tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC February 21, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST
good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to weekends with alex witt. developing this hour the white house and capitol hill are shaping up for a critical week ahead. president biden's coronavirus relief bill is expected to get a vote on the floor by the end of the week. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are digging into their
positions on what kind of relief americans need. >> you don't have to be a good pollster from washington the question, hey, would you like the federal government to send you a $3,500 check. of course the answer is going to be yes. if you said do you want us to borrow that money from your children because that's what this is. i think their answer might be a lot differently. >> if republicans could give, you know, a $2 trillion tax break to the wealthiest people and stop arctic drilling, or continue drilling in the arctic, then i think that democrats can make sure that 30 million americans get a raise. >> the january 6th attack on the capitol will also be front and center this week with plans to hold the first public hearings. it comes as we learn two of donald trump's loyal allies are now a focus on the capitol riot probe. a law enforcement source telling nbc news that the justice department and the fbi are investigating whether alex jones and roger stone played any role in organizing the violence. house impeachment manager stacey plaskett told msnbc how she is
interpreting this latest twist. >> as for what this new report is showing with regard to roger stone and other allies of the president, i think it's solidifying that, in fact, the president was, in fact, not only an instigator but a planner of the attack on january 6. >> and one week from today, trump is set to make his first public appearance since leaving office. he's expected to speak on the last day of cpac, the conservative political action conference. it will be in orlando, florida, and he's planning, reportedly, to address impeachment and the future of the party and "politico" reports trump is gearing up for war within his own party with plans to ensure every open gop seat in the 2020 midterms has a maga-approved contender vying for it. let's go right to nbc's in washington. key events this week particularly surrounding the capitol insurrection.
what can we expect? >> reporter: tomorrow we're also going to see the first confirmation hearings for merrick garland who would be president biden's attorney general if he is confirmed. in addition to that on monday, we're going to see a key vote and hurdle passed on capitol hill for the president's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that then can advance to the senate ideally by the end of the week. that is what they're hoping for. tuesday and wednesday and thursday you're also going to see far more of an emphasis on this capitol attack investigation, in particular now two names that have floated that we know had some connection to people who decided to engage in this deadly riot, alex jones, of course, and roger stone, former long-time confidant of former president trump. and now you have really house democrats honing in on what role they may have played. that's what congressman adam schiff talked to you just last hour about. take a listen to what specifically they're going to be asking questions about this week on the hill. >> these are two major
proponents, advocates, architects of that big lie. i think it's important to look into their role both in terms of doing the postmortem and understanding how this violent attack came about and how people were radicalized but also because the justice department has to prosecute hundreds of people that were involved in that violent attack and knowing what motivated them will be part of that case. >> reporter: the person who really will be overseeing that prosecution if he is confirmed is judge garland, and in opening remarks that were released overnight in terms of what he is expected to say during his hearing tomorrow, he spoke specifically to that issue saying that he will be the one prosecuting these white supremacists and people who engaged in the attack on january 6th. he's going to see that as a top priority, if he is installed as the attorney general, and it's notable, alex, of course, because five years ago when president obama back then nominated him to the supreme court, he never got a
confirmation hearing. he will be getting one for this very different job starting tomorrow, and that could go on throughout the week as well. but he is expected to pass through with support from both parties, democrats and republicans both, and we also have seen here how president biden has said that he wants this justice department to be independent, a departure, he says, from the last four years under donald trump, alex. >> indeed, monica alba, thank you very much for a look ahead. let's bring in white house correspondents, francesca chambers, and peter bakers of the "new york times." peter's also an msnbc political analyst. peter, you first here, stacey plaskett you heard there pretty directly implicates the former president as a planner of the january 6th attacks, this via roger stone and alex jones. is there any reason to believe from what we've learned so far that this is a the case? is there something new here? >> well, look, you know, roger stone, of course, has been an associate of the president's for a long time, many, many years,
got a pardon from the president for his conviction connected to the russia case in which he was convicted of lying to congress and obstructing justice. and there is some evidence that roger stone had been in contact with the president in the weeks during the post-election buildup to the january 6th riots. what was said is obviously to be determined. there was planning for the january 6th rally, that ultimately turned into march on the capitol and the riot, no question about that. but whether or not they had any information about how it would become violent is something i think the prosecutors are looking at. it doesn't mean it's going to necessarily be criminal charges. they have cautioned reporters that may or may not really be the end result of this, but they are trying to understand the architecture of the january 6th event, understand how it came about, how the marauders who rioted through the capitol were misinformed through this campaign of false allegations about the election. >> can i just ask you in a
practical sense what would be the challenges of trying to determine whether or not president trump and roger stone had phone calls while he was president. so to what degree is there confidentiality? >> there's no executive privilege that attaches to a president's conversations with outside people, people outside of the government, and so you know, it may not be that the white house -- at least the previous white house would cooperate with, you know, requests for information, but there would be no, you know, legal privilege, at least executive privilege that would stop, you know, looking at phone company records, roger stone's company records if a judge were to approve a warrant for that. i think that, you know, there's a lot of ground there for prosecutors to explore, and they have a lot of options because, again, roger stone was not on the white house staff and therefore enjoys no special protection. >> okay. thank you. francesca to you now, the senate is holding a hearing this week where security officials from capitol hill, they're going to appear. they're going to be talking about january 6th. after the impeachment trial, what more is there to learn?
>> well, certainly they said that they expect to learn, you know, how they were able to get in, how this happened in the first place, and from a political standpoint, this just, alex, keeps it on the radar for the gop, even if they want to move on from this as we saw republicans including this morning, steve scalise who's in house leadership really trying to shift away from the topic of the january 6th riots on capitol hill, that this will just keep it front and center. it will continue to be an issue for those republicans including the former president. and i just want to pick up on something that peter was saying about roger stone as well. you know, president trump always said that he wasn't, you know, in regular contact with him, that he wasn't talking to roger stone who had at one time been an advisory to his 2016 campaign. but roger stone all along said he'd been sending memos to the former president. couldn't always be sure he'd read them, but he maintained he'd been in contact with him throughout his entire presidency. >> good point. so peter, we have donald trump
reemerging for the first time next week since leaving the white house, that is. he'll be at cpac, essentially he's going to be the keynote speaker. is anyone conflicted if that o at cpac over what happened on january 6th and the president's role? >> well, i think there are conservatives who are very concerned about what happened on january 6th, and the president's role. i don't know that you'll hear that at that conference. the people who are going to attend that tend to be some of the strongest supporters the president has. remember, the conference he spoke at in 2011 and essentially sort of, you know, kicked off his effort to emerge in public life as the president he would ultimately become. it is, in effect the consolidation of his base in that organization. so even those who might have their misgivings probably won't voice them there. this is about as friendly an audience as he could hope for. listen to him to frame his involvement and what he says about these events and how he tries to, you know, explain them away if he does.
i think that he has to address this big giant elephant in the room and put it in his terms because obviously up until now he'd been pretty quiet. he stayed quiet through the impeachment trial, let his attorneys do the talking for him. this will be a really interesting moment to see how he frames his post-presidency life. >> yeah, definitely, and that's next sunday. we're going to be watching that very closely. francesca, i know that you wrote about ivanka trump calling marco rubio and telling him she was not going to run for senate. was that ever a real consideration? do they think they might be a bit too tainted before diving into electoral politics? >> that's part of the reason that it was not necessarily a real consideration for ivanka trump. two reasons for that, one, ma r coe rubio is someone she had worked very closely with in the united states senate on things like the child tax care credit, on things like paid family leave. he had been one of the people she worked most closely with in the united states senate on the issues that she was focused on when she was working in the
white house. so that's number one. number two, her father had said at that georgia rally during the is that the runoffs that she didn't like the concept of running for office, so he almost ruled it out for her before she even ruled it out for herself by publicly saying that. so it's unclear how real she was ever considering something like this. it certainly didn't sound like at least if she is running for office, it was going tor for marco rubio. >> my first reaction when i heard about it was what does she have against marco rubio. they'd worked together. let me ask you about this quickly, neera tanten, president biden says he's not pulling the nomination and he said he's confident she'll be confirmed. there is any world where neera tanden picks up a gop vote? >> i think that's possible. i don't know that it's likely,
but the biden white house does think there are four or five republican senators who are at least potential votes, voting for some of their other nominees like rob portman and susan collins, and some of the others. they have spoken out enough to let us now and joe manchin obviously gives validation to republicans if they want to vote against neera tanden because they said look, even a democrat decided to abandon her. >> yeah. okay. . all right, guys, thank you so much. today more and more texans are facing sky high electric bills in the wake of the historic storm. in fact, one man says his is nearly -- just checking the numbers here -- $17,000. texas governor greg abbott says lawmakers should make sure residents are not stuck with the bill. also today nearly a week since that storm hit, many texans still don't have running water or electricity. volunteers are handing out food and bottled water across the
state. antonia, can you give me a sense of how many people have been served at this site so far? >> reporter: so alex, the city has launched these water distribution efforts to serve thousands and thousands of residents, and there are a couple of different estimates. the other day they estimated that they gave out 14,000 cases of water, they couldn't actually quite figure out how many residents were there because many families were packed into cars together. one of the distribution sites started at 9:30 in the morning, and people got there at 5:30 just to start sitting around and waiting for their chance to get water. i think that gives you a sense of the level of urgency and desperation that some of these families are experiencing. we're still under a boil water advisory here in houston. that's not expected to lift until perhaps tomorrow. it could extend later than that, but there are also residents here in complexes where pipes have burst, and they have no water running at all. i've met with many of these folks, and they told me these
water distribution sites have been the first places where they've been able to get their hands on clean water, water that they can use for their kids, that they in some cases are using to flush their toilets, and people are really exhausted at this point. i want you to take a listen to a conversation that i had with a couple at one of these sites yelled. >> our pipes froze, and even now we don't have any water. >> we don't know if our pipes are going to -- we don't know if we're going to have any water, so you know, we're -- if our pipes are busted, then we don't know how long we're going to be able to get them fixed. so the water will definitely help us to carry us through another couple of days, but, you know, there's just so much uncertainty with the pipes at this time, we just don't know. >> plus, all the plumbers are busy as well, so no telling when we're going to be able to get a plumber. >> reporter: these residents can take comfort in some good news coming their way. the biden administration has
implemented a major disaster declaration, which means if you're a homeowner and you've seen major damages and you need a loan to make repairs, you'll be able to lean on the federal government for this. if you're an individual or a family and your home is unlivable right now, you'll also be able to reach out for temporary housing. the truth is, though, that as the weather starts warming, they actually might start to see more damages as pipes thaw, they could burst again or we could see further bursts. so the truth is, alex, it's p going to be a while before we understand the full impact this storm has had on houston. >> can i just point out that last man with whom you spoke, they had two pets with them. they need water, too. i hadn't even given that thought yet considering the dire emergency for people, let alone your pets and all that that animal lovers like me. >> right. >> you're looking at that too, antonia hilton, thank you so much. so who's the hero and who's
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hasn't taken responsibility. you heard kevin mccarthy say -- do you agree with what kevin mccarthy said there, that the president must take responsibility, that the facts demand that he take responsibility for what happened on january 6th. >> well, first of all, i wrote a wall street journal editorial about where i think the responsibility lays for january 6th, and surely there's a lot of blame to go around. but at the end of the day, the people who stormed the capitol on january 6th, it was a disgrace, and they need to be held accountable. in fact, over 180 have already been arrested. >> republican congressman steve scalise still refusing to admit donald trump holds any responsibility for the capitol riot. it comes as two right wing champions of trump are the latest targets in the insurrection probe. a law enforcement source is
telling nbc news the justice department, as well as the fbi are investigating whether alex jones and roger stone played any role in the attack, and joining me now, congresswoman jackie speier, a democrat from california. she serves on the oversight, armed services, and intelligence committees. congresswoman, always a pleasure to see you. let's get right to your reaction to your republican colleague steve scalise there. after all that has happened since january 6th, does he honestly not believe donald trump had any role in those attacks? >> you know, they're trying to redesign history. i was amazed in listening to that interview that he could hardly bring himself to say that joe biden was the legitimate president of the united states. >> right? >> let's be clear, this was an attack on our democracy on january 6th. the president of the united states was intimately involved. he spent $50 million of his campaign money. he urged them to come.
he have intended to overthrow the election. that was his goal, to somehow persuade either vice president pence or the membership of both houses to overturn the elections in arizona and pennsylvania. >> yeah. >> so it's a disgrace. >> it's funny because i was speaking -- well, it's not funny, actually. i was speaking with your colleague adam schiff in the last hour, and we watched that clip that you're referencing, and it was as if you could see steve scalise go, uh-oh, this is tricky. how am i going to do this? he took a few pauses. you could see his mind working. how am i going to appease what probably in my gut i know is the truth and yet not make donald trump mad at me. it was absolutely stunning, and we could play that again, but, let me move on to ask you about the new reporting of the doj and the fbi investigation into alex jones and roger stone. we have congresswoman stacey
plaskett who suggested this morning that by default that implicates donald trump. do you agree? >> well, certainly if there is evidence that they were working in conjunction with the president at the time, that they had, you know, kind of cooked up this effort back in december, i think we're going to find that this was highly developed. this didn't happen overnight, and their involvement will be worth reviewing and investigating. >> what about house speaker nancy pelosi as you well know announced the plans to develop a 9/11 style commission to investigate the riot. there has been bipartisan support for the commission, but for the investigation, in this political climate, do you expect the ultimate findings to get bipartisan acceptance? >> so i have actually introduced legislation on thursday that is bipartisan in nature, tom reed,
representative gab reno, mikie sherrill and i and some 20 members want this bipartisan 9/11 type commission made up of democrats and republicans who are not elected members today. we want these people to be outside, having the independence is going to be key to having this commission come up with recommendations that are going to be trustworthy. >> yeah, that makes absolute sense. but at the end of all that, once the investigation has been completed, will lawmakers on both sides of the aisle accept the findings? >> well, when steve scalise is having a hard time saying that the president of the united states is the legitimate winner, i guess there will always be those that are going to find an excuse. i mean, the pall over the republican party with donald trump still calling the shots as if he's the puppeteer is frightening. he is a danger.
he is a national security danger, and we have seen it. when you see the number of proud boys and qanon followers and oath keepers, and 3%ers that were part of that effort, there is a domestic terrorism organization of many groups that came together in pursuit of donald trump's effort to overturn the election. they're still out there, and they need to be shut down. it's true that the fbi has already said early in 2020 that it's a national threat priority that these domestic terrorist groups are racially motivated. we have a serious problem on our hands. >> yeah, we sure do. let me move to covid relief. as you know, the house is expected to vote on the president's bill as soon as this week. i think the end of the week, but there has been a lot of debate about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and whether or not that's going to even make it into the final bill. how essential is that component? >> well, it's absolutely
essential, but it's also a $15 an hour over the course of four years, and it's important to point out when you're not paying a decent minimum wage, what's happening to those people? those people are getting food stamps. they're getting other federal resources, so all the other taxpayers in the country are picking up that tab because you're not paying a decent wage to your workers, so i think it needs to be framed in a manner that says that we've all got to step up, and it requires employers to do so as well. >> yeah, one last question here. we've heard the president say that he is willing to negotiate who specifically receives the $1,400 direct checks. how about you? would you be willing to somewhat narrow the qualifications for who gets a relief check? >> well, right now, you know, if you're making over $75,000 a year, you're not even eligible. if we want to shave it a little
bit, i'm sure there's going to be a willingness to do that, but let's be clear. we're talking about an american rescue plan. there are still 10 million americans who are unemployed. there are 4 million jobs that are gone. they are not coming back. women have lost jobs in record numbers, 2.3 million. it's a 33-year low for the american woman. so we have desperate people in our country, and and we have the ability to provide a -- not that i supported it -- a $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest, and we're not willing to give, you know, a few bread crumbs to those that are just hanging on. that's not america. and i think most americans would recognize and do in polling that they support this plan. >> yeah. >> we're awful ly kblad you're still on the job. good to see you. just as governors ease covid restrictions, new strains of the
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the fight against covid variants in south africa is becoming a lesson for the world. it threw the country's response into disarray and it raised fears that mutant strains could make the current generation of vaccines ineffective. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel has a special investigative report. it's airing tonight on msnbc. it's about these new strains, and richard, we're glad to say, is joining me from london. richard, big welcome to you. got to ask, what have you uncovered on this? >> so it's a different way of thinking about the virus. the virus and the pandemic as we know it is not the virus and the pandemic that we face right now. we are a year into this, and we think we understand the rhythms,
the patterns of life, what we can do, what we can't do, and there is this general sense that we are coming out of it. and hopefully we are because the vaccines do work against the variants. but this virus is changing, and it is changing rapidly. there are about 4,000 different variants right now, and those are only the known variants. it is not easy to find a variant. you have to genetically sequence it. it requires a skill, immense computing power, and frankly not many countries are doing that. so we know about 4,000 variants, at least, and of those there are three major strains that are of concern, serious concern, because these strains have an advantage over the previous virus. they are more contagious, and at least one of them, the south african strain and the three strains are the brazil, the south african, and the uk strain from here. although, by the way, they're not crazy about the name the uk strain, and there's some talk in this country about using names
like personal names the way they use the name hurricanes, there's not the stigma. but those three main strains are out there, and they are improvements from the original virus because that's the way evolution works. when there is even a tiny advantage, that advantage is pushed along through natural selection at an enormously rapid rate because evolution and viruses happens very, very quickly, and when these -- when these strains hit, and when they become dominant, they change the wait that societies have to react. i've been following the story of one particular nurse, an intensive care nurse who was quite optimistic at one stage because she had gotten her vaccine, and then her covid ward suddenly changed when these mutant strains arrived. >> we're seeing patients now with absolutely no past medical history, not overweight,
runners, people who go to the gym in their 40s, and these patients are dying. >> what would you say to americans who might not have woken up yet to the fact this is coming. >> if you look at your family, the people you know, be careful, wear a mask, stay indoors, wash your hands, just be careful. just realize that this will kill. >> reporter: the new strains are more difficult. that is the nature of their evolutionary advances, but so far the vaccines that we have, the vaccines that are still being used in the united states and around the world, they have different degrees of efficacy based on the mutants and the mutations that they confront, but they still are working, and that is now the race that we are all in to vaccinate the public, to get as many people vaccinated in order to reduce the overall amount of virus on the planet to
limit the ability of the virus to mutate. because really it is a factor of math. more virus out there, more replications happen of the virus, more mutants emerge. >> i tell you, 4,000 variants. i was just stunned hearing that number, richard. we've got to all pay more close attention to this, and we can do so tonight as i thank you for all of you, you can catch "on assignment: covid mutants" at 10 eastern. new today, as the country is nearing very quickly half a million covid deaths a former trump deputy national security advisory, about the lack of early guidance on masks. >> the mask misstep cost us dearly. what was the one effective widely available tool that we had in the arsenal to deal with this. you know, public health officials were stuck in this
sort of flu mentality. it was a grave misstep. >> joining me now nbc news medical contributor dr. na heed beteal ya and dr. ka vee tapa tell. do you agree with that characterization? is this something the medical community was not clear about? dr. beteal ya, i would ask you first. i would call you from the very get-go, wear a mask, you said it repeatedly, dozens and dozens of times. >> dr. patel and i joke about this. if there's one thing we hope to get through every time we're on television, it is wear a mask. >> right. >> as science evolves and the biggest change i think in public health understanding of this disease is when we discovered that people without symptoms could still transmit this disease, and that's different from what we knew before that. as soon as that happened, i think most public health folks did recommend wearing a mask.
i think that long after that there was a lot of political, you know, entanglement that made mask wearing sort of a controversial issue. i think this is important because it not only kept us from garnering the benefits of wearing this mask that helped drive down the transmission in our communities and protecting people, and driving down hospitalizations, but also mask wearing became a symbol, which was almost aligned with pandemic denialism, you know, and that kept us from taking all the other measures that had us admit that we are in the middle of a global health emergency that required us to have more governmental involvement, more public health responsibility, more public responsibility, and i think that together is what expanded the emergency. we took a hazard, and we turned it into a disaster, and this could have been a much smaller disaster than what it was and is. >> you know, i think about -- i spoke earlier just this hour, and since i talked about the numbers of people who have died
and how close we are to that number of half a million, 27 people have died since i made that announcement. we only have 94 to go until we hit half a million dead americans. i mean, it is an utterly sobering concept here. so dr. patel, can you put that in perspective? i mean, we are just about a year after the very first u.s. covid death was recorded. >> yeah, alex, it's incredibly humbling. so half a million, even though we had models to predict almost down to the day that we would get here, 500,000, it seemed unconceivable, and what's really been inconceivable, as usual just two months ago we were at about half of that. so most of these deaths have happened in the last two to three months. >> yeah. >> which is just really devastating after you heard report after report of how fatigued we are. i think to also put it in the context, though, alex, we still have more -- unfortunately more
deaths that will come, but also some incredibly effective vaccines. honestly, alex, i keep thinking, boy if we had had these vaccines even one month earlier, what could we have avoided? the fact that we have these vaccines are a miracle in and of themselves, but imagine -- and to the mask point, imagine not having the kind of battles dr. bedelia is talking about. this is not going to be the only time we have to heed these lessons, so we have to take them forward, and we have to just really adapt to the fact that we've lost this many lives, and we still have millions who survived but who also had their lives probably forever impacted. >> yeah, 100%. families devastated. i mean, it's staggering to consider. let me ask you, doctor, about the new study suggesting the pfizer vaccine 85% effective
just after one dose, and it could be stored in normal freezers. when you compare that to the flu shot, that's got about a 50% efficacy, does this potentially mean that only one pfizer shot would be needed? or even that the doses could be further spread out? >> yeah, i want to separate those two things, alex, for a second. i think that what pfizer has said is that they have data on the stability of their vaccine and ability of it to sort of last on warmer temperatures. which is great. if fda approves that, that's really going to help us with distribution of this vaccine. the other bit of data, the one about the efficacy with one dose. you know, one caution that you heard dr. fauci say that i actually agree with is that most of the folks in that study from israel were health care workers, were younger. they all ended up getting a second dose. what we were worried about is the way these vaccines are studies, we don't know with one dose how long the protection would last. and also because there's that decrease with the variants with some of the neutralizing
antibodies, with the vaccines, we're worried that just having one dose may decrease the protection against the variants. for those reasons, i think we're not going to see the federal government sort of approve one dose for themrnas. for the spacing issues, astrazeneca from the uk does show at least with that vaccine 12 weeks or farther apart with that vaccine might be more useful and make that vaccine more efficacious. more data to come on that. with the mrnas we're going to stick where we are. >> all this very valuable information. dr. patel you're first next time. doctors, thank you so much. a republican congressman raises alarm over a display of military style assault weapons. and she wants to pack heat at the capitol. pack heat at the capitol. the patented blend is clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels. boost glucose control products contain high quality protein and key nutrients to support immune health. try boost. when it comes to laundry,
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. next sunday, donald trump is set to make his first public appearance since leaving the white house. trump is expected to close out this year's conservative political action conference, cpac, there in orlando, florida. one person familiar with his planning tells nbc news trump will address his second impeachment trial as well as his view on the future of the republican party. joining me now, msnbc political analyst mehdi hasan, host of the mehdi hasan show on peacock. i can't wait to get into this with you because mehdi, in the past donald trump has delivered some of his lengthiest speeches at cpac. they've been these just rambling soliloquies. do you expect this to be any
different? are we going to hear everything he wished he could have been tweeting all along? >> one thing that will be different this year is borat probably won't be there in the audience as he was in last year, sasha boar rat cohen. he has used the cpac audience as a way of rambling and talking nonsense, remember when he hugged a flag on the stage after one of his speeches. oh, there it is. 2011 is where he began his conservative political career at cpac. it was ten years ago that trump gave his first speech at cpac having begged to be included. and cpac of course is a place where future presidential candidates like to make a name for themselves. trump will be telling all his usual lies again. it will be a challenge for media os including our own. how do you cover this without, again, giving a platform to the big lie, to the big lie that incited a violent insurrection. we know that. when he was on fox earlier this week and news max talking about rush limbaugh, he tried to
divert the conversation on the election, talking about how he won and all the lies about election fraud. we know that's going to happen next week. we know that 110%. i'm saying this live on tv right now, i'll change my name if donald trump gives a speech to cpac next week and doesn't talk about his election lies. that's a fact. the bigger issue, i think, alex, is this is a person who is in charge of the conservative movement in the republican party, despite losing the election, despite losing t house, i think will hurd, former republican congressman said on meet the press saying no one since hoover has done that to their own party. instead of being cast into the wilderness here he is being welcomed to the summit. lindsey graham is saying the 2024 nomination is his if he wants to. graham's at mar-a-lago today, ronald mcdonald the rnc chair is heading up next week. to see them doing this kind of sucking up to some crazy old dude playing golf in florida is
beyond embarrassing for the republican party. >> i'm curious. what is your take on the nikki haley aspect of all of this? to your point folks go -- politicians go to cpac. they're trying to make a name for themselves. she already has a name for herself, but they're trying to get the support of cpac before they launch a republican presidential run. what's her future based on the way she supported donald trump and then pushed back in the wake of the capitol insurrection, and then tried to speak with him, and he's basically said, no thanks. i don't want to talk to you. it's kind of confusing her future politically speaking. >> i mean, this is what you have, alex, when you don't have any actual principles. you get pushed along like the wind. on the one hand she was anti-trump. she was very critical of donald trump and supported marco rubio. he hired her as u.n. ambassador, leaves on not bad terms unlike other trump people who left the administration. then decides after the insurrection to say, well, you
know, this is bad. then when she's asked in that "politico" interview, did you ever challenge donald trump after november when you spoke to him about his election loss. no, i didn't actually challenge him. she says in that interview, i still support his policies. she tried to meet with him. he didn't want to meet with her. apparently he's bent on revenge against all the republicans like mitch mcconnell who dared criticize him, anyone like liz cheney who voted against him. from a democratic point of view, if you're in the democratic party, it's kind of good to see the republicans tearing themselves apart. even lindsey graham has said this, it's not going to help them going into 2022 with donald trump attacking republicans not democrats. nikki haley, yes, this is what happens when you have no principles. none of these people are going to be able to beat him if he decides to run in 2024. it's a big if whether he'll or whether he'll pretend to run to drum up attention and money. i would point out, mike pence, alex is not going to cpac despite being invited. >> interesting, huh? >> and i'm not someone who's normally sympathetic to mike pence, but if i was the former
vice president, i wouldn't want to be inside a building filled with hardcore trump supporters given the last time i was in a building with hardcore trump supporters they were trying to kill me. >> yeah, very sobering that concept. you mentioned steve scalise and the way he went down to mar-a-lago. let's play something that he said today, the congressman was pressed on both trump's role in the capitol insurrection and whether or not the election was stolen. take a listen to this. >> so you're saying he doesn't bear responsibility? you're saying he doesn't -- >> look, president trump has denounced what happened. >> donald trump did not denounce what happened on january 6th on january 6th. but clear this up for me. joe biden won the election. he is the legitimate president of the united states. the election was not stolen, correct? >> look, joe biden's the president. there were a few states that did not follow their state laws. that's really the dispute that you've seen continue on. >> what do you make of that?
in the couple of seconds it took him to answer that question, he had to think, how am i going to do this? can you even believe this is still happening? >> i can believe it because unfortunately, alex, there is no penalty for doing this stuff, for penalty for doing this, for telling a lie. we need to broaden our gaze beyond trump. it's too easy to let these republican congress members come on tv and say what do you any about donald trump? why won't you condemn donald trump? the bigger issue is what is their role in this. e? more than 90% of republican house members voted not to impeach donald trump. they are all in with trump. scalise pushed the big lie after november. the question should not be donald trump hasn't condemned the insurrection. what about you. what about your role? there's a poll out showing a majority of trump supporters, a
majority of trump supporters believe antifa attacked the capital. that's on steve scalise. they believer that because of people like steve scalise who get to come on television and lie about the attack, about the election, about trump and their own role. steve scalise is part of a sedition caucus who voted to try to overturn the election and he is as guilty of inciting that insurrection as donald trump is. >> we got to get through this quickly. i want to get to another trump loyalist. colorado congresswoman. the display of guns behind her during the virtual committee hearing debating whether to ban lawmakers whether to ban lawmakers from committee hearings. what does this picture tell you? >> it tells me the republican party are not serious. they exist to own the libs, troll us, fight culture wars. there's no interest in actual
security or safety. she was arrested three times in the last decade. once for an altercation with a police. this is not a law and order political party. she helped incite an insurrection that led to the death of police officers. i find it hard to take these people seriously on anything let alone gun, law and order, crime, blue lives matter. they are all fraudulent, i'm sorry to say. >> whether you're sorry to say it or not, come back to see me soon. be sure to catch the mehdi hasan show on peacock. how they come slip a republican governor into bluest state of the nation. the details are next. t state of the nation. the details are next charmin ultra soft is twice as absorbent so you can use less. enjoy the go with charmin.
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pitch. it would trigger the second gubenatorial recall in state history. >> reporter: who is behind it, this is the last state in this pandemic that is still does not allow indoor dining to any great degree. there's been a lot of anger about that. californians have tried 55 times to recall their governor. only one successful. the recall of governor gray davis in 2003 that brought us governor arnold schwarzenegger. the thinking was going into this this would go the way of the other 54. along came the pandemic. if you look at the language and recall petition, it says nothing about the pandemic. it talks about illegal immigration, things like
sanctuary cities but the recall really super charged all of this. the pandemic super charged all of this. here is where we stand in that drive. as you mentioned, one and a half million signatures is the magic number. the secretary of state has severed about 1.1 million of those. about 668,000 or 60% have been validated. they do have a bit of a hill to climb. they may get there by the march 17th deadline. the republicans who organized this have some decisions to make when it comes to former president trump. experts say they find themselves at a cross roads. >> how much do you republican want to focus on recalling governor newsom and especially make the case that we know president trump is not popular in california and we're a different type of republican party. or will we see republicans in
california embrace president trump and say, he's no longer president but he's our party leader. >> reporter: democrats face some choices as well and some tests about party unity. how much are they willing to stand behind governor newsom if this recall does come to hand. for those that may not remember, 2003, there's two questions. one, should governor newsom be removed and number two, who should replace him. if so, last time around there were 135 candidates and all that you need is the most votes to win. >> i remember that. i covered that. guess who became the governor, arnold schwarzenegger. thank you so much. as the toll from covid-19 nears a new unimaginable level, hope for more financial help from americans rise on capitol hill. apitol hill
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