tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 12, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
thanks for joining us. >> thank you. all right, we've got a great why is this happening this week. this is a way of thinking about justice. that is all in for this evening. rachel maddow starts right now. >> thank you for joining thus hour. happy friday. you made it. today a federal judge handed down the most lenient sentence yet against any of the defendants charged in the mueller investigation or in any of the prosecutions that have derive from the mueller investigation. his name was sam patten. he pled filthy last year for lying to investigators. in a plea agreement in which he admitted, arranging an illegal $50,000 foreign donation into the trump inaugural. he also admitted lobbying as a foreign agent without registering.
he admitted to lying to senate investigators about that and other matters. he pled guilty last year. prosecutors have since said, he started cooperating with prosecutors, even before he signed his formal plea agreement. even before he pled guilty. they say he's been very helpful. judge jackson in washington, d.c. today explained that she would have considered a prison sentence for sam patten were it not for his considerable cooperation with federal prosecutors. but given the combination of the nature of his crime and his lack of a previous criminal record and prosecutors wholehearted endorsement and appreciation for whatever it is he's been helping them with all these months, the judge ultimately gave sam patten today three years probation and a $5,000 fine sxfr. and again we think that may be the lightest sentence so far thus far as mueller defendant. with sam patten's case coming to a close, with him walking out of
the courtroom a free man, we the people, we the observers of this whole scandal investigation, we're still very much in the dark as to how his case and how his cooperation fit into the larger investigation. prosecutors said in open court, that sam patten had been a great cooperator. he had very willingly and honestly given them tons of good help with lots of ongoing cases. when it comes to the details of what he helped them with. what he told them. those are all still a mystery. they were all filed under seal to judge jackson in advance of today's sentencing. so who knows if we the public will ever see those details. unless and until we do, we'll never really have any inking as to what sam patten was helping with. what he gave prosecutors that they thought it was of so much value. and it is of interest because sam patten had ties to so many
different elements of this scandal. he had connections to cambridge analytica. the murky and now defunct scandal firm that they used as the data operation during the campaign. sam patten had business connections with konstantin kilimnik. he himself has been indicted by the special counsel. prosecutors have. in court on multiple occasions that they assess him to be linked to russian intelligence. sam patten, of, admit to funneling illegal money into the trump inaugural. and that's the subject of multiple ongoing investigations including an sdny, southern district of new york, which has subpoenaed the inaugural committee. they are reportedly being investigated by multiple state attorneys general, by at least one other attorney's office and multiple congressional committees. was sam patten who illegally
funneled money into the inaugural, was he helpful to investigators who are hook into those matters? at this point we do not know. whatever he helped with is still all under seal. all we know that prosecutors were absolutely dloielighted wi him. that's yes walked with just probation and a relatively small fine. speaking of ongoing investigations, today we got this 19-page identifying from federal prosecutors, explaining to the same judge, to judge amy bergen jackson in washington, d.c., why prosecutors want her to reject a request from a number of media organizes, including cnn and "new york times" and the "washington post," all of whom are hook to have documents unsealed from the ongoing case against president's london time political adviser, roger stone. he is due to go on trial in d.c. this fall. the media companies that are
making this request of the judge, they want copies of the search warrants around the time that he was arrested and charged in january. prosecutors at the u.s. attorney's office in d.c. tell the court today that these requested materials, they understand why the news organizations want to see them. they say in this filing today that those stone search warrants can't be shown to the public because of three things that would be adversely affected if the public had access. number one, the first thing is the fourth coming trial this fall in united states versus stone. it would affect their effectiveliness prosecutoring roger stone. also, privacy interests for uncharged third parties which would be affected by that. and finally, they say, unsealing that information would affect investigations that remain ongoing. what are those ongoing
investigations? we don't know. for the same reason the sam patten stuff was all filed under seal, because it relates to ongoing investigations, same thing with the stone stuff. because all of those factors, prosecutors are saying no, roger stone's search warrant material should not be released. we'll see how the judge rules but in the meantime, we learned another thing. robert mueller in the special counsel's office. we know that he submitted the report on his investigation to the newly appointed attorney general, william barr. he then promptly threw it in a drawer and nobody has been allowed to see it since. but the submission of the report three weeks ago, we are told that was the last official act of the special counsel's office. we were told at the time the report went in, that it would be wrapping up its operations within days. that the investigation was complete. we also start to get reports about what the prosecutors and
lawyers and fbi agents who had been working in the special counsel's office, what they would be doing. we have seen evidence and court filings of all the ongoing court cases, involving the indictments brought by the office. those have been handed off from special counsel's office. prosecutors to u.s. attorneys' offices around the country. mostly to the u.s. attorney's office in d.c. we've seen all this evidence of how it is wrapping up around rob mueller and his special counsel's office. today, a little surprise. at the end of this filing, we learned that one of the relatively high profile prosecutors on mueller's team, a man named aaron zellinsky, we had not heard where he was going in terms of him getting a new job. now we know. he has been named a special assistant u.s. attorney in the u.s. attorney's office in d.c. so that's new information. one of mueller's prosecutors has essentially been transferred. he's been named a special u.s.
attorney in the prosecutor's office in d.c. office that has been receiving most of the ongoing cases. so a special counsel's office lawyer moved over to the office that is receiving all the special counsel's office's cases. essentially to help them continue. the special counsel's spokesperson told us that yes, he has made that move. as to who are not we should expect other appointments where they have moved to offices to help with ongoing, we don't know if they'll do that. so far it seems like he's the only one. that that, as we mark today, they have weeks since mueller's report was turned in, and we we remain in this remarkable, where
the trump administration has the moou report and they're not letting anyone see it. william barr has been saying that he assigned a redaction team. those were his words. to cut stuff out of moou's report before it released either to the public or to congress. barr says that redaction team includes staff from mueller's office. from the special counsel's office, as well as justice department personnel. this new information today we got about aaron it remind us that we have no yt who is taking care of this. nor do we have any ideas who else is on that team. we have no idea what other lawyers or staffers from the justice department have been working on those redactions as well. are the other people besides special counsel's office personnel who are working on that redaction team, are they career justice department lawyers? are they subject matter experts
and experienced prosecutors from the justice department? are they justice department person heel participated with the special counsel's office in their investigation and in these prosecutions? or are they random trump appointees who have been put into a room with somebody from the special counsel's office and everybody gets a sharpened pencil and nobody gets to go out the door. who is involved? on what grounds did anyone earn their role on that team? if what they're doing is censoring the mueller report? we have no idea. we are expecting some redacted version of mueller's report to be released to the public sometime next week. if it happens over the weekend, i'll see you back on tv. i will be mad. if i have to do that over the weekend. but if nothing else, please join me if that happens so if nothing
else, we can commiserate about the loss of good weekend time for all the things we all like to do on our weekends. we don't necessarily expect it over the weekend. everybody is telling us sometime in the next week. we'll see. meanwhile, gregory craig entered a not guilty plea in federal court in d.c. on two felony counts. gregory craig is the former white house counsel from president obama's first time in office from his first year in office. he entered a not guilty plea after he was indicted yesterday on charges of lying to investigators about his contract with the ukrainian political party that was a client of campaign chair paul manafort. he was released on personal recognizance. you will recall thattier this year, his high fluting law firm entered into a settlement with the justice department. it included a nonprosecution agreement. the law firm had to pay a little
fine and say they would do some training. the law basically blamed greg craig for all of it. said everything was all his fault. that was nice of him. the firm, because of that nonprosecution agreement, they are not being prosecuted for what did he while he was a senior partner at that firm. it is just craig standing alone. as of today, he said he will plead not guilty. emhe is innocent and wants to go to trial. so we shall see. on top of all of that, congressman elijah cummings has announced to the members of his committee that if they have a problem with what he is about to do, they can come talk to him about it over the weekend. unless somebody talks him out of it, right now his intention is that on monday morning, he will deliver a subpoena to a company. it is an accounting firm that has had a long association with president trump and with his various business interests. trump organization executive and
the long time lawyer michael cohen testified to the committee earlier this year about the president allegedly committing bank fraud and allegedly committing insurance fraud by misrepresenting his assets and his financial standing. to back up those claims, michael cohen provided to the committee a few years of financial statements chug at least one prepared by this firm. cummings and his committee started investigating as part of that investigation this firm mazars. they would rather not respond to a simple request from the xhoe to hand over information. they would prefer to respond to a subpoena. we now know they're getting a subpoena monday.
it is sort of breath taking. with respect to donald j. trump, the donald trump revocable trust, the trump organization, the holdings, the old post office, and any parent, subsidiary, predecessor or successor of the foregoing, with respect tul of those, mazars is order to hand over annual stalts, independent auditors report reports. they will have to hand over all engagement agreements or contracts related to the review. they will hand over all underlying, supporting documents. they're also ordered the has not over communications between a specific named partner at the firm. and president trump, or the trump organization, i don't know what that's about. and this is the most interesting
part to me. the most intriguing part. this subpoena specifically directs mazars to has not over all communications related to potential concerns that records, documents, or others provided by the trump organization were incomplete, inaccurate or otherwise unsatisfactory. so if this was any discussion within this accounting firm that they were getting horse pucky from donald trump or the trump organization, when it came to his assets and financial standing, the firm is being directed by subpoena. any concerns or conclusions they came to at that firm about the prospect that stuff they were getting from donald trump or the trump organization was a lot of
hooey. so this demands that the communications be handed over to cummings and the committee. the subpoena is going out on mond monday, and this is a big deal in terms of what congress will have to work from and the investigations. we still don't know if anyone investigating the president, either from the mueller investigation, or from any of the investigations that happened in the u.s. attorneys offices or the congressional investigations, we still don't have any sense that any investigator looking into anything with the president has had any substantial information when it comes to money. when it comes to the president's financials, his business and any other financial matters that might affect the scandals. if mazars is about to hand this over, for years and years, his financial matters and businesses, this will be a big piece of information.
this had ratchet up on why the president will not allow anyone to see his tax returns. i mean, he tried to do this whole thing where he pretended if you're under audit, you're not allowed to return your tax returns. even his own irs says that's not true. the president still sometimes tries to say that and sometimes he admits it is not true. he's the first president in four decades to refuse to let anyone see his tax returns. either as a candidate or a sitting president. why? we know it's not the audit. why? what is he so worried about? one thing going on, on the taxes thing, we are in a totally unprecedented stand-off. the trump administration appears to just flat out be breaking black letter law by refusing to has not over the president's tax returns after they were requested from the irs by the cheryl of the ways and means committee. there is a law that says they
have to hand it oh. it is required under clear unequivocal law. the irs has to hand over any return, including a president's return if the return is requested by committee chairman in the way it was requested this past week. they have to do it under law. the administration is so far just refusing. they're sort of trying to delay. they're implying, they're reviewing it, they're implying there are grounds they might wage a legal fight over it. they have no legal leg to stand on. their just defying what the law says they have to do. i don't know what the strategy is. i'm assuming it is that no one will have the wherewithal or the bravery to enforce that law while they continued to flag ranly break it. but this is a direct clear legal confrontation between the administration refusing to do something they're lawfully required to do and nobody having any idea how that will be
enforced. the oversight committee is about to get a ton of financial information that may shed light on why he's trying to hold the taxes back. on top of all of that, which is ongoing, today you may or may not have seen that a great newspaper in southern florida called the palm beach post has also, on top of all that, broken a brand new story. it is a whole other 11 of oh, my god. they did what now? i'm not sure if you've heard about this latest story. it is a doozy and that story is coming up next. stay with us. coming up next stay with us thanks to you, we will. aw, stop. this is why voya helps reach today's goals... ...all while helping you to and through retirement. um, you guys are just going for a week, right? yeah! that's right. can you help with these? oh... um, we're more of the plan, invest and protect kind of help... sorry, little paws, so. but have fun! send a postcard! voya. helping you to
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have you ever had one of those very fancy cakes? fancy desserts where it looks like a normal cake from the outside but then you put your fork into it and it turns out it is not a normal cake? it is a stack of a million different little cakes? like 10 million cake layers or crepes stacked up together with frosting in between? apparently this is a whole category of dessert. i did not know this existed before this year on my birthday, the nice ladies, my buddies who work in the hair and make-up
room in this building. they got me a cake like that for my birthday. a totally mind bending thing. i looked at the piece of cake. it had a candle in it. we sack and everything and i thought it was cheese cake. i put my for this into it. no, it is 10,000 little tiny cheese cakes all stacked up. it was the greatest thing i've ever put in my mouth. i had no idea that existed before this month. and that is what this news story out of south florida is. except it is not a million layers of cake. it is a million layers of weirdness. one on top of the other that culminate in the news story. it started with, the owner of the patriots football team, robert kraft and a number of rich guys getting picked up on prostitution related charges. tied to a florida massage par r parlor. what does this have to do with the president? no, no, just hair one.
we would soon learn the original owner of the florida massage parlor, an alleged prostitution den in question, was someone who was a ubiquitous presence at the president's private florida club called mar-a-lago. the pictures alone are their own distinct little level of weirdness for this story. then you get the next story on top of that. the miami herald reporting that she seems to be tied to a number of organizations that are sponsored by or affiliated with the chinese government and or the ruling chinese story. including the chinese government inviting her to visit the visit of a chinese warship into a florida port. oh. then we learned through really good reporting at mother jones magazine, that this same woman has been running a very, very special kind of investment company that she's been marketing in china.
it is a cash investment in her. what her company will sell you if you pay her, she'll get you into mar-a-lago to neat president or a member of the president's family or to meet trump administration cabinet members, or perhaps you would prefer a white house meeting. you could pay her to get one of those as well. at least so that her marketing company. at this point in the delicious layer cake, we have the massage parlor owner, selling physical access to the president, his cabinet level officials, while she is simultaneously out at the president's private club. working with the chinese communist party in a number of murderingy organizations that seem to have no real public facing purpose. layer on top of that, the arrest of a new laid we had never heard of before at marring. a secret service affidavit that soon followed which showed it was while the president was on a visit there. she claimed to be there for a
u.n./chinese friendship event which was something maybe marketed by the massage parlor lady? it was not mapping day in any event. stheld secret service officials that perhaps at one point she was just there that day to go swimming. the initial affidavit showed that she was not found to be carrying a swimsuit. she was found to be carrying cell phones, a lap drop and a thumb drive that they soon realized was infected with malicious malware. well, a secret service agent said the reason they knew they had malware, while they were questioning her, one secret service agent popped it into his own computer. it immediately began to install files. according to the miami herald's account, the agent saw that it was a very out of the ordinary event that he had never seen happen before. he had to immediately stop the
analysis torsion halt any further corruption of his computer. we then learned the woman was not just carrying the four cell phones, the laptop, the external hard drive and the thumb drive infected with malicious malware that immediately starts installing itself, she didn't just bring those things to her trip from china to united states which resulted in her getting into mar-a-lago. no, in her hotel room down the road, agents found that she was storing nine additional usb drives, five sim cards, another cell phone, that's five cell phones, plus a signal detector specifically used to find surveillance. also thousands and thousands in cash. she had initially told secret service agents as to why she had the four cell phones and the laptop with her, she said she didn't want to leave valuable stuff like that in her hotel room. just that thousands of dollars in cash. that was okay to leave there.
and remember, she was just there at mar-a-lago to go swimming. it's been a long time since i was a lifeguard but i would say if you have that many electronic devices out, don't try to swim. today the woman with all of the electronics and the cash who turned up at mar-a-lago, she was indicted in federal court in florida. she has been held in custody since she was initially arrested on march 30 ths. she was receiving substantial from the chinese government. it does appear she may have had linked who was offering to sell chinese nationals access through marring. that has not been flushed out in any court documents yet so we await any further information. so look at what the palm beach post has piled on top of all of this stack. you thought you could not take one more layer of weirdness. but here. it's just wafer thin. this is the mayflower hotel which is very swanky.
quite near the white house in downtown washington, d.c. this is a picture of an event that took place at the ballroom at the mayflower hotel the night before trump was sworn in in 2017. it also featured a number of guest, an asian opera star, a big fancy dance performance. it was a big gala event. this is from a facebook photo. it was described as the inaugural ball to celebrate trump's inauguration. it was hosted by two vits. a trump campaign advisory board, the advisory committee to the trump campaign, also a registered political committee which is called the national committee of asian-american republicans. guess who is the fund-raiser. it's the massage parlor hay. of course it is. to attend this inaugural gala. co-hosted by this trump advisory committee, you had to pay a bunch of money for the ticket on
get in which hundreds of people did. but there were also names sponsors. according to someone who worked, who was interviewed by the palm beach post. the main sponsors paid between $5,000 and $15,000 to be listed as a major sponsor. that person who worked directly on it said all the checks from people who attended, all the checks from all the big dollar sponsors, they were all made out to that asian-american political committee. to the massage parlor lady's committee. that is who everybody made their check out. to everybody who bought a ticket. all the sponsors. and then all of the money promptly disappeared. quoting from today's palm beach post, thousands of dollars in donations flowed to an undisclosed source at a trump inaugural all that with hinges to china but no financial
records. the it drew more than 900 people but there is no trace of the money raised that night as required by law. the national committee of asian-american republicans, it is a registered political committee. any contributions to that committee must by law quickly be reported to the federal election commission. but despite this gala event, no donations were ever reported. the committee's executive director, a florida tech entrepreneur named cliff lee told the palm beach post, this is greatest line in the entire thing. he told the palm beach post today that he knows where the money from this event went. quote, but i don't want to tell you. lee has drawn international attention as an associate of cindy yang. her access to trump through his mar-a-lago estate prompted top congressional democrats to seek a federal investigation.
people involved in the gala event, the inaugural event, say that all the checks were made out to the national committee of asian-american republicans. one of the people involved said that there were definitely foreign nationals in attendance at the event. it is not clear where some of those foreign nationals contributed any money to that event or paid to get in. of course, foreign nationals are not allowed to give money to that kind of a political committee. but regardless, nobody knows what happened to any of the money. this was one of the trump inaugural galas. you had to pay to get in. what that to the money? the only explanation from the people who were running this thing, again, who have, on the one hand, the trump campaign, and then the asian-american republican committee, again, where the fund-raiser is the massage parlor lady who was linked to the thumb drives at mar-a-lago lady, they're
refusing to say what happened to any of the money raised at that event. quote, li declined to say how much money was raised or whether any of the donations went to him, the embattled trump inaugural committee or any of the other organizers. he said it went into the right account legally but i don't have to tell you where that is. i just don't have to tell you. i am not sure how much tall they are particular slice of weirdness can get before it topples over. if this links back to the inaugural with all the other things related, including the two u.s. attorneys offices, that will be linked to the insane chinese spying story too? seriously? joining us now, the reporter for the palm beach post who broke the story. i really appreciate you being here. thank you. first let me ask you. i think you can see that this is
a little bit of a story. let me ask you if i got the details on this. >> yeah. absolutely. you pretty much summed it up. it is pretty complicate. there was this inaugural gala. we have no financial records to tell us where the money went. foreign nationals attended and we have no way of knowing if the animals came from them or from the sponsors and who collected it. >> in terms of legal ramifications, you have a scoop on your hands. and you the palm beach post producing this is the first time anyone has seen reference to this line of inquiry. you do point out, they are required to report all their donations. they've never reported anything related to this. do we know if the s.e.c. or any
others are looking into it? >> we don't know at this point. they haven't acknowledged any investigations as far as we know. but it is pretty reason. this appears to be the first reporting about this. so who knows what lines of inquiry will pop up. >> you also mentioned. obviously people had to pay to get in. but there were responsors who seemed to have paid several thousand dollars to be sponsors you mentioned the the lead was raided by the fbi. first, is there any link? and do we know further what the fbi raid was about? >> yes. so that reporting was actually from bloomberg business week. we know very little about the raid in saipan, at that casino.
we know that a month later, some contractors who were hired by imperial pacific, the company, were arrested for harboring or hiring foreign workers illegally on tourist visas. so you can infer that it possibly had something to do with that. but interestingly enough, these corporations and businesses that sponsored the gala, several of them benefited from a bill that trump signed into law a year later. that actually assisted them and offered more avenues for hiring foreign workers legally, which essentially allowed these businesses to avoid what we now know some of them did do and hire foreign workers legally on tourist visas. >> you're right. we don't know how the dots connect. they're connected to reporting. we've got entities including this rated saipan casino firm, donating money to an entity that
disappeared. we have no idea where it went. wasn't reported to the s.e.c. after the money was donated to the trump inaugural data, the trump administration did take action to benefit those firms and others like them. now nobody is accounted for that money still and we don't have any sense that anyone is looking for it. it is just, i realize it is a complicated set of facts. when you see who got what and what they spent their money on. congratulations on this scoop and please keep us apprised. >> all right. much more to get to. stay with us. stay with us
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yesterday the founder of wikileaks was arrest in the london. the united states is seeking his extradition on hacking charges. yesterday president trump tried to pretend like he had never heard of this wikileaks. let alone sung their praises hundreds of time on the campaign trail, tweeted about them innumerable times, and frankly based the whole end of his presidential campaign on hyping and promoting wikileaks and its distribution of stolen documents that wikileaks distributed after obtained them from russian military intelligence. wicki who now? i don't recall. that was the president yesterday. today it was the vice president's turn to weigh in on this delicate matter. it went poorly. >> the justice department is now
seeking extradition. we're going to bring julian asampg to justice. we're working with chelsea manning. julian assange was involved in one of the greatest classified leaks. it put military at risk. >> what about what did he in 2016? the president when he was a candidate welcomed seeing wikileaks and the information that they got from hillary clinton. has that changed? >> well, i think the president always welcomes information. we now understand it was involved in disseminating classified information about the united states of manager. >> that was in no way an endorsement. the president saying, i love wikileaks. or wikileaks is a treasure trove. or saying, go look at the wikileaks. i love reading wikileaks.
mentioning it 141 times at rallies how soon in the campaign's time month. not an endorsement. this is a president who is a voracious consumer of information. that's what he's known for, right? he's a reader. i would also draw your attention to that thing that pence said at the end. >> that was in no way an endorsement. an organization that we now understand was involved in disseminating classified information about the united states of manager. >> we now understand, now, now we know. i mean, well after the campaign, now we know that this was an organization that was involved in disseminating classified information. back in 2010, around the time of the whole wikileaks, chelsea manning gigantic hack thing that has now led to these charges against julian assange, mike pence was like the number three
republican in congress. that was kind of a scandal at the time. the idea that wikileaks was involved in the distribution of classified information. we now understand was involved in disseminating classified information. we now understand that? that happened in 2010. you're only admitting knowing it now? i think of myself as a marathon news consumer. i admit, mike pence is wearing me out with this. we now understand them to have -- we'll be right back. ri. or psoriatic arthritis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable, with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. for psoriatic arthritis, otezla is proven to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement
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attention, attention. after consultation with my generals, my generals, and military experts, please be advised that the united states government will not accept or allow, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. new tweet. transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the u.s. military. our u.s. military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming dot, dot, dot, medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. thank you. with that series of vaguely incoherent tweets in july 2017, the still fairly new president declared a new policy on who would be allowed to serve their country in the united states military. he surprised the thousands of transgender troops who seemed to be serving just fine.
he surprised military leadership who would be trying to implement this new by tweet policy. the new policy was fought over in the courts round after round for more than a year until 15ly in january interesting conservative majority on the supreme court ruled that the president could impose this ban that he had unveiled randomly on twitter that day. and now today, it happen. the trump administration's official anti-trans policy goes into effect today. transgender troops are either parred from enlisting or if you are currently serving, you are counselled on your failure to adhere to standards and given an opportunity to correct those deficiencies. the ad vent of this new policy drew sharp reproach from military leaders chug surgeons general who release ad blistering statement condemning the new policy. quote, we are troubled by the defense department's characterization of the need undergo gender transition as a
deficiency, and by the addition of gender dysphoria. it includes bed wetting and disturbances of per session, thinking, emotional control or behavior. we've already defense department's misuse of science to justify discharging and denying medically necessary care and here we note there is a global medical consensus the need to undergo gender transition not a deficiency and destigmatizing is inappropriate for u.s. government entity and scapegoating and denial of medical care will compromise the well being of transgender service members who are otherwise fit and available for duty. joining us now is aaron bel kin, author of how we won, progressive lessons from the repeal of don't ask don't tell. appreciate you making the time. given your previous involvement in "don't ask, don't tell"
fight, i wonder how you see any parallels or lack thereof with how this possibility is implemented and the type of discrimination it means. >> this is don't ask don't tell for transgender troops and a day of great anguish for the troops. the trump administration is claiming that this is just an innocuous policy. it won't harm the troops but that's what we were told at the beginning of "don't ask, don't tell" and saw how that worked out. this will injure all transgender and effectively force them to remain in the closet. >> as it a defect that makes you unfit for military service is something that the obama administration took on, dropping that term and used in that way and in 2016, since then, thousands of openly transgender service members have been serving, essentially, without there being any problem. how is this going to work in terms of grandfathering people
in who came out under the previous policy when the previous type of discrimination when the previous discrimination was dropped by president obama? >> yeah, so there are about 14,700 transgender troops today and about 1,000 of them have received diagnoses of gender disforya since inclusive policy was put in place three years ago and the administration is pointing to that very small minority of about 10% of transgender troops and saying, look, see how humane we are because we're going to let these people remain in service and continue to get medical care, but even for these thousand troops who are grfrandfathered, they're going to be burdened by the stigma of serving in an institution that says they're, quote unquote, plagued by a deficiency and a defect. and even for the tiny minority of troops who are grandfathered, there's really no protection for them. >> given the supreme court ruling that effectively allowed
this to happen today, how do you see the fight shaping up over this? obviously, i think people aren't going to take this lie down. i think the number of transgender troops serving openly and proudly and benefitting the military is going to create, i think, sort of an unstoppable moral force in terms of this being eventually overturned but hard to see what that path looks like. how do you envision it? >> this will, this policy will fail in the same way "don't ask, don't tell" failed. it will hurt the military and the troops and it's not going to last because the public won't tolerate a policy that hurts the troops indefinitely, but we can't predict now whether the collapse of the policy will be in court or in congress where there's now bipartisan legislation to protect the troops or perhaps if the white house changes hands. we know when the white house changes hands, if inclusive policy has still not been put back into place, it will be restored very, very quickly, but there's just no way to predict
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we've got mayor pete buttigieg here on monday night live for the interview. we'll see you again then. now time for ali velshi in for chris. >> they couldn't say his name before. >> you have a choice of mnemonics. whether you're a two person mnemonic or three person, it depends. >> it fits everybody. looking forward to it. i'm ali velshi in for lawrence o'donnell. the democrats took control of the house of representatives. tonight, i'll be joined by several freshmen democrats who already made a big impact on the trump presidency. we're looking ahead to 2020