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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 1, 2021 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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yankees/nats world series, but this year, i think the yankees are much more likely to get there than the home team here in d.c. >> all right nbc's mike memoli, thank you so much for getting up early with us and all i have to say in response to mr. memoli and also to all of you is, let's go, os thank you for getting up way too early with us on this thursday morning. don't go anywhere. "morning joe" starts right now has got the exact right message and is being responded -- the response is fabulous around the country. >> deeply honored and i want to thank you for your commitment to the american workers >> my hat's off to you for taking that stand and for sending a clear message around the world. >> it's a privilege to serve >> i can't thank you enough for the privilege that you've given me and the leadership that you've shown >> i'm thrilled to have a chance to help you live up to your campaign promises. >> thank you for getting this country moving >> optimism from small businesses is higher than it's been in about 16 years
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>> we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda. >> we are making tremendous progress >> i want to congratulate you on the men and women you've placed around this table, the holistic team of working for america is making results in each and every area >> what does it say about someone who needs that so badly? you have to imagine president biden's first cabinet meeting today will look a little different from the previous administration's good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is thursday, april 1st. joe has the morning off, along with willie and me we have white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan lemire and we are following a lot of stories this morning, including a number of developments with the dramatic third day of testimony in the trial of a former police officer who is accused of killing george floyd, as a juror becomes ill and a witness breaks down on the stand. some shipments of johnson &
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johnson's coronavirus vaccines get delayed after a mix-up at a u.s. factory president biden visits the steel city to unveil his massive jobs and infrastructure plan. and more and more georgia-based companies are standing up against the state's newly signed election law, with president biden saying he would support major league baseball pulling this year's all-star game from atlanta. wow, willie. >> yeah, and big corporate pressure from the biggest companies in atlanta, some of the biggest companies in the world, as well we'll get to that in just a minute but let's begin with the latest on the investigation of of possible sex trafficking by republican congressman matt gaetz of florida "the new york times" was first to report federal investigators are looking into whether gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and whether he paid for her to travel with him across state lines when asked about the allegation tuesday night, the congressman,
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who denies any relationship with a 17-year-old, said he did nothing wrong, claimed it was part of an effort to extort him and his family law enforcement officials now tell nbc news the sex trafficking investigation into congressman gaetz and the extortion allegations made by gaetz are two separate investigations there also is new information on the investigation that put congressman gaetz on the radar of the justice department. federal officials telling nbc news the investigation into the congressman began last year when an associate, former seminole county, florida, tax collector joel greenberg was indicted on charges tied to his alleged harassment of a political opponent officials say greenberg, pictured here with gaetz and roger stone in 2017, misused his position as tax collector to create fake i.d.s for himself. that investigation led to a second superceding indictment, alleging that he used the florida motor vehicle database
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to obtain information on individuals with whom he was engaged in, quote, sugar daddy-type relationships so it is out of that investigation, officials tell nbc news, authorities developed a lead that led them to investigate whether gaetz was involved with sex trafficki kina underage girl. greenberg's attorney released a statement saying, quote, right now we're preparing for the upcoming trial date in june. joel maintains his innocence and has previously pleaded not guilty a lot to suss through there. let's bring in national correspondent at politico, betsy woodruff swann, and professor in law at georgetown university, paul butler. he is an msnbc legal analyst good morning to you both so, bets betsy, i understand yo talked to matt gaetz's father, a prominent political figure in the state of florida help us separate out what's going on here, because there seems to be this claim of an extortion plot from the gaetzes that goes no parallel and separate from this other
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investigation at the justice department into possible sex trafficking that spun out of the investigation into joel greenberg. >> right my colleague has been covering tallahassee very closely for a long time, had a detailed conversation with john gaetz, matt gaetz' father yesterday john is very wealthy, a former longtime insider tallahassee politician and in a detailed interview, he told us on the record that he's worn a wire multiple times as part of an effort to try to help the fbi investigate what he and his son purport to be an extortion plot targeted at their family the important thing for people to remember here, who may be getting a little lost by the very soap opriy threads that seems to be unfolding is that it's possible all of the allegations that have been laid out, both by matt gaetz, by his father, don gaetz, and reportedly with what the fbi is investigating could be correct
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matt and his father say -- they say that there was an effort spent to pressure them to pay $25 million to help with the rescue of bob levenson bob levenson a man who was taken host animal by the irani government, he's a u.s. citizen, he's widely reported to have been passed away for quite some time but despite that, the gaetzes say that they were pressured to put up $25 million to try to help to fund his rescue from iran and they say that the offer was, pay up this $25 million and it will make you an american hero, it will make the biden administration delighted with you, it will fix your reputational problems, and then, problem solved, this whole fbi problem will go away now, matt gaetz and his father say that that was an extortion plot, that that's the real story, that the investigations involving joel greenberg and potential allegations into the
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congressman himself are specious and people need to be focusing on these extortion allegations that they're making instead. of course, critics of the gaetz family say that this is a distraction and the important thing for viewers to remember is that it's possible there's more than one cohort of, shall we say, questionable folks involved in this increasingly lurid florida political saga >> betsy, explain sort of the interesting nuances of the bill barr angle of this, because this started under his time, serving as attorney general? >> that's right. what i can tell you is that then-attorney general bill barr was briefed multiple times on the gaetz investigation starting in the summer of 2020. early 2020, he sent down a memo requiring that senior doj leadership receive briefings on any investigation into anyone running for federal office so he received those briefings, and it actually created a slightly uncomfortable moment for senior leadership at doj
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what i'm told is that barr was scheduled to attend a meet-and-greet with republican members of the house judiciary committee last summer, but when matt gaetz rsvp'd for the event, barr had to abruptly cancel, because he didn't want to be in a situation where he was having a private meeting with someone who was under investigation, simultaneously, by the fbi and that raises the very awkward specter of a member of the congressional committee, that's responsible for funding and overseeing the fbi, simultaneously, according to these reports, being under investigation by that same law enforcement agency >> so, paul butler, we should underline that congressman gaetz hasn't been charged with anything, denies any involvement with this 17-year-old. but as a prosecutor, as you're looking at this sort of stew of elements that go into these stories, different people, an extortion plot, and robert levenson in iran, where is your focus and where do you see the legal exposure for congressman
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gaetz? >> so, willie, there are three investigations going on right now. it's a federal crime to induce a minor to travel over state lines for sex in exchange for money. that's what gaetz is being investigated for violating the federal sexual trafficking laws and then we have this extortion investigation. someone allegedly trying to extort gaetz and his family to make the justice department investigation go away. betsy absolutely right both things can be true. gaetz can be the perpetrator of one crime and the victim of another. but gaetz has to be especially worried about this third investigation of joel greenberg. that's the florida official and good friend of gaetz who has already been indicted for child sex trafficking. and greenberg violated his bail, so he's locked up right now pending his trial in june. so willie, he has a lot of incentive to cooperate in an
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investigation of gaetz so in that investigation of gaetz, if i'm a federal prosecutor, i'm talking to talk to joel greenberg to see if he wants to make a deal >> all right, betsy woodruff swann, thank you so much for your reporting welcome back to the air waves. it's good to see you let's move on now to the trial of derek chauvin the bystander who told george floyd to comply with police broke down on the stand while testifying during video replay of floyd calling for his mother shortly before he died >> do you need a minute? [ crying ] >> i know that this is difficult. can you just explain sort of what you're feeling in this moment
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>> i can't -- i feel helpless. i don't have a -- >> charles mcmillan, the state's 11th witness also confronted then officer chauvin after the incident, saying he should have taken his knee off floyd's neck. chauvin is heard on body cam video defending himself. >> that's one person's opinion >> no, no, i got to -- >> i've got to control this guy because he's a sizable guy >> and -- >> it looks like he's coming off something. >> earlier in the day, prosecutors played a security camera footage of floyd inside the cup foods buying cigarettes with the allegedly counterfeit $20 bill and circled the face of christopher martin, the
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19-year-old girl who made the sale prosecutors then showed martin outside among the crowd of bystanders with his hands on his head, appearing distressed and asked for his thoughts at the time >> we saw you standing there with your hand on your head for a while, correct >> correct >> what was going through your mind during that time period >> disbelief and guilt >> okay. why guilt? >> if i would have just not tooken the bill, this could have been avoided >> the prosecution also introduced body cam footage of floyd's arrest from chauvin and the officers with him that day floyd could be heard pleading not to be shot as he's taken from his car he is later seen being seated by police to await the arrival of additional officers, including chauvin. live streaming of the trial resumes today at 9:30 central time paul butler, a couple of things.
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i noticed this yesterday for example, the 19-year-old clerk who sold him the cigarettes noticing that $20 bill may not be right, those employees have to pay if they accept a counterfeit bill, so they -- it ends up being taken out of their paycheck. so the kid was thinking, as he's watching george floyd get killed on the streets that he's responsible. that's -- he's walking around -- all of the witnesses yesterday had such guilt about not being able to do more. and i guess the question is, how is it that seeing this happen with your own eyes in front of you is a different experience than being the cop on the back of the dying man >> that's a great question, mika i wish i had a great answer. every witness has expressed remorse and survivor's guilt
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we saw mr. williams, the mma dude, big booming voice, but just break down and cmillen, thr gentlemen who testified yesterday, the uncontrollable sobbing. mika, one of the bystanders in the crowd says to officer chauvin, why are you doing this? he's human, bro. but the prosecutors want the jurors to understand, chauvin did not treat mr. floyd like a human being. all of these bystanders, all of these witnesses did, so this is not the angry mob that the defense is trying to portray these are brave citizens who stood up to the police at their own peril to say, not in our name will you snuff the life out of this man. >> and paul, as you watch witness after witness get on the stand in this trial over the
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last three days and talk about their own guilt they feel about not intervening in some way, they should let that go. what could they have done. vp the young woman who filmed the video says she feels guilt her video is why we know about this terrible, terrible death of george floyd but exactly is the prosecution going for here what is their push and are they executing and carrying out and prosecuting a good case here on the other hand, how is the defense team handling this what do they do with a video that we all saw with our own eyes >> so, willie, every prosecutor -- prosecution witness is to establish either that mr. chauvin used unreasonable and excessive force, and that it was chauvin's knee on floyd's neck that killed mr. floyd and not the drug overdose that the prosecutor claimed. so every witness has to establish one of those points.
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so yesterday, we saw christopher martin, the clerk, let the jury know that george floyd was under the influence of drugs during the time of his fatal encounter with the cops. the prosecutors know that the defense lawyers will make a big deal about that. the prosecutors want to be the first people to let the jury know that, so it doesn't look like they're trying to hide something. but then the video shows mr. floyd coherent, in control he doesn't look like somebody who's about to o.d. on meth. so that helps the prosecutor make the point about the actual cause of mr. floyd's death the defense, they're not doing a great job, but frankly, willie, they don't have a lot to work with the prosecutor evidence is overwhelming >> we'll be watching the trial closely right here on msnbc all day. it's really worth taking the time to see what is being said in court and the case that's
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being laid out here. a lot of story lines at play that are so important and represent the struggles that we face here in america today paul butler, thank you so much we appreciate your coming on this morning as congress debates what to do about gun violence, new polling shows overwhelming support for certain reforms. according to a new politico/morning consult poll, 85% of registered voters support background checks on all gun sales compared to 11% who oppose think of that right there. when it comes to background checks at gun shows and private sales, 79% support that reform, while 13% are against it and 64% say they support a ban on assault-style weapons while 27% oppose jonathan lemire, this is one of those issues that again, there is a party that appears to be
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behind the trends in america, in terms of what people want and in terms of the data. i call it data, but it's daily deaths, mass shootings, on a daily basis in this country. >> 85% is an extraordinary number, mika americans don't agree on anything at that kind of level, at 85% and this is certainly something that the white house and democrats are keenly aware of. that especially now in the wake of these two mass shootings, which during the pandemic year, they were not as often in the headlines, of course, because people weren't out and about as much, they moved the forefront of the national consciousness again. and certainly, there seems to be some real public support here for at least some sort of reforms. these background checks, as you said perhaps a ban on assault-style weapons. but, this also is a moment, democrats feel like, where the national rifle association, the
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which has been such a potent force for so long, and which by far was the biggest obstacle to any sort of gun legislation, they're pretty diminished they've had real financial trouble, scandals in the leadership, that they're not quite the sort of mammoth force they've been in the past but at least to this point, most republicans still seem to oppose these -- any sort of gun control p measures we've heard senator murphy from connecticut, a passionate advocate about this, he represented the school shooting in sandy hook. he believes there are some republican votes that could be had for measures like that that's what we'll see in the weeks ahead. we know the biden's white house next push is infrastructure. but guns are still on the radar. that will be something they move to the forefront at some point they've received criticism from gun control advocates for not being kick enough about this i asked white house secretary jen psaki about this she said, we should look for executive orders in the coming weeks. those will be small measures they need to go to congress for anything substantial >> and another mass shooting to
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report just last ight, officials say four people including a child were killed at a busy complex in orange, california, last night two others listed in critical condition, including a fifth victim the suspect, as well, who suffered a gunshot wound, though unclear how. police now are working to determine a motive they say the investigation will include multiple agencies. joining us now by phone, nbc news correspondent, steve patterson. steve, good morning. what else do we know >> hey, good morning, willie i'm just arriving here in orange this is just to give people a frame of reference, about 30 miles southeast of l.a., 6 miles from disneyland. we know that a fifth victim, a woman, in the hospital, in critical condition we know the shooter is in the hospital as well, suffered a gunshot wound. we don't know if that was self-inflicted police not saying that they arrived on scene about 5:30 when the first shots were heard. police say when they arrived on scene, the shooting was still
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going. they arrived to find several victims, as they entered that business complex imagine the most generic suburban business complex you can think of, several businesses, clustered, nestled in between an apartment complex and some other businesses, as well police say, you know, they engaged a suspect, this is an officer-involved shooting. we don't know to what level there was an exchange of gunfire, but from all accounts, it sound like police were under fire, as well. businesses, you know, in that complex, there's property rental, management companies, insurance agencies, things that you might imagine in a generic complex like that. we know, again, a child was involved and killed in this shooting but again, it's so early in this investigation, police not saying what, if anything, there was a relationship with the shooter, the shooter's identity, the victim's identity. all of this will be per the
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course of the investigation as well meanwhile, you know, state and city leaders chiming in, gavin newsom, the governor here calling this horrifying and heartbreaking. several area representatives as well, lending their condolences, but obviously this has to reach a certain level in the investigation before police can move forward to find out and determine what happened here with another shooting, it seems week after week after week, we keep experiencing these mass shootings. obviously, in california, gun laws, you know, are relatively strictly when it comes, obviously, with the rest of the country and some of the western states that neighbor this area but it seems not to matter here in the shooting as well. >> as you're reporting, a child among four people killed in a shooting in orange, california steve patterson, we'll let you get out and continue reporting on this story. thanks for being with us
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mika, steve said, last week service a stoupermarket in boulder, colorado, two weeks ago, a series of spas in atlanta. and last night, orange, california, a child among four killed there >> and in between those first two shootings, there was a shooting every day, every day, a mass shooting, as it qualifies as a mass shooting, has happened i mean, this is beyond an epidemic it's a reality that the american people would like some constraints on and yet in washington, nothing still ahead on "morning joe," president biden unveils his sweeping new infrastructure plan we're taking a look at what exactly is included in the package, plus, after four years of pushing off concerns about the federal deficit, republican lawmakers seem to have rediscovered the issue now that biden is president the "washington examiner's" david drucker joins us with that new reporting. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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i'm proposing a plan for a nation that rewards work, not just rewards wealth. it's not a plan that tinkers around the edges it's a once in a generation investment in america. unlike anything we've seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago in fact, it's the largest american jobs investment since world war ii it's big, yes. it's bold, yes and we can get it done i'm convinced that if we act now, in 50 years, people are going to look back and say, this was the moment that america won the future
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it's a basic question. can democracy still deliver for their people can they get a majority? i believe we can i believe we must. >> my advice to the administration is, if you want to do an infrastructure bill, let's do an infrastructure bill. let's don't turn it into a massive effort to raise taxes on businesses and individuals >> president joe biden yesterday unveiling his $2 trillion infrastructure plan and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell criticizing it jonathan lemire, i think the president will probably be able to get his plan, but the question is how to get more republican support because all of a sudden they do care about spending and oh, tax increase it's not a good thing for them >> right the concerns about spending began on the evening of january
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20th after being ignored the previous four years by republicans. yes -- yesterday was long awaited, the unveiling of president biden's infrastructure deal i was part of that trip yesterday to pittsburgh, where he outlined it and this is a big package. and it is lots of money, of course, for roads, highways, train service. but more than that, it's about broadband. it's about, you know, replacing lead pipes in cities like flynt, michigan, where people have had to drink contaminated water for so long. there'll be a second part of this deal announced in a few weeks, child care, health care, and so on. this one is a little bit more of the bricks and mortar, which is a popular issue. again, it polls well and we certainly know that republicans support the idea of an infrastructure improvements. what they don't support so much is how they're going to pay for them the white house is indeed increasing taxes they're proposing increasing taxes on corporations.
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they're unwinding some of president trump's tax cut there in order to pay for this and they're already facing staunch opposition from republicans and a little bit from progressives on the left who say this deal, even if it tops out at $3 trillion doesn't quite go far enough, but this is clearly the priority and if needed, the white house will go it alone with just democrats. and perhaps play the reconciliation card again. but they don't want to do that just yet there is going to be, aides tell me, a real effort here to engage republicans. this is going to be a slower timeline than the covid relief, which from start to finish was two months they're willing to let this play out for a while, they want to have it done by the end of the summer so there are going to be open suggestions, they're going to work with republicans. but, yes, odds are against any republican will ever vote "yes" for a measure that increase taxes, even a little >> let's look through what's really inside this massive plan. joined by former treasury
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official, steve rattner. also a member of the "new york times" editorial board, mara gay. and senior political correspondent for the "washington examiner," david drucker. good morning to you all. steve, let's begin with your chart. we're talking about $2 .25 trillion after $1.9 trillion is still rolling off the presses for covid relief what exactly, as you look through it, is in this plan? >> well, willie, as you say, it's a very, very big plan, bigger than the last plan. and actually, people call it an infrastructure bill, but as jonathan lemire alluded, it's a lot more than that in fact, infrastructure is only about 42% of the total package, as you can see, on the chart all the blue stuff on your right is infrastructure related, and we did rough justice here. there's not full detail on all of these plans so transportation, of course, we all talk about highways and bridges at the top of the list, as well as things like water that jonathan also mentioned but then in addition to that 42%, you have another 20% or so
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that is going to what i'll call other investment things like r&d, things like manufacturing of critical supplies that we need for pandemics, things like semiconductors, which are in short supply but there's a whole another people, another almost 40%, which is really other stuff. and it's not even clear entirely what some of that other stuff is there's $400 billion for home care giving for elderly and disabled people. there's a substantial amount of money in there for fixing up housing, which is kind of an investment, but also kind of fixing up housing. and so it's a whole bunch of a different kind of things, a bit like the covid bill, sort of like the covid bill, that also did a lot of other things. but if you think about the president's points, he's right we do need to do something and the next chart will show you quite why we need to do something, which is a look at what's been happening to the federal budget the line that's going up, the orangish line that's going up are the costs of all of our
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social security and medicare and ore, what we call mandatory or entitlements programs. those rising costs have pushed down what we spend on pretty much everything else the red line is pretty much everything else. it's all of our discretionary spending everything from military to hud to transportation to education and so forth and even in that category, the lighter-colored line is what we spend on again what we would call investment, infrastructure, and some of the other things i was talking about. and that's been pushed down even further because of the pressing, immediate needs we've had to spend money and so the result of which is, anything that related to investment has been declining substantially as a share of our federal budget for decades and decades, which is why we're in this position of having to do something to fix it up now, we have to recognize that the biden vision is for much more bigger and much more robust government, and really fundamentally changing the size
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and role of government in the american system. the blue line shows what government has been spending over the decades and as you can see, it's bounced around between about 20 and 25%, the 25% being during the gfc and then it came back down closer to its historic levels around 20% covid jumped that up not surprisingly you can see the jump for covid, and it does start to come down, but the dark blue line shows where biden would, in effect have it stop coming down at around 25% of gdp. so in effect, government would go from an historical average of being about 20% of gdp to 25% of gdp. and that is a huge change in the size and role of government. the orange line is taxes and you can see those have bounced around also between about 15 and 20%, but even with the tax proposal that biden unveiled yesterday, taxes jump up a bit, but not enough to close gap.
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so the difference between that dark blue line and the dark red line are the deficits over $20 million, completely as far as the eye can see. it is a big, complicated package. as jonathan said, it's going to be a much tougher fight in congress over all of these provisions, almost certainly ending up in reconciliation. but even the democrats are going to have a lot of questions and changes that they want to make in this plan >> david drucker, mitch mcconnell is calling this plan, as he did with the covid relief plan, a trojan horse saying, it's not really just about infrastructure, it's not just about roads and bridges and all the things steve walked us through there, it's about getting a progressive agenda through under the biden administration he's rejecting deficit spending, he's rejecting raising taxes on corporations all of these things now that they weren't terribly concerned about under donald trump now have come back to the forefront for republicans. can you see a universe, a negotiation, a version of this
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plan that could get some republicans onboard? >> i don't know if i can see our universe with republicans getting onboard, but i suppose there might be some somewhere. look, i think part of this understandable republicans in congress, inclinclud including mitch mcconnell, were always uncomfortable with president trump's embrace of deficit spending president trump, i think, to his credit realized that by the time he was running for office, there really wasn't a constituency for concern about debts and deficits everybody says they're concerned, because everybody believes in theory that we're supposed to balance our books and not overspend. that's how we all have to run our households, at least if we do it right. but when you go to the american people and say, that means we need to cut this or that or pare back on this or that, everyone just says, no, no, no and no and the president for all of his political problems of the first term, that was never one of them so with president biden in office, his plan makes perfect sense for him. he was never a centrist.
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he only appears moderate by the backdrop of our current politics, this is an old-school liberal democratic bill that believes in the power of government to change people's lives. and it's natural that he would go forward with something like this, struggling economy or not. and now it gives republicans an opportunity to sort of rediscover their deficit hawk roots, because their voters, who are very inclined to go along with president trump and whatever he wanted to do are now happy to see republicans in congress oppose a democratic president. i think the key here is, where republicans were not able to make a case with voters regarding the american rescue plan, that covid relief plan that included a lot of things beyond covid relief, can they successfully win the argument with voters this time around with the american jobs plan, as biden is calling it. were interesting thing is that
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in 2017 and after into 2018, republicans were never able to win the argument writ large when it came to their $1.3 trillion tax overhaul some of which actually socked i to wealthy voters. talk to wealthy voters in states like new york and california, and they will complain about the tax benefits that they lost under trump's tax bill nonetheless, democrats were very successful in presenting that bill as a giveaway to the rich, that didn't help the middle class or people on the lower ends of the economic ladder, and so my big question is, republicans may have a good case to make here, potentially, given there are climate provisions in this bill that go beyond infrastructure and things that people may have some issues with, but can they win the argument in the court of public opinion? and that's still really remains to be seen they have not won a tax argument in the court of public opinion in quite a few years >> mara gay, tell us the concept of this bill as it pertains to progressives and what they were
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hoping for >> so just to pull back a little bit, i think we've really been in a time of austerity in this country in terms of infrastructure development for decades now. so it has not been since the 1960s or earlier that we've really seen the level of investment that the president is talking about. and so i think what is being presented as progressive, you know, either because there are republicans who want to paint it that way or because there are people on the far left and in the democratic party for whom that is advantageous, i think in many ways, is actually -- these are investments in the american people want and voted for when they voted for joe biden anybody who has been to a city like flynt, michigan, and thought twice about drinking the water, let alone lived there and endured that crisis, anybody who has been living across southern states, many of them, by the
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way, are republican-led states, and had to worry about their drinking water, their sanitation, they have a sewage crisis, and anybody who has been on a stalled subway train, right, and new york city's economy is a massive contributor to the nation's economy and the gdp as a whole, knows that we are overdue in investing in infrastructure so i think, actually, it's the democrats who really need to sell this to the american people in the same way that fdr was able to do all of those years ago as a rescue plan for a country that has invested in itself very little, we've invested in foreign wars and we've invested in tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations and the middle class and the infrastructure that fuels the middle class from schools, again, to subways, and sanitation infrastructure has been left behind so this is decades in the making we have a lot of catching up to do >> no question about it. and mika, on the question of
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whether or not republicans will get onboard, marc short, the longtime adviser to mike pence, who worked in the white house, has already started an organization to defeat this, looking to raise ten of millions of dollars >> great >> among conservative donors to defeat the plan. and chuck schumer, the majority leader, knows where this is headed he's already exploring the idea with the parliamentarian in the senate to push this through again with reconciliation, just as they did with the covid relief bill, knowing full well it's unlikely he'll get a single republican onboard >> there you go. mara gay, david drucker, and steve rattner, thank you all very much for being on the show this morning and coming up, a look at the state of world affairs for an administration that has so much work to do here at home. we'll be right back. new projects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. the moment you sponsor a job on indeed you get a short list of quality candidates from our resume database. claim your seventy five dollar credit, when you post your first job at indeed.com/home.
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joining us now, the president of the council on foreign relations and the author
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of the book, "the world: a brief introduction," richard haass richard, we're looking at president biden's foreign policy with everything that he has on his plate here at home, amidst a pandemic my question to you, what are the top priorities and i'll sort of inject your question with, and why not so much on russia? >> well, first of all, you're exactly right, mika, in how you set it up. this is an administration that gets up in the morning and is thinking much more domestically about covid, about economic recovery you just did the long piece on infrastructure joe biden's presidency were to end today, it would be seen as an attempt -- an transformational attempt, something we haven't seen on the scale that we're seeing since, say, lyndon johnson. this is where the energy so far is in the administration on foreign policy, probably one or two things stand out. one is a singling out of china that this is the great strategic
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competitor and challenge of our time, an economic competitor, an ideological competitor, a strategic competitor and we saw that voiced when the two sides recently got together in alaska. and the question that's out there is what has the administration marshaled to back it up? what are they prepared to do militarily, did they bring allies along are they going to reenter asian trade agreements, which would normally be an important part of the strategy you mentioned russia this is an interesting case. the first thing the administration did was sign a nuclear arms deal with russia. that was the priority. but that was really the last positive thing what we've seen since then is all sorts of disagreements over mr. navalny, disagreements about a growing problem in ukraine this is -- disagreements over cyberspace and russia behavior there. this is a relationship that has very little upside and is really a source of friction or worse.
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>> well, and i wonder, hasn't the relationship been -- just from what we know -- damaged or mishandled over the past four years? isn't there a significant amount of work to be done with russia, to reestablish what should be the dynamic? >> i think we could reestablish certain types of communications lines, but i don't think we should delude ourselves, even if we do it, even if we basically said, we're going to try to make this a quote/unquote more normal relationship and meet with russian officials from putin on down, lavrov and others, i think we have to accept the fact that when mr. putin gets up in the morning, he sees the biden administration as a direct threat their emphasis on democracy, on the rule of law, is exactly what he doesn't want to hear. he sees it as a threat to his rule he sees it as a threat to russia their opposition to the pipeline of russian gas that would
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go western europe. so again, i don't think there's many areas where the united states and russia overlap, even if we were to establish a more normal or regular relationship look, there's sometimes in foreign policy you see opportunity and there's upside and other times in foreign policy, as in life, your real goal is avoid downsides, to avoid real crisis and problems my guess is that u.s. policy towards russia now largely falls into that latter category. >> richard, we are one month from today the deadline, may 1st, to withdraw troops from afghanistan as part of that deal between the trump administration and the taliban. president biden has signaled that that's unlikely to happen, that we'll blow past that deadline as we approach 20 years coming up in october of united states presence in afghanistan so what is the future of america in that country and how long will troops be there >> willie, you're right, this might be the most pressing
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foreign policy challenge the administration sees. it's one they'ring a nigz over they want to get out on the other hand, they're obviously unsettled by the likelihood if they were to get out, it's more a question of when not if they fall. it would be terrible for women and girls and really tall citizens of afghanistan. it would also mean that once again afghanistan would likely become a venue for global terrorism, as it was decades ago in the run-up to 9/11. so the -- as you say, they will delay meeting the may 1 deadline but i've got to be honest with you, i think there's no chance of peace i think these negotiations are ultimately going to come up empty. no chance of building a coalition government no chance of a military victory over the taliban so it's a tough bullet for the administration to bite on or swallow is going to be, are we prepared to stay at a low level, a couple of thousand troops with another 8,000 allies to stay
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indefinitely and that's the word, indefinitely, in the interests of avoiding the collapse of the afghan government. again, to prevent something. to prevent the fiasco, prevent the emergence of a new terrorism venue. we can't deliver good things, we can't avoid bad things is that enough of a return on our foreign policy investment. or will the pressure become so large to bring the troops back home and just wash our hands of it that we leave, which would be probably short-term popular, but i fear would be middle-term and long-term wildly unpopular that's the dilemma the administration is facing >> all right richard haas, thank you very, very much. and coming up later in the show, we'll talk to david ignatius and julia ioffe about the alexei navalny situation pmpblt coming up, governor brian kemp comes out in defense of the state's newly signed election law, claiming that it expands voting
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access we'll take a look at that many argument ahead on "morning joe." at novartis, our goal is to help keep cosentyx accessible and affordable. if you're taking cosentyx and your insurance or coverage changes or you need help paying cosentyx connect is here to help. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen or if you've had a vaccine, or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur.
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and coming up, as one vaccine shows real promise for teenagers, another suffers a setback after a mix-up at a u.s. factory. all of that as joe biden continues to urge americans not to let their guard down in the fight against the pandemic updates on those stories straight ahead on "morning joe." my plaque psoriasis...
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it reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again oh, people will come, ray. people will most definitely come >> all right what a movie and willie, if you can believe it, i just saw "field of dreams," just this year. >> oh! did you like it? >> joe had me watch it >> you don't like movies >> i don't love movies i really liked this one. and watched it again and it's -- it's a good one. for opening day, what a great way to bump in >> you still get chills all these years later hearing that speech from james earl jones and six years before that movie, "field of dreams," was released, our good friend, mike barnicle wrote this bit of poetry for the bo"boston globe." mike writes this, a healing spring rain washed across the
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late winter landscape and at the far edge of the sky, a pastel light outlined by the faintest traces of sun held the promise of baseball days ahead and in the city streets that groan today under the heavy weight of all the used up seasons past will tomorrow crackle with the hope, the spirit, the promise that comes with each new journey, where our dreams are transported across all the days of summer, on the bats and the backs of men named yas and rice, remi and opening day. t mike joins us. mike, boy, is that perfect well said. today's opening day. the yankees, i know you and jonathan are very excited, open in just a few hours with garrett cole on the bump against the blue jays at yankee stadium. i was excited to see jonathan lemire using the hash chase for
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28th he's excited about now a 28th world series title for the new york yankees >> you know, willie, i don't think we as a country, as a culture culture, ever needed baseball more every aspect of it, the spring, the start, the fresh start to a new season, engenders hope and that's what this country really needs now has been getting it a good while since january 28th, certainly. but it needs hope, that hope is here, a future, a normal future is in the distance we can see it and we can certainly begin to see it today, opening day is every major league team oppose up, the red sox open up here in boston at 2:00 this afternoon. yankees against toronto at 1:00. and in washington, the nationals open tonight against the new york mets at 7:00 p.m. it's a great day it's a beginning, again, a rekindling of love that i've had for baseball my entire life. and as my wife views it, kind of a disease that prohibits me from
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doing anything else productive because for 162 games, i will wallow in watching and following baseball >> is that the reason? >> for people who don't know, mike barnicle spends all of his hours during baseball season on an ipad using the mlb at bat app just watching games across the country. jonathan lemire, as much as it pains you and me to praise mike barnicle in public, my goodness can that man write >> yeah, those were beautiful words, even if it took the red sox 21 more years to win the world series, even as he talked about all the seasons past i will not attempt to compete with mike's poetry i should say, opening day should be a national holiday. it's a day of renewal and a day of spring. i know how excited it will be to watch the red sox later with my two boys, who are 9 and 6 and huge fans already. and willie, i know you have been spending a lot of time thinking
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about the $2 billion the yankees have spent in players' salaries during this decades-long championship drought and i hope that money has -- i hope the players have enriched themselves, even if they haven't been able to deliver you and your family much in the way of happiness lately how are you feeling about the coming season? >> you're right that my 11-year-old son, my sweet, 11-year-old son, has only known one world series title in his life what a sad tragedy that is for that young man >> sad, sad. >> but you guys surrendered the right to play the big money card you guys are right up there with us these days. we'll see what happens this year in the afl east. it will be a fun season. mika, we're all just happy the day is here. >> yes and this opening day comes as we still fight the pandemic 29 major league teams will host fans at reduced capacity to begin the season but the texas rangers will have a full house at globe life field for monday's home opener that's crazy
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yesterday, president joe biden criticized that decision >> the texas rangers say there will not be any attendance restrictions in their stadium this season. that means it could be filled to capacity, mr. president, 40,000 people, with masks required, except when actively eating and drinking what are your thoughts on the rangers' decision? >> well, that's a decision they've made i think it's a mistake they should listen to dr. fauci and the scientists and the experts. but i think it's not responsible. >> meanwhile, the president and cdc director rochelle walensky continued to sound the alarm as coronavirus case numbers rise in some areas of the country. >> this is a critical moment in our fight against the pandemic as we see increases in cases, we can't afford to let our guard down we are so close. so very close to getting back to the everyday activities we all
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miss so much but we're not quite there yet. >> people have to be responsible. they have to continue in the meantime to wear a mask when they're around someone i have my mask off now, because there's no one within 30 feet of me but you have to wash your hands and keep social distancing and so it's going to be a little while. we can't -- you know, and some people think they're being tough guys not wearing masks well, guess what, they're hurting themselves and other people you have a patriotic duty to protect the people around you. but god willing, the way the vaccines are getting out now and the way we're working, i think we ought to be able to, as i set a goal by the 4th of july, at least be able to have a small barbecue in the backyard with family, and by the time we get into the fall, hopefully things are moving >> we're so close, but it's also not going to be like, okay, the lights are on. things are going to change let's bring in former aide to
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the george w. bush white house and state departments, elise jordan, and reporter for "the washington post," eugene scott elise, i mean, when i hear about a baseball game at full capacity and sometimes i see like full bars and restaurants, no masks, especially young people, it's just so frustrating. because there is some science behind these variants overtaking the work that the vaccines are doing. >> mika, history the not going to look kindly on keeping bars and restaurants open while we allow our children to suffer and not to be able to go back to school and yet, prioritize these social activities that are known to spread these variants in a way that children at school are likely relatively unaffected i think it's such a challenging messaging debacle right now, because the country is tired
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everyone has coronavirus fatigue, everyone missing their families, everyone misses normal life so how do you convince the public to just keep going, a bit longer in this marathon against the deadly virus and that was why dr. walensky, her speech was very moving she raised the hairs on my harms in fear again and made me think about this differently than just the way i want to feel about it, which is, please, can we all just move on right now >> yeah, there's a lot to keep in mind, even with people getting vaccines that the advice is to still wear a mask. there's a lot we don't know and it's going to be a while before things are completely back to normal i don't think they'll actually be back to normal. i think we'll be in a new normal u.s. shipments of the johnson & johnson vaccine have come to a halt after human error
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reportedly caused $15 million doses to be contaminated at a baltimore manufacturing plant. the company confirms one batch did not meet quality standards after "the new york times" first broke the story last night according to the times, workers accidentally mixed together ingredients from the johnson and astrazeneca vaccines, which are both being made in the same factory. the delay will not affect any doses currently being delivered and used nationwide, since those were produced in the netherlands. eugene scott, this is -- look, this has been a mad rush it's been unbelievable, history making, the speed in which this vaccine is being brought to the american people. but to the point that we are not going to be able to be back to normal, as you heard the president, even in july, he's talking about small gatherings, i think there's a huge sector of
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the population that is going back to normal now it's the messages have been so mixed for so long. >> well, that's absolutely true. and part of that is because i think this is an example of what has been called the death of expertise in our country many people are taking their cues from politicians, who don't exactly know what they're talking about. local business owners, some celebrities and even sports figures, instead of listening to scientists say that right now, it's not, still the best time to move forward, as if anything or should i say, nothing happened at all and one of the things that has been very challenging for people is we have had very good reports in terms of the number of people getting vaccinated so things are kbrimproving in t way, which has led people to believe that they should have a false sense of confidence, but as the professionals and experts noted, we're just not there yet. let's head now to
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minneapolis and the trial of officer derek chauvin. the bystander who told police to stand down broke down on the stand during video replay of george floyd calling for his mother shortly before his death. >> do you need a minute? [ sobbing >> i know this is difficult. can you just explain sort of what you're feeling in this moment >> i feel helpless >> that is charles mcmillen, the state's 11th witness he also confronted then officer chauvin after the incident
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saying he should have taken his knee off of floyd's neck chauvin is heard on body cam video defending himself on that day. >> that's one person's opinion >> no, no, no -- >> we got to control this guy, because he's a sizable guy >> yeah and -- >> it looks like he's coming off something. >> he's probably on something, the officer speculates earlier in the day, prosecutors played security camera footage of mr. floyd inside the cup foods buying cigarettes with the allegedly counterfeit $20 bill and circled the face of christopher martin, the 19-year-old clerk who made the sale prosecutors then showed martin outside among the crowd of bystanders with hands on his head, in distress, and asked for his thoughts at the time >> we saw you standing there with your hands on your head for a while, correct
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>> correct >> what was going through your mind in that time period >> disbelief and guilt >> why guilt >> if i would have just not tooken the bill, this could have been avoided >> the prosecution also introduced body cam footage of floyd's arrest from chauvin and the officers with him that day floyd can be heard pleading not to be shot as he is taken from his car. he later is seen being seated by police to await the arrival of additional officers, including chauvin. joining us now from minneapolis, nbc news political reporter, that quooel brewster shaq, good morning it's good to see you we all have been glued to our televisions during the three days of this trial and a theme we keep hearing, we heard from the young man who was the clerk inside that cup foods, is guilt that they didn't do more, that they didn't somehow save george floyd's life, as they watched unfolding in realtime a man losing his life.
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>> not only guilt, but you also get that feeling of helplessness that's the word that you continue to hear you heard that from mr. mcmillen when he said he felt helpless, after a point where initially in that reaction, he was saying to george floyd, just get in the car, just do what the officers are saying and you heard his mood shift over time to one of, officers, get your knee off of his neck! you don't need to be doing this! he's no longer resisting that has been the common theme as the prosecution continues to lay off their case against this ex-officer accused of killing george floyd and yesterday, not only did we have that powerful testimony, but we also got a sense some new video. you saw that surveillance video as you were watching up to the segment, you saw that surveillance video of inside the cup foods that showed you the moments before george floyd lost his life before the police were even involved in this interaction you saw him moving about the store. the clerk testified that he believed that he was waiting to get his phone repaired and the clerk also testified that george floyd seemed very
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friendly and when he passed him that fake $20 bill that he said had a bluish tint to it, he believed that george floyd didn't realize it was a counterfeit bill, and that's why he accepted it in the first place, after previously denying counterfeit bills earlier in that day. you get a sense from all of these witnesses that these are people going about their daily lives, they had an interaction with floyd, and it stopped them, because what they saw later on as he was under the knee of derek chauvin was something that was extremely troubling to them, willie >> yeah, there's no question about it and shaq, what can we expect today, as this trial moves forward. are there more witnesses from the prosecution offering similar testimony to what we've seen over these first three days? >> reporter: it seems that way when you go through and look at that video of the bystanders there, it seems like we're running out of people who can come up in terms of those initial eyewitnesss. the prosecution hasn't laid out publicly what their specific
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witness plan is, what their schedule is, when we'll see the specific witnesses, but they have said that they will -- that we will hear from the police chief. the minneapolis police chief who they say will testify that derek chauvin used excessive force they say he's not the only officer who we will hear from. so at some point, we do expect to hear from other officers as the conversation shifts to the use of force aspect of this. you also hear the defense and you hear the defense, while they didn't cross-examine many witnesses yesterday, you're picking up on a few themes of what they're highlighting. they're highlighting the crowd, trying to get multiple witnesses to acknowledge that the crowd is growing angry, is a large crowd, or was getting angry and distracting the officers you hear them mentioning the drugs if george floyd's system and that's something they continue to highlight in some of their cross-examinations as this trial continues, we'll continue to hear different strategies from both side. but despite that, you're having
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that truly emotional testimony in that courtroom. >> shaquille brewster on the scene in minneapolis for us. shaq, thank you very much for your reporting appreciate it. we'll be talking to you much more, obviously. eugene scott, in our last hour, paul butler said, look, the defense team has an uphill climb here because of the video evidence but i think a lot of reason that people are holding their breath through this trial is we have had video evidence before. a case that has seemed clear cut to many people in the past has led to the acquittal of police officers as you watch this trial unfold, what are you seeing. >> well, i think the powerlessness that shaquille just talked about, the witness experience, extends all the way to the point you just made watching law enforcement officers treat black men like this, and knowing that there may not be any significant consequences, there's real fear and there's real concern there's also hope. i've spoken with so many people who acknowledge that last summer felt like a turning point.
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as you know, there was a point in i believe like june where more than 65% of americans believed that black lives matter fight to end police violence was a just one and is hoping that the judicial system responds to that and replies to that in a way that brings justice to this family but as you noted, that's not been the case in the past. people are hoping this time will be different we'll see. >> now to the latest in the investigation of possible sex trafficking by republican congressman matt gaetz "the new york times" was first to report that federal investigators are looking into whether gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and whether he paid for her to travel with him across state lines. when asked about the allegation on tuesday night, the congressman, who denies any relationship with a 17-year-old says he did nothing wrong and claimed it was part of an effort to extort him and his family
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law enforcement officials now tell nbc news that the sex trafficking investigation into congressman gaetz and the extortion allegations made by gaetz are two separate investigations joining us now is nbc news investigations reporter, tom winter tom, what more have we learned about the origin of this investigation into congressman gaetz? and explain how it is separate from these extortion claims that matt gaetz has put out there, when he was asked about the sex trafficking. >> right, exactly, mika. so our understanding of the report, myself and our colleague pete williams is that the investigation into whether or not matt gaetz was involved with sex trafficking came out of a separate investigation into a local florida politician the former seminole county tax collector, joel micah greenberg. and that investigation kicked off approximately a year ago there was an indictment that alleged that he was involved with sending a fictitious letter
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to try to go after a political opponent of his, and create fake social media counts. that investigation evolved there have been three supercreeding indictments including one hand ed up yesterday by the grand jury, not connected with matt gaetz. his name doesn't appear in there at all and the grand jury is not because this investigation came into the public view but mika, in that investigation, there is an allegation and charges of sex trafficking and allegedly that person, greenberg, was involved with looking up through the state dmv records in florida, information about the minor victim those are all allegations. his attorney who i spoke with last night professes his innocence and says that they are ready to go to trial in june i think it's important to know that this investigation into matt gaetz came out of another investigation and there are sex trafficking allegations in that. to answer your second question, with respect to this separate investigation or into these statements made and allegations made by matt gaetz that he and
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his father was part of an attempt to extort him for $25 million to go after robert levenson, former fbi and dea special agent who went missing in iran in 2007 from kish island, there was somehow an extortion plot to get $25 million from them to be able to try to rescue levenson, and that that effort would in turn alleviate matt gaetz from any sort of an fbi investigation into him the timing of that doesn't quite make sense, mika, because according to gaetz and according to text messages and documents received by the "washington examiner" that were published last night, that extortion plot was evolve ing just a year ago, the levenson family was saying that they believed that bob levenson had died and died in iran it doesn't quite make sense. and i'll make one final point. this is not a binary type of
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investigation or an outcome here and this isn't sunday night football and there's no offsetting penalty even if the extortion plot is real and that ends up leading to charges for the people that might have been involved with that, it doesn't absolve matt gaetz if the fbi or the justice department determines that he was trafficking a 17-year-old girl he would be charged with that as well, because the extortion came out of the fact. it's two separate crimes just for something for folks to keep in mind >> all right nbc's tom winter, thank you very much for clarifying all of that. and still ahead on "morning joe," with dozens of states following georgia's lead with voter suppression efforts, two of our next guests argue as georgia goes, so goes the nation we'll read from that piece you're watching "morning joe." we'll be rhtig back. hi sabrina! hi jen! hi. so you're the scientist here. does my aveeno® daily moisturizer really make my dry skin healthier in one day? it's true jen. really?! this prebiotic oat formula moisturizes to help prevent dry skin. impressive!
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responsibly. i would strongly support them doing that the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports, and it's just not right. this is jim crow on steroids, what they're doing in georgia. >> president biden yesterday saying that he would back a decision to move the mlb all-star game out of atlanta in response to new legislation that tightens voting laws in georgia. georgia businesses feeling the pressure from voting rights activists are now speaking out against the state's new voting law. coca-cola ceo james quincey called the legislation wrong and unacceptable and a step backward and delta airlines ceo ed bostion wrote in a memo to employees, quote, the entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie that there was widespread voter fraud in
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georgia in the 2020 elections. this is simply not true. governor brian kemp defended the law in an interview yesterday. >> i understand that they have public companies and they have boards that are pressuring them, but that still doesn't change the truth and the fact that this bill expands voting access, especially on the weekends in georgia. it uses a voter i.d., which is free for absentee ballot with mail that will speed up the process. it requires county elections officials to continuously tabulate -- >> governor -- >> -- to get every vote counted. and it's a secure, accessible, fair way to do it. >> i love the voter i.d., but a lot of republicans are against vaccine passports. yep, yep, yep. our next two guests have been stepping up the pressure before some of those companies began to speak out. joining us now, former general counsel and vice president of labor relations communications for u.p.s., terry plummer
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mcclure. also with us, senior associate dean at the yale school of management, jeffrey sonnenfeld their recent opinion piece for "newsweek" is entitled, "as georgia goes, so goes the nation." it reads in part this, "many of the ceos of these enterprises are our personal friends however, even friends can use candid advice from other friends. could our georgian business leader friends become too cautious if not even overlawyered at the very least, u.p.s. should have done more to simply educate their employees and encourage them and stakeholders to speak out. the right to fair elections is so fundamental to our society and our democracy that every company should have been willing to speak up. how could these ceos mute their voices as the gop controlled legislature to overrule local election boards reduced 33 ballot drop boxes to 9 and
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denied water to people in long lines? both google and microsoft recently announced new regional offices in atlanta perhaps it's time for their workforce to demand reconsideration of such corporate moves. terry, how far should these companies go, you being affiliated with one of these big companies. it's one thing to say thing, it is much another thing to put your money where your mouth is >> absolutely, mika. and thank you for inviting me to participate. you know, i think -- i've been in the room where those decisions are being evaluated by businesses, whether or not to speak out on these issues. and it is a difficult decision to make. but i firmly believe that this is an issue of democracy this is an issue that goes to the heart of capitalism, and that's so very important for businesses to maintain it's been politicized, and that's unfortunate, but voting rights is not truly a political
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issue. it's a bipartisan issue. so, yes, i think it is important for companies to speak out and it is important for hem to speak out not just on their own behalf, but to help educate their employees. u.p.s. was involved, as any other companies were involved, in evaluating this legislation and working behind the scenes, as they've all indicated to assist but there was so much done in the dark on this legislation and many employees, many voters in georgia did not really understand the extent to which these suppression rules were being asked. soy just asked, you know, could there have been more done. could they help educate their employees, their constituents, their consumers, about what was being -- what was taking place and i do think that, you know, now we're hearing that more could have been done and really, our piece was about challenging other businesses, other corporate executives to look at what's taking place in the 42 other states where legislation is pending and speak
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out now. you know, be visible and vocal on issue this before the bill is passed >> mike barnicle >> jeffrey, one of the most important things about the ability for everyone to vote and one of the most important aspects is access to voting. can you talk about the restrictions placed in georgia about access to voting in this bill and that polling locations have been reduced and are very difficult to get to. sometimes it's a long bus ride to get a voting booth now. >> mike, that's the really critical issue and while governor kemp is waving around a few elements that are positive, they are a codify indication of things that were just unclear before, about the ability to have polling workers cross counties, for example, in work they're doing
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or allowing the weekend, more formalizing weekend voting rights however, the reduction in polling places is an obscenity of black voters wait nine times as long as white voters. as ken frazier mentioned yesterday, when they were talking about the implications of this new legislation, that already before this change, we have this great discrepancy. but in the last 20 years, we've had 2 million more voters go into georgia, half are in fulton or dekalb county and half of them are black voters. is what we see in those urban counties, dekalb and fulton county are the metro atlanta area, they've put in these procedures that are basically having one drop box per 100,000 people, which is going from about 40 drop boxes to fewer than nine. eight or nine, and some pretty long distances to travel
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so this inaccessibility is a huge problem i think a lot of the attention, as you know, mike, has gone to the ridiculously cruel, bizarre provisions that you can't give water to somebody standing in a nine-hour line in sweltering heat that's just crazy, there are so many other things that have to do with the absentee balloting that's been restricted and the no excuse and to not have automatic registration when you register for your car and things like that, there are so many other elements. perhaps the greatest one, though, that troubles me and many people in georgia the most is that this wily gop-controlled legislature can overrule and control election officials, so they can decide whose ballots count and whose don't count. that's unbelievably undemocratic and un-american. >> eugene's got the next question gene >> morning
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thanks for joining us. there's some concern that boycotting georgia businesses will ultimately hurt many of the working class voters and voters of color that are also being disenfranchised by the law you talk about that a bit? >> yes, you know, i am concerned about that i certainly am a supporter of business in georgia. i want microsoft and other companies to come and build their businesses there and quite frankly, it may just a be a little too late for georgia. it's very limited options on what can happen at this place. but i think that that boycott is what put pressure on bidses to act if i think if businesses act initially, if they take the lead in driving this and raising this awareness on these issues, it won't get to the point where the voter in the state are forced to boycott in order to get businesses to speak out. >> teri plummer mcclure and jerry signenfeld, their piece in
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"newsweek" is up now and you can read it in its entirety. thank you both for being here. >> let's talk about the national implications of this story joining me now, michael waldman. that group is unveiling it findings on restrictive voting provisions and voter suppression bills that are not only advancing, but now becoming law in many states let's talk about how widespread this is. there's been a lot of focus on georgia and rightly so there's been a lot of pressure put on corporations there an was we just heard. but how widespread is this now >> well, what's happened in georgia is part of a fierce push across the country to curb the vote, in many states and it is the most significant push to restrict voting that we've seen since the jim crow era. unfortunately, many of these restrictions are pretty clearly targeted, as we've just heard, at black and brown voters. and it's moving and happening not only in georgia, but in
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other states as well in texas, in arizona, and places where the right to vote and the freedom to vote are very much on the line >> and by your count, michael, there are 49 restrictive bills in texas, 25 in georgia, and 23 in the state of arizona. so what is the impetus for this? a lot of this, if you look at the state of georgia, for example, was pushed on the conspiracy constheories push largely by donald trump. court after court after court said otherwise, as these were challenged why the big push now >> well, you're right, that these 361 bills introduced this year, they're not random, they're not just some legislator throwing something in the hopper, this is a real effort to change the shape of the electorate, and they're driven by the big lie, the argument that president trump made that somehow the election was stolen from him
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and they would affect real voters that lie has been debunked it led to an insurrection. yet it is still the basis, whether fully articulated or not for so many of these egregious laws and the election last year was really quite an accomplishment, despite the pandemic, and despite voter suppression and despite the lies, it was the highest voter turnout since 1900 we ought to be celebrating that. and instead, we're seeing an effort to roll it back and this is something congress can take action on to stop >> michael, elise jordan is here with a question for you. elise? >> reporter: michael, as you pointed out, this isn't happening just in georgia, but what's happening in georgia is getting the bulk of the public attention right now. if you had to pick, what would you say are the really -- the big flash points of activity in other states that you would really watch
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what states are at most danger of having anti-democratic reforms enacted and what states is this kind of activism brewing? >> well, just early this morning in texas, the texas senate passed a bill that would cut back on early voting, cut back on vote by mail. there are egregious laws moving in arizona that would really undo aspects of the vote by mail system that they have used there for years and people in both political party have previously supported it arizona is a place where one of the legislators said out loud what some of the motives are one of the sponsors of the bill say, yeah, we want everyone who's eligible to vote to be able to vote what matters is not quantity but quality of the voters. that's saying pretty plainly that this isn't just some good
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gofd government move. >> president of the brennan center for justice, michael waldman, thank you very much for coming on the show this morning. and coming up, a new york woman is out of the hospital after a brutal attack that has been classified as another anti-asian hate crime. new york congresswoman grace meng has introduced new legislation to combat such violence and she joins us next [♪♪] when you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar is crucial. try boost glucose control. the patented blend is clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels.
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45 past the hour we are learning new details about the suspect arrested in connection to a brutal attack on a 65-year-old asian american woman in new york city, who was walking to church at the time. the nypd identified 38-year-old brandon eliot as the man who kicked the woman in the stomach, knocking her to the sidewalk, then stomped on her head repeatedly eliot has been charged with two counts of assault in the second
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degree as a hate crime and one count of attempted assault in the first degree as a hate crime. he was already on lifetime parole for fatally stabbing his mother in 2002 we'll stop right there he was freed from prison from 2019 according to police, no other details about the murder were released the woman suffered a fractured pelvis and has been discharged from the hospital. news of that gruesome attack came one day after president joe biden ordered the justice department to establish an initiative to address the national spike in anti-asian hate crimes. according to a report from a stop aapi hate, nearly 4,000 incidents were reported to the organization from march 2020 until the end of this february they also note that the number is, quote, only a fraction of the number of hate incidents
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that actually occur. joining us now, democratic congresswoman, grace meng of new york she's the first vice chair of the congressional asian pacific american caucus. she recently introduced legislation supported by the president that aims to combat anti-asian bigotry and all forms of hate. also with us, columnist for "usa today" and the "l.a. times," kurt bardella. good to have you both onboard. grace meng, i'll start with you and this bill. what does it do and how does it focus on anti-asian hate >> first, thanks for having me it's good to be on with kurt this legislation is something that i've proposed with senator mazie hirono of hawaii and it would basically provide dedicated personal to take a look at these sorts of cases coming into the department of justice. right now, it's very much a state-by-state basis there's no streamlined process
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it would also make it easier, provide guidance, locally, to make it easier for victims to even report these incidents. >> >> kurt bardella, this latest incident, it's hard -- it's hard to watch it's also hard to watch the person closing the door and walking away and i don't know when you see, say something should apply to hate, shouldn't it and you have a question for the congresswoman. >> you know, mika, you would like to think that no matter who it is, white, black, hispanic, asian american, whoever, if someone is being attacked, that you would step in and do something. i mean, where is your humanity in all of this you're right, it's just, it's so tough to watch and you know, i'm just as upset at the people who don't do anything in these situations, who literally close the door as a violent act is being perpetrated on an innocent and defenseless person, as i am of
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the person who's actually doing the attacking. we all have to step up here. we all have to get involved. you know, and to that end, congress member, i remember last fall that you introduced a resolution that sought to just simply acknowledge that asian americans were coming under siege of hate crimes just acknowledge that this is a rising crisis that our community is facing. and something like 164 republicans in congress voted against that measure they wouldn't even give us the respect to acknowledge that this is a real crisis and threat to our community, so i wonder, as you now move forward and try to put forward this legislation, where are your republican colleagues on this because from the decision we saw from them in that oversight committee hearing the other week, not all of them are in tune with the reality of what's going on >> well, i appreciate the question i do want to quickly address the first part of your comment
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we are now learning from a longer video that i got to see that the personnel in the building shut the door to protect the esidents, because think the attacker was still outside with a knife and as soon as the attacker left, they did and with the resolution, you know, you're absolutely right. i was really disheartened last year we tried to make that resolution something that was nonpolitical. i didn't even put the former president's name in the resolution but you know what? i'm still hopeful. times are different. the former president is no longer in office incidents have increased people are hearing from their constituents in both republican and democratic districts i have had a few republicans reach out and asking if i'm
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going to introduce that resolution again i'm hoping that means there is some willingness to work together on what should be a bipartisan issue >> obviously, the entire country and we as new yorkers were horrified seeing that video and thank goodness they arrested the man and thank goodness she's been released from the hospital. but walking around midtown now, i find myself keeping an eye on my neighbors, people of asian descent, especially people who are older. how do you get though place? and how do you get to the root of that kind of hate >> well, that's a really good question and that's why we put out the symbolic resolution last year we needed to take an early and public stance condemning that bigotry and hate early on. but the former president just kept hammering home the language of incendiary language that fueled bigotry yes, we're working on
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legislation. we're also thankful to local organizations here in new york like the asian-american federation they're promoting programs that would help with bystander training and inlanguage assistance with mental health. the solution is not simple it is complicated. it's going to take a lot of work on the ground. and will his through legislation. congresswoman grace meng, thank you very much. we want to report now on a new report that examines the overlap between new york governor andrew cuomo's lukist book deal and the state's coronavirus nursing home death scandal. according to the "new york times," revisions to the state anticipates elderly death count occurred as the governor was on the brink of a huge payoff
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a book deal that ended with an offer of more than $4 million. emails and an early draft of the book object stained by the times indicate that the governor relied on aides and junior staffers for full scale edits to minor clerical work potentially breaking state laws prohibiting use of public resources for personal gain. according to the times, cuomo's top adviser, melissa derosa, who played an integral role in reshaping the state health d department's report of nursing home deaths helped he edit the governor's book around the same time in response, a spokesperson for cuomo said, quote, there is no connection we know the report and this outside project, period and any suggestion otherwise is wr wrong. >> willie. >> just staggering
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when you think it can't get any worse, it does the very idea that you're working on a book which is self-praise, frankly, as to how he managed the crisis while this nursing home scandal was unfolding, while they were concealing the number of nursing home deaths. the fact that he was taking $4 million to enrich himself, he said some of on that money was going to go to charity we don't know where exactly. but my gosh, with each new piece from the "new york times" and from the reporters up in albany, we learn more about how ugly this is. >> yeah. you know, willie, i don't think it's possible to spend nearly 8 years as andrew cuomo has spent in albany totally isolated from reality surrounded by people who are probably very talented at their inception at their initial hiring, but become sing fantish to the governor enthralled with the governor's power and the governor himself up there in albany, lonely,
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unmarried, walking around this huge house i've been in the governor's mansion. it's a dangerous, dangerous prospect in terms of leadership, in terms of politics, and obviously as we are finding out with each and every story, dangerous in terms of the personal impact it makes upon you when there are very few people, if any, around this governor who can say, andrew, no, that's wrong don't do it. >> and, in fact, they were helping him write the book in the middle of this, alesse jordan and yet, as most people who know andrew cuomo said he's not going anywhere he may not run again, but he's not going to step aside. >> he should step aside. he should be forced out of office it is absolutely ridiculous that you have nursing home residents being put at risk, dieing, and you have a cover-up by this administration for andrew cuomo's book fortune a tune of $4 million
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how is this not corruption and why, why were precious government resources being used to write a self-congratulatory book in the middle of a pandemic while people are still dieing, while it's still a very high risk time. and you have one of the state's top doctors being dispatched to author, to ghost write and work on this book and other aides who could be doing far more important things for the men and women, the taxpayers of new york state, but instead, they're tasked with writing this vain, greedy man's book. and i just -- i really couldn't be more disgusted. it is time for this guy to go. >> all right alesse jordan summing it up right there. coming up, the latest on the unrest in russia as opposition leader alexi navalny announces more from
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prison plus, congressman matt gaetz creates confusion an conflating two separate investigations, one involving possible self-trafficking of an underaged girl we'll eaclr things up. ♪ ♪i've got the brains you've got the looks♪ ♪let's make lots of money♪ ♪you've got the brawn♪ ♪i've got the brains♪ ♪let's make lots of♪ ♪uh uh uh♪ ♪oohhh there's a lot of opportunities♪
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about. the exact right message and it's around the country. >> i'm deeply honored and i want to thank you for keeping your commitment to the american workers. >> my hats off to you for taking that stand and presenting a clear message around the world >> it's a privilege to search. >> i can't thank you enough for the privilege that you've given me and the leadership that you've shown >> i'm thrilled to have a chance to help you live out your campaign promises. >> thank you for getting this country moving optimism from small businesses is higher than it's been in about 16 years
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>> we thank you for the tuntd. >> i want to congratulate you on the men and women you've placed around this table, the wholistic team of working for america is making results in each and every area >> what does it say about someone who needs that so badly? you have to imagine president biden's first cabinet meeting today will look a little different from the previous administration's good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is thursday, april 1st b joe has the morning off. with me, we have jonathan lamere from "the associated press" and we are following a number of developments this morning, include dramatic developments from the third day of testimony in the trial of former police officer who was accused of killing george floyd as a juror becomes ill and a witness breaks down on the stand. some shipments of johnson & jo johnson's coronavirus vaccines get delayed after a mix up at a
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u.s. factory president biden visits the steel city to unveil his massive jobs and infrastructure plan and more and more georgia based companies are standing up against the state's newly signed election law with president biden saying he would support major league baseball pulling this year's all-star game from atlanta wow, willie. >> yeah, and big corporate pressure from the big evidence companies in atlanta, some of the biggest companies in the world, as well we'll get to that in just a minute but let's begin with the latest on possible sex trafficking by republican congressman matt gaetz of florida he was the first to report federal investigators are had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and whether he paid for her to travel with him across state lines when asked about the allegation tuesday night, the congressman, who denies any relationship with if 17-year-old, said he did nothing wrong, claimed it was
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part of an effort to extort him and his family law enforcement officials now tell nbc news the sex trafficking investigation into congressman gaetz and the extortion allegations made by gaetz are two separate allegations. there is new information on the investigation that put congressman gaetz on the radar of the justice department. federal officials telling nbc news the investigation into the congressman began last year when an associate, former seminole county tax collector joel greenberg was indicted on charges tied to his alleged harassment of a political opponent officials say gaetz misused his position as tax collector to create fake ids for himself. that investigation led to a second superseding indialleginga he used the florida debatabase.
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authorities tell nbc news authorities developed a lead to investigate whether gaetz was involved in sex trafficking of under age girls. a statement from greenberg's attorney says right now we're preparing for trial. let's bring in betsy woodruff swan and paul butler good morning to you both so betsy, i understand you talked to matt gaetz's father, a prominent political figure in the state of florida help us separate out what's going on here because there seems to be this claim of an extortion plot from the gaetzs that goes in parallel and separate from this other investigation from the justice department into possible sex trafficking that spun out of the investigation into joel greenberg.
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>> right my colleague has been covering tallahassee very closely for a long time had a detailed conversation with john gaetz, matt gaetz's father, yesterday john is a long time politician in a detailed interview, he told us on the record that he's worn a wire multiple times as part of an effort to try to help the fbi investigate what he and his son purport to be an extortion plot targeted at their family the important thing for people who remember here who may be getting a little lost by the very soap opera threads that seem to be unfolding is that it's possible all the allegations that have been laid out both by matt gaetz, by his father john gaetz and reportedly which the fbi is investigating could be correct matt and his father say that there was -- they say that there was an effort to pressure them
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to pay $25 million to help with the rescue of bob levinson bob levinson is a man who was taken hostage by the iranian government he's a u.s. citizen. he's widely purported to have passed away and to have been passed away for quite some time. despite that, the gaetzs say they were pressured to put up $25 million to help fund his rescue from iran and they say that the offer was pay up this $25 million and it will make you an american hero, it will make the biden administration delighted with you, it will fix your reputational problems and then, problem solved, this whole fbi problem will go away matt gaetz and his father say that was an extortion plot and the allegations are specious and
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people need to focus on talgzs they're make instead critics of the gaetz family say this is a distraction and it's possible there is more than one cohort of shall we say questionable folks involved in this increasingly lurid political saga >> explain the bill barr angle of this. this started under his time serving as attorney general. >> that's right. what i can tell you is that the then attorney general bill barr was briefed multd many times on the gaetz investigation starting in summer of 2020. early in 2020, he sent down a memo requiring that senior doj leadership receive briefings on any investigation into anyone running for federal office so he received those briefings and it actually created a slightly uncomfortable moment for senior leadership at doj what i am told is that barr was scheduled to attend a meet and greet with members of -- with
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republican members of the house judiciary committee last summer, but when matt gaetz rsvp'ed for the event, barr had to abruptly cancel because he didn't want to be in a situation where he was having a private meeting with someone who was under investigation by the fbi and that raises the very awkward specter of a member of the congressional committee that's responsible for funding and overseeing the fbi simultaneously, according to these reports, being under investigation by that same law enforcement agency >> so paul butler, we should underline that congressman gaetz hasn't been charged with anything, but as a prosecutor, as you're looking at the stew of elements that goes into this different story and robert levinson in iran, where is your focus and where do you see the legal exposure for congressman gaetz? >> so, willie, there are three investigations going on right now.
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it's a federal crime to induce a minor to travel over state lines for sex in exchange for money. that is what gaetz is being investigateded for, violating the federal sexual trafficking laws and then we have this extortion investigation. someone allegedly trying to extort gaetz and his family to make the justice department go away betsy is absolutely right, both things can be true gaetz can be the perpetrator of one crime and the victim of another. but gaetz has to be especially worried about this third investigation of joel greenberg. that is the florida official and good friend of gaetz who has already been indicted for child sex trafficking. and greenberg violated his bail, so he's locked up right now pending his trial in june. so, willie, he has a lot of incentive to cooperate in an investigation of gaetz so in that investigation of gaetz, if i'm a federal
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prosecutor, i'm trying to talk to joel greenberg to see if he wants to make a deal >> all right betsy woodruff swan, thank you so much for your reporting it's good to see you still ahead, a dramatic day three of testimony in the trial of former police officer accused of killing george floyd. as a witness breaks down on the stand. the latest in that emotional case, next on "morning joe." we salute how you balanced work, family and home life. we salute your courage. and your service. by offering you our service. newday usa specializes in helping you make the most of your va benefits. from home purchase to refinance. plaque psoriasis, the burning, itching. the pain. with tremfya®,
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okay. plan, pivot. how do you bounce back? you don't, you bounce forward, with serious and reliable internet. powered by the largest gig speed network in america. but is it secure? sure it's secure. and even if the power goes down, your connection doesn't. so how do i do this? you don't do this. we do this, together. bounce forward, with comcast business. . let's move on now to the trial of derek chauvin a witness broke down on the stand while testifying during video replay of floyd calling for his mother shortly before he died >> mr. mcmillan, do you need a minute
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i know that this is difficult. can you just explain sort of what you're feeling in this moment >> i can't -- i feel helpless. i don't have a mama. i understand him >> charles mcmillan, the state's 11th witness, also confronted then officer chauvin after the incident saying he should have taken his knee off floyd's neck. chauvin is heard on body cam video defending himself. >> that's one person's opinion >> i've got to get -- >> we've got to -- we've got to control this guy because he's a sizable guy. and it looks like he's probably on something >> earlier in the day,
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prosecutors played the security camera footage of floyd inside the cup foods buying cigarettes with the allegedly counterfeit $20 bill and circled the face of christopher martin, the 19-year-old clerk who made the sale prosecutors then showed martin outside among the crowd of bystanders with his hands on his head appearing distressed. and as for his thoughts at the time -- >> saw you standing there with your hands on your head for a while, correct >> correct >> what was going through your mind during that time period >> disbelief and guilt >> why guilt >> if i would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided >> the prosecution also introduced body cam footage of floyd's arrest from chauvin and the officers with him that day floyd could be heard pleading not to be shot as he's taken from his car he is later seen being seated by
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police to await the arrival of additional officers, including chauvin. live streaming of the trial resumes today at 9:30 central time paul butler, a couple of things i noticed yesterday. for example, the 19-year-old clerk who sold him the cigarettes, noticing that $20 bill may not be right. those employees have to pay if they accept a counterfeit bill it ends up being taken out of their paycheck so the kid was thinking, as he is watching george floyd get killed on the street that he's responsible. he's walk around all of the witnesses yesterday had such guilt about not being able to do more. and i guess the question is, how is it that seeing this happen with your own eyes in front of you is a different experience than being the cop on the back
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of the dieing man? >> that's a great question, mika i wish i had a great answer. every witness has expressed remorse and survivor's guilt we saw mr. williams, the mma dude, big, booming voice, but just break down and cry. mr. mcmillan, the older gentleman who testified yesterday, the unconsiderble sobbing. mika, one of the bystanders in the crowd says to officer chauvin, why are you doing this? he's human, bro. but the prosecutors want the jurors to understand, chauvin did not treat mr. floyd like a human being. all of these bystanders, all of these witnesses did. so this is not the angry mob that the defense is trying to portray. these are brave citizens who stood up to the police at their own peril to say not in our name
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will you snuff the life out of this man >> and, paul, as you watch witness after witness get on the stand in this trial over the last three days and talk about their own guilt and what they feel about not intervening somehow, they should let that go i know it's hard what could they have done? but my goodness, even the young woman who filmed the video said she felt guilt her video is why we saw it, it's why we know about this terrible, terrible death of george floyd but what exactly is the prosecution going for here what is their push and are they executing and carrying out, prosecuting a good case here? on the other hand, how is the defense team handling this what do they do with the video that we all saw with our own eyes >> so, willie, will prosecution witness is to establish either that mr. chauvin used unreasonable and excessive force
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and that it was chauvin's knee on floyd's neck that killed mr. floyd and not the drug overdose that the prosecutor claims so every witness has to establish one of those points. so yesterday we saw christopher martin, the clerk, let the jury know that george floyd was under the influence of drugs during the time of his fatal encounter with the cops. the prosecutors know that the defense lawyers will make a big deal about that. so the prosecutors want to be the first people to let the jury know that so it doesn't look like they're trying to hide something. but then the video shows mr. floyd coherent, in control he doesn't look like someone who is about to od on meth so, again, that helps the prosecutor, makes the point about the actual cause of mr. floyd's death. the defense, they're not doing a great job, but frankly, willie, they don't have a lot to work with the prosecutor evidence is overwhelming
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>> we'll be watching the trial closely right here on msnbc all day. it's really worth taking the time from what you're doing to see what is being said in court and the case that's being laid out here a lot of different story lines at play that are so important and represent the struggles that we face here in america today. paul butler, thank you so much we appreciate your coming on this morning coming up, it's not often eight out of ten americans agree on something, but when it comes to background checks on all gun sales, that's exactly what is happening. the question is will congress listen we'll be right back with more "morning joe." did you know you can go to libertymutual.com to customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? really? i didn't-- aah! ok. i'm on vibrate. aaah!
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as congress debates what to do about gun violence, new polling shows overwhelming support for certain reforms. according to a politico morning consult poll, 835% of registered voters support background checks on all gun sales compared to 11% who oppose think of that right there. when it comes to background checks at gun shows and private sales, 79% support that reform while 13% are against it
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and 64% say they support a ban on assault-style weapons while 27% oppose jonathan lamere, this is one of those issues that, again, there is a party that appears to be behind the trends in america in terms of what people want and in terms of the data. i call it data, but it's daily deaths, mass shootings on a daily basis in this country. >> 85% is an extraordinary number, mika americans don't agree on anything at that level at 85%. this is certainly something that the white house and democrats are keenly aware of, that especially now in the wake of these two mass shootings in which, you know, during the pandemic year, they were not as often in the headlines, of course, because people just went out and about as much. they sort of moved the forefront
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and certainly there seems to be some real public support here for at least some sort of reforms, these background checks, as you said, perhaps a ban on assault style weapons but this also is a moment, democrats feel like, where the national rival association, the nra, which has been a potent force for so long and was by far the biggest obstacle, they're diminished they've had financial trouble. they're not quite the mammoth force they've been in the past but at least to this point most republicans still seem to oppose any sort of gun control measures we've heard senator murphy, who represented a school in sandy hook, he says he believes there are some republican votes that could be had for measures like this that's what we'll see in the weeks ahead. we know, as we'll get to in a moment, the biden administration's next push is
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infrastructure i asked the white house press secretary psaki about this earlier this week. she says they need to go to congress for anything substantial. coming up, alexei no valny has started a hunger strike in prison when it means for the push to counter the heavy hand of vladimir putin, next we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right,
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counted and it's a secure accessible fair way to do it >> that's georgia governor brian kemp yesterday on cnbc defending the state's new voter law amid pushbacks from corporations, many of them right there in atlanta. cnbc's dominic chu joins us now with more. it's good to see you we saw the rhetoric step up a bit from some of these ceos over the last 24 to 48 hours, the ceo of delta calling this new bill unacceptable and based on a lie. >> yeah. i mean, a lot of america right now is looking to see whether these influential corporations will do anything in response to these new law necessary georgia on voting restrictions so you have these statements coming in from top ceos. they've started to pour in at this point you have james quincy, interviewed by cnbc yesterday saying the beverage giant has always opposed legislation in georgia that restricts voter access and that the current law signed by governor kemp is wrong. those are his words, wrong
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a if el low atlanta-based u.p.s. saying it's actively engaged with political leaders on both sides of the aisle to advocate for more equitable access for voting and it stands ready to help every georgia voter get the ability to vote. but it's perhaps the statement from atlanta-based delta ceo ed bastion that struck na nerve in that memo to employees, he was saying that bill was not only unacceptable, but it doesn't match the values of delta air lines. adding that he is glad to deal with any wave of corporate criticism that comes and is ready to engage. so a lot of eyes on that speaking of delta air lines, guys, it's signaling that things may be getting a little bit more back to normal in the wake of the covid pandemic starting on may 1st, the airline will resume bookings for those
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middle seats on all the flights. it is one of the last airlines to keep the middle seat open to keep more social distance on its flights. and by the way, you'll see meals and snacks being served in the coming weeks and months on certain routes, too, but it's going to only start with first class and premium seat reservations, at least to begin with, so you might see people eating hot meals soon. and speaking to a return.of covid normality, google is going to start returning some of its employees to offices in a limited capacity starting this month, yes, april. google said if employees still want to work from home more than 14 days a year after september 1st, they're going to have to formally apply with the company for those exemptions to be out of the office. it said that it recommends employees, guys, get vaccinated but is not making it mandatory or a requirement so an interesting development there from google. >> there really is
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it will be interesting to see how other people handle that can you force people to come back how soon do they come back cnbc's dominic chu with a great run down there thanks so much that's the questions we'll be looking at. now to this, russian opposition leader alexei navalny says he's going on a hunger strike to protest his treatment in prison. on a statement post odd instagram wednesday, navalny says he's being refused medicine to treat back and leg pain and prison officials won't let him see his doctor the outspoken critic of vladimir putin was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in february after a five-month stay in germany to recover from suspected poisoning. he was arrested on a 2014 embezzlement charge which he says was made up this sparked a series of protests across russia during which more than 10,000 people were detained
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joining us now, columnist and associate editor for "the washington post" david ignatius and correspondent for gq magazine, julia yaffey it's good to have you both david, i'd like to ask you, just what is the u.s. position on navalny and as his imprisonment continues, the time that he is being held continues, and as these stories come out about his condition deteriorating, how does -- how is he at stake in the u.s. russian relationship? and should more be done, given what he represents >> navalny, mika, has become a symbol of the growing protest in russia against president vladimir putin the united states has called for navalny's release as criticized. the prosecution of him he's not simply being denied
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medicine in this prison. he's being awakened, he says, every hour, deprived of sleep in something that sounds almost like torture the u.s. is joined by european countries, chancellor merkel of germany and french president emmanuel macron called putin on tuesday to protest the treatment of navalny and to raise this issue. we just have to remember what an extraordinarily courageous man this is. back in august, he was poisoned in russia. it was later learned that he was poisoned with a deadly nerve agent, taken to germany, diagnosed, and then he had the guts to go back to russia. he was arrested when he got to the airport and released a scathing attack on putin that was seen across russia by tens of millions of people triggering these protest movements when he was arrested in 109 russian
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cities there was concern by putin the protests would resume. so i think the russians are getting worried and the u.s. is concerned that putin, feeling defensive, may take steps to distract russians from these problems that could make the situation in that part of the world even more dangerous. >> so, julia, following directly the navalny story, can you update us on his condition, what is happening to him, how is -- what are his supporters saying >> well, his supporters and his wife are saying in their social media posts that, you know, you guys all know he's a jokester, he's an optimism, he will not complain until things are really, really dire. and the fact that he is not just complaining, which he started to do last week, and demanding medical help, but the fact that
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he is going on hunger strike shows how dire the situation is because he wouldn't do something like this unless things are really bad he is saying he can't feel his right leg and his left leg is starting to go he's having sharp pains in his back people don't know if this is the condition of just like a herniated disk or if they're using some nerve agent on him or if these are the consequences of the fallout of the poisoning back in august he has only been seen by prison doctors. they're not telling him the results of an mri. they're not giving him anything other than ibuprofen and as david said, he's being deprived of sleep, which they believe constitutes torture and i think they're really worried they're worried that he won't make it through this prison sentence, that he is totally at the mercy of vladimir putin and his government and that now that they have him in their grasp,
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they won't let him out alive >> what's the state of the protest movement that navalny in part, or largely has sparked in russia we know that people have been rounded up and arrested, obviously, by the thousands by the putin regime, but we know that there are plans for a protest of perhaps as many as 500,000 people in the streets of moscow and across russia in support of navalny how is that movement moving forward? >> i think right now, it's lying in wait for some kind of command from the team about what they should do next i think there's huge potential there, but the kremlin was clearly hoping to decapitate this movement by taking navalny out of the game for at least the next 2 1/2 years people expect that they're going to find new things to tack on to this prison sentence so that it's not just 2 1/2 years, but perhaps even longer and that taking him out of the game like this where he can't, you know,
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appear on his youtube channel and be seen by tens of millions of russians giving the command to go out into the street, that that will tamp things down what's important to remember when we think about to your prior question about what the u.s. can do in this situation, the problem is that at this point, the kremlin has clearly become so vehement and radicalized in its opposition to navalny, they see it -- you know, people are comparing, i'm seeing social media posts, comparing what's happening now to what happened eight or nine or ten years ago when navalny was just kind of coming to the fore as the protest leader and how those were so-called vegetarian times i think now things have entered a different phase where people in the kremlin, people who are kremlin adjacent, including those riot police who beat up women and young people in the
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streets of moscow see it as a fight, an existential fight that it's either us or them so, therefore, when the u.s. thinks about implementing sanctions, it's like, you know, you're dealing with bashar al assad in syria they don't care about sanctions if they're worried about their very existence >> david ignatius, you've written this week about the overall relationship with russia and china and sort of a cyber world order. tell us about that >> well, mika, i think this is a time of tension between the u.s. and china and russia both. we have a new administration that's trying to show that it's going to take a tougher, more consistent line with both countries. i noted in my piece earlier this week that russia, largely out of sight, is trying to capture the control of the rule writing process for cyberspace amazing as that is the people who hack all of our
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systems, who hack our elections, want to be the cops in effect setting the rules for the future there trying to write a treaty at the u.n. to control cyberspace i think this at administration is trying to push back, to be clears and firmer. one sign that is hard to interpret exactly what it means is the call that was made yesterday by general mark millie, our chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to his russian counterpart, this is often something that happens in times of rising tension. so we'll see going forward, but i think people need to put on their seat belts for a period of some testing of russia and t united states. the fact that putin is really backed up, i think he's rattled by navalny adds another factor to the situation that's unusual and has people watching carefully.
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>> david ignatius julia yaffey, thank you very much for coming up today up next, an update on th humanitarian crisis at the southern border with new video n? with the new freestyle libre 2 system, a continuous glucose monitor, you can check your glucose with a painless, one-second scan. and now with optional alarms, you can choose to be notified if you go too high or too low. and for those who qualify, the freestyle libre 2 system is now covered by medicare. ask your doctor for a prescription. you can do it without fingersticks. learn more at freestyle libre 2 dot u.s. ♪♪ my body is truly powerful. i have the power to lower my a1c. because my body can still make its own insulin. and trulicity activates my body to release it, lowering my blood sugar from the first dose. once-weekly trulicity responds when my body needs it, 24/7. trulicity is for type 2 diabetes. it's not insulin.
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welcome back to "morning joe. the nation's airports are seeing the largest numbers of passengers since the start of the pandemic as americans travel for spring break and for the easter holiday
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health officials continue to advise against nonessential travel amid warnings about another spike in coronavirus infections as vaccine rollouts at different stages state by state, this morning, a growing urgency to get more shots into arms as quickly as urgency to get more shots in arms as quickly as possible. average covid-19 cases are up almost 12% since last week hospitalizations also on the rise average deaths now top 900 per day. and a potential snag in vaccine production this morning, a manufacturing error in baltimore has ruined 15 million doses of johnson & johnson's one-shot vaccine, that according to "the new york times." j&j said the batch was never advanced to the filling and finishing stages the company said it will still be able to safely deliver 24 million single-shot vaccine doses through april. this as a new report from the
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cdc warns we are not out of the woods yet. of particular concern, the b.1.1.7 virus variant, originally found in the uk, believed to be deadlier and easily transmitted that strain already predominant in some areas, now accounting for 26% of the virus circulating nationwide meanwhile, air travel is up. the tsa reports screening more than a million passengers every day for the past three weeks united airlines ceo says his company, which was losing more than $100 million a day at this point last year, is expected to end march in positive territory. >> it tells you something about the pent-up desire for travel, the pent-up desire to remake those connections.
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>> reporter: now questions about whether you may need a so-called vaccine passport for things like international travel, going to concerts or sporting events. the white house said it will leave that to the private sector u.s. airline executives do not support a vaccine passport for domestic flying. >> tom koss costello reporting u there. this is where the vaccine is getting pushed out, readily available and highly effective and we still have to wait a little while from the cdc and others until we're out of the woods. >> i know. it's going to be a while it just is we want to turn to the new developments of the southern border video released wednesday by federal authorities show two ecuadorian children being dropped over a 14-foot-high wall at the u.s./mexico border. a warning, this is actually really disturbing to watch as seen here the video shows the
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toddler and her 5-year-old sister being abandoned by smugglers at a border wall in new mexico the children were unharmed and tape to the hospital by border agents and now remain at a temporary holding facility pending placement by the u.s. health and human services department this comes as the biden administration is facing increasing challenges with finding space for the several hundred kids and teenagers sent over the border alone. images such as those once again remind us the crisis at the southern border is far from over, and as the number for immigration reform continues, there is a key demographic helping lead the way women over the age of 50 "know your value" teamed up with "forbes" to celebrate 50 over 50, women paying it forward and making a difference. we want to showcase the women
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shattering misconceptions about gender and age let's bring in chief content officer from "forbes" media and editor of "forbes," randall lane and we have our "know your values" very own contributor to this "forbes" list let's start at the top of the list for women over 50 pushing for immigration reform and really working to make a difference daniella, number one on the list is a baby. she's only 51. representative veronica escobar, who is genuinely an amazing person she made history as the first woman elected to her seat, first of two latinas in texas to serve in congress, and she's pushing hard for immigration reform. >> mika, she's become the voice of the border when these conversations on immigration are happening in washington. not only that, she led on a number of legislations to improve immigration reform even before politics, she was a
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strong advocate for immigration, deeply connected to the issue. before she was elected, she worked as county commissioner and judge. she now serves on a number of committees in congress including judiciary. she's also the co-chair of the women's working group on immigration reform, super important partnership between congress and local communities, real really centralizing women in the conversation over the last two years in congress, the congresswoman has brought close to 20% of congress through the border to see the reality on the ground. and she's been very outspoken on family separation when she saw the peak of it let's not forget, that was ground zero when it came to the trump administration policies. >> if you have been there, you know, you can feel the border there. and you mentioned she's the voice of the border, she wrote a very influential op-ed for "the new york times" last week. i thought the more pench chant
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line, i'm not just asking for open borders but open minds. it's that kind of thought leadership we're honoring. >> let's look at second on the list, cecilia munoz, 58. she was obama's top immigration lawyer what is she doing now? >> she's senior adviser at america now but became a leading voice in washington and on immigration during the time of the obama administration, before the white house, she was an outspoken immigration rights leader working with national council of that rassia, the largest latino reform agency in the country. b but it's always a hot issue and will never fulfill each side fully but she managed to get a lot done, including daca randall, she was the recipient for the macarthur genius award for her rights on civil rights
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and immigration. so she's super-important in the conversation of immigration. >> she still is. shwe this week she had miss in "the atlantic" a lot of people are reading. she lays some blame in the trump administration but goes back 20 years and problems that we have a policy still from the '90s based on mexican laborers at the border versus the true crisis on that, the video we just saw, old policy and new problem and she's highlighting that difference. >> and the "know your value 50 over 50/"forbes" angle here, it's not just 50, it's 60, 70 and 80 we're starting at 51, 58, 61 and our final unsung hero is 71. women have a very long runway.
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our next third on the list today is penny pritzker. daniella, tell us about her. >> she was a former secretary of commerce under obama really outspoken during the trump administration of the harm the rhetoric of immigrants in the u.s. would mean and also for future immigrant employers what stands out to me particularly important is randall, when you look at somebody like the former secretary and how she framed these conversations, right, about argument on the economic and business need, what happens is you suddenly find people who have not been part of the conversation instinctively, business leaders, policymakers who are finally paying attention. >> what's a hyatt billionairist doing on this list it's a legal issue and emotional issue and goes to the fabric of america. and it's also a business issue if you look at who's starting businesses, immigrants are 80%
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more likely to start businesses. if you look at the entrepreneurs who are the most successful in america, more than 10% every year are immigrants. immigrants don't cost jobs, net/net they create jobs if you look at elon musk or the richest doctors in america, pioneer, they're all immigrants. that's why it's very interesting. if you look across the business entrepreneurial community, they're desperate for smart immigration reform. >> just finally really quickly, we don't have pictures of her but our ununsung hero is 71-year-old schifferio ruben quickly tell us about her. >> immigrant from israel who struggled when she came here when she was 48 she started studying for the lsates and enrolled in school went on to work in immigration law, appointed by attorney general lynch. she's at the top of her field,
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living her american dream and doing it all later in life >> see, this is the long one we were talking about "forbes" randall lane and daniella, thank you both very much go to forbes.com and click on 50 over 50 to learn more. the big list is coming out soon. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now hi, there, i'm stephanie ruhle. it's thursday, april 1 and this morning we are following several breaking stories. for the third week in a row we're waking up this morning to news of another mass shooting, after four people, including a child, were killed at an office complex in orange county, california another person still in critical condition. as police search for any sort of motive, we'll take you to the scene live. on the covid front this morning, johnson & johnson confirming a mix-up at one of its factories could delay up to 15 million doses of its single-sho

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