tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC July 11, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
court of appeals is going to hear oral arguments over that subpoena that congress sent to donald trump's long-time accounting firm, mazars. you might remember back in may, a federal judge i'm so hear for it. see you again tomorrow. it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening. >> good evening, rachel. you really know how to break hearts. won't read us the transcript tomorrow night? >> we will have a recording.
it's one of those rare federal courts where they release what the oral arguments sound like. >> it's the second best. rachel doing the transcripts is the best. >> the fans have spoken. >> thank you, rachel. >> new polling showing a possible statistical tie for first place in the democratic candidates between joe biden and elizabeth warren. you have not heard that before because most polls in political campaigns ignores the margin of error. the margin of error in this new nbc poll is 4.9%. just about five points as a margin of error. joe biden has a seven-point lead in the poll. that appears to be outside the margin of error, but it isn't. joe biden at 26 and elizabeth warren at 19. what you have to remember about the margin of error is it means any number in the poll could move five points, in this case
4.9 in either direction, up or down. they can be independent. joe biden's number could move down and elizabeth warren's number could be higher in reality and there could be a spot in there and the truth is inside the margin of error where they are in a tie. possibly even elizabeth warren is a point ahead. that's how close this is. i know it might sound confusing, but that's how margins of error are polling. what you are seeing is this real tightening between joe biden and elizabeth warren in that possible statistical tie for first place. when we error later in the show, let's remember that margin of error and we will stress that margin mnch i usually do.
it shows the possibility that all of the campaigns might be running much closer to each other and it also means that some of those people who are suffering at the low end of the poll at two or one point could be running higher within the margin of error. don't take this poll to be a very specific marking of exactly where each candidate is, but it tells us a lot about the strengths and the way the strengths are ranging overtime. this obviously puts enormous pressure on the next round of debates. the biggest movement in the polls since the first round has been with senator elizabeth warren and kamala harris. if they are perceived as they were before to be the winners of the next round of debates, it won't be the end of joe biden or any of the other top tier candidates, but it could be
enough to end the hopes of some of the bottom polling candidates. is the democratic field starting to take shape? we will study the polls later in this hour and we have breaking news about new women coming forward saying jeffrey epstein sexually abused them when they were minors. a lawyer for the newly revealed victim claiming he was abused by jeffrey epstein later in this hour. president trump stepped up in the rose garden this afternoon with the attorney general at his side to admit that there was absolutely nothing they could do to change the effect of the recent supreme court decision forbidding a question about a person's citizenship on the next census. the president then pretended that he was taking action despite the supreme court decision by ordering every department and agency the federal government to provide the department of commerce which is in charge of the census with all the data that those
departments might have on citizenship statistics in this country, if any. that is data that is available to the census bureau, but still up to the census bureau and the professionals working there to decide exactly how to obtain the most accurate count available of persons living in the united states, which is what the constitution requires the census to count. not citizens, persons. the attorney general proudly stood beside the president in the rose garden as the president told this lie about democrats. >> far left democrats in our country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst. they probably know the number is far greater, much higher than anyone would have ever believed before. maybe that's why they fight so hard. this is part of a broader left
wing effort to erode the rights of the american citizen and unfair to our country. >> then the attorney general of the united states stepped up to the microphone to congratulate the president on his lying and to add to that lying. >> thank you, mr. president. congratulations on today's executive order which will ensure that we finally have an accurate understanding of how many citizens and noncitizens live in our country. >> that is absolutely not true. there is nothing that the president ordered today that will make the next census more accurate. the attorney general knows that and allowed himself to be a prop at a political reelection rally for the president on government property today. leading off our discussion is neal katyal, former acting solicitor general and professor of politics and media at morgan state university and both are msnbc contributeors. neal katyal, you are part of the team that won this in the supreme court. what did you see happening in
the rose garden today? >> what i saw happening in the rose garden was a time for celebration for the american people. we have to celebrate a supreme court that reigned in this president and calling his actions condrive and unlawful and opinion by chief justice john roberts and celebrate a rule of law and a justice department that said we can't be asking these questions. that's the positive thing. the negative thing is the president, donald trump, who after all ordered this question put on the census in the first place because of the voting rights act. he said he wanted to enforce it. you didn't hear a word about it. you heard the rhetoric about counting illegal aliens which his citizenship stuff has never done in the first place.
it asks whether you are a citizen and not whether you are legal or illegal. more generally, he obeyed the supreme court after threatening to defy it after two weeks. that's a low bar. this is a president who for the last two weeks will issue an executive order to do an end run and i can't think of something more disqualifying to a president of the united states than to defy openly what a supreme court will do. that's not what we look for in a leader. >> jason johnson, the president has a unique form of surrender and declares victory in every surrender. this seemed to be the staged attempt to claim a victory while surrendering to the supreme court. >> he claimed he had victory in the mid-terms. he claimed he was exonerated by the mueller report.
i won, i won, they took all my clothes. donald trump is going to claim hoo he is victorious. and again it's them playing up to the president's lies. they said to the president, you are wrong. it doesn't work. let's move o. you saw that the team in the justice department said we can't do this for you and they tried to replace you. i'm concerned and this is just the opening. we still have a president who is sending ice agents basically to terrorize people throughout the country this weekend for no purpose other than to annoy people and frustrate and intimidate people. this census question being on it is just the beginning. he will be attacking anybody he can with whatever resources he has available for the next two years.
>> to the william barr piece of this, this is a week in which the attorney general suggested that there was a way to move forward by changing the justice department lawyers who would be arguing this case. they actually went into court and tried to do that. they ran into serious trouble in one court, trying to change the lawyers. that was the attorney general trying as much as he publicly could to play along with the president on this. >> yeah. i have been disheartened by this attorney general when it comes to this case both because that was and trying to swap in new lawyers. he will do trump's dirty work and today this whole idea of the charade that this executive order does anything. all the executive order does according to the description by the president is order the census bureau to use existing databases to collect information. that's what the bureau has been
arguing all along. that's what the challengers have been arguing all along and what the justice department have been going to court to say that wouldn't be enough. we have to add the question to the census and the like. all this executive order did was do what we are already doing. you can have a celebration when you issue an executive order that says the sky is blue, but at the end of the day, you haven't done anything but announce what everyone already knows. >> do you see coincidental timing with the raids for this weekend at the same time when the president is making as much noise as he can about the census? you have people who are afraid of opening the door, being told not to open the door to anyone who knocks on their doors and at some point next year in addition mailing forms, there will be people who go around and knock on doors to follow-up on people who haven't mailed in their census.
i had my door knocked on by a student who was hired for that purpose. it strikes me as all part of a chorus to try to make sure those doors stay closed tightly next year when census takers come around. >> yes. the idea is to keep brown and tan people from filling out the census. that's what the president wants. there are plenty of resources. you have former consultants who said that is the goal. when people are undercounted or are not counting themselves, it makes it easier to not give resources to those communities from everything from disaster relieve to education. this is the thing that frightens me about what's happening. even beyond what might be the racial motivations and even ice and border patrol have been saying we don't think this is the most effective way to go, what leads anyone to think that the president the united states will not use this if he is
allowed to do this whenever he wants. to send american troops to major metropolitan areas to people who are not in immediate danger, what makes you think he won't do it again. it's an exercise of nur demonstrates he wants to be a demonstrates he wants to be a dictator. he is concerned about frightening nonwhite people from participating. >> what happens next on the census cases that are still before the courts? >> it's going to be up to the judges to dismiss them or not. there are allegations for the purpose of discriminating for reasons jason was saying a moment ago. there are questions about looking back in time. looking forward if the president's word can be taken today and i know that's a big
if, but assuming that he follows through on what he said, they are going to inform the courts. there will be no citizenship question on the 2020 census, which is exactly what we and all the challengers had been asking for. it's a defeat for trump and hopefully the court cases will now be entirely over and this lawless defiance of the supreme court will be put to bed. >> neal katyal and jason johnson, thank you for leading off the discussion. appreciate it. when we come back, we have breaking news from the "miami herald" about new accusers coming forward for the first time, saying that jeffrey epstein sexually abused them when they were minors. epstein's lawyers were asking the judge in his case to send him home from federal custody and let him await trial under house arrest in his town house in manhattan. that's next. that's next. hmm. exactly.
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reporting tonight at least a dozen new victims have come forward to claim they were sexually abused even as he tries to convince a judge to allow him to await a sex trafficking trial from the comfort of the $777 million manhattan mansion where he is accused of luring girls into sex acts. four women reached out to the new york lawyer and at least 10 others approached others who represented other alleged victims in the past. a palm beach attorney said at least five women, all of whom were minors at the time of their encounters reached out to him or fort lauderdale lawyer, brad edwards. the people are underage victims in florida and in new york. they are not individuals whose claims have been part of any law enforcement investigation. the "miami herald" reports that some of the florida lawyers that
have represented girls allegedly victimized by jeffrey epstein are concerned about what they say is his history of witness intimidation in the past. jeffrey epstein presents a very significant flight risk and his proven pattern of intimidation of witnesses is a strong indication there is reason to fear he would engage in the same conduct again, particularly since he is facing now what amounts to in prison. the attorney credits the u.s. attorney in manhattan with encouraging possible victims to come forward and making them feel they will be treated better this time than some girls were treated by alex acosta when he was the u.s. attorney in florida who agreed not to prosecute jeffrey epstein for any of the sex crimes outlined in a 53-page draft federal indictment that
alex acosta's staff prepared before alex acosta decided to drop that case. here's what the u.s. attorney in manhattan said on monday that encouraged possible victims to come forward. >> if you believe you are a victim of this man, jeffrey epstein, or you have evidence or information relating to the indictment unsealed today, we want to hear from you. please call 1-800-call-fbi. >> alex acosta, donald trump labor secretary blamed the very forgiving deal he made when he was the u.s. attorney in florida on the local state prosecutor who actually did bring charges against jeffrey epstein that resulted in a light 13-month sentence in which jeffrey epstein was allowed to spend time in his office in florida. alex acosta's statement provoked this from the former palm beach state attorney who said i can emphatically state mr. acosta's recollection is completely wrong.
the office produced a 53-page indictment abandoned after secret negotiations between the lawyers and mr. acosta. the state attorney was not a party to those meetings or negotiations and had no part in the federal non-prosecution agreement and the confidentiality agreement. mr. acosta should not be allowed to rewrite history. his lawyers asked the federal judge in the case to asked him to await trial at his $77 million town house. they offered to put up the town house and his private jet as bail money along with any amount of money the judge might require. they offered to hire private armed guards. they scheduled a hearing for monday in federal court in manhattan. mimi rocah, former assistant
attorney in the southern district of new york and msnbc legal contributor. not surprising, i suppose, that there are so many new victims coming forward claiming that jeffrey epstein abused them after the u.s. attorney invited them to come forward. >> it's not surprising for two reasons. anyone who saw even a clip or a headline from that press conference heard the u.s. attorney and the head of the new york fbi office say we are here for the victims. i read something about one of the victims from new york saying i have renewed faith and i trust these prosecutors. it doesn't take a lot to earn the trust of someone who has been a victim of any crime, not just sex trafficking, but murder, violence, and fraud. the u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york and fbi director, they did it in
a second. so many victims are going to come forward because they understand this is different. they are here for us to have our day in court. they will take their chances. maybe there is a litigation risk, but they are here for us, the victims. many girls are out there who are women now, but girls then, some of them may have been abused after that agreement was reached in florida. that's going to be the most tragic part. the good part is they have a voice now. >> the 53-page indictment that alex acosta through away included information from over three dozen girls, women talking about what happened to them when they were girls. jeffrey epstein's lawyer submitted this multipage document asking that he be sent home and we can guarantee you he will show up. we will put an ankle bracelet and whatever you need. he said to the judge in asking for this, there are no allegations in the indictment that mr. epstein trafficked
anyone and he coerced or enclaved anybody or engaged in any of the other paradigm attic acts that the law aims to eradicate. we happen to have the federal law that said this is a crime for any person who recruits entices, harbors, transports, provides, maintains, patronizes and he did recruit, it's the first verb they use as a crime. to read what he is saying in his letter, on its face is untrue about the accusations. >> absolutely. he is a very good defense lawyer. he is doing his job. he's not saying this doesn't meet the statute. he's saying this is not so bad. this is not the kind of sex trafficking people think of when they think of people being bound. this is sex trafficking. this is exactly what the federal
statute aims to prevent. girls who are not old enough and are vulner and susceptible to coskpergz fraud and being lured into these schemes. this is what jeffrey epstein did. he preyed on vulnerable young girls. it's no different than a scheme that uses violence. i don't know that there wasn't violence. some of the girls were raped and sexually assaulted. it's a good jail memo. it's exactly what the southern district expected. no surprises here. they will have a very good response and i look forward to reading it and i think he will be detained. >> he's asking a judge who in the past said this kind of house arrest for very rich people who can afford to hire private guards and all of that to
guarantee they will show up is unfair to other defendants who cannot hire private guards and cannot provide the court with the same kind of guarantee that is it costs a tremendous amount of money to provide. >> you should not be able to buy your way out of detention. there is a left of that not being true in our country. in the federal system it is more fair and equal and there are good judges like the judge berman who understands that some guy willing to put up his town house, he is willing to put it up because he has five other ones. that's not real security and doesn't address the threat this man poses to the victims. part of why victims are willing to come forward is because he's in jail. if he is out, they are more threatened by him.
you need that security and witnesses he has a history of having people attempting to tamper with witnesses. the judge is going take that seriously. >> we will squeeze in a break and come back with more on the subject. we will be joined by an attorney representing one of the women who has come forward this week saying she was abused sexually at the age of 14 when he forcibly raped her when she was 15 and she says that one of jeffrey epstein's recruiters hung around outside her high school to find her and recruit her and bring her to meet jeffrey epstein. that's next. i can't tell you who i am or what i witnessed, but i can tell you liberty mutual customized my car insurance so i only pay for what i need. oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no... only pay for what you need. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
one of the alleged victim who is came forward after he was arrest side jennifer araoz who went public with accusations yesterday in an interview with savannah guthrie. >> did jeffrey epstein rape you? >> yeah, he raped me. forcefully raped me and knew exactly what he was doing. i don't think cared. what hurrs even more so is that if i wasn't afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn't have done it to other girls. i feel really guilty. to this day i feel really guilty. >> joining us is kimberly learner, an attorney representing jennifer araoz who accused jeffrey epstein of rafg her at 15 years old. asking the why j to allow him to go home for house arrest.
>> that are would be absurd. he is a flight risk. he has more means than anyone. it's intimidating to the victims and the witnesses. my client, jennifer, who just came forward, she doesn't know who he can reach out to and doesn't want to live in fear. she has given up anonymity at this point and doesn't need to live in fear of a predator who has every reason to keep her silent. >> epstein's lawyer said this is really just a routine florida state possible prostitution charge and not sex trafficking and misstated what it includes and the first word is recruits. anyone who recruits women played virtually all of the interview with savannah guthrie and the audience heard last nitrogen for describing the recruitment process. >> yes.
jennifer just transferred to a new school and lost her father at 14 years old. >> father died when she was 12. >> he died of aids. this woman found out her father died of aids and it was something she was embarrassed about. this man was into phi langt bee and nothing about massages was mentioned. it was a person who had a lot of money and wanted to help. jennifer was convinced to go meet him. and it was about a month that he just met her and talked to her and listened to her and told her how beautiful she was. he would give her money to help her out. there was no mention of massage or anything. he really gained her trust and preyed upon her. >> it was a slow process. what strikes me is virtually
everything we heard in the interview that we played in full that jennifer describes, everything she describes did not happen he said in his pleading to the judge today. he said there was no recruitment. there was no accusation of him ever using violence or force. that's exactly what we heard jennifer say yesterday. that she was forcibly rained. >> that's his job. to deny the allegations. if he admitted it, there would be a problem, right? jeffrey epstein forcibly rained my client. no ands, ifs, or buts about it. it doesn't matter if she voluntarily massaged him or was in her underwent wear. she was a 14-year-old child. they may look like they are 16 or 18, i have a 14-year-old. they are children. there is a reason why the law protects them. he forced himself inside of her
and there is no excuse and he needs to be brought down. >> in your experience, how do you expect the judge to rule on this on monday. they'll have a hearing on this on monday. >> i never want to make predictions, but again, i know judge berman and he is going to weigh this very carefully. a defendant has a right for all of this to be considered. with these charges where there is a presumption of detention and given the incentive to flee because of the time he is facing and given the past behavior towards potential victim witnesses and the potential for them to be deterred now, i think he will be and should be detained. the southern district of new york is well prepared for the arguments and like you said, he is doing his job, but this is not one victim. even if it was, i'm not saying she should believe this is not one person. they corroborate each other. there is a pattern of coercion,
fraud, and violence. manipulation of girls. this is a manipulative man and i think the judge will do the right thing and detain him. >> how would jennifer feel if the judge allows jeffrey epstein to go home under house arrest conditions? >> i think she would be nervous. her face is out there. he knows what he did. i think she would feel like she has to look over her shoulder. he is a predator and it's a danger to have him in society. he will continue to harm children. he's sick. we need to be protected from somebody like this. >> it's interesting. in his bail memo, he doesn't even address the photographs found in epstein's home. that's telling. >> how is jennifer doing. she is 48 hours into a new chapter of her life that is
unlike anything we can really imagine. >> jennifer is one of the strongest women i have ever met. she's doing great. she doesn't want to make the media circuit. you won't see her again. she wants other victims to come forward. she wants justice and think together we are going get justice. >> attorneys kimberly learny and mimi rocah, appreciate it. we have new polling that shows a possible statistical tie for the new front-runner in the democratic presidential race. that is next. ok everyone!
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here's elizabeth warren with her new immigration plan. >> for starts with expanding legal immigration and a path to citizenship for everyone who is here to stay. part three to this plan is to say we have got to stop the crisis at the border. i will stop the crisis at the border. >> here's joe biden today on foreign policy. >> as president of the united states, i would remind the world that we are the united states of america and we do not coddle dictators. we give hade no safe harbor. no more charlottesvilles and nor more helsinkis.
the challenge of following this disasterous presidency is not just restoring the reputation of our credibility, but enact a foreign policy for the world as we find it today. and as we anticipate it will be tomorrow and years to come. >> kamala harris said this to rachel maddow. >> this guy takes the word of the russian president over the intelligence community when it comes to russia interfering in the election and embraces the word of a north korean dictator when it comes to the american student who was tortured and later died and embraces the saudi prince over the american intelligence community over a journalist who was assassinated. >> we will dig deeper into this poll that shows that most of you have not yet made a firm
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that's why i will return immediately to daily press briefings in the white house. i will reverse trump's detrimental asylum policies. the biden administration will end the horrific practice of separating families at our borders. >> joining our campaign discussion is national political reporter for "the washington post" who is covering the elizabeth warren campaign and jess morales, the cofounder of super majority and cofounder of families belong together. you are covering the elizabeth warren campaign and something you did when she was running for senate. the boston globe and here you are on the presidential campaign. are you feeling in the campaign what we are seeing in the polls? >> absolutely. you certainly see and i can really see it tonight here in wisconsin with elizabeth's town hall. she has a spark in her step. she is much crisper than in the past and just really up there having fun. when you are a winning
candidate, it's fun. that translates. i think her staff is, you know, they are looking at this as the poler coaster. they don't want to be riding up and down. they are quite disciplined in how they look at the polls and they realize how early it is, but you can say all that and you watch her in front of a crowd of 1500 people tonight and you can certainly see that she was really having fun up there. >> i want to tell the control room you rewrote the banner. poler coaster. i like that. let's take a look again at the lineup on this poler coaster that we have today. joe biden at 26, elizabeth warren at 19, kamala harris at 13 and bernie sanders at 13 at 7 jess, you're a verpt of the hillary clinton campaign.
you know what it's like to be in that big biden-like front-runner campaign where they're trying to catch up. how do you see this to the extent? >> you know, i think joe biden really needed a big victory ever since the more he kind of opens his mouth, the lower his poll numbers go. so he's been apologizing for basically the entire first month of his campaign. it's good he got strong performance on foreign policy, but i agree. i think right now this is elizabeth warren's game. she's really made this election about ideas, which i'm not sure we would have said that's what was going to happen this time on the democratic side. the more she talks about those ideas, the more her poll numbers go up. >> i'm stressing the margin of error tonight more than i usually do because it's bigger than it usually is. in this poll it's 4.9 if we're used to having them in the low 4s. so i would look at it, annie, with the other campaigns with the optimistic possibility there's even much more happening in the field right now than this margin of error allows us to see.
>> for sure. i thought one of the most interesting things about this poll is it really demonstrated just how fluid this race can be because you have, you know, you had 12% of people saying that they were absolutely certain who they were going to vote for. that's leaving a large, large swath for any of these candidates to really grow. you know, elizabeth warren, she's going to have to grow. you've seen biden, obviously, this poll showed his numbers have gone in the opposite direction. but that space to grow is what's giving all these candidates a lot of optimism. that's why you're seeing people still joining the race. >> we're going to have to squeeze in a break here. when we come back, i want to tell me if my interpretation of the 12% is correct. i interpret the 12% locked in is a very good thing for democrats and the democratic party because it means the democratic voters
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president trump decided today to withdraw his court challenge to include the citizenship question in the census. what's your reaction of that? >> wow. he's going to follow the law? [ cheers and applause ] >> this is not about trying to find out real information about citizenship and noncitizenship in america. this is just about trying to stir up more hate. >> back with us, annie linskey. what do you make of the 12% in the new nbc poll who say they are firmly committed to their democratic candidate and only 12%? >> i mean, honestly it kind of warms my heart. i think american voters are still committed to democracy, which you could get mistaken for in this presidency. they want to see candidates, they want to see what they have to say.
that's why i think you can't count out these debates moving forward. it's really important for candidates to have a super strong performance and that's why you're seeing harris in the mix there. she really distinguished herself in the last debate. that prosecutorial background of hers, she put it to good use. her campaign also knew how to make a moment. that's the kind of edge she's going to need and it's going to serve her in the long term. >> one of the tougher numbers in the poll for elizabeth warren is black support. it shows joe biden way out beyond any margin of error, 46%. kamala harris, second at 17%. bernie sanders at 11%. elizabeth warren at 8% and pete buttigieg at 3%. >> that's a number that elizabeth warren has been well aware that she needs to work on really from day one. you know, you saw her even before she announced giving a big speech at a historically black college in baltimore where she laid out some of the themes about housing, her opposition,
and her understanding of red lining and the effect that's had on black communities. she's consistently been hammering that message again and again and again before white and black audiences quite frankly. but you haven't seen it move the needle yet. and i know that they've also -- the campaign has worked hard with black influencers. in that area, particularly younger female black influencers, you've seen them change their minds a little bit. you've seen them come along, people who were suspicious of her in the past, on twitter saying good things about her. for that to translate to actual numbers, you're absolutely right. that's a difficult number for her. i will also say, you know, with south carolina, which is, of course, the forth in this first of four primaries, i've gone there with her and she's had trouble drawing black audiences. and so that's something we're just always watching is how she deals with her own events in that state.
>> jess, your reaction to the black support numbers in this new poll. >> yeah. black voters in particular black women voters are among the most informed democratic primary voters, the most reliable democratic primary voters. so it's smart for any candidate to really make sure that they are appealing to that base. i do also think that because they are such informed voters, especially black women, you see them taking their time to really come to events, to watch the debates. so i would expect that you'll see those numbers for vice president biden go down. he's benefiting from his association with obama but seems to be everything he can to ruin that. you'll start to see the numbers for warren and harris move up as soon as possible. >> annie linskey, and jess, thank you for joining us tonight. that is the last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now.
tonight, a parking lot -- presidential fight backing down from a fight of his own making. forcing the government to collect data it already has. all that earning him the congratulations of a loyal attorney general. and orders tht to collect data it already has. all that earning him the congratulations of a loyal attorney general. plus, new details on how democrats are preparing for robert mueller's testimony and the key witnesses in the russia investigation who may now be subpoenaed to appear on capitol hill. and new numbers just out tonight on the democratic field for president showing the top of the crowded field narrowing. tho "the 11th hour" on a thursday night starts right now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm ali velshi. in for brian williams. he'll be back here tomorrow. it's day -- i'm sorry, it's d