to cuba and investigate. the cuban government is not in that habit. we know the fbi has been down to cuba to investigate, they
reviewed security footage, they didn't detect anything suspicious. they were also unable to duplicate in a lab anything that would cause the symptoms that diplomats have experienced in cuba. we know these incidents started in the fall of last year, and they would stop for a while. this summer, they picked up again, the most recent incident reportedly happened in late august. we know all that stuff from reporting, not from our government, not from the state department. they have been tight lipped and unhelpful in providing any details about what's going on. >> even though the state department is not sharing much about what's happening in cuba, they did take a big dramatic step. right now they're about 50 americans working at the havana embassy. the only ones that are going to stay behind are essential staff. there just to carry out emergency services. they'll stop processes visas in
cuba indefinitely. as of monday, no more visas will be issued from the embassy in havana. >> we are unable to identify the source of the attacks. this is a strange story. the administration has not blamed cuba for the attacks. it's just a really weird spoky mystery, whatever has been happening to u.s. diplomats in cuba. some of these injuries are sustained, some are permanent. today's actions would have been a big step for the state department to have taken in general toward normal circumstances. no one will explain what's going on here.
the state department's reluctance to say what is going on now. and why they took this big set of dramatic new measures they have never taken before. imagine if one of your family members is one of those essential state department personnel that's being left behind, how do you feel about that? is the state department ensuring its safety? >> without any explanation as to why they've taken this dramatic action, it's just weird. that does it for us tonight. now it's time for the last word with joy reid filling in for lawrence tonight. >> every single thing about this administration's hemispheric relations is