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tv   Smerconish  CNN  October 16, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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the art of the steal. i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. democrats are worried about the prospect of donald trump running again and stealing the 2024 election. no wonder, we've recently learned a number of things about the 2020 cycle that suggests it was more afoot than just those who broke into the capitol building on january 6th, the day that congress was to certify the electoral college. that violence cannot be viewed in a vacuum. disabuse yourself of any idea that the word "insurrection"
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doesn't really apply, because those who got into the capitol, like the qanon guy with the horns were clueless. whether by design or happenstance, this was just one piece of the puzzle. as evidenced by the senate judiciary committee's interim report. there were at least five moves parts. first, you had efforts on the ground in various states including georgia, michigan, arizona and pennsylvania to challenge the election results. at the same time, you had president trump getting advice from a lawyer first seen on tv as to how he can block certification of the election. additionally, trump was leaning on the justice department to release a led for the credibility to overturn the georgia election. kind of like nixon trying to get the cia to back off on its watergate investigation. from the new book "peril" from
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costa and woodward, we now know that trump was trying to get vice president pence to reject votes from states. their role, whether they explicitly understood it or not was to intimidate pence, while pence was being pressured to follow eastman's legal advice that he could break with tradition and simply reject electoral votes from specific states. and then the final step which never came to pass. to have the house decide the outcome, where the gop, despite having fewer members had an edge, because the process would be unvote per delegation, 26-24 advantage, gop. in other words, pence would reject the georgia, michigan, arizona, pennsylvania votes or some combination thereof where they were contested on the ground and where the justice department had emboldened these states. and relying on eastman's advice
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that he had the power, pence would now reject certain states, while ordering the house to determine the election. as it is supposed to do only where a candidate -- were no candidate gets the majority of electoral votes. it could have worked. and now with trump and his allies endorsing secretaries of state in crucial battlegrounds concerns that it could happen again, they are warranted. but here's another scenario for 2024 that should concern democrats, donald trump might just legitimately win. last saturday night, i watched the latest trump rally. it was his return to first in the nation iowa for an event that attracted thousands on a balmy fall night tell state fair grounds. and for trump it was festivus. another night of airing of grievances most notably how he argued how the 2020 election was stolen from him.
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nothing new there. but what was noteworthy was the presence of senator chuck grassley. the 88-year-old is running again. back when grassley voted on trump's second impeachment, he had this to say, undoubtedly president trump displayed poor leadership in his words and actions. i do not defend those actions and my vote should not be read as a defense of those actions. the reality is he lost. he brought over 60 lawsuits and lot all but one of them. he was not able to challenge president biden's significant margins in key states. he belittled and harassed elected officials across the country to get his way. he encouraged his own loyal vice president mike pence to stake extraordinary actions. apparently, grassley forgot all of that. and stood alongside
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acknowledging that trump had 91% of all republican voters. it was a sign that tell-all books by stephanie grisham and others have put a dent in the gop. and a survey released in politico showed that trump dwarfs all of his would-be competitors. more than two-thirds, 67% of gop voters say mr. trump should run again. i have long said that so long as his health allows and he's solvent and unindicted, if he wants the nomination, he'll have it. meanwhile, we're nine months into the biden administration. and by any fair assessment, things are not going well. the withdrawal from afghanistan, although overdue was haphazard. the border is in crisis. the surge of illegal immigrants crossing the southwest border has reached its highest level in more than a decade. more than 1.5 million. no wonder according to a recent
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quinnipiac poll 67% disapprove of biden's border approach. inflation now on the rises. in the last year, gas has increased 42%, eggs 45%. bacon, 28%. children's shoes up 12%. furniture, 11%, the most since 1951. these price spikes come at a time of or as a result of significant supply chain problems. and yet here was chief of staff ron klain revealing a tone-deafness when he redefeated an economist saying supply chain problems are, quote, high-class problems to have. of course, covid still not under control, notwithstanding president biden is correct in mandating vaccination. and finally with 17 republican votes in the senate biden still can't claim credit for a $1.2
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trillion infrastructure bill because he has not yet resolved differences between his party's most progressive and moderate members. frankly, he has not projected strength on any of these issues. no wonder when in this national climate terry mcauliffe is struggling. and if history repeats itself, democrats will lose control of the house and maybe the senate too. yes, undeterred, donald trump might steal the 2024 election. then again, he might just win it. quite simply for joe biden and democrats it's no longer enough to just be an alternative to donald trump which leads me to this week's survey question which should worry democrats more, that trump will run and steal it, or win it outright? in their current hit book "peril" bob woodward and robert
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costa tell the story about president biden's inauguration. two former presidents went out of way to greet and praise my next guest who each called a sa savior. george bush and bill clinton used the same word to describe senator clyburn who is the house majority w.h.i.p. they used the description without their endorsement of biden, trump would have been re-elected. given the myriad of what i've discussed, the biden administration, the inflation, the border, and the withdrawal from afghanistan, i thought it was great to have congressman clyburn here and see if he has any buyer's remorse. thanks for joining me. which worries you more, that trump to run and steal it, or that he might win? >> well, first of all, thank you for having me, i suspect the
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former, if i were in the worrying business, which i'm not. i would much rather a contest to be won outright. ther therefore, a contest to be stolen. so i would be worried about the former, rather than the latter. >> something tells me you have a response to my critique of where things stand with the biden administration. by all means, take the floor and let me have it. >> well, thank you very much for offering me the opportunity. i do have as response. look, when you don't have an epidemic, you've got a pandemic, you have the worst in 100 years. we have got to come to grips with the fact that we have a global phenomenon here, and an
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international, or worldwide pandemic that's affecting everything. if you're on the pacific coast, you have ships sitting out in the waters. we don't have that on the atlantic coast. and there's a reason for that. in fact, i represent the charleston navy -- i say navy, the navy is not there, but the ports there on the east coast here in south carolina, they have record years. and now people are working and things are happening. so, you have to look at exactly where the goods are coming from. and what's happening over in china. where plants are closed and other places where we can't get the toys and can't get the other things. that are necessary. they can't get here. so, naturally, the prices go up. sand i wish that we would spend a little more time, all of us,
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educating people as to what the real problems are. these are not joe biden problems. these are global problems that we should all address and not try to put the blame on the sitting president. i don't care who's in the white house. they could not possibly do anything about these issues that you and i are now talking about. >> congressman, let me ask you this in your capacity as house majority w.h.i.p., why not give the man a win? take the $1.2 trillion and call it a day and then move on and fight for the issues that are involved in that larger bill? >> well, michael, you know, i used to teach history, i study it every day. and i know that we have, the problem we have here, is that president biden did get a big win with the american rescue act. we immediately moved half of the children in poverty came out of poverty, around the 15th of every month, we've got families
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with children getting checks in the mail. and they are now able to get their kids back to school, on the things that are necessary. that was a big, big win for this president. now, we are in the business of trying to sustain that victory. and you don't sustain it by doing great for people at the top. and not doing enough for people at the bottom. history tells us that we had a great comeback from our economy, from the so-called great depression. the new deal was great. and social security as a response to that, but social security did not cover domestic works. did not cover farm works. 65% of the black people in this country during that time worked out of as domestic or farm workers and none of them were covered by social security. so i am in the business of making sure that with this
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comeback, we don't do the same thing. and that's what we're lining up to do. so, i'm trying to educate the people in my caucus, the people around the country. we must build back better for everybody, not just the people at the top. so that's what's going on here. you see the big debate going on. should we expand medicare? medicare is for everybody. the wealthy and not so wealthy. medicaid is for low income. people don't want to argue about the medicaid closing the gam for the american -- the bill, what they call obamacare, i try not to call it that -- but bringing it back. we need to cover is that coverage gap. so that's what's going on here. so, i'm not against the president to win. i'm going to go for a win for everybody. >> when you come back and i hope you do, don't hold back, tell me
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what you're really thinking, okay? >> i will. you know i will. >> thank you, congressman, appreciate it. >> thank you so much for having me. >> what are your thoughts, tweet me @smerconish or go to my facebook page. i'll read some. this comes from youtube, the democrats should most fear a republican other than trump winning in 2024. eric, very interesting assessment. that was not one of my choices. but the question i guess i could ask is could that other candidate whoever he or she may be, engender people in a losing effort in 2020. go to and answer the question. which should worry democrats more that donald trump should steal the election or win it outright? clyburn said it's the former, not the latter. up ahead, to fund the social spending bill, the biden administration wants the irs to
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give data on accounts worth more than $600. is that really going to help to catch wealthy scoff laws or just on americans? and a firestorm at yale drama over chicken and apple pie. a member asked him to apologize because his words had triggered several of his classmates. when he did, the administrators sent out an email condemning his racist and pejorative language and warned it could affect his future in the profession. trent colbert who sent the invitation is here to tell his story. dove men, 48h freshness with triple action moisturizers.
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it was just an invitation to a constitution day party, but it evoked such reactions from students and administrators at yale law school that the host said he felt his future as a lawyer might suddenly be in jeopardy. how did it happen? here's the story.
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the second-year yale law student is trent colbert, he's carherok, and a member of the federalist society the influential group that had a strong hand in recommending supreme court justices. he posted an invitation ton the native-american listserv which said we will be christens our very own world rethousands nalsa trap house. by throwing a constitution day bash in collaboration with sped fsoc. planned attracts include popeyes chicken, basic american themed snacks like apple pie. and wrote i guess celebrating whiteness wasn't enough.
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and colbert was summoned to the office of the with the beacon and director of diversity said the word trap connotes crack use, hip-hop and black face. those triggering associations were, quote, compounded by the fried chicken reference which is often used to undermine arguments that structural and systemic racism has contributed to racial health disparities in the u.s. he was also told that his peers were triggered by his various association with the federalist society which they feels belongs to political associations. including lgbtq and wcolbert
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resisted. the school sent one saying his invitation had, quote, pejorative and racist language. we condemn this in the strongest possible terms. colbert was called in that he would be taking the bar exam and fitness allegations. yale law school issued this statement, quote, yale university and yale law school has strong free speech protections. and no student is investigated or sanctioned for protected speech. when the law school receives complaints, then the dean of students routinely tries to help students talk to one some other, at no time was any disciplinary investigation launched. and the law school has a
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long-standing policy of reporting any formal disciplinary action to the bar association. any media reporting to the contrary is false. trent colbert joins us now. trent, react to that statement that yale law school gave to cnn. >> yeah, to me, it felt like it didn't really even discuss what i was going through. they set protectedpersecute. but the allegations weren't that i was making protected speech. they're saying that my speech was harassment, it was discrimination of some sort. so, i'm going to say, okay, we actually don't do anything with the bar exam, but only for formal stuff. if they had told me that four weeks earlier. the implication that this can somehow affect my ability to take the bar is really scary. >> your invitation, i'll put it back on the screen, the reference to trap house, the
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reference to pop eyes, explain each of those to me. >> sure. for me, a trap house is a party house. the urban dictionary says where high school students drink together in your mother's basement. that's the impression, a frat house, but with a fraternity. i belong to a lot of student groups, i tend to throw a lot of parties, that is what i was calling my house. i didn't see it as a racial thing. i saw it more as a bachelor pad. and for pop eyes chicken, that wasn't even my decision. i didn't pick the catering. the catering was picked from other people because we cater from other places. we've done chick-fil-a and bagels. it just happens that pop-eyes is pretty much around the corner from where i live and i get a discount. >> now, here comes the response from yale because you won't go along with the apology. put it on the screen.
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here's what they sent out, they sent out with regard to that which you circulated it contained pejorative and racist language. we condemn this in the strongest possible terms. your response is what? >> i disagree. i don't think i used racist language. i don't stand by being condemned in the strongest personal terms. i don't even think that was happening to the administrators. they're telling me there's no condemnation, while i'm on the phone with them, they send the email. i'll i'm on the phone with them, they tell me they're not judging. they're just sending an email to acknowledge. >> why did you surreptitiously record a conversation and were you breaking the law when you did so? >> first i will say i was not breaking the law when i did so. and i did that, because i've heard these stories go down where people have meetings with
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different offices. the offices are very dishonest. they'll say something to the student and say something very different happened, like a tribunal happened. i wanted to make sure it wasn't my word against theirs. i wanted a witness there to show everyone what is actually happening. >> what is life like for you now in the yale law school? how are your classmates reacting to you? >> i haven't seen too many of the reactions in person yet. i've seen a lot of discussions behind my back, but i've only heard like references to them. i haven't been confronted all that much. people have come up to me and talked, on both sides of it, actually. but so far, things have been rather quiet. i'm not sure that's going to be how things are going forward. >> but there's a move afoot -- but there's a move afoot to remove you from a leadership position, true? >> that is true. there is very recently been a move to have me removed in my
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position as a student representative. when i was elected in the spring, i was supposed to be a student representative for the whole school year, but they're trying to remove me a year early. >> trent colbert, thank you for your willingness to come on and discuss this. i wish you good things. i worry that in the internet world in which we live, this is the sort of story that could follow you for a long time although the way you explained it to me i don't think it should. but i appreciate your willingness to talk to us. okay. >> thank you. >> let's see what you're saying on my smerconish, twitter and social media. i'm left leaning, free thinking centrist, from my seat it appears that conservatives are a persecuted minority on most college campuses. okay, you had me up until that statement. then the so what the at the
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end -- so what? to brow beat the young man that you saw, how it could jeopardize his ability to sit for the bar that is so over the line and should frighten anyone from that perspective. and for why all the intelligence in new haven, that they would fall into this routine? i can't understand it. i just can't understand it. you would think while this is playing out on campus, someone would say, my god, if we bring this guy in and brow beat him, they'll be talking sack us on cnn. i want to remind you to answer the survey question. which should worry democrats more that donald trump will steal the election in 2024? or win it outright? up ahead, one way the biden administration hopes to pay for its ambitious social agenda is recovering an estimated $7 trillion in unpaid taxes. does that justify its proposal, granting the irs access to
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annual gross bank transactions in thes can over $600. and are you ready, stevie van zandt is everyone's favorite trusted underboss. a role he's played for rocker bruce springsteen and tv mob boss tony soprano. he's here and singing like a canary. ♪ , with new artisan italian bread, new black forest ham, and new mv- you gotta refresh to be fresh! hold up, false start on the spokesperson. save big. order through the app. ♪ regina approaches the all-electric cadillac lyriq.
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should the irs be apprised
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of the annual gross ghosts and withdrawals in any bank account worth more than $600? that's a proposal the biden administration has floated to help find funds to pay for its proposed social policy bill. the idea is to uncover a projected $7 trillion of unpaid taxes over the next decade. here's how treasury secretary janet yellen explained it to cbs news is this week. >> i think this proposal has been seriously ly mischaracter. the proposal involves no reporting of individual transactions of any individual. all that's involved in this proposal is a few aggregate numbers about bank accounts. and the amount that was received through the course of the year, the amount that went out in the course of the year. if somebody reports an income of $10,000 and they had $3 million go out of their checking account, that tells the irs
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that's an individual you might audit. >> my next guest, however is one of two dozen state financial officers who signed a letter of protest to yellen and president biden. the letter says the proposal would give the irs, quote, unprecedented and unconstitutional power to peer into law abiding citizens' private financial accounts. and would be the largest infrengmeinfreng m infringement. joining me john more anty. you just heard from the treasury secretary. what do you say in response to her argument? >> well, part of the argument we have right now is the language isn't in the bill. what we're hearing, politicians in washington, d.c. discussing amongst themselves and the media what they're planning on proposing. the term transaction has been used. the current law deals with
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$10,000 cash transactions. that is what we were told is the basis and genesis of this idea. all around, it's just a terrible process. it lacks any transparency and it needs to be stopped. >> why if already there's this automatic reporting of accrued interest is it such a leap in your opinion, if now we're talking balance information? >> sure. well, there's a wild difference between banks reporting 1099 interest income. and banks reporting every time there's a $600 transaction, inflow or outflow. the two -- it's a false equiv equivalency, and the fact that janet yellen who is an extremely intelligent individual would make a plame to me is preposterous. >> the concern i have, i have an aunt whose bank has always, literally, been her mattress. >> uh-huh. >> i feel like there are a lot of folks among us who are going to go back to the mattresses if
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in fact this is where we go. >> and unfortunately, we're already seeing it. just yesterday, i talked with a banker from western nebraska who told me they're so fearful of the federal government being able to peer into bank accounts that two individuals had already withdrawn $300,000 in cash and kept it at their house. as you know, that is extraordinarily dangerous. and anything that we can do to prevent people from becoming unbanked we need to do it. >> so you can tell, i share your privacy concerns. however, i also believe the president when he says essentially there's a lot of money out on the street and people aren't paying their fair share. if not this, what should be done? >> well, there are proposals that can be narrowly tailored to go after wealthy individual hoarse not paying their taxes. but the idea that $600 purchases will be limited to wealthy people, that's just not true. there are plenty of people on minimum wage, social security
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recipients who have $600 transactions on a regular basis. this proposal, as it's currently been articulated will apply to virtually every american at any income level. it's way overbroad and something we'll find. >> john murante, thank you for being here. appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me. >> checking in on your tweets and facebook comments what do we have, kathryn? from the world of twitter, i think. why $600 either, the irs wants to go art small business that can't hire lawyers that know tax laws better than the irs. i would have to say the people with the most money in their account, if they have money in an account, they probably have a certain level of participation that they're paying it tax experts and shielding it the way others can't. go to, which will
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worry democrats more that donald trump will steal the election in 2024 or win it outright? still to come, can't wait for this, he helped start bruce springsteen's east street band. started his own. wound up playing tony soprano's consigliere, and now he's got it all. stevie van zandt is sheer. ♪ all night all night all night nothing else you can do ♪ to help keep the gum sealed tight. parodontax active gum repair toothpaste retirement income is complicated. as your broker, i've solved it. that's great, carl. but we need something better. that's easily adjustable has no penalties or advisory fee. and we can monitor
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experience the new way to sell a car. my next guest is the sort who the late tom wolf would have described as a man in full. he's distinguished himself as a musician, an actor, a sirius xm programmer, a political activist and now author. he also happened to be everybody's favorite underboss, just ask bruce springsteen or tony soprano. stevie van zantd dt just releasa memoir. stevie, so great to have you here. i'm thinking kamala harris could learn a thing or two from you. what does it take to be an effective underboss or chief
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executive? >> well, i think kamala is quite good at what she does actually. and i'd like to see -- i'd like to see her more often, to tell you the truth. i think it helps being a boss yourself at some point in your life, which i was. i started off as a boss in my own world. i think being a boss helps make you be a good soldier, you know. helps you become a good soldier. and, you know, we were friends so long, that, you know, i just naturally fell into that role of the underboss, consigliere, as you give advice to your friends. it's an unofficial sort of thing you do for your friends and that continues right into the band or right into the business world, if will you. but, yeah, it helps, i think it helps to know when the advice is necessary and when to keep your mouth shut, you know. >> do you think that that's
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something that david chase saw in you, because of your relationship with bruce? in the book, you say, i realized i could use my relationship with bruce as an emotional basis of silvio's relationship with tony, because i knew exactly what the job entailed. >> it was fascinating because david chase who is a very thorough guy, a very detailed guy. very big on authenticity hadn't written into the script the role, you know, either under boss or consigliere, sometimes, it's two different people in the mob family. sometimes, it's one person. for some reason that destiny obviously intended, he didn't write that part in. and when i got the gig, you know, at first, it was tony soprano. and hbo said, are you out of your mind, this is too big of an investment to cast him, because
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he had never acted before. i said to david, listen, i feel guilty taking an actor's job. he said, all right. you won't have to. just let me write you in a part that doesn't exist. so, i started off as just sew just the strip club owner, you know, the running it for the family. but it was very unclear as to what the role would be. and after that. so i think what me and jimmy bonded off the set, i think on the basis of jimmy being a character actor, first and foremost and me being a side man first and foremost. i think we had something in common there, neither one of us particularly craving the spotlight and i think david picked up on that. me and jimmy hanging out together. and slowly, over the first season, i kind of filled that vacuum that existed in the family as the
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underboss/consigliere. and it's funny, it wasn't really written that way, but it happened very organically. >> stevie, you beat yourself up in the book for leaving e street, leaving bruce at the time when "born in the usa" is about to pop, right? if you hadn't left the band, there would have been no "sopranos," no lillehammer, no mandela, arguably, getting freed when he was freed. do you regret in retrospect leaving the band when you did, or do you look at it as a blessing? >> you know, all my life, i've looked at as the biggest mistake of my life. and when you go back and really relive it as you're forced to do when you write a book like this. go back and see what will you were thinking, as you say, everything i've accomplished, i've accomplished since i left. so in your mind, you know, i
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wish i could have done both. i wish i could have stayed and seven albums and lillehammer and busted mandela out of jail. i wish realistically i could have done it, but let's face it, couldn't do it. you're dedicated to a band you're not getting six months off to do a tv show. >> stevie, you're the embodiment of what other mothers tell us when one door closes another opens up. it's a great read. look at all the tabs in my copy. thank you for being here, i appreciate it. >> thank you, michael. thank you very much. good to be with you. still to come, some of your best and worst tweets and we'll give you the results of the survey question, did you quote yet? go to which should worry democrats more, that donald trump will steal the election in 2024 or
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time to see how you responded to the survey question at this week, which should worry democrats more, that donald trump will steal the election in 2024 or win it outright. here's my prediction. i think more will be worried that he'll steal it. i'll be interested in the margin. okay. right. so 56% like congressman clyburn say i'm more worried he'll steal it because then, you know, democracy is imperilled. what i find significant is that 44% say hey, he'll win it outright. here's more of what came in during the course of the program.
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michael you have gone over the deep end with all the gop talking points, you praise trump. didn't praise trump at all. what show were you watching, jim. i spent half of the commentary laying out how i think he tried to steal the election, and that's praising him? no, it's because you dnidn't lie what came next, a candid assessment, you know what, we're nine months into the biden administration, it's not going so well. i knew the commentary would piss off everybody, that made me want to deliver it more. i think i'm right. trump tried to steal it. trump will try to steal it again: but joe biden is not off to a good start, and trump could win it outright if biden doesn't get the white house in shape. wish i had more time. anyway, see you next week. , the new italian b.m.t.®, new turkey cali fresh... and new...trevor lawrence? man, you're not a sandwich! order in the app now to save big. spray, lift, skip, step. swipe, lift, spin, dry.
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happening now in the newsroom. >> we do have 19 out of 19 unanimous yes votes. >> more covid booster shots are on the horizon following unanimous approval of two vaccines this week. the one group that could be eligible right away. >> the justice department releases new video it says shows one of the first successful breaches of the capitol on january 6th. this is happening as we're learning about the first on duty capitol police officer charged in the riot. another turn in the strange case of south carolina attorney alex murdaugh. >> he's reconciled to the fact he's going to prison. he understands that. >> why murdaugh is headed back to court, this time in connection with the mysterious death of his lon