Arizona election circus becomes increasingly a money-making scheme and grifter magnet

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The show we had nine stern on. Msnbc hundred and fifteen degrees in portland oregon one hundred seventeen degrees in salem oregon hundred and seven degrees in seattle. The nation of canada just hit its all-time highest recorded temperature ever The town of lytton l. y. T. t. o. And in british columbia hit one hundred and eighteen degrees today. That's like three hours northeast from vancouver and it was a hundred and eighteen degrees there today. No higher temperature has ever been recorded anywhere in canada in all of recorded history. That hundred and fifteen degrees today in portland oregon. That was the hottest temperature ever recorded in recorded. History in portland that said portland's previous record was set yesterday and before yesterday the previous record was set the day before that today should hopefully have been the worst of it in the pacific northwest. But it's quite bad. Emergency rooms filling up with people sick and struggling from the heat. They've been opening. Cooling centers towns all around the region trying to give people place to go to get away from the heat. They've been shooting water at the drawbridges and seattle to try to keep them from getting stuck as the metal expands beyond anything that it was ever expected to deal with before they shut down some lanes on interstate. Five because the heat caused concrete panels on that freeway to just crumble. Just turn to dust east of bellingham washington and up against the canadian border. The roads there are just buckling just falling apart and kind of melting in heat collapsing tonight. A bunch of young people were arrested at the entrances to the white house. These are activists from the sunrise movement who've been trying to keep up maximum pressure to make the us government act against climate change. Hundreds of them demonstrated at the white house today. They had said in advance that some of their active would be risking arrest. We think the total number of those arrested today was thirteen. They did block. Entrances to the white house specifically. They said they were fighting today to try to keep these civilian climate core in the infrastructure. Plan that president biden is trying to pass That civilian climate core is not currently in the infrastructure. Bill the one at least that president biden talked up on the white house driveway last week with some slightly spooked looking republican senators but the expectation on the left. Is that that little bipartisan. Bill that will maybe get some republican. Support the expectation on the left. And i think widely in the democratic party. Is that whatever it was. That president biden. Whatever it is that president biden will ultimately be able to work out with some republican senators. Whether or not enough. Republican senators agreed to actually pass that expectation is that will be just one part of what congress passes the other stuff the stuff. Republicans won't vote for like the civilian climate core. These activists were demonstrating for today at the white house gates The station is that that stuff will be a second piece of legislation. That democrats will plan to pass their own votes alone if they need to whether or not any republicans sign on republicans. Excuse me independent. Senator bernie sanders of vermont Just lost our confirming that With our friend. Chris hayes here on. Msnbc president biden tonight published a new op. Ed on his infrastructure plans conceding. That the bipartisan deal. He made with those republicans. Quote is missing some critical initiatives on climate. Change that i proposed. He then said. Those climate initiatives are things that i intend to pass in the reconciliation. Bill by which he means that second bill that republicans won't support that democrats will try to pass on their own say so anyway we shall see anybody told you last week that there was a done deal and as a settled path forward in terms of how this infrastructure stuff gets passed With selling you a little bit of a bill of goods. There's lots still to get there. But democrats including the white house seemed to remain committed at this point that whatever they're able to get done with some republican support is great but even if all republicans say no they've got big other plans including the bulk of biden's climate agenda that they're going to try to pass on their own sort of happening in democratic politics. Right now it's interesting to see right to have a the democratic party. Hold the white house. Hold the house. Hold the senate narrow majorities in both houses of congress right but to see them nevertheless getting pushed not only by the progressives among their number groups like the congressional progressive caucus but also by outside groups on the progressive side of the spectrum. Saying we know you've got narrow margins we know we agree with you in broad strokes. But we're going to hold you to it and make you be more ambitious than you. Otherwise want to the dynamic right now on the democratic side of american politics on the other side of american politics meanwhile today the undisputed leader of the republican party had his lawyers meeting with new york prosecutors today trying to head off what his own lawyers and multiple news organizations now say will be a set of criminal charges brought against the former president's business by new york prosecutors the president already had his Trump university shut down by new york law enforcement. He then had his trump foundation. Has trump charity. Shut down by new york law enforcement now. It looks like it's his core business on thursday. At the end of last week trump's lawyers met with prosecutors to try to talk them out of filing criminal charges against the trump organization. That apparently did not work today. That reportedly met again The washington post reported over the weekend that prosecutors told trump organization lawyers that this meeting today would be their last chance that they couldn't persuade prosecutors today that they shouldn't bring charges then. The charges will go forward. Well that meeting in fact happened today and it doesn't seem like anything resolved former president trump today released a very upset statement about these developments seeming to implicitly confirmed that he knows his business is about to be indicted. He called prosecutors in the case which hunters. He accused them of prosecutorial misconduct. Even though no charges have yet been brought he said. This prosecution would be quote devastating for new york. To be honest. I think new york will probably be fine. The president's real estate company probably not fine. If they are in fact criminally indicted but but we shall see devastating for new york really after republicans in the us senate blocked the creation of a bipartisan expert. Independent commission to investigate the attack on the us capital on january sixth attack that sought to block the certification of the presidential election results. Today house speaker. Nancy pelosi made good on her promise to make sure. There is a thorough investigation into that attack. Anyway she tonight revealed legislation that would create a select committee to investigate the january six attack. Now congress of course has tons of standing committees That take a foreign affairs committee right the oversight committee. The judiciary committee have all sorts of standing committees. That take all all kinds of investigations. Enquiries all the time a select committee is actually a rare bird it means congress will create a new committee just for this purpose just to do this. Investigation will be made up of members of congress not outside experts but it will have a dedicated staff that will work just on this investigation. It's chair will have subpoena power to compel the production of evidence and to compel witness testimony. The republican leader in the house. Kevin mccarthy has refused to say whether he will even appoint any republicans to serve on such a committee. But we know tonight that pelosi will nevertheless press forward the structure she's planning on would be thirteen members of congress in total eight which she can appoint and five more that would be appointed in consultation with kevin mccarthy the republican leader so eight appointed by the democratic speaker five in effect appointed by the republicans plus. He's office though is raising the prospect when she makes her eight picks to put members on that committee she might pick one republican among her eight picks that would make the partisan balance on the january six committee not eight to five in favor of the democrat but a more balanced seven two six. Of course the question of whether a republican. Liz cheney or adam kim zinger would do it remains to be seen. They are two of the few republicans who have been steadfastly critical of the capital attack and trump's role in it but either of them accepting a seat on that committee a seat appointed by nancy. Pelosi that would be like i mean. I'd be like throwing a plugged in toaster into the standing partisan bathwater on capitol hill. But again we shall see and again that remains resolved as to whether or not republicans will allow any of their members to be appointed. Yeah i mean like this is a fraud issue or anything right that we deserve some clarity and closure on as a country it's not like there's continuing efforts afoot to promote the conspiracy theories and about the election that led to the january six attack in the first place. Right you will not be surprised to learn that. Former president trump this weekend used his first big rally since leaving office to talk about how he's not really the former president he in his mind is still the president. He told a crowd in ohio. This weekend quote. The twenty twenty presidential election was rigged won that election in a landslide. This was the scam century. This was the crime of the century. He said he would never stop fighting for the true results of the election. He praised what he called. The quote brave republican senators in the state of arizona for their so-called audit which they have been running into that states presidential election results saying he expects them to issue a report on their findings soon. He said that report will be quote a big deal and you know that that audit that they are doing in arizona if you want to call it that this tortuous inquisition into the ballots. Cast for president in arizona whatever's going on there with all their secret technology and their secret processes and their official pro trump media sponsor. That's allowed to broadcast stuff and other people aren't like whatever's going on there they do appear to be finally wrapping up. Whatever it is they have been doing last week. Had said they would be done by thursday but as we reported friday night they were still there. they in fact still appeared to be working away at the arizona. State fairgrounds there as of this morning But their lease on that space is up the day after tomorrow gotta make it gateway for a big gun show coming in next so they do appear to be clearing out now but in addition to former president trump hanging his whole fantasy of getting reinstated to the presidency on this inquisition in arizona. And whatever it is these cyber ninjas reading that position are going to announce which could be at any point. Now what is emerging about that this stunt in in arizona which trump world is is more and more focused on with all with which he with each passing day. What is emerging about it. Is that whatever. It's announced results are going to be. And however trump world is going to react when arizona says whatever. It was the results. Whatever it is. The results are of this process. And whatever else happens here. It does appear clear at this point that many figures in trump world have figured out how to make a ton of money off of this thing here for examples. Amend named patrick byrne his a pro-trump conspiracy theorist he had to leave his job. As ceo of overstock dot com. After it was revealed that he'd had an affair with a woman named maria bettina who was later convicted of being a russian agent. Patrick byrne wrote a book about election fraud. And how he how he thinks. The twenty twenty election was was stolen and he's of course made a bunch of money on that book he's now in addition to that made a movie about this supposed election fraud and he seems to be making a ton of money on that this movie stars all the whole cast of characters from the arizona audit debacle. They're all on camera explaining all the fantastical ways in which they're sure that the twenty twenty election was rigged in stolen from donald trump. But said they're making money on it because you look at other. They're distributing this thing just to watch a livestream of the premiere of this movie. You had to pay forty five dollars. You can also pay a minimum of five hundred dollars to license it and host your own screening of it. Patrick byrne is also now doing a pay to subscribe blog Where he just blogs about the election being stolen he's apparently according to calculations by the washington post on track to make about a million and a half dollars himself just from people subscribing to read his blog posts about his election conspiracy theories. I mean between the the book about the supposed election fraud and the movie that costs between forty five and five hundred dollars to watch about the supposed to election fraud and his to read my blog. Post thing about the election fraud do making enough money off of these claims for election fraud but he is now employing trump national security adviser and convicted felon. Mike flynn he employs like flynn to fulltime. Talk about the supposed that election fraud. That's his job nail and you know what the worst of all of this is for donald trump. None of that money is going to him. We'll have learned in this much time. That he hates it when people make money off him that he could be making remember. He told the republican party the republican national committee that they couldn't use his name or his likeness for republican party fundraising. He's the former republican president. But he had his lawyers on the rnc an actual cease and desist letter trying to get the republican party to not raise any money by invoking him or showing his picture because only he is allowed to do that. But sure enough. The washington post reports that according to several trump advisers he is quote annoyed at all the groups that are now raising money off of his rhetoric about the election being stolen but it really is so lucrative every worth their salt is drawn to this arizona circus or wherever the next fake audit is going to be and once the audit has become you know just a money making thing because however much trump is hanging on it it's not actually going to get him reinstated as president once. It's just something that's designed to rile people up enough that. They're willing to be parted from their money. And that becomes the not just sort of side here but the main purpose of what's going on here as that has increasingly taken over in terms of what's happening in arizona. They're increase increasingly zero qualms about just going full hardcore conspiracy theory even beyond the pale of stuff that might be conceivably marketed to even a mainstream republican audience. They've been going hard core for example on the cunanan conspiracy theory in recent days so In the new movie about the arizona audit the new movie. That detrick bernie. Making all this money off of. There's mike flynn appearing in the movie wearing a q. On bracelet And there was a guy being introduced before the movie launch of this weekend in arizona who's being marketed as the new q. Literally he thinks he's cue from cunanan he. He claims that he can time travel and his future self is sending messages to him back in time so that present day him can reveal the truth which sounds crazy but q. Can do it. He also happens to be recently out of prison which you would think his future self would have warned him about so as to avoid becoming imprisoned but oh well the q. Works in mysterious ways. They're all just sort of unabashed about it in terms of how far out there they're getting me to make this new era zona audit. The election was stolen movie. They really did hire. The guy who's last movie was based on the claim that it was aliens that did nine eleven. Last movie was a did nine. Eleven current movie is trump's going to be reinstated this president because of the arizona audit. Apparently his next movie is going to be about the guy who says he's q. Who says he's traveled here from the future to warn himself about the election being stolen but not to weren't himself about what going to jail. Here's the thing. Apparently no matter how crazy out there this stuff is getting. And it's an interesting question as to the former presidents mental state as to whether or not he really believes this is going to reinstate him as president or whether he's just writing this the griff now too. But however we're this getting arizona. Republicans really are right there for it. They are all in the guy. The arizona state senate republicans hired to lead the audit. Actually run run the audit the head of cyber ninjas the i they said they hired to perform a nonpartisan objective fair recount of the twenty twenty ballots. He's in the new conspiracy. Theory movie made by the aliens. Did nine eleven guy. i mean there. He was in the movie on saturday. Night talking about how. The cia has been running a disinformation effort around election. Fraud or something. He was hired by the president of the arizona. State senate republican arizona. State senator karen fan. She said over and over again that she doesn't necessarily believe the election was stolen. The audit she launched his not about trump's not about overturning. The two thousand twenty election is just about restoring voter confidence and elections. But guess what. This weekend senator. Karen fan herself attended. The big launch event in phoenix for the new election was stolen conspiracy theory movie. She in a bunch of her fellow arizona. Republican state senators there in person the arizona senate president one of the highest ranking republican elected officials in the state at the event lending her authority to this crazy cunanan. On thing things are getting wild in arizona and we could find out what the supposed results are that they have come up with any day now they appeared to actually finally be stopping. Doing whatever it was they were doing and calling their audit. But here we are. I mean life on earth one where president biden is trying to pass an infrastructure bill. And he's getting pressured from young activists on the left to make sure it's ambitious on climate. While not coincidentally the planet cooks like it has never cooked before life on earth. One where democrats won a a bipartisan review of the violence at the capitol after we blew the peaceful transition of power for the first time in our nation's history right life life on earth. One is hard enough right now. This is a hard work stuff that need real solutions. That stuff's hard enough but on earth to republican earth where trump thinks. He's still president. Not really is where the republican party is still stuck even as he is now started leading political rallies again even as he is the undisputed leader of his party even asking girds for potential criminal charges. Coming as soon as tomorrow. What a world. What a world of remember the feeling you got as a kid getting tucked in a bid or the feeling you get now in the arms of somebody. You love safe. Insecure is a feeling of security. That only comes through human connection. And that's why the people at simplisafe home security are so important of course simplisafe has an award-winning system. That has all the technology bells and whistles. You'd expect these days but the people at simplisafe really take it to the next level there around the clock anytime you need them. Whether it's a fire of burglary a medical emergency a burst. Pipe or even a problem while you're setting up the system. Simplisafe has a person with the expertise. You need ready to help. Twenty four seven and when you know. There's always someone there to help. Well pats feeling you just. Don't get with emile security system to find out how simplisafe can make you feel safe insecure at home visit. Simplisafe dot com slash. Dateline today the customize your system and get a free security camera that's s. I m. p. l. i. s. a. f. e. dot com slash dateline today earlier this month when a trailer came out for a new conspiracy theory movie about the arizona audit and how the two thousand twenty election was stolen from donald trump and giant conspiracy. A number of people who've been covering that arizona audit were struck by the familiar sound of one of the voices someone credited in the trailer as anonymous and and shielded from view in the trailer nevertheless sounded an awful lot like a man named doug logan who is the head of cyprian inches duck logan and cyber ninjas that's the company performing these supposedly non-partisan objective audit in arizona. Why would that guy be featured in an insane conspiracy theory queueing on movie about the audit made by a guy who usually makes movies about aliens taking over. The earth doesn't seem like a good look for people interested in defending the quality of the audit rate reporter for the arizona. Mirror named jared mcdonnell d. Voire who has been doing some of the most granular reporting on what's happening in arizona. He started tracking the evolution of that trailer for that film as the filmmakers apparently kept trying to change the voice and replaced bits of the trailer. So people wouldn't know that the guy actually running the arizona audit participated in this conspiracy. Theory cunanan jason film was weird but this weekend that reporter went to the premiere of this new film and it was no longer secret. They're no longer trying to disguise his voice or spot shadow him or keep him in silhouette when they finally showed the movie this weekend. The guy running the arizona on it is proudly revealed as an enthusiastic source for this crazy pants movie. A majority of republican voters across the country. Believe that the election was stolen from donald trump. This ridiculous exercise and arizona is their best source of hope for believing that and it is crazy enough to be looking at that from across the country knowing that this is the long weird tale of the last presidency but from close up from close up covering it from arizona. It's definitely even crazier Joining us now is jared mcdonald ego. He's a reporter at the arizona mirror his coverage of the zona audit and the character surrounding. It has really been indispensable for understanding. What's happening there. mr mcdowell. Thank you very much for being with us. I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you the immune. Is this Exercise in arizona. Over or it's been a little bit hard to tell. We thought they might be wrapping up last week. Could seems like maybe now. They're wrapping up now. Well honestly it's hard to tell it's been very much. Moving target from the gecko When it comes to this audit a lot of things are constantly changing when it comes to the procedures or when it's going to wrap up i mean earlier this year. We were told that you know things would end at a certain time but then things got extended again. You know we saw what happened to win. You know the The we had issues with the lease and what happened when graduations happened and there was kind of hubbub. That happened there so when it comes to this audit. Nothing's kind of a lot of things are always kind of air. We never really quite know what's going to happen is for us. Reporters here in arizona always keeps us on our toes of what's going to happen but as far as we know from official channels. We've been told that it's going to be wrapping up in has ended here soon and they finished accounting and they finishing up. What's called this paper. Examinations portion of of the audit. We have seen That it has been sort of a hallmark. there have been route. Repeated touchstones among those who believe in the president's conspiracy theories around the election that the election was stolen him or that. There was some sort of fraud that nobody's been able to prove. But that was definitely there We've seen these films happened. We saw mike lindell do a film and then do another film. There's definitely a whole universe of youtube devoted to this stuff but there was also this new film that was premiered in arizona in phoenix this weekend which seemed to have unusual access to the audit itself. i will say reading your coverage of it today. The thing that was most surprising to me was to learn that the state senate president and other republican lawmakers were there. it seemed like Sort of something. That would be more for the like die hard true believer rabble rather than for the officials that are going to have to be defending whatever. The results of this audit is pretty soon. It was a little surprising to see that there were some lawmakers there but at the same time it wasn't some lawmakers that were there like represented mark finchem and sunny borelli have been very involved in a lot of this what i would call alternative media. That is out there. We have a lot of that here. In arizona this alternative media that some of it has become d platform or has had issues because of the the election fraud issues that they've spread or the the qn on issues that they've spread finchem galley there. They frequently appear on a lot of all right channels and all right or alternative media type q. On channels for example re represented finchem was on a a channel called Red pill. I believe seventy six. It's a channel that is a primarily dedicated to on content for the most part and is spread. A lot of unfounded conspiracy theories around the arizona audit like saying that there was a spy plane that was sent by biden to spy on arizona's audit but it was actually a phoenix. Police plane had nothing to do with audit was circling nowhere near the audit. But that was that was a show that the finchem appeared on so for for people who've been following a lot of these lawmakers very closely. It wasn't incredibly surprising to see that they did show up at this event. Considering the it hit on a lot of the the key you know fraud claims that a lot of these lawmakers have been bolstering to to their Their supporting ranks In the past few months jared as as things have gotten weirder like those kind of allegations that you were just describing biden sending a spy plane famously. The hunt for bamboo fighter fibers in the paper. The the the more outlandish unbelievable and in some cases laughable claim that have under girded this supposed need for the audit and the things. They're investigating as things have gotten weirder and weirder has that undercut the seriousness with which republicans are treating this or the anticipation in republican circles. As to what these supposed- audit is going to find. I mean usually in rationalist terms when stuff gets weird. You expect it to To appeal to a smaller base in this case. I can't quite tell if that's happening or not an arizona. Say yes and no. There are subsets of of conservative belief. Out here in arizona that that some of that as evidence of further wrongdoing of further. You know You know evidence of there being You know wrong issues in the election. They see it as further evidence to support that there. Is you know something going on. Nefarious going on in the election or something nefarious going on in the audit or or the people in the orbit of the audit but then there are republicans that have been coming out and saying no. This is not right. We're seeing a lot of you. Know misinformation and disinformation there have been republicans. Have spoken out like you know. Very publicly and and Such as maricopa county recorder stephen richer or the board of supervisors which is mainly report. Maricopa county board of supervisors which is mainly republican. They've come out very strongly against that. And that has been a big sticking point between the arizona senate. They've been fighting back and forth between the arizona. The maricopa county board of supervisors which is primarily republican. See do you have this kind of divide between Types of republicans within the state who some no matter what happens they see it as some sort of evidence towards more fraud or you have others. That are kind of saying enough is enough with with some of this stuff does feel like at times a little bit of something that tends toward mass hysteria. This idea that any any countervailing evidence is just more evidence. For how right you are. I i will tell you just covering this from the outside. I do find your work in the work of your colleagues at the mirror. The mirror and arizona republican some other Outlets to have been incredibly valuable. I also know that you guys have been working triple time in order to keep the the country informed as to what's been going on there and it has been hard to follow and it's a challenge so just want to thank you and commend you in the mirror and all your colleagues for doing all this hard work jared. It's it's the country. Needs you and you guys are doing great work. The really appreciate that. Thank you very much. All right jared. Mcconnell decoy is a reporter at the arizona mirror Again i will say. Part of me doesn't even want to anticipate let alone sort of a talk about the fact that there's going to be some results announced about the arizona audit because i mean they've been there. You know basically playing with toe jam for all these weeks and we don't know like there's no reason to believe that there's going to be any actual information anything real that comes out of this audit however we have to pay attention to that just as a benchmark for the country because when they came out and they inevitably say oh yeah was the chinese and the aliens and the people out to get mike flynn all like rigged the election for trump. It's going to have an impact in trump world because trump voters trump's supporters and certainly people around the president himself Want to believe that there was something wrong with the twenty twenty election. And whatever comes out of this garbage process and arizona will be seized on to start a whole new chapter and i'm trying to sell the country and the fact that joe biden wasn't legitimately elected having to pay attention to. This is both infuriating. It's sort of enervating. But also i think prudent because it's this is not getting any less nuts over time. All right we got much more to get to here tonight. Stay with us in side. Florida makeshift memorials springing. Up now people lost and the people still missing since thursday when a part of a twelve storey condo complex collapsed. No warning one hundred thirty six total units in the building fifty five of them crumbled within seconds in the middle of the night family members have been posting photos of their missing loved. Ones hoping someone has seen them hoping they somehow weren't in that building. When it came down today is day five since the collapse and the search for survivors continues desperately but with more bad news tonight for all of the families and all of the people who are worried about those who they haven't heard from authorities announced tonight that another victim has been pulled from the rubble that makes it a total of people who are now confirmed dead in the building collapse even more horrifying than that. Though is the total number of people still unaccounted for. Even with eleven people known to have been killed. There are another one hundred fifty persons. Still unaccounted for and that prospect. That the unaccounted for number may soon become something approaching. Death toll is almost impossible to get your head around rescue. Crews on site are systematically going through the massive piles of rubble and the hopes of finding life. Work has been delayed by rain by fires on site by the imminent threat of further. Collapse of the remaining parts of the building. Teams have tunneled into the site. They've used dogs and sonar and specialized cameras. There's some mexico and israel that are part of the search teams that are skilled at finding survivors of catastrophes. The core mystery though Alongside the tragedies of course what caused the building to collapse and it's still speculation but it's speculation that will be at the heart of ongoing investigations. The discussion right now focusing on an inspection report from three years ago from two thousand eighteen or local engineer warned about quote major structural damage below the pool area at the condo complex and quote abundant cracking and other parts of the building. The engineer's report said failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially again identifying bad concrete deterioration. Already saying failure to do major repairs would cause the concrete deterioration to spread. the report. Also said that the waterproofing had been laid on a flat structure which hadn't been slow to drain calling it a major error by the developers by the builders. The engineer added that this was causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas. Again this was all from twenty eighteen in black and white off quite explicit and quite urgent surviving residents of that tower that collapsed told nbc news. They never heard about any of this. In fact residents say town officials told them in two thousand eighteen meeting that the building was quote. Not in bad shape now is from surf. Site florida is patricia. She's miami bureau chief for the new york times. She's been covering the story since the very beginning. This say. thank you so much for taking time to talk to us tonight. I know this is exhausting. Story happy to be here to tell people stories about it helped me understand where we are in the process. The thing that is gut wrenching. Here is not only the known loss of life already but the very large number of people who remain unaccounted for and the fact that this is day five obviously the first seventy two hours is seen as sort of golden period sort of best window for hopes of finding people. Alive defy it is starting to feel like a very very scary situation. Yeah i think over the weekend especially after the sort of initial frustration from the families about not knowing exactly what was happening. They were able to see a close. They were taken to as close to the site as they could get to witness the search efforts themselves and they saw the hundreds of people who are working near the pile they saw this labyrinth of tunnels machinery. That is now working there. And they were able to sort of have a private moment their degree. So i think that has led to officials starting to ease them into the idea as horrible as it. Is that that. This is going to be a long painstaking process. And what they might find our human remains but that it's going to be very very difficult rescue workers. I've spoken to talk about just the enormity of it being very different from anything. They've had to work before in terms of the number of possible fatalities and they describe really harrowing situations where they find one floor just barely a couple of feet from another floor. You know normally there would be about ten feet between the ceiling and the floor of one story the building and now we're talking about maybe two feet one foot of spacing so it's just really terrible everything. We hear coming out of the site. Can you tell us a little bit about how officials arrives at this. As i said this sort of terrifying number that there may be as many as one hundred fifty people who are unaccounted for now. Five days into this. How confident are they in number. Obviously it looms as a theoretical potential death toll when this is all over they still call it a very fluid number. They have not been willing to release the names on it because they fear. It's not entirely correct yet. They've depended on families to come forward and report their loved ones missing and file a formal paperwork saying that. And so the question is you know. There's a big international community in south florida. have they reached. Everybody who might be abroad in. Other countries are their language barriers. But it's really been a process of relying on the families to come forward and just yesterday they were saying they didn't think they had heard from all the families of the missing yet and they wanted their information. They wanted their dna to be swabbed so that they could make comparisons with any remains that they find so it's sort of a slow process and one that they don't have complete confidence in being completely correct. I think we we would all love to think that a lot of these people are sort of on vacation somewhere and not following the news. But i don't know that that's the case. In terms of the ongoing efforts the rescue and recovery efforts it's been interesting to see international teams come in teams from other countries and teams from around the united states that have specialized expertise specialized equipment. Can you give us any sense of how dangerous the rescue and recovery efforts are obviously these are specialized teams and they know what they're doing but some of the the pace of it. I think it obviously like you said they've gotten enormous. The enormity of the task is daunting but are they themselves at risk for potential further collapse while they're on on site on the pile that was of particular concern early on it still is but early on. They really had no idea what they were facing. And they were going through the bottom through these tunnels because they thought that that was the best chance that they would have to find what they call voids which are empty spaces where they might find life and so they started at the bottom drilling through bit by bit and shoring up the concrete. So that the rescue workers themselves wouldn't be injured. We did here today. Which is a frightening thought of one of the rescue workers. Sort of falling down the mountain. Twenty feet We were also told there were no serious injuries. But these teams travel with trauma surgeons in large part to protect the workers because it is very dangerous. They don't know if there's going to be a secondary collapse and when there were those conditions of fire and thunderstorms and rain and sort of things. That could destabilize the pile. That was extra concern. Patricia miami bureau chief for the new york times has been covering this for these last few days. Just absolutely wrenching story. Thanks for giving us some context. Thanks for helping us understand. Thanks for having me all right. We've got much more ahead. Here's this monday nights stay. What's the story struck a nerve last week when we covered it. I just wanted to give you an update tonight. The name of the last pro democracy newspaper in hong kong is apple daily as china has started closing an iron fist around hong kong and in particular around pro democracy forces in hong kong. The free press. They're has paid a very dramatic price and last week. Apple daily was forced to shut down. Police officers raided apple daily's offices they froze the papers assets so they couldn't pay their staff. They couldn't pay for operations but then the police started arresting the staff of the newspaper. Five executives at apple daily and a columnist were rounded up thrown in jail amid that increasingly impossible pressure. That last newspaper announced that they were shutting down for good. They published their last issue on thursday. We covered that here on the show. People in hong kong woke up before dawn to stand in line at newsstands to grab a copy for their last issue apple daily printed instead of their usual like eighty thousand copies. They've printed a million copies. They were all sold out across the city before nine. Am the last print edition of the last pro democracy independent newspaper in that great city. And it's a obviously an upsetting story for democracy for freedom of the press for creeping authoritarianism around the world it's especially horrible for all the journalists who worked who felt the only way to stop their colleagues from getting thrown in jail was to stop printing the newspaper and go out of business but apparently even that was not enough last night a senior journalist who used to write for apple daily before it shut down last week was trying to board a plane to leave hong kong trying to board a plane from hong kong to london. He was arrested in the airport. Police say they arrested him for conspiring to collude with foreign countries or foreign sources to endanger national security that crime new crime in china that this new crime that the pro china government has been using to crackdown on pro-democracy forces of all kinds in hong kong. That is a crime that is punishable by up to life in prison. Hong kong journalists association. Put out this statement. Today quote we reiterate that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are both hongkong core values if the writers penn is forbidden hong kong will hardly be regarded as an international city. The pro democracy paper he wrote for does not exist anymore but they arrested him anyway as he was trying to leave the country presumably just to show that they could. This was the headline over it at bloomberg this weekend. When it happened quote fear grips other hong kong media. It crushes apple daily. Watch this space. If you're wondering why sales of pepco biz mo are up at a bodega. Just outside the kremlin. It's because the ukraine ukraine and nato have just launched really big military drills together In the black sea these drills are called seabreeze twenty twenty one But don't let the wine cooler name full you They're expected to last about two weeks. Involve about five thousand military personnel from the us ukraine and nato member countries about forty aircraft about thirty warships taking part in these drills among them. The us The uss ross which is a guided missile destroyer. The navy says these exercises will focus on things like amphibious warfare. Land maneuver warfare. Air defense anti-submarine warfare. Now the us ukraine have been doing joint military exercises somewhat like this since nine hundred ninety seven but they have never before done anything at this scale In a tweet today the. Us and ukraine said quote seabreeze. 2021 is nothing new except that the number of countries is bigger than ever and these scenarios are more complex. Ukraine says that they're taking part in these drills with all this manpower all this machinery to gain experience in these kinds of joint activities but the subtext is clear. Ukraine wants to join nato and ukraine having a close alliance with the united states and with nato also sends a very clear message to russia as you would expect. Moscow is feeling quite dick over these exercises. The russian defense ministry said that they will react if necessary to protect their own national security last week. The russian embassy in dc called for these exercises to be cancelled but they are going ahead starting today for the next two weeks. Watch this space. That's going to do it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow. Night at nine eastern on msnbc.

Coming up next