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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  August 10, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PDT

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that is our show today. "am joy" will be back tomorrow. francis has our latest. stlrp r. there is breaking news at this hour. accused sex trafficker jeffrey epstein has died by suicide. good day and welcome to "weekends with alex witt." alex has the weekend off. jeffrey epstein was discovered dead in a manhattan cell this morning. three months ago he was found almost dead after what was called an suicide attempt. the 66-year-old was being held on charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 14 to other rich and powerful men. first, nbc news contributing correspondent jonathan dietz, he joins us live on the phone with
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the details. jonathan, start from the beginning and talk about the discovery this morning that epstein was dead. >> yes, well, the bureau of prisons has now put out an official statement confirming his death. they say it happened around 6:30 this morning, that epstein was found in his cell. numerous sources, five sources now telling us it was death by hanging, that's the apparent cause, and that ems was called. he was transported from the mcc around 6:30 this morning to a downtown hospital where about an hour later, around 7:30, he was producedceenounced dead. the fbi is being called in to investigate. the fbi normally does not investigate suicides at bureau of prison facilities, but a senior official tells us as an
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abundance of caution, all the facts and details will line up in terms of what happened. but as of now, jeffrey epstein appears to have killed himself in his jail cell. he was in a cell by himself. when he was first at the mcc, he had a roommate, cellmate, but then he suffered some injuries in what was also an apparent suicide attempt, but there was also an investigation to see if perhaps the cellmate or someone else on that cell block may have attacked him. he was then moved to his own cell, placed on suicide watch. numerous sources told us that two weeks ago, and now we are told he was kept in that lone cell but that the suicide watch was lifted, so he was no longer on suicide watch, which raises a bunch of questions about those decisions and how those decisions came about. and we have not yet been told
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what was used. because if an inmate is on suicide watch, there are often no sheets, no blankets. but if the suicide watch was lifted, he would have access to sheets, blankets, clothing, and again, we are awaiting word from the bureau of prisons or the fbi as to exactly how jeffrey epstein took his own life. but it sounds like, from numerous sources, it is by hanging, that jeffrey epstein was found alone in his cell hanging is the apparent cause of death. the new york city medical examiner will conduct an autopsy and the fbi will conduct its investigation alongside the bureau of prison officials to find out how this happened. obviously, a major development in this case where multiple alleged victims were seeking justice and answers not only about the actions of jeffrey epstein but others in his social
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network, if you will, as to what did they know and when did they know it and what steps did they take in connection with his apparent abuse of underage girls. >> jonathan, talk a little bit. many, many questions arising from this, obviously, with the fact the fbi is now looking into this. but you have somebody like a jeffrey epstein, somebody very high profile the day after these documents were unsealed. wouldn't you think there would be more checks on him, especially after being placed on suicide watch even though he may have been taken off, and especially taking a look at the investigation inside there from jail authorities of whether the first time around if he harmed himself, if he tried to, if it was fake that he tried to get transferred or if somebody else did? >> that was the question the first time around, was this a real suicide attempt or was it just an attempt to get transferred? we were told all along jeffrey epstein was having a very difficult time adjusting to life
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in the mcc. he would not go to the rooftop for exercise time. he wanted to sit down in the legal room with his lawyers for hours on end. they would come, he would literally be paying them to sit with him for hours and hours down in the lawyer room because he didn't want to be in his cell block, he wanted to be down there with them. as you know, he was fighting very hard to get bail, an ankle bracelet, and be sent back to his mansion on the upper east side. the judge would have none of it saying he was a danger to the community given the nature of the allegations against him. so there is that. and then the question that you raised is how could this have happened? how was it that eyes were not on him? again, if he was not on suicide watch, perhaps he would not be looked at 24 hours a day, seven days a week. so the question is how often were those checks?
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were they every hour? were they every three hours? again, often when someone is on suicide watch, bureau officials can put him with a roommate to help keep an eye on him, but in the previous ichncident, that w another reason why this sex offender was put in isolation in his own cell, not with another roommate. again, these are questions that it's going to take some time to get answers to. we don't know how often, how regularly he was being checked on. >> more and more questions and the more we learn as well. jonathan dietz, thank you so much. appreciate your reporting. we're going to stephanie gosk with more on these court documents released yesterday. really disturbing information in those documents and more high-profile people implicated. what was in the documents and the takeaways from it?
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>> let me set it up a little bit. there was a defamation case against galynn maxwell who is the alleged co-conspirator with jeffrey epstein. it is a case brought by her who said she was abused by jeffrey epstein as a child. at the time she made those allegations, maxwell denied them, and it's because she so publicly denied them that jufree filed this defamation case. there was a big fight over whether these documents would be released. they were, they were released last night. here are a few headlines that came from those released. >> they delivered new, lurid details about the sex
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trafficker. they tegly took part in the documents for the billionaire. jufree says maxwell and epstein forced her to have sex with powerful men. richardson, the former governor of new mexico, called the allegations completely false. and u.s. foreign senator james mitchell said he never has met, spoke within or in any meeting with jufree. jeffrey epstein asked her to perform sexual massages. epstein described his sexual desire. it was biological. he told her, like eating.
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maxwell's close friend said he spoke to a 15-year-old swedish girl in the early 2000s, upset by epstein and maxwell. she said, they asked me for sex. she was asked, was she in fear? yes. could you tell? yes. she was shaking uncontrollably. it's important to note here, francis, the documents lack some context. we're waiting for the full release which we expect to happen at a later date. it also raises this very important question. now that jeffrey epstein is dead and the criminal proceedings against him are over, will there be other proprietors. galynn maxwell has not been subly steeen, she has not relead any statement since his arrest
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earlier this summer. >> stephanie gosk, thank you. the fbi has been asked to continue investigate sexual abuse even after his death. this woman said he forcibly raped her when she was 15 years old. she said, quote, i am angry that jeffrey epstein won't have to face his survivors of his abuse in court. we'll have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives. while he'll never face the consequences of the pain he committ committed, t the pain and traume caused so many people. epstein is gone, but justice must still be served. i hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims.
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sir, your reaction when you haired the news of this? >> it is inexplicable from my perspective that anyone who has attempted suicide while incarcerated would not be on suicide watch. ask wh and when the prisoner is as high a profile as jeffrey epstein, i don't know how he could be successful in taking his own life without some outside assistance. >> so let's dig into that, sir. what are you saying? that there must be someone else in this day and age after that first attempt, if it was, in fact, an attempt, it couldn't just be by his own hand? >> let me make clear that i have no knowledge with regard to the circumstances of epstein's death beyond what has been publicly reported.
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but it simply does not make common sense that jeffrey epstein was not on suicide watch, and it does not make common sense that if he was on suicide watch, he could have successfully taken his own life unless he had some outside help. >> i want to move on and ask you about the people you represent, these alleged victims. tell me how they're feeling, what they're reactions are especially now that we know when it comes to these cases, it won't be able to move forwardmeforward. >> my own clients -- >> sir, i apologize for interrupting you, but you've muffled the phone, so if you don't mind, we can barely hear you. >> let me try again. >> there you go. >> i can tell you that my clients are certainly not grieving the passing of jeffrey
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epstein. however, they have once again been failed by the justice system because another opportunity to obtain information has been allowed to slip through the fingers of law enforcement, and that's unfortunate. while they are relieved that they no longer have a direct fear of jeffrey epstein, they are clearly disappointed that whatever information he has about others who were complicit in his criminal conduct has died with him. that doesn't mean that those investigations will end. i am sure they will not end. but epstein's own information is no longer available. >> and as far as the next recourse with your clients, these alleged victims, would
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your litigation against epstein's estate continue? what can we continue to see happening? >> we don't currently have pending claims against jeffrey epstein. the individuals who we represent are individuals who prosecuted their claims against epstein almost a decade ago, and that litigation has ended. that does not mean that there won't be new cases filed against epstein's estate, and his death does not end the potential of holding his estate liable for his actions. >> we may be hearing more about those developments. i appreciate your time. jack scarola, thank you very much for giving us the perspective coming from your clients and alleged victims. thank you. >> you are welcome. goodbye now. i want to bring in special correspondent for "vanity fair." he is covering jeff epstein.
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as well as james patterson and his book "filthy rich." and stephanie ruhle, welcome. stephanie, i heard your reaction when all of this is breaking. i'm sure everyone is sharing that same sentiment of shock, but wow. >> it makes absolutely no sense. just a few moments ago, i sat down and interviewed mike bloomberg. we attempted to speak about gun control in the wake of the 2020 election, and we'll speak about that later, but when i got the reaction of the mayor of new york, he said, this makes no sense. whether or not jeff epstein was currently on suicide watch or not, and i guess he still should have been, why would someone like this with a case this so high profile, with all the powerful p.m. cross the political spectrum, across the business spectrum, academics,
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science, mathematics, someone this high profile with so much information to share, why would he be in a position where he could kill, where he could commit suicide and the authorities wouldn't be aware. that makes no sense. remember, from all the report g reporting, we've got a lot of answers to what but not why. and the founder of limited brands, he runs l brands, he stole, according to wexner, at least $49 million. wexner gaifr h rrkr gave him po attorney. we don't know the why to that. guys like leon black who run apollo, why on earth would evidence had jeffrey epstein running his foundation? there are a number of whys we don't have the answer to, so it's very sad that many people across the power stream this morning are breathing a sigh of relief. >> and i want to bring you in
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because you have been digging through epstein's finances as well. what is the top question on your list right now that you want answered? >> well, i mean, stephanie is absolutely right. how could this possibly be allowed to happen? it's absolutely inexplicable. she is also right that there are a lot of powerful, wealthy men in new york city's financial circles who are right now breathing a huge sigh of relief. because had they been subpoenaed in the criminal case, had they been d posed, had any of their documents made their way into the public realm as some of them did yesterday. at least in deposition form, there is a lot of embarrassing information, and we have yet to figure out why these powerful men who could hire anyone they wanted would hire this sort of disgruntled former failed investment banker from bear
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stearns as an investment professional. it makes absolutely no sense and we may never know what happened. >> it was just a week ago that epstein's pilots were subpoenaed. they know the names and dates of every person who was traveling on those planes. and epstein had massive private residences in the virgin islands, in mexico, in florida and in paris. and whether or not these other powerful people were criminals, they've been very vague about how well they knew epstein. nobody has said, he was my dear friend, this is the business we did and why. they don't want to be associated and that come out. >> john, do you agree with that? do you think with all the tentacles that are still out there on what still may be uncovered, there might still be a fear or worry that their names may surface? especially with these documents that were just unsealed yesterday. >> there is a lot of unhappy
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people today. questions that should have been answered a long time ago, they'll probably just disappear. i'm working on a second book about him and it's going to startle a lot of people. it really will. >> with what, sir? whatever you can disclose. >> well, he just didn't happen to cross les wexner. that was his biggest client. before that, he was pretty much of a scamster. that was pretty much what he was. he scammed pretty much everybody in the city. some of these women were very wealthy women. it's mind-aluminuming that people that smalsmalthat small
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was the one that brought him to the white house. he cheated her out of about $2 million. >> i want to bring william in and talk about jeffrey epstein and his ties to president trump, which we know are a big source of scrutiny. we have portions of that video from mar-a-lago that we'll play over and over again. president trump said they had a falling out many years ago. can you talk about the history and the outstanding questions around that connection? when it comes to president trump tweeting, we haven't heard anything as of yet as far as a reaction to the death of jeffrey epstein. william? >> in my understanding i think this has been reported, so it's not exactly news, but that jeffrey epstein introduced melania to donald trump, and so
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that was the introduction that was made through epstein, and of course then they got married and now she's first lady. it was more than just a casual relationship, and of course donald trump is good at avoiding any kind of blame or accountability for any of his actions. i think those pictures of jeffrey epstein and donald trump in mar-a-lago speak more powerfully than any words can about the depth of their relationship in that nbc news video of jeffrey epstein sort of doubling over in laughter when donald trump whispered something in his ear. again, donald trump is another person who would be very happy this morning that jeffrey epstein is no longer with us. >> bill, we have to also be very clear this is not partisan. this is not only president trump. we know former president bill clinton also knew jeffrey epstein well, and it's unclear how much time they spent together and whether or not he spent time on epstein's private
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island, because there has been conflicting reports about that. >> last word to william. where does this go from here, william? i apologize. >> i really hope these civil cases that lisa bloom was talking about continue. we need documentary evidence, we need people subpoenaed, we need to figure out how he made his money and why. it's going to come down to blackmail if it comes to that. >> john, what do you say? >> i think the information can come from one particular client, and that's rex wexner. >> john connolly, william and stephanie ruhle, thank you for being with me. former new york mayor mike bloomberg had an interview with stephanie ruhle. she's going to stick around and talk about that fight to
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suppress violence. that's next. that fight to suppress violence. that's next.
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for wifi with super powers, get xfinity xfi. and go see, fast & furious presents, hobbs & shaw. now playing. i think we could get something really good done. i think we could have some really meaningful background checks. we don't want people that are mentally ill, people that are
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sick, we don't want them having guns. who does? >> that's president trump signalling, at least for now, for some dire new gun legislation. gun reform a big topic in iowa and el paso. he is in the hawkeye state for the iowa state fair and, ally, first to you. a lot of top politicians there for that gun violence speech. >> reporter: it is a chance for candidates to choose to these contenders. julian castro is in behind me and was asked, what are you going to do about this epidemic? many want action and they want action now. listen to what they're saying. >> we are the only country in
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the world with more guns and people. i'm pretty sure the runner-up is yemen. if more guns on the streets made everybody safe, we would be the safest country in the world. we have to change that. >> as president, i want to make sure we know the scope of this and we'll use the position to start trying to heal this country which has to be the number one responsibility for the next president, how do we heal, because we're broken. and we've got to admit that. >> you should never let common sense leave the political process. i know it does sometimes. >> reporter: and, francis, really the striking thing about what you're hearing in this room is the emphasis on a grassroots movement, especially in the intervening weeks before the senate comes back to washington ask go and goes into session. there is a lot of optimism that if they just keep the pressure, something will get done. >> ali vitali, thank you. let's go to el paso, texas
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where people are taking to the streets. one week after that deadly shooting in a local walmart, suzanne is on the ground there. tell us the message you're hearing from the people, suzanne. >> reporter: the message we're hearing is don't forget this happened, don't forget the people who were killed and take action. we just saw a march come from a small park over to the el paso county courthouse, and they had several speeches, several people speaking. but when they wrapped up the rally, what they did was let off several white balloons and they announced the names of every individual. when they announced those names, they had the people say back to them, don't forget. don't forget. as we were listening to some of the speakers, representative mary gonzalez said, yes, this is a domestic terrorism issue, this is about gun reform, but don't forget that latinos were targeted. this was about racism against mexican-americans, hispanics and latinos and that should not be
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forgotten. >> and given the reporting we've had just recently that the gunman did want to target mexicans there, when people are out and they're hearing more of that, what are they telling you? >> you know, i have been talking to people. i was talking to a stylist and a makeup counter person, and they are mothers, and they all were absorbing this. they said they were still in shock, but it was sinking in that this person actually targeted people who looked like them, and more important, people who looked like their children. there is still a sadness here. we still have two funerals to go today. we also have one monday who is actually a relative of a friend of mine, and we ever a lot of people here asking for action. here at this rally, they ask for the governor to have a special session. that if he could call a special session for controversy over transgender people over what bathroom they use that he could have a special session over the killings of people here. at the memorial, you're also
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seeing a real growth in people wanting to honor this. the memorial has stretched the whole street of where the walmart is. >> part of the healing there that is going to take considerable time for the community and the people in el paso. suzanne gambo, i thank you for the update. thanks so much. >> let's turn to dan hillyard at the iowa state fair. what's happening there? >> reporter: i talked to folks at the fair and i asked, what's it like with this gun issue at the top of flipping chops and ferris wheels. this is not usually what the conversation is at the iowa state fair. you have 21 candidates coming here over four days, and the conversation is about diplomacy
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and gun violence. i asked kamala harris if she would control gun violence. kamala harris is now flipping pork chops, but i want to show you some interaction that took place. this is our conversation. real fast, with this fair taking place and with the context of this conversation that is taking place here, what is that like having that conversation while this fair is going on? >> it's extraordinary. it's historic that we're having this conversation. >> reporter: so, alex, i think -- and you're having this conversation here. in talking to voters, it's hard when you have a mass shooting that takes place over the course of one week, suddenly those
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conversations here among voters are at top of mind and you're having that conversation with the candidates. jay inslee was here this morning. i talked to julian castro makin you have to have these type of conversations as essentially this fair was unfolding. the activist sponsored a wing ding dinner in clear lake, iowa, and at that dinner you had one notable figure who was sitting in the front row for all those speeches, joe biden. he remembered a couple weeks ago there was that conversation coming out of the debate, which was, do the democrats need to have a more united message and perhaps stop attacking each other about records and more personally? suddenly the shootings and gun violence, looking past the humanity on this, on the political end, what you've seen at this state fair is a very unified message calling for expansion of background checks and a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity
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magazines. that is something you can say is coming out of the state fair, alex. >> it is going to be the topic and tone for not only the candidates there but the people there as well. vaughn hillyard, thank you. putting pressure on the 2020 election is former mayor mark bloomberg. our stephanie ruhle will speak with him about what's next to stop the violence. that's next. ut what's next to stop the violence. that's next. so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. woman: (on phone) discover. hi. do you have a travel card? yep. our miles card. earn unlimited 1.5 miles and we'll match it at the end of your first year. nice! i'm thinking about a scuba diving trip. woman: ooh! (gasp) or not. you okay? yeah, no, i'm good. earn miles. we'll match 'em at the end of your first year. times change. eyes haven't. that's why we created new ocuvite eye performance.
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developing this hour, more americans are calling white nationalism a danger to their country. in a poll taken following the two deadly shootings, 47% of voters say white nationalism is a critical threat to the country. that's 25% higher than a survey done in march. we have democrat congressman deck. thank you for your time. just how critical do you view this threat of white nationalism to our country today? >> it's a very serious threat, as a matter of fact, francis. but you know it's always been a struggle in this great nation of ours, the longest democratic experiment on the globe to become as truly anti-racial and anti-cultural as we are. it's hard work. we've done it better than any other country, but it's not like it's not been done. the truth of the matter is it is tough, we have to keep at it and we have a spike in the concern as it relates to the behavior,
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and frankly, the rhetoric out of the white house. >> yeah, we're talking about that, and in response you have some 2020 candidates sounding off this week on it. let's remind our viewers and play it. >> is the president a white supremacist? >> he is. he's also made that very clear. >> he's a man who cozies up to the white supremacists. he calls them fine fellows. he can't keep stirring this up. he is embraced by the white supremacis supremacists, and then he says, oh, but not me. he's responsible. he's the president of the united states. >> do you believe the president is a white supremacist? >> dictionary and textbook definition of a white supremacist is somebody who believes caucasian people are innaturely superior to people who are not caucasian. yes, of course, it's inarguable that the president is a white supremacist. i think what's important to point out here, francis, this is
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not rhetoric he's engaging in of a short-termina nature and as a matter of political convenience. this is his behavior over a long period of time, predating his place in the white house. i would contrast that with other positions he's taken such as reproductive rights. it's clearly a matter of political convenience for him. this is who he is. and by definition, it is white supremacy. >> because of that, do you think he bears a responsibility for these mass shootings we just saw? >> he's absolutely engaging in behavior that could incite that result, and as a matter of fact, when he talks about the immigration challenge that strains our system as being an invasion and an infestation and that language is directly picked up, directly picked up by the
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perpetrator, for example, in el paso, then it's pretty easy to draw a line between those two dots. in any event, it's hate-filled rhetoric and it's not helpful and he should cease and desist. >> moving forward, while i have you here, when we're seeing calls on action taken with gun control, and we know the president's take on it, too, and not bugging republicans on recess here, where do you see it going? >> the senate should reconvene themselves immediately and pass the two measures relating to background checks that the house passed way back in february, six months ago. in the instance of one of them, it extends the waiting period from three days to ten days. we know as a matter and as a point of fact that that could have helped in the charleston church slaying of nine innocent people. the perpetrator was issued the gun because they came up against the three-day waiting period in federal law now.
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it will save lives. passing these two measures will save lives, and i think it's morally incumbent upon this senate to reconvene itself and pass those two measures. >> congressman denny heck, as always, great to have you chat with me this morning. good to see you. another former city mayor michael bloomberg is set to take the stage in iowa and talk gun reform in the wake of the latest mass shootings. he's spent tens of millions of dollars on the cause. he spoke to my colleague stephanie ruhle in an exclusive one-on-one interview for his fight against gun violence. mike, you started this fight ten years ago, but back in '08, we didn't see any candidates talk about gun safety. in the last election it was talked about but it wasn't the focus. now today you are flanked by 2020 top contenders who are putting gun reform on the top of the ticket. give us an idea of where things
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are, especially given the fact we're coming off two mass shootings. >> stephanie, in 2018, we had afternoan election, and there were 24 congressional candidates that we supported that were good on guns and good on the environment. 21 of them won, and they won against nra a-rated members. so the gun debate has shifted. the public really says enough is enough, you got to stop this craziness. and that's true if you ask nra members, gun owners. they all want you to stop this craziness, because they're worried that if it keeps going, somebody is going to try to take away all their guns and nobody really wants that. you have the right to bear arms, the second amendment gives you that, but you simply can't go out on the streets and have these mass murders and the individual murders and homicides that are taking place.
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there are a hundred people a day that die from guns, either suicides or murdersme. a hundred every day spread across the country. we showed in 2018 that the public has changed. the public will vote against nra-endorsed candidates because they want this to stop. and now we have 20-odd presidential candidates in the democratic primary here in des moines, and they're here to lend their reputations and their support to those who want to stop the carnage. and if i had this event back 20 years ago, you would have had none because the democrats then were scared to death of the nra. today they're not, and i think you're going to see more and more republicans saying, i'm not scared of the nra, i'm scared of the voters. and so i'm going to do what's right and i'm going to stand up and say, we should have background checks and red flag laws and get rid of assault weapons. those are the things that the
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public wants, and the time has come. >> well, the nra gives directly to members of congress. do you see yourself directly challenging those contributions with your own money? >> well, i gave $100 million, stephanie, in 2018 to elect the 21 candidates who were good on guns and the environment, and basically replaced nra a-rated republicans. i'm not sure what i'm going to do this time, but i certainly think i've shown my capabilities and my interests, and we're here to des moines to pull together all of the democratic candidates and make sure they're on the record, because you want unity in the democratic party, and then we've got to go to the republican party, because this is not a partisan thing. we've got to go to the republican party and say, this has nothing to do with politics, this has to do with common sense. and get them to start to switch as well just the way the democrats did over the last half a dozen years. >> then let's talk about your
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priorities, because president trump has told the nra, you've got a friend in the white house. that being the case, and you being the nra's foe, does that mean your number one priority is to get donald trump out of the white house? >> well, i think i gave a speech, if you remember, back in 2016 at the democratic national convention in philadelphia saying i didn't think donald trump had the discipline and the character to be president and the abilities to be president of the united states. so there is no question about that, but he was elected. and we have to work with the president of the united states. and so my great hope is that he looks in a mirror and he says, wait a second. it's time to stand up. leadership is about sometimes going against your friends. leadership is about saying, this is what's right even if it's going to hurt my own political future. i think it was jfk who said sometimes parties ask too much of their members, and this is
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one of those cases. it would be wonderful if donald trump and mitch mcconnell turned and said, look, guys, this is not about our political philosophies, this is about stopping the carnage on the streets of america, and we can make a very big dechbt nt in it bypassing a fb by passing a few laws. >> i understand that's your hope, mike, but do you think it's in any way realistic given the president's rhetoric? >> we've gone and the democratic congress passed the first -- in 25 years, the first -- >> i'm talking about what the president can do. i'm talking about the president. >> you know, if you take a look at donald trump, a lot of times he said something and then has done something different. there is no reason to think that couldn't be this time. he can change his mind. everybody has a right to change his mind. and donald trump, as we all know, his personality is he hears an idea, he floats the
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idea, he falls in love with it, and then after he gets advice from others or thinks about it himself, many, many times he's changed. and my hope is that's exactly what will happen here. >> then have you called him this week? when you invited the 2020 candidates to iowa, did you call donald trump and ask him to come? did you ask him to talk about gun safety? >> i did not, but if he ever wants to talk about it, i'd be happy to do it. >> i do want to talk about those democratic candidates. you watched the debates. when you did, were you sorry you weren't up there? >> no, i made a decision, stephanie, that -- i didn't think that it was the right thing for me to do at this time. i can spend an awful lot of time making life better for my kids and my grandkids and for your kids and grandkids. i love what i'm doing. i've devoted my life to philanthropy and to try to change the world to make it a better place. and i can do more, maybe,
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outside of the two years it would take campaigning, and i can get a lot of stuff done. and this is one of the things we're here today. if i was on the campaign trail with the other 20 candidates, i couldn't have pulled them all together here, it would have been a partisan thing. this way i can do it for the issue rather than for the politics. >> when you take all those dollars you have to do good or the infrastructure you put together on your own team when you were possibly exploring a run, is there a candidate yet that you're ready to get behind? >> no, i've not tukd aalked to f the candidates about an endorsement whatsoever. i'll look at what happens in the next eight, nine, ten months and then see. some of the things that some of these candidates believe in i don't, and there are a lot of things they believe in that i do. >> what's the most important? if a bernie sanders or an elizabeth warren, who are top contenders, get the nomination, would you support them?
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>> i'll have to see what happens down the road, but of all the 20 candidates, i think anyone would be a better president than donald trump. >> and the republicans are framing that democrats are the party of socialism and they're the party of capitalism. truly, mike, you're a capitalist. what do you think about this narrative? >> there are plenty of capitalists among the democrats as well as some that are probably pretty socialist among the republicans. nobody owns one spectrum of the economy. i think it is true that a lot of candidates say things for their constituencies that they have no intention of doing later on -- >> like what? >> -- but we'll see, people evolve and people change. i think some of the liberal things that it's really not practical, the economics wouldn't work, the public wouldn't want it, but in order to get through a democratic primary or republican primary,
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the candidates take positions that are more extreme than what the public wants. the public does not want revolutionary change, it wants evolutionary change, and i think that's been demonstrated again and again and again. the public wants us to go slowly and constantly improve a little bit every day. and we can do that. >> president trump is framing things, it's your money or maybe morality when we saw joe biden and cory booker talk about the need for moral leadership after el paso and dayton. the president said, yeah, you know who wants to see joe biden win? china. everything will tank. you know that's a false narrative and it's gas lighting, the idea that do you want your money or someone who is moral? what do you do with that? >> i don't know what the chinese want in american politics. i do know that some of these other countries have been interfering in our elections, and i think it is the most outrageous thing. it is equivalent to really attacking america if you attack
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our ability to pick our own leaders. we have to do something about that, and i think that's one of the president's main jobs. he should stand up right now and get behind those who want to investigate and find out what the russians have been doing or other countries and put a stop to it. we cannot tolerate our ability to pick our leaders to be influenced by somebody else. >> but democrats didn't even in a case a top priority in the debates last week. they talked about other things. when you watched those debates whardebates, what did you hear them saying and what was missing? >> i think that's one of the things that was missing, but the trouble with the whole debate forum, it's become theater. you have the entinterviewers trg to create dissension with interviewers and they can get a back and forth going so it's entertaining among viewers. you need a back and forth with a
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clear answer of what each person stands for, and then others should say, let me tell you why your idea is wrong and mine is better. unfortunately, that's not happening. maybe it's just because we have too many candidates in the beginning and we'll get there, but i think we can make debates something you learn something from or rather than just saying, oh, he or she looks like a nice person. or i like the way she came back down the throat of the other person. that's theater, that's not government. >> let's talk about the divide, mike. what does it say about this country that after the mass shootings in dayton and el paso, there were some in the community that didn't want the president of the united states to come visit? what does that tell you about america right now? >> number one, remember, when there is a tragedy, people react in different ways, and while clearly i think the president's rhetoric stirs people up and for him to say he's not responsible for some of this action is incorrect. >> you think he is responsible?
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>> words have consequences, stephanie. when i was mayor of new york, people listened to what i said and they paid attention and tried to follow what i said. they try follow the president of the united states. the president has got to say, we will not tolerate racism, we will not tolerate the gang violence, we will not tolerate the dissent, the nastiness and the unwillingness to listen to each other. i can only say he said some nice things and he said some things about racists. i think we have to be very careful here. because of social media, we're giving people a voice more than ever before, and because of where we are in the political world, we've been more polarized than ever before in my memory.
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things can get out of control very quickly and we've got so stop and say, let's take a deep breath and start pulling together. >> then before we go, in terms of pulling together, what is your take this week? when you see a new york businessman like yourself, stephen ross, wanted a fundraiser for president trump and the backlash he got. and the explanation, i'm not crazy about the president's rhetoric or what he says, but i like some of his policies. what do you think of that? >> look, stephanie, the president was elected by the public, and his supporters have a right to their opinion and to express their views. in the case of stephen ross, you don't have to go to the stores that he has or live or work in the buildings that he has, but
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he has a right to express themselves. i think it's a very dangerous slope if we start making a litmus test for them to determine if they can do business in a certain place. we don't want that. >> thanks to stephanie ruhle for that. you can catch stephanie weekdatz at 9:00 a.m. right here on msnbc. jeffrey epstein is dead, apparently taking his own life. so why is the fbi investigating? ? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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stomp bre breaking news this hour. sex trafficker jeffrey epstein has died by apparent suicide. epstein was discovered dead at a manhattan jail this morning. just last month the financier was found in an attempted suicide. his associates have told about how he recruited young girls and women. he was accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 to other powerful and wealthy men. now we found out the fbi is
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investigating into his death. >> attorney general william barr put out a statement saying he is appalled to learn about the apparent suicide of jeffrey epstein inside the correctional center in manhattan. he's asking the inspector general to investigate as well. multiple sources tell nbc that suicide is the cause. it appears to be a death by hanging, that he took his own life. jeffrey epstein apparently tried to take his own life a couple weeks ago and was put in isolation, but there were some questions whether that first incident was just a ruse in an attempt to get out of that facility and get back on home confinement or be transferred somewhere else. in the last few days we're told he was no longer on suicide watch and that sometime in the overnight hours, perhaps around 6:00 a.m. or so, 6:30, he was
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discovered and was then rushed to the prison infirmary and then taken by ambulance to the hospital downtown where he was pronounced dead. his body currently is being transferred to the medical examiner's office where they will do an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, but sources telling us it appears to be a suicide by hanging and the question now is why wasn't he being watched more closely, how often was he checked on, and the list of questions go on and on. but we are told jeffrey epstein was in a cell by himself and that these cells typically have steel doors with like a small glass window so that if a guard goes by and does a bed check, he sees the inmate in there and then moves on.
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the question is how often were these checks taking place? the bureau of prisons is not providing that information, whether he used a bed sheet or how he was able to take his own life. the source is saying death by suicide, and the attorney general put out a statement saying he is appalled that this happened. >> tell us about the fact that he tried to take his own life or that he was attacked by another inmate. was he taken off suicide watch recently? >> that is our best information. two sources tell us he was not on suicide watch as of last night, and we were told by multiple sources previously after that first incident that he was moved to isolation a couple weeks ago and placed on suicide watch. so if both those -- if that nfs
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-- information is true in both cases, it would suggest that jeffrey epstein was taken off suicide watch. they're saying he needed better treatment because there are a lot of complaints about conditions inside the mcc, so that's something we're waiting to hear back from attorneys about what they think about jeffrey epstein's incarceration. as of now, our best understanding is the first incident took place. there was confusion because he did have a roommate, and there was investigation underway as to whether it was a suicide attempt, a ruse to try to get transferred somewhere else, or whether it was an attack by another inmate. the attack by another inmate was basically ruled out and he was moved to isolation and put on suicide watch. sometime in the last few days, we believe he was taken off suicide watch.
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so he probably had blankets, sheets, clothing, the ability to do this, and the question is how much was he watched, and that will be the subject of an investigation. but it's not as if there was a guard sitting outside his cell looking through his window 24 hours a day or a camera was fixed inside his cell. we're told that is not the case. but no clarity has been offered in terms of how often he was checked on given he was a high-profile sex offender in a federal prison who at least on one other occasion was involved in an incident that may have been a suicide attempt. those questions we're still waiting on as to how often he was being checked on. >> that question along with many others that are arising. news of epstein's death came just hours after thousands of pages of court documents were unsealed, those documents containing significant new revelations and raising questions about more high-profile figures. for more on that, we want to
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bring in nbc's stephanie gosk. what were the documents and the most significant part of it? >> these were documents relate to do a civil case. it was brought by virginia roberts jufree who says she was sexually assaulted by jeffrey epstein. this case was settled back in 2017. there were some new accusations made by jufree that we hadn't heard before, speckly against former james mitchell and bill richardson. she said she was effectively loaned out by both maxwell and epstein for sex with both of those men, among others. they immediately responded once their names came out in the press yesterday with their own statements denying the allegations. in the case of richardson, he says that he -- he denies them,
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saying they're completely false, and mitchell said he never had met with, spoken with or had contact with jufree. there were other revelations in these documents, an explosive and chilling interview with a former butler with one of the maxwell's close friends in palm beach. he tells the story about how epstein and maxwell came to the home he was in and they had brought with them a 16-year-old swedish girl who he said was visibly shaken and told him at the time that both epstein and maxwell had tried to get her to have sex with him. at some point she said no in an unspecified island. we know he owns an island dmart bean. her passport had been taken away from her and that she was threatened to not speak about the incident. so there is more in these documents. it's also important to point out
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that this is just a partial release and there is some context here that we don't have. we expect the rest of the documents to be released at a later date, francis. >> i'm sure it will be much more revealing and questions will arise from that when they are released. stephanie gosk, thank you, stephanie. the fbi continues to investigate allegations of sexual abuse even after his death. she told us that she was raped after pursuing a career in acting. >> did you ever think, why would this older man want to hang out with a 14-year-old? >> i did. i didn't overanalyze because i did and i didn't care. i was young and i needed the mon money. i thought maybe he needed companionship. i wasn't sure what it was. i didn't really ask any questions. >> so the first time you went there alone, is that when
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something sexual happened for the first time? >> he brought me to the upstairs room which had the massage room, and he would tell me, like, i want to show you my favorite room in the house. i guess he was getting more comfortable, and afterwards he basically said -- transitioned into, do you give good massages? i wasn't thinking this is belittling -- i was just a lost kid, you know, so i just -- it just seemed okay, i don't know. >> and he had suggested he might help you. there was this promise hanging over all of that. >> i thought, this could only be beneficial, you know, this is a good thing just to get through. it will get easier, it will get better. so i just kept on going. >> in a statement araoz said, i
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am angry jeffrey epstein won't have to mace his survivors of his abuse in court. we have to live with the scars of his ax for the rest of our looifrz while he will never face the consequences of the crimes so he committed the pain and trauma he caused so many people. epstein is gone but justice must still be served. i hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims. will these victims get their justice and how? >> i represent two of epstein's accusers. we began interviewing recruitment. since his death, that will end. you can't criminally prosecute someone who is dead. but you can sue his estate so the victims will get full
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compensation for the damage he caused them, the damage to their relationships, self-esteem, career opportunities shattered, and we intend to pursue with that immediately. i'm calling upon any administrator of his estate to freeze his assets, not distribute them, make them available to his victims at least in death. perhaps we can get some accountability for the victims. >> and i know he was facing up to 44 years to life in prison if convicted. how about the enablers, the so-called madam, his associate who helped him? can those be avenues that may be taken? >> keep in mind the federal government -- >> hang on a second. there you go, we got your audio now. if you don't mind going from the beginning. >> keep in mind the fbi seized warrants and documents, including photographs, at
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epstein's residence. the government still has that information and potential evidence. as is often the case, the government will execute a warrant in one case, discover information there and it gifrz th -- gives them a springboard to another investigation. and they unearthed things a decade ago when they investigated him. now that their target in chief is deceased, it's very possible in a high-profile case like this the government may turn to look to blame someone else. and prosecutors may instead set their sights on others inepstein's orbit. >> and lisa, when you hear about that, is that in any sense another venue for justice for these accusers? >> yes. we are going to get justice for these victims. we are not giving up. he is not going to escape justice even in death, and those who enabled him certainly are not going to escape justice. one of the advantages of the
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civil case that i'm filing on behalf of my epstein victims is that we get discovery. discovery is the first thing that happened r happes in a sic where i, as their attorney, gets subpoena power. i can force documents, i can get people to come to my law firm, raise their right hand, force them to answer questions. force them to go to trial. we don't give up. we fight these cases. we get the information, we get the transparency and get victims the justice that they deserve. >> danny, i want to ask you about a statement from attorney general william barr that he is appalled by the death of jeffrey epstein that he was found dead, also with the fbi's investigation he's asking for the inspector general to open the investigation as well wrchlt do you see that going? >> the metropolitan correctional center is part of the doj and
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this is under barr's command. he should be frustrated and there will be an investigation. not just because internal rules require it but because the doj and the metropolitan corrections center knows that there is likely going to be a lawsuit by epstein's estate or his family for the deliberate indifference or alleged deliberate indifference that allowed epstein to commit suicide. even though suicide is an independent event, an individual personal choice, at the same time prison officials are required to not show deliberate indifference to the obvious needs of an inmate who is very likely to commit suicide. so answers to those questions and whether or not that standard was met is going to be key in the coming months. >> a whole other direction in the course. danny cevallos and lisa bloom, thank you. the race for president in
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2020 are asking about president trump lefveling a specific charge. >> reporter: is president trump a white supremacist? >> he is. >> he calls them fine fellows. >> do you agree? >> i do. >> i think he is. i think it's very clear by his actions and at best he is empowering while nationalists. >> it's very clear that the president's actions have conveyed a very, very strong sense to many americans that he has white supremacist beliefs and that's the only standard we can go by. >> axios reports at least six are now calling president trump a white supremacist and several others are suggesting the same. joining me now, zelina maxwell, and zion and analyst joseph
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pinions. trump allies tell us that the claim by democratic opponents is not only emboldening his base but also alienating some mainstream republicans who think he's gone too far. is that the general direction of democrats calling the president a white supremacist? how do you see that playing out for the democrats? >> because it is white supremacy, i think calling him a white supremacist is going too far. but donald trump basically joining in a chant of "send her back" is not going too far. it shows people are not afraid of speaking truth to power, and i think what the 2020 presidential candidates are essentially doing is speaking the truth and speaking on behalf of those who are the targets of donald trump's racism. hillary clinton did this as well back in 2016.
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when steve bannon joined the campaign, hillary clinton did a whole speech about white nationalism and the threat posed by the rhetoric and potential policies of donald trump, and now we're living through that. when you see parents ripped away from brown children on their first day of school, how is that not white supremacy. when you see babies in cages drinking bottles, how is that not white supremacy? i think these candidates are speaking the truth. >> joseph, do you think that could be a stretch in saying this is helping the trump campaign? >> i don't think this is a stretch at all. i think there are three things people need to remember. one, we're talking about politics. two, in the history of this nation, people have never gone to the polls en masse to remedy racial equality in a presidential election. that's never happened.
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and three, in the history of this nation, yelling racist has never moved the needle on race. i think we have a dual purpose. number one, yes, white supremacy is real. to get people to see with vivid clarity that someone who drives hundreds of miles to el paso, passes perfectly good walmarts to find a walmart hundreds of miles of where they live not because the prices are better but because the customers are brown, that's a very real threat. if the purpose is to heal this nation, if the purpose is to rip the president out of the throes of one-person rule. >> in your opinion, is the president a white supremacist? >> i think that's a misguided question to put in front of the american people -- >> misguided in what sense? >> i was six years old and my uncle told me he was taking me to the mets game. i was seven years old and my uncle told me he was taking me to a mets game. i made sure i had plans the rest
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of that afternoon when he didn't show up. the next year he told me he was taking me to a mets game and i made other plans. he has people waiting on the porch saying what's going to happen as a nation. donald trump does not have the authority to say what's going to happen as a nation when it comes to race. some of the most powerful stuff, we talked about the "i have a dream" speech. the word racist does not appear. we can clearly put an image before the american people to say that racial inequality and the vestiges of racism appear before this day, but ultimately we ever to do things in an ultimate manner. >> we have joe biden taking a nuanced position. let's talk about that and get your take after. >> do you believe that the president is a white supremacist? >> i believe everything the
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president says and does encourages white ssupremacists. i'm not sure there's much distinction. it might be even worse when he's out there trying to curry the favor of white supremacists or a group that's an anathema to everything we believe. >> what do you make of that stance from biden and not giving fully that label? >> we have to stop being afraid speaking truth to power and speaking truth to pain. the reality of the matter is this. i'm a physician and i know if you're trying to cure someone who has been poisoned, if someone on the other end is continuing to put poison into them, you're not going to cure this issue. what we have right now is a president who has aided, abetted and ultimately became a symbol of white supremacy. that makes him a white
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supremacist. the fact of the matter is he's spewing this poison into the public. the reality is he wants us to have this conversation because he's taking a bet that it's good for him. it's good for him because it's further dividing people apart and people have to choose between him and his white supremacist rhetoric and democrats who are saying, look, this white supremacy cannot stand. we have to call it what it is and at the same time we have to move beyond it and have a conversation about the fact he's failing people in my state of michigan. the automotive industry is not coming back because of him. people who make their living farming the land in michigan is suffering because of him. that's the conversation we need to be having. people who shoot up wal martz in el paso, they're inspired by him. we need to call it what it is and move beyond that and face the fact that we have to move beyond it and say he's poisoning the public. >> how is this a litmus test for democrats?
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>> i don't know if it's a litmus test but it's a test of whether or not they have courage. a nuance position on everything as serious as white supremacist and white supremacist terrorism is the wrong tact, and i think joe biden should decide whether or not he's set on helping farmers in the midwest rather than speaking to people of color who are set in these policies. and in 2016, part of the reason why hillary clinton is not president is because people of color did not turn out the same way they did in 2002 and 2008. we also need an active allyship from white people who are horrified by this rhetoric and behavior by the president. we need people to speak up and stop acting too scared of potentially offending a racist. i'm not afraid to offend a
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racist. >> i want to get your take on that, joseph, as to what zerlina was saying, and would you call it fair where the president has created this environment where white supremacists are speaking out more openly and being emboldened by it? >> i think we can do both. i remember sitting and watching teenagers saying we can overcome in a 2017 america. we're sitting here in 2019 saying brown is being terrorized. we should hold everybody accountable to that. but i think to my colleague's point, if the issue is you're trying to win the election, and two, you think the democrats should have a message as to how they're going to create people's lives, we're spending every hour talking about is the president a racist or is he not a racist?
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most americans made that decision for themselves two years ago. irrespective of that, if your goal is to win, i think it's fool-hearted to think you're going to win an obama coalition without obama on the ballot. unless there is a secret room to put michelle obama on the ballot, you'll need the folks that -- >> i think that's incorrect. i think there are people running in this election that could rebuild that donald trump coalition. i think elizabeth warren is slowly building her support, particularly among activists in the black lives matter movement, and i think the campaign is doing that. it's very, very smart because then you can build that coalition slowly and methodically, and i do think that somebody can do that. >> i want to jump in and see where abdul is throwing his five bucks.
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abdul? >> it's more than possible, it's likely. i want to piggyback on whthe pot zerlina made. it isn't the fact he says these things on twitter, it's not that white supremacists quote him. it's that his policies have created a racism. i had to rebuild the city of detroit when they took over their finances and they shut down. we have to speak to that racism and we also have to recognize that unless we're talking about the challenges people face in their real lives beyond conversations about whether he is a racist or not, if we're able to build things that empower them, we can do that. butmove beyond the
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racism. right now in iowa, a forum on guns and joe biden has just taken the stage. nbc's ali vitali is in iowa and william hurd and our reporter in el paso. ali, first to you. tell us about the message so far. >> vaughn is in el paso. this should have been a weekend where people are eating fried food on a stick and eating pork chops. instead they're doing this forum talking to people who lost a loved one to gun violence because of the two shootings we saw last weekend. that is the conversation we're hearing on the campaign trail is big pushes, more grassroots support for the congress to take action. elizabeth warren just finished on the stage. listen to her plan she was talking about here today.
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>> i want us to change how we think about gun safety in america. it's not just about passing four pieces of legislation over here or changing two legislations over here, it's about reducing the deaths from gun violence. that's what our goal has to be. 47,000 americans died last year from gun violence. so here's my commitment as president. i will reduce that number by 80%. >> a lot of her plan is focused on how do you do just that? how do you reduce gun violence deaths by 80%? when i talked to her yesterday in an exclusive interview, first she said she wanted to do as much by executive action as she can as president, and the other side is how do you get these things passed on a gridlocked congress, but it would basically allow things not to be passed by
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60 votes but by a simple majority, something she said which has prevented gun violation action in the past. hillary clinton opposing that kind of viewpoint. you got joe biden on stage behind me making a pretty similar pitch. the general consensus is the time for action is now. >> more of those messages throughout the day at that gun forum in des moines, iowa. ali vitali for us, thank you. now to el paso and senior writer suzanne gamboa. suzanne, it's been one week since the shootings and people are showing their strength and humilit humility. there's also a gun rally held as well. >> reporter: yes, that's exactly right, and there is a civil rights organization that has a strong foothold in american rights. it formed against sanctioned gun violence against mexican
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americans and fighting against that. now they have specific steps they want to be taken, concrete steps they're asking for which includes resources for a domestic terrorism commission or committee to address these issues, to address white supremacy against latinos and other groups. they also are calling for a special session. they want the governor to hold a special session in the same way he did when there is a controversy over who could use what bathroom in the state, and they think this is just as important to do. i wouldn't be surprised, though, if the action goes beyond just these concrete steps that they're asking about. there is a political angle to this, and there is a chance for a call for more voting from the latino community which often doesn't perform well at the ballot box. we talked to someone who is going to try to get her friends
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to vote. let's listen to what she had to say. >> i believe voting is important. my grandfather had always told me it's a right, we should exercise it as much as we can. our voice matters. he was the first mexican-american representative for el paso, texas, so our family, we always made sure to make our voice heard. i'm trying to convince my friends who feel their votes don't matter. yeah, it's a small number of us, but if we all think that way and we all don't vote, there will be no change. >> reporter: yes, and we're talking about here about gun laws. they certainly are trying to target gun laws and trying to restrict access. they talked about red flag statutes, about banning assault rifles and more than that. back to you. >> let's go back to iowa where the 2020 candidates are
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continuing their campaign blitz. by the end of today, nine presidential candidates would have given speeches at the des moines register soapbox at the iowa state fair. vaughn hillyard is live in des moines, iowa. tell us what's taking place there at the fair? >> reporter: you have several presidential candidates before they head over to the gun violence reform that ali is at, taking part in several different events. you have the traditional pork chop flipping, you have the butter cow, you have folks on a tractor here. we were planning to try to run into jay inslee. we had trouble finding him. john hickenlooper is over here. for decades candidates have been coming here. it's an interesting conversation. i just asked kamala harris, the senator out of california a few moments ago, the conversation about gun violence and white supremacy is racism at a time like this being at the state fair.
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you'll see she was on the move to the pork chops but this is a little of what she told us. with this fair taking place and the concept of this speech taking place here, what is the concept of this happening while the fair is going on? >> it's historic. >> reporter: as you'll see, that's what this environment around here looks like. it's a little more hectic and every candidate has about every member of the press and cameras scattered around them. it's a different feel this year, if i may, francis. >> thank you, vaughn hillyard, for us at the state fair in des moines, iowa. thank you. jeffrey epstein is dead, apparently taking his own life while in federal custody. why is the fbi investigating? why is the fbi investigating this was me six years ago...
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growing outrage over the lar largest i.c.e. raid in a single state. more than 600 of the people detained remain in custody. they did not notice in advance
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schools and child centers because it would warn them. president trump warns them of coming into the united states. >> i want people to know if they come into the united states illegally, they'll be brought out. this serves as a very good de r deterrant. if people come into our country illegally, they're going out. >> alan gomez with u.s. reporter. al alan, thank you for your time. are they openly saying the raids were meant as a deterrent here? >> that's been their m.o. for a while. with president bush, they used that, with president obama they backed off of them. but they immediately said they were going to ramp up these work site aids as a way of trying to deter people from coming here. it was popular with president
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bush. didn't really deter immigration then, so i'm not sure what will come of this enforcement, but they're targeting more employees than they are the employers. that's what makes it so difficult for a lot of people to handle. >> one effect we're certainly seeing are these families torn apart, heart-wrenching to listen and hear from. we have one child who was separated from his parents. let's listen to them. >> please, have a heart. let me have my mom and dad. my dad didn't do nothing. he's not a criminal. >> you watch that and it just pulls at your gut. what do you make of i.c.e. not notifying schools and child protective services ahead of these raids? could that have been just a small step in ensuring that we don't have images or are watching images like that of these kids that's pretty much their reality now.
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>> it could have been something they would have done, but as i.c.e. makes very clear, they're a law enforcement services age. if a family comes across the border and they're caught entering the country illegally, like those families we saw quite a bit of last summer, the government is legally required to take care of that child. they get transferred to the department of health and human services, get placed in shelters and the got has the job of finding them a suitable sponsor and where to go. but if they're caught legally here, the government has no such responsibility. this happens every day. this is a very routine thing. in this case i.c.e. said they made some accommodations. they allowed a lot of the immigrants to make phone calls from cell phones at the work
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sites themselves. if there was a husband and wife and they had a child at home, they said they would release either the husband or the wife. it was a single parent, they would release them as well. most of them were in school while this was going to. we had one incident in mississippi where a gym opened up overnight and the kids ended up staying there with food and beds supplied by the community. but just a reminder, this happens all the time. >> the timing of this in particular, the same day that the president was in el paso after latinos were targeted for their most deadly. does the president see the trauma that they're facing because of the rhetoric and the actions of the trump administration? >> whether it was on purpose or not, i honestly don't have good
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reporting. i know that theprobably would h taken a year to get together, but the fact this was happening just as he touched down in el paso, at the very least, suggests he is tone deaf. >> a construction company with the trump organization has relied on undocumented immigrants for two decades. since january the post says it has interviewed 4300 illegal immigrants. >> we're hearing just how undocumented immigrants are working for trump properties across the country since he came into the white house, and it shows sort of a disconnect, right? what we just saw right now in mississippi, everyone who was. and we see this often, where the
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employee came into work, there was an 800% increase in the number of employees that were h hit. there are inherent problems in how we're able to prosecute cases. sometimes they subcontract out so the employer didn't knowingly hire an undocumented immigrant. there are ways to get around it, but it shows how difficult it is to get those employers again. >> alan gomez, thank you for being with me. sex trafficker jeffrey epstein found dead in his jail cell. william barr said, i was appalled to learn that jeffrey epstein was found dead early
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this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. mr. epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered. why would the attorney general open up an investigation in addition to the fbi investigation? they're calling it an investigation in the abundance of caution. >> yeah, there's two things. one, the fbi will be looking in into. himself and jonathan dienst said we have no reason to believe there is foul play here, but out of an abundance of caution, they want to make sure there was no crime. given the high profile nature of this case of jeffrey epstein whachlt the inspector general wants to look at, which boo
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mainly get the beer of prisons, did they follow possible procedurely, not being watched after an apparent suicide attack. did they do anything when he was found a little over two weeks ago? was policy followed, and does someone need to be in trouble for not following those policies? that's kind of the distinct past there that they're going to look at. >> especially with all the questions now that's surfacing because of this. what are some questions you have that you want answered? >> i think, did something change in the case over the last several days, over the last week or so that would have driven him to this point. was there something that was made public that he felt like that could be another shoe to drop for him, so that's something that we'll take a look
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into. on y obviously we're going to follow the fbi investigation closely, and certainly what the medical examiner here in new york city finds, if there is some sort of reason that says, hey, this may not be a suicide or it may be something else, then obviously we're going to keep an eye on that. but right now it's a little bit too soon to say if there is any sort of additional developments we'll hear about, say, in the next 24 to 48 hours that will help guide us a little bit more. it may be the thing that it appears that it is, which is a suicide. we need to just kind of take a little bit of a step back and wait and see what comes out of this. >> tom, talk a little bit about jeffrey epstein and the days leading up to this and the difficulties he was having there as an inmate in dealing with life behind bars. >> well, i think, you know, we saw an attempt a couple weeks ago which appears to be some sort of an attempt possibly at suicide, that he had markings on his neck when prison officials
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found him. this goes back a little over two weeks ago in reporting for myself and my colleagues at nbc news. this is someone who is having a difficult time adjusting to life behind bars and someone who may be having a difficult time looking at what he was looking at, which appears to be a very strong case and a very strong prosecution that likely would have, just because of his age, landed him behind bars possibly for the rest of his life. so that might speak to a little bit of his mental state. >> what do you think, tom, as far as the chances of the other people, his associates, those close to him, this alleged madam who had been working with him for decades. >> you're speaking specifically of galynn maxwell and other people associated with him. i think if there is evidence
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that showed they were sflovinvo in some sort of conspiracy that jeffrey epstein was involved with, i think it's safe to say that prosecutors -- nothing is holding them back with moving forward in a case with any of those individuals, but if there is other people that the idea of a superseding indictment or other people charged in this case is a possibility, i see nothing that would hold them back from doing that in the upcoming days, weeks and months. >> what do you expect to come out of the other documents? there were notices unsealed thousands of pages just the other day. where do you see that going? >> frankly, we don't know. there were some revelations we were not expecting in yesterday's documents. yesterday's documents is not clear to me that essentially if you think about chapters of a book, i don't think we necessarily got chapters one through five.
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i think we got one through three, eight, 12. i think we need to get a little clearer picture and review these documents and make sure where do things kind of context for all these revelations, and it appears we'll be getting that over the next couple months. >> tom winter, always great to have your perspective and break it down for us. thank you. 2020 candidates spending their time at the iowa state fair. what people are looking for in a candidate. a poll showing who is leading the pack. s leading the pack (clown 1) sorry about that... (clown 2) apologies. (clown 1) ...didn't mean it. (clown 3) whoops. (stilts) sorry! (clowns) we're sorry! (scary) hey, we're sorry! [man screams] [scary screams] (burke) quite the circus. but we covered it. at farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two.
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developing this hour, 2020 democratic candidates flood the iowa state fair. we're getting a new sense what voters in the state are looking for in a presidential can daily. a new monmouth follow shows when it comes to making a choice about candidates, 72% would prefer to use a democrat. joining me the director of the monmouth polling institute. thank you for being with us here. let's talk about the impact and how that would weigh in, in a race in this state? >> yeah, i think the interesting
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thing, when i talk to voters out here in iowa, is that they do think that all of their candidate, electable right now. they haven't winnowed down the field a lot. they haven't been forced to make that choice. that's why the race is wide open because that electability question hasn't been answered for them. >> when you look at the candidates for the democratic candidates. joe biden maintaining a lead in a state with 28%. elizabeth warren starting to close the gap with 19% as well. is that the biggest takeaway, do you think, that her support is the going to keep growing in the state? >> yeah, it seems that way. we've seen her support climb on the national polls steadily. she's jumped in the iowa poll from four month as is ago, and doubled. some feel he's a pragmatist. on the other hand, joe biden's
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support of the voters who say electability is the thing i'm concerned about. i'm not looking at issues. but that seems to be packed. there doesn't seem to be as much enthusiasm for biden as warren out there. >> when it comes to taking on donald trump, half of the voters believe the democrats can beat trump. only 32% say the candidates can beat him. is that expected to winnow down sooner? >> it's not clear because what we're finding when we dig down into those numbers, is that those voters are really all over the place. that there are a lot of true believers out there, whether ma marianne wilson or tulsi gabbard. it's going to take a while. what's going to winnow down the
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field in iowa, do you have the money that's necessary to keep the candidate going. >> with the gun control forum out there and that's the issue with the other shootings. and then other issues, health care is the number one issue for iowa voters. when you look at it, the poll s shows 55% as seeing that the top choice. and would that give joe biden a bigger advantage in the state? >> yeah, that's what it looks like, right now, could be a big advantage for him. but what will we're finding is that voters who want medicare for all, know they're championing somebody like bernie sanders or elizabeth warren, voters who want the option, the majority of the poll out here in iowa saying we're not exactly sure who will is the best candidate for that option. so, joe biden has a slight lead with that, but even elizabeth
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warren, kamala harris, pete buttigieg, doing well. the debate didn't clarify it. >> mat trick patrick murray, i get to enjoy that fair there. still questions surrounding the death of sex trafficker jeffrey epstein. some of those coming from the fbi. the latest, next. every day, visionaries are creating the future. so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work.
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we are approaching the top of the hour. and that does it for me, i'm
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frances rivera. up next, my colleague kendis gibson. kendis, all yours. good day, everyone. i'm kendis gibson at msnbc headquarters in new york. a busy saturday. the fbi opened an investigation into the death of multimillionaire accused sex offender jeffrey epstein. what happened to the alleged victims? hawkeye focus. nearly every presidential candidate is in iowa. the one topic on top of their minds right now. and mississippi crying, children left in tears, as their parents are taken away from them in a massive raid. the outrage right now. but we begin with breaking news, the fbi and doj announcing two separate investigation sboogs the death of jeffrey republicstein. the disgraced millionaire was found

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