tv Craig Melvin Reports MSNBC April 30, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
out of the difficult times. this started another chapter. >> yeah, a long pathway, and you are helping people through it. thanks for your time this morning. speaking of inspiring, you can catch the nbc news special "inspiring america, the 2021 inspiration list" at 8:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow on nbc. an encore presentation at 10:00 p.m. eastern sunday right here on msnbc. thanks for watching this hour. a huge happy birthday to hallie jackson. up next, more news with my friend craig melvin. good friday morning to you. craig melvin here live from msnbc headquarters in new york city. my exclusive one on one interview with president joe biden. his only interview marking his 100th day in office. a wide ranging conversation touching on the pandemic, vaccines, whether america is a racist country and the role of government in our lives.
>> i don't have any inordinate faith in government. but there's certain things only the government can do. >> i pressed the president on the situation at the border. one area where polls show widespread disapproval. he tells me his administration has made progress considering what they were left with. he still won't call it a crisis. of course, we also spent time talking about that multi-trillion dollar spending package or packages. plans that he will start selling to the american people today when he hits the road. president biden heading to philly. that's where we will start. mike memoli made his way to the city of brotherly love. we are officially on day 101 now, president biden hitting the road, pitching his economic plans. walk us through what we can expect to hear from the president today. >> reporter: of course, you had the great interview with the
president. the president had been hunkered down for the last few weeks, working on his speech to congress, engaging in negotiations with lawmakers. now he, his vice president kamala harris, and ris jo his j family are hitting the road to sell that multi-trillion dollar set of economic initiatives. as white house talked about infrastructure, we know they talk about an expanded definition of infrastructure. one of the more traditional forms of infrastructure, roads, bridges and trains, you talk about a political brand, joe biden's political brand, closely identified with amtrak. he is coming here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of amtrak. he rode the rails to and from washington every day as a senator from wilmington. the station there that now bears his name. amtrak benefitting $80 billion of the american jobs plan would go towards what biden has called a second railroad revolution in this country. he will see one of the new cars that's set to hit the rails in the northeast corridor next
year. amtrak executives said the president wanted to be introduced by one of the workers who he got to know over the years. of course, something like a family, as biden has put it. blake weaver, he will be the conductor who introduces the president today. his father, he had introduced vice president-elect biden in 2009 when he was hitting for the inauguration was vice president. all things personal here with joe biden as relates to amtrak. i should note, he is flying here on air force 1. he will spend the weekend in wilmington. he will head there on marine 1. he would love to get on the train. but security is keeping him off the rails. >> president biden can't take the amtrak anymore like he used to. mike memoli for us on this friday. thanks, as always. now to my exclusive one on one with president biden. we sat down thursday at white house for a wide ranging interview touching on everything
from the pandemic to race relations in our country. i asked him about the cdc's new mask guidelines, whether we will see him maskless more often. whether he would order service members to get the covid-19 vaccine. we will get to that. our conversation started with that ambitious, multi-trillion dollar economics package. you are proposing in your first 100 days $6 trillion in new spending. you plan to pay for it by raising taxes on people, on businesses, on investments. why tax and spend so much when the economy is still recovering as a result of the pandemic? >> that's the reason why it's recovering, because we're investing. look how rapidly it recovered since we passed the last piece of legislation, and that was $1.9 trillion. gdp -- i think it's announced
it's over 6% this week. they are going to announce that. it grows the economy. we are likely, if international monetary fund and other outfits are correct, it's going to grow the economy continually through the next years. put another way, craig, if we don't invest in this country, we're going to actually start to -- we're going to fall behind even further. it's the reason why people -- look, what would happen if we didn't invest money in making sure that people got that $1,400 that passed? what would happen if we didn't invest the money to make sure that we, in fact, keep businesses open? keep employees on the payroll. this is all about -- look, the tax cut of 2017 that was going to do all these wonderful things, that super tax cut of the trump era, guess what, it was supposed to grow the economy. it didn't. guess what, it was supposed to make sure that things got
better. it didn't. what it did was just a gigantic windfall to the super wealthy and corporate america. >> there will be folks in this country that are paying about 50% in taxes if you factor in federal and state and local taxes. >> not many. >> across the aisle though, democrats and republicans for generations have been, shall we say, skeptical about the ability of big government to do big things. what makes you so confident that skepticism has changed? >> first of all, the facts don't reflect that. look what happened after the great depression. look about that investment. look what happened with johnson. look what happened with the idea that -- i don't have any inordinate faith in government. but there are certain things only the government can do. we rank number eight in the world in terms of infrastructure for god sake. our roads, our bridges, our ports, we are getting out competed across the world. we find ourselves in a position
where you have china determined they will be the economic power in the world. they are investing in it. we used to invest 2% of our gross domestic product in research and development. now we do less than 1%. we are falling behind. where he falling behind in the race for the future. is the private sector going to build highways, ports, bridges? are they going to do that? these are things that only government can really do. i'm not talking about things that are -- i don't have any false hope about what government can wave a magic wand and do things. i know a basic thing, the tax system today is not fair. flat out, not fair. when 1% of the american public make more money than the vast majority of the american people combined, corporate america. i come from the corporate state
of america, more people -- more corporations invested and registered in the state of delaware than the rest of the states combined. guess what? the idea you have 55 corporations as of last year making over $40 billion and didn't pay a single penny in federal tax? come on. i'm not asking anybody to do anything that's -- by the way, the highest tax bracket, in fact, when george w. bush was president, people -- millionaires were playing 39.6%. what are they paying now? it's just about being fair. the middle class is carrying too much. >> i watched the speech last night. i watched the address. i watched the rebuttal from the junior senator of south carolina last night, tim scott. i don't know if you caught it. >> i didn't have an opportunity. >> he said among other things, america isn't racist.
is it? >> no, i don't think america -- i don't think the american people are racist. but i think after 400 years african-americans have been left in a position where they are so far behind the eight ball in terms of education, health, in terms of opportunity. it's not just the criminal justice system. look at what happens when you have generations that have never been able to own a home. how -- my irish catholic family from ireland, how did they make it? they were able to buy a home and build wealth so they could do more. there's so many things that are put -- put the african-american community behind the eight ball. i don't think people say i don't want any black person around me or living next to me.
there used to be laws that said a black person couldn't live in the neighborhood. we knock the laws out. they are no longer the case. but what's happened? what's happened is, you have people who don't have the wherewithal to buy into the community. i respect for the senator. but i doubt whether he doesn't think that the fact that african-americans overwhelmingly live in neighborhoods where they can't get fresh vegetables and stores that sell them. i doubt whether he thinks there isn't -- as a consequence of what's gone on in the last 100 years, that the dietary habits of african-americans because of access, in fact, have not increased the prospect of everything from diabetes to other diseases. i don't think america is racist. but i think the overhang from all of the jim crow and before
that slavery have had a cost. we have to deal with it. >> let's talk about the pandemic. it has defined your first 100 days. 220 million shots in arms. as you know, vaccine hesitancy is very real. specifically among republicans and specifically among members of the military. there's a recent poll that showed 40% of marines said they are not going to get vaccinated. once the fda gives final approval for the vaccinations, not emergency use but final approval, will you order service members to get the covid vaccine? >> i don't know. i'm going to leave that to the military. >> why not? >> i'm not saying i won't. first of all, i have been being told from day one -- 101 days, so from day one, that there's going to be this great hesitancy. for example, remember elderly black americans and hispanic americans weren't going to get
the vaccine, right? hesitancy. guess what? we have now 80% of the people over the age of 65 have gotten the vaccine. it's about equal number of african-americans percentage as well as hispanics as well as white. what happens is it breaks down. we were told young people wouldn't get it. more young people are getting the vaccine. i don't think that -- i have reached out in ways that make it easier. for example, remember the criticism i got for saying, we're going to have 40,000 drugstores be able to administer the vaccine? guess what, it's near where people live. you have more people getting the vaccine. >> you have all these folks getting it. but members of the military are like -- >> that's the start. i don't think that's going to be sustained. i think you are going to see more and more getting it. i think it's going to be a tough
call as to whether or not they should be required to get it in the military, because you are in such close proximity with other military personnel, whether you are in quarters where you are sleeping or whether you are out on maneuvers. >> kids in k through 12 schools are not going to be able to get the vaccine by the fall. should all schools in this country be open this fall for five day a week in-person learning? >> based on the science of the cdc, they should probably all be open. there's not an overwhelming amount of evidence that as long as they are that teachers, the bus drivers, the school lunch people, the people who work in the schools, they are vaccinated, they are vaccinated. there's not evidence that in k through 12 that there's much of a transmission among these young people. i have opened it up that everybody 16 years or older can
right this minute as of they hear this interview, they can sign up and go get a shot tomorrow. immediately. it's available. i strongly urge them to get it. >> before we move on, the cdc guidance this week about outdoor mask wearing, a lot of folks excited that they can shed these masks if they have been double vaccinated. are you going to be one of the folks where we no longer see the president outside with a mask on? >> sure. sure. what i'm going to do -- the likelihood of my being able to be outside and people not come up to me is not very high. it's like, look, you and i took our masks off when i came in because look at the distance we are. if we were, in fact, sitting there talking to one another close, i would have my mask on and i would ask you to have a mask on, even though we have been vaccinated. it's a small precaution to take that has a profound impact. look at the number of people
that we lost. look at the number of people we lost. we lost 500,000 people plus. what's going on here? what's this great thing about somehow we are making people suffer because they -- when they are around our people they have to put a mask on? it's a patriotic responsibility, for god sake. it's making sure that your wife, your children, if you -- if they haven't been vaccinated, your neighbors, your colleagues, the cameramen and women, making sure they are not going to get sick. anyway, i just think that we are moving much more rapidly. i opened up access. we got criticized. community health centers where they are dealing mostly with people of little income and who are -- don't have much health care. we are just trying to -- the evidence shows that when your
neighbor, when your -- a co-worker, when someone in the same place you go to pick up a takeout, when they are getting vaccinated, you go, well, yeah, i guess it's available. we are seeing more uptick. >> lots more to come from the president. his first 100 days have been marked by unparalleled challenges. one of the biggest, outside covid-19, immigration. coming up what president biden is saying about the record numbers of migrant children crossing our southern border. plus, our first ladies have been the president's closest advisors. dr. jill biden will join our conversation. what she says the first 100 days is revealing about the man she knows. she has a major uptake on the first family. it's expanding. you don't want to miss that. moments ago, the white house covid response team announcing a major milestone at its briefing
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we are back with more of my exclusive conversation with president biden. his only interview marking his first 100 days in office. one of the biggest challenges the president faced in this period, on top of the pandemic, has been the record number of migrants crossing the southern border. here is part of our conversation about immigration. before you took office in january, you laid out four crises that demanded urgent action. the pandemic, the economic fallout as a result of the pandemic, climate change and racial inequality. immigration was not one of the
crises that demanded urgent action in january. does it demand urgent action now? is what's happening at the southern border, is it a crisis? >> it's getting there. for example, a month ago, we had thousands of people on the border patrol, young kids, in custody in places they shouldn't be and controlled by the border patrol. we cut that down dramatically, dramatically. it was we were holding kids in -- when a lot of reporters justifiably went down it take a look, three weeks ago, four weeks ago, a month ago and they saw these kids in the border patrol stations with the plastic and all that. guess what? you are not supposed to be held more than 72 hours. we are down to 30 hours now. we made significant impact. here is what happened, craig. the failure to have a real transition, cooperation from the last administration, like every other administration has done, the day after the election is
over, i send my people to sit down with the heads of the defense department, the homeland security, every single department in the united states government, the two departments that didn't give us access to virtually anything were immigration and defense department. we didn't find out that they had fired a lot of people, that they were understaffed considerably. we didn't know any of that on my first day. we don't know that. >> in april alone, 170,000 people, migrants, apprehended at the border. a 20-year record. 22,000 unaccompanied children in the country right now. that's a record. that sounds to most folks like a crisis. >> it's way down now. we have now gotten control. for example, we have -- they didn't plan for -- which comes every year, this flow, whether it's -- >> seasonal? >> they didn't have beds that
were available. they didn't plan for the overflow. they didn't plan for the department of human services to take the kid from the border patrol and put them in beds where there was security and people to take care of them. the other thing they didn't do, they didn't have any mechanisms set up whereby, a lot of these kids have a telephone number. they say -- they give it to the border patrol and say, my dad is in montana. call my daddy. you gotta figure out whether this is something being put on by traffickers or it's real. there was no movement on that. if we just were able to take the kids -- we're doing it now. by making sure we're not handing a child off to someone who is not a family member. okay? if we move them like we are moving them now, we wouldn't have had that backup at all. there's a flow through like it's been in the past. that's what we did in our
administration -- not our, the obama/biden administration. there's a significant change right now, significant change in the circumstance for children coming to and at the border. one other thing, you may remember, because i think you interviewed me a long time ago when i was vice president, when i got called home when i was negotiating something to get something done in turkey, the president called and said, we have a crisis at the border, all these kids coming. i came home. i was able to convince -- i had the support of people like lindsey graham and others, we put together a billion dollar package to keep people from coming in the first place. why do they come? there's hurricanes, there's these terrible circumstances in terms of injustice in their communities. we went back and met with all these people and said, we will build more boys and girls clubs, put more lighting in your streets so crime goes down, and it started to work. the last president came along and eliminated it. we now have it back up and
running. the vice president is in charge of that. >> during the campaign, you pledged to reunite hundreds of children who have been separated from their parents by the previous administration. according to our reporting -- in your first 100 days, not one child has been reunited. how is that in. >> i don't think that's true. that could be. what we have done is we have united children with their families as they have come across the border. we don't know where those kids are. we are trying to figure out what happened. what happened to that child? where did they go? where are they? it's like we have to be -- it's like being a sleuth. we are trying to find out where they are. it's a full-blown effort we are making. >> more of my conversation with president biden on immigration in just a few moments, including
the new message the president has for families thinking about sending their kids to the united states alone. also, my colleague jacob soboroff will join me to fact check some of the president's comments on his immigration record in his first 100 days next. 100 days next their only friend? the open road. i have friends. [ chuckles ] well, he may have friends, but he rides alone. that's jeremy, right there! we're literally riding together. he gets touchy when you talk about his lack of friends. can you help me out here? no matter why you ride, progressive has you covered with protection starting at $79 a year. well, we're new friends. to be fair. eh, still. find your rhythm. your happy place. find your breaking point. then break it. every emergen-c gives you a potent blend of nutrients so you can emerge your best
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we have more from my exclusive conversation with president biden where we had an extended conversation about immigration. he said he had a simple message to migrant parents sending their children here alone. you pledged a few weeks ago -- you said to migrants, don't come. you said, don't come. you were very clear. would you tell migrant parents or tell parents in central america and mexico, don't send your kids? >> absolutely. look, here is the deal. >> don't send your kids? >> do not send your kids, period. they are in jeopardy making that trek. we are going back to those countries where most of it is coming from and saying, you can apply from your country. you don't have to make this trek. we are going to set up
facilities where you can apply in country to come. that's the way to do it. don't risk putting your kid on the back of -- figuratively speaking, a mule to come to the united states of america. they are so vulnerable. it's a mistake. do not come. i'm not saying we don't make your case as to why you should be able to come. we should do that in country. by the way, i submit -- i kept a commitment. i submitted a comprehensive immigration bill the first day i came into office. if you look at that bill, it would solve every one of these problems. it provides for the ability to -- it provides for more officers to -- judges to hold hearings as to whether or not it's a legitimate migration request. it's a significant change in terms of -- there's 11 million people that are undocumented that are eligible to get in line
to earn their way into the united states as citizens. many of them are here already. when people see an ordinarily process, they will be inclined to go in an ordinarily manner. there's a lot we can do. a lot we can do. we inherited one god awful mess. >> president biden's transition officials told nbc news they were trying to increase shelter space at the border in december but they say the trump team did not act on their request until two days before mr. biden's inauguration. i wanted to bring in jacob soboroff who has been covering the situation at the border extensively for some time now. mr. soboroff, give us an update on the administration's response to the situation at the border. where do things stand right now? >> reporter: i have to say, craig, the administration does get credit for moving children out of custody and doing so relatively rapidly. they were up to over 5,000 kids in the custody of the so-called operators, law enforcement
personnel along the border. the vast majority of the children, as you pointed out to the president in an extraordinary interview, i have to say, there were 22,000 in the custody of health and human services where they are supposed to get care and custody the child welfare professionals. he wanted to talk to you about comprehesive immigration reform. as we talked about the other day, when i introduced everybody to anna and her family, that mixed status family where she was a u.s. citizen and her parents were undocumented, they face a challenge now that the president himself is looking at -- there they are on the screen -- a more targeted approach, perhaps, to immigration reform that won't necessarily cover all 11 million undocumented residents of this country. he supports that, but he is willing to compromise. >> i want to get your take -- fact check if you can part of the conversation that i found especially interesting, that conversation with the president. he said that reuniting families
has been difficult because the president says the administration doesn't know where the children are. is that true? >> reporter: technically, no. they know where the children are. i think there's a misspeak by the president. they don't know where many of the parents are. that number is hovering around 400 parents of children who had been separated where they cannot locate those parents. that is accurate. where the president was correct is, he told you they are working hard as hell. they have to be like sleuths. they are looking for the parents. they have to go through the records poorly kept by the trump administration to identify them. you were correct that the administration itself, through the work of the task force that he said up, has not yet reunited a single child that was separated by the trump administration. part is because of the mess that was left by the trump administration as the president told you. >> jacob soboroff, thank you. enjoy your weekend, if you can. >> great interview. thank you.
>> thank you very much. first lady dr. jill biden will join my conversation with the president. we spent time talking about how her experience as a teacher is shaping the administration's agenda. former obama white house press secretary robert gibbs will join me to break down what we have been hearing from president biden and what mr. gibbs makes of his first 100 days in office. that. by inventing a revolutionary pad, that's incredibly thin. because it protects differently. with two rapiddry layers that overlap, where you need it most. for strong protection, that's always discreet. it's time to question your protection. it's time for always discreet.
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they grow from our imagination, but they can't be held back. they want to be set free. to make the world more responsible, and even more incredible. ideas start the future, just like that. in about a half hour, president biden will leave the white house for philly where he will be trying to sell the economic plan or those economic plans, i should say. first lady dr. jill biden is going to join him on that trip. she joined us on thursday. our exclusive conversation at the white house, we talked about what the presidency has revealed to her about her husband. we talked about her background as an educator and how the white house is trying to close the learning gap, a gap that has
gotten worse in this pandemic. i understand that you were grading papers before the address. >> always. >> an extra late night for you yesterday. i want to get your take on something, as an educator -- a lot of folks know you teach at a community college nearby. there's been some vocal opposition, especially from teachers unions, to this idea that teachers should be forced back into the classrooms this fall regardless of vaccinations. what do you say? what's your message to educators? is it time to get back in the classroom this fall no matter what? >> i think it depends on -- we're following the science and what the cdc says. each district is different. so i think we have to listen to the experts and the science and then the districts have to decide. >> we know this time that's been lost in terms of learning,
especially in communities of color, especially kid -- poor kids who don't have access to high speed internet, who share wi-fi with other kids in the house, and just the mental stress, the toll it has taken on these children, how could we justify not returning to in-person learning? >> well, i am concerned about the lost learning. but i think we have an opportunity now to make things better. that's one of the reasons i was so excited about the american rescue plan, because it has so much money in there for education. we have seen the inequities across this country. i have traveled to so many states that don't have broadband. i was just in the navajo nation. they didn't have school because they have no broadband at all. we have seen a lot of food insecurity. so many things.
i think joe's plan to give money to education is going to offer opportunities to educators, to make things better. that's the way we have to look at it. >> i read something once years ago that the presidency doesn't change a person, it just -- it reveals who they have always been. this first 100 days -- you have known this guy a long time. >> yeah. >> what's it revealed about him that perhaps you didn't know already? >> i think that's true. it reveals his character and what i knew all along. i knew it when i started to date joe. one of the things that attracted me to joe was his strength. he is strong. he is not afraid to stand up and say what he believes. he is not afraid to do the bold things. just like his speech last night,
i mean, he came across, he had bold plans to move america forward. that's who he is. he is not afraid. he doesn't tiptoe around. you know where he stands. >> i want to bring in former white house press second under president obama robert gibbs. he is an msnbc political analyst. i started my conversation with president biden by talking about his multi-trillion dollar economic packages. his declaration that trickle down economics is over. it's a bic statement coming from the president. how hard is he going to have to work to get lawmakers on board, to get lawmakers to come around on spending $6 trillion? or i guess $4 trillion if you factor in what's been spent. >> yeah, it's a great question. i think the next four months are going to be a race to see how much of this proposal can go from legislation to law. i think it is going to be a huge
task to get this done. you see how much they are focused on it by putting the president on the road on back-to-back days right after the speech. i think it's enormously important that he and the rest of the administration continue to sell this plan each and every day, continue to tell the american people what's in it. because i think in many ways there's going to be a race on both sides to define what this is and why it should or shouldn't pass. i think that is a race that is going to go on literally every single day for the next few months. it's imperative that the administration is out there fighting for it each and every day. >> one of the things that struck me about these three plans, robert, is it would seem to a lot of folks that what the president is saying, via his proposals, is that big government is back, baby. whether it's expanding broadband
or $400 billion for home health care workers. there's something in the three bills for everyone. is the president making or taking, i should say, a bit of a gamble, a political gamble by saying to the american people, government can do big things again? watch me. >> i think so. there's no doubt this proposal is an enormous bet. it's sweeping in its goals. it would be sweeping in its impact on the country. but i also think that the american people have seen over the course of both the last 100 days and the last 15 months the imperative nature of what a good, strong government means for preserving and protecting our freedoms, preserving and protecting our economy and responding to a pandemic. i think the administration has
decided this is the moment that it needs to leverage the political capital that it has and do things that quite frankly this administration believes haven't been invested in for years and years. it's going to be a testament to how well the government responds to the current -- continues to respond to the current pandemic as to whether people will trust it to do some of these other things. >> you know president biden well. you worked in the same white house with him under former president obama. how much do you think those eight years as vice president, how much do you think that time has shaped his agenda and his strategy so far? >> i think there's no doubt, craig, that particularly on the strategy side, vice president biden got a front row seat in watching what happens when republicans decided on day one, actually, not long after president obama was sworn in, they were going to oppose
everything. he decided he will go big. if it means he has to go big alone, that's what he will do. despite the fact that i think there's an enormous amount in what he outlined that is supported by democrats and republicans all over the country. i think he is uniquely shaped by those eight years. i think he has got a tremendous obviously amount of experience based on that time period. i think he has a sense and understanding particularly, too, of what it means to watch the economy have a significant downturn and what it takes to get it moving again. >> in his 100 days, what's the one thing that you would say has probably hurt him, even if slightly? >> i think -- i think there's almost nothing in the first 100 days that they would do differently in reality. i think that doesn't mean there aren't some significant challenges that have to get met. obviously, he talked about them. gun violence, immigration reform
and the need to get both parties together to solve that problem rather than to continue to use it as a political football. i think, look, if you look at the scorecard, you got a lot of checks out the door and in people's pockets. got a lot of shots in people's arms. i think they like what they see. the interesting thing about the white house is it's never really measured in 100 days. that's a bit of a historic thing. i think they understand that every day is a challenge. probably the next 100 days are likely to be more challenging than the first 100. >> robert gibbs, good to get your perspective, your analysis. have a good weekend. >> you, too. we will have more of my conversation with the president and first lady, including a major update about the family dog major. first, the bidens spent time with former president jimmy
carter during their trip to georgia thursday. here is what they told me about the friendship just before that visit. you go back to the late '70s. the first senator to endorse him. he wasn't at your inauguration . you were the first to endorse him. how's he doing? what do we plan to say to president carter? >> well, you know, they called the night before the inauguration, when we were at blair house and wished us good luck. we thought it was so thoughtful. and we said, you know, if we come to georgia, we'll come to see you. >> the other piece of this is this guy's a fighter. and he's made great progress with the cancer he has with immunotherapy. and he has made enormous progress relative to where he was. this man is a fighter. this man has more character.
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i asked how major, the biden's rescue dog is adjusting after a -- rough -- start to love in washington. i also asked whether the rumors are true about a purr-fect new addition to the first lady. there's a question that millions of americans have been wondering for a number of weeks now. major. the first dog. >> we were going to bring him in to see you. >> well, i don't know if that's the best idea based on what i've heard about major. is he back in the white house? >> he's back, yeah. he is such a sweet, lovable dog, he really is. >> reporter: is he? because i've heard -- >> he is, i'll take you to meet him. he's probably outside now. >> and then there are these rumors that the first family was considering adopting a cat. is that true? >> yes, he's waiting in the wings -- she, she is waiting in the wings. >> was this your idea,
mr. president? >> no. >> let me get this straight, major biden who clearly has trouble adjusting with the white house, now he's forced to contend with a cat as well? >> well, that was part of his training. they took him into a shelter with cats. >> the secret service. >> and he did fine. >> president biden without much to say there about the new cat that's coming to the white house. that's going to do it for this hour and this week. "andrea mitchell reports" starts after a short break. orts" starts after a short break. we started with computers. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology that can guide an astronaut back to safety. and help make a hospital come to you,
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♪♪ good day. this is "andrea mitchell reports" in washington where president biden is doubling down on his defense of big government solutions to america's problems. in an exclusive new interview on "today" show with craig melvin, he defended spending trillions of dollars in new federal investment to keep the nation competitive and get people back to work. >> democrats and republicans for generations have been, shall we say, skeptical about the ability of big government to do big things. what makes you so confident that skepticism has changed? >> well, first of all, the facts don't reflect that. i don't have any inordinate faith in government. but there are certain things on the government can do. we rank eighth in the world in terms of infrastructure, for god's sake. is the private sector gng