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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  June 24, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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the daily beast decided that the new star of new york politics is jamal bowman and he hasn't even quite won his congressional election congressional election, the primary where he challenged eliot engel. he will join us tonight since he's on the threshold, the verge once the votes are counted of becoming the new big star in new york politics. >> what an excellent booking. i'm jealous. >> yeah. well, you know, we work hard at this. >> i'm going to start stealing your stuff. >> here is the way it's going to work. i will get him before he's technically won, and then the second he's won, he will be on the rachel maddow show. that's how this will work. >> if you can promise that on his behalf i will both be surprised and hold you to it. >> i will book him for you tonight on tv. >> thank you. i owe you. >> done. thank you, rachel. >> thanks. thanks, lawrence.
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well, it is not a coincidence that on the day that the united states sets a new grim record for the largest number of new coronavirus cases reported in a single day, a "new york times poll" comes out, a poll of the presidential race, that shows joe biden with a record high lead in that poll over donald trump. ezra klein believes that is not a coincidence, those two things, and he will make his case later in this hour. he's already being called, as i just told you, the new star of new york politics. and jamaal bowman has not yet officially won the primary election for the congressional seat currently held by the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, but jamaal bowman does have a very, very big lead. looks like an insurmountable lead in the vote count already, and he will join us later in this hour.
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if bowman is sworn in as a member of the house of representatives next year, he might be taking his place in a much more sane atmosphere than it is today because republicans in the house of representatives now seem to have only one mission, to impress donald trump and trump voters by vandalizing house proceedings in every way that they can think of. as we saw in the house impeachment inquiry last year and again today, house republicans have a strategy when all of the evidence at the hearing reveals trump corruption and in today's hearing corruption by the attorney general, and that strategy is chaos, confusion, and parliamentary vandalism. republican members of the committee did not have to do any homework for today's hearing about corruption and donald trump's justice department headed by attorney general william barr because their plan was to try to make the hearing incomprehensible.
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the very first witness to speak today was interrupted in a way we have never, ever seen before. he served in the justice department in ronald reagan's administration as well as george h. w. bush's administration. he served under republican attorneys general. he rose to the number two job, deputy attorney general. republicans on the committee today were not impressed with mr. ayer's republican credentials. when he went slightly over the five-minute limit for his opening remarks, which is very, very common in congressional hearings, texas republican louie gohmert tried to drown out the witness testimony with increasingly loud banging on his desk.
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>> it needs to be said that bill barr does regularly lie in ways that impact official actions. >> mr. chairman, there is not order in the room. there is a banging. >> no, there is certainly not. >> mr. chairman, would you have gene cooper removed? >> that kind of madness has never happened in a congressional hearing before republicans like louie gohmert started competing for donald trump's affections with more and more outrageous conduct. the star witness of the day was aaron zelinsky, one of the prosecutors working on the roger stone case. he described the pressure from the president and the attorney general to reduce the prosecution's sentencing request for roger stone. >> we were pressured to reduce the initial sentencing guidelines calculation for mr. stone without any clear legal rationale for doing so. when we refused to go along, we were instructed instead to
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disregard the guidelines entirely and to recommend an unspecified lower sentence for mr. stone. i was told that to the best of anyone's recollection such a recommendation has never been made by the fraud and public corruption section of the united states attorney's office. when we again refused, we were told that we could be fired if we didn't go along. i notified the office i intended to withdraw from the case rather than file a memo that was the result of wrongful political pressure. and while all this was happening, i was repeatedly told the department's actions were not based on the law or the facts but rather on political considerations, mr. stone's political relationships, and that the acting u.s. attorney was afraid of the president. >> and there you have it, a condemnation of the attorney general from inside the attorney general's own department. aaron zelinsky revealed that he was testifying remotely today because he was being extra cautious, as cautious as possible, about exposure to the coronavirus because he has a newborn baby at home.
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and when louie gohmert finally got his precious five minutes to question witnesses, here is everything, and i mean the totality, of what he had to say to the biggest witness of the day, aaron zelinsky. >> and the fact that mr. zelinsky, i was going to ask him questions but -- and i understand family matters and by the way, i'm grateful for my wife for sticking with me for 42 years today, and there are family matters. yeah, she's a lot more fair than we're getting around here. but, so, 42 years. thank you, kathy. some of us have family matters, too, that are very pressing. but this is very pressing, too. and i won't try to compare those.
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>> that's it. that's everything he had to say to and about the most important witness in that hearing today. that's how louie gohmert used his valuable time. he did not ask a single question, not one. he did not make a single coherent point other than it was his wedding anniversary today. louie gohmert, who was so desperately concerned with the use of the committee's precious time by that first witness, just threw his own five-minute opportunity away, as so many republicans do in hearings like this. the one witness appearing in defense of attorney general barr was former republican attorney general michael mukasey who served in george w. bush's administration.
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congressman demings left a big crack in the defense against political interference in the justice department. >> do you believe that the president, nor the attorney general, who has been acting more like the president's personal bodyguard and his fixer, have not engaged in politics as it pertains to the president's friends? >> i can't speak for the president. the president is, by definition, a political -- >> based on your professional decision, political or professional experience, do you believe the president has engaged in a political way as it pertains to sentences or what happens to his friends? >> the attorney general himself criticized the president for tweets that he -- >> so that's a yes? >> it's a maybe. go ahead. >> a maybe. donald ayer lived through the nixon administration and now president nixon resign the presidency in the middle of impeachment proceedings. he saw president nixon's attorney general convicted of
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crimes, felonies in that investigation. donald ayer has seen it all, but he has never seen a greater threat to our rule of law than william barr. >> i was privileged to serve in the department of justice under two republican and one democratic president and i am here because i believe that william barr poses the greatest threat in my lifetime to our rule of law and to public trust in it. that is because he does not believe in its core principle, that no one is above the law. instead, he has worked to advance his lifelong conviction that the president should hold virtually autocratic powers. that includes immunity from nearly all checks and balances and being able to accord special treatment to himself and his friends. >> during today's hearing, the justice department announced that attorney general william barr has agreed to testify to the house judiciary committee on july 28th. leading off our discussion tonight, democratic congressman
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jamie raskin from maryland. he's a member of the house committee. neal katyal, also with us. congressman, were you surprised by the attorney general's announcement that he is agreeing to testify, although it's going to be five weeks from now? >> well, he's agreed several times before and he's always found a reason to back out. so i think most members of the committee feel like we'll believe it when we see it. and, i mean, it's scandalous that he won't appear. one of the things that donald ayer pointed out so well was that this administration has been openly defying the appropriations power of congress. we appropriate money for certain purposes and they steal the money to build the president's infantile, medieval wall at the border instead. they have defied dozens and dozens of subpoenas that we have issued, demands for information,
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requests for interviews, and so on. they just categorically reject the demands of congress, which is the lawmaking power in article one of the constitution. so, you know, it was very powerful when donald ayer said today that donald trump is the biggest threat to the rule of law in the country today, which is resonant with donald trump's niece. who said he's the most dangerous man on earth. but we should reflect on what the rule of law means. in the hands of the right-wing judges, it is just the law of rules. but the american revolutionaries thought that the rule of law was a system of legal controls against people who have power. they understood that the rabble below would always be subject to the baton in the ribs and the equivalent of the rubber bullets and the tear gas and so on. but the rule of law was a way to
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control people who get state power, and that's what they're in the process of trying to demolish, by taking over -- taking over every governmental entity and stuffing it with their authoritarian puppets and then wiping out the civil rights and civil liberties of the people. so we've got a few months left to try to defend democracy at every turn on a daily basis, and we will continue to see these chaotic circus shows by people like louie gohmert, who was a judge in texas, believe it or not. which gives you a sense of what justice has become in certain parts of the country. but they will continue just to, you know, scrawl graffiti and throw tomatoes to distract america from the world historical failure of this administration to deliver any kind of public safety or security to the american people in this pandemic, which has cost more than 120,000 lives of our people.
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>> i want to continue with our analysis of what we heard and the important points of what we heard today. but congressman, i do think we owe it to the audience to try to explain as quickly as we can why these hearings get out of control like this. there was a call by some democratic members we heard, could the chairman get the sergeant at arms to drag louie gohmert out of there? and the truth of the matter is the house rules haven't anticipated clearly situations like this. i used to work in the senate. i know what the rules are there. but i studied house rules today. the most i could come up with for unruly behavior was simply a rule about the house floor, where it says the sergeant at arms is authorized to hold up the mace, the symbol of the sergeant at arms' authority, before unruly members and carry the mace down the aisle of the house chamber to subdue disorderly conduct.
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these rules haven't really anticipated louie gohmert, have they? >> no. or jim jordan, a lot of their friends, matt gaetz. if you are going to go down with that mace, you better bring the other mace with you, too, because these people were completely out of control. lawrence, they won't even wear masks. we even have the -- dr. fauci and the president's medical personnel saying everybody should be wearing a mask, and they make it a point of macho pride not to wear a mask when we go into congress, which is terrifying a lot of members, including some republicans who have medically vulnerable people at home. and, you know, jim jordan has made a point of never wearing a jacket. i don't care about that. i would not want to kick him off the floor for not wearing a jacket. that's a fashion statement. but when it comes to wearing a mask, that's a public health decision. it's extremely dangerous and we have had a lot of members come down with covid-19.
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as you know, the pandemic is out of control in the red states. it's a lot of the republicans who refuse to wear a mask. >> neil, what we saw here in the conduct of the republicans in the hearing is connected to what we're talking about in the justice department because what we have discovered in the trump era is that so many things that we thought were rules that we thought were kind of unbreakable turn out just to be customs. and being sane in a committee hearing is just a custom that was shared by every single member of the house of representatives up until the trump era. and so also with so many practices in the justice department that we had a sense were codified. we had a sense there were legal lines drawn, but there weren't as many as we thought. and that's part of what was under examination today in that hearing, wasn't it? >> absolutely. i want to agree with the congressman about attorney
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general barr and whether he'll actually testify on july 28th. i mean, the attorney general has been scared of testifying. the house has been trying for more than a year to get him to testify, and he acts scared at every turn and dodges it. he's kind of like trump at a spelling bee, just frightened out of his mind. so, you know, i'll believe it when i see it. i absolutely agree with you, lawrence, that the justice department is built on the rock of traditions and norms and chief among them is the idea of independence, that presidents don't tell you if you are at the department who to prosecute or who to let go. both of those storylines today are clashing because you have the president saying, let go of my pals like roger stone, and that's where the testimony of aaron zelinsky today was flabbergasting. people like me who have heard it at the department before have heard it whispered. people have called me, prosecutors at the top of the department and in the career, you know, in the middle ranks
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saying this is unbelievable, they politicize law enforcement. you can't believe it. but they have been afraid to testify. here you have got this brave guy, aaron zelinsky, career prosecutor, who has evidently documented everything, that's what he testified today, and he said this president was interfering with law enforcement decisions by telling him to go easy on his pals and then there was other testimony today from other folks saying this president is saying to go hard on his enemies and use the prosecution power. and once that happens, our law enforcement system, you know, will become on the verge of collapse because it depends on the integrity and even-handed enforcement of the law, as all law enforcement systems do. >> neak, a quick word about the appeals court ruling in the michael flynn case today saying that it should be dismissed. is that the end of this story? >> oh, absolutely not. first of all, the opinion is legally flimsy, to put it mildly, so it very well may get further appeals.
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second, the president said that michael flynn was exonerated today. nothing in the decision says anything about that, lawrence. it's just about, does the president have the raw power to drop a prosecution after someone pleads guilty? and, you know, the exercise of raw power is very different than the wisdom of doing it. here, everyone agrees this guy, the national security adviser to the president, pled guilty for lying to the fbi about his conversation with the russians and that gave the russians huge kompromat because they knew that our national security adviser was now compromised, that he had lied to the fbi. could you imagine having that person in the white house, which is what the president wanted? it was a grave sin. it was criminal. and nothing in today's decision takes any of that back. and michael flynn is not vindicated relative to this decision, whatever happens to it. it happens to be a terribly weak
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reasoned decision and should be the basis for further appeal. but whether it is or not, michael flynn is not exonerated. >> thank you both for starting us off tonight. really appreciate it. >> you bet, lawrence. >> thank you. after this break, today the united states set a grim record. more than 36,000 new coronavirus infections reported, the highest single day total yet. and at the very same time, a new poll today shows donald trump's disastrous response to the pandemic is possibly the main reason for joe biden's big lead in that poll and others. ezra klein joins us next. 24/7 protection. as it -- [ cellphone chimes ] [ clears throat ] mara, hello. [ cellphone clicking ] yeah? we can see you on your phone.
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today the united states is reporting 36,358 new cases of coronavirus today. the highest single day increase in the united states since the pandemic began. and remember on february 26th donald trump promised this. >> when you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. >> zero, that's what donald trump promised. as of tonight there have been 2,389,672 confirmed cases of
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coronavirus in this country, and as of tonight this country has suffered 122,521 deaths from coronavirus. today florida reported a new state daily record of 5,508 new cases of coronavirus. florida has now moved up to ranking 29th out of the 50 states for cases per 100,000 people. a new national poll released today by "the new york times" found that joe biden has a 14-point lead over donald trump. 50-36. one explanation for that lead is revealed in voters' assessment of donald trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 58% of voters disapprove of donald trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. only 38% approve. the poll also found that 55% of
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voters say the federal government's priority should be to contain the spread of the coronavirus, even if it hurts the economy. only 34% say what donald trump believes, which is restarting the economy is worth it even if it increases the risk to public health. joining our discussion now, ezra klein, the host of podcast the ezra klein show. the numbers in the poll are so -- they're such mirrors of each other. the biden 14-point lead. and then this massive disapproval of donald trump's handling of the pandemic. >> yeah. it's a disaster politically because, and i think this is really important, because it is actually a disaster. there is simply no better politics than governing well. donald trump, i think, didn't quite get that.
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it is unusual that we elect a true outsider to be president. he had never been a mayor, had never been a governor, had never been a member of the house or senate. he had never governed anything at all. so he ran as a pure political entertainment character. he watched politics on tv. he figured out how to do tv politics and to our discredit as a nation, we elected him as president. or at least some proportion of us did. so now he's president and he still does not understand that you can't run next time the way you ran the first time. his great advantage in 2016 was he had no record. in 2020, he does, and that record is a disaster. right before i came on air, lawrence, i saw a chart from "the washington post." you mentioned today's number in america, something like 37,000. the european union is up to about 4,000 new cases a day. if you look in march and april, we're about the same as the european union. and then they went down.
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we went back up, and they were on a downward curve. this is not a disaster that was inevitable. it is a disaster that is the product of terrible governance. >> and the other phenomenon here, political phenomenon, which is the worst thing you can possibly do in politics, is that donald trump is scaring people. he is scaring people with this threat to their health that he is clearly not defending them against. it's kind of an extension of health care politics, which is a much more innocent version of this. but we discovered in polling in 1994 when the clinton health care bill was moving in the senate, i was working in the senate then, that people were afraid, they were just afraid of what this change might mean for their own health care, that same phenomenal of being afraid of the obama legislation recurred. but that's a mild fear compared to the fear that people are feeling right now that they or someone they love might be infected by this virus, might be killed by this virus and the president is not defending us against this virus.
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>> the core argument donald trump had running for re-election was that the economy was pretty good. you go back six months, that's what he was saying in every speech. that's what anybody who he talked to was thinking about running the campaign was telling you. what was important about that was that the american people are not stupid by any means. they look at donald trump. they know he acts crazy. they know the things he says are a bit ridiculous. but what you hear is maybe it will make him effective or maybe it's an act, or maybe he's a wrecking ball that will get things done in washington when the normal, genteel politicians don't. it washed all that away. you can now see the consequences of ill governance. the thing donald trump had before was an economy that was the same trend, by the way, that we had seen in the last couple years of the obama
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administration, which he continued to benefit from. covered up by the fact that he wasn't acting as president at all. he was not running a white house, not running an administration, not setting an agenda. i spoke with mitt romney's chief strategist from 2012. he told me the republican party has collapsed as a governing institution. it is not like mitch mcconnell is doing a great job either in stepping into the void. the void donald trump has left. people can actually see what it looks like when the president isn't doing his job during a crisis, and it is terrifying and it has taken away the argument he had. which was that people were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt so long as the economy and basic functioning seemed like it was working well. now that there is a match between the way he acts and what appears to be the actual state of the country, he is collapsing in the polls. >> big surprise. terrifying people is bad politics. something i think we already
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knew. ezra, thank you for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. after this break, charlie cook will join us with his expert view of the new polls, including swing state polling, that is all very, very bad news for donald trump. because when caught early, it's more treatable. i'm cologuard. i'm noninvasive and detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers even in early stages. tell me more. it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your prescriber if cologuard is right for you. i'm on it. that's a step in the right direction. i'm on it. if you've had the coronavirus, you've got a lot of fight in you. and you're in a special position to help us fight back. the plasma in your blood can literally save lives. but we need to act fast. please donate plasma now. please donate.
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exactly two weeks ago tonight, donald trump had his lawyers draft a letter threatening legal action over a cnn poll that showed joe biden with a 14-point lead over donald trump, and since that poll was released, every other credible national poll shows a similar lead for joe biden. that includes a national poll released today by "the new york times" showing joe biden with a 14-point lead over donald trump. the coronavirus pandemic has more voters using mail-in ballots than ever before, which means we will be having delays in getting final vote counts. that includes many of last
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night's primary races where it could be up to a week before winners are declared. charlie cook is the editor and publisher of the cook political report and a columnist. he's an nbc news political analyst. charlie, the last time you were here, donald trump was threatening cnn with a legal letter over the 14-point lead poll, and you said then that the cnn poll, since it was the most recent poll, was probably a leader and it was going to -- we were going to end up seeing other polls like it, and here we are. >> now, i said that after you told me not to talk about it. >> that's right. because you might get a lawyer's letter, yes. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. you can argue, you know, this nbc, wall street journal, npr, pbs had it at seven, but those were a couple weeks ago. 14 for cnn and new york times. you know, the thing is, whether it -- and this may just be a
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high point, but this is way, way, way down. and when you're looking at, you know, look at the swing states, look at where he -- where the president is tied -- joe biden is tying him in north carolina and behind by at least four or five points on average in every other swing state. so right now if you just push every state wherever it's going and give the president north carolina, even though it is like a half a point, which biden would have, like, 318 electoral votes and the president would have 220. and even a democratic has to win the popular vote by, you know, three or four percentage points. to make up for all the wasted votes in california, new york, and places like that. but -- and then a couple points above that and you start having a cascading effect on electoral college where you start winning lots of states by small margins, and it -- you know, after a
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point, it just starts exaggerating. that's why the difference between a lead of the president, you know, four or five points as it was, you know, six, eight weeks ago, four weeks ago, and something like even eight or ten, forget the 14, this is a really big difference. >> and, charlie, we have some individual state polls that are pretty surprising. we have an ohio poll with joe biden one point ahead of donald trump in ohio. 46-45. wisconsin, joe biden eight points ahead of donald trump in wisconsin. and so there isn't a place to look for reassurance for donald trump except maybe, maybe 1988 and the 18-point lead that michael dukakis had over george h.w. bush. can that happen again? >> yeah, i don't think -- given
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the partisanship in this country, it is just hard to run up the score. i mean, when you have got two parties, the president can do little or nothing wrong and in the other the president can do little or nothing right, it kind of elevates the floor for both parties, for an incumbent in both parties, so it is really hard to win by those kinds of margins. but early tomorrow morning "the new york times" is supposed to be releasing their polls in the battleground states, in the six battleground states, so that will be very, very interesting to watch. and this is a -- it is a very high quality poll. >> charlie, jamaal bowman is our next guest. he apparently is going to beat the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee. when are we going to be able to call that race? he'll be with us after the commercial break. he's got 60% of the vote right now, but we don't have the final tally because of the mail-in ballots. >> well, his race could get called before most of the others. election night is now election, you know, weeks.
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i mean, so his will be called earlier because that's a really big lead. so, you know, that will move a little quicker. but some of these districts, it will be weeks and weeks. this will be welcome to the new world. the old election night, lawrence, we've had our last one. >> yeah, i guess so. >> we've had election months instead of election day and we have had election weeks instead of election night. >> we will wait for the mail. charlie cook, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. and when we come back after this break, you and i will meet jamaal bowman together. i'm excited about this. he's already being called the new star of new york politics which already has a few big stars. but jamaal bowman seems to be on the verge of making new york political history. all the votes have not yet been counted, as we just said, but he currently has a huge lead over a powerful house committee
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chairman in new york's democratic primary. jamaal bowman will join us next. . did you know that 70% of your immune system is located in your gut? so, by keeping your gut healthy, you keep your immune system healthy. try align gut health and immunity support to help naturally support your gut health and boost your immune system, formulated with a quality probiotic strain, align helps power your health from the inside. it adds more good bacteria to your gut, which works naturally with your body to help strengthen your immunity. for a daily boost for your health, take align every day, with a money back guarantee.
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one a day natural fruit bites. a new way to multivitamin. today jamal bowman tweeted, i'm a black man raised by a single mother in a housing project. that story doesn't usually end in congress. but today that 11-year-old boy beaten by police is about to be your representative. i can't wait to get to d.c. and cause problems for those maintaining the status quo. jamaal bowman has already caused the ultimate problem for eliot engel. the powerful chairman of the house foreign affairs committee. he has a massive lead over eliot engel in the democratic primary vote which will not be counted for several days because of mail-in ballots. jamaal bowman had no political experience until he decided to quit his job as a middle school principal and run for congress.
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the daily beast greeted him with a headline calling him the new star of new york politics. joining us now is jamaal bowman, democratic candidate for new york's 16th congressional district. congratulations on what you have achieved so far. we don't have the final numbers. but by the way, i don't know if you saw the beginning of the show, as soon as you are officially declared the winner and only then, rachel maddow desperately wants you on her show. can you commit to that tonight? >> i cannot. i have to talk to my comms team about that. >> okay. that's right. take your time. play hard to get. it will pay off. so what made you decide that eliot engel should not continue representing this congressional district? you are both democrats. what did you see that made you say, i need to get in there, i need to take that job away from him, here's how i can do the better job? >> well, i have worked in this district for ten years as a
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middle school principal and i have spoken to and built relationships with thousands of students and parents over that time and congressman engel was an absent congressman, quite frankly. you never saw flyers advertising town halls or assemblies talking about the most important issues in the district. when we decided to explore a potential run for office, we spoke to hundreds of constituents from the north bronx all the way to new york, we continued to hear the same thing over and over again. he wasn't present, he's not engaged and it is time for a change. so that's that side of it. on the other side, you know, when you work with children who come from, you know, troubling backgrounds, who suffered through poverty and trauma, you realize the impact of bad policy on the lives of kids who are most vulnerable. and as an educator, all of those issues intersect at your doorstep. children can't thrive in school
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when they're dealing with so many things. so it was those experiences as well as an absent congressman that led to me running this race. >> how did you deal with those challenges yourself in your own life as a kid growing up in a housing project in new york city, getting yourself beaten by police when you were 11 years old, how did you deal with those challenges? how did you get to where you are tonight? >> my mother. i have the most amazing mom anyone can have. she gave me love. she gave me stability, and she gave me self-esteem and self-worth. and also i had two amazing older sisters who helped raise me as well. and then i had friends and mentors and people outside of my home, whether it's through cultures, through sports, through the arts, or music that kept me on the straight and narrow so the anger of not having my father around or anything like that wouldn't overtake me. so i had a great mom, great
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sisters, great family, and great mentors growing up. >> what is your number one agenda item when you get to the house of representatives, if you do? >> racial and economic inequality. it is about time we deal with race and we continue to center race and class and put it at the top of the political agenda. our campaign recently released a reconstruction agenda hoping that third time is a charm. you know, america needs a reckoning. we need to reckon with our history, and we need to reckon with the impact of slavery and racism on every american institution, whether you are looking at environmental issues, wealth, education, health outcomes. you know, african-americans and latinos continue to be at the bottom of the ladder there. we have to deal with race issues and economic issus urgently, especially coming out of the covid epidemic. it looks like pushing for
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a federal jobs guarantee, getting people back to work in alignment with the demands of climate change and the green new deal. this is the biggest crisis we have had since the great depression, and after the great depression, a new deal was implemented and we put people back to work. we have to do the same thing now. >> it is such an impressive campaign. i wish we had more time to talk about it. i'm especially interested in how you did so well in the northern sections of the district which are wealthier suburbs of new york city. we'll talk about that next time. jamaal bowman, thank you so much. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you. >> all right. when we come back, you'll meet another big winner in last night's democratic primary race. a physician who worked in the obama white house and had the very strange experience of then working in the trump white house for a while. he will be the democratic nominee in a congressional
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district that leans republican. he's changed republican minds before, and he will try to do it again. dr. cameron webb joins us next. once-a-day treatment used for h-i-v in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights h-i-v to help you get to and stay undetectable. that's when the amount of virus is so low it cannot be measured by a lab test. research shows people who take h-i-v treatment every day and get to and stay undetectable can no longer transmit h-i-v through sex. serious side effects can occur, including kidney problems and kidney failure. rare, life-threatening side effects include a buildup of lactic acid and liver problems. do not take biktarvy if you take dofetilide or rifampin. tell your doctor about all the medicines and supplements you take, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis. if you have hepatitis b, do not stop taking biktarvy without talking to your doctor. common side effects were diarrhea, nausea, and headache.
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dr. cameron webb won a four-way democratic primary in virginia's fifth congressional district last night with two-thirds of the vote. here he is explaining why he decided to run for office. >> i went to work for president obama in the white house as a health care adviser, helping people get good care they could afford. i expected to serve the first woman president, too. when that didn't work out i prayed for perspective. my parents' words came back to me. be there for people. so i decided to finish my fellowship. the trump white house staff treated me with suspicion, moved my desk in the hallway and took it away entirely and expected me to quit and to give up. that is not who i am. then president trump tweeted
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about drug pricing. no plan. no thought. just 134 characters. his staff had no warning. they looked around the room for answers. eventually turned to obama's policy guy, me, the guy in the hallway. big pharma showed up. pushing policies that protected their profits, but hurt patients. i convinced the staff to slow down and be smarter. despite our disagreements, when asked for help, i gave it. that is the example that i want to set for my children. >> joining us now, dr. cameron webb, democratic candidate for virginia's fifth district. i am no good at math but i know in a four-way race it is hard to win two-thirds of the vote. you obviously have to appeal to yet a larger group of voters in the general election but only have to win 51% and you are going to need to appeal to republican voters in the district.
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how do you intend to run the campaign from here to election day? >> i think it is one of the realities, you can't choose your moments in politics. we are in a really unique moment now. the crisis in health care, the crisis of racial injustice all over the country. i am a physician and a healer by background. i focused on it my entire career. the timing is right, the messaging is right. it is just a matter of connecting with people who are here in the part of virginia where i grew up. >> how much of your campaign has been about dealing with the coronavirus pandemic? >> it has been significant. every campaign had to change our strategy when the pandemic really struck. for me, i am still practicing clinically. i am taking care of covid
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patients in the hospital here in the university of virginia. i continue to see patients in the hospital. i am working to lead community testing events and get services to folks. so there is that dynamic. because i am a healer first. on top of that we are running a campaign virtually. and so that has been a huge impact but i think for a lot of voters seeing the commitment to being there in that moment and not to riff off of my commercial, but in that moment and making sure that i can step up to serve my community. i think it mattered and that is a big part of the resounding vote we have got. >> what is your number one argument against the republican opponent going forward in this campaign? >> well, to be quite honest i don't spend all of my time arguing against him. my number one argument for my candidacy, we are in a critical moment to fix our health care system. to be honest, i haven't heard much in terms of nuance to my opponent's plan. but there is a critical need to fix the health care system. every person in the country
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needs access to care and we need to deliver on that urgently. and that is the argument we are making. it's something that resonates with every single voter. democrat, independent, republican. i think that is something that we are leaning into and making sure that we are delivering it. especially in the setting of this pandemic. >> do you support medicare for all or do you support the joe biden approach to health care reform? >> i am not beholden to either. i'll tell you, i think medicare for all may be the most equitable and just form of health care we can accomplish. it's more about the path along those lines. i am focused on the next steps. i think the public health insurance option to urgently cover the uninsured americans. that has to be the next step. we need to break the bond between health insurance and employment. we have to change private insurance to something more of a
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nonprofit and change our payment structure but the path is leading to something that looks like a medicare for all system. it is folks voting with their feet and the next step is getting everybody covered. >> at some point we just want to hear about your days working in the trump white house but we don't have time for that tonight. we'll have to do that at another time. dr. cameron webb, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thanks for having me, lawrence. >> thank you. that is tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. good evening once again. day 1,252 of the trump administration, 132 days to go until our presidential election and today it became startlingly clear we are now in a kind of brand-new territory in this coronavirus pandemic and the coronavirus is in no way going away as the president is telling us. it is accelerating, chewing up territory, killing people in its
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wake and going anywhere it is welcome. just today we saw the highest single day record of new infections in our country. 42,158. that is a record. it surpasses the last record reached on april 26th, back 42,158. that's a record. surpassing the last record reached on april 26. during the bad old days two months ago. we heard nothing today from the president on this new spike in cases. despite his two media appearances hosting the president of poland. during a joint appearance in the rose garden today the president did attack germany, obama and biden. as one does. and it was during that appearance he made cryptic reference on treatment and vaccine. >> we are making great progress on therapeutics and vaccines. as far as the joining with us on the vaccine and therapeutic because the therapeutics if i

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