tv Ayman Mohyeldin Reports MSNBC April 16, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
good afternoon, everyone. i'm ayman mohyeldin in new york. flags are once again flying at half-staff once again at the white house and other federal buildings on this 87th day of joe biden's presidency. this time to honor eight people who were shot and killed by a 19-year-old gunman at a fedex facility in indianapolis. we're going to bring you the very latest from the scene in just a few minutes. right now, though, president biden meeting with japanese prime minister yushahide sudo. they will hold a joint news conference in the rose garden next hour. and after one hundred days since the insurrection at the u.s. capitol, one of the rioters has just pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government. we'll have a full report on this developing story straight ahead.
but we do begin with president biden's meeting with japan's prime minister, joining us now, shannon pettypiece, former white house correspondent for nbc news digital. nbc news foreign correspondent, matt bradley in london, and anne gearan, white house correspondent for "the washington post" and an msnbc contributor. great to have all three of you to start us off this hour. shannon, let's talk about foreign policy here for a moment. because people are looking at the importance of japan's prime minister being the first foreign leader invited to the biden white house. what does this signal, if anything? >> i'll give you one word, amin, china and the importance that china will play in the biden administration. administration officials told us they expect issues ranging from chinese aggression in the taiwan strait to human rights abuses and the aggressive posture towards hong kong, to be among the issues that come up in this meeting. and of course, the japanese prime minister is going to be trying to walk a fine line here.
because japan has a lot of economic ties to china. and of course, geopolitically, they are in a much different position than the united states is. and administration officials told us that they understand that. president biden understands that. but this is really about trying to start to get the region together in lockstep on the same page when it comes to china. also notable, the second in-person leader president biden will meet with will be the south korean president moon coming next month. so again, a recurring theme we're starting to see here. >> and a lot of people thought that joe biden would be focused on domestic issues, dealing with the pandemic, the economic free fall, but foreign policy seems to be the top item on the president's agenda, certainly this week. not only with today's meeting, but the withdrawal of u.s. troops from afghanistan. you had the sanctions against russia. here are some of what the president had to say about his call with vladimir putin on tuesday.
watch. >> i was clear with president president putin that we could have gone further, but i chose not to do so. i chose to be proportionate. the united states is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with russia. >> give us the big picture here. what are we learning about the overarching foreign policy view of this administration? >> yeah, i would add to your list that we had the start of talks with the iranians in direct talks last weekend that resumed this week. so it has been a very busy and symbolic period in foreign policy for the administration. it's also really driving at one main theme, which is that joe biden wants to turn the page on many of the trump policies and trump posture in the world, return the united states to a position of moral and other
kinds of global leadership, restore traditional alliances. that's what today is about, with prime minister suga. member, trump had questions whether the united states really needed to be on record saying it would defend japan, if it was attacked. and tried to get allies like japan to pay more money to have u.s. troops posted on their shores. biden is trying to wipe all of that, and say with a very clear eye on china, which he thinks is the main priority and the main order of business these days to say them, look, we will stand next to our traditional asian allies, link them together and make things more difficult for china in the asia pacific region than biden feels trump made it. for all of trump's tough rhetoric about tariffs and so forth involving china, the biden administration view is that trump basically let china have a free field in its own
neighborhood and heir trying to put a stop to that. >> matt, i know you're in london keeping tabs on what is happening between russia and the united states and certainly the reaction there in europe, as well. president biden said he urged vladimir putin to respond proportionately. and the kremlin is responding. >> well, they've responded proportionately. almost a mirror imagine of the sanctions and measures proposed by biden a couple of days ago. russia is expelling ten u.s. diplomats, just like biden and the biden administration expelled ten russian diplomats. the russians are suggesting that the u.s. ambassador return to the u.s., similarly how the russians withdrew their ambassador last month. in retaliation for biden's comments about vladimir putin. this signals that president putin does not want to escalate this issue with the united states any further than it's already escalated.
in fact, some of the measures that he took today really weren't as serious as the ones that the biden administration took. he didn't take some of the same business measures that the biden administration took against russia. and he even opened the door for a future summit between vladimir putin and president biden. so he still seems like he's willing to talk. this isn't him really obstructing and really raising the temperature in the room. amin? >> and given the experience that the vice president -- the then vice president biden had in the obama administration, spending his second term focused on china, do you believe that he has pivoted away from that or is he adopting what they did back in 2008 through 2016 to build on those experiences that he learned? >> i think there's some kind of strange middle ground there, which is what he's trying to walk. this is an unusual situation, where we have a u.s. president and a chinese president who
actually know one another very well, each was tapped by the then senior leader in their countries to get to know one another, almost a decade ago, and they did. and they traveled the world together. they know each other very well. and from biden's perspective, he feels like he can do business with president xi to a degree, but he also feels like he needs to be the person who says, this is as far as the united states is willing and comfortable to see china go in its military and economic and to a degree, its diplomatic moves against its neighbors. we've seen a whole host of very strong statements from the administration and some other actions that are meant to tell china, you have to leave alone hong kong, to the extent that that's possible. you definitely have to leave taiwan alone. you need to be a better player on the world stage when it comes
to north korea. and you have to stop sending your ships around menacing smaller neighbors and making things difficult in the waterways all around china? >> shannon, i've got to ask you about some news that came out of the white house today. president biden promising to raise the cap on the number of refugees let into the united states. he is now reversing that. he is deciding to keep things where they are, at least for now. it was supposed to be 62,000, about. he's going to keep it at 15,000 for this year. what's the rationale behind this decision? >> you know, this came as quite a surprise, i think, in the past couple of hours, to immigration advocacy groups and members in congress, because he had told congress back in february that he was going to raise that cap, that a little over 62,000 like you just mentioned from these historically low levels under the trump administration. but then he never signed actual paperwork and in recent days, reporters were pressing, press secretary jen psaki about this. and she said that he remained
committed to this goal of getting more refugees into the country. but now the white house is telling us that they will not be raising that cap this year. they are going to broaden the number of places where refugees can come into the country, but we're already hearing some very swift criticism of this from congress. the head of the congressional progressive caucus called this disastrous and unconscionable. and of course, all of this comes as we are facing an influx of migrants at the southern border. many of them seeking asylum and the administration at the same time is trying to rebuild this refugee and asylum and immigration system that was really dismantled during the trump administration. so we haven't heard more from the president or this white house on why they're taking these actions. but just this indication that they will not moving forward with that increase in refugees. >> all right. we will continue to watch for any comments on that and any other big foreign policy stories out of the white house from that
first bilateral meeting expected in the next hour. certainly the news conference of that bilateral now getting underway.pettypiece, thank you. we are following more breaking news. we are learning about the suspect in the mass shooting that left eight people dead and multiple injured at a fedex facility in indianapolis. an investigation is now underway into what led to that deadly massacre. as we hear from survivors, one witness told the "today" show, he's heard someone try to fight back against the shooter. >> my friend at the time witness ed a man who was not a part of the incidence, but he also pulled out a gun from his truck trying to engage the shooter and he died because of it. >> now, police have not confirmed that detail about someone trying to engage the shooter. joining us now, nbc news
correspondent antonia hilton. good to have you with us. what more have we learned this hour? >> well, amin, the most critical piece of new information we have is now the identity of the shooter. nbc news was able to confirm through three independent law enforcement sources the shooter was a man named brandon scott hull, 19 years old. what we still don't know are brandon's motivations, if he had any connection to this fedex facility and we don't know the backstories or the identities of the victims who lost their lives last night, eight of them. and part of the reason for that is that the investigation over the last several hours has been challenging and chaotic. the coroner's office was unable to act the site to get in and see the bodies for a while, because of the active open crime scene. they're in there now and they say that their investigation is going to take several hours. and officials say the process of identifying the bodies and
contacting family members and loved ones and giving them information before names become public will be a pain staiking and grueling one. what we found out is that the events of last night took about one to two minutes from the time the gunman got out of the car end anded up killing eight people who work behind me here. but now we are eight hours into the investigation and it remains extremely complex and so many questions unanswered. i want you to take a listen to the chief deputy coroner and what she said earlier today. >> the staff is definitely suffering and is going to need long-term counseling with regard to these types of deaths. it actually has -- you know, we've had to pull in all of our 30 staff to conduct these death investigations. we are asking for additional resources so we will have the capacity to handle these type of death investigations. >> reporter: you can hear the toll that this is taking on their team.
and officials told reporters that this is the third mass casualty event in indianapolis, just in this year. you know, and that chaos is not just for the people responding to the scene but also families who waited for hours at a holiday inn nearby, trying to find out if their loved ones are still alive. not that long ago, we met a former employee who stood out here on this field, staring at the white house, waiting to find out if his friends and former colleagues are still alive. and that is the feeling right now here in this city, that people are waiting on edge to find out more information about the shooter and what's happened to the people who were there last night. eamon? >> absolutely heartbreaking, antonia hilton live for us in indianapolis. thank you. up next, breaking news. a hundred days after the capitol riot, an indiana man pleads guilty to breaching the capitol on january 6th. the details and significance of this first cooperating witness, just after the break. you're watching msnbc.
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now for more breaking news. exactly 100 days after the capitol insurrection, prosecutors have secured the first guilty plea and cooperating witness in that riot that delayed the certification of the presidential election. joining me now, nbc news justice correspondent, pete williams. pete, what more can you tell us about this? >> well, he's john shafer, he's 53 years old, he's from indiana. and he is a member of the
oathkeepers. he describes himself as a lifetime founding member of the oathkeepers. this is a still picture from the government's original charging document against him, accusing him of entering the capitol with bear spray and using it on capitol police officers. you'll see the photo of the circle in his hand that the government says showed him deploying and preparing to deploy bear spray. but in the plea agreement today, he does not plead guilty to that. the government filed the charges only of entering the capitol without authority and trying to obstruct congress. in return, he has agreed to cooperate with the government and they will them what he knows about what led him into coming to the capitol. he says in his court documents in his admission that he was among the very first five or six people to get inside the building. it's significant, because as far as we know, it's one of the first guilty plea. there may be others under seal, but this is the first one that's public.
number two, it's a member of the oathkeepers. and prosecutors have said that two groups, the oathkeepers and the proud boys were in the vanguard of the planning for some sort of violence on january 6th here in washington and then actually what happened inside the capitol building. it could give them important insight into what led up to this and the thinking of what's going on. this is a turning point in the investigation. there'll undoubtedly be many more guilty pleas of people who face relatively minor offenses like, in essence, trespassing. there's probably be lots of those, but this is a very significant one among those people charged in being the sort of corps that is responsible for the violence. >> pete williams breaking it down for us. pete, thank you, as always. as we look back on the capitol insurrection, frank thorpe photographed and interviewed some of the people who were on the hill that terrifying day. here's just a part of his very powerful photo essay.
>> my operations guy texted me that the protesters had entered the capitol. >> the protesters are in the building. >> so i left the senate chamber, where i encountered officer goodman who suggested i return to the chamber, because that would be the safest place. not terribly long after that, an official came into the chamber and said, you need to evacuate. >> all of a sudden a police officer with a big bulletproof vest and a submachine gun across his waist grabs me firmly by the collar, i'll never forget that feel, and he says, we're in danger. we go out the door, senate chamber door, turn to the right, walking briskly with two police officers, go through the door, and ten seconds later, you can see us running out the other way. we were within 30 feet of these insurrectionists. if one of them had a gun, or two had run ahead and blocked off the door, i might not be telling you this story this day. >> i hope that i and others who come here will remember that
when we succumb to untruths as a nation, that it can lead to violence and even death, as it did. and i have encouraged the architect of the capitol to maintain some of the broken glass and other damaged elements of the capitol, so that it will be kept in memory. that it will be kept in memory. how liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? i mean it... uh-oh, sorry... oh... what? i'm an emu! no, buddy! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪ as carla wonders if she can retire sooner, she'll revisit her plan with fidelity. and with a scenario that makes it a possibility, she'll enjoy her dream right now. that's the planning effect, from fidelity. bike shop please hold. bike sales are booming. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. the moment you sponsor a job on indeed you get a shortlist of quality candidates from our resume database.
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there right now taking place in the white house between president joe biden and the japanese prime minister,yoshahide suga. let's listen in. >> the united states and japan have a big agenda ahead of us and we are two important democracies in the endopacific region and our cooperation is vital, in my view, and i think in both of our views to meeting the challenges facing our nation. and ensuring the future of the reinthat remain free and open and prosperous. so i'm looking forward to speaking with the prime minister and our teams are tackling a shared agenda. we're ready to get to work. so welcome, mr. prime minister. as we say in the body i used to work in, the united states senate, i yield the floor to the prime minister.
it's all yours, yoshi. >> thank you very much. thank you for accepting me as the first foreign leader under your presidency. my deepest gratitude to you. and yesterday, there was a shooting in indianapolis, so i heard, and causing much casualty. i would like to express my condolences to the victims and my sympathies to the families. innocent citizens must not be exposed to any such violence, freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are the universal values that link our alliance, that is prevalent
in the endopacific. and this is the very foundation of prosperity and stability of the region and the globe. and the importance of such values has heightened to unprecedented level and upon my visit to the united states, i wish to reaffirm the knew and tight bond between us and in order to realize a free and open indopacific, there are many common challenges, as well as emerging global issues including covid-19 and climate change. i wish to spend time with you to again confirm the close ties between our two countries. and thank you again for accepting us. >> mr. president -- >> you are watching the prime minister of japan, as well as president biden and their respective delegations there, exchanging pleasantries, talking about their shared values and
objectives in the indopacific. and you also heard there from the prime minister, prime minister yoshihide suga, paying tribute and expressing his condolences to the victims of the mass shootings that took place in indianapolis last evening. we are going to continue to monitor the developments coming out of that white house. we will bring you their live news conference that is scheduled to take place next hour. you see the flag there at the white house being flown of half-staff to honor those who lost their lives in indianapolis. switching gears for a moment from the white house. a rally is planned for tonight in chicago's logan square park in reaction to body camera video showing a police officer shooting and killing 13-year-old adam toledo. the incident sending shock waves through chicago. a warning, the images you're about to see are disturbing. nbc's rahema ellis has the story. >> reporter: overnight, pain in the streets of chicago over the
deadly encounter captured on dramatic police body camera video. >> stop! >> reporter: an officer responding to reports of shots fired in the early morning hours of march 29th begins chasing 13-year-old adam toledo on foot. >> hands! show me your [ bleep ] hands! [ gunfire ] >> the teenager shot in the chest. the officer radioed for help and applied cpr. >> where you shot, man? where you shot? stay with me. stay with me. >> reporter: later toledo was pronounced dead at the scene. the city's civilian office of police accountability now investigating, releasing police records from that night, which stay toledo was armed with a weapon. in an edited police video, they say a gun was found at the scene and say toledo threw it away seconds before being shot. the family's lawyer says none of that matters. >> the officer screamed at him, show me your hands, adam
complied, turned around, his hands were empty when he was shot in the chest. >> reporter: those same documents identify the officer who fired his weapon as 34-year-old ec. stillman. attorneys who represent the officer say in a statement, their client was faced with a life-threatening and deadly force situation. overnight, former washington, d.c. police chief and philadelphia police commissioner charles ramsey saying, the officer's actions were reasonable. >> in my opinion, tragic as it was, the shooting was reasonable. it was less than a second, literally, less than a second from the time the officer saw that gun in his hand to the time he fired that shot. >> reporter: chicago's mayor telling reporters she's seen no evidence that the teen shot at police, but would not say if she believed that toledo was holding a weapon. the mayor growing emotional when talking about the video. >> no parent should ever have a video broadcast widely of their child's last moments.
much less be placed in the terrible situation of losing their child in the first place. >> push your hands behind your back! >> reporter: also at the scene that night, 21-year-old ruben roman. arrested and charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and endangerment of a child. a child whose mother is now grieving. >> they couldn't shoot at his leg, his arm, up in the air, i don't know, but not kill my baby. >> rahema ellis reporting for us from chicago. i am joined now by kristin gibbons, a federal rights attorney and a former prosecutor. adam toledo, as we've noted and as the report there noted had his hands up when he was shot. but police say he had just thrown a gun just seconds before that moment.
can police still make an argument for use of force if toledo had a gun at some point on him during that chase? >> thank you for having me. first, let me say, the loss of a 13-year-old seventh grade boy is nothing short of a horrific tragedy. was legally, you make a really good question. if the gun was pushed away before the fatal shot was triggered, then there is going to have to be an analysis as to that use of force continuum. at that time, what was happening? and from what the reports kind of suggest and what the video to me at least shows. at the time that fatal shot was fired, adam does appear to be complying with what that officer was saying. he had stopped, he had raised his hands, and at that point, he did not appear to be holding a weapon. so in this moment is where we need to judge the criminal
culpability. but again, one thing is clear, i think is very, very clear. is that this boy, this young, young boy was shot dead. so there does need to be at least some training on how we can prevent deaths on foot chases and other police stops. and really, maybe this also could be an example of insufficient police training. >> and also, i'm curious to know, i don't know the specifics of whether or not he had a aser on him, but would the use of taser have been justified in that moment before using a gun? >> i would think so. the reason why is because with a taser, the likelihood of death is not as high as with a fatal blow. officers are taught that when you do shoot, you should shoot, you know, a larger portion of the body, so you are shooting to kill. with a taser, that is very
different. however, again, if adam was complying, then no force really may have been necessary. so what we really need to do is gather all of the evidence, do a complete and thorough look, why did the officer shoot him? and do a slowdown of what was happening at the exact time that fatal shot was fired. >> i know that the officer involved has not been charged, but if it were to get to that point, how would you prosecute a case like this? what could potentially be the charges that one could even pursue? >> yeah, this would be -- that's an excellent question. this is very different, for example, from the george floyd case, where the homicide took place over the course of ten minutes, right? or even daunte wright, where there's no legal justification for the use of deadly force and the issue of criminality of kim potter's alleged mistake, so you
have that negligence. and i think for this particular case, it would probably be closer to what we see with daunte wright, with perhaps a negligence standard. but again, i think that the intent is going to be a really, really difficult thing for prosecutors to prove in this particular case, specifically because you do see the officer rendering aid. the officer was called to the scene for shots fired. so what we may see is something more equivalent to an analysis of whether or not that use of force was excessive at the time and was reasonable or justified. >> all right. christine gibbons, thank you so much for your time, your insight, and your analysis. greatly appreciate it. >> thank you. with covid cases on the rise in michigan and the johnson & johnson vaccine on pause, health care workers are facing an unexpected challenge in rural communities. we're going to take you there right after the break. you're watching msnbc. righaft ter the break. you're watching msnbc. everyday item
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in michigan, covid cases are still on the rise and the state is starting to feel the sudden loss of the johnson & johnson single-dose vaccine. in rural areas, some facilities don't have the capacity to store pfizer and moderna's shot and it's starting to hurt rollout at a critical time. joining me now with more from alpena, michigan, is nbc news correspondent allison barber. good to have you with us. how has the inability to use that single-dose johnson & johnson vaccine affected people there? >> it's made it a lot harder. the johnson & johnson single-dose vaccine was really seen as a game changer, particularly in rural communities. it gave doctors and nurses a way to reach vulnerable communities access who may not have great access to health care. this is a vaccination clinic in alpena. they have vaccinated about 200 people today with the moderna
vaccine. if you look at this map, we're up here. this is a rural part of michigan and not everybody can make their way into the city center area to get vaccinated. so the johnson & johnson vaccine provided a real helpful tool for doctors and nurses here to reach more vulnerable patients who might be homebound be it for health reasons or their age or economic reasons where they couldn't make the trek into town to get vaccinated. so they were taking a cooler with johnson & johnson vaccines and literally going with this little vaccine clinic to go, if you will, in the duffel bag, and going to people's homes and vaccinating them there. listen to how one doctor described this to us. >> we had a plan for vaccinating homebound next week in this area of 25, 30 people. so we've had to pause that. because practically, logistically, to try to do this twice is almost insurmountable -- not
insurmountable, but very difficult. so the one dose really was the linchpin for that. it could be 15, 20, 30 miles to a vaccine center. and this is not 15, 20, miles on a freeway. this is 15 two-track roads, dirt roads. >> so in alpena county, they've seen a pretty significant uptick in infection rates as well as hospitalizations given their size. they're averaging about 20 new positive covid-19 cases a day. that's 141% increase from the average they were at about two weeks ago. doctors here tell us, they understand this pause, as it relates to johnson & johnson, but they're hoping that there's some sort of resolution soon, because for a lot of people in rural parts, they didn't have the means to come to communities to get vaccinated and they can't really take the vaccine to them when it comes to things like pfizer and moderna. it's just way too difficult to take those on these journeys.
eamon? >> today nbc news has learned that the biden administration plans to keep the cap for refugee admissions at 15,000. this according to a senior administration official. it is an historically low level set by the previous trump administration and comes as the white house tries to tackle the surge of migrants illegally crossing at the southern border. right now, there are more than 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children in u.s. custody. and some parents trying to find their children say they are receiving little information. one mother took it into her own hands to find her son and nbc news got an exclusive look at her fight to find him and their reunion. nbc news's dashya burns is live in tucson, arizona, with this exclusive and compelling story. dacia, walk us through what happened. >> reporter: eamon, we've all seen those heartbreaking images of children in custody. imagine being one of their parents. earlier this week, we met a
mother name andreas from venezuela and fled her home country after receiving threats on her life. her little boy soon followed, but they were separated when they crossed the border and yuan phillippe was deemed an unaccompanied minor. for a week, aundrea had no idea where her son was. she made desperate phone calls and went to border patrol headquarters in tucson where she thought her son might be. she flagged down police cars, but ultimately returned back home to california with no information. she then received a call from cbd to calm down her child because he wouldn't stop crying and refused to get on a bus. she had that phone call with him. she then received another call from health and human services telling her that her son wouldn't stop crying, wouldn't eat, wouldn't sleep. you can imagine how distraught
that made this mother. so she reached out to an advocacy group called every last one that helps reunite families, and as soon as she learned that her son was in phoenix, arizona, she and the head of that organization got on a plane and went to advocate for his release in person. that is where we met them and i want you to hear aundrea's experience in her own words. >> what was it like to get those phone calls, hear your son crying on the other end of the line? what was that experience like for you? >> and eamon, it was a heartbreaking, emotional day, but at the very end of it, this is what happened. watch. >> how are you feeling?
>> and eamon, aundrea is one of the lucky parents in this. there are thousands more who are still fighting through a system that is frankly overwhelmed. we saw this firsthand when i joined a guatemalaen father and for an hour and a half, we listened to hold music. and when he eventually got in touch with an operator, he was told that they could not disclose his girl's location and told that this is a process that requires, quote, patience and serenity. and you can imagine how difficult that would be to hear as a father looking for your kids, eamon. >> yeah, absolutely heartbreaking. incredible reporting there, dasha. i just can't believe the images that we were seeing there and
thinking of all the families that are still trying to reunite. and ahead, over to -- you can definitely head over to msnbc.com to read my essay on my trip to guatemala for a firsthand look at the poverty-stricken and dangerous conditions forcing so many to leave their homelands for the, as was just alluded by dasha as well. ahead, he refuses to work with republicans who still deny that president biden won the election. democratic congressman brad schneider joins me next. but first, another look at the photo essay from frank thorpe, marking 100 days since the capitol insurrection. >> i hope they'll remember how hard we fight and and the braver of the officers that were here. >> cruiser 50, the crowd is using munitions against us. >> what probably sticks with me the most, there were many, but what sticks with me the most is,
the lock got breached and there were 60, 70 of us trying to keep them from getting in through the door and it literally and figuratively, it was forever. i mean, it was just pushing, pulling, fighting. i couldn't get that close, because at that point, i was tackled. and they stole my helmet, took my helmet, tried to get my gas mask. it was all of these surreal things. like, this cannot be happening. this cannot be happening. this cannot be happening. but it was. but it was if you have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture, now might not be the best time to ask yourself, 'are my bones strong?' life is full of make or break moments. that's why it's so important to help reduce your risk of fracture with prolia®. only prolia® is proven to help strengthen and protect bones from fracture with 1 shot every 6 months. do not take prolia® if you have low blood calcium, are pregnant, are allergic to it, or take xgeva®.
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about rybelsus® today. as we mark 100 days since the january 6th insurrection at the u.s. capitol, nbc news is running a special series, "american extremism." exclusive new reporting finds there are secret facebook groups where members of the military's most elite special forces units share far right ideologies, conspiracy theories, and even racist comments. and it is raising alarms. nbc news's correspondent, carol lee, has this report. >> they're the best of the best, the elite of the u.s. military. and yet, an exclusive look inside secret facebook groups shows something troubling. an nbc news review of private facebook groups for special forces, visible only to vetted members show some share disturbing content. misinformation about a stolen
2020 election, racist and disparaging comments about america's political leadership and even qanon conspiracy theorys. >> does that surprise you? >> i'm afraid to say that doesn't surprise me at all. that is what my own facebook feed looks like on a day-to-day basis and it has for five or more years at this point. >> jack murphy is a former army ranger and green beret who writes and has a podcast about the military. we described to them the troubling posts we found in two of four secret groups that rereviewed. >> is it dangerous that we see members of the special forces community espousing these sorts of views? >> i think it is dangerous. i think it becomes a question of dual loyalties. if you really believe that our government consists of a cabal of pedophiles that are trying to deconstruct democracy, then it becomes a question of, who are you loyal to, what are you
fighting for or against? >> collectively, the two group have more than 5,000 members, with some members belonging to both. u.s. special operations command has about 70,000 current personnel and there are thousands more retired special for two kek dades. >> can you give me a sense of how prevalent extremism is in the military? >> a big problem we have is there's literally no good data. >> why are these secret facebook groups we found with special forces talking about things like qanon. >> it's very difficult. these are the exact troops who we do not want involved with things like qanon that the fbi said is a violence induced conspiracy theory.
>> they saw more than two dozen active duty and military veterans invested. defense secretary lloyd austin oi nounsed new measures training out going service members on ways extremist groups might target them. >> how big of a threat is this? >> that's difficult to ascertain. i don't want to over exaggerate at this point. i don't think the average special forces member is a conspiracy theoryist. i also don't want to down play this. we don't like the thoughts people have but what's notal rated is putting thoughts into action and taking action in this case posting something to a site on the internet is contrary to policy because it is the epousing of views that bring forward hate and violence and
unlawful discrimination that's flatly unacceptable. >> you might catch some heat for doing this interview. why are you speaking out? >> i'm speaking out because i think it's important that our peers have this discussion. i think our community has to have this discussion. i think we have to have that as veterans and active duty service members. >> the tight knit special forces community is family. that's why this hits so close to home. >> nbc kara lee reporting for us. on capitol hill, the aftermath of the insurrection and challenges to the electoral college vote certification has damaged opportunities for democrat and republicans to work together. joining me to discuss the latest is democratic congressman brad schneider. thank you so much for your time this afternoon. you have worked across the aisle. you have told your republican colleagues that you will not co-sponsor any legislation if
they refuse to support the result of the 2020 election which republican members have you turn to and which ones are willing to have a conversation? what are they telling you in private? >> thank you for having me. i built my career reaching across the aisle. it's been 100 days since the take on the capitol. since the mob that took over the capitol sought to do harm not just to members of congress, people who work with us, the capitol police including the murder of officer bryan sitnic. they tried to over turn an election and the same day 139 op my colleagues voted to try to do the same thing. trust that the election will be respected. i don't think we can govern as a congress, republicans and democrats if we don't hold to
the constitution and take the outcome of the election. sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. move onto fight another day and those of my colleagues who refuse to do so, i can't work with them because they are not ones who can upholds the same constitution to which i took an oath. >> i'm sure you have probably seen this but punch news is reporting about a new quote, america first caucus led pi congress members saying they are recruiting people to join that caucus based on quote, common respect for uniquely anglo-saxon traditions. look out for the caucus platform soon. should minority leader kevin mccarthy allow groups using language like this to remain in the gop caucus? >> i don't think the republican caucus should keep them in the conference. i don't think democrats will accept it. i don't think the american people should accept that position. we are a nation of immigrants.
we have come from every corner of the world bringing in faith traditions, ethnic traditions, political views. that's what made us strong. the constitution as i mentioned before is the bedrock of our democracy. the idea that each of us have a voice and that voice is what will guide us. that's what we have to stand for and any individual or group that says you have to be like me or be this way to be part of the american people not only is wrong but has no place in either of our parties. >> you probably recall back on january 6th, you were held in a secure location with other members of congress, including some republicans who actually refuse to wear a mask. you later tested positive for covid-19. has there been any change in your interaks with republican members regarding the seriousness of the pandemic? >> well, most of the republicans i work with, we have tried to find common ground.
they understand the significance of the pandemic. we have almost 600,000 people in the country lost their lives. more than 30 million people have been infected. the impack its had on our community, community, educational system, those that continue to deny it, deny the science are really denying the future to our country. they are those that are continuing to say it's a hoax and saying masks don't work. i stay on my message. every one should get vaccine. let's get our country open, economy moving and country back on good health. >> thank you so much for your time and thoughts this afternoon. greatly appreciate it. >> thank you. it's good to be with you. >> that wraps up the hour for me and the week. i'll see you back here monday at 3:00 p.m. eastern. deadline white house with nicole wallace starts after this quick
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