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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  February 26, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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first military action air strikes on multiple facilities in eastern syria. the pentagon officials say they were used by iranian-backed militias in retaliation for what were determined to be iran-backed strikes last week in iraq, killing an american contractor and injuring coalition forces including one american as well as targeting the u.s. embassy in baghdad. the syrian observatory for human rights says 22 were killed in the strikes, but noeft provided details on reaching that determination. defense secretary lloyd austin spoke with reporters on the way home from visiting bases in california last night. >> we're confident in the target we went after. we know what he hit. we're confident that target was being used for same shia militia that conducted the strikes. it was my recommendation. we've said a number of times we will respond, you know, on our
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time line. >> and on saudi arabia, another front, president biden speaking with saudi king salman ahead of the release of a u.s. intelligence report today concluding that the king's son, crown prince mohammed bin salman approved the 2018 journalist jamal khashoggi. that report will be released this afternoon. admiral john kirby is a retired admiral and joins me now. thank you very much. you've had a busy trip and a busy day. the pentagon's decisionmaking, the timing on this action against these iranian-backed militias. >> as you might expect, andrea, whenever you're going to conduct an operation like this, you want to make sure that it's done as the secretary said at a time and a police and in the manner of our choosing. so, you know, this was based --
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this particular strike was based on intelligence that we had and that our iraqi and kurdish partners helped develop about the types of facilities that were being used by we believe the two groups that were responsible for these recent attacks. so it was a concerted team effort to develop the kind of intelligence to go after a target that was relevant to these groups and to their recent attacks but also proportionate. >> what are you hearing in terms of the casualties? we are hearing from the region 22 people on the ground. >> well, andrea, what i can tell you is that what we call our bda, battle damage assessment process, is ongoing. i'm not able at this point to give you any specifics in terms of casualties on the ground. we expect we'll be able to have a little more clarity on that in the coming hours. but right now, that process is ongoing, so i cannot confirm those numbers.
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>> what messages are you trying to send to iran and other potential adversaries in the region? presumably, this is retaliation for what happened in irbil and for the targeting of the embassy in baghdad. >> i think the message is clear and unambiguous that president biden is sending, which is that we're going to protect our national interests in the region and we're certainly going to defend our men and women on the ground as well as those of our partners, in this case in the fight against isis. that's why we're in iraq at the invitation of the iraqi government. it's a clear message we're going to act at a time, manner, and place of our choosing to make sure we can minimize as best we can the risk to our people. that's a message frankly, andrea, that doesn't just go to iran. it goes to as you said any of our adversaries in the region. >> now, we've seen some reactions from democratic senators this morning. first up i think senator kaine
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saying offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances. senator murphy, koung should hold this administration to the same standard it did prior administrations and require clear legal justifications for military action. there was no notification, no prior consultation with congress to my knowledge. >> i would tell you that the president acted well within his constitutional authorities under article 2 as commander in chief of the united states to protect american service members involved in operations. clearly, there's a constitutional authority here. secondly, he was acting within article 51 of the united nations. our obligation under the united nations, is an article that provides for self-defense. so we're very confident that there was ample legal justification on this. as for consultations with congress, i'll leave that for my colleagues at the white house to speak to, but as i understand
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it, there was a notification process. >> and military action of course involving an area where the russians are also engaged. they've been complaining today that they only had moments of notice once the strike was actually in play. >> we did inform the russians, andrea, through the deconflicting channels that are in place as you would expect we would. we take those obligations of ours seriously and they were informed prior to. i think you and everybody can understand we were very careful and deliberate about the timing of that notification, you know, for obvious reasons, for operational security reasons. >> in terms of foreign policy goals, i know you're on the military side of it, but this is of course the first military action by this president and it's against iran at a time when we are trying to engage them diplomatically, at a time when
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we were about to sanction saudi arabia of course for khashoggi, and of course there was the conversation between the president, his first conversation with king salman of saudi arabia. a lot of equities involved here. how does this balance, taking action against iran right now, perhaps a need to reassure the saudis and israel and others that we will take action against iran, you're not going overboard with diplomacy? how do you see it? your past experience as a state department spokesman as well. >> right now i'm the defense department spokesman so i'll stay inside those lanes. i would tell you, andrea, going back to your earlier question, for us here in the military, this was a proportionate, deliberate strike against structures that were used by two terrorist groups that we believe -- i'm sorry -- terrorist -- shia militia groups that we believed were involved in recent attacks that were against our personnel and against the personnel of our
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iraqi partners. and it was, again, specifically designed to answer those attacks. it is about protecting our people in the region and protecting our partners and their interests in the region and for us in the military, that's what this was about. it was about president biden's significant and deep and understandable concern to make sure that we responded to attacks on our people and that we did it again in a very proportionate way. >> and do you expect that this is the beginning of an escalating tit for tat? we haven't really seen the iranians retaliating for more than a year ago, the u.s. strike that took out souleymane. >> nobody wants to see this escalate. that's not anybody's goal here. i think when you look at the targets that were hit and the decisionmaking process that was used to develop that target set,
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you know, you can see that the united states did act in a very proportionate, deliberate way and it's in nobody's interest to see this escalates. i don't think anybody wants to see the insecurity get any worse in the region. but again, back to the main core message. we have an obligation to protect our people and interests and those of our partners. we won't shy away from meeting that responsibility. >> one other thing that was emphasized, i believe by the defense secretary, that collation partners were notified contrary to some of the experiences that they had when, for instance, souleymane hit. our allied forces on the ground, nato forces were not notified in advance. >> there was a notification process for coalition partners in keeping with our desire to make sure we're being consultative and collaborative. i won't go into the details of what that process looked like.
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but there was prior consultation, i should say prior information provided with regard to this very defensive strike. >> i really appreciate it, admiral kirby. thank you very much for become with us today. i know you have a busy schedule ahead. thanks for giving us the outlines of the policy. >> you bet. happy to do it. >> very grateful for you today. >> thank you. >> joining us now, chief white house correspondent, "weekend today" co-host, kristen welker, jeremy bash, former chief of staff to leon panetta at the pentagon and cia and the former supreme nato allied commander. kristen, first to you. there has been criticism that the congress notifications did not come till after. is the white house pushing back on that? did they inform the big eight before? what did you understand the time line to be? >> reporter: they're pushing back on that, andrea, but let me just read you specifically. this is coming from the national security council spokesperson who says this -- that the
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department of defense briefed congressional leadership before the action last night. the administration has been briefing the hill at the member and staff level today, and this official says there will be a full classified briefing early next week if congress wants that to happen. now, who specifically was involved in that leadership, that remains unknown at this point, andrea. we're pushing for specifics to get that. who specifically was informed about this attack. but it comes amid pushback from some members of congress. the senators you mentioned saying that essentially the president does not have the authority to do this without congressional approval, and there you just heard from john kirby and others within the administration that their justification for this is that they believe that u.s. assets were being threatened. taking a step back, andrea, this comes against the backdrop of the biden administration signaling that it is open to resume talks with iran over its nuclear deal.
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and the question is will that complicate that entire process of trying to get back to the negotiating table? as you know, iran had not said they were willing to sit down and restart those talks. and so that was a process that was already very fragile. will this throw that process into greater peril? and it also comes as republicans have been very critical of the biden policy as it relates to iran saying that they should not go back to the negotiating table. so that's the broader backdrop to all of this. but, again, the white house pushing back and on defense at this hour amid that criticism from members of congress, including members of the president's own party, andrea. >> senator murphy and others have been major advocates of getting a new use of force resolution through and they have been unable to do that for many years. jeremy bash, you're a lawyer, former pentagon chief of staff,
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you know all these equities. the president and other presidents, both parties, have said that they have the authority constitutionally to do this as long as they notify congress i think within 30 days. correct me if i'm wrong on that. >> well, this is forced protection, so obviously the president of the united states not only has a right but an obligation, a duty to protect our forces. engaging in this strike over the border in syria, the president was doing just that. a couple things, andrea, about this. i think it's important to note that iran has been in a very provocative mode. in addition to funding and training and equipping militia groups look what else they're doing in the region with respect to houthis. this was a tactical strike against specific organizations where there's specific intelligence they were threatening u.s. forces in the region. it's also a strategic operation designed to say to tehran, look,
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we're going to defend our interests vigorously. we're not going anywhere. >> and admiral, how would you characterize the outlines of what you see as an emerging, you know, a biden foreign policy after these air strikes? >> i would call it one that wants diplomacy but is willing to use force when necessary. jeremy is absolutely correct. there's a tactical component to this to protect our people, and there's a largest strategic message to tehran. frankly, i would argue that this will help move the negotiations forward in the sense that the iranians will see, you know, we're not going to be able to just conduct combat operations as usual, particularly if they are directed in some sense against the americans. i think, you know, the prospect of the hanging and the mourning
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has a tendency to focus the mind. i am hopeful iranians move to the right direction here. to conclude, this is a signal to our allies, nato, that this is an administration that is willing, when necessary, to use force. i agree with jeremy, this is a prudent, proportional, and justifiable use of military force. i've launched a lot of these strikes. this one is in the wheelhouse. >> and let me switch gears to khashoggi, because it's related as well. we talk about allies and others in the region. clearly the messaging to the saudis, as well as israelis and others, that we're prepared to use force but still want to use diplomacy at a time when the president is about to take some action against saudi arabia whether it's tough enough and tough as promised remaining to be seen on khashoggi. that is going to come we expect this afternoon. what do you say to the need to
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recap the saudi relationship, the full embrace of donald trump, to something that kind of straddles the middle ground, admiral? >> i think you've got it exactly right. it's not an on-and-off switch. diplomacy never is. we shouldn't take the approach that we love everything you're doing, you're perfect, we'll never criticize you, nor should we take an approach that you've done something we disagree with, we freeze you out. diplomacy is not an on-and-off switch. it's a rheostat. like the one in your living room. that's what this administration is doing and will do effectively. look, the gulf arab states are crucial to what we need to accomplish in the middle east as is israel. we will find ways to keep them inside the tent, but that doesn't mean we're going to give them license in terms of criticism to simply conduct business as usual. that will be a difference from the trump administration.
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>> jeremy, joe biden when he was candidate biden in 2019 said to me in response to a question, you know, president trump ignored the cia's report on khashoggi and never punished the saudis, in fact, disspulted the cia report, what would you do? and he said that he would -- first of all concluded he agreed with the cia's conclusion that mohammed bin salman he said likely ordered himself and that he would make saudi arabia a pariah. the punishments are not expected to be nearly that. in fact, mbs is likely not to be punished personally. does he risk criticism for that? >> i think jim is right. we can walk and chew gum. we can defend our interests and work with gulf, arab, sunnis in the area defending our interests, but we can be clear and first transparent with our own information as we're doing today but also be clear in our diplomatic channels that there are certain things that cross a
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line. this murder of jamal khashoggi was particularly heinous not only because it was a murder of an innocent person, but it was state sanctioned. it's a state that we have to work with. so we have to be very clear, very direct that we're going to have to see different, compellingly different behavior from the saudi government on issues like human rights and by the way, i think president biden thanked or acknowledged that saudi arabia has released some political prisoners. so i think it's dawning in the gulf that is a new day and a new team in washington and that we're going to be injecting new things into our dialogue with them to uphold our strategy but also our values. >> and what if he's not tough enough on saudi arabia on khashoggi? >> what if joe biden is not? i don't think that's an issue. i think the biden administration will be very tough on saudi arabia. i think they'll make this clear. i think releasing this information is kind of a down payment on that, but there will be other things as well. i think, again, we'll work with
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them where we have to and where we should, but we'll be clear eyed and direct with them where e v we must. >> jeremy bash, kristen welker, and of course admiral james stavridis. and we're excited about the admiral's new book, "2034:a novel of the next new war." up next, wage war, the house voting on the covid relief bill later today. what happens to a minimum wage hike for millions of workers? we need to reduce plastic waste in the environment. that's why at america's beverage companies, our bottles are made to be re-made. not all plastic is the same. we're carefully designing our bottles to be one hundred percent recyclable, including the caps. they're collected and separated from other plastics, so they can be turned back into material that we use to make new bottles. that completes the circle, and reduces plastic waste. please help us get every bottle back.
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the house is expected to vote today on the $1.9 trillion covid relief bill, a major first step for president biden's top priority. last night the senate parliamentarian voted the final bill can ottawa include the $15 minimum wage saying it is not properly part of a budget bill. that's big setback for progressive democrats but it will give them a political issue against republicans in the midterm elections. the minimum wage rise is popular. and having the senate strip it out helps the president keep the critical votes of moderate democratic senators like joe manchin needed for final passage of covid relief. garrett haake joining me and erinn hayes, editor of the 19th. what are the politics and what are we expecting from this house
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floor vote? >> reporter: the vote will probably come sometime tonight. the politics are straightforward. doesn't look like we'll see anybody crossing party lines. the republicans have been whipping against the bill and house democrats are excited to get this thing across the finish line, although it is notable when the bill gets voted on tonight will t still have the minimum wage provision in it. progressives want that. but the house will have to vote on this thing one more time before it can become law because the senate version won't have the minimum wage, although it may have one of the alternative options that senators like rod widen and bernie sanders have been kicking around to find a way to force or strongly encourage some companies to raise their wages on their own. >> and sometimes, erinn, all of us here in washington get so focused on the politics of this and how the covid relief is moving. there was a story yesterday, a
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striking story about a new jersey third-grader who started sobbing in the middle of her zoom class. when she was asked what was wrong, she said she was starving. her mother lost her job, nothing to eat. there's been community outreach but a big delay with help from the federal government. at some point, you know, this is what is partly responsible for republican mayors and others joining in and joining the white house saying we need this help, the state and local help, we need the covid relief bill. >> yeah, andrea. exactly right. i've been talking to the activists from the domestic worker community, that come from the labor community that among those black woman organizers who galvanized and mobilized black women who had been affected economically and devastated by this pandemic to cast the ballot and elect officials like the president and vice president but also members of congress who
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they are depending on to pass this pandemic relief package. what a lot of them tell me is that, you know, these voters, these folks who are really experiencing the daily pain of this pandemic, whether they ever get sick or not, could care less about the senate rule. they want action. they want relief. so while many tell me they were obviously really disappointed in the fact this minimum wage piece apparently is not going to make it into a final relief package, they are focused on the other priorities on the bill, things like the unemployment insurance and the housing and food assistance, things like the child care piece, obviously, that is going to be so key to the infrastructure of getting folks back to work and getting us to a new normal as a country. but we know the impact of this pandemic on women, on people of color. it has been particularly devastating. so these are the folks that are looking for the federal government to really respond and
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really who we should be focused on in this moment, not just the lawmakers but the people who are really facing the daily reality of this ongoing crisis from both a public health and an economic standpoint, andrea. >> and garrett, there is an effort according to chuck schumer, bernie sanders, all have different iterations of this, to try to punish some big corporations as penalty who don't pay the minimum wage. costco, by the way, raising their minimum wage to $16, putting pressure on other big retailers. does this have a chance as an amendment in the senate? >> reporter: it may. reality is this will be another fight with the parliamentarian to determine if there's an impact on the budget here. the thinking is when you're dealing with tax credits, taking away tax credits from companies who don't take specific steps that will be laid out in these amendments, these pieces of
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legislation, to increase their workers' pay, that that would have more of a budgetary impact that might be more in line with this bill. but it speaks to the fact this is an issue that progressives have wanted to address for a long time, and they were ready to have this fight with their more moderate members. they felt like the time was now to force this $15 minimum wage across the finish line. if it can't be done this way, democrats don't want to let this moment with this focus on this issue so go to waste. they're trying to find ways to incentivize companies, kick this issue back to states that have been working on increasing the minimum wage, to find some other way to keep pushing this issue, which is so important to that movement forward in this moment. >> thanks so much, garrett haake, thank you, erin haines. in his highest profile appearance since the january 6th attack on the capitol, former president trump is set to take the stage this weekend at cpac, where everything from the speaker's list to the new
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florida location, says the republican party has one person there. donald trump. mike pence declined an invitation to speak at the conference. nbc reports he is working behind the scenes to repair his relationship with the former president, a relationship that was shattered when mr. trump in -- when trump supporters stormed the capitol chanting "hang mike pence," and mr. trump did not lift a finger to intervene and get the national guard there. joining me is ally vitaly and michael steele. welcome both. michael steele, this is donald trump's, you know, first real appearance since the inaugural, since he's no longer the president, since joe biden is the president, and so far it's cpac, from what we're hearing, they're in complete denial about joe biden but he'll go after the biden record so far, especially on the border where, you know, a lot of people are coming over because of the lifting of the
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trump policies, keeping people in mexico while they're applying for refugee status. >> yeah. they see this as -- >> i should say a filing status. >> yeah. correct. they see this as an opening on a policy from a policy perspective. and i put "policy" in quotation marks since the republicans have no immigration policy other than build a wall. but if it makes for great fodder going into a weekend in which it will be a regurgitation of what we've heard for the last three or four months, that the election was rigged, it was stolen from trump, trump won and they're devoting not just energy and effort but considerable narrative power behind that. and it will be juxtaposed and integrated with this story line on immigration. the idea that the vice president will not be there is sort of a
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nonplussed moment for folks. they really don't care because in the view of the rank and file, the vice president was a traitor after all. they wanted to hang him. trump doesn't care about any repairing of a relationship. he just sees that pence has to do this, which reinforces the idea that trump will be the ultimate standard-bearer for who will be the nominee in 2024, which may actually include himself. i don't believe that, but trump likes us to think that that's the case. >> and allie, what's the atmosphere down there? because there's a lot of reports that people are not wearing masks even though i think cpac is requiring them. there's a real trump flavor, shall we say, to the crowd. >> that's definitely true. you're hear it from the speakers as well, folks like senator teld cruz got up on stage and made mocking mask wearing part of the remarks at cpac. i just came from inside the gg.
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we're doing our live shots from out here, but i dipped inside to get a sense of the room. and the reason that this is being held in florida in part is because this is one of the only states where you can have an indoor conference like this with several thousand people in attendance. they are trying to get people to abide by mask wearing rules. i would say from being inside probably 60% of the folks inside are wearing masks and wearing them correctly. the other 40%, though, some of them are wearing them around their necks, others aren't necessarily wearing them at all. it really does feel a little like you went through the looking glass to a place where no one is concerned about the spread of coronavirus. perhaps that's the point in being in a place like florida, which has sort of flaunted some of the guidelines and been on the cusp of reopening probably sooner than some were comfortable with, but, again, that's sort of the vibe at this rally. i would also say on the other hand, in terms of the substance of what we're talking about here, we know that the former president in his remarks is likely to bring up what he sees as election fraud despite the
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fact that that is completely untrue. it doesn't mean it hasn't trickled down to the people who i've talked to here. i was talking to a couple earlier and i asked if they believe that joe biden was president of the united states. they believe that he was certified as that but not that he won, andrea. >> and of course last year's cpac became a superspreader event, so one hopes that doesn't happen again to all those people down there and to their relatives and everybody else. >> yeah. >> michael, texas senator cruz, ali referred to, kicked off his comments with a joke about his really infamous trip to cancun as his state was dealing with that terrible crisis at home. let's watch. >> god bless cpac. i got to say, orlando is awesome! it's not as nice as cancun.
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but it's nice! >> so, michael, does that work? maybe there but -- >> oh, that's a wonderful tv ad in his re-election. it just shows that these folks just don't give a damn. they really don't. they think they can say and act with impunity, and trust me on this, andrea, the only reason ted cruz got on that plane the day after he arrived in cancun was because he got caught. that's it. so that says it all right there. >> the question is, is it a political ad for him or his opponents? >> both. that's right. >> ali vitaly, michael steele, great to wind up with week with
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you guys. thanks so much. as the fda gets closer to approving a third coronavirus vaccine today, johnson & johnson is ready to deploy doses. we'll take you inside a lab where they are preparing critical vaccine components. stay with us.
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a third coronavirus vaccine could be in american arms as early as next week as the fda's outside advisory panel meets today to discuss emergency use authorization for johnson & johnson's single-shot vaccine. after its expected approval, the company is ready to start shipping out 4 million doses to states next week. nbc's tom costello is at emergent bio solution lab, which makes the components that go into the jonks vaccine and joins us from baltimore. take us through what happens at the lab, how do these ingredients go from there to, you know, the dose that eventually gets to people? >> yeah. so you see a couple of these workers behind me, and they have been working around the clock for months on end, and they actually are really concocting the ingredients, the key ingredients for the vaccine. so that's all created,
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manufactured, produced here and from here they take that in a frozen state. they send it off to other facilitates which fill vials, right. so you've got the typical vial you see in a hospital or a doctor's office and all of those vials then are prepared to roll out. as you mentioned, 4 million as soon as next week. so this is a major component here to the johnson & johnson production facility. a short time ago i talked to sean kirk from emergent bio solutions about how this entire process works. here's what he had to say. >> we purify out the bottle vectors, which are the active part of the vaccine. we freeze it down. we ship it out of here. it's filled into the vials that people are accustomed to seeing when they get a vaccine shot. >> reporter: so all of that is of course what they are expecting is going to happen now if, in fact, we get emergency use authorization for the johnson & johnson vaccine, which
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is what they're working on right here. it would become now the third vaccine. moderna and pfizer of course already rolling out. by the way, andrea, they also make another vaccine here, the astrazeneca vaccine is made here. it's not approved yet in the united states. it's approved in the uk, in the eu, canada just today approving astrazeneca's vaccine. so if the fda approves the astrazeneca vaccine, we could see it starting to come out of here as well. also, good news today from the white house on the number of americans who have now been vaccinated already. take a look at these numbers. they're impressive. already according to the white house covid task force we're at more than 60% -- there are the new cases dropping, starting to level off, maybe a tiny inch up, so that's good news. but on the number of people who have already been vaccinated in the united states, encouraging news from the white house. it says here that nearly 60% of people over the age of 75 have now received at least one shot of the vaccine.
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about 50% of people over the age of 65 have received at least one shot of the vaccine. and 75% of long-term care facilities have now received at least one shot of the vaccine. people in those facilities, i should say, have received at least one shot. so this is now starting to really gain critical momentum across the country and with a third vaccine added to the mix, expected to get that approval today or tomorrow, then rolling out as soon as next week, this is really becoming the trifecta of vaccines with a fourth, astrazeneca, possible within a few months or so. andrea, back to you. >> tom, you might have to get used to doing some good news for a change, we hope. thanks very much. >> i'm happy any day to cover that. that's okay with me. >> yes. indeed. president biden is putting human rights back on the priority list during his call with saudi arabia's king on the
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♪♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win. president biden and saudi arabia's king salman spoke by phone yesterday, their first call, setting the stage for the release of that u.s. intelligence report concluding that the king's son, mohammed bin salman, approved and possibly ordered the murder of saudi dissident journalist jamal khashoggi, washington based, of course, at "the washington post." the president re-established the u.s. commitment to human rights in his king but did not apparently even mention khashoggi. that issue is how the biden administration will pun tisch saudis. in a 2019 debate, i asked joe biden about would he hold the
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saudis accountable, unlike president trump. president trump has not punished senior saudi leaders. would you? >> yes. and i said it at the time. khashoggi was in fact murdered and dismembered, and i believe in the order of the crown prince, and i would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are. >> california democratic congressman adam schiff of course is the chair of the house intelligence committee and joins me now. if the president or if the state department within an hour or two announces anything less than real punishment, will the president be faulted for not living up to his campaign promise? he said he was going to hold them accountable and make them a pariah. >> well, i think he needs to hold them accountable. and if, as you say, there's a finding of culpability on the
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part of the crown prince, then it won't be enough to simply sanction the state or call for the sanctions of other individuals. there ought to be a personal consequence to the crown prince. that's obviously a delicate task when you're dealing with someone effectively the head of state, but nonetheless, we have to have a different relationship with him, with the kingdom if, you know, the leader of that kingdom is going to be ordering the execution and dismemberment, if, indeed, that is what's reported. so there are going to have to be serious repercussions, i think there will be, and this is something that's very near and dear to me, andrea, as you know, as someone who founded a caucus on freedom of the press years ago with mike pence, in fact. this is imperative that we in the strongest way hold to account those who would murder journalists. >> how do we balance our
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security interests, our 75-year alliance with the saudis while at the same time pressuring them op human rights, to change their policies? >> you know, i think we have to use the same approach, frankly, that the president has demonstrated with vladimir putin, and that is, you know, putin is poisoning his opponents, putin is interfering in our elections, and nonetheless there is area of common interest like the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, and you need to follow the common interest as well, and there are common interests in terms of our counterterrorism play as well as pushing back on iran's malign activities in terms of our relationship with saudi arabia. but it has to be a different kind of a relationship than it was over the last four years where essentially we gave the saudis carte blanche and gave the russians effectively carte blanche, and the president has already changed the relationship with putin and russia, and i'm confident he will change the relationship now with the crown
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prince of saudi arabia. >> how important is it that president biden is not only permitting the disclosure of this report, which was, you know, kept secret by president trump in violation of u.s. viol u.s. law and not disputing the cia's conclusions? >> i think it's very important that we live our values and this is the one way to do it. as you point out, it's part of the administration thanks to the law that our committee helped write. it's a requirement to publish this report and assert the accountability where it lies. i think to reestablish our place in world as someone holding the beacon of human rights high, this is vitally necessary. if we're not going to do so in case of a u.s. resident who was murdered and dismembered for
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expressing their free speech rights then what claim can we make anymore to be a propoents of human rights? this is a profound text case. our values really have interests and here it is put to the test. i'm confident the administration will come through the test and hold the parties accountable who are responsible and will restore america's place in the world as a champion who lives their values. >> on the subject of the strikes in syria, were you, as a member of the big eight briefed before the strikes? >> we received a written notification shortly before the strikes. i would say the answer is
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nominally yes but nonetheless i don't think the notice was adequate in the form that it was delivered. we have remaining questions in terms of some of the legal issues around the strike that we will continue to explore but it does look like it was a proportionate response to the iranian backed malitia attacks and the danger they posed to our troops and other coalition forces. it looks like a proportionate response but i want to know further about the justification as well as the intel and evidence on it and we're pursuing that. >> thank you very much.
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do you think the punishment today if it does not go to mbs himself is adequate? >> well, i think it will be a disappointment to jamal's friends and colleagues if there isn't really accountability. naming him, shaming him through that public identification is a kind of accountability. we'll establish new mechanisms to make sure something like this never happens again. let's welcome the idea we'll protect journalists like jamal
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from surveillance efforts to muzzle them, murder them, if they speak out. we're pleased that new mechanisms will be in place but i hope that doesn't imply that you get one murder free, that you're off the hook because you're so powerful for what's happened in the past. we'll have to wait. it's another hour or so away before we see the details. we're happy if the facts will be put out. that's a kind of accountability. it's the beginning of what needs to happen. >> this is also, you've written sending a signal that tracking and murdering journalists is not acceptable. do you think this can create protections for others who are dissents and under threat from their authoritarian rulers?
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>> we're in a world where too many leaders think they can attack their political critics, throw them in prison, torture them, kill them, if need be, without consequences. i think the united states as a democracy, as a country that believes in the open exchange of ideas has to stand strongly in support of people who are doing their job of informing citizens. we're not going to make a world of countries like the united states but we do need to keep faith with the people around the world who are just trying to tell the truth. that's what our colleague was trying to do. i hope the administration, as it rolls out this announcement and policy, whatever the details are will make a really strong statement of solidarity with people from whatever country who are the world's truth tellers. the world needs them now more
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than it ever has. >> i'm afraid that's all we have time for today. we think of him and now at least there's some clarity, some transparency for what the cia concluded is about to take place. thank you very much. that does it for this edition of e andrea mitchell reports. have a good weekend. chuck todd is up next. is up ne. ♪ limu emu & doug ♪ hey limu! [ squawks ] how great is it that we get to tell everybody how liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? i mean it... oh, sorry... [ laughter ] woops! [ laughter ] good evening! meow! nope. oh... what? i'm an emu! ah ha ha. no, buddy! buddy, it's a filter! only pay for what you need.
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that's the planning effect, from fidelity. if it's friday t chances for president biden's$1.9 trillion bill has chance. what's for those that did not want it. president biden strikes syria. hitting iranian backed malitia for their targeting in iraq. it's his first use of military force as president. it's got some democrats uneasy. as conservatives gather at cpac to showcase their continued loyalty to former president trump, even mitch mcconnell says he's support donald trump if he becomes the republican nominee in 2024.


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