tv Inside Politics With Abby Phillip CNN May 1, 2022 5:00am-6:00am PDT
confronting putin, new u.s. aid is turning the ukraine invasion into a global struggle between nuclear armed powers. >> aggression will not win. threats will not win. and the world must and will hold russia accountable. >> how high is the risk of outright war between russia and the west? plus, ohio votes on tuesday,
will the may primaries be a defining test of trump's influence? >> this time we put somebody in washington to break the brokenness down. >> i'm going to washington to be reenforcements for fighters, fighters like donald trump. >> journalists, politicians and celebrities together in one room for the white house correspondents dinner. >> great to be here again. i told my grand kids and pete buttigieg, they could stay up late and watch the show tonight. >> is it a sign of a new people normal, or was it a superspreader event? hello, and welcome to inside picts sunday, i'm abby philip. we begin with breaking news, house speaker nancy pelosi made an unannounced visit to ukraine's capital this morning. pelosi is now the highest ranking u.s. official to travel there since the war began. she and a group of u.s. lawmakers met with president
volodymyr zelenskyy in kyiv with a message of support from the american people and in a news conference in poland after their visit hay had strong words for russian president vladimir putin. >> do not be bullied by bullies. if they making threats, you cannot back down. that's my view of it. that view, we're there for the fight. and you cannot -- you cannot fold to a bully. >> we are not interested in stalemates. we are not interested in going back to the status quo. the united states of america is in this to win it. >> that trip came just days after president biden asked congress for a huge new long-term aid package for ukraine, $33 billion. and the request comes as russian missiles hammered southern and eastern ukraine this weekend, destroying the airport and the black sea city of odessa. but a glimmer of hope is emerging for those trapped in the city of mariupol.
civilian evacuations have begun at the steel plant and 20 women and children have made it out so far. however, hundreds of people remain trapped inside. our own matt rivers is joining us now from kyiv with the latest. matt, what do you make of this visit of speaker pelosi, and what is the latest about what the situation is in mariupol? >> reporter: well, it's a significant visit, i mean, considering that it was just one week ago that the u.s. secretaries of state and defense, antony blinken and lloyd austin, were both here, one week later. now we're getting a congressional delegation led by the speaker of the house herself. so this is clearly yet another show of support. no question about that, abby. with president zelenskyy saying during this meeting he really appreciates the fact that speaker pelosi and this congressional delegation came here on the heels of more and more aid being provided to the united states, zelenskyy called the united states a, quote, leader when it comes to -- or the leader, rather, when it comes to supporting ukraine in
its fight against russia. and, you know, speaker pelosi will have obviously a very key role to play when it comes to shepherding through president biden's request for $33 billion in additional aid to ukraine, some $20 billion of which wlb will be for heavy weaponry, which is what ukraine has been asking for for a long time now. the kind of weaponry, it says it would need to take or retake a city like mariupol. this is a city we have been following very closely inside this steel plant complex, it's a four square mile complex that is the last remaining pocket of ukrainian assistance and it's where our attention has been because of the amount of civilians that remain trapped there, some 20 or so people according to a commander managed to get out. that's the first good news about evacuations we've had in weeks now. but it is only 20 people. hundreds and hundreds remain. and so president zelenskyy says he needs all the leverage he can get when he comes to negotiations to get those people out, this heavy weapons package
could give him more leverage in future negotiations. >> absolutely. it's a desperate situation for those people, including a lot of children trapped in that plant complex. matt rivers, thank you so much. and joining me now with their reporting and insight, former cnn moscow bureau chief jill dougherty, and retired brigadier general steve anderson. jill, this visit by pelosi is very significant because it is back to back with another visit by senior officials, and it is coming at a time when biden has said to congress we need a huge package. what is the signal to you? >> i think it signals that obviously this is a war, you just heard from one of the congressmen, this is a war that the united states is really now actively involved in, and putin wants to make it that way. he wants to say that ukraine, you know, is a theater of operation, but actually it's the united states that's pulling the stripgs. both with ukraine, and with
europe. and i think it's really a dramatic moment, i mean, i really think that we are, at this point, the confrontation is really -- as we were just saying, almost going back to another cold war. >> yeah. general anderson, what do you make about this shift that seems to have occurred, not just rhetorically but also in terms of weapons? i want to play out how to rhetorical shift has played out. here's how if i recalls have been talking about this conflict recently. >> we want to see russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading ukraine. >> if there's no answer to this aggression, if russia gets away with this cost free, then so goes the so-called international order, and if that happens then we're entering into an era of seriously increased instability. >> if you're inside the pentagon right now, what are your marching orders based on what they just said? >> well, obviously, abby, we're
hearing that we are in it to win it, and we're going to do everything in our power now to ensure that the ukrainians get what they need, as quickly as they possibly can. we need to step up our deliveries of munitions, and equipment into europe. we need to push as much as we can, as fast as we can, forward in the ukraine. the $33 billion package has got to get signed. but i would submit to you that's still only the equivalent of about four months in iraq. we can do more. we need to push our nato allies to do more. the germans and the french have shown some sign, they're starting to provide some equipment, but the germans are still paying the russians more money now with their fwas payments than they've given the ukraines. we're in it to win it, we need to make sure nato does the same. >> jill mentioned the prospect of a new cold war. as you pointed out. inside the white house they view this 33 billion package as maybe six months worth of funding.
but also a strong signal to europe that here's what we're putting on the table. what are you willing to do. >> yeah, i think that's obviously what's happening right now. that it is perceived, this can go on for a long time, and the unity is still holding among the allies. so i think at this point they are saying, okay, we are now really moving forward to protect ukraine, and also to protect europe. you know, i think i'm watching may 9th, the anniversary of the victory in world war ii, a big celebration in russia, and what putin's going to do. i mean, there are -- there's a possibility, you could say, okay, we won. russia won. and try to present something as a victory. but he could also try, i think, to extend it, and say, you know, we have to extend this war against fascists, let's say, everywhere. it's -- this is -- this is a very important moment. >> yeah, to that may 9th date, what does victory look like?
i mean, if we take a look at the map, you know, where it stood, on march 5th, you have russia. you know, they're in the south. they're in the north. about a month and a half later ukraine has reclaimed a lot of the northern territory, and russia has expanded in the donbas. but they haven't pushed -- they haven't pushed forward. they haven't really gone beyond where they were here. so what is victory on the ground for russia? >> well, i would submit to you that victory is going to be probably whatever vladimir putin says it is. but it's certainly not going to be military victory. he might be able to break some of the political lines. he might be able to withstand some of the sanctions. but militarily, he's a third rate army and he knows it. he knows his troops are poorly head, they're poorly equipped. they don't have the supply capability to maneuver warfare. >> what do they have the forces to do right now? >> right now, pretty much hold the line and continue to fight a
battle of attrition, he's fighting across an 800 mile front. he's ridiculously -- his lack of concentration, a lack of utilization in mass. he who fights everywhere, fights nowhere. that's what he's doing right now. he's fighting in at least eight or nine different places and he's not achieving any success. the ukrainians are doing a great job of conducting an active defense, a mobile defense that responds quickly to their attempts to penetrate. they've been able to fight them off. every day ukraine gets stronger, every day russia gets weaker. they've lost a thousand tanks, 2300 mechanized vehicles. every day the situation is looking better for the ukrainians. >> do you think, jill, that russia can sustain a war of attrition that involves their troops just being trenched in against the ukrainians in the south of ukraine for a long time, for a year, two years, or more? >> i don't believe that they can. now, i'm not a military expert, but i can tell you that this
could turn into much more repression at home, and a complete mobilization of society. i mean, you could pull up every single you know male from the age of 18 on. he could. >> and to continue to have troops on the ground, but also to maintain support for a military operation? >> yes. i mean, i think, you know, if you look at what's happening in russia, i think his temptation now is to say that this is a fight for the mother land, and to really extend it, and to bring everybody into the fight. may 9th is a very emotional holiday. a lot of people, obviously, you know, tens of millions were killed in world war ii. so people are kind of emotionally very on edge right now in russia. and he could make that case. i think very strongly, that we do have to extend this. >> that's very interesting. jill and general anderson, thank you so much for being here with us this morning.
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there's a date for the january 6th committee hearings. there will be eight of them, starting on june 9th. the committee promises blockbuster revelations. the panel is still hearing from witnesses and requesting testimony, including from some gop lawmakers, and that includes kevin mccarthy. the committee want wants to more about revelations in the upcoming book, this will not pass from jonathan martin and alex burns. it includes reporting on mccarthy's conversations with trump after january 6th, and a
criticism the leveled a far right members of his own conference. and ginning me now, with their reporting and insights. ma ma maggie haberman of the "new york times." the co-awe authority of the book, of the "new york times." maggy, it seems that mccarthy is okay for now plartly buzz trump threw him a lifeline. do you think that that will hold with members of his conference? >> a lot is in question, abby, i think we'll see what ends up -- how many people end up getting elected after the november midterms, who those people are, whether there's anybody else making a credible case. it's not just the trump said i didn't like what he said, but he supports me now. jim jordan's support for kevin mccarthy was also notable. nothing is certain with trump, as anybody who has gotten his endorsement knows, ask mo brooks, it could go very, very quickly. so we'll see what happens in the fall. but for the moment, i think that there's a couple of factors at play, one of which there are
overlapping circles of advisers around trump and mccarthy right now. it's in both of their interests to keep this quiet. >> and for trump, it's almost like he has all the leverage over mccarthy at this point. >> right. >> he keeps him alive, and mccarty really can't go out of line as long as that's true. >> and kevin mccarthy, thest a testament to donald trump's continued influence over the republican party, which trump obviously cares about as much as anything else. every time kevin mccarthy has to bow and scrape to donald trump, it just reenforces the fact that trump has this grip on the republican party. trump, i think, loves this ongoing narrative. i think maggie is right, there's a long ways between now and the next congress. i think it's uncertain where the far right's loyalties are going to be. that was why kevin mccarthy was not offered the speaker when he tried previously six years ago. i think it's still an open question, and we'll see what happens between now and then. part of the challenge, though,
is that there's just not a lot of people who can do that job. john bay nor couldn't do the job, paul ryan couldn't do the job. kevin mccarthy is going to try next. the larger issue is trying to govern a caucus that's ungovernable as we get the book, which is out tuesday. this is a party now which is just very difficult to contain, and trump obviously is a huge driver of that. >> there's also just such a difference between being house speaker, and being a powerful house speaker there's no telling right now whether he is for sure going to be able to continue -- you know, maintain the support that he seems to have now, become a house speaker eventually if republicans take the house. but there are real questions about what kind of power will he have as the leader of the conference. he's going to be potentially more be-holden to donald trump, than he has been in the past. he might also feel like he owes certain things to members of his own conference. and then i think, not to be, you
know, underreported, is sort of the dynamic that this -- all of this reporting has created between mccarthy, and members of the media that cover him day and and day out when you lie about something and then you are caught lying about that lie in addition, there's a real credibility problem. and i don't see how that goes away anytime soon. >> i mean, the brazenness of it all is incredibly notable. but we're talking about a scenario in, you know, potentially, you know, january of 2023 when we would have had a midterm election. look at the landscape in the country, who is running for these congressional seats? i mean, these are trumpier and trumpier and trumpier candidates. he's going to be facing some potential members who are even more in trump's column than what he already has. i thought it was notable, you had another excerpt in your book, this is about mitch mcconnell, and about his miscalculation after6th. you write that mcconnell seemed
buoyant. it became clear why. trump mcconnell said was thoroughly discredited by this, this being january 6th. he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, he said it couldn't have happened at a better time. you ask he how i feel. i feel exit railed by the fact that this fellow finally, totally, discredited himself. exhilarated. and then he thought that there would be more than 60 votes. >> yeah. >> not even close. >> so that scene is late -- january 6th. mcconnell is leaving the capitol after probably the most extraordinary day of his career in congress, and he sees political opportunity in that moment. this president who he never liked obviously worked with, and frankly enabled at a lot of levels to get what he, mcconnell wanted, which is largely more conservative judges, finally he thought this is the moment, and it's so reminiscent of "access hollywood" you see this
collective sigh of relief. this has to be the one. this is it, can't come back from this one. that was certainly the feeling on january 6th. the days after the 6th mcconnell believes of course we're going to have the votes to convict if the senate, house democrats will impeach him and it will come over, we'll have the votes to convict, and then bar him from running for office again in the future. of course we all know what happens. in the days and weeks after the 6th it becomes clear once again to republican members of congress that their voters don't feel the same they way do. and this is the recurring theme of our book. there is this gulf between the leadership class of the gop and the voters in the gop. >> and the voters are driving a lot of this, and trump knows that. >> right. >> very well. one of the -- i just want to read one more excerpt from the book to that point. trump all but threatened right wing violence, if future elections did not work out for him. the next election must be, quote, honestly run. i think the people are very
angry, trump said, i think you're underestimating the anger of the people on the right. that seems like a threat, but also trump's understanding of his own voters' sentiment. >> everything trump is leaning into it but not totally crossing the line on stuff like that. as we approach january 6th and on that day, he was pretty overt. but he ends up leaning into, someone's going to fight for me. one thing i was struck by, as jonathan was talking about the line between "access hollywood," and january 6th. it's not just that there is this gap between what elected leadership finds a bridge too far, and what the voters find a bridge too far, it's that elected leadership keeps looking for someone else to be the one to stand up and stop it. if mitch mcconnell voted to convict, he did not. >> right. >> was he out there whipping to convict? not by anything that i know. in 2016, you saw paul ryan get booed when he criticized donald trump at a rally and then you saw a lot of other people back down from doing it.
if people want to see -- in the republican party want to see donald trump stopped they have not made a huge effort themselves. >> there's a bet that he's going to fade away. >> we're more than halfway through that period of time, he has not faded away. you all are not going anywhere. coming up next for us, new cnn reporting on a frustrated joe biden hopes to save democrats in november. will the 79-year-old biden rou run for reelection in 2024? mealin', feeeelin', pie-ing, trying. color yourur spread. upgrade your breadad. pair it. share it. kraft singles. square it. discover a simple way to use colors in managing diabetes! inspired by nature, onetouch verio reflect® meter shows instantly if you're bel, within or above your range it cheers you on and provides guidance. connected to your health and your phone. visit onetouch.com today.
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democrats thought a year ago they would be campaigning against at a roaring economy and herd immunity, instead they're facing runaway inflation, covid variants and a war in ukraine. the poll has been keeping some democrats up at night. losing to republicans by a huge margin with parents and latinos, and they're statistically tied among young voters. the economy is is a big reason for it, and it looks especially rocky this week, democrats say they've got one chance to turn things around, and convince voters that it would be even worse if republicans were in charge, this -- the message here, mj, being that maybe you don't love the way things are going but do you really want trump, do you really want matt gaetz, do you really want marjorie taylor greene. is that going to work? >> first of all, we actually don't hear a lot of that from president biden. i obviously cover anything that he says out of the white house pretty closely.
when he does sort of explicitly bring up that contrast between his administration, his agenda, and what the republicans are doing, it actually kind of stands out because it's not something that he spends a lot of time focusing on. just one example that is an issue that's out there a lot recently is student debt forgiveness. it's something the president doesn't talk about very much even though this is an administration that has already cancelled billions of dollars in student loan debt through various forgiveness programs. that's just an example of one thing. but i think this white house probably back nones openly and in private they're not doing a good enough job taking credit for. >> joe manchin went on a different network in mid-december and he effectively stopped the biden agenda. it is now may 1st. since that period what has the biden white house said, their message, their strategy on politics, on policy, anything, this is why democrats in congress are, you know, deeply
concerned. there's very little guidance. it's not clear what their plan is to either revive their agenda in congress, or to promote their agenda on the campaign trail in the midterms. and that silence is extraordinary. mj just mentioned biden himself unwilling to take it to the republicans in the way democrats are dying for him to do. we have a scene in the book where paul begala, on this network quite a bit, talks to ron klain, white house chief of staff, and he offers him a line right out of the bill clinton playbook. he says republicans fear trump more than they care about you. and says, ron, biden should put that on his stump and go out there and say it. and klain says that's not biden's brand. >> white house officials are now saying they think that's the message. i think the question remains will -- >> will biden do it. >> will biden be the one to do it. >> to your point it is fundamentally against who joe biden is, we've seen this over and over again, a democratic
strategist was making a point to me the other day, it was an ironic point, that joe biden is going to come out and attack republicans and he'll give the eulogy at -- the funeral. it did umm up where things are. it isn't just that biden likes comedy, doesn't want to be in a fight. he still has this vision of washington as a place that he was part of for decades, and it's just not that place anymore. >> to the extent there is stagnation on the agenda, that is actually translating to voters. there's a focus group in the past week of words democrats are using to describe how things are going in the country. frustrated, aggravated, discouraged, worrying, frightened. these are -- >> democrats. right. >> these are democrats. >> right. >> and they are frustrated. mj, you brought up student loans. which i think is something that kind of encapsulates the rock
and a hard place position, the biden administration is. they're being pushed by their base to do it. but the policy of it, and the politics of it, perhaps, it doesn't quite work. you know, here's actually mitt romney, here's how he put it. desperate polls call for desperate measures. dems consider forgiving trillions in student loans, other bribe suggestions forgive auto loans, forgive credit card debt, a wealth tax on the super rich to pay for it. what could possibly go wrong? >> some democrats would say we would be fine with taxing the rich to forgive all those things, but the republicans see this as a bad political play for moderates and independents. >> and one concern that i think democrats legitimately have, and this is informed by experts who really know this issue, they do worry that a level of student loan debt forgiveness, that if that were to happen, that that could end up exacerbating inflation concerns, and
inflation is one of the top concerns for the administration right now. it is the reason that even though they keep getting very positive economic data, including, the unemployment rate being so low, it's a real struggle for the white house to tout the bright spots in the economy because of the day-to-day experience that people are having across the country, they don't feel it because they go to the store, because they're going to the gas pump, and everything costs so much. >> there is a white house that experienced exactly that problem not that long ago, and it was the obama white house. they figured out how to message that. after the disastrous midterms of 2010, in 11 and 12e when they were hitting a president-elect year, unemployment wiz very high, until the end of the presidential racement they did recognize, and it took a lot of push and pull, but you have to tell people you understand what they're going through. >> that's the perfect segue. there's reporting this week about, you know, reportedly
biden's frustration. the democrats seem to be maybe move on from him, but, you know, on the 2024 -- will he run again? where do you think they stand on that? >> i think today he would like to run again, i think the people around him told us, alex burns and i, for this book, this will not pass, that he does plan to run for reelection in 2024. that's still a long ways away. we have not been in this moment in recent american history where an incumbent first term president was uncertain about whether or not to run for reelection. and part of it will be his health. part of this is fliekts. if biden puts off this decision, and he's hovering between 38 and 40% approval ratings, going into '23, and the clock is ticking in '23, and he hasn't said yay or nay, this party is going to be so restless because trump's in the wings. it's not clear our 80-year-old president is going to run again. this is an enormous story in the months to come. >> if it's trump --
>> by the way somebody might force his hand. it wouldn't surprise me if some dekt got in the race in biden does not make a decision by spring of 23 #. >> bernie has said he wouldn't do it if biden is running, but there's a world in which other people say, and if it's trump, some democrats think biden -- >> is likely. >> is likely to run. what if it's not, what if it's desantis. >> we're not going to know if it's trump, unlike all of these other candidates, trump would kate until november of 2023, basically. >> he could wait as long as he wants. >> filing deadlines permitting in various states for primaries and caucuses. he could wait a long time. whereas the rest of us feel he's essentially freezing. >> it's a game of high stakes chicken. trump and biden will be watching each other after the midterms. the clock starts the day after the midterms on this question. >> exactly. >> it's going to start before that, i would argue, and one other point i would make, the thing that's unifying both parties at the moment, is anger
and fear of both of those men. and that's not going to change. until right after november. >> well, coming up next for us, the former president's big bet in the buckeye state, is trump backin backing jd javance enough to ge him over the fininish line? lunchables! built to be eaten. the mosquitoes are just all over the backyard. quiet please. (okay.)
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the next four tuesdays will test former president trump's dominance over the republican party. the first comes this week as ohio republicans choose their nominee for an open senate seat. jd vance is trump's pick but he's facing a big field of other magas. >> i'm going to washington to be reenforcements for fighters. >> a lot of republicans didn't love donald trump in 2016. the difference between me and them is i've actually had the honesty to admit that i was wrong. >> trump's endorsement was a big boost for vance. a fox poll shows him gaining 12 points since march, and former
front runners josh mandel and mike gibbons have lost support. do you think this is going to do it for vance? >> he has a boost from the trump endorsement, and he does not have to get 50.1%. this is a multi-candidate rate. and i think you have the trump endorsements and the media surge that comes with that for ten days, the two weeks, i think that puts in a pretty strong place. it's hard to gauge what's going to happen when you've got a six-way contest like this. but it does show that trump is going to intervene in races, being aware it's politically safe and perhaps smarter to stay on the sidelines. they all want his endorsement. it wouldn't have cost him anything to have said i'm for all of them, but the one guy, and they're all for me. and to have stayed out of it. he wants to put capital on the
table. he can't help himself. here we are again. >> in past midterms, he likes to kind of spread out his endorsements and at the end of the day tally up all the wins and losses. >> that's right. >> you know, but he's, as jay mart said, weighed into this race where he doesn't have to and where other republicans like ted cruz have waited on behalf of other candidates. take a listen. >> when i look to candidates, i don't look to what they say on the stump, because they all say the same durn thing. every candidate says i love donald trump. no, no, no, i love donald trump more. no, no, no, i have donald trump tattooed on my rear end. >> wow. >> i mean, that's funny, but it's true. i mean, everyone is fighting to be the trump guy. but this race, in particular, is kind of fracturing the republican party in some ways. >> it is. look, among other reasons, it is a crowded republican primary, it was a primary where a lot of candidates got started very
early. it's an increasingly red state. indicative of where things are headed in the gop. it is absolutely, abby, the field where you are seeing -- and most of these primary fields are basically 50 shades of trump. at least for these open senate seats. >> yeah. >> you are -- but it is one where he has dipped -- you know, dipped in, and these are basically candidates who are equal on issues, on where they are on trump, on a number of factors. so if trump does end up making the difference here, that will be telling. >> yeah. >> but to jonathan's point, it's hard to predict. i mean, you know, vance's team is feeling very good, but we're a couple days out. >> as much time as we're spending, you know, talking about is the trump endorsed candidate going to win, or the other guy that isn't endorsed by trump going to win, and that's obviously important, i also think the big picture here, that is worth us talking about, is that this is the seat to replace rob portman. >> that's right, that's right. >> that is somebody who is, you know, right center, in the republican conference, somebody who, you know, worth reminding everyone, took a lead role in
the infrastructure bill months ago. so the idea that he is likely to be replaced by somebody who probably wouldn't have supported that bill, it just goes to sort of the bigger picture shift, the continuation of the shift of the republican party, towards this more trumpist, trump wing of the party. >> it's fascinating story about the sate of ohio as well, the shift that's happening there. but jay mart, go ahead. >> i was going to say, that's a great point, that there's a history there of people in the gop who were going to, from that portman mold, center right, business friendly, but hardly flame throwers. you know, the portman candidate, has faded, not in contention. would be point in ohio and beyond, ted cruz and jeff row, his strategist, wouldn't like to hear this on the air, but they are lined up against trump, in a lot of different statewide races, all over the country, including in ohio. and if they find some success,
that's going to make things more interesting about 2024. i'm skeptical that cruz would challenge trump. but cruz has said himself, abby, the most fun he's ever had in his life is running for president in 2016, and also one of the few republicans who ever beat donald trump. he beat him in iowa, as maggie well knows. >> i do recall. >> yeah, that's a fascinating point about ted cruz. there's also the matt dolan factor, he's not an anti-trump republican, but he's not a big lie republican. >> by the way, if matt dolan ends up winning, that is going to be a huge, huge warning sign for just sort of the immense chaos that exists on the right wing of the republican party, that this is a race where so many people are in the race. it is very crowded. and if that sort of -- that vote ends up being -- then he ends up winning, republicans are going to have to figure out a way to avoid that. >> we always tell people here, we don't know what's going to happen. people are going to go into
ballot boxes and vote, but in this particular race there have been almost a quarter of the republican electorate undecided. something to keep your eye on. coming up next for us, packed parties and bad presidential jokes, washington partied last night like it was 2019. i can't! i'm just t telling everyone!... hey! for a limited time, get 50% off a complete pair. visionworks. see the e difference. out here, you're more than just a landowner. you're a gardener. a landscaper. a hunter. because you didn't settle for ordinary. same goes for your equipment. versatile, powerful, durable kubota equipment. more goes into it. so you get more out of it.
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are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! last night a return to pre-pandemic washington. a packed downtown balance room, cabinet secretaries mingling with hollywood a-listers. >> it is my great honor to be speaking tonight at the nation's most distinguished superspreader event. dr. fauci dropped out. that should have been a pretty big sign. fauci thought it was too dangerous to come tonight. pete davidson thinks it's okay. and we all live with pete, okay. >> that was comedian trevor
noah. an attempt at presidential humor as well. >> republicans seem to support one fella. some guy named brandon. he's having a really good year. and i'm kind of happy for him. >> maggie and mj are with me again. i know both of you actually didn't attend the dinner last night. but it was a return to some degree of normalcy. i think trevor noah got quite a lot of good reviews for finding this weird balance in washington between telling jokes and not making people in that room feel uncomfortable. >> from what i saw and from what i read, it wasn't over the top. it was pretty topical. he did hit on the fact that -- i thought the fauci joke was pretty funny and did make the point that, you know, that the top infectious diseases doctor was concerned about what was taking place in this room before this room full of unmasked people. i do think, look, there is this
dichotomy and this tension in the country between return to normal and what that looks like and the fact that the virus is very much still there. so, that was obviously a major theme of last night. that said, things do go on. people are trying to figure out what the new normal looks like. i thought last night was an interesting step. >> president biden didn't stay for the actual dinner. he didn't eat, but he came, didn't wear a mask. i was -- i did attend the dinner. not too far from ron klain, the white house chief of staff. he wore a mask throughout the dinner. the white house wants this to be -- president biden said in his jokes, he was saying, we can sit here in this room because everyone here had to be vaccinated, boosted and tested. >> and i think the hope is that for the -- for this white house is that this room that we saw last night filled with people having a great time, that that really symbolizes what is to come. and that there will be another dinner next year. that a year from now we will be
completely back to normal. the issue, obviously, is we have no idea, we have no way to predict whether there is going to be another variant that comes up a couple of months from now, that ends up being incredibly contagious or more severe. the vaccines that are working now, to prevent sickness, those end up not working with the new variant that creeps up. so, that's the sort of un -- you know, the spapart the white hou can't predict, unpredictable. they hope that sends this message. >> dr. fauci had a little mixed message in the last week. is the pandemic over, is it not over? if you look at the trajectory in covid cases versus hospitalizations, it's a little unclear. you have the cases kind of almost plateauing but hospitalizations ticking up ever so slightly. and i think everyone is just unclear of what does this really mean about where we're headed. >> dr. fauci issuing mixed
messages. it's want the first time the administration has issued mixed messages. to mj's point, they don't know where this is heading. they have had trouble predicting the track of this based on new variants, new therapeutics, what works, what doesn't, their durability. i think people are hopeful they can start to move forward. i will say that for people in the country, even those who are vaccinated, boosted and taking precautions, there has been this message of, this is a variant where it's not extreme. it doesn't really hurt people. it's not severe. when people experience covid, it's person by person. so, i think that -- >> and it has implications even beyond their health for child care and work, so on. mj, you and i both have doctors under the age of 2. that remains one of the big outstanding issues. when are those vaccines for young kids coming. maggie and mj, thank you so much. that's it for "inside politics
sunday." you can listen to our podcast. download "inside politics" podcast and you can scan the qr code at the bottom of your screen. coming up next, "state of the union" with jake tapper and dana bash. guests are alejandro mayorkas and arkansas governor asa hutchinson. have a great rest of your day. r iced coffees too. which makes waking up at 5 a.m. to milk the cowsws a little easier. (moo) mabel sasays for you, it's more like e 5:15. man: mom, really? lisa here, has had many jobs. and all that experience has led her to a job that feels like home. with home instead, you too can come a caregiver to older adults. apply today.
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blown system. the biden administration lifts a pandemic health rule, which could draw a surge of migrants across the southern border. >> we inherited a broken and dismantled system that is already unstrain. >> is the u.s. ready? homeland security secretary alejandro mayorkas will be here. plus, election season. as voters worry about the economy, democrats brace for a midterm red wave. >> i think the american people want to see a change. >> are republicans prepared to lead? arkansas republican governor asa hutchinson is coming up. and show of support. house speaker nancy pelosi emphasizes the u.s. mm