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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  February 19, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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prepared to start, the endeavor we have started with our closest allies and partners. a i lot of attention was made to ate nouns. yesterday about our willingness to meet with the iran. it was a joint statement we put out with our closest european allies that affirmed we are once again on the same page with the europeans. we are not working at cross purposes. we are working in lock step together with them and it is together with them that we will pursue this principled diplomacy to put constraints on iran's nuclear program. >> thank you for your time. that wraps up this hour for me. nicole wallace picks it up from here. ♪♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. president biden today grabbing the wheel and taking control of the single most vexing challenge facing the country's pandemic response. vaccine production and district
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pugs. president biden just moments ago wrapping up remarks made at pfizer vaccine manufacturing site in michigan thoughting his administration's progress on the vaccine effort, re-upping his promise of having enough vaccine for the entire population by july, and making clear that the former guy that the country's pandemic response in shambles. america had no real plan to vaccinate most of the country. my predecessor, as my mother would say, god love him, failed to order enough vaccines, failed to mobilize the effort to administer the shots, failed to set up vaccine centers. that changed the moment we took office. i direct herped my covid-19 response coordinator to lead my administration's work with the vaccine manufacturers to buy more vaccines and to speed up delivery. albert referenced it earlier. and i want to thank him for making it happen. because we work together.
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we are now on track to have enough vaccine supply for all americans by the end of july h that doesn't mean it will be in all americans' arms, but enough vaccine will be available by that time. >> today's trip to michigan is just the second of president biden's term. it comes as the white house stares down alarming headlines about the new covid variants. "washington post" reports on a host of challenges. they write this. quote, biden administration officials pharmaceutical companies and scientists are racing to get ahead of a coronavirus that has become a more dpraef shape shifter than many expected. but they are confronting basic questions about where the variants are spreading, how quickly to update the vaccines and whether more problems are just over the horizon. among the unknowns one variant, for instance the highly transmissable version that shut down the u.k., become dominant or will the number of mutant
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strains expand. will existing vaccines offer sufficient protection fence the new variants and if not should companies target the most worrisome strain or develop an injection that covers several of them. in a sane of just how aggressive the biden white house plans to be now that the stage is theirs and theirs alone, the president also put his stamp on u.s. foreign policy today announcing bold moves designed to rerace fours years of an american president who treated the nation's allies with disdain and coddled america's adversaries. >> i am sending a clear message to the world. america is back. ht transatlantic alliance is back and we are not looking backwards. we are looking forward to together. it comes down to this. the transatlantic alliance is a strong foundation. the strong foundation which our collective security and our shared prosperity are built. the partnership between europe and the united states in my view
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is and must remain the cornerstone of all that we hope to accomplish in the 21st century just as we did in the 20th century. the challenges we face today are different. we are atten inflection point. we can't focus only on the competition among countries that threaten to divide the world or only on global challenges that threaten to sink us all together if we fail to cooperate. we must do both. >> the biden white house inheriting an unprecedented crush of domestic and international crises and working to reboot american foreign policy around traditional american values in the midst of a global pandemic that was politicized and downplayed from the start by his predecessor. here is president biden today calling for the global cooperation to fight covid that much of the world has been calling for since the very beginning. >> we must cooperate if we are going to defeat covid-19 everywhere. we have to work together to strengthen and reform the world health organization. we need a u.n. system focused on
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boy logical threats that can move quickly to trigger action. similarly, we can no longer delay or to the bare minimum to address climate change. this is a global existential crisis. and we'll all suffer, we'll off suffer the consequences if we fail. >> the new president's first turn on the world stage as he pushes for increased vaccine supply here at home is where we start with some of our favorite reporters. white house reporter for "the associated press" onthen lemir is here. the reverend al sharpton host of msnbc's "politicsnation" and president of the action network and outside that michigan pfizer plant our friend nbc news correspondent mike memoli is here. mike, starting with you, and if you, you know, see that motorcade beginning to move, just wave. we used to call it a slow roll when we saw reporters like
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yourself still doing live shots. it's clear that the communications team had a plan for the week and it included laying down these foundations of what his presidency is going to be about. today the first speefrp from a long decades long member the senate foreign relations committee and one time vice president putting his stamp on foreign policy and this forceful speech making clear that he was left, you know, nada and is working every day very aggressively to fill the stockpiles of vaccines. >> reporter: yeah, nicole, as i was talking to a white house official last week during that impeachment trial, there was a lot of talk, of course, about their counter-programming strategy. but they always knew they weren't going to necessarily break through with the coverage of the trial. they thought it was important to have those pictures, those moments of him in the oval office meeting with business leaders, meeting with bipartisan senators, talking about infrastructure, meeting with mayors and governors talking about the relief plan. they were eying this week as a really critical week to
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reestablish his presidency reminding the country of who was now the president of the united states. you saw him leaving washington to do so on tuesday in a forum that served him well during the campaign, that town hall event in wisconsin. today all at once capturing the domestic and the foreign policy challenges that is inheriting with a series of events, the g7 meeting as well as the address to the munich security forum and then here you saw him in michigan, one of the most hard-fought battleground states, doing two things. one is taking a measure of credit for the progress they have made. now, you know it's always a dangerous thing to do for any white house to take too much credit before the american people is ready to dish it out. but he did think it was important to reestablish what the situation he was, that he inherited from the former guy as he put it the other day. the last time he was here in michigan was on halloween when he was campaigning with former president obama.
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he knew that tackling the pandemic would be the biggest challenge the way his presidency would be measured, but he didn't know quite as bad as the situation with the vaccinations that he was going to be inheriting. he had to establish that, talk about the steps he has taken, especially the defense production act to enable pfizer to ramp up production that he can set that goal of july having enough vaccine supply for the entire country to get vaccinated. but then continuing that very important sales pitch. he needs to get that covid relief plan passed. we will see it maybe hit the floor at the end of next week. so he was challenging the republicans, tell me what's too big about this package. is it too big to extend unemployment insurance? is it too big to fund the vaccination program, the testing that is still needed? the white house really does believe that this is a bipartisan plan and you heard him make that argument here in a battleground state that, while republicans in washington may be against this, the overwhelming majority of this country ask with him and they want to
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continue to sustain that momentum and that's what you saw this week, nicole. >> i want to play a piece of sound from this morning and then i will promise you can take shelter somewhere warmer. this seemed like the joe biden that you have covered for a very long time, getting back to what i think his folks would say is the centerpiece of his foreign policy, getting back to bask, which is what his announcement speech was go when he said he was going to run to restore the soul of the country. part of the speech today to the munich conference about restoring and acknowledging how fragile our democracy still is. >> historians are going to examine and write about this moment as an inflection point, as i said. and i believe that every ounce of my being that democracy will and must prevail. we must demonstrate that democracy can still deliver for our people in this changed world. that, in my view, is our galvan identifiesing mission.
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democracy doesn't happen by accident. we have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, renew it. we have to prove that our model isn't a relic of history. it's the single best way to revitalize the promise of our future. >> these soaring comments about democracy, i'm starting to understand that they are not talking about mushy shaved off bipartisan deals. they are talking about building wide numbers of public support, 60, 65% around big ideas like democracy and it seems that he is going to put some of the sort of time and energy into the bully pulpit at restoring this very idea, that our democracy needs to be protected from those who don't value it, from those who would have it overturned. >> reporter: well, nicole, joe biden was always a fan of attending the munich security
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conference. one of the last times he did so was with your former because john mccain. the last time he did so, in fact, just a month or two before he announce ds his candidacy. it was a moment that was really important in shaping his opinion of what that campaign was about and why he cross thad line to decide to enter that race. he talked about seeing another person who spoke at that conference, vice president at the time mike pence, and seeing the, as he put it, deafening silence with which he was greeted when he said he was there to represent president of the united states donald trump. and then the overwhelming reaction that he received later when he spoke as he put it today as just a professor and as a privacy citizen. that moment really helped push him to enter the race and what he has told me multiple times, which is he wasn't going to enter if not for donald trump. this is an important moment to reestablish america's preeminent
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role as the leader for democracy with a small "d." >> thank you for sharing your reporting and location with us. let me bring in jonathan lemire. you being our bridge from being a white house reporter on the last guy's beat and now being on the biden white house, probably you are experiencing whiplash as dramatically as anyone. as a person who flushed out donald trump's fealty to vladimir putin in helsinki, to see this whip around not to the democracy party's foreign policy but traditional american foreign policy where allies are reassured, where adversaries are put on warning, what did you think of today's speech to the munich conference? >> well, certainly it has been a real change, nicole. less news made by tweet these days. today is an important marker for
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the biden administration. tomorrow will be one month in office. tomorrow will be february 20th, a month after he was sworn in, and we are seeing him deal, these two pillars of what his presidency is going to look like. certainly today at the vaccine plant in michigan, knowing that is the paramount crisis his administration faces to get those vaccines not just manufactured, but distributed and in the arms of americans and now even battling a major winter storm to do so. but, yes, on the foreign policy front as well where, for four years, and certainly russia is a great example of this, you had parts of the trump administration that was tough on russia. the president himself never was. he walked back measures. he pledged his at times allegiance to vladimir putin, including in hel kinksy, but other times as well which left allies across europe and other examples around the globe really unsteady and uncertain of what america really stood for. could they count on the united states in a time of crisis. and i think that the message
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today from president biden is that, yes, you can. that we are sort of back, as he puts it. the united states is back as a reliable partner in ways big and small. he will not be pulling out troops from germany, which is what the former guy had said he was going to do. he is trying to -- today was the official re-entry to the paris climate agreement, which, of course, so much of europe really wanted in america's allies had pushed for. so this is what the new tone is going to be from this president, one who, as noted, has spent a lot of time thinking about this, what sort of foreign policy president he wants to be and has spent a lot of time on the world stage having relationships with these other foreign leaders and trying to reassure them that they can count on the u.s. once again. >> and, rev, he also, i think, didn't let a single news cycle go by without being laser focused about the problems at home. he focused on vaccine hesitancy.
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let's watch. >> we all know that some history, some hesitancy about taking this vaccine. we all know there is a history in this country of having subjected certain communities to terrible medical abuses in the past. but if there is one message to cut through to everyone in this country it's this. the vaccines are safe. please, for yourself, your family, your community, this country, take the vaccine when it's your turn and available. that's how to beat this pandemic. >> rev, it's the kind of thing he will probably have to say over and over again every time he is out talking about the vaccine. i guess my question to you is, is it working? >> well, i think that the challenge he has is that not only does he have to keep saying it and vice president harris, but get others that have the ear of those communities, particularly of color, that have
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credibility there to say it over and over again. because i think that he is very wise to point out that the other guy that has left did not leave us well prepared. but that's only going to work for a moment or two. he is going to be judged very shortly by what he does during this time. so he needs to be able to get the hesitancy down and get the vaccine in, even during this terrible winter storm, so that the results are there. when we started seeing today data that says that the amount of infections are going down as opposed to last month, he has to keep doing that. otherwise, those that are happy that the other guy is gone will turn on him if we just have a let's talk about how the other guy was bad and can't show some good here. in order to do that, he is going to have to deal with hesitancy and vaccine distribution at the
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same time. >> and that juggling act that the rev is describing is precisely the specific way in which this white house is being tested this week with the storm in texas and much of the south, delaying millions of deliveries of vaccine. jonathan lemire, i want to read you some reporting from our friend susan glasser about the change in management. ron klain is the new white house chief of staff, and she writes this. the contrast between med's and his successor ron klain could not be greater. klain a long-time advisor to biden who served as chief of staff when he was vice president is, arguably, the most experienced person to ever hold the job among the to 30 who have since the position was created followed the second world war. he knows how white houses run when they work and how they fail when they don't and what government is supposed to do. he is, the tells people, the white house chief of staff, who worked for more chiefs of staff
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than any other. this idea of competent staff, because trump's staff was constantly in the news, many of them for saying outrageous things on fox news, it started with kellyanne conway and alternative facts, all the staffers were witnesses in the mueller investigation, they were always a sideshow. i wonder with this, obviously, being more focused on the work of governing and government what you can report on that change at the staff level. >> oh, the difference is dramatic and striking, nicole. certainly, when president trump came to office there were some pro measurable members, james in mattis chief among them. we saw some degree of professional for a time when john kelly took over as chief of staff, president trump's second chief of staff. but that quickly went away and became a staff hrh defined by
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rivalries and infighting and the willingness to leak on another staffer to the media, to sort of deliver a knife in the back, to cut out someone else's power center who was perceived as a rival or someone who had the ear of the president with the oval office having an open door policy described as looking as grand central terminal, the president encouraging fights amongst staff for amusement at times. now we have a very different tone. and in ways both big and small, the symbolic changes are very different. this is -- the team that joe biden, president biden has put together, is largely professionals. many of whom worked in the obama white house. many of whom worked for biden for decades, including when he was back in the senate or as vice president, which includes ron klain. he is someone who has, you know, there is -- to this point not much in the way of competing power structures. will there be disagreements in
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the white house staff? you know that even the most well oiled machines, that happens, of course. there will be different opinions. there will be occasional grudge match. it's a different tone and it's a tone being schedule by the president that he is not looking for anywhere near the drama, if you will, that we saw from his predecessor and one that is, indeed, stressing competence, one that comes into the door knowing they have an historic confluence of crises between the pandemic and the economy, the vaccines effort and so on, that they need to be firing on all cylinders. the executive orders are a start. the big test remains. they need to get the bill through congress in the next few weeks. >> rev, we've talked so much about how now president biden became the democratic nominee, how he sort of endured defeat after defeat, thosarily primaries i think 0 for 4 in the first four contests and you have talked most eloquently about
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balancing the job with the need to dance with the one who brung ya, is i way i think you put it. on that scale how is he doing? >> i think he is beginning to do what he needs to do there. in terms of the addresses in a forthright matter, the inequality, he comes out and says many of the things that we have not heard a president say. but i think he should not underestimate how desperate situations are. when you look at the fact that in the black community and other communities of color there is the disproportionate infections and deaths, even when you look at what is going on in texas and mississippi with this storm, it is their community that had the impact. so though he is refreshing in what he is saying, people that are suffering and watching their loved ones die and seeing their homes with no electricity, no drinking water, no heat, and a
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senator going to cancun, he's got to be able to deliver as well as speak well. and i think he's done the right speaking, but he now has to deliver, which is why i think he is absolutely right to put pressure on the republicans and pressure every time he is up like he did today to get that $1.9 trillion covid relief through because he knows that there is going to be a due date done and goodwill will step to the side in a minute or two because people -- it's not about what they like. it's about what they need when you are living under these traumatic and, in some cases, deadly situations. >> the rev has one much my favorite most interesting stories of the trump administration. new, no longer mayor pete,
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secretary pete buttigieg this weekend. when we come back, the historic freeze in texas that left more than 13 million people struggling just to find safe water to drink. we will check in in with an official there and talk about the republican governor's halting response. and the capitol police who are yet to sold a single press conference since the insurrection are conducting an internal review. 35 officers are now under investigation. we will tell you what we know and what remains unanswered about that deadly day at the capitol. plus, 41 million americans and counting have received a single dose of the covid vaccine. is it time to start contemplating life returning back to normal? what does that even look like? our experts will tell us. all those stories and more when deadline white house continues after a quick blaek. don't go anywhere. ouse continues after a quick blaek. don't go anywhere. g baton rouge... and even topeka. yeah, we're exhausted. whew! so, tonight... i'll be eating the roast beef hero (doorbell) excellent. and, tonight...
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snu what's this like for your husband on dialysis? to be in this these conditions? >> i'm scared right now for my husband. i really am. lord knows i'm scared for him because he is really congested really bad. i say, honey, you okay, you okay? i be adding, you okay? he say, yeah, baby, i'm okay. i say, you don't sound okay, charles. you don't sound okay. and you show -- he ain't looking okay to me either. >> day five of an ongoing emergency across parts of the southern u.s. the power grid in texas is lunching back to life. the number of households without electricity down are from 4 million people to 200,000 this afternoon and that is the good news. the dangers as you just saw isn't over. they are facing a water crisis, frozen pipes and contaminated
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supply means some 13 million texans are currently without access to safe drinking water. there is a lot of humanitarian work that still needs to be done from president biden insisting that the federal government is ready to help. >> as i said when i ran, i am going to be a president for all america. all, red -- there is no red or blou. it's all about commitment to the american people make to one another. we are going to sign that declaration once it's in front of me and god willing it will bring a lot of relief to a lot of texans. >> joining our conversation dallas county texas judge clay jenkins. thank you for spending time with us. we have been blessed by some great friends this week and voices from the state, and i want to start by asking how you are doing and how your community is doing. >> it's been a resilient community here in north texas. we are helping one another. very proud of the people in north texas. our state just absolutely failed
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us, you know, in weatherizing that system. but the people have come together and they are very, very resilient and working very hard to help one another. >> does that extend to your state's leaders? a lot has been made by the missteps, at least public relations-wise and policy-wise that your state's governor who found time to go on hannity and blame the green new deal. >> yeah. you can really put this at the foot of the governor's office because in 2011 you may recall at the super bowl in dallas that year we had an ice storm. we had hundreds of thousands of people without power and there were reports both from the state and the federal government coming out of that ice storm blackout saying we needed to weatherize our generation system and modernize our gas path line system or we will have extreme weather, gas pipelines will freeze and generators will shut down. and that's exactly what happened
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here. rather than doing what the report said, the governor made a decision to not require that of any of our generators and not modernize the pipeline system. when you are dealing with commodities and you tell companies they don't have to do something, you are tell them not to do that thing because the commodity goes to market at the lowest possible price, and if they don't have to spend extra money, they are not going to. this was a completely predictable event, and it will happen again if we don't weatherize and modernize. the governor has not apologized, but he has said that he will weatherize and he has asked the legislature to pass laws to do that. that's a step in the right direction. i think that the people are still owed an apology and we have got to modernize that gas pipeline system because our main problem was frozen gas in the
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lines, not being able to get to our generator plants. >> what you are describing is that even when the short-term crisis of -- the woman we heard as we came in is worried her husband's dialysis machine isn't working properly, people don't have power, don't have water. you are describing long-term changes. you still have a whole lot of republicans in power whose row action has run the gamut from fleeing to cancun to going on fox news and blaming policies that really aren't in effect. are you confident that after the crisis, the short-term crisis has passed, there will be a shift in the political will to do the things that you are describing? >> no, because what they normally do is talk a good game, but as the cycle moves on to some other interest for people, then they don't do something. and for the 2011 crisis, they required energy companies to
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file plans as to what they were doing, but there were no minimal standards to those plans and there was no oversight or audit of those plans. so their response in 2011 to this happening was file a piece of paper with us that we don't anything with. in fact, the governor's team fired the ceo of the texas reliability administration that is supposed to look to make sure the plants were safe. months ago, never replaced him, and then his staff replaced that person with themselves about three days before this ice crisis happened. so we really have got -- texans and the world need to keep their eye on this and make sure they actually follow through this time on weatherization and modernization. >> president biden announced today that if he can come without creating a burden on anyone on the ground who would be involved in moving him
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around, his security, while they are dealing with the crisis, he plans on coming. what would you say if he came and you had a chance to talk to him? what could you need from the federal government? >> they have been on the phone with us, you know, every day. i have gotten calls from the white house every day of this crisis, and they have just been phenomenal. they declared an emergency. they are going to open up individual assistance for underinsured and uninsured people who have had losses. we would welcome, you know, a leader on the ground. and so i hope he gets a chance to come down. >> judge clay jenkins, we wish you and your community all of the very best during this time and we are grateful for you to take time to talk to us. thank you. >> thank you. >> up next for us, the capitol police investigating the role of their officers at the insurrection last month. who they are looking at and what's being done to maintain safety for those working there now. the very latest on the investigation coming up.
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officer brian sicknick. an internal investigation was launched after some officers appeared to have violated department policies, including taking selfies with members of the mob. the acting chief will appear in front of the house next week to address the security failures at the capitol. "politico" reports that one of the rioters is expected to plead guilty for his role in the insurrection. pizolo is a member of the proud boys, who were referenced by the house democrats during the impeachment trial last week as one of the more aggressive rioters and insurrectionists. jake sherman, founder of punch bowl news, and an msnbc political contributor. also joining us donny deutsch. jake, there has been so little made public and certainly no public press briefing by capitol police. just talk about this development that almost three dozen are under investigation.
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>> shocking, nicole. i will say this. i am in the capitol now. i was here january 6th as we've talked about many times. i am shocked that the capitol police said nothing about this, but at the same time not shocked because they are the least transparent police organization, police department that i have ever been involved with or covered or interacted with. they are not ub subject to open records requests. let's say someone was arrested by the capitol police and i as a reporter or anybody as a peb of the public wanted a report to find out what happened, you could not get that. so we will be waiting with bated breath to hear the police chief next week at the house appropriations committee to talk about this. i will say that there are a lot of people who want answers. we have gotten none so far. i can tell you that there are members of the capitol police force that are not happy with the current chief and that want new leadership. i would say that the department
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is generally in a state of, still in a state of shock, frankly, from what happened january 6th. >> to we know what they are under investigation for? it came out with the news about the ones that were suspended for taking selfies with the insurrectionists themselves. are 36 under investigation for that kind of behavior? >> yeah, i think it's that, plus i think there were -- i know there have been reports and there has been reporting that they let some of the insurrectionists kind of into the capitol almost waved them in. i think that's part of it. then again, we wouldn't really know because the capitol police department is so opaque and the only time we get information, frankly, is out of the union and out of individual officers, which is not great because we want to hear from both sides at all times. but it's behavior like that. people were wearing make america great again hats from the protesters that were given by the protesters. again, we don't know this 100% because we haven't gotten the
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full story. presumably, when the capitol police chief is under oath next week in front of the committee that funds the department she will be required to give some answers. >> you know, donny, i share what i think is a universal assessment of most viewers of this network that it is time to move on from the other guy. but i think that if we ignore who and how and why what happened on january 6th happened, it would be like ignore 9/11. i mean, i find what jake is saying so shocking. i wish i had started with this story 41 minutes ago. the charges and the charging documents are really all that we know. but they are charging militia groups, member after member, and what they're saying is i came because donald trump told me to come. you add that with the news of 36 members of the capitol police under investigation, and the pictures getting more disturbing, not less. >> nicole, it's a question of
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moving on from the other guy but not moving on from the problem. the other guy stood for, magnified, illuminated and exacerbated. abc news "washington post" poll from 2017 a couple years back, 1 in 10 americans think it's okay to have white supremacists or neo-nazi values, points of view. the word as acceptable to them. 17% of trump supporters, one in five trump supporters said it's acceptable to have neo-nazi white supremacist views. let that sink in for a moment. we can't move on because this problem you are talking about now, if you put the numbers to it, 25, 30 million americans are in this camp. storming the capitol, not themselves but a peace of them was there with them. we cannot move on from this. this is the number one terror threat to our country now. it is no longer not threats from overseas. it is domestic terror. that is what hhs said. this very division was set up to
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fight terrorism from around the world now. it's set up, it's terrorism from within. we cannot move on. if you go back to what i said about 1 in 10 americans, that's 1 in 10 policemen, 1 in 10 people in armed forces. you know, these groups that are meant to protect us are not in any way absent from being represented of this problem. so, no, we cannot move on from the other problem, the other guy, whatever you want to call it. >> it's such an interesting predicament, jake, for republican party with known associations with the prouz. "the times" and organizations have done great reporting about some of the hardest core members of that, really the sort of qanon wing of the house republican caucus. i wonder if there is willingness and public enthusiasm for rooting out white supremacy and all of the organizations, law enforcement, the pentagon has been forthright and public about
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that being their intention, or is that something people are squeamish about. >> it's a complicated question. i don't know how you go about that from an official point of view. there are members of the house republican conference, nicole, elected members of congress who have had affiliation with qanon and the leadership of the party has not gone after them, right. i mean, they are members in good standing of the house republican conference, and the leadership generally believes these are the people that were sent to us from these states and we have to accept them into our midst. again, not my point of view. that's their point of view. so that's a decision that they have consciously made. until they take care of their own house and root out some of those views, then i think it's harder to do it on a larger scale. remember, we just had this episode with marjorie taylor greene who said hateful islamophobic anti-semitic
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disgusting things over the years and then all she says is i'm sorry and it's over. so, she wags given a second chance quite easily. >> some news broke before this segment. joe manchin, democrat from west virginia, voted, i believe, to confirm jeff sessions says he will vote against neera tanden as head of omb. are interesting, interesting challenge, i guess, and test for the new biden white house. donny. >> yeah. you know, look, biden has come in and sold on basically reaching across the aisle. we are -- this is a new age and it's bipartisanship and here you have manchin backing biden into a corner in terms of how hard does he push here. so the manchins of the world are going to be the bellwether as to how bipartisan we really are in this white house and it's clearly going to be a task for biden. >> i want to read you a little bit, jake, of manchin's
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statement. he says i carefully reviewed the public statements and tweets personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of aisle from senator sanders to senator mcconnell and others. i believe her partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the working relationship between members of congress and the next director of omb. >> could i take a little bit of a more negative view, mcnicole? >> please. >> domination is over. to there is no putting that back in the bottle for the white house. and you need a republican to cross over to support tanden, which i think is somewhere between extraordinarily unlikely and never going to happen. i could be proven wrong. i don't see a way she will get confirmed now. her nomination was on thin ice fwased on things she said about many members of the senate. i understand we have gone through a four-year period during which the president had said nasty things about pretty
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much everybody in government, and guess what? he didn't get a lot done. so i would say i'm not comparing neera tanden to president trump in any way, shape or form, but i don't think the incentive is there for any republican to cross the aisle and vote for neera tanden's nomination for omb director. >> jake sherman, making a prediction, a brave man. thank you so much for being with us today. up next for us, mom and tad have been vaccinated. what do we do now? what can we do now? what should we do now? nobody knows. we will talk about that next. o ? nobody knows we will talk about that next
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which can lead to dehydration and may worsen kidney problems. i have it within me to lower my a1c. ask your doctor about once-weekly trulicity. the white house, the president, the cdc, all of them continue to push for everyone, vaccinated or not, to keep up all of those safety measures that we know about, wearing masks, social distancing, at least until we learn more about how the vaccines work in the real world. two new studies suggest that could be right around the corner. the white house chief medical advisor, dr. anthony fauci, said yesterday that some kind of normal may slowly be returning as more people get vaccinated. >> if you're vaccinated and you have a member of your family vaccinated, someone that's not lived with you and come to them, they will say, well, can i actually be with them without a mask? can i sit down and give them a hug and things like that? and the answer is, very likely,
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of course you can. but if only 10% of the society is vaccinated, you're not going to be able to go to a restaurant or to go to a theater because it's not going to be opening. you've got to separate it from what you can do in a certain vacuum versus what you can do in society. >> conversation, msnbc medical contributor, our friend dr. kavita patel, a former policy director in the obama white house. donny is still with us. dr. patel, this is the part of the story that we can't ever ignore: we're going to be making these decisions. there's fascinating reporting about what countries who are farther along in the vaccinations are contending with and i can't wait until we're at that point, where we're debating the medical and legal and societal ethics of how to deal with a partially vaccinated population. we're not there yet, but what will that look like? >> yeah, nicole, it's definitely going to look better and better. we're already seeing some
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results of vaccination, by the way, in the united states with a decrease in cases, certainly hospitalizations and long-term care settings, so that's good news. that is just going to continue to build and the data from israel does tell us that there's even a decrease with asymptomatic transmission, which is what we've been waiting for. we're waiting to find out, nicole, that if you and i and donny are all vaccinated but then we are around someone who is not vaccinated, do we give them or have the potential to give them the coronavirus? and early signs say no. but i'll go out here on a limb and say that in order to get through the next month, president biden says it will maybe be summer by the time the majority of the country is vaccinated, i feel very comfortable if i have had my doses and have developed immunity and i'm with my parents and they have had their vaccines, i do feel comfortable and i am looking forward to hugging them and not wearing a mask and having a proper meal. i think the issue comes up when you've got children who aren't
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going to get vaccinated any time soon and that's a conversation to have, because it comes with some risk, but as you know, i've said before, this has taken a toll on our mental health and you have to think about the benefits, not just the risks. >> doctor, i've so enjoyed listening to your wisdom and empathy so continue great job and well, well done. let's do a little real-life workshop here because i was confronted with the problem today that we're all confronted with. how do we get back to normal? i, like so many people, last summer, my daughter was supposed to be bat mitzvahed, everything was pushed off, now we're into june and a the guidelines say, cuomo's guidelines say that outdoors, you can have a hundred people but yet, that still doesn't feel right in my tummy, and yet i have this hysterical daughter, and i want to play on the side of safe, and this is just a real-life situation i'm dealing with today and even if you're playing within the guidelines, that's still not the smart thing to do and you need to go below the speed limit. so, a real-life situation that
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everybody's, you know, very insignificant in the scheme of things, but a typical situation that we're all going to be dealing with. >> no, not insignificant at all, donny, and something that i hope you will get to do, but i agree, your gut is right. as many times our guts are right, as parents. the science would tell us right now that we can do that safely in smaller settings, kind of the way i described dr. fauci kind of in your household, dinners. outdoors definitely is better, and outdoor large gathering when we are not necessarily seeing the data to tell us that community transmission is very low, which we are not at yet, maybe we will get there by june, donny, but i would say you'd be better off in helping your daughter prepare to have some sort of celebration, much smaller than a hundred people and to do it with people where you can say, have you all been vaccinated? if not, let's be transparent about the risk and then tell her that she can have that big party. it will be a little later than
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she wanted to. >> couple years. why are they telling us the guidelines -- why are they giving us guidelines and saying it's okay at that point? cuomo came out and said you can have gatherings of this many. it belies logic to me. >> yeah, i'll be honest, i haven't actually read new york state's guidelines. i would say that your instinct, though, especially when we don't know the predictability of what a fourth surge in these variants would do would tell you that even a large gathering outdoors is not a safe idea at this point in time. it's not -- it's just not something i would recommend. it's certainly for anybody you love, i would not recommend sending them into that. and the only thing i'll say, donny, the only thing i'll say is that what i see in state guidance is not necessarily nestled within the science, because let's remind ourselves, states have been opening up indoor dining and having to do things because of what they feel like are economic pressures when we know that that's not safe. so, i'll just tell you that you have to go with the science on this one, but let me not underscore the value of the
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vaccine. getting vaccinated when it's your turn and including children over the age of 16 will be incredible and that will get us to decreased community transmission and you might be able to have that later in the summer if we can actually get most of the country vaccinated by then. >> and if you've listened to this, you will be invited to whatever outdoor gathering donny deutsch plans this summer. >> no, no. >> you're welcome for sharing dr. patel with you. >> sorry, kids. >> thank you both so much. >> i'll take it. >> dr. kavita patel and donny deutsch, thank you so much. perfect conversation to have on a friday. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a quick break. don't go anywhere. e" starts aft quick break. don't go anywhere. i have an idea for a trade. oh yeah, you going to place it? not until i'm sure. why don't you call td ameritrade for a strategy gut check? what's that?
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>> no official state or federal has been more involved in the recovery of galveston county than senator ted cruz. >> when the hurricane hit, you stood up for texas, and ted cruz stood up for you. >> hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in new york. has cancun cruz seen that ad? because this year, when disaster struck his state, ted cruz booked an international beach trip and blamed the decision on his daughters. he was not standing up for his constituents as millions of them lost power, heat, and access to drinkable water while battling freezing cold temperatures. the uproar over cruz's departure was swift and unrelenting. cruz soon turned around, flying back to texas, a saga captured perfectly by our friend ashley parker in the "washington post." quote, usually it takes at least one full day in cancun to do something embarrassing that you'll never live down, but for ted cruz, it took just ten hours from when his united plane touched down at cancun international airport at 7:52
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p.m. wednesday to when he booked a return flight back to houston around 6:00 a.m. thursday. for the state's junior senator to apparently realize he'd made a horrible mistake. one he admitted to when he spoke with a local houston station upon return. here's cruz's reaction when confronted about his decision to leave the state during its moment of crisis. >> in hindsight, if i'd understood how it would be perceived, the reaction people would have, obviously, i wouldn't have done it. it was a mistake. and one of the things i really regret, i don't like this being used as a distraction from the real issues, which is, why was our electrical grid unprepared for this? why were we not able -- able to provide basic heating and light for the 4 million texans that were forced to lose power? and not just lose power for ten minutes or a half hour but many for up to three days. >> it wouldn't be a distraction if you'd stayed here and said
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these same things, right, and gotten out in the streets? >> i agree. >> did you catch that? he's not sorry. he's sorry about how we perceived it. i see. as of this morning, nearly 200,000 texans still don't have power. 14 million people are under orders to boil their water after pipes have frozen and burst due to the winter storm. the death toll in texas from this week's extreme weather, 21 people. cruz put a statement the morning after he left saying he had flown to mexico, quote, to be a good dad, end quote, and would return that afternoon. but reporting in "the new york times" quickly revealed that the quick turn around was not the original plan. quote, text messages sent from cruz's wife to friends and houston neighbors on wednesday revealed a hastily planned trip. their house was, quote, freezing, as mrs. cruz put it, and she proposed a getaway until sunday. ms. cruz invited others to join them at the ritz-carlton in cancun where they had stayed
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many times. noting the room price this week, $309 per night and its good security. the text messages were provided to "the new york times" and confirmed by a second person on the thread who declined to be identified because of the nature of the texts. a massive leadership failure on full display and calls for cruz's resignation have swelled, including from the texas democratic party, whose chair called cruz an enemy to our state by abandoning us in our greatest time of need, adding, quote, cruz is emblematic of what the texas republican party and its leaders have become, weak, corrupt, inept and self-serving politicians who don't give a damn about the people they were elected to represent. the lack of leadership when texas needed it most is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. phil rucker is here. "washington post" senior washington correspondent and msnbc political analyst. also joining us, our friend elizabeth neumann, former assistant secretary for threat prevention for the department of homeland security. she is now the codirector of the
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republican accountability project, and julian castro is here, secretary of housing and urban development under president obama and a 2020 presidential candidate. i'll start with you, sir, and your knowledge of the state, your knowledge of ted cruz. i have to say, covering ted cruz's conduct during a natural disaster threatens to sort of overshadow his insurrection-adjacent conduct over the last six weeks, but taken together, it seems out of step and out of the mainstream of even the texas gop. >> yeah, i think the common denominator and one of the reasons i think this is politically fatal for ted cruz is that it demonstrates that he's in it just for himself. the common denominator was he led that effort in the senate to try and overturn the results of the election because he was trying to ingratiate himself to the trump base in case he runs
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in 2024 for president again, same thing here. you know, he comes back after he gets caught, even though he intended to stay in cancun apparently through the weekend, comes back and then says, well, it's the perception. that's the reason that i came back. it's all about trying to get an advantage with the trump base, with voters he thinks he's going to need in texas. it's not about the people. it's not about the folks who are hurting these last few days in texas. it's all about how something's going to look, and that is exactly what people hate about politics, and that is now the brand of ted cruz. >> and julian, i have to say, before the country saw what they saw this week from ted cruz, any one of us who were anywhere here anymore 25 years ago at the beginning of his political career saw this side of him, and i wonder, i mean, beto o'rourke came very close in his race against him but i wonder if you think there's real political
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peril for what has been revealed about ted cruz. i never thought it was very texas to tolerate being taunted and bullied by someone donald trump who called your wife ugly and accused your father of being part of the assassination of jfk. do you think this represents another sort of brick in that case against ted cruz as lacking core principles? >> oh, absolutely. i also think, you know, politically speaking, that he's vulnerable on both ends. he's vulnerable in a primary because people perceive him as phony and weak, and he's going to be vulnerable in the general election, as you mentioned, beto o'rourke got within two and a half points in 2018. if he decides to run for re-election for his senate seat instead of running for president, then i think he's going to have another at least very close race, if not get beaten. he may not make it even out of the primary, though. it's interesting, nicole. if this had been donald trump, i think what he would have done is do to mexico, and then when he got caught going to mexico, he
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would have said, i'm in mexico. there's nothing that i can do about it. and hey, look, he would have made up some reason for why that's the best thing to happen in the world. the trump base didn't like what cruz did, i think, because they saw him backing down. now, i don't agree with that. but i think he looked weak in their eyes, and he looked self-interested in everybody else's. >> you know, phil rucker, our friend, ashley parker, has some just award-winning writing, but underneath it, she takes this real bright light to ted cruz's political soul, and every little line is a transgression against all of us to blame your daughters? i wanted to be a good dad. you can be a good father outside of the ritz-carlton in cancun. and then there's this layer that came out late last night that the reporting is based on sources who were in the trump
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circle. they were on those text chains. the reason we know, and it sounds like the "times" had two sources on those text chains, exactly how this trip came to be and how long it was supposed to last, because people in the trump or in the cruz orbit shared those details with us. just talk about this reporting and how bad this picture is, even for ted cruz. i feel like i have to keep saying that. >> it's incredible, nicole, because it's almost like a whole web of lies around this trip to mexico and the explanations that senator cruz was providing simply didn't pan out, according to the facts that kept leaking out and it's just remarkable that those text messages came out for the "new york times" and they don't disclose who those sources are and we don't know who they are, but there certainly is an indication that these are friends of the couple, friends of heidi cruz, not necessarily political people in that political orbit, and you've got to think that those friends were, you know, so taken by what senator cruz did here that they decided to go public with the
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text messages. it's a real statement about what kind of friends are on that text chain, but it's just a remarkable political scandal, and i don't think we've seen something quite like this since, you know, governor mark sanford went on vacation. >> i was thinking the same thing. but he did that for love. >> for love. >> let me come to you, elizabeth, on why this matters. there's something, you know, ted cruz -- i think it was lindsey graham who took to the floor and said if he was murdered on the floor of the senate, there wouldn't be an investigation. he is known for being unlikable. he's known for lacking principles. but here's why this matters. here's why this is our top story at 5:00 today. this is the republican playbook. this is what they think they can do. they think they can lie. they think they can cheat. they think they can blame their kids, and they will keep doing it, and again, this is the second worst thing ted cruz has done in 2021. the first was putting in motion
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the effort to delegitimize the electoral vote count on the 6th that likely put mike pence's life in danger. talk about this as just this rare mri into the current state of the gop. >> you know, nicole, you're absolutely right, and i was thinking about this when the news started to break wednesday night into thursday. this is the classic case of the fool described in proverbs. there's also a couple of psalms, like, psalm 7 comes to mind, where the person that's described as the fool or the evil person that's attacking all that is good and righteous eventually digs the pit that they fall into themselves. or eventually he creates enough mischief that it turns back around and collapses on them of its own weight. and i hope that he can become a lesson or a moral for the --
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those republicans that didn't go all in on january 6th but are still not standing up and not having the courage to do the right thing and denounce that the election was stolen. you know, you have the choice here. if you decide that you don't want to govern with principles, if you decide that there is no such thing as truth and that you just, you know, hold your finger to the wind and decide your position based on what the polls say, you will end up like ted cruz. like, you do eventually collapse in your own weight of deception and immorality, and the good thing about our democracy is that for the most part, though clearly the last four years have been very concerning, i do think that you're going to see more voters say i'm going to take my responsibility to vote for people of not just character but also competence. i think we see a lot of incompetence in what's happened in texas in the last few days, but you know, who you vote for in your local office, who you
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vote for in your state and then your national offices, it actually matters, and they need to be able to do more than look pretty and sound good on tv. they actually have to have courage. they actually have to have conviction and principles. they need to be able to carry out civil discourse, and ted cruz can do none of those things. so i think he is up for a real tough election season. i hope he resiends. that would be great. but i'm sure he won't. i'm sure he'll come up with some sort of cover and try to rebrand himself but i hope texans -- i'm a texan. we can see b.s. from a mile away. hopefully they can see that now, and put somebody else in their senate seat for the next election. >> julian, if you look at deeds, i mean, the conduct in this hour of crisis from folks like yourself, from beto, who we talked about, who's helped volunteers, activated those phone banks that were so effective for him, they made calls to 784,000 senior citizens
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in texas, wellness checks. congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez has raised $2 million in relief. and again, you've got governor abbott, who went on sean hannity's program the first night of the crisis and blamed the green new deal, and you've got ted cruz with this, you know, flight of shame back from cancun. how do democrats take their response in an hour of crisis and continue to sort of communicate what elizabeth neumann is articulating, that a lot of what the republicans have been selling voters is a fraud. >> actions are louder than words, and democrats in texans' hour of need, whether they're here in the state like representative o'rourke or myself or others, or they're out of state, like aoc, were actually being helpful and trying to bring relief and comfort to people who need it right now, and republicans are not. this is like nicole, if you -- if you were at home with a
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couple of friends having dinner and all of a sudden your roof collapses, and one of your friends stays there and starts helping you look up the number for somebody that can come, you know, do a quick repair and fix it, and the other one, once it happens, says, hey, i'm uncomfortable, i'm going to get out of here, you know, people say, what could ted cruz have done? but that's not really the point, is it? he could have done a lot, as a united states senator, to make sure that constituents got what they needed from agencies, but even if that weren't true, what would you say about somebody what walks out on you in your great time of need? i mean, say that person is not a friend at all. that person is not there to help you at all. that's the difference right now between democrats who are helping in every way that they can and republicans who have walked out on the state of texas either through their incompetence or literally like
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ted cruz, flying to the beaches of mexico when everybody here is freezing without power and without water. >> and phil rucker, what julian is describing is the nexus between the big lie that ted cruz was one of the most instrumental figures in fomenting what became the violence on the 6th, he and josh hawley green lit and legitimized and made possible for that vote to come to the senate and again endanger the lives of everybody there, including mike pence. what's interesting, and i keep an eye on the alternative reality, the circling of the wagons for ted cruz is sort of lame. i mean, it's -- they're doing it but it's not -- you know, it's -- as has been commented, it's not what would be done for the dear leader, donald trump, if it was donald trump, it would have been the more noble -- you know, it all would have been turned around. i wonder if you see this sort of model starting to crumble when tested with the likes of ted cruz? >> certainly. i mean, i think that there's a
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big difference here between the appeal that ted cruz has to his followers and the appeal that donald trump has to his followers. i mean, i think if trump were to do this, he'd get away with it, as secretary castro alluded to before, but this is very different, and cruz doesn't have that same force of personality with his voters and this disintegration that you're alluding to could potentially happen. we'll see. i mean, there are a lot of political scandals that we talk about on this program that don't breakthrough to the american people, that even we -- and we do this for a living -- that we can't remember a month later and i think this is one that's going to stick with people. it seems to have clearly broken through with real, you know, people out in the country. it's all over social media. it's all over facebook. people are talking about it. and it's so memorable, i think it's going to stick with him and really become a part of cruz's political brand for better or for worse in the years to come. so you might be right, nicole.
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>> it's so interesting. never boring. julian castro, thank you so much for starting us off and being part of this conversation. we're very grateful. phil and elizabeth are sticking around a little longer. when we come back, news breaking this hour on new charges against members of a right-wing militia group who prosecutors say not only took part in the capitol insurrection but helped preplan it. as concerns grow about the ongoing threat facing those at the capitol, we'll talk to a member of congress about how safe he feels going to work every day. plus pulitzer prize winning science writer laurie garrett will be back with a scathing look at the staggering incompetence and negligence of donald trump, holding him account for the deadliest wave of the coronavirus as he fought to overturn the election he lost. and tracking the variants. nbc's richard engel on what scientists are doing right now to stay ahead of those highly contagious versions of the coronavirus. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. nues after a quick break. don't go anywhere.
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we're following breaking news in just the last hour related to the investigation into the insurrection on january 6th. the department of justice has brought charges today against six suspected members of the right-wing group the oath keepers for their role in the capitol insurrection. these new charges may be the most significant evidence so far that the attack on the capitol was preplanned. the acting chief of the capitol police will speak more about the department's actions on that day during hearings on capitol hill next week but a more immediate question remains, just how safe is the capitol and the members
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of congress in it today in the wake of the insurrection? joining our conversation on that topic, congressman eric swalwell of california. he's a member of the intelligence, judiciary, and homeland security committees. he served as a house impeachment manager. phil and elizabeth are still here. congressman, first, can you tell us what your understanding is about the stage of the investigation and charges? it appears that the u.s. attorneys in the district of columbia are doing what they said they'd do right after with charges becoming more serious as their investigation proceeds. >> good afternoon, nicole and the other panelists. they are on the hunt, and i and others are doing all we can to assist them by retweeting the fbi tweets every day where they put up requests for information. that's just something every citizen can do, and it's working. but we are learning, and we learned this in our investigation, that the plot to
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attack the capitol inspired by the former president was quite more elaborate than we've come to believe. capitol hill police officers have relayed to me that they saw teams, that there were members -- that rioters were wearing different colors so that they could keep track of each other as they moved through the capitol. they had walkie-talkies, they had a radio channel they were communicating on. of course, they had, you know, stun guns, so this was quite sophisticated, and it's going to take, you know, tremendous resources from the department of justice and law enforcement to hunt down these folks, and we have to do that because sweeping this under the rug or, you know, thinking this was a peaceful protest would do a disservice to what was attacked that day. >> and congressman, what you just said was actually part of what the president's lawyers themselves argued, that the insurrection was premeditated, precoordinated and preplanned.
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but it is also true that donald trump's emails were way ahead of even the speech on january 6th. so, i wonder, in the face of that fact that isn't disputed on either end of what sometimes becomes the nonreality world of trump and trumpism, i wonder what you think that says about where this investigation is heading in terms of looking at donald trump's conduct. >> yes, it is not a defense that the riot, the mob was premeditated. if you were the event coordinator, right? you can't use that as a defense if you were the one that summoned the mob, inflamed the mob and directed the mob. so, i do believe that as you're seeing, civil claims were filed this week against him. i hope a commission is able to look into not only the security posture of the capitol on that day and what we need to do to protect the future major events at the capitol, but also at what
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the president's conduct was and who he was inspiring, because these groups persist. and i see them in airports now. people feel more emboldened. they feel like they have permission because the former president said that you could fight like hell and if you don't, you won't have a country anymore. my colleagues on both sides are being harassed and attacked, you know, in airports at their districts and so we need to understand the mindset of these groups and treat it just as we did after september 11th. >> well, "the new york times" luke broadwater has done reporting on a half a dozen republican house members who have associations or have appeared with or have connections to some of these groups, the oath keepers, the proud boys, and others. do you want to see more transparency? should every member have to reveal any associations or contacts with militia groups? >> well, it's really, you know, our job, i think, as citizens to look at what these affiliations are and then hold members accountable and it's the fbi's job, i believe, if members are
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affiliated, maybe even if it's, you know, unwittingly with these groups, that they should be approached and told. you know, elizabeth testified to our committee a couple weeks ago on the homeland security committee and laid out just how vast the white nationalism threat is to our country, and i believe that this new department of justice is going to have to beef up its resources and its ability to have a task force that can understand how the training and recruiting takes place, how the radicalization occurs, and where these groups are so that we can screw up them scrub them out of our country. >> if you read these charging documents, just about every one of them was a member of one of these militia groups which christopher wray testified in early september that they represented the greatest domestic terror threat. you take that on top of the reporting that half a dozen house republican members have associations and affiliations
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with these groups, should we know more about those relationships and contacts? >> absolutely. and one of the things that is a silver lining to come out of this is maybe we can do a better job of educating the public about the fact that militias are illegal in all 50 states. there's a lot of myth out there, especially in conservative circles, that militia are protected under the second amendment, that they can conduct activities such as offering protection at political rallies and that that's just -- it's kind of like a neighborhood watch. you're on guard in case of an emergency and you need to be called up. that's not what the laws allow. the laws actually outlaw private militia performing law enforcement functions in all 50 states, but we're not prosecuting that at a state level, and we're not educating people about that. so you end up with a number of people getting recruited into these groups and they don't -- they think what they're doing is
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legal, so can we at least start there and educate people that these groups are illegal in the way that they're operating, and that starts with our members of congress. you should not be having the proud boys or the oath keepers perform security functions. if you need security functions at your rally, you can hire private security that are sanctioned by the state, or you can work with your local police department to make sure you have proper security. you should not be using illegal private militia. now, i'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they don't know the way that the laws are structured, but we need to use this opportunity to get everybody on the same page and draw a very clear line that if you're going to participate in a private militia, that is illegal activity and the federal government and the state government will be coming after you, because we do not need another repeat of what happened on january 6th. these people have a lot of training. they come out of law enforcement and military. if rallied to the same cause like we saw on january 6th, can
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do a lot of damage and i'm still, quite frankly, surprised that we didn't have more damage occur on january 6th. >> phil rucker, we're not one week out yet from the second acquittal of donald trump and his second impeachment trial. and you watch those videos and you read the charging documents of the people that are being charged and will be prosecuted, some of them already working out plea deals. no one is saying that they were there for any other reason other than donald trump asked them to be there. what do you think the lasting sort of impact or imprint is on the acquittal on trump's allies, on the republican party, and on the insurrectionists and militia groups themselves? >> well, nicole, i think a lot of trump's allies in the republican party are hopeful that the acquittal would be the last word and that this issue would disappear and be swept under the rug and that's clearly not the case.
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federal law enforcement is continuing these investigations. they're continuing to make arrests, they're continuing to learn more information, and that's entirely appropriate. this was a criminal act that happened at the capitol, and that's why you see all of these federal resources being applied to figure it out and the longer this investigation continues, the more difficult politically it becomes for republicans but we haven't even talked yet about the possibility that president trump, former president trump himself could face some criminal liability here. remember, federal investigators are gathering evidence as they do this investigation and as they depose some of those who were there, these witnesses and also those who are being charged, and the more and more of them who point to trump's words as motivating their decisions to go storm the capitol and to lay siege on the capitol and to attack our democracy, that becomes evidenced in a possible case against trump, and so i think all eyes now are on the justice department for what they decide to do. >> phil rucker, elizabeth
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neumann, congressman eric swalwell, thank you so much for spending some time with us on a friday. what felt like another nine-day week. we're grateful. when we come back, pulitzer prize winning science reporter laurie garrett will join us with a scathing indictment of donald trump and how his obsession with overturning an election he clearly lost cost hundreds of thousands of american lives. that story's next. for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. ♪ usaa ♪ to support local restaurants, we've been to every city, including baton rouge... and even topeka. yeah, we're exhausted.
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predecessors, my mother
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would say, god love them, failed to order enough vaccines, failed to mobilize the effort to administer the shots, failed to set up vaccine centers. that changed the moment we took office. >> that was president biden a couple hours ago and just a few of the trump failures that helped lead us to where we are today. as we approach the one-year mark of the start of the coronavirus pandemic in this country, we're also approaching 500,000 souls lost in the united states and we now have more than 28 million cases here. laurie garrett, who's always said that it did not have to be this bad, says she especially blames donald trump's neglect during the third wave, and if she was a member of congress during the impeachment deliberations, she says she would have added the crime of pandemicide. she writes, between the election and the inauguration, the number of infected americans more than doubled, skyrocketing to 24 million. adding, some 15 million cases on
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trump's watch, when he was fixated on overturning biden's victory and awol on the pandemic front. in his absence from pandemic duty, his duty to protect the american people, 172,000 americans died, nearly doubling the mortality toll since election day. let history record that no sitting u.s. president has willfully allowed such preventable carnage to unfold on the american people. we are lucky now to get to bring into our conversation msnbc science contributor laurie garrett, health policy analyst, pulitzer prize winning journalist and we're so lucky to say a friend of this show. your piece shook me. i need to read some more from it. it's exquisite. you write, he ignored the pandemic on november 3rd when 92,000 people were newly infected. he remained taciturn as americans flew on commercial planes. as his insurrection mob gathered on capitol hill, the case tally
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topped 21 million with 352,000 deaths and by the time trump boarded marine 1 for his final helicopter ride at taxpayer expense en route to mar-a-lago, 24 million americans had tested positive with covid killing nearly 400,000 of them. >> pandemicide. i was first introduced to the idea, though not the specific word, thinking about the famous case of general amherst who ordered smallpox-laden, contaminated blankets given to chief pontiac of the ottawa indians in order to spawn an epidemic and that was arguably the first act of biological warfare on the north american soil and one could argue was an attempt at pandemicide but
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surely nothing approaches the scale of what we witnessed from the moment donald trump decided to challenge the election and claim that it was all a hoax until inauguration day when he finally got on a helicopter and went to florida. in that window, we saw the epidemic more than double. we saw a huge death toll. we saw the, yes, the announcement that vaccines had been approved but a complete failure to execute the rollout of vaccination, and we discovered that many of the vaccine doses that they claimed they had were not actually existent, certainly not on hand in u.s. custody. and we saw mistake after mistake made as trump's own rallies, every single gathering of support for the president featured not wearing masks and being shoulder to shoulder with your comrades, shouting the name of donald trump.
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>> you know, and i think if you go back even to his bout with covid, and you pull back to all the damage that he did with that, by putting secret service agents in a car when he was still infectious, by lying to the country about just how sick he is, we've learned in more recent reporting in "the new york times" that he actually was minutes, hours away from being put on a ventilator himself, to be that sick and come out and lie, come out and create all these videos ripping off his mask and saying, if i can beat it, you can too, it's not so bad. it is unknown how many people followed his lead. if you've just deduced that what half of the people who voted for him believe him on covid, at a minimum, how many people do you think have been put at risk because of his lies and disinformation on the pandemic, laurie? >> well, certainly if we go beyond -- i mean, all the way out to last -- this time last year, we come to a much larger number than the figure that i was focusing on by targeting the
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period when he actually just disappears on us and all we hear from him is that the election has been stolen. and he fixates on nothing else. before that, certainly his distortions, his disinformation cost lives without a doubt. there's a big multinational study put together by lancet, the british medical journal, that came out last week estimating that about 40% of america's death burden need not have occurred and occurred because of policy failures at the federal level. that's -- that's a very serious charge, and that would definitely go to the oval office. >> laurie, i know from working in the white house and from now covering the white house, there's a short memory for just how bad the biden administration had it when it came to vaccine supply and just even contacts and coordination with the
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states. in your view, what would you urge the public to sort of have patience for? it is obvious that ron klain and president biden and the vice president, that they are all focused on this, but i'm sure, just from working in government, it's going to take longer to undo, to unring the bell that you said trump rung by being literally awol, not -- that's not political speech. that was his choice, to remove himself from leading this country through the pandemic. how much time does this new administration need to right the ship? >> oh, goodness, i mean, the problem we have right now, nicole, is that we have these variant strains that have emerged and now just announced last night, a new one, perhaps even more dangerous, has emerged in the greater tokyo area of japan. it is similar to the one that emerged in the amazon area of brazil a few months ago and one of the things we now know for sure is that these variants began emerging during the
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holiday season in key countries, the uk and certainly spread in the united states. during the holiday period when we had so much social mobility, so many people on the move, so many of them infected, and spreading virus around, and the more you spread the virus, the greater the possibility that you will breed mutations, and we also know that that would have been a moment for the white house to have ordered a relatively inexpensive effort to immediately start doing genetic testing, to see, do we have these variants in america and if so, where? and can we do the kind of scale of testing, can we order cdc to do it on a massive scale? well, now we're saddled with all of this. we're in a mad race to vaccinate, fully vaccinate with all doses, as many americans as possible, even as these variants are spreading, and we now know they're in the majority of all
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states in the united states. we have at least three variants plus our own home grown ones, and a third of all identified variants are, nicole, in the state of florida. now, if we watch this all unfolding, you realize that it's -- it's really a mad race right now for the administration. can we get vaccine out, safely, and efficiently to as many people as possible and forestall this takeover by these variants? because now we know, and we have brand-new paper just out today, that absolutely is the nail in the coffin on this question. we now know if you're not fully vaccinated, you are not protected against these new variants, and even with vaccine, the protection against some of the variants is quite tenuous, especially if you only have one dose vaccine. >> oh, it's such a -- it's such a scary picture, just to be
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blunt. laurie garrett, it's always really, really important to get to talk to you and this piece that you have written is remarkable. i encourage everyone to read it. thank you for spending some time with us today. when we return, we're going to pick up on this conversation that laurie and i have been having about these variants. we'll be joined by richard engel with new reporting on the effort to track and contain those very highly contagious versions of covid. ery highly contagious versions of covid. ♪ ♪ this is my body of proof. proof of less joint pain and clearer skin. proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... ...with humira. humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible joint damage and clear skin in many adults. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver,
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repair your enamel with pronamel repair. our most advanced formula sfx: [sounds of children laughing and running, helps you brush in vital minerals to actively repair and strengthen enamel. so you don't just brush to clean, you brush to build. pronamel intensive enamel repair. as we've been discussing with lawyerly garrett, countries are in a race to vaccinate their most vulnerable populations and they're working against a growing threat, the emergence of multiple coronavirus variants that are rapidly outpacing not only vaccinations but the vaccines. experts warning the threat is so dire that if the uk variant is not contained, it could push the u.s. into a fourth wave by spring. joining our conversation, nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. he has a brand-new one-hour
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special report that will air this sunday talking with vaccine inventors, health experts and normal people like all of us about the impact these variants are having on this fight against covid. i'm so glad to get to talk to you, richard. >> reporter: well, thank you. i totally want to echo the conversation you just having, the variants are a major problem. we are in a race not just to vaccinate the public but in a race to beat the evolution of this virus. the virus has had a head start. it has been running out of control in the united states for many months now and the more virus there is out there, and there are trillions upon trillions of virus particles out there, the more chance is that it will mutate, and it has mutated, and it has mutated a lot. there are about 4,000 different viral strains out there or i should say variants out there and 3 strains of major concern.
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and the reason i corrected myself is there is a slight difference between a variant and a strain. a variant is just a change in the virus. a mutation. and these happen all the time. sometimes they're not of particular concern. but when you have a variant that starts to have an advantage and starts to replicate replicate a to dominate because it is an improved version of the virus that was there before, the wild strain, then it becomes a strain. and there are at least three major strains of concern, and they are all in the united states, the south african strain, the brazilian strain and the uk strain. >> richard, i remember your earliest reporting on the oxford astrazeneca research, the earliest phases of i don't know if it was in trial yet. it may have been the very early stages of the trial. that like a lottery ticket? they figured out this vaccine against covid once. but will we keep winning if the virus keeps mutating? >> it's -- it's -- yes and no.
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it's very hard to do. so far the vaccines that are available do still work to varying degrees against the virus. but the problem is as it mutates, and the more that it changes shape and changes its structure, the more we have to update the vaccines. so there will be a stage according to the scientists i've been speaking to when the vaccines we have will no longer work. it won't be a matter of efficacy, they just won't work at all, and you'll have to start with a new type of vaccine. but there wasn't a tremendous breakthrough in 2020. it was hardly noticed because of the horrible news and the pandemic and all the political chaos, but there was a transformative development in vaccine technology that allowed scientists, and i'm talking about the pfizer vaccine and the moderna vaccine to effectively
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copy and paste genetic information to create perfectly matched vaccines. but that also leads to the situation down the road where you're going have multiple vaccines for multiple strains, even further complicating the roll-out. so this is a major problem, and i'm not sure it's fully been appreciated in the united states, but based on the way this is going, it probably will be fairly soon. >> i will be watching your special. richard engel, thank you so much for spending some time with us to talk about it. you can all catch "on assignment with richard engel: covid mute tants" this important when we return, as we do every day, we will remember lives well lived. d i don't want any trade minimums. yeah, i totally agree, they don't have any of those. i want to know what i'm paying upfront. yes, absolutely. do you just say yes to everything? hm. well i say no to kale. mm. yeah, they say if you blanch it it's better,
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we're thinking about all of them today because a few weeks ago, captain mertz died following a fight with covid-19. he was only 54 years old. of course it's an unspeakable, unthinkable tragedy, but there is absolutely no doubt our country, all of us are better off because captain mertz protected it. we'll be right back. s out of my passion. i mean, who doesn't love obsessing over network security? all our techs are pros. they know exactly which parking lots have the strongest signal. i just don't have the bandwidth for more business. seriously, i don't have the bandwidth. glitchy video calls with regional offices? yeah, that's my thing. with at&t business, you do the things you love. our people and network will help do the things you don't. let's take care of business. at&t. to support local restaurants, we've been to every city, including boise... ...and even
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we're grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hi, ari. >> hi, nicolle. thank you so much. welcome to "the beat." i am ari melber. we begin tonight with texas in crisis. more than 14 million people, that's more than half the state are experiencing ongoing water disruptions. frozen pipes burst, a shortage in many areas. contaminated water in others and then flooding. there is a boiling advisory in place for those that don't have
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