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tv   Matter of Fact With Soledad O Brien  KOFY  February 19, 2017 7:30pm-8:01pm PST

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announcer: today on "matter of fact." one month into the trump administration, do national security leaks merit scrutiny? >> does it feel like chaos? >> no. quite the contrary. announcer: hear the advice this california congressman gave the president about keeping america's confidence. plus -- the democrats endure an autopsy. >> republicans have been cleaning our clocks. announcer: do they only look dead? and president trump moves to eliminate rules that wall street might want. >> wall street wants seat belts. wall street wants speed limits. announcer: who's protecting your life savings? soledad: but first with a new administration in some chaos, what is the strategy for the
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republican-controlled congress? i'm soledad o'brien. this is "matter of fact." soledad: so many questions. how much contact did the trump team have with russia prior to and after the president took office? were sensitive details about a north korean missile launch discussed openly at president trump's private club? and are constituents at town hall meetings across the country paid protestors or angry voters? republican congressman tom mcclintock has been holding some of those town meetings. he represents the fourth district of california. congressman mcclintock, thank you for talking with us. we appreciate it. let's talk about what i think is fair to call the chaotic start to the trump administration. there are now several investigations being talked about. one focus on investigating mike flynn and the trump team involvement with russia. would you support an investigation into that? rep. mcclintock: well, my
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principal concern is what this is doing to american diplomacy. the politicization of the nation's intelligence agencies and the deliberate leaking of confidential conversations between our president and other heads of state is a very dangerous thing. it will not only affect this presidency but future presidencies as well. if world leaders cannot in confidence talk to the leader of our nation for fear that their words will be leaked by an intelligence agency, that communication stops and that can become very dangerous rapidly. soledad: do you think there should be an investigation into that? rep. mcclintock: yes, i do. soledad: and who should run that investigation? rep. mcclintock: well, i think congress should run that investigation using its oversight authority. soledad: would you support investigating not just mike flynn but also members of the trump team before trump took office and up to this point? rep. mcclintock: that is already incorporated in the f.b.i. investigation of russian hacking, and that's where i think it is an appropriate
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avenue to pursue. we need to ask if there was a net the eye wiretap on michael flynn, how could that information have been leaked to the press? soledad: if there was an f.b.i. wiretap on michael flynn and the white house knew that michael pre for beinge ri blackmailed, how could he continue to be in meetings where there was confidential information? rep. mcclintock: again, my main concern is that in discussions with the russian ambassador or any ambassador, the ambassador has to be confident that being said will not be leaked to the press. soledad: a third investigation that has been proposed is to look into what seems to be, at lease not confidential information, but some kind of secure information at mar-a-lago where trump was with the japanese prime minister. do you think there should be an investigation into what happened
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there? certainly plenty of people at the event talked about open conversations about what was going on, focusing specifically on north korea documents. rep. mcclintock: yes, i do. soledad: what are the concerns that you have with the trump white house? rep. mcclintock: my concern is with a lot of hysteria and ankle biting that is intended to obstruct the administration from developing and implementing the policies that they were elected to implement. i told the president nobody has complained that you have broken any campaign promises. all of the attacks are because you are keeping your promises. my advice to the president would be to stay the course. soledad: let's talk about town halls. you've done more than 100. rep. mcclintock: yeah, more than 100. soledad: i think they are pretty calm, i think is a good word. this last one? rep. mcclintock: they have -- they get impetuous sometimes. i've done these through the tea
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party but also the occupy wall street movement. but this was the first time a police department determined i needed an armed escort to leave the event. soledad: what do you think was going on? rep. mcclintock: i think most people came there because they are very much opposed to the trump administration and they wanted to express that. but i think there was also a group that came there to disrupt the meeting, and they did. soledad: do you think they were paid protesters? rep. mcclintock: i don't know. i think a lot of grass root activists, but i think it is well organized and coordinated. soledad: thank you, sir. appreciate your time. announcer: the road to the white house usually starts here. >> you go to iowa and have a corn dog. announcer: do the democrats have anyone to send? plus -- >> greed is good. announcer: will greed make a comeback with a little
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soledad: lots of attention focused on the republicans, with senator john mccain describing the first weeks of the trump administration as "dysfunctional." but that could be an apt description for democrats. they're struggling to find consensus on leadership for the d.n.c. and can't agree on strategy. a meeting this past week in baltimore brought together hundreds of officials, party activists, strategists for both an autopsy and look for a path forward. democratic strategist jamal simmons was there. nice to see you. this was a meeting about the future of the d.n.c. i guess broad strokes, optimistic in your mind or pessimistic future? there is no expectation on my part we will have everything to get today for four years from now. the question for many people at the table is not just at the presidential level, but what is going on down ballot, governors, state legislatures, all those county offices that matter that democrats have not been talking about and playing hard to win, and republicans are cleaning our clocks. that's where many people at the forum were very focused.
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soledad: it feels like it's a bit of a mess. seats that should have a democrat at least in the running. tom price in georgia, his seat for example, nobody to come forward. that is a strategic and tactical disaster, right? jamal: look, the party is not ready yet. we are still recovering from november. but by the end of february, there will be a new party chair and they all have said they want to focus on the down ballot. soledad: do you think that party chair can bring people together? even the battle for party chair is messy. we are seeing these factions in the democratic party of people who are more center left and then other people who are farther to the left. what is the vibe from that meeting of where the democratic party should go? jamal: the energy of the party is on the left. people are looking for someone -- soledad: where on the left? far left? middle left? jamal: many of us would say the energy for the party is on the left, in the people who were supporting bernie sanders. that bernie sanders' wing is the
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ascendant wing. they have got the energy. they are on the streets. soledad: that's far left, right? jamal: i wouldn't necessarily call it the far left. some of it are people who want to acknowledge the pain that workers are facing and they want somebody to have a plan to deal with those points. if any democrat does not get the support of the left-most part of the party, they are not going to be able to reach to the center. they won't have the credibility to be able to do it. soledad: how are democrats feeling about getting that white, working-class vote in the rust belt states? jamal: democrats have not had a message that appealed to workers of any background. what most people were saying at this meeting was "we need a message for workers." regardless of what they look like and where they live and if we can come up with that message, then the question is, how do you talk to them and what messengers do you send into their communities to talk to them to make sure they understand what democrats are? soledad: do you think that democrats are missing an opportunity to leverage off of chaos that is existing, not
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really the g.o.p. side, more the administration side of this puzzle? or is it a strategy to stay out of it in an organized way at this point? jamal: at some point, there will be investigations into some of the president's other dealings and the russian connections. there is the legislative part of this, and then on the other side, there is an organizing part of this. that is happening out in the country. that is a disaggregated movement that is coming up. the indivisible folks who are sending people into congressional offices. so they can have conversations. and you are seeing people like the women's march leaders who are calling for national strikes and taking people out in the streets. soledad: going to be interesting to see if democrats can make some hay out of that strategy. jamal simmons, nice to see you. thanks for being with us. appreciate it. announcer: up next. are you about to enter the housing market? >> for a long time, 61% of americans owned their home. announcer: find out how a change in the law could affect your decision.
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and a son of mississippi reconsiders civil rights history. >> i was taught rosa parks sat down and martin luther king stood up, and they were free. announcer: find out whose life story made the movement come alive in him. plus, celebrating presidents' day. whose day is it, anyway? ♪ ♪
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soledad: president trump signed his first bill, starting to dismantle dodd-frank, the wall street reform and consumer protection act. passed in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, dodd-frank protected peoples' retirement savings, created oversight of the big banks, and gave consumers more access to their credit information. president obama: because of this law, the american people will never again be asked to foot the bill for wall street's mistakes. soledad: the law called dodd-frank includes four key provisions. one, banks are required to
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separate investment and commercial functions to prevent high-risk speculation with clients' money. two, increased monitoring of firms labeled "too big to fail" -- aimed at earlier intervention in the face of trouble. three, a ban on predatory lending practices, especially offering subprime mortgages to borrowers who can't afford to repay them. four, more up-front information for consumers on their credit card terms and responsibilities. supporters say transparency protects consumers and stabilizes the markets. opponents say regulations cripple wall street and slow economic growth. as for president trump -- president trump: we expect to be cutting a lot out of dodd-frank, because frankly, i have many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses and they can't borrow money. soledad: what's the upside, and the downside, of creating a friendlier environment on wall street? william cohan spent 17 years as a wall street trader.
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now, he covers financial institutions and joins us from paris. nice to talk to you. do you think it will be an elimination or will it be a tweaking of dodd-frank in some way? william: don't forget dodd-frank is a law. that means it can't be eliminated by the stroke of pen or snapping of fingers, which is probably what donald trump likes to do or thinks he can do. it has to be amended or changed by congress. hopefully, if smart about this, they will take a scalpel and take away what they don't like and leave what they do like. soledad: you have said banks actually like some provisions in dodd-frank as well. william: i think they do for a number of reasons. i think they recognize that they had too much leverage in 2006 and they had too much risk in the system. now they are required to have more capital, and i think basically they like that. wall street wants seat belts. wall street wants speed limits. they don't want to be able to drive on the wrong side of the
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road, with a whiskey bottle and no seatbelts as fast as they want. that's not what they want. they want to make a lot of money for themselves and improve lives of the american people, but they know they need guard rails. this is an opportunity right now. if i were donald trump i would , make a grand bargain with wall street. i would say, "you want to get rid of the pieces of dodd-frank you don't like? i'm willing to do that, but you have to change the compensation system on wall street." you have to change the system that rewards people to take big risks with other people's money and makes them more accountable for what they do right and what they do wrong. this is something wall street people are familiar with. they don't like it because they can get rich now without risk, but i think they owe it to the american people to make this grand bargain with the president of the united states. soledad: we appreciate your time. thank you for your insight. william: thank you for having me, soledad. announcer: coming up next, these two men bragged about murdering a 14-year-old black boy.
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>> it was here in this courtroom that two men got off for murder. announcer: so why preserve it for future generations? and later, on presidents' day we honor some of our famous forefathers. find out why the holiday didn't have rock-solid support in congress.
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soledad: the murder of 14-year-old emmett till in mississippi influences actions around civil rights even today. accused by a white woman of making sexual advances, till was kidnapped, brutally beaten, a cotton gin fan with barbed wire wrapped around his neck, and he was thrown in the tallahatchie river to drown. the woman's husband and brother-in-law were tried for the murder and acquitted by an all-white jury. later, they would brag that they did, in fact, commit the crime. as we reported last week, the woman who accused 14-year-old
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emmett till now says she lied. till's death is credited with galvanizing the civil rights movement. and 60 years later, it still inspires a new generation of the movement. here's diane roberts. diane: emmett till was murdered on august 28, 1955. eight years later, to the day, martin luther king delivered the "i have a dream" speech at the march on washington. the date was no accident. dr. king, rosa parks, and many other leaders in the civil rights movement pointed to till's killing as the defining moment in the civil rights movement. and it is still inspiring young people to help right the wrong. patrick weems: like many students, the only version of civil rights i was taught was rosa parks sat down and martin luther king stood up -- and everybody was free. diane: 30-year-old patrick weems grew up in mississippi. patrick: it wasn't until i was 18 and i took a specific course on african american studies that
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i learnt about emmett till. when i learnt about what happened and the injustices, and also that young people made change, it compelled me to want to be a part of that change, too. diane: determined, patrick set about the work of preserving the mississippi courtroom at the center of the till story, and the task of making amends. patrick: it was here in this courtroom that two men got off for murder. and so, we decided we needed to begin that process by apologizing to the till family before we could begin with our museum. out of that apology, we decided to restore the courthouse back to the way it looked in 1955 and open up the emmett till interpretive center. diane: that was 10 years ago when, as a 20-year-old college student at ole miss, patrick took the lead in seeking racial reconciliation. patrick: in 1955, carolyn bryant told this sensational lie story. and she did it to persuade
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people to think that what her husband did was ok. it played into the myth that black men are rapists. that they will come after white women and white women need to be protected. diane: because emmett till cannot tell his story, patrick does. every day in his role as the center director. patrick: after the trial, people were embarrassed and ashamed that this happened in their community -- especially after the two men confessed to the murder. for us to finally break that silence was for us a big step towards healing. diane: patrick says there was no justice for emmett in this courtroom, but he wants to educate future generations in hopes of racial equality and equal justice. patrick: for us to be a part of actually coming to the table and doing the hard work of telling the truth and speaking openly about race, my hope is that we empower communities across the nation to look in their own
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backyards and understand how our history is impacting our current conversations around race. diane: patrick weems told us earlier this week, he'll be participating in a unity rally on february 27 on the steps of the mississippi state capital. the goal, to honor the life and legacy of emmett till and to seek an official apology from the state. on the national mall in washington, i'm diane roberts. announcer: when we return, these presidents have their own bills. so why don't they have their own separate holidays? and learn more about the emmett till interpretive center on our website,
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soledad: monday is presidents' day, or for purists, george washington's birthday. traditionally celebrated on washington's actual birthday,
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february 22, it moved to the third monday in february and became presidents' day in 1971. as with any change in washington, the move was not without lots of drama. in 1971, congress was working on the uniform monday holiday act, with the idea of moving columbus day, memorial day, and veterans day to monday celebrations. why? they wanted to create more three-day weekends for workers. after considerable protest, veterans day remained on november 11. the law proposed combining washington's birthday with abraham lincoln's. but virginia's representatives -- the home of washington's estate, mount vernon -- opposed the measure, so did those from illinois, the home of lincoln, in springfield. the result? the provision was dropped from the bill. it was finally by executive order that president nixon moved washington's birthday to the third monday of february. lincoln's birthday got dropped
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altogether. and now, it's presidents' day anyway. i'm soledad o'brien. i hope you enjoy your holiday and have a great week. we will see you back here next week. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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