Russian President Vladimir Putin just keeps losing in Ukraine. Over the weekend, Ukraine said it had retaken full control over a key eastern city after Putin claimed the area would belong to Russia, quote, "forever". Just days after hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida, Republicans refused to support a spending bill that included billions in funding for FEMA disaster relief, including Senator Rick Scott of Florida, and every Florida Republican in the House. President Biden is scheduled to Florida on Wednesday to survey damage from Hurricane Ian. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson begins tenure as SCOTUS`s first Black woman. Oath Keepers founder on trial for seditious conspiracy.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Rachel. It`s great to see.
But let me just add to your praise of Michael Young. I`m so sad to see him go. I`m thrilled that he is retiring and going off to do things he really wants to do. He`s a great photographer.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": Yeah.
CAPEHART: I don`t know if you know this, but he did a photo shoot with me, and he`s -- one of his shots was so beautiful, I use it for my head shot for at least five years.
MADDOW: That`s fantastic.
CAPEHART: So I`m thrilled. I`m so glad that you gave him a much deserved shout out.
MADDOW: I mean, we all -- we all have so many people in this building and in this company who we depend on, and work with, and have, you know, formed lasting friendships with. Michael Young is just one of those people that is literally everybody`s favorite`s co-workers. He`s the sweetest guy in the world and he`s so great at what he does.
And he`s going to -- he`s just leaving shoes that nobody will be able to fill. But I`m glad that you love him, too. We all do. And I can`t wish him anything but all the best.
CAPEHART: Well, good luck to you, Michael.
And thank you very much, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Jonathan.
CAPEHART: There is so much news to get to tonight. Five weeks into hours until Election Day, the Justice Department opened its case that January 6th was a seditious conspiracy. The Trump lawyers are trying to slow walk the documents stealing case. Putin losing in Ukraine. A deadly hurricane. American democracy still under threat, and Donald Trump is still racist. We will get to all of that in tonight`s show.
But, America got better today. History was made today, in an achievement 233 years in the making. The Supreme Court of the United States began its new term with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on the bench, the first Black woman to ever sit on America`s highest court.
And, if you are in the room today, like Neal Katyal, who will join us in a moment was, you would have witnessed another historic milestone. You would have witnessed a Supreme Court where white men are no longer the majority on the court.
Justice Jackson`s debut on the court comes almost 55 years to the day Justice Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as America`s first Black justice on what was said to be the most liberal court in American history.
Justice Jackson joins a court that has grown more extreme and one in a crisis of legitimacy after overturning a woman`s right to choose. She joins a court with several consequential cases on the docket, including the fate of affirmative action programs, college admissions, and voting rights.
But, last Friday, hours after she was officially sworn in at the Supreme Court, all of that was briefly set aside, in celebration at the Library of Congress to mark her achievement, and Justice Jackson spoke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTICE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, SUPREME COURT: As I undertake the role of associate justice, there is no doubt that I will have my share of pure bad luck. I will have promoters and I will have detractors. But with your support, and God`s grace --
Through it all, I will keep moving.
Thank you all. Thank you all so much. I am truly grateful. I have a seat at the table now.
I have a seat at the table now and I`m ready to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: I was in the room for this incredible occasion. Justice Jackson`s emotion, her sense of history, her humility, were all palpable. But this part got me the most.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: People from all walks of life approach me with what I can only describe as a profound sense of pride and what feels to me like renewed ownership.
I can see it in their eyes. I can hear it in their voices. They stare at me, as if to say, look at what we`ve done.
They say -- they say this, this is what we can accomplish if we put our minds to it. They might not use those words, but I get the message. They are calling on the ancestors, harkening back to history, and claiming their stake at last. They are saying to me, in essence, you go -- you go girl.
They are saying invisible no more. We see you, and we are with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: Look at what we`ve done.
And then there is this. When the choir came out for a lift every voice and sing, a hymn written after the civil war, that is still known as the Negro national anthem, a whole lot of people were feeling it.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
CAPEHART: Joining us now are two of the voices you just heard, Dr. Patrick Lundy, founder and director of Patrick Lundy and the Ministries of Music, and one of the groups members, Veda Williams.
Thank you both very much for being here.
Ms. Veda, I will start with you. I know how I felt being there, but how did you feel, lifting your voice as the first black Supreme Court justice. What does Justice Jackson mean to you?
VEDA WILLIAMS, PATRICK LUNDY & THE MINISTRIES OF MUSIC: Well, I was thinking about the goodness of god, and how much of a blessing it was, and a distinct honor and privilege it was to be afforded the opportunity. I felt so proud and overjoyed, that I was there, and I could feel our ancestors in the room rejoicing, with that. And I felt like shouting.
CAPEHART: Uh-huh. I don`t know, if my memory is right, but after you all sang "Amazing Grace", a lot of you were wiping away tears, it was just so powerful.
Dr. Lundy, what did it mean for you to be part of that history?
DR. PATRICK LUNDY, PATRICK LUNDAY & THE MINISTRIES OF MUSIC: Well, as one of the organizers for the ceremony, I was just so elated that we are able to choose music that was so be fitting for this historic occasion. I mean, it was electric in the room, I think that all of us felt a sense of pride, I`ve been a part of this historic occasion, the Duke Ellington concert choir, Washington, D.C.`s own was there as you saw earlier, and the music, and this Smithsonian jazz ensemble. I mean, we truly had a celebration in honor of this occasion.
CAPEHART: You know, I`d say, I turn to my friend Robert sitting next to me, when I saw the ministers coming down the aisles and I said, oh boy, it`s about to get serious now.
Dr. Patrick Lundy, and Ms. Veda Williams, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
LUNDY: Thank you for having us.
CAPEHART: Justice Jackson, in her words, sits on the shoulders of women like Justice Constance Baker Motley, who`s the first black woman to argue before the Supreme Court, and the first Black woman appointed to the federal bench in 1966, after being appointed by Lyndon Johnson, to the southern district of New York.
Justice Jackson reflected on that legacy Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: I looked to what I learned about Judge Constance Baker Motley. I never matter, but I knew of her career as a federal judge, and it was, in many ways, my North Star.
Indeed, it was the support in affirmation of the people who were close to me, on the one hand, and on the other, Judge Motley`s modeling from afar that helped me to see, and know the promise of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: Joining us now are Danielle Holley, dean of Howard University School of Law.
And Joel Motley, Judge Constance Baker Motley`s son. He`s chairman emeritus of the board of Human Rights Watch.
Thank you both for being here.
Mr. Motley, what would your mother, Judge Constance Baker Motley, say about this moment in history?
JOEL MOTLEY, CHAIRMAN EMERITUS OF THE BOARD OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Oh, there is no doubt she would be thrilled. She believed in progress, and that`s I think enabled her to accomplish many of the things that she did. But now Justice Jackson embodies all of the great things of my mother admired and pioneered.
Dean Holley, what will you tell your students about the achievement of Justice Jackson, and what it means?
DANIELLE HOLLEY, HOWARD UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL DEAN & PROFESSOR: Jonathan, it was such an important moment, in the sense that in the legal profession, we want to tell students that there are no barriers to what they can achieve, and what they will do, and until Justice Jackson was officially sworn in, there is still a barrier, there never been a black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. And now that barrier is no longer there.
So is truly a story moment, and one in which so many people in our profession and around the world, people who aren`t lawyers can look to this moment and say the barriers are really coming down in a very significant way.
CAPEHART: Well, thank you both very much for sharing your perspective -- I`m sorry. I`m sorry, I heard something from the control room.
But thank you both very much for being here this evening.
Justice Jackson offered to bring some indictment on her first day on the bench. Take a listen to her inaction at the court.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JACKSON: Isn`t the issue what Congress would`ve intended, with respect to adjacency? Are you saying that neighboring wetlands can`t impact the quality of navigable waters?
SCHIFF: Swank, for its part, said 404G is unenlightening as to the meaning of waters of the United States.
JACKSON: Well, let me -- let me try to bring some enlightenment to it by asking it this way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: I want to bring into our conversation, Neal Katyal, former acting U.S. solicitor general and an MSNBC legal analyst.
Neal, what was your impression of Justice Jackson?
NEAL KATYAL, MSNBC LEGAL ANALSYT: Well, I think, you know, Jonathan, you`ve got it right. America got better today, I`ve known her for a quarter of a century, but I was really glad, honestly, that I argue the second case today, not the first when you are just showing, because when she came out on the bench this morning, there were tears in my eyes, and I wasn`t alone in that. So I`m glad I had an hour and a half to recover, where I had to get up and actually argue.
But, you know, I normally have the words, Jonathan, I got good words, but today I think words fail, because to tell you what this means for the country, someone not only brilliant, but it`s such a decent human being. I got to meet her parents for the first time on Friday, and that became very clear to me where that all comes from. It`s an extraordinary family.
What you saw today in that question that you just showed was her really acting like not a first day justice., because normally first day and first year justices don`t ask many questions. She came right out of the gate in that first argument, and admired her even in the second one, asked a whole bunch of questions, she in fact spoke the third most of any justice in that first argument.
And, you know, you played Justice Jackson`s remarks on Friday, saying she now to seat at the table. Well, today, if you are watching, it felt like she was always there. It was incredible.
O`DONNELL: Joel, let me ask you another question, because as I`m listening to Neal, and I recall what Justice Jackson said about your mother, Judge Constance Baker Motley, I`m wondering in the audio you just played and even in any reporting you may have seen before tonight subpoenas out her first day on the bench, do you see any similarities, any traits in justice Jackson that were inherent in your mom?
MOTLEY: Well, I think they are both have great presence, and their great legal minds. The Supreme Court is very much and the legal profession is very much about argument. And that requires both presence and significant intellect of the same time. So I think they`re very similar in that way.
O`DONNELL: And, Danielle, as the dean of Howard University Law School, I`m just wondering your thoughts on this. There`s a gala poll out this shows a 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the job of the Supreme Court. I know we`re putting a lot of Justice Jackson`s shoulders, but do you think her presence on the court will do anything to improve the Supreme Court`s reputation?
HOLLEY: Well, I have to say that was a mixed emotion of the day for me, is that, you know, for the first time we see four women on the court at a time when we see a significant rollback of women`s rights in this country, and also this term, we will see them looking at everything from voting rights to affirmative action, to public accommodations issues, for LGBTQIA community.
And so, it is really ironic, to see the most diverse court in Supreme Court history, which will also become known, I think, as a court that will significantly rollback the individual rights of many Americans. So in some ways, it was bittersweet, I think, because we don`t want to use representation to really lend legitimacy to a court that is doing significant harm to the rights of many Americans.
CAPEHART: Danielle Holley, Joel Motley, thank you.
Neal Katyal, please stay with us.
Coming up, all the other news.
Today, the National Archives revealed that some records from the Trump right White House are still missing.
And government prosecutors laid out their case today that Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the so-called Oath Keepers, quote, concocted a plan for a armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of democracy during the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Did it give us any clues into the Justice Department`s January 6th investigation regarding Donald Trump? We`ll ask Glenn Kirschner, who is in the courtroom, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART RHODES, OATH KEEPERS LEDSER: He needs to know from you that you are with him, that he does not do it now while he`s commander-in-chief, we`re going to have to do it ourselves later, in much more desperate, much more bloody war. Let`s get it on now while he is still the commander-in-chief, hula.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: Today, the Justice Department made its opening statements in a seditious conspiracy trial of Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia group known as Oath Keepers. The Justice Department says Rhodes and several of his top lieutenants who were also on trial plotted to oppose the peaceful transfer of power on January 6th.
Today, the jury heard an audio recording from January 10th, four days after the Capitol riot, were roads says, quote, only regret is that they should have brought rifles.
Rhodes` defense is that he thought his actions were legal, and that then President Donald Trump invoked the insurrection act which they say would`ve given them permission to use force to support Trump.
And there is news tonight in the Justice Department`s case against Donald Trump. The National Archives says it still doesn`t have all the documents that Donald Trump took with him when he left office. Meanwhile, attorneys for Donald Trump are objecting to the Justice Department`s request to expedite the repeal of the ruling, appointing a special master to oversee the documents in the case.
Trump`s attorneys contend, quote, the government has not and cannot possibly articulate any real risk of loss or harm resulting from a deliberative process.
Glenn Kirschner is a former federal prosecutor and an MSNBC legal analyst. He was in the courtroom today covering the Oath Keepers trial.
And Neal Katyal is back with us as well.
But, Glenn, I`m going to start with you, first. I want to get a big picture assessment from you. What does this case tell us about where the justice department is heading with its ongoing January 6th prosecutions?
GLENN KIRSCHNER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Jonathan, it tells us that the Department of Justice is, in earnest, working its way up from the smaller charges to the more significant charges. You know, seditious conspiracy charges are not often brought by the Department of Justice. They last tried about ten years ago, out in Michigan, it didn`t go so well for DOJ. In fact, the judge dismissed the seditious conspiracy charges.
But, you know, as I sat in the courtroom today, and watch the opening statements of the prosecutor, and the three defense attorneys that chose to open, people might not know the defense attorneys can actually differ their opening statements until after the government rested its case. But when I listen to the evidence, you know, it was really sort of surprising how much direct evidence of guilt the prosecutors have, and they promised it to the jury.
Often, we are building cases on circumstantial evidence. But in this case, prosecutors have videos of the defendants actually committing the crime, or at least part of the crime, breaching the Capitol, entering the capitol, bragging about the fact that they, quote, took the Capitol. I mean, rarely do we have that kind of direct evidence of the crime in progress.
So it looks like it`s a strong case. Now, these were only the opening statements. We have to await the proof, and believe me, no cases a sure winner. But it looks like the Department of Justice is off to a good start.
CAPEHART: Glenn, I want to talk about one of those pieces of evidence. According to evidence presented by prosecutors, on January 8th, Rhodes told members of the Oath Keepers, quote, you all need to delete any of your comments regarding who did what, do not chat about Oath Keeper members allegedly doing anything at Capitol. Go dark on that. Do not discuss. Let me put it in infantry speak, shut the F up.
Is DOJ using Rhodes`s own words to make that case against him?
KIRSCHNER: Absolutely. You know, it was almost comical, because together with those statements that you just quoted, Jonathan, the prosecutors also opened on some additional statements that Rhodes made in writing. He said to his fellow Oath Keepers: delete your self-incriminating comments. Delete your comments that incriminate other Oath Keepers. And delete your comments that incriminate the organization, generally.
Problem is, old Elmer Stewart Rhodes didn`t believe his own comments where he was instructing everybody else to get rid of the incriminating evidence. Like, I`m not going to say this is a shooting fish in a barrel, but it really does feel like a strong case.
CAPEHART: Wow. Neal, wow.
I want to switch gears, and talk about the missing government documents. In a letter to the House Oversight Committee, the Archive says it is still not sure that everything has been returned, quote: While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability. We do not know that we do not have custody of everything we should. As appropriate, the Archives would consult with the Department of Justice on whether to initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed.
So with all the legal trouble Trump is in over these documents, can you believe that he still may not have returned all of them? And how do you think the DOJ should handle this?
KATYAL: No, I can`t believe it, Jonathan, and, of course, what we are talking about here is the Mar-a-Lago national security document investigation, which is totally different than what Glenn is talking, about the January 6th investigation, which is going to the Trump White House and looking at that. And that`s different from the other criminal investigations going on in Georgia, and possibly New York about other things.
So, this is about retention of these highly sensitive national security documents. And, Jonathan, you`ve had me on your Sunday show like three times in the last eight weeks, and we always say, Trump has provided no explanation whatsoever for what he was doing with those documents. That is still, now, eight weeks later he has them, and now we`re learning that the Archives still don`t think he`s turned over all the documents.
And that`s going on top of a new story in "The Washington Post" tonight, the Trump`s lawyer told Donald Trump in February that he could not certify that all the documents had been returned to the archives, and Trump sidelined him because of it.
And so, all of this is very powerful evidence. It`s kind of glue -- key glue that`s s directly linking Donald Trump to what we can call the new big lie, which is the attempt to try to say, he returned everything to federal investigators, to the archives, when he obviously didn`t. That`s why the search warrant was executed.
CAPEHART: Well, to that point, you anticipated my next question and that is this "Washington Post" report out tonight, that Alex Cannon, this is quoting the story, a former Trump Organization story who worked for the campaign and for Trump after the presidency told Trump he could not tell the Archives all the requested material have been returned. He told others he was not sure if other documents were still at the club, and would be uncomfortable making such a claim, the people familiar with the matter said.
So, Neal, you`ve already told us what you make of this. But the fact that the key piece that you didn`t mention was that this Alex Cannon guy told Trump and those folks that he was uncomfortable telling the Archives that they had everything.
KATYAL: Exactly. That`s why his testimony should he cooperate with law enforcement or be forced to cooperate with law enforcement, shows Donald Trump having an intent to hide, having an intent to deceive. And this report is precisely why we see Trump lawyer after Trump lawyer wind up embroiled in their own legal difficulties because Donald Trump pressures his attorneys to do unethical things. Most -- some of them acquiesce and face disciplinary proceedings, and others like this guy are kind of caught in the middle.
But I think this is a gold mine for prosecutors right now. There will be no attorney client privilege, because it will be set subject to the crime fraud exception.
Neal Katyal, Glenn Kirschner, thank you both very much for coming back to THE LAST WORD.
Coming up, Vladimir Putin is losing the war in Ukraine. After Russia`s attempted annexation of four regions in Ukraine, Putin has suffered military setbacks in at least three of them. The latest sign of progress on the battlefield for Ukrainian forces, that`s next.
CAPEHART: Russian President Vladimir Putin just keeps losing in Ukraine. Over the weekend, Ukraine said it had retaken full control over a key eastern city after Putin claimed the area would belong to Russia, quote, "forever".
And today NBC News reports Ukrainian forces appear to make sweeping new gains Monday, piling pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin as the Kremlin faced growing domestic unease over the state of its struggling military, and the chaotic efforts to reinforce it.
CAPEHART: Russia`s lower parliamentary chamber, the state Duma unanimously and blindly approved Putin`s sham takeover of four regions of Ukraine today.
The Kremlin says the borders for its newly claimed lands were not yet established, likely because Ukraine`s military keeps taking back more and more of that stolen land.
Yesterday on CBS News, former national security advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said this about the conflict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think, Margaret, what we might be at here is really at the precipice of really the collapse of the Russian army in Ukraine -- a moral collapse. And I think they must really be at a breaking point.
If you look at just the number of casualties, the vast area that they are trying to defend. And now, of course, Russia is trying to mobilize conscripts, and send them to the front untrained.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: Joining us now is Simon Shuster, senior correspondent for "Time Magazine". He recently visited Kyiv, and is writing a book about the war in Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. And retired 4-star U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey, a decorated combat veteran of Vietnam, and former battlefield commander in the Persian Gulf.
He is now an MSNBC military analyst.
General McCaffrey, I want to start with you. We heard H.R. McMaster say that Vladimir Putin`s military could be on the verge of collapse. This morning, you called the weekend`s events momentous. Where are we now, after Ukrainian forces made even more gains today?
GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, MSNBC MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it`s an astonishing state of affairs. David and Goliath has turned a corner. The Ukrainians, are essentially a nation in arms. They have $17 billion of U.S. Military technology, they now on the fly integrated into their forces.
They`ve dealt a devastating blow in the east to the Russian forces there, for a decade or longer. That has been World War I trenches, artillery warfare, grudging gains of a kilometer or two of ground.
Now they have unhinged the whole effort by capturing Lyman, the logistics and rail center. It may well be that will unravel the Russian position in the east.
Then the strategic center of gravity is in the south. The Kherson pocket it, what will happen. Are they capable of bagging 15,000 or more Russian, so called elite forces? So I think everyone properly is saying that there is hard fighting ahead. But it looks as if the Russian military (INAUDIBLE) is starting to come apart on them.
CAPEHART: And so Simon, you are well sourced with Ukrainian officials in Kyiv. How are they reacting to these huge gains? And what are they willing to say about what comes next?
SIMON SHUSTER, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: TIME MAGAZINE: The mood in Kyiv is really great right now, they have quite a bit to give them encouragement, and how they are doing in the war. Again, not only in the east, but in the south, there are reports that their offensive in the south is advancing, and that they are still pursuing that, and having a lot of success.
I think also, you know, in terms of the morale, these 300,000 troops that Putin mobilized just last week, we have not seen them yet making any kind of difference on the ground, any discernible difference. And Ukrainians position is that we`re going to push ahead. If you want to throw another 300,000 untrained conscripts into the fight, you know, we will accept the surrender or we are going to fight them.
But the Ukrainians feel they are not going to make any difference on the ground. Those conscripts -- those new Russian forces that are supposedly coming to the fight, and they are pushing ahead. Their aim is to take back all the territory they say that Russia occupied since the invasion in February.
And indeed, they want to push ahead even further to take back Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. So their missions are very big, they`re pushing ahead with those, and they`re in no mood to negotiate, because they see the front line shifting in Ukraine`s favor.
I don`t think they`re going to sit down at any negotiating table while they are having these battlefield successes.
CAPEHART: And you know, General McCaffrey, on Russian television, and in the Russian press, which are all state controlled -- the loss of Lyman in Eastern Ukraine has brought a lot of calls for military leadership to face harsh consequences. We saw that criticism come during a red square concert celebrating Russia`s illegal claims on these four eastern regions of Ukraine.
What does this growing dissent we are seeing mean for Putin?
MCCAFFREY: Well, it`s hard to say. I mean he still has absolutely He still has absolute control of his own personal security apparatus. He`s got 4,000 people guarding him and his giant countryside, Dacha. It`s hard to get to him with some kind of assassination attempt, and never mind take him out of power.
He also has absolute loyalty for the internal repression organization, the GRU, FSB, et cetera. And so he will be very difficult to dislodge.
His life is at stake on this, his existential existence as a political leader. Russia is a pariah nation. It`s coming apart economically, the military is failing. The mobilization is a disaster. So, you know, as we look towards the future in the next several months, these are consequential times.
If the Russian army unravels, Putin will be desperate. He will look for some way out, will he actually -- it`s completely illogical, consider the use of -- so-called tactical on nuclear weapons. Will he cross that threshold
What would the target be? Murder 100,000 Ukrainians? Attack a NATO force in Poland? And so it doesn`t make any sense.
I think the Biden team, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Lloyd Austin at Defense are rightfully concerned to watch this land (ph). We can`t give him a way out. You know, this is a time at which the Ukrainian army is being told, gain and maintain contact with the enemy force, and relentlessly conduct a pursuit.
So you know, you just can`t say, well, let`s give him a face-saving way out. They are going to take on the battlefield what they can get, and right now it is completely going in the direction of the Ukrainian armed forces.
CAPEHART: Ok, we`re going to have to leave it there. General Barry McCaffrey, Simon Shuster -- thank you both very much for joining us tonight.
Coming up, Kurt Bardella and Maria Teresa Kumar will join us next on how Republicans keep getting tripped up by Donald Trump`s extremism, and yes, his racism.
CAPEHART: Just days after hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida, Republicans refused to support a spending bill that included billions in funding for FEMA disaster relief, including Senator Rick Scott of Florida, and every Florida Republican in the house.
As Politico details, this Sunday Senator Rick Scott could not avoid questions about Donald Trump`s extremism, like his comment that Mitch McConnell has a, quote, "death wish", and Trump`s racist smears about McConnell`s wife, former Trump transportation secretary Elaine Chao. Or comments by Marjorie Taylor Greene at a Trump rally claiming Democrats are quote, "killing Republicans".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The language is what I`m talking about. Isn`t that dangerous?
SENATOR RICK SCOTT (R-FL): I think we all have to figure out how do we start bringing people together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you would agree that that language doesn`t bring people together?
SCOTT: I believe that what -- I believe what the person Trump was talking about is the fact that we can`t keep spending money.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s not what the former president said. Coco Chow was the phrase he used to refer to a former cabinet secretary, Elaine Chao.
SCOTT: Look. He likes -- you know, he gives people nicknames.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: Joining us now Kurt Bardella, former spokesperson for Republicans on the House Oversight Committee. He is now a Democratic strategist. And Maria Teresa Kumar president and CEO of Voto Latino and an MSNBC contributor.
Kurt, the "Wall Street Journal" editorial board took a stand against Trump`s comments, even if Senator Scott could not, writing quote, "It`s all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell."
Why is it so hard for Republicans to just unequivocally condemn this rhetoric as threats against lawmakers are growing?
KURT BARDELLA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I mean, listen. We are at a point now where if you stay silent, if you don`t speak out against this type of inflammatory calls for violence and racism, then you must believe in it.
I mean listen, this is a guy who spent the better part of the pandemic calling people who look like me a virus. Using terms like Kong flu, and China virus. Putting a target on the back of every Asian American in this country.
It is not surprising that he would refer to his own former secretary of transportation or energy -- Elaine Chao, you know, in that type of racist terminology. And of course, what leads to the next iteration of that is violence, and we have seen that manifest itself time and time again.
January 6 showed us it is not just empty words, it`s not just rhetoric, it`s not just trolling on Twitter, it is real, and the people that follow these people, they take their word as gospel and marching orders.
CAPEHART: You know, Maria Teresa, Florida Democratic chair Manny Diaz criticized Florida lawmakers for not voting for the spending bill with disaster relief money included saying, quote, "that is a level of callous indifference and political opportunism that boggles the mind."
What is the calculus for Florida Republicans to voted against aid that could help people in their own state who are struggling right now?
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think if anything, it is a long laundry list of what they vote against the interest of their constituency all the time. They voted against the ARA, which included a cap on insulin. They voted against the child tax credit, they voted against the ACA.
It is a part of the Republican Party that says that they care about their constituency and at the end they don`t. And what the cynical part about it is -- and this is what`s cynical about is that while they`re voting against all this legislation that would help Floridians, they go back home and they touted as if they agreed with it.
KUMAR: They go back and act as if they voted for it. And the hypocrisy should anger all their constituents. One of the reasons that you see such a difference at the White House is that we don`t have a fascist Republican in the White House, where he would --if you recall, Donald Trump would only give aid to the folks that had voted for him, that states that voted for him.
Instead, what we have in Biden is a president for every single American. He`s going down to Florida, he is talking to Floridians and he says you may not have voted for me, but I`m your president, and we have your back.
CAPEHART: Right, and you had to say nice things about Donald Trump too in order to get him to help.
Kurt, let`s take a look at this new fire -- on fire ad targeting Kevin McCarthy and the GOP on crime. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kevin, if you really want to talk about crime, let`s start with your own party because it sure seems like you and your MAGA pals are fine with certain crimes. Crimes like stealing top secret nuclear files, attacking the nation`s capital, assaulting police officers, attempting to overthrow an election, not to mention the little stuff like tax and bank fraud.
The truth is, Kevin, you aren`t anti crime, and neither is your party. You and your fellow Republicans are just trying to scare voters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: Kurt, that ad -- and that`s not even the entire ad, I think there`s about a minute more of that ad to go. What are they trying -- what`s trying to be accomplished with that ad do you think?
BARDELLA: Well, that`s a new piece that just went up from Congressman Eric Swalwell and Congressman Ilhan Omar. They came together, realizing that as Republicans try to go back to that familiar playbook of talking about law and order and crime, they are full of it. And instead of leaning away from that fight, instead of cowering down, Republicans expect Democrats to do that. Swalwell and Omar are showing Democrats this is how you fight back. This is how you take the fight to them.
Kevin McCarthy`s congressional district is one of the deadliest in the country.
BARDELLA: It`s one of the highest crime rates in the country. You cannot be, as the ad concludes, pro cop and pro coup at the same time. And I think that this is something that every Democrat who gets challenged by Republicans on the crime debate, they should lean into it, watch this ad, and do the same thing.
CAPEHART: You know, Third Way has a report that shows just that. The crime data shows Bakersfield is high crime.
Kurt Bardella, Maria Teresa Kumar -- thank you both very much for coming to the LAST WORD.
Coming up, the latest on hurricane Ian recovery. And President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Puerto Rico today to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Jill and I have had people in Puerto Rico in our minds and in our prayers. We came here in person to show that we are with you. All of America`s with you as you receive and recover and rebuild.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAPEHART: President Biden is scheduled to Florida on Wednesday to survey damage from Hurricane Ian. Margo Snipe of Capital B News reports that people in the predominantly black Fort Myers neighborhood of Dunbar are worried that the millions in aid and resources for recovery efforts may not get to them despite their need for it.
She notes, quote, "About 26 percent of black families in Fort Myers are living in poverty, double the rate for white families. The disparity suggests that recovering from a major natural disaster which requires significant resources, time, and money may disproportionately burden black residents."
Today after that story was published, a spokesperson for FEMA tweeted, "We are aware of the needs in Dunbar and sent teams to the area yesterday. Our FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are going door to door again today in the community."
Joining me now is the reporter behind that piece, Margo Snipe. Margo, congratulations on getting action as a result of your reporting. I want to read an account in your piece from Carsi (ph) Bellamy, a 20-year-old resident of Fort Myers.
"The worst part is waiting on the power to come back on, said Bellamy. My groceries are going bad. He wonders if he should cut down the trees in his front yard. It is something he has never thought of before. He`s convinced his community will have to wait until the last wave of resources to get help. Quote, `I haven`t seen one light truck,` he said. No tree truck. I haven`t seen one power truck."
Margo, is that sentiment specific to Dunbar and Florida politics, and local representatives?
MARGO SNIPE, CHANNEL B NEWS: That I think was sort of representative of how he had felt as a resident, having lived there for 20 years. He lived -- he was the next door neighbor to one lady who a tree sliced her house in half, essentially. So when I walked up to him, he`s sitting on the trunk of his car, and we actually had to stop our interview because the neighbor was bringing over food to him.
There was sort of a sense in that community that we are going to lift each other, and help each other, and the people who had food were bringing it around to neighbors.
SNIPE: So I think it was a sense from him, having lived in the community for 20 years that maybe he should not have to wait for help, maybe the community was going to have to find their own resources how they could.
CAPEHART: Margo Snipe, congratulations again for showing the power of journalism. Great reporting. Thank you very much for coming to the LAST WORD.
That is tonight`s LAST WORD.
"THE 11TH HOUR" starts right now.