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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 9, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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aggressive year because of a revolution in the way all this stuff was done. >> i think the other thing as a small business owner, i can tell you i see this all the time, is you see when companies get big the first thing they do is increase the barriers of entry to keep people like me from getting into the process. >> and the story elizabeth warren said while amazon will sit there your plates look nice, we're selling amazon plates now. thank you both for being with me tonight. >> that is all in for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts now. joy is in for rh. rachel has the night off. she will be back on monday. happy friday, everybody. yesterday we were treated to two related pieces of news that were both shocking in their own way. we witnessed the spectacle of the sitting president's campaign chairperson being sentenced to prison, the first time in u.s. history that that has ever happened. that is thing one. but the second piece was what kind of sentence paul manafort got, one that shocked even
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veteran prosecutors because paul manafort's sentence of nearly four years in prison on eight felony financial fraud counts was far less than the 19 1/2 to 24 years that were recommended by the federal sentencing guidelines for his crimes, far less than we've seen people sentenced for for anything from mistakenly voting in an election with a previous felony conviction or being convicted for marijuana possession. for a lot of people watching that sentence, yesterday felt like an object lesson in rich man's justice. and then last night, manafort's lawyer exited the courtroom with a complete non seq. -sequiter t point that had nothing to do with what happened in the court. >> as you heard in court today, mr. manafort finally got to speak for himself. he made clear he accepts responsibility for his conduct,
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and i think most importantly what you saw today is the same thing that we had said from day one. there is absolutely no evidence that paul manafort was involved with any collusion with any government official from russia. thank you, everybody. >> what do you think of the sentence? >> thank you, everybody. no collusion. wait, wait, what? even the very lenient judge who said that manafort had led an otherwise exemplary life, besides the eight major felonies that robbed the united states of tens of millions of dollars, even that judge said early on in the trial that the charges against manafort had nothing to do with russian collusion, so to come out of that trial saying see that, no evidence of collusion, that makes about zero sense. and then today as if by coincidence, donald trump picked up that familiar talking point and ran with it. very pointedly directing reporters to those comments from manafort's lawyer. trump said he was, quote, very honored that the judge in the
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case had declared that there was no collusion in russia. first of all, that's not true. the judge did not say that because, again, that's not what the manafort case was about, but trump was very honored by those imaginary words from the judge. and donald trump didn't stop there. he kept on steering the discussion back to no collusion, and even back to his long-time lawyer michael cohen, even though there is literally nothing in the cohen saga that benefits him. let's talk about my other close associate who's headed to prison soon, #nocollusion. so a couple of things are weird about this, there's the fact that manafort through his lawyer seemed to be parroting the trump script even as he prepares to go before another judge for a second sentencing, with a judge who has now absorbed the massive public outrage about how short a sentence he just received. and more than a few legal observers are thinking the reason he's singing from the trump no collusion song book is pardons, something trump also brought up, unprompted today about michael cohen. trump told reporters today that
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cohen lied to congress when he said that he had never sought a pardon. then as soon as he boarded his plane for alabama today, trump tweeted that michael cohen had asked him directly for a pardon, and trump claimed he said no. now cohen says that trump is lying about that but republican congressman jim jordan said he's goings to send another criminal referral to the justice department over cohen's alleged lie about whether he asked for a pardon raising the follow intriguing question. will donald trump have to be interviewed as part of an investigation into michael ko cohen's alleged lying about trying for a pardon? i mean, if they had a one on one conversation about it as donald trump alleges in his twitter feed, wouldn't trump have to give evidence? also today, white house communications director bill shine abruptly resigned. bill shine came to the white house from fox news, and he will
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now go to work on donald trump's re-election campaign, perhaps one day he'll end up back at fox news. ah, yes, it's the circle of life. and speaking of white house communications, one of the things that has made this white house different from all the other white houses is the amount of leaking that happens inside it. this white house is so leaky last year "axios" published a piece entitled white house leakers leak about leaking, in which some of the administration's most prolific anonymous leakers spoke to "axios" anonymously about what they leak and why, and when it comes to white house leaking, there's the petty score settling kind. there's the kind designed to advance your preferred policy position if you've lost some internal debate, and in this white house, there's even leaking because maybe you think the only way to reach the president is to get something onto the tv so that he can see it during his executive time. there's also leaking out of
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concern, leaking that appears to be undertaken to sound the alarm. it was six months ago this week that we got the astonishing op-ed in the "new york times" in which an anonymous senior trump administration official described being one of a number of senior administration officials, quote, working diligently from within to frustrate parts of trump's agenda and his worst inclinations. quote, we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republican. americans should know that there are adults in the room. we are trying to do what's right, even when donald trump won't. now, your mileage may vary as to whether you thought that op-ed was courageous or self-justifying, reassuring or terrifying. it was the kind of leak from inside this administration. here's something i think the american people should know about what's happening here. there have been a number of of
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these, at the beginning of trump's presidency anonymous white house officials leaked details and transcripts of trump's phone calls with foreign leaders. sure, maybe they did that to embarrass him, but it seemed that some people inside this white house thought the public needed to know what trump was saying on those calls. there was the report a few months ago that the president was carrying on all kinds of sensitive conversations with friends on his unsecured cell phone. conversations being listened to by chinese and russian intelligence. that leak certainly sounds like a warning or maybe a cry for help, quote, mr. trump's aides have repeatedly warmedned him t his cell phone calls are not secure, and they have told him that russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, but ai aides say the voluble president has still refused to give up his iphones. white house officials say they can only hope he refrains from
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discussing classified information when he was on them. we haven't been able to get him to do that dangerous thing, so we better alert the public about it those leaked seemed to say. and there have been leaks about jared kushner and his security clearance, that he had an interim clearance for a year because officials wuould not clear him for a permanent one. and then his interim clearance was revoked, and then the president reportedly ordered that he be given a top security clearance despite all the red flags that were raised by intelligence officials, and the president's chief of staff and white house counsel being so alarmed by the president's decision that they both wrote contemporaneous memos documenting why they thought jared kushner should never have gotten a clearance. and yes, someone in the administration who has a beef with jared may be leaking this stuff to undercut him. that is certainly possible, but this is also someone sounding an alarm that this guy is having a lot of trouble getting a security clearance for a reason, and like i said, we are used to these leaks to the media. every day it seems we get at
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least one. but today we got a signal that there may be a substantial shift underway in the nature and the seriousness of these disclosures, a shift that has all kinds of implications for oversight and for investigations of this white house. the house oversight committee has been asking the white house for documents on the security clearance issue for weeks, ever since democrats took over the committee, and this week the white house finally said no. no documents, which was expected to trigger a subpoena from the committee and then possibly a big huge fight over that subpoena. well, today "axios" reports that the oversight committee has already gotten its hands on a number of the documents. they were leaked to the committee by someone inside the white house, quote, the house oversight committee in early february had already obtained the leaked documents, that detail the entire process from the spring of 2017 to the spring of 2018 on how both jared kushner and ivanka trump were
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ultimately granted their security clearances. hmm, think about that. leaking damaging investigation or sound the alarm type of information to the press is one thing. leaking documents with national security implications to a congressional committee controlled by the opposition party with broad investigatory and subpoena power, if this report is correct, we may be in a whole new ball game. joining me now is congressman ro khanna who sits on the oversight committee. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. >> joy, it's good to be on. >> let's go and get into this leak. obviously now the committee has the documents that walk your committee through the process of how jared kushner and ivanka trump got their security clearances. what now does the committee want to do about it? is this going to trigger hearings, and could we see ivanka trump and jared kushner
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forced to testify or white house officials who granted them their clearances? >> joy, let me explain why this is such a big deal. for a president who spent the entire 2016 campaign trail railing against hillary clinton's private e-mail servers, this is a far bigger national security crisis. there are allegations that jared kushner had sensitive information that he has allegedly been giving lists to mbs, the saudi crown prince about saudi dissidence, that he's been on whatsapp with saudi arab arabia's crown prince, and we need to know what is it that's in his background that was causing concern. has he been sharing sensitive top secret information with people in saudi arabia or other countries? why is it that he has not disclosed a number of his foreign business relations. this is not a partisan issue. it's not a bureaucratic issue. this is our most sensitive information that may be getting into the wrong hands. >> and can i ask you, does the committee has the contemporaneous notes that john
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kelly, the former chief of staff and the white house counsel don mcgahn wrote about these two obtaining these clearances? do you all have these notes? >> i don't think we have those yet, but as you pointed out, both john kelly and the white house counsel at the time were opposed to the decision to give jared kushner top secret clearance. they were so opposed to it that they felt the need to write a memo documenting how concerned they were and why jared kushner shouldn't be get this information. this has implications about our policy in the middle east. i mean, the president has made jared kushner the point person on middle east peace or middle east policy, and we need to know what information he has and who is he sharing it with. >> and in the documents that were leaked to the committee, is there anything in those documents that indicates to you that jared kushner might have shared classified information with the saudi prince? >> i can't say it's in that, but there has been public reporting on a number of key points. one, that jared kushner had
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access to the presidents' daily brief. in that daily brief were numerous reports about saudi dissidents and he allegedly shared that list with the saudi crown prince. second, jared kushner has had meetings with the saudi prince without having anyone in our embassy there. that is not standard protocol. we know the crown prince most likely ordered the killing of khashoggi. we know his ordering the bombing of hundreds of thousands of civilians in yemen, and here there are serious allegations of what jared kushner is sharing with him. this is not a bureaucratic issue. this is a hugely sensitive issue about the highest national security of this country. >> and we know just from public reporting that one of the challenges that jared kushner likely had get ago clearance was the fact that he was in a lot of debt. he had a building here in manhattan that had a big balloon payment due. his father was reportedly looking -- helping him to look for ways to pay that bill. have you found in anything of those leaked documents, any of
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those leaked documents, anything that would indicate to you that jared kushner was seeking funding, seeking money from the middle east while he was in the middle east purportedly negotiating on behalf of the united states? >> i can't comment on those documents, but just in general, the public reporting there are huge reports that jared kushner hasn't been fully forthcoming about all of his overseas business dealings and all of his foreign contacts. you know, i had a security background check when i worked at the commerce department. you have to disclose every single person you've ever met with in a foreign country in the past seven years, and for kushner not to have disclosed financial transactions or his oversees contacts puts him and the country in a vulnerable spot. it may not have been something he realized put him in a vulnerable spot. that's why we have these background checks to see if someone could take advantage of him. and i have concerns whether the saudis have been taken advantage of the situation.
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>> congressman, thank you so much. really appreciate your time tonight. >> joy, thanks for having me back on. >> if this report today from "axios" is accurate that someone inside the white house has leaked documents to the house oversight committee about how jared kushner and ivanka trump got their security clearances, documents the white house has been refusing to hand over to that committee, how big a change is that from the run-of-the-mill leaks to the press that we've all gotten accustomed to. how worried should the white house be? >> joining us now is michael besh latch. >> how unprecedented is it for the white house to hand over documents of this sensitive nature and have someone in the white house leak it to a congressional committee? >> that's the thing, anyone who's complaining that the trump white house is not full of innovations, here is one of them, which is usually you see someone in the white house leaking something to the press, and if there's an investigation in congress, the committee uses
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it. the trump white house, if that is the source of these documents, has now cut out the middle person. you know, joy, maybe two of the biggest revelations of government secrets in the last 50 years were the pentagon papers and the nixon tapes. the pentagon papers were leaked by a former pentagon employee daniel elsberg to the "new york times" and "the washington post" because he felt this was something americans needed to see, how we got into this catastrophic vietnam war. and the nixon tapes, that was one of the most closely held secrets in the nixon white house. a member of the senate watergate committee staff basically guess that had perhaps nixon was taping his private conversations and asked a serving white house aide alexander butterfield. that's the traditional way, very different from what we're seeing now with these documents from the trump white house. >> just to take it further afield, right, if donald trump, the president of the united
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states ordered these security clearances to be granted over the objections of his national security advisers, national security staff, ulysses s. granted testified in the whiskey ring scandal, right, there is a precedent of a president of the united states giving testimony to a special prosecutor, no less. >> oh, sure. >> could you see trump have to do that? >> gerald ford testified before the house saying there was no deal leading to the nixon pardon. he did that in the fall of 1974: there sure is. so some of these old traditions, executive pri executive privilege is a tradition. it's not something that's in the constitution. >> and lastly, is there an antisant antecedent to a jared kushner, someone who had so much debt, and was in a position to read the presidents' daily brief. >> and if he used his position, if he did to essentially compromise our american security interests in order to get money to bail out his family in that
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building, that is something that we have never seen before, and you have to assume that whoever leaked this, if this is someone in the white house, felt that this was such an outrage and there was such a danger that there might be future such behavior if jared kushner or his wife had top security clearances that they would be a clear and present danger. we've got to look at this as a cry for help. >> it's all extraordinary. new historical records being set every day. thank you, sir, really appreciate it. >> thank you, joy. see you soon. >> thank you very much. still ahead tonight, little court transcript theater, go get your popcorn. i'll wait right here, and we'll be right back. l be right back. e. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase sensimist relieves all your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist.
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we now know from the transcript of yesterday's paul manafort sentencing that moments after the judge handed down his fate manafort's defense team made one last brazen appeal. specifically manafort lawyer kevin downing asked judge t.s. ellis if he could order -- and i did say order -- that the sentence he had just issued be served concurrently with whatever sentence the judge in
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his d.c. case issues next week. now here's the transcript. i cannot do this as well as rachel but go with me on this, quote, your honor there is one other issue we'd like to raise, manafort's lawyer told the judge. it has to do with whether or not you can order this sentence to be concurrently served with -- at which point the judge interrupts him to say -- quote, i can't but she can. i don't believe i can if you find in the law that i'm incorrect, you can bring that to my attention. the judge then adds i think it is entirely up to her whether any sentence she imposes is to run concurrent to this sentence. it's up to her. anything else, mr. downing? to which manafort's lawyer replied, no your honor. which is a more diplomatic way of saying of course not. i mean, it takes a special level of rich guy privilege to think that you could ask the judge, who just cut you a massive break, to make sure that the next judge makes that break
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stick. so clearly there's no sense of contrition or remorse from manafort's camp, like none, but rather a pretty bold presumption that the system should and will continue to work for him. next week manafort will be in court before judge amy berman jackson who first ordered manafort to jail for tampering with witnesses who could tack on as much as ten years to the four that he's already facing behind bars. manafort's ultimate fate next week comes as the prospect of mueller's report looms over everything. today the top republican on the house judiciary committee said that he met recently with attorney general bill barr and predicted that the public may only get a short summary of mueller's findings. great. this is all fine. his remarks today come as the democratic chairs of six house committees introaccuduced a resolution that when completed the mueller report should be made available to the public and to congress. joining me now is david corn,
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washington bureau chief and chuck rosenberg former u.s. attorney from virginia. david and chuck, i appreciate your time. chuck, i'm going to go to you first to ask how unusual it is, just from your point of view, for a defendant who was just sentenced to say to the judge, hey, judge, can you make the next judge make the sentence concurrent so that i can have less time? like is that normal at all? >> well, you know, joy, i was a prosecutor for a long time in federal court, and defense attorneys ask for all crazy things. this one is an easy one. there's a federal statute right on point. i'm going to be a little bit of a nerd here, but if your viewers want to read it's title 18 of the united states code section 3584. the simple answer is no. the next judge, amy berman jackson gets to run the sentence consecutively if she wants or concurrent if she wants or some combination of the two. i've seen lots and lots of defense attorneys ask for things they know they can't have, and the judge was right in this case
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to say not in my court, not in my jurisdiction. i don't have the authority to give you what you're asking for. >> a lot of people were shocked by how little time that manafort was given for this sentence, this stuff about him leading an exemplary life. we know what his life was before hand. were you equally shocked by it, and do you think that that shock and outrage that people felt around the country will impact judge amy berman jackson's decision? do judges react to the public reaction to other sentences? >> you know, they probably try not to, but they're human being like all of us and inevitably she saw what judge ellis did in virginia and had some sort of reaction to it, i'm sure in her own mind, probably already having read, joy, the presentence report from mr. manafort in her court. she has an idea of what she thinks is the just outcome here. was i shocked? not entirely. i've practiced in front of judge ellis for many years as a
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federal prosecutor. was i disappointed? i was deeply disappointed. i think it was the wrong call, a bad call. here's why. many, many years ago congress passed a statute to create federal sentencing guidelines to bring some parody -- parity into the system, so somebody did what manafort did in topeka or wherever would get roughly the same sentence regardless of which court was handling the matter. this was not just a departure, this was a dramatic departure, and it was a departure without a motive from the government. normally if someone helps the government, the government will move the court, ask the court to depart downward. manafort did not help, he lied. he did not earn a departure. he certainly was not entitled to what he got. he got a real lucky break in front of judge ellis. i don't think the same thing is going to happen next week. >> that's part of what's
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outrageous about this. you have michael cohen out here bearing his soul in front of congress and going back over and over again without a deal. he knows he's getting three years regardless. maybe he'll get a break down the road. manafort wasn't a guy who was helping the government. as a matter of fact he was obstructing the government's attempt to find the truth here, tampering with witnesses, all the other things he did. just preview for me -- i guess not the optics is the wrong word, i feel but if in the end this man who did not help, then the mueller report comes out and we don't even get to see it, what are we left with here as a country after having gone through three years of this. >> that won't be the end of it, okay? i'm a little bit frustrated, joy, because people seem to be putting all their eggs in the mueller report basket, and mueller has no obligation under the justice department guidelines to produce a comprehensive report telling, stating what he found out and
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what he learned. his only obligation is to give a report at the very end to the attorney general explaining why he prosecuted cases or declined to prosecute other cases. you know, it could easily be a 12-page report, you know, without getting into details, or if he chose to, it could be a 5,000 page report explaining everything he found and why he decided to prosecute or not prosecute. we don't know, so it may well be at the end of the day if it's a more limited report, there may not be much to show. this gets back to a point that i know you and i have discussed previously. it's not his job to tell americans the truth. that's not what he was hired to do. he was hired to prosecute, look for and then prosecute criminal cases. it's congress's job, and we are maybe an independent commission to dig into all of this and tell us what happened with trump russia connections and everything else and the russian intervention because a lot of probably what went on may not have been a crime. it could be just wrong. you can have scandals that aren't necessarily illegal but
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they still can contain acts of profound betrayal. so you know, we still have the house democrats have taken control of the intelligence committee and are going back over an investigation that the republicans turned into a clown show, and so there's that, and hopefully they will give us some deeper and wider answers than robert mueller was ever asked to do. >> but you know, david my friend, you and i both know that what the democrats are saying publicly, what you're hearing in the reporting is that they are hanging everything on the mueller report. that they don't even want to talk about impeachment, which is the hearings that would get the public the answers you just described. they would have a public hearing. it isn't removal. it's impeachment as aering ha. they're saying no, not unless the mueller report comes out. >> not necessarily. i believe they are setting up expectations and standards for the mueller report that may well be unjustified, and sort of painting themselves into a corner. but you can have a robust investigation with public hearings into the russia
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connections and into, you know, emoluments, and into trump bad business practices. you can do all that through these committees without it being an impeachment proceeding. i would argue it's probably more responsible of democrats in congress to look at all these various things that need further digging and scrutiny, and that the public deserves to know about the security clearance issue that you talked about earlier in the show, and they should spend their time not worrying about to impeach or not to impeach. go after the tax returns, look at the insurance issues that michael cohen has raised, the tax fraud story the "new york times" put together months ago, about the trump family getting away with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax fraud. that's amazing. they should look at each and every one of these and at the end of the day they can have a debate over whether to impeach or not, by then it might be election time. the american public is owed answers and you don't need
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impeachment to do that. >> we are out of time, but chuck rosenberg very quickly, can you envision a leak of the mueller report, whatever it is, coming out of that white house counsel's office if it's not released? >> i can't imagine it coming from the mueller team, joy, but almost everything becomes public in some way at some point. my guess is that we'll see it, but we're not going to see it from bob mueller. he's running a very tight ship over there. >> yes, he is. washington bureau chief for mother jones, chuck rosenberg former u.s. attorney from virginia. thank you guys very much. so i'm not an accountant, tax law is not my thing. statistically speaking it's probably not your thing either. but there's a strong possibility it's about to be. more on that in a minute. stay with us. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? oh. well, we just spend all day telling everyone how we customize car insurance, because no two people are alike, so... limu gets a little confused when he sees another bird that looks exactly like him. [ loud crash ] yeah.
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the new democratic house has ushered in a whole lot of changes. apart from all the new incredibly diverse freshmen members, and a new if returning speaker at the helm, the change in leadership in the committees means that we are seeing oversight for the first time since donald trump entered the white house, and that kicked into high gear earlier this week when the house judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler's committee sent over a sweeping document request to 81 people and entities related to trump world. that happened on monday. on tuesday we learned that the house ways and means committee is preparing to go after a decade's worth of trump tax returns, ask thnd they plan on so using a 1924 law that gives the chairman of that committee broad power to demand the tax returns of white house
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officials. in this case the white house official is the president. today we're learning that that committee might be taking that request one step further. reuters is reporting that democrats are looking at the possibility of broadening the request to ask for donald trump's business returns. now trump owns more than 500 companies and entities, and what that exactly means, basically, is that donald trump's business is not really a business in the sense that we understand it. those more than 500 companies are all a series of llcs that normally should show up on your personal income taxes. that setup is common in the new york real estate business, so for the committee the first step would be to get trump's personal returns to look for those 500-plus llc's, and if they're not listed there, then step two would be to try and go and get donald trump's business tax returns. it could get complicated. the chairman of the house ways and means committee tells reuters, quote, tax policy is pretty complicated. there are times when individual returns can instruct you.
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other times you might seek a business return. that's something to look out for, and it does make you think. if donald trump never ran for president, all of this could have remained hidden forever. so elections do have consequences, including for donald trump. ♪ ♪ do you love me? ♪ ♪ i can really move ♪ ♪ do you love me? ♪ i'm in the groove ♪ now do you love me? ♪ do you love me ♪ now that i can dance?
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it isn't. ♪ ♪ it's the most wonderful life on earth. ♪ ♪ now too many kids don't have parents who care. gangs and drugs have taken over our streets and undermined our schools. every day we read about somebody else who has literally gotten away with murder. >> after lyndon johnson made the surprise decision not to run for president again in march of 1968 and after anti-war democrat george mcgovern was blown out of the election by law and order incumbent richard nixon in 1972 democrats were shook. and after those presidential defeats there was a way to run for president as a democrat. that way was to run as a centrist, to try and reconnect
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as a democrat with white working class and white suburban voters who fled to nixon and reagan in 1980. it worked for bill clinton, it's one of the ways that clinton got elected in 1992. though he wound up apologizing for his part in mass incarceration once his wife was running for president, being tough on crime and fending off republicans on the issue is how bill clinton came to sign the omnibus bill against crime in 1994. today democrats who are trying to run from that same play book are finding themselves in a very different democratic party where the progressive wing is getting stronger again and winning elections for congress. candidates for president who might naturally have appealed to the rust belt white working class voter 20 years ago are struggling to figure out a credible path to the nomination. this early on in the race. and it may be impossible to say what kind of kand day-to-dcandi
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platform will work in the democratic primary. just this week we've seen a number of potential candidates from that centrist wing of the party beg off from running, first eric holder, attorney/clie attorney general under pom is not running. and jeff merkley, another crime bill yes vote last time, and new york mayor michael bloomberg. also this week hillary clinton confirmed in a local television interview she was not running for president again, and the latest senator sherrod brown from ohio announced he would rather stay in the senate. which brings us to joe biden, the former vice president of the united states, the ride or die be bestie of barack obama is reported to be seriously considering making his third run for president. the challenge is joe biden comes from that law and order school of democratic politics. what you're going to find is the kind of dialogue on crime that used to be the way that you became the nominee. whether it's the way he oversaw
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the clearance thomas hearings and his treatment of anita hill or the way he wrote and defended the 1994 crime bill, all of that is going to sound very different when you hear it played again today. for joe biden, the upside is that he would enter the race as the front runner if he gets in. full stop, he was the vice president. everybody knows him, but the risk is the replay. today "the washington post" published parts of an interview biden gave in 1975 to a local delaware paper. at the time he was a freshman senator on the verge of successfully passing a measure to block federal funtding for bussing that would help integrate school systems. he argued against that, saying, quote, the real problem with bussing. you take people who aren't racist, people who are good citizens who believe in equal education and opportunity and you stunt their children's intellectual growth by bussing them to an inferior school, and you're going to fill them with hatred.
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he continued, quote, i do not buy the concept popular in the '60s which said we have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. in order to even the score we must now give the black man a head start or even hold the white man back to even the race. i don't buy that. joining me now is chief public affairs officer for moveon.org and a former deputy director for p president obama's 2012 campaign. let's talk about this, biden's spokesman on the bussing issue, this is a quote from bill russo about "the washington post" article. he never thought bussing was the best way to integrate schools in delaware, a position which most people now agree with. and he said during those many years of debate that bussing would not achieve equal opportunity. so it looks like on this and on the crime bill and other things, team biden is just doubling down on whatever he said before, they're just defending it.
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is that wise in today's version of the democratic party? >> no, it is not wise at all. and full disclosure, i know joe biden well as you mentioned, i worked in the -- i worked for obama on the campaign, but i also worked in the obama administration where i got to work with joe biden and look, it is a complicated position that joe biden is in. he is incredibly popular. people remember him fondly, and connect joe biden with the successes of obama. and you know what? that will help him in the primaries, especially in a state like south carolina. where joe biden is now, he's in a situation where the last time that he ran alone without obama was 12 years ago, and now he's going to be in a situation where his 40-year record is going to be examined. there's going to be a fresh new look and things like the crime bill, things like anita hill,
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the hearing with thomas, clarence thomas, is going to come up, and so the thing here is that they have to deal with this head on because 40 years ago, it was a different time. we have moved away from that. we're talking about structural inequality. we're talking about things that have really hurt the brown and black community like the crime bill over these last few decades, and so they need to talk about how that was a mistake. they need to talk about how the things that he has done in the last 15 years that dealt with, you know -- that he's talked about civil rights issues. he's talked about women's issues. he's going to have to talk about that as well, but say you know what, where i was 40 years ago was a mistake and talk about why it was a mistake. but by doubling down on things, on records, on things that he said in 1970s on the crime bill where he voted on anita hill is a huge mistake. >> during the 2016 campaign,
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young black voters really held hillary clinton, who was first lady at the time, she really got tagged with her comment super predators about the crime bill. in this cycle kamala harris is being tagged by a lot -- not a lot of, but you know, some african-american voters because she was a prosecutor and prosecuted people in california and the way that that office ran. can biden -- i don't know how to put this, but biden's legacy right now is obama. his support for barack obama, his ride or die support for barack obama. if he runs, does his legacy then get relitigated by young voters who really weren't around during his tenure in the '90s but who will now learn the things they learned about hillary clinton. >> clearly for some folks who decided they were not going to jump in, remember we had the black lives matter movement that happened around that time and led to really playing a big role in the primary of 2016 as you
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just mentioned with super predators that hillary clinton said at first lady that really hurt her in that primary, and so we're just in a different time, joy, and you cannot -- you cannot go by and not talk about your record because you're going to be called out for it, and this is just where we are. there is an energy. there is an activism. there is a conversation happening. people are calling out white supremacy, and we also have donald trump who's in the white house who's doing a bunch of things that hurt, you know, front line communities, so we need candidates, not just talking the talk, but walking the walking. not just having lines about the community, the african-american community or the brown community in their stump speech, but actually putting forth what are they going to do, and here's the thing, joy, the reality is you cannot, a democrat cannot win the primary without the african-american vote.
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they cannot win the general election without a high turnout in the black vote. black community and women in particular, black women hold the key to the white house. >> yeah. and sort of the reverse way, one might envision some fix an issue that came up regarding past associations. >> they have to deal with it. >> people might have to do it. karine jean-pierre from moveon.org. you are the best. >> thanks, joy. >> thank you very much. appreciate your time. up next, special purpose communication tubes. it's all going to make sense in a minute. i promise. stay with us. a video of choreography. i need my phone to work while i'm on the subway. you'll see me streaming a video, trying not to fall. (laughs) (vo) there when it matters. buy the new galaxy s10 and get a galaxy s10e on us. when it comes to reducing the evsugar in your family's diet,m. coke, dr pepper and pepsi hear you. we're working together to do just that. bringing you more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all. smaller portion sizes,
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special purpose communication tubes. they are a thing that looked like this. they did not seem to do very much, even though these three gentlemen are making some pretty intense eye contact with them. those tubes had something to do with radar technology. they were made by a company called the international telephone and telegraph company, itt for short. they took this video when they opened a new radar tube plant in virginia in the late 1950s, but itt was not just a special purpose communication communications tubes company, they were a huge phone company in their day, and in 1970s, itt wanted to get even bigger. they started gobbling up other companies to make one big monster conglomerate and they eventually were sued for it for allegedly violating antitrust laws. during the nixon administration, the justice department filed a lawsuit against itt for bulking up their company in a way that potentially violated federal antitrust law. it was a huge ordeal for itt,
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being sued by the justice department, until richard nixon made the whole thing go away. in what wound up becoming kind of a sibling to the watergate investigation, nixon ordered the justice department to drop the antitrust lawsuit against itt and let them go ahead and make their mega company, and he did it in exchange for a $400,000 check from itt written out to the republican party. the watergate special prosecutor archibald cox set up a task force to investigate that payoff and the allegation that the president leaned on the justice department to get them to drop a lawsuit. the special prosecutor reportedly turned up so much evidence of wrongdoing around the itt scandal that they were planning a prosecution, but they never got the chance. richard nixon, of course, resigned and was pardoned before he could be held accountable for his conduct in the oval office. now, rachel has talked about this on this show before because there is a lesson here that is important. the president cannot interfere
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with the justice department. the president is not allowed to lean on or give orders to the doj about who they do and do not prosecute. that kind of thing is illegal. whether it comes with a $400,000 check from the telephone company or not. hold that thought. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? most pills don't finish the job because they don't relieve nasal congestion. flonase sensimist is different. it relieves all your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't.
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car insurance from liberty mutual. they'll only pay for what they need. yes, and they could save a ton. you've done it again, limu. [ limu grunts ] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ this week, jane mayer at "the new yorker" reported that in 2017 the current president tried to pressure the justice department when they were trying to decide whether to open an antitrust lawsuit against at&t. at&t was trying to merge with time warner, which owns, drum roll, cnn. the president has repeatedly attacked cnn at his rallies and on twitter and made cnn his number one enemy in the media. even before he was elected he said that he did not think that the at&t/time warner merger should go through. now, mind you, blocking that merger from happening would have been really bad for those companies' business, but donald trump -- from donald trump's point of view, it also would
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have been a kind of punishment for cnn. according to "the new yorker," donald trump as president demanded that his advisers instruct the justice department to open that antitrust investigation into at&t. a roundabout way of ordering the doj to meet out that punishment against the company that owns cnn because he doesn't like the way he's being covered. the justice department did wind up filing a lawsuit to block the at&t merger that the president wanted. a case that they eventually lost. doj says the president had no say in their deliberations when deciding whether to bring that suit, but now that the democrats control congress, they say they are going to find out for sure. democrats on the house judiciary committee have sent two letters, one to the justice department and one to the white house counsel, requesting a trove of documents relating to the president and his involvement in the at&t/time warner merger. the document request spans a time period of more than two years. they're essentially asking for
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any piece of paper or communication that might document donald trump's actions or directions surrounding the merger. they write, quote, even the appearance of white house interference in antitrust law enforcement matters, undermines public trust. the fact that actual interference would constitute a serious abuse of power. democrats are asking for those documents by march 20th, so hold on to your radar tubes, everybody, and watch this space. that does it for us tonight. rachel will be back on monday and i'll see you tomorrow morning on my show "a.m. joy." now it's time for "the last word" with the great ali velshi in for lawrence o'donnell. >> hello, ali. >> hello friend. you know, here's the interesting thing about that story you just told. >> there are really valid reasons for people to not like big media mergers. >> totally. >> the one that donald trump picked is the wrong one. >> yeah. >> not liking how they cover you. right cause, wrong reason, once again. >> yeah, absolutely. can i just say, ali, just to give you a quick compliment. i was watching your show earlier today as i do every day. the two of you had a conversation about the unemployment numbers that was so

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