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Why 60 Minutes' story on the DEA made Americans so angry

Washington reacts
Washington reacts to 60 Minutes story 01:59

Last week, when 60 Minutes Overtime asked Bill Whitaker if he thought his story on DEA whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi would make any waves, he answered, "What I would hope would happen from this story is that Americans get angry."

They got angry all right.

Over the past 48 hours it's been hard to keep up with the public's reaction to the 60 Minutes/Washington Post joint investigation about how the drug industry and Congress helped fuel the country's opioid epidemic.

Many viewers took to social media to express their fury…

And many expressed gratitude.

The 60 Minutes story echoed across the political world on Sunday night, and criticism from U.S. officials started pouring in.

But one Congressman who didn't say much was Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino. For anyone who missed the 60 Minutes/Washington Post story, the drug industry had a friend in Marino, who sponsored a bill called "Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016," which critics say ultimately hindered the DEA's ability to control the growing opioid crisis.

Some viewers from West Virginia were alarmed to hear that one pharmacy in the town of Kermit, with a population of 392, received shipments of nine million hydrocodone pills over two years.

The day after the broadcast, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III asked President Trump to withdraw the nomination of Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino as drug czar.

And President Trump responded to the growing criticism of his nominee at a press conference in the Rose Garden: "He is a great guy. I did see the report. We're going to look into the report. We're going to take it very seriously."

Last night, others piped up with disapproval of Trump's pick for drug czar, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer: "Tonight I am calling on President Trump to withdraw the nomination of Rep. Marino. We can do better." Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill and Senator Manchin proposed legislation to repeal "Marino's Law."

Then, this morning, the country woke up to this statement from President Trump's Twitter account.

California Congressman Ted Lieu saw the move as win for the free press.

Today, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham praised the 60 Minutes report--and Trump's response--during a Q&A on Capitol Hill. Graham told reporters, "Obviously, the journalists who covered the story changed policy. The First Amendment has its benefits."

And more than a few viewers threw another name into the hat for drug czar.

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