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To learn more, The Rachel Maddow Show weeknights at nine Eastern on MSNBC. This is the front page today at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in Missouri, chaos and interruption. This is the Arizona Republic front page today from Phoenix, Arizona. Chaotic debate. This was The Denver Post from Colorado yelling and name calling. Do we have that Denver Post up there to release it? Do you guys have it go on, there's the Denver Post yelling and name calling, you have to have The Boston Globe go on, prove it.
Show me. Yeah, chaos front page of The Boston Globe today.
Here is the L.A. Times today. Invective and interruptions. This is The Washington Post front page today talking about the debate plunging good, good verb there, plunging into fiery squabbling. And then you can see there's the all capital letters subheading there, which is sort of a rare thing at the Post. It says, Trump interrupts and jeers ceaselessly.
He's the front page of The New York Times today.
This is sort of an unusual headline. But in keeping with the other ones that you're seeing and its theme, Trump's heckles send debate into utter chaos. Talk of policies and ideas drowned out. Notice the theme right from sea to shining sea paper's large and small. But as much as it's true that the whole country is apparently today alarmed and weirded out and shocked by what that was the president did last night, which is extreme enough that it made it a non hypothetical live question as of last night and as of today as to whether we're going to have presidential debates anymore, since that form of discourse doesn't make much sense anymore if this is what the president is going to be like.
Now, this led to the Presidential Debates Commission today saying they're going to change the rules to try to stop something like that from ever happening again. And they're going to change the rules in time for the next debate. I mean, as much as the whole country today is rocked and weirded out by what we saw there, by us apparently losing a key part of how we conduct ourselves as a democracy, how we have had our candidates compete since the very beginning of our republic.
And now maybe we're going to have to give it up because of this guy with the national sort of shock and horror over that last night and the implications of it even still. Something that big and shocking at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Little Rock. Little Rock, Arkansas, even the news about the debate there has to share billing with what else is going on right now in Arkansas.
You see, this is the front page of their paper today. See, their main headline is about the heated debate, but it has to split the billing with what else has to make the front page. In Little Rock, Arkansas, today, infections rising among children. And this one, though, on the far right column, Atkins' schools chief dies of covid. His name was Jodie Jenkins, he was the superintendent of the Atkins School District in Atkins, Arkansas, about an hour outside Little Rock.
He had been in intensive care at a Little Rock hospital. He had to be put on a ventilator and he died yesterday. The superintendent of those schools, he was fifty seven years old. You should know that the Republican governor of Arkansas has forced all schools in the state to offer in-person instruction five days a week. Little Rock teachers stayed home from work on Monday, the day before Superintendent Jenkins died. Little Rock teachers saying they don't think this forced in-person teaching thing is safe.
And so they stayed home for a day. Arkansas is piling up new cases right now at the seventh highest rate in the country. And so, yeah, in Arkansas at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the the presidents debate disaster is right there on the front page, just like it is everywhere. It has to be a necessity. It necessarily is, but it does have to share the bill with what else is going on. Same thing in Wyoming, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on a Laramie County, Wyoming.
So Cheyenne, Wyoming, they've got their story on the first debate up there alongside the repeal of the masthead. But right alongside it, they've got their local headline. Spike in cases shows virus is sticking around. The sticking around line is a quote from the Wyoming State Department of Health. Locally in Cheyenne. They actually had to close down the municipal office building, the municipal office building in Cheyenne this week because of covid across the country. Here's Kentucky and again at the Herald.
Later, Lexington Herald Leader. They've got debate coverage for you. Sure. But here's the main headline for Lexington, Kentucky in the Herald. Later state reports more than one thousand new covid-19 cases. Here's Idaho. This is the front page of the Times News, which is Twin Falls, Idaho, and they've got their front page story on the debate like everybody, everybody does. But their column won. Front page lead is virus cases doubled over the last four weeks.
Six of eight counties in the Magic Valley saw significant outbreaks grow. Magic Valley, south south central Idaho. Here's a snapshot of Wisconsin. On the left here you see the Milwaukee paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. On the on the right, it's the Wisconsin State Journal from Madison. So look at the Journal Sentinel there. They've got their debate story check, war of words. But their column, one front page lead is state reports crisis. Twenty two percent positivity.
Twenty two percent on the right, the Madison paper. Yeah, they've got their debate story as well. And a picture, but above the fold, they're all columns. Page one headline is Surge Claiming More Lives. Cases have more than tripled since September 3rd, Wisconsin is in a crisis. Wisconsin is in a crisis. That's a quote from the state's chief medical officer, but don't take his word for it if you don't want to. Here's what that Wisconsin crisis looks like in terms of their case numbers right now.
Look at the curve of their case numbers right now. That's very bad. They thought they went through their peak before June. Then they thought they went through a much worse peak in late July, early August. Look where they are now. Wisconsin hit a record number of covid deaths today. Wisconsin also today hit a record number of people hospitalized in the state. Here's the AP lead today on Wisconsin and quote, Wisconsin set a new record for covid-19 deaths on Wednesday.
And the surge in cases in the state threatened to overwhelm some hospitals. Hospital officials in some parts of Wisconsin said they were close to being overwhelmed by covid-19 patients, a scenario. Health officials have been warning that could happen since the pandemic began, but that only now seems like it could happen. In Wisconsin case, spikes in northern and northeastern Wisconsin were causing many of the hospitalizations. Officials at Theda, I think it's safe to say Theda or Theta Care in the Fox Valley in Wisconsin said they had exceeded capacity in their covid-19 unit at their Appleton Medical Center.
They've started sending patients from their Appleton Medical Center instead to hospitals in Wisconsin and in three other cities. The chief medical officer for acute care at the Care telling the AP today, quote, If it's growing the way that it has for the past week or so, we are going to be in a dire situation. Yes, we saw this coming, but we did not expect it to be quite so rapid. In Wausau, Wisconsin, the CEO of Aspirates Health Care says that hospital has started putting patients on waiting lists, waiting lists to get into the hospital, wait times ranging from several hours to a full day.
And that's Wausau, Wisconsin. That hospital system had sixty one patients yesterday who had or were believed to have covered, that was a 30 percent increase from just the day before. The CEO telling the Associated Press today, quote, The problem is how do we care for you when you've had an accident? When we have an overflow of covid patients, there's only so much you can do before you start to overwhelm the system. Officials at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, say their facility as of yesterday was at ninety four percent capacity.
Hospital CEO said Bellen hopes to convert part of their campus at Green Bay into some other space for beds that isn't currently being used as beds. Green Bay, Wisconsin, is one of the places in Wisconsin where President Trump is hoping to hold a gigantic in-person mega rally this weekend there in Green Bay. He wants to do that. Also, he wants to do one in La Crosse. The White House the White House just this week warned Wisconsin that the state is in terrible shape in terms of uncontrolled spread of the virus.
The White House warning Wisconsin state officials this week that their per capita case rate right now is more than double, actually closer to triple the national rate. Because of that, the White House just told Wisconsin this week that the state's viral spread is so bad that the state needs to increase social distancing, quote, to the maximum degree possible. Washington Post first to report that within Wisconsin, lacrosse and Green Bay specifically were flagged by the White House as, quote, red zones where community spread is rampant.
That's a White House warning to Wisconsin about lacrosse and Green Bay and lacrosse and Green Bay or where the president is planning on going this weekend to have his no distancing. Everybody pack in. Let's get thousands of people there rallies or they can all boo the idea of wearing masks. That's this weekend. And I know it sounds a little bit weird for me to say it, but because of what the president is doing now in swing states, in some cases where the virus is really bad right now, they have to be sort of thankful if they aren't swing states.
Right in the states that are having a really hard time right now, states like South Dakota and North Dakota and Idaho and other red states, states where the Trump campaign is confident that they're going to win, that they don't feel like they have to campaign right there right now. That has to be sort of a relief for public health officials. Right. Thinking that for all they're dealing with, with covid and all the numerous states that are being stressed right now in terms of numbers and in terms of hospital capacity, how much of a relief must it be if you don't have to worry about getting a visit sometime in the next month from the president's super spreader campaign caravan, where he likes to pack thousands of people together as close as possible.
And tell them all that they don't need to follow any advice they might have heard about social distancing or masks or any of these other wussy ideas that only Democrats like. I mean, we've seen reports in the past week from Missouri, for example, also from Idaho, of rural hospitals being overwhelmed now, just like the hospitals in Wisconsin are now because of the polling in Missouri and Idaho, I'm guessing they're not likely to have President Trump come visit to pack thousands and thousands of Marsalis people into congregate events for the president's benefit, right where the virus is worst in those states.
So not being a swing state in some of these states right now is a minor epidemiological blessing because the president himself is holding events that nobody else in the country is holding that are covid disasters. This is another one to watch, North Dakota, North Dakota. The case is even worse than it is in Wisconsin right now and North Dakota fastest growing up in the country. They've just lost their third state health director in four months. They've gone through three of them in four months.
This most recent one didn't even last one month in office. While cases take off in that state with the rockets red glare, the covid crisis is not going away on its own. Turns out to the extent that even a full blown crisis in our democracy has to share billing with the covid crisis right now it has to share billing. And I'm not going to dwell too much on this next part of the news tonight, because we're gonna have more on this in coming days.
But I also want to give you a little bit of a heads up tonight about some new quiet rumblings that we're starting to see about the CDC chief potentially resigning sometime soon in the middle of all of this, as we are heading into what appears to be a new peak in cases and hospitalizations and deaths at the start of this fall. Actually, this was first to report that the CDC director, Robert Redfield, this week wanted to extend a no sale order for American cruise ships that no sale order, keeping them in port has been in place for months now because from the outset, cruise ships immediately proved to be right up there with meatpacking plants and nursing homes and prisons as God's perfect incubators and accelerators for the spread of this virus.
Well, Accessors first, a report on Redfield wanting to extend the cruise ship sailing ban. But The New York Times is now reporting tonight that not only did the CDC director want to extend that ban and not only was he overruled by the White House when he sought to extend that ban, but the Times is also reporting tonight that the CDC director had, quote, considered resigning if he were required to oversee a policy that compromised public health. Well, he apparently thinks this cruise ship policy compromises public health.
And if him overseeing a policy that compromises public health is his threshold for whether or not he's going to resign. Well, that's why I'm raising these flags right now. And because this cruise ship reporting comes right on the heels of The New York Times is reporting this week about the CDC's advice on opening schools being overruled and circumvented by the White House, said the CDC has put its name to guidance about reopening schools. That is what the White House wants, not what CDC scientists believe is right for public health.
This news also comes on the heels of our own reporting of Director Redfield ordering his own CDC scientists to water down their recommendations on meat packing plants because of pressure from the administration. The Washington Post is advancing that story tonight, reporting tonight on concerns that Robert Redfield may have lied to Congress when he was questioned about this meat packing thing a few days ago. We've learned tonight that CDC Director Robert Redfield asked Wisconsin US Senator Tammy Baldwin tonight if he could speak with her by phone, which is an unusual thing for the CDC director to be asking for a personal and direct conversation with a senator.
But it was Senator Baldwin who questioned him sharply just a few days ago in Congress under oath on his role in watering down the CDC's meat-packing guidance.
It is in terms of why people resign and why people end up staying in their jobs. It is a serious thing for the CDC to have exceeded the CDC director, to have succumbed to pressure from the administration to compromise the scientific advice of that agency in the middle of an epidemic that's killed more than two hundred thousand people already and is gearing back up to see how many more of us it can take and how quickly it's bad enough that they have been succumbing to pressure from this White House.
But if the CDC director lied to Congress. When he was asked about doing that, that is another level of danger for the director and we don't know if Director Redfield has had that call today or tonight with Senator Baldwin or if you will be reconsidering or changing his testimony to try to alleviate this concerns that he might have lied about this to Congress. But all that together with the Times reporting on him now considering resignation, this is something to flag for you.
I mean, my personal take on this, you know, God help us. Robert Redfield has been there. He really does seem to have been a disaster as CDC director at a time when we needed the CDC to be freaking phenomenal. Also, at the same time, though, God help us all the more if Donald Trump gets to pick someone new to run the CDC right now, right now, as he's barreling toward his reelection effort. And right now that some Fox News radiologist's is apparently convinced the president that it would be fantastic if the new American policy on this thing is to just encourage as many Americans to get infected as possible.
God help us either way. But let me say this. I just invoked God three times there, so I need to say something else quickly to make this constructive.
That's part of the deal. I do think it's worth considering right now that alongside all of this Michigan, alongside all of that reporting that I just described, one thing that last story shows us. That's good. Is that Congress is apparently alive and kicking. And Congress is worrying about big stuff and about important things like science at the CDC being manipulated and being screwed around with by the administration for political reasons, and the CDC having such a weak director that he has seeds and succumbs to that pressure and changes CDC science and recommendations and guidance for political purposes.
It is a good sign that Congress is pursuing that. And that they're not taking what appear to be lies about that for an answer and they are holding people to account. That's good. Accountability is good, particularly when it's on the big stuff, when it's on the potentially life changing stuff. That's good. That is the reason not to be cheerful, but reason to be hopeful, reason to be bolstered in terms of the way things are supposed to work.
There's also signs tonight that there might be a new covid relief bill as soon as tomorrow from this Congress. I will believe it when we see it, as should you. But that might happen. That would also be a sign that a lot that Congress is alive and kicking and working on the big stuff, working on the right stuff. I'll give you another one while we're on a roll. This reporting at Politico dotcom today that the administration's plan for spending three hundred million dollars in taxpayer money between now and the election, more than a quarter billion dollars they're planning to spend on ads to convince the American people that covid is all better now because Trump's done such a good job with it.
That plan is apparently dying on the vine. Here's Dan Diamond's piece today at Politico. Dotcom, quote, They made a list of more than 30 celebrities, including Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift and Billy Joel to appear in their ad campaign to, quote, inspire hope about coronavirus. But they ended up with only Dennis Quaid, C.C. Winans and a Hasidic singer named Shulem Lemmer.
The Health Department's three hundred million dollar plus taxpayer funded vehicle to boost confidence in President Trump's response to the pandemic is sputtering. Celebrities are refusing to participate. Staff are arraying against it. Some complain of the unstated aim of helping Trump's reelection. Others point to an ill prepared video team and a twenty two year old political appointee who has repeatedly asserted control despite having no public health expertise, according to six people with close knowledge of the campaign and documents related to its operations.
Interviews with participants and others in the Health and Human Services Department paint a picture of a chaotic effort scrambling to meet an unofficial election date deadline. If there's any effort that you actually want to be chaotic when it comes to the coronavirus response, let it be the effort to spend a quarter billion dollars of taxpayer money on celebrity ad campaigns convincing you that Trump is awesome at this.
I mean, that thing falling apart, the don't worry about covid, we're all going to be fine because Trump's in charge that quarter of a billion dollar plus taxpayer funded ad campaign is apparently not going to happen. That's falling apart. Because because. Lots of things are bad, but not everything is bad, and sometimes the very, very, very bad ideas get exposed and people grow a spine and they stand up against them. And then those terrible ideas get beaten down and they do not get effectuated in reality.
That happens sometimes want another one? There's this from The Washington Post, quote, Postal Service excuse me, Postal Service workers quietly resist Dejoy changes. Tell me more quote this summer as controversial new procedures that the US Postal Service snarled the nation's mail delivery and stirred fears of how the agency would handle the election, rank and file postal workers quietly began to resist. Mechanics in New York drew out the dismantling and removal of mail sorting machines until their supervisor gave up on the order.
In Michigan, a group of letter carriers did an end run around a supervisor's directive to leave election mail behind an Ohio postal clerks, cold prescriptions and benefit checks from bins of stalled mail to make sure they were delivered. While some carriers ran late items on their own time in Pennsylvania, some postal workers looked for any excuse, a missed turn, heavy traffic, a rowdy dog to buy themselves enough time to finish their daily rounds. One Philadelphia postal worker telling the Post in an interview, quote, I can't see any postal worker not bending those rules.
Be strengthened in your resolve today by freaking postal service mechanics in New York, just not doing it, having a hard time getting around to it when they got told to take the mail sorting machines apart.
Be strengthened in your resolve, right? The debate disaster last night, that wasn't an accident. That was it, the president trying to have a debate and failing. If we all walk away from the basic fundamentals of our democracy, something like a presidential debate, if we all say, oh, that's terrible, that's an air show, that's a that's a mess, that is unlistenable. I don't want anything to do with that. Turn that off. Right.
It's understandable. Your feelings about that are shared more widely than you can possibly imagine, and talking about it in that way is rightfully a, I think, a strong rejoinder to this president in terms of his behavior making that such a mess that it was unintelligible and a disaster and useless and worth turning off. But our reaction to that collectively as a country. Coast to coast, we saw it in papers all around the country. Right. That reaction is also advantage to him.
If he succeeds in making Americans believe that politics is a disgusting, pointless, argumentative display that nobody decent should bother participating in. Then nobody decent will bother participating in it. It's why it makes tactical sense for him to be boring and incoherent and abusive and denigrating and repellent. It's tactically efficient if he can make you believe that that's politics, who wants to be anywhere near politics, but those guys have it, let that guy have it. That's what's happened to our politics.
I don't want anything to do with that. He can have it.
That's what he wants. It's also why it doesn't hurt him. He thinks, to be widely recognized as corrupt. That is also disheartening and disgusting. Right. It turns us all off this mess and stole your family members, your unqualified family members in political positions, government stupid. Nobody actually needs specific skills or experience to hold high level government jobs. Why not just give them to the guy who carried my golf clubs and my son's wedding planner and my son and daughter in law and any other relatives want anything.
They don't qualify for security clearances. Who cares about security clearances? I'm just going to say they should have them. None of this matters. This is all trash work. Doesn't matter if you put trash people in these jobs. It's all just a joke. He benefits when we devalue government benefits when we believe that democracy doesn't work and is disgusting, he benefits when we all think that the rules about how this is supposed to happen.
Those are rules for suckers, right? Regular order about how we're supposed to conduct ourselves as democracy. He wants us to think that that's antiquated, quaint. That regular order never really existed. It was all a scam. Doesn't matter anyway, it's all a boring, stupid rigged con. Yeah, yeah, I'm corrupt. We've all we're all corrupt. We've all been corrupt. Why would anybody want anything to do with this system? That's why you see all these things go together, not only with this president, but in authoritarian leaders all around the world.
Right. That's why you see. Corruption and grossness, repellent behavior, boorish behavior designed to turn people off. That's why you see that stuff go hand in hand with authoritarianism. That's part of how it takes over, is that it makes participation in normal politics something no normal person would want to do. It makes it something that only the worst of us can stomach. They like it. President tweeting the day that last night's debate was fun. In regular order in our democracy, which has persisted for well over two hundred years, right, we have presidential debates and we have presidential elections and we cast ballots, including by mail and the votes get counted.
And that's how we determine who's president. This president believes he may know. That he can't win under regular order, he can't win if all of those things happen, and so he wants us to believe that regular order doesn't apply this year, that he's rendered it moot, that it won't be the way that we choose the next president of the United States. Not this year. He wants us to give up on it. So bolster yourself, however, you need to learn more about what regular order is in your state.
Do you know how electors are chosen? Every state has its own law, its own rules about how they choose the electors that actually go to the Electoral College to have their votes tallied, which is actually what determines who is the next president. Do you know how electors are chosen in your state? Now's a good time to find out, do you know how the election system is administered in your state? Now's a good time to find out. Do you know who's getting the call?
If people show up at a polling place somewhere near where you live and they're intimidating voters, they're threatening violence there, perhaps even carrying out violence, who's going to get the call to respond to that, to figure out what happens to the polling place that's been shut down or rendered effective, rendered ineffective by physical intimidation tactics? Who's going to get those calls? Who's going to make those decisions? These are knowable things because these things are administered by the regular order of American elections.
The president making it seem like we're not even capable of holding debates anymore because presidents aren't like that anymore. Is part of him telling us that American democracy doesn't apply this year, that once he's there we can't do American democracy anymore? We've got to figure out some other way to do this. And I guess this is going to be decided, what, in the courts or maybe in the streets? Stand by. All right, get your pollwatchers in, the president wants us to believe that American democracy doesn't apply this year, not when he's going to lose if American democracy does its normal work in regular order.
Learn what regular order is in your life, in your state. Keep your chin up, defend the system or he'll crush it. We got less than five weeks to go. You got this. The fact is, more than 190 million Americans experienced cyber crime last year and victims spent more than 500 million hours trying to resolve their issues. That's a lot of victims spending a lot of time dealing with cybercrime. There are more cyber threats every day. It's hard to know how to help protect your devices.
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Hi, I'm Brooke and I'm Orisha and where the hosts of Even the Rich, a show about people with a lot of money and a lot of feelings.
Brooke, what's the worst thing that can happen to a politician getting voted out of office? Hmm.
How about driving your car off a bridge and leaving a young woman trapped inside, which is exactly what Ted Kennedy did in 1969. It was a scandal that rocked the nation and threatened to bring down the entire Kennedy empire.
Subscribe to even the rich Chappaquiddick on Apple Podcast's, Spotify, the wonder app or wherever you're listening right now, join one degree plus in the Wonder app to listen ad free. Last night, President Trump was stirring during the debate to condemn white supremacists and specifically to denounce a far right violent extremist group called the Proud Boys, president declined to do that. And he instead told the proud boys to, quote, stand back and stand by. As you can imagine, that particular extremist group loved that.
They ended up in private social media channels. They called the president's comments, quote, historic members called it a tacit endorsement of the violent tactics that they are known to use and that they celebrate their making merchandise out of the president's words already beyond the rhetorical shock that the president delivered there along the lines of him praising both sides at the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, early in his presidency. Is this something that could have material consequences beyond just the political shock?
Kathleen Ballou is a historian of the white power movement, and she responded powerfully to the president's comments last night saying this, quote, People who work in monitoring and radicalization and otherwise studying white power groups are sending red alerts and sending emergency signals about increasing violence from now through the election and after, regardless of the winner, this is a movement that is not only pulling excuse me, poll intimidation, although it has done that, but also major mass casualties.
There's no reason to think that strategy will change. We're talking about the movement responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, the largest deliberate mass casualty event on American soil between Pearl Harbor and 9/11. This is a movement that has been using online social network activism since the eighties that's repeatedly targeted people and infrastructure that's continued largely unconfrontable. We are decades, if not generations into this problem and a green light like stand back and stand by from the president. That's catastrophic.
Joining us now is Kathleen Borloo. She's an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. She's the author of the book Bring the War Home The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America.. Professor Ballu, thank you very much for making time for us this evening. I appreciate your time.
Thank you very much for having me. I'm going to be totally honest and tell you that I was torn about whether or not to have you on tonight, not because I have any doubts about you, but because I worry that by airing this topic more and promoting the president's remarks on it, by talking about them and reacting to them or potentially playing sound to them, which I decided not to do, I'm worried that we're advancing some of the worst implications of his actions here.
Can you talk to me a little bit about how you measure that out, whether or not there is risk in amplifying this stuff and how you balance that against talking about it and discussing and figuring out what it means? Absolutely, I mean, that's the ethical problem at the heart of understanding this movement at all. We're talking about a movement that has done an enormous amount of damage to the American body politic. And there is a very real impact of coverage.
We see a rise in militia group activity, for instance, in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, in part because of all of the coverage of the event. But here's the thing. If we don't talk about it, we are in the same place we were before the debate, before Oklahoma City, before Charlottesville, before all of these actions. And every time we lose lives to this movement without taking action to confront it, we lose. I mean, we lose against direct attacks on American democracy.
And so by that, I mean, it's not just about the proud, right? I mean, they're going to pick up some Twitter followers. I'm sure they're going to get some attention because of this story. But it would be a huge mistake to think about this just as being about the proud boys. What we're seeing today is actually a rising tide of White House activity that connects groups like boys with underground paramilitary training groups like Adam Wathen and the base with people who we misunderstand often as lone wolf actors when they are, in fact part of a coordinated movement.
And we look at all of these rising tides together, we see that we have to turn our public attention to this problem. We haven't done the work of confronting it and we can't without shining a light on what's happening. Last night, when this moment in the debate arrived, Vice President Biden parried by saying the president's own FBI director, the appointed Trump appointed FBI director Christopher Wray, has been blunt with Congress and talking about the risk from white power and white supremacist movements.
And the president undercut that and talked that down. We've also seen reporting the nation obtaining an FBI intelligence report dated September 29th, dated yesterday, warning about a violent extremist threat from the boogaloo boys from these people who organize around that idea of a second civil war. Do you see anything within the actions of the Trump administration that indicate that the administration of government, law enforcement, the intelligence resources that should be brought to bear against threats like this have been compromised or hurt or polluted in any way by the president's evident sympathy for these groups?
I mean, absolutely, and you don't need me to tell you this, you just need to look at that at the testimony of whistleblowers who are leaving Trump's own Department of Homeland Security, Trump's own FBI. These are people who have dedicated their lives to securing American democracy in one way or another in many cases. And they are they are doing their best, but without administrative will, they can't get this job done. So this is the long story of the white power movement.
We're talking about a group of activists that has been creating a violent threat to Americans since the late 1970s. We've largely failed to prosecute it through criminal trials. We have largely failed to curtail it through changes in things like military policy and surveillance resource allocation. And we've largely failed to describe it even to ourselves. The fact that most people don't know that the Oklahoma City bombing was the work of a social movement. Nonetheless, a social movement that continues to be the largest domestic terror threat to Americans into the present is just evidence that this is so deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness is something we have to normalize and accept.
I mean, but but they're carrying out massive casualties over and over and over again. And that that tickertape of activity is only going to go up in the months to come. Professor Kathleen Balou from the University of Chicago, the author of Bring the War Home, the White Power Movement and Paramilitary America. It unnerves me that your area of expertise is so politically relevant right now. But we're lucky to have you to talk with about it. Thank you very much for being here, Professor.
Thank you for bringing me the story. All right. Just a moment. We're going to talk with a senator who is grappling publicly with what should be done about the president's remarks on these and other topics from last night. Senator Cory Booker is going to join us live next. Stay with us.
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Dotcom includes Hulu ad supported plan access content from each service separately. So here we are in the United States of America, where the current FBI director were the past FBI director. Are both saying unequivocally that we are facing a a threat of domestic terrorism and clearly saying that the words of the president of the United States is not calming, is not unifying, is not bringing us together, is not condemning this, is actually inciting it, to use your words, that is spraying gasoline on the fires of hatred going into an election where he is literally specifically talking to people, inviting them to potentially do things like show up at polling sites.
To take action. To stand by, I don't understand how we don't see this as what it is that we are on the verge of seeing a real threat to our fundamental democratic ideals and the smooth election processes to which have been, frankly, a hallmark of our country in our recent history. This is a dangerous moment in time. It is a frightening moment in time. And we know from what happened in San Antonio, Texas, and a number of other occasions that people who are carrying out these actions are invoking the words of the president of the United States in their hateful, violent actions.
This is a frightening time for America.
Joining us now is Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who we just heard from there at the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaking today. Senator, thank you for being here. I know it's been a long day and a long night already. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you, Rachel. I'm tired, so this is radical honesty right here on the show, which is always dangerous. But I will tell you, Senator, honestly, I wanted to know how you are handling the gravity of what's going on here. I heard you speak about it today in a way that I know that it is weighing on you.
And I want to know how you are doing and how you think the American people should feel about this moment and what the president's trying to do right now, from Orlando to Charleston to Pittsburgh, we we know that the number one cause of terrorism in our country since 9/11 have been domestic right wing extremist groups, often motivated by white supremacy. And we have a president who is, through his rhetoric, inviting them to be engaged in this election and whipping them up with his language.
We have direct warnings from the FBI about the rise of this kind of terrorism and the intentions of these kind of terrorists in our country and this election, as Donald Trump seems to be whipping folks up. It is it is, as I said in that clip, is a very frightening time. But we have to start taking action. And I will tell you that there are a lot of local leaders who understand that they have to begin to take action.
And as a result of Donald Trump's language, you have everything from attorney generals to local mayors beginning to make public statements about what they're going to be doing to try to protect polls. And, Rachel, this is something, you know, when you're from New Jersey in 1981, there was a a gubernatorial case where people were sent to polls by the Republican Party to intimidate people with weapons, taking, doing tactics, checking ID, doing things in minority areas to try to scare people.
And we have a president now, as soon as that consent decree that resulted from that that horrible part of our history, there was a consent decree where Republican Party could not do those activities. It ended. This will be the first election in which there aren't those protections from that behavior. And so there are a lot of things like this that when you start adding them together with a president who is saying, clearly, I this election, if I lose, is rigged.
He is telling his supporters that this is a rigged election. He is not saying that he will submit to the peaceful transfer of power. All of this is amounting to a very dangerous, potentially dangerous moment in our history. And we should be naming it, calling it out and preparing for a president that we saw last night is chaotic and rampaging. And we'll say anything except to condemn the very white supremacy that I think is threatening this country right now.
Senator Booker, if you wouldn't mind holding with us for a minute, I need to take a quick break. But when we come back, I'd like to talk with you about what you just raised there, particularly the fact that the president keeps saying that this election is going to be decided in the courts, trying to create that expectation among us. I know you and your colleagues on the Judiciary Committee have a lot to say about that. I'd like to ask you about that when we come back.
Sure. All right. We'll be right back with Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. Stay with us. Back with us is US Senator Cory Booker of the great state of New Jersey. Senator, you today called this a frightening time and a dangerous time for our country. I agree. One of the reasons why I think is because the president keeps promising basically that we, the voters won't be allowed anymore starting this year to decide if he stays in power as president.
He keeps saying that decision is going to be decided in the courts. And it is one thing for him to say stuff like that. But I feel like your Republican colleagues in the Senate, people like Senator Graham and Senator Cruz, are starting to echo the president on that. And I wanted to know if you think that is a problem or if or if that's just politics. No, there's all kinds of problems with that. People should be deciding this election.
You president is saying it's the fix is in. It's going to be decided by Supreme Court. And that's why I need to nominate this this justice. So he is rushing this through in record time to put a third one of his justices on and she will potentially preside over the case that he tries to bring before the Supreme Court. Not that the people will decide that his justices will. This is one of the urgent regions reasons why that his nominee needs to recuse herself.
Should she be appointed, she should recuse herself for the legitimacy of the court and for the sake of our of our democracy. He's trying to do this in a way that the advantages lie with him, with a court that he created. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, sir, it's nice of you to make time to talk to us tonight. Thanks very much. Thanks very much for being here. Thank you for having me. All right. We'll be right back.
Stay with us. For the past week, one of the ways the president has been spreading misinformation about voting, about mail in ballots is a specific incident in Pennsylvania, where a handful of ballots that were reportedly cast for him were discarded. And he says this is proof of fraud. He brought it up twice during last night's debate, repeating it and saying that these few ballots being found in Pennsylvania show Democrats are wholesale trying to steal the election. Well, today, Pennsylvania's top election official said the incident wasn't actually fraud at all.
Pennsylvania secretary of state saying today that it appears that a temp, a temporary worker who hadn't yet received enough training made an honest mistake. A different state election official explained that sometimes military and overseas ballots come in envelopes that are not clearly marked as ballots. This new worker, the temp, didn't know that and didn't consult with anybody before accidentally tossing those ballots. The Pennsylvania secretary of state says an investigation is still ongoing. But based on what it appears to look like, it's just a, quote, bad error and not systemic voter fraud to deny the president a second term.
Mean still unresolved. The question of why the Justice Department took the very unusual step of commenting on this as an ongoing investigation and why Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly personally briefed the president about it, given that it was a handful of ballots and a legitimate mistake and not actually evidence of fraud at all. Those answers would be nice, too. But they won't change the fact that the president will keep talking about this, talking to come. That does it for us tonight.
We'll see you again tomorrow.
The Rachel Maddow Show weeknights at 9:00 Eastern on MSNBC.
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