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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  April 29, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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do that and i believe america will always do better. empathy will always win the day. where we the people will always complete so much more than either person. >> "inspiring america" will premiere saturday may 1st at 8:00 p.m. on nbc and telemundo. you can watch an encore presentation next day on msnbc at 10:00 p.m. eastern. that is tonight's "last word." the "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. good evening once again. this was indeed the 100th day of the biden administration and fresh off his first speech to a joint session of congress as president, joe biden traveled to the all-important state of georgia today to rally support for his agenda. more on that in just a moment. but first we're tracking the fallout for rudolph giuliani
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after the feds raided his home and office early yesterday. federal investigators are reportedly looking into giuliani's biz dealings in ukraine. today a defiant giuliani called prosecutors at the southern district of new york, the justice department's new york office which he used run, bullies. he said he wouldn't be convicted of a phony crime. he appeared on fox news and spoke about the raid at his apartment. >> i never ever represented a foreign national. in fact, i have in my contracts a refusal to do it because from the time i got out of being mayor, i didn't want to lobby. never did it to bush or obama or trump, and i can prove it. just give me an opportunity. instead they had to break down -- smash on my doors in a frightening way. lucky you don't get frightened
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easily. i handled them very professional and they handled me very professionally. >> "new york times" reporting tonight that the firing of a woman you may remember from the impeachment hearings, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, marie yovanovitch is at the center of this investigation. "times" reporting giuliani is facing a criminal investigation into whether he broke lobbying laws. quote, at least one of the warrants was seeking evidence related to ms. yovanovitch and her role as ambassador. in particular the federal authorities were expected to scour the electronic devices for communications between mr. giuliani and trump administration officials about the ambassador before she was recalled, sent home in april 2019. "time" magazine reporting by the time investigators searched the manhattan home of rudy giuliani on wednesday, they had amassed a trove of evidence from his associates in ukraine. focusing most intently on
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giuliani's ties to ukrainian oligarchs. during an interview our own craig melvin, joe biden was asked about the raid on giuliani by the feds. >> where you aware of that raid before it happened? >> i give you my word, i was not. i made a pledge i would not interfere in any way, order, or try to stop any investigation the justice department had under way. i learned about that last night when the rest of the world learned about it, my word. i had no idea this was under way. >> by the way there's more of that exclusively interview with the president airing on "today". we heard today from former president trump who wasted no time defending his former personal attorney. >> rudy giuliani is a great -- he just loves this country. and they raid his apartment. it's like, so unfair and such a
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double -- like a double standard like -- i don't think anybody's ever seen before. it's very, very unfair. rudy is a patriot who loves this country. and i don't know what they're looking for, what they're doing. >> meanwhile, we're also following developments on capitol hill where negotiations are under way between democrats and republicans on the topic of police reform. today civil rights attorney ben crump, george floyd's brother, families of other black americans killed by police officers met with republican senators tim scott and lindsey graham. >> we met for approximately an hour. they got to hear directly from the families whose blood will be on the legislation that is being proposed. they listened intensely. it got very emotional at times.
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and they promised them they would try to make meaningful legislation in their family's names. >> with that, let's bring in our lead-off guests on this thursday night. jonathan lemire, white house reporter for the associated press, neal katyal, department of justice veteran, former acting solicitor general during the obama administration. he has argued dozens of cases before the u.s. supreme court, and katie benner, justice department reporter for "the new york times," our newest on-air contributor. welcome to you all. counselor, i'd like to start with you. by our calculations, former president trump has no remaining personal lawyers that haven't been raided by the feds. we did hear from the last one before rudy, that's michael cohen. he appeared on this network tonight. we'll play that, discuss on the other side.
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>> rudy giuliani knows that he's in big trouble. as your previous guest had just advised. he ran the southern district of new york. he knows exactly the games that they play because he's the one that created that playbook. and they take no prisoners. they did exactly the same thing to me. here's the interesting thing. it may start with just the ukraine, but that's not where it's going to stop. >> so neil, two questions come out of that. is he right that rudy giuliani is in big trouble, and after you answer that, i'm curious as to what you think the chances are rudy will flip. >> i totally agree with that. i think from america's mayor to being america's crazy uncle, to now being america's most wanted, rudy giuliani has truly done it all. and i think what you just heard michael cohen say is, look, i mean, in any ordinary warrant or
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raid by the fbi, that's already serious enough, but here the barrier was more than just that, brian. to get a warrant normally you need a federal judge to say there's probable cause a crime has been committed. you get that. but here they were also searching an attorney's office. so you needed very high-level justice department approval, maybe the attorney general himself or the deputy attorney general. and then you have -- it's not just any attorney search, it's a search of the president of the united states's attorney. so the barrier to getting a warrant was sky high, yet they got one anyway. that suggests a real seriousness of the investigation, and rudy giuliani's defense tonight, which you played, was, look, my contract says, quote, i don't lobby. i mean, that's like the drug dealer who calls drugs pizza and says on the phone loudly i don't sell drugs. that's obviously not a viable defense. if you're donald trump right now, i think you have to be incredibly worried.
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donald trump was lawless, but also, let's face it, kind of incompetent at his lawlessness. he could never quite execute it very well. here, for example, he didn't pardon giuliani. by not pardoning giuliani, trump has made now giuliani choose between saving his own skin and saving trump's. and i don't think there are many sweaty palms right now in the federal southern district of new york prosecutors offices as they anticipate the outcome of what giuliani's going to do. i think donald trump thinks he can keep every republican in line, but i don't think rudy, who's a guy accused of illegally lobbying for a foreign government, is going to put much stock in the idea of loyalty. so this is bad news for giuliani and for trump. >> katie, the president with a straight face and much sincerity said he did not know in advance about this raid until he read the public reports of it. there is, we should point out, no reason to doubt that.
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that would indicate a sea change back to the way the department of justice has traditionally been run, the wall between the white house and doj. it would certainly mark a sea change between the first regime you covered, that of bill barr, et al., and the current justice department, would it not? >> absolutely. so you have to keep in mind that since watergate, the president having a wall between the white house and the attorney general has been the norm. it was really on the under the trump administration we saw that crumble quickly in a sustained manner. when we saw what biden said today, it's only surprising to us because we're so used to the trump administration. it should not a surprise and should be the answer any president would give. we saw an investigation begin almost two years ago. we saw officials under the trump administration stymie this very search warrant. they gave many reasons, mostly around the election, to sway the
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course of the election. i'm not going to weigh in whether or not i think that's true. i think that a reasonable person could see how the president's lawyer being raided would impact the election. but those things are over. it also shows that garland is keeping true to his word in his confirmation hearing when he said i'm going to let prosecutors make decisions. i'm going to trust their judgment. clearly the southern district of new york wanted to do this, and he decided that he's going to trust the prosecutors. >> jonathan lemire, please walk us into the topic of politics. about last night, biden hadn't even stopped speaking and the republicans were dragging him, all part of the game. that's what they do. does he need them, however? >> we heard from senator tim scott who delivered the republican rebuttal last night. that's a thankless job, let's remember. that's when microbe had his infamous reach for the water
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gaffe a few years ago. scott for the most part did it well but he said biden was simply partisan and divisive. that's a tough one to pin on this particular president. during the campaign trump and his allies tried to paint joe biden as a socialist, and that didn't fit either. he's far more moderate than most of the democrats who also ran for president. but there's nothing moderate, i will say, about the size and import of the programs that president biden laid out last night. this is a transformation of government, a changing of roles the government would play in individuals' lives. it's big, bold, and significant. it should be mentioned on two things here. he says the stakes are so high that democracy itself is in the balance, that they need to prove the united states government can do big things and do big things well, therefore, a democracy still works as a rival to the rising autocracies across the
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globe like in china. but more than that, this huge multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure and jobs plan, yes, there were notes of bipartisanship sounding last night. the president and his team know they don't need the republicans on capitol hill vote for the covid relief bill. those messages were aimed over the heads of those lawmakers at the republican voters who largely support these measures per polling, but more to the moderates, manchin, sinema. showing, hey, we're trying for bipartisanship, but you, democrats, stay in line and we'll get this done. >> neal katyal, we always note your absence around here. it's okay for our viewers to know you took some time off to work on the chauvin case. what did that explore underscore to you? >> working on the case was the
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privilege of a lifetime with this incredible team led by attorney general keith ellison. elson after he won the case said something at his press conference, which really stuck with me, which is this is just one case and there are hundreds more and we need to build on the success of this prosecution. it's been so hard to watch just even in the last week since chauvin's conviction incident after incident, brian, of police brutality in this country. and i think we got to take the lessons from what we saw there on video for everyone around the country and world to see and use it as a springboard to further reform. we cannot go on the way we are, and there's a bill pending in congress right now called the george floyd act which would end choke holds and carotid holds, ban it at the federal level. if you're a state or local police department and you did those things, you're not going to get federal funding. it would require body cameras for cops. it would limit military-grade
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equipment. this is essential. this is must-pass. jonathan lemire was just saying we should do great things. this is a great thing, but it's also just the right thing. it's an honest thing, and at this point after what we've seen, we got to pass this bill. >> katie benner, bobby kennedy taught a whole new american generation from his office, now occupied by merrick garland at doj, that is feds can have a role in enforcement around the country. what do you think the doj role will end up being on this overarching subject of police roomer? >> so far garland is keeping another promise that he would be strong on civil rights enforcement and make sure the justice department was part of the national conversation that began last year after the killing of george floyd and that
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it would be part of a conversation about change, changing police. we've seen it happen. we've seen the justice department now two times say it was going to investigate police departments that were at the heart of this controversies last summer, including the minneapolis police department and the louisville, kentucky, police department involved in the killing of breonna taylor. and so we've seen those actions happen. and then on the heels of those two investigations, merrick garland, his justice department decided to bring hate crimes charges against the men involved in killing of ahmaud arbery, a young jogger in georgia who was also killed last year against sparking protests. we've seen the justice department take strong, decisive action. we've seen the justice department want to be part of the national conversation. the tricky thing will be whether the department through its grant-making project and whether the administration in total can talk about a piece of police reform that's become trickier, to acknowledge the fact that
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police officers are given too much to do. we rely on the police now for drug rehabilitation efforts, for mental health efforts, just to name a few. can we continue to put those pressures on police and burden them with those things and still expect them to reform? >> great point on rethinking versus defunding and still having someone to respond when folks dial 911. jonathan lemire, you get the last word. jen psaki and others go out of their way to remind reporters that police reform, especially based on race in this country, was always part of joe biden's agenda. but at the top of the list we all know was an uncontrolled pandemic and a cratered u.s. economy. where does it rank these days? >> brian, it's a priority. this is a president more than most of his predecessors is aware of sequencing when it comes to getting legislation through congress. it was easy at first.
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all oars go in the same direction. the vaccination distributions needed to be improved and quickly. now we see him in this huge infrastructure job/families program that he's been unveiling over the last couple days, including last night, that this is a huge transforming governments role in society, a lot of anti-poverty measures. again, this had to come next and it checks a lot of boxes from the progressive wish list. now it gets trickier. what comes next, immigration, guns, voting rights, police reform? all vitally important issues and certainly priorities for democrats all the things president biden as candidate biden ran upon. right now police reform does have some momentum. there's some suggestion from republicans, including tim scott, that there could be some sort of bipartisan ground here where it could be reached.
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certainly seems like there's more of a chance for something, even if small, rather than issues such as guns or immigration with voting rights looming in particular later in the summer. that's the issue on both sides feel would be the ultimate test of the filibuster and whether or not it's blown up. >> much obliged to our big three on this thursday night. to jonathan lemire, neal katyal, another big welcome to katie benner, the family's glad to have you. thank you, the three of you, for starting us off. coming up for us, they are the only husband and wife team of republicans to both be censored by the arizona republican party, something our next guest views as something of a badge of honor. cindy mccain is standing by to join us to talk about her life story now in print. later, he says he was just asking, but when a california politician asks a doctor about tracking devices buried inside
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the vaccine in public with a straight face, it does tend to get your attention. all of it as the "the 11th hour" is getting under way on this thursday night. ...can become your big moment. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea,... ...nausea or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts... ...or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and... ...headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. ♪ when i was young ♪ no-no-no-no-no please please no. ♪ i never needed anyone. ♪
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xfinity internet customers, switch to xfinity mobile and get unlimited with 5g included for $30 on the nations fastest, most reliable network. it's only been 100 days, but i have to tell you, i've never been more optimistic about the future in america and america is on the move again. we're choosing hope over fear, truth over lies. we're proving democracy can deliver for the the people, we just need to remember who we are. >> the kind of message we have to get used to again. that message of hope is
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something joe biden had in common with his friend and former senate colleague, the late john mccain. in her new memoir, cindy mccain recounts life with her late husband. she writes, quote, this is still the same america that john believed in and maybe we can conduct politics the way john did once again. it requires all of us to take a step back and listen to ideas rather than threats. we also need to be savvier about who we follow. we are so pleased to welcome to this broadcast cindy mccain, author of "stronger: courage, hope and humor in my life with john mccain." she skevz as cochair on the arizona governors council and the mccain institute human trafficking council. it's a pleasure to have you on the broadcast. i learned so many things i did
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not know, which i'm guessing is why you wrote it all down in book form. i want to begin by asking you to tell our audience about your life now and the works you're involved in. >> well, thank you for having me on, brian. and i'm thrilled to talk about the book. but i appreciate the question. the things i'm doing now are the thing that meant the most to me throughout my adult life. i do work on human trafficking. i do work on the issues regarding human rights surrounding human trafficking, and in other ways. and i'm also now the chairman of the board for mccain institute, so i'm tasked with my husband's legacy. and that to me is probably my most important job to make sure that he's not only remembered for the things that he did but the things that he stood for. people can learn great lessons from that, including the quotes that you mentioned from the book. >> i'm so blessed to have known
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john mccain, to have covered him. i regarded him in life correctly as an american hero. there is no account of his life, certainly of his captivity that i have not read. hearing a presidential candidate attack him, hearing a sitting president attack john mccain was the only indication i needed that our politics had changed. i feared at the time forever. about the republican party specifically, do you see a day coming where the republican party that your husband knew at the time of his death will be recognizable again, that things willing back to what we used to call normal? >> i truly believe that. i am a republican. i did not change my party when i endorsed joe biden. i believe in the republican party. i believe in what we stand for
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and the ideals. we were once a party that is inclusive and was the party of abraham lincoln. we have lost our way. but i also know there's such a thing as a pendulum in politics, and i know you know that. once again, the republican party -- much like the democratic party, will swing back to where they began and the ideals they were founded on. >> they used to call themselves the three amigos, lindsey graham, joe lieberman, and your husband. i know family ties with lindsey graham have prevented from you saying a negative word about him while others ask what happened to him. do you think that bed fellows like that politically could ever come together again? i think people liked seeing them together because they realized that stuff was getting worked out. they were bringing other people on board.
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>> well, that's a large part of, as you know, what i write about in my book. john stood for the three amigos. it stood for civility and decency and honor and integrity and working together for the good of the country. again, a large portion of our party has lost its way, but i'm hoping that we will find our way again. and also not just work civilly and across the aisle, but do it for the right reasons. do it for the country, not for themselves. that's really what john mccain stood for and the things that he lived his life on. as you know, he lived by the code of conduct, duty, honor, country, and that was truly how he not only lived his life but it was about being a man in the same way. >> i love the portion about --
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so you meet this guy, you marry into this, let's say, more than formidable families in the country, one of the most formidable mothers-in-law in the country. there's a navy vessel named after generations of john mccains. but there you are interested in aviation, so you become a pilot. we share an interest in all things stock car racing, so you try your hand at that. to top it off, you spoke so forthrightly about battling addiction. what's the closing lesson? >> the closing lesson for me was learning to be myself. those things that you talked about were things that -- some of them were fears, like a fear of flying. it was a fear i wanted to get over. the drift racing, that was way outside my comfort zone. all the other things that you
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mentioned, it was about me really finding my way and finding myself. in all of that, i learned that it's okay to be imperfect, it's okay to make mistakes if you learn from them, and it's also okay to say no to things. that's the best lesson i could ever have learned throughout this life. and i was treated to a life of incredible adventures with his husband. >> cindy mccain is our guest tonight. thank you very much, it's terrific to see you. >> thank you for having me. thank you. what a difference an election makes. if you watched last night, then you know. our two political experts are standing by to talk about where they think we are now.
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. as much as we've done, we got a lot more to do. that's why i proposed the american jobs plan. it's a once in a generation investment in america. it's the biggest jobs plan in this country since world war ii. >> 100 days into his presidency, the president on the road selling his agenda.
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biden's plans for the country, our friend writes in "the washington post," quote, the scope and implications of his desk agenda have come sharply into focus. together, they represent the most dramatic shift in federal economic and social welfare policy since ronald reagan was elected 40 years ago. two friends are back with us tonight to talk about it, jason johnson, campaign veteran himself, journalist, contributor over at the grill low and professor of politics and journalism at morgan state, go bears. and bill kristol, the author and writer and thinker and politico, editor at large over at the bulwark. gentlemen, welcome. been looking forward to this conversation. jason, i have something for you. it is a quote from "the new york times." mr. biden is validating the desires of a party that feels fiercely emboldened to push a liberal agenda through a polarized congress. the result is something few expected. his presidency is transforming
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what it means to be a democrat, even among a conservative wing of his party that spent decades preaching the gospel of bipartisanship. jason, my friend, agree or disagree? >> i agree. this can go back to a much more centrist democratic party that barack obama used to lead, his sort of con signature lerry. everything democrats thought was possible as far as transforming everything from infrastructure to certain elements of health care, the social safety net, doesn't seem unrealistic in the face of a once in a century pandemic. and so i think joe biden has recognized, look, this isn't just about fitting in ideological bubbles or bringing the aoc wing and the squad together with joe manchin. if we don't do something now, we'll never have an opportunity to fix some of the huge fissures that we've seen in american society that have happened over the last year. you can call it a left-wing
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agenda a transformative agenda, but joe biden will define what it is to be a democrat for the next 20 to 25 years. if he's successful, democrats will be in power in certain parts of the house probably for another good decade or so. >> bill kristol, last night was so interesting on so many fronts. as i said when it was concluded, just stylistically, coming off four years of trump and that kind of monotone drone. biden lowered his voice to a whisper at times, and he had the whole chamber, whether they like him or not. and it played quite intimately, i think, on television screens. i was following you, as i always do on social media. you were kind of trolling for wokeness earlier in the evening and having found none, it was a pretty much straight-up democratic state of the union. you wrote this. speaking broadly, and recognizing the terms are neither precise nor fully distinguishable, i'd say obama
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was a progressive and biden is a liberal. this doesn't mean biden won't be more ambitious in some ways, but it does mean the spirit of their efforts is different. go into that difference for me, bill? >> maybe i was a little unfair to obama, but i do think with biden's speech, jason is right. it's ambitious, you can say parts of it are left-wing, but a lot of parts are very traditional. a lot of that speech could have been given by hubert humphrey. giving more money to parents, forgiving student loans or making community college free. it's expansion of the welfare state, may be necessary. we can debate how much should be expanded. but it isn't progressive in the woke sense. there wasn't a lot of berating americans about how guilty they should be of their past. there was a greater call to
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police reform, but it idn't have that tone of voice. americans have done a lot of bad things at home. don't underestimate america, tight end close. you always lose money if you bet against america. it was very much in the tradition, very much in the tradition of fdr and lbj and humphrey. he didn't mention president obama, interestingly. >> a friend of mine in our trade believes in humphrey didn't have the nickname happy warrior, it could have been applied to joe biden. the but reasonable people can disagree. both of these gentlemen have agreed to stick around while we stick in a commercial break. you'll hardly notice. how the fractures in the republican party are being being driven further apart, if that's possible, by a certain twice-impeached retiree living
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are they going to do very well? we need good leadership. mitch mcconnell has not done a great job. i think they should change mitch mcconnell. >> so trump there today says mitch mcconnell should be dumped as gop leader in the senate. mitch mcconnell is a year shy of 80. he has survived polio and harry reed, and the harshest political attacks imaginable, but he's scared of only one man, like all the other trump supplicants in the party, he will not cross the florida man with the 32% approval rating. here was mcconnell today just hours after that takedown by trump. >> you said that if he got the nomination, you would support him. >> i think there's going to be a
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robust competition for the nomination. >> remaining with us, jason johnson and bill kristol. bill, first question goes to you. i asked you before, take another whack at explaining to me what is it about trump's impact, the effect he has on, forgive me, groan ass men and women. >> they think they can triangulate, keep in good terms with the trumpists, but also hold the establishment republicans, win the house and senate. it's fascinating in the senate, it's very close in the house. it's not a crazy political calculation. but the contest with liz cheney. we drifted apart over this. she supported him twice in 2016 and 2020. she vetoed against impeachment and with him most of the time in the house. but she thought, i think, okay, four years i can sort of
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navigate this, hold things together. we can live with trump and then we'll move on and have a healthy republican party again. i think she was shocked by what happened after november 3rd and then, of course, she voted for impeachment. she hasn't backed off at all. she's emerged as the non-trump alternative for the future probably for the republican party. she's not backing off at all. the fist bump with joe biden, it's silly in a way, but we'll remember that for quite a while. and then she got criticized by the right, by the trumpists for that, and she had a tweet a few hours ago that was -- look, the president wants to greet me on the floor of the house, i'm going to reciprocate the greeting. so i responded civilly. the wonderful aspect of this, she just says in passing, when the president reaches out, reminding everyone joe biden is the president and i'm going to
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conduct myself differently than all the trump supporters are with respect to this president of the united states. mcconnell is navigating, but cheney is standing firm. >> signs and wonders of the times we're living in where liz cheney has to explain on social media why she was respectful to the president of the united states. jason, i got one for you. a big thanks go to laura ingraham for panelling a town meeting and putting together red-state governors, a gathering from which this quote emerged. here is the governor of florida who want so very badly to be president of the united states someday, and the subject is race. >> i mean, give me a break. this country has had more opportunity for more people than any country in the history of the world. and it doesn't matter where you trace your ancestry from. we had people that have been able to succeed.
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here's the problem with critical race theory that they are peddling. they're saying all our institutions are bankrupt and they're illegitimate. have you do you have a society if it's illegitimate and it's a race-based version of a marxist-type ideology. >> jason, have at it. you have the floor. >> first off, i would love ron desantis to actually sit in a class where he learned about critical race theory, although i doubt he could get past most of the courses of my colleagues. but it speaks to sort of the intellectual and the rhetorical bankruptcy of the current republican party. they're screaming about fictitious, imaginary classes that most of their audience knows nothing about, but it has the word black and race in it, so it has to inherently be wrong. this is the issue that i see. when you have a senior citizen like donald trump pretty much
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running the party, running lines around the country, like george's parents in "seinfeld," you're not allowing local leadership to develop around the country. that's the problem. usually if you are the party in the wilderness, it's an opportunity for someone from ohio, texas, somebody else to pop up and become a leader. they don't have that right now. and the people who they put forward -- look, tim scott speaking last night, i think tim scott is a reasonably smart senator but is not at all charismatic. the only party that's done well is stacey abrams. and then you have ron desantis who quite franklin has done a mediocre job in florida. while his poll numbers in florida are okay, i don't think he's going to be able to translate that florida story to the rest of the country. i don't think he's going to be able to say that i'm the florida man that you can actually trust.
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and so unless he can do that, he can give all the speeches that he wants, laura ingraham can put together the white power hour like she does on a regular basis like tucker carlson. it's not reflective of what this country wants going forward. they need real leaders and it's not just a matter of adding sugar and suffice trumpism. you got to find a new way because at some point playing with the margins and vote suppression is not going to be enough to get someone back into national office. >> and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we invite these friends on the air with us. grateful to jason johnson and bill kristol for taking our questions tonight. thanks, guys. coming up for us, we will literally get a report from the trenches where they are watching to see if vladimir putin is bold or dumb in and out of send troops into ukraine again. it's a tense situation. richard engel is there for us.
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. tonight there remains the risk that vladimir putin will order another russian invasion of ukraine. the conflict is still there with russian troops and hardware. understandably ukrainian forces are still on edge. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel brings us inside the trenches of the ukrainian front lines. >> reporter: brian, one of president biden's biggest foreign policy challenges is actually playing out right here. these are trenches dug by the ukrainian military, and they serve one purpose, to prevent russian troops and russian-backed militias from entering ukraine and seizing more of the country's territory. the united states does not want that to happen. the u.s. backs the ukrainian soldiers who dug these trenches, who man these trenches. by the way, they serve here up
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to eight months, sometimes more than eight months at a time. it's a nice day today, but when it rains, all of this mud flows down and covers their knees. in the winter, it is freezing cold. but they stay here to defend their land. but vladimir putin is pushing. he's testing this new administration, seeing how far he can go. earlier this month, putin deployed tens of thousands of troops not far from here with heavy weapons. and it got president biden's attention. president biden warned putin not to invade. putin eventually pulled back his troops, but according to ukrainian sources, he left many of the heavy weapons nearby. so this is not over yet. you can see right here this push and pull with russia, with vladimir putin, seeing how far president biden will go to defend u.s. allies. brian?
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>> quite literally a report from the trenches in ukraine for us tonight with thanks to our friend, richard engel. coming up, how do they make those electronic tracking devices so small that they fit inside those tiny vaccine needles? asking for a california politician. more time than you. so, the mess has to wait. but mr. clean clean freak delivers the power of a deep clean in minutes. unlike bleach sprays, clean freak starts deep cleaning on contact with 3x the cleaning power to break down tough messes in seconds it quickly cleans tough stove top messes stainless steel and even cuts through tough bathtub soap scum so, for a deep clean in minutes, get mr. clean clean freak also available in easy to switch refills. front desk. yes, hello... i'm so... please hold. ♪♪ i got you. ♪ all by yourself. ♪ go with us and get millions of flexible booking options. expedia.
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front desk. yes, hello... i'm so... please hold. ♪♪ i got you. ♪ all by yourself. ♪ go with us and get millions of flexible booking options. expedia. it matters who you travel with. i see the disinfectant where it knocks you out in a manuscript, one manuscript, is there a way we could do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning. >> last thing before we go tonight, i'm playing that because when trump said that one year and one week ago, he later said he was being sarcastic, but no one believed that because he was a virus denier from the start. it is the same kind of defense we are hearing tonight from a
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member of the orange county, california, board of supervisors. before we show you the exchange where he asks a doctor about potential tracking devices embedded in the coronavirus vaccine, please know that after about 24 hours of being barbecued on twitter, this man named don wagner says he was trying to knock down the conspiracy theory that this is a matter of faith and the qanon community, the same matter that has fueled vaccine hesitancy among republicans. here's the moment from the county hearing. just like trump's lung-cleaning idea, you be the judge. >> does it -- is there any intention of tracking folks? >> nope. >> is there any in the vaccine -- we heard about an injection of a tracking device. is that being done anywhere?
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in orange county? >> i'm sorry. i just have to compose myself. there's not a vaccine with a tracking device embedded in it that i know of exists in the world, period. >> so now supervisor wagner says his aim was to debunk the wild charges he's been hearing from some of his constituents. now, in other conspiracy theory news, lin wood, the former personal injury lawyer who got famous defending richard jewel, who then years later fell so hard for donald trump. at a recent pep rally for the far right, he went big on qanon to the point of drawing the q repeatedly in case there were audience members too slow to catch on. today on social media he posted a story saying biden is dead and being played by a body double.
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wood himself said he took a walk through the empty rooms of the white house, could not find biden, but found trump. he's quoted as saying, quote, president trump is hanging out and working in the office in which we reelected him to serve in a historic landslide victory on november 3rd, 2020. so, now you are up to date in conspiracy theory news. you can't make this stuff up, mostly because these folks already did. that is our broadcast for this thursday night, with our thanks for being here with us. on behalf of all my colleagues at the network of nbc news, goodnight. of nbc news goodnight. >> very happy to have you here. state of the union's thursday night. all right, so, if you are not lucky enough to live through it at the time, he may not know this. i did live through it at the time, so i know. here is how

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