tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC July 3, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT
in custody following an hours' long standoff with police in wakefield, massachusetts. that's just north of boston. police are making 11 arrests in total since the incident began overnight. the group calls itself rise of the moores and they claim to be immune from state laws. earlier today state police said where the men were heading in handguns and rifles. >> they indicated in their initial contact with the trooper that they were traveling from rhode island to maine for quote/unquote training. >> joining me right now at the top of this hour is shawn phillip, reporter for the "boston herald." thank you so much for joining us. how did this whole thing start? what led police to encountering these people in the first place? >> reporter: thank you for having me on. lindsey, around 1:30 this morning a trooper came upon two vehicles on the side of the road
on interstate 95 in wakefield, is my understanding, and pulled over to see what they were doing. the trooper found the occupants of the vehicles refueling the vehicles and interacted with them, thought they were fully dressed in sort of tactical military-style gear is how chief mason referred to it. the state police say the trooper asked for their drivers license and license to carry, that the men wouldn't give the licenses, and then it sort of escalated from there. >> how did this escalate? did some of the people in this group head off into the woods and then police called for backup and created sort of a situation where they could contain the area, block it off? >> yeah, more or less.
i think that pretty quickly the first trooper called for backup, is what the state police said, two of the members were arrested fairly early on and others went into the woods. one of the members actually posted youtube videos from the middle of the highway showing himself and a few of the other members sort of shouting back and forth with the police and saying that they sort of wanted to keep going and that was what they were looking for. >> we know police are trained for these types of incidents in the academy. you had mentioned two were arrested early on, but police made a total of 11 arrests. how were they able to end this standoff peacefully?
how were they able to convince some of these people who don't believe in state laws to come out of the woods to surrender? >> well, the state police colonel described it as a negotiation, quote/unquote tactical maneuvers. they did arrest 11 people. by 10:30 they arrested nine, then they said they were going to sweep the woods and vehicles and they found two more people who they arrested in the vehicle. >> what do we know from your reporting about this group? >> they're from rhode island. they were heading from rhode island to maine, as you played in the clip, for a training exercise is what state police said. two of the people who were standing on the highway were
waving a moroccan flag, they said their country has a treaty with the united states and they are allowed to pass through states if they don't stop an undue amount. they said they are not anti-government, they said they aren't anti-police. i was looking at the adl that identified sort of an african-american offshoot of the sovereign citizen moment is how they characterize what they said is the growing movement. >> real quickly, any idea what charges they could be facing? >> i think that will pretty much be determined -- the state police said earlier on that people aren't allowed to load or unload weapons on a public way.
it remains to be seen the specifics of what they would be looking at. >> sean phillip cotter with the "boston herald." thank you so much for your reporting. we appreciate it. we're going to get to today's other breaking news in just a few minutes. president biden will be landing in traverse city, michigan, where he plans the spend the first day of the holiday weekend marking progress against covid-19. the president, vice president and first lady all traveling coast to coast to celebrate the nation's return to pre-pandemic life. but it comes as the white house falls short of its goal to have 70% of adults with at least one dose of the vaccine by july 4th. according to the cdc, only 67% of adults have gotten at least one shot and now the administration is really racing to get the rest of the population inoculated. we know the dangerous new delta variant is spreading quickly. meantime, back in washington as the investigation into the january 6th attack on the
capitol shaeting up, so are tensions between democrats and republicans. this morning congresswoman debbie dingell blasting kevin mccarthy and other members of the gop for their lack of action. >> it's like they've got amnesia. this was one of the worst days in our country's history. it was an attack on our democracy. it should be a bipartisan commission. it should be totally objective. people won't agree to it. we can't get amnesia about the pictures you're throwing right now. our lives were threatened. people came to the hill to kill us. >> let's go beyond the headlines with a trio of reporters. mike memoli is traveling with the president in michigan, amanda golden is at the capitol and scott mcfarland joins us from washington. we're going to start in tra ver city, michigan. the president is expected in the next few minutes. we see quite the picturesque scene behind you with a ferrous
ferris wheel. what do you think he'll say today? >> reporter: it was two months ago the president said the ambitious goals for the 4th of july, one to have 70% of american adults partially vaccinated by independence day and then to also have 160 million americans fully vaccinated to park as they put it the independence from this virus. now, by the numbers, obviously the president falling short of this goal and they made it clear a few weeks ago that that was going to be the case. but what today is all about is showing even if by the numbers they don't hit the goal, the spirit of the goal is very much realized here. i'm at traverse city where we have the festival kicking off just today. the biggest driver of local tourism in the city throughout the year. last year there was no cherry festival because of the pandemic. so when the president touches down, first he's going to be stopping at a cherry farm and you might expect to hear him pushing for the infrastructure package as well, touting the positive economic numbers.
and we've got about an hour on the schedule where we don't know what the president is up to. expect a campaign type afternoon with the president making his presence known at the cherry festival as well. part of the goal is to get the rest of the way in terms of the president's goals. the white house has made clear if they haven't hit 70% yet, they're not stopping when they do. we're going to see an example of how the strategy for those yet to receive the vaccine, later this week there's going to be a pop-up johnson & johnson vaccination stand. so those from here, traverse city or some of the surrounding counties, they could come here to get the single dose and then be protected from the virus, especially, as you say, increasingly the white house is warning about the increasing transmissibility and deadliness of the delta variant. >> really quickly, because we know we still have the delta variant to worry about, we're not completely out of the woods. you talked about the spirit of the success, the vaccine rollout. even though the president is
about 3% shy of his goal, back in march he was saying we could have small barbecues. i went to a fireworks show outside with thousands of people. talk about, really, how far we've come. >> reporter: that's exactly it. and the president is going to be doing his own barbecue at the white house tomorrow. they've invited 1,000 responders, frontline workers and members of the services to celebrate at the white house as well. you have the first lady heading to maine and new hampshire. this is a white house that wants to celebrate having traveled a very long way in terms of what they inherited in jan when they took office, the situation with the pandemic, versus the very much almost back to pre-pandemic life that the nation is enjoying on this holiday weekend. >> thank you so much. we're going to turn to washington and several new developments on the january 6th insurrection. federal prosecutors scored a big victory in their massive investigation. as officials round up a second
wave of spts, investigative reporter scott mcfarland from wrc in washington has been all over this. scott, i understand that some of these plea deals, some of these trial dates that are set already are for members of the far right group the oath keepers, is that right? >> that's right. it's been a busy 24 hours. let's start with the arrest in florida over the past 24 hours. he joins more than a dozen others accused of being oath keepers and accused of the most serious charges, conspiracy, plotting and planning, bringing military equipment, encrypted communications. really being ready for action january 6th. it's among the biggest cases, but also one in which the feds have made the most progress. they said yesterday they've begun plea discussions with most of the defendants in the oath keepers case, and a trial date has actually been set, late january, 2022. and they've already secured three plea agreements with
accused oath keepers and in each of the cases the defendant has agreed to help the prosecutors with the investigation. we've heard two references to possible witness protection. there's been a quick series of arrests as we begin the holiday weekend, a second wave of arrests. one of them caught my eye, joshua hanes from the virginia area accused of damaging media equipment on january 6th. several of the recent arrests are people accused of damaging media equipment. it's what the feds say he told agents during his interrogation in mid-june that's so striking. the feds say he told agents that those who assaulted police january 6th are heroes for standing up for the election. he also bragged of kicking the fake news media's expletive. they got a tip about joshua hanes, and there are nearly a quarter of a million tips from
the public on the insurrection. >> we know you'll continue to investigate this and stay on top of this. thank you so much for joining us on a weekend. good to see you. let's go ahead and turn to the house select committee investigating that capitol attack. the newly-appointed members want to get to work, but they're still waiting for house republicans to select the panel's remaining members. nbc's amanda golden joins us from capitol hill. how are both sides approaching this? can anything actually happen before the seats are filled? >> reporter: there's some competing strategies playing out on both sides, but most republicans, congressional republicans, don't want to be seen anywhere near this january 6th select committee and that includes both republicans that have tough re-election races coming up and even many of those ten house republicans that did vote to impeach former president trump over inciting the violence we saw during the deadly insurrection here at the capitol. one republican who is involved with the select committee is congresswoman liz cheney. keep in mind she was ousted from
her leadership role. she was the third ranking republican in the house. she did accept an appointment from pelosi to be one of the eight. the rest were democrats. from here on out that's also coming in light of previous threats that came from house minority leader kevin mccarthy behind closed doors over potentially stripping committee members of their assignments if they were to join in with the select committee. now, cheney accepted the appointment regardless. mccarthy still has the option to put up to five additional seats on the select committee. it's unclear who he wants at this time. he's not giving any hints. it's also pelosi' final say as to who will sit on the committee. mccarthy has a choice of whether he wants to put some of his rank and file members that have credentials behind them to sit and serve in the investigation. or he can put the partisan members he has and make it a real political circus as a result. so far mccarthy's indication as to how he's approaching the
committee is to paint it as a very partisan, political exercise on behalf of democrats. that's not stopping democrats from moving forward on their own. we heard from congressman benny thompson just yesterday on air, he's going to chair the committee, speaking into what the committee is hoping to do with their power. take a listen. >> the view you are showing right now is what all of america saw. but what our challenge is, is to look and see what caused this to happen, to see where the systems broke down. not to just let people walk through the united states capitol, but why we were not better prepared when this breach occurred. >> reporter: lindsay, as you heard, democrats want to get to work. it's been nearly seven months since january 6th. what this committee is hoping to do is ultimately produce a report that's a mix of both public hearings and closed-door depositions and that's going to start with a public testimony from capitol hill police officers into what they
experienced during that deadly day. that could be happening very soon. but democrats are not waiting to see how and if republicans are going to fill those remaining seats on the committee. they're ready to get to work and they have a quorum to do so. >> amanda golden, thank you so much. let's go ahead and continue the conversation with california congresswoman sarah jacobs, democratic member of the house armed services and foreign affairs committee. congresswoman, good afternoon, to you for being with us. let's start with that house select committee that will look into the capitol. we already know what lieutenant general's report said, the retired lieutenant general was tasked with doing a review of capitol security and the immediate aftermath. he said capitol police were overwhelmed, understaffed, morale has been low ever since. what are the biggest burning questions you want answered? >> well, i think there are a few key things. one is the intelligence failures, why the capitol police and the capitol itself was not better prepared for this
situation, but also the root causes, how this white stream maes and extremism was allowed to spread, why more wasn't done to address it earlier, and what we need to do moving forward to make sure it doesn't happen again. i was in the chamber on january 6th. it was my fourth day in office. and prior to coming to congress i had worked in conflict prevention and actually on transitions from coup attempts. i can tell you this kind of accountability and fact-finding is incredibly important for us to be able to move forward. >> so your fourth day of work, where exactly were you in the capitol when this happened? did you have to hide, for example, in your office or another? >> i was actually in the house chamber in the gallery, the balcony overlooking the house floor. and so i was in the group that got a little stuck there and then eventually evacuated and went to a safe room. >> we're going to show some
video of the insurrection here for our viewers who haven't seen it yet. it was released from "the new york times." and you can see here it really shows these people completely overwhelming capitol officers, pushing through these fences. when you see something as powerful as this, first of all, i'm sure it brings back memories from that day. but does it make it harder for you and your colleagues to square with the number of republicans who keep downplaying these events, who have compared it to simple tourist visits? i mean, these are also members across the aisle with whom your colleagues are going to be working on the select committee. >> oh, absolutely. and i can tell you on that day as we were running through the hallways terrified for our lives, i saw many of these people who are now saying it was just a normal tourist incident and they were terrified and they were running. and so i hope that whoever minority leader mccarthy appoints will look at the facts
and will get to the bottom of this, because it's incredibly important and we all experienced this together. >> i mean, we want to switch gears here. you're one of 37 house democratic lawmakers who signed a new letter to house minority leader kevin mccarthy demanding he take immediate action to address the behavior of congresswoman marjorie taylor greene. we now she has been embroiled in a slew of controversies. what compelled you to sign this letter, sign it now, and have you gotten any response? >> so, look, i think that there is an important realm of disagreements that we have around politics, around policy, and that's good. that's important. we should be disagreeing on these things. but what marjorie taylor greene has down goes outside the realm of acceptable and normal political and policy disagreements. whether it's calling for violence against her fellow members or actively harassing and bullying her fellow members
herself, i actually introduced a censure resolution earlier in the year after we saw that marjorie taylor greene had made a lot of calls for violence against elected lawmakers prior to coming to congress. and at that time minority leader mccarthy said that he didn't want to judge her on what she had done prior to congress, but rather what she was doing in congress. and i think it's clear that her behavior has not only continued, but escalated since then. and for a lot of us, the last straw was when she went to the rally and started getting the crowd all amped up and chanting about committing violence against one of our colleagues. that to me is simply unacceptable. we all deserve to have a workplace free of harassment where we can work without fear for our safety. >> this is also happening while congress still has work to do to get things done. you and your colleagues in the house passed a $715 billion transportation and water bill. so tell me how this is different
from that bipartisan compromise bill on infrastructure that the president negotiated, and do you have concerns that the bill you just voted to approve, which tackles climate change, could be watered down in the negotiation process? >> so the bill that we just passed in the house, the invest in america act, as you said, it's over $700 billion in surface transportation, in water infrastructure, it has a lot of climate change provisions. this is actually a reauthorization that we have to do every five years to make sure that programs like the highway trust fund continue to have authorization. but i do think that it can form the basis of the legislation for the bipartisan agreement. it includes a lot of important climate change provisions that i think need to be included in whatever that final legislation is. and i'm also of the camp that says we need to do this hard infrastructure, it's important, but we can only do it if we also invest in the economy.
we know these kinds of jobs that will be created in construction are historically done by men and even with diversity programs that will continue to be the case. so we also need to invest in the kinds of industries that historically impact and employ women, like child care, and we know that's important to make sure women can stay in the workforce. >> it has been such a busy week. we've got one more question before we let you go. this weekend american troops are out of the largest u.s. air base in afghanistan. it's, of course, a big step toward withdraw from the country's longest war. it's months ahead of the president's deadline. but the taliban is moving in and taking control of about a quarter of afghanistan's districts just in the last two months. were you expecting this huge move now? do you have any concerns about extremists filling the void here? >> look, i was in middle school when the united states military first went into afghanistan and we've been there for 20 years.
we have to be clear that the decision president biden was faced with was not whether we stay in the status quo or whether we leave, but rather whether we stay with increased attacks from the taliban or whether we leave. and so i think that president biden made the hard, but right choice, and i think it's important that the united states retains our commitment to make sure that we are trying to get to a negotiated political settlement, that we are supporting the government of afghanistan and we're protecting the afghan women and interpreters and leaders that we've been able to work with to make so much progress up to this point. >> a whole generation of afghan girls and women have been educated, certainly many of them don't want to see those policies reversed. representative sarah jacobs, thank you so much. enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend. >> thank you. the charges filed this week against the trump organization and its cfo are fueling more speculation about the legal fate of former president donald trump.
criminal charges filed this week against the former president's family business. the trump organization, as well as its chief financial officer, alan weisselberg, joining us right now as former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama, joyce vance. i listened to your podcast episode that just dropped today. i encourage everybody to listen to it because you guys tackle a bunch of issues, including this one, and you say weisselberg isn't looking at a lot of jail time if convicted. as to whether he could flip, you pointed to others who said they wouldn't but did. did you elaborate? >> it's an interesting issue that prosecutors face. what do you do when you're building your way up the chain, you've got someone you need to become a witness, but they're
resistant to cooperating with you. so the reality here is that what weisselberg ultimately faces under this indictment if he's convicted is most likely a sentence in low single digits, and he may have decided he certainly would have been well aware of that during negotiations before indictment, so he may have well decided that that's something that he can deal with. but what you're referring to and what i think is really interesting here is the evolution that we saw with michael cohen after he was indicted. you'll recall he went from saying he would take a bullet for his former boss, the former president, to ultimately cooperating with prosecutors and pleading guilty. that was due in large part because of rising legal costs. it's expensive to mount a defense in one of these cases. weisselberg, it looks like, owes an awful lot of money to the state in new york and probably backs taxes, so it will be interesting to see if those
change the position that he starts out in, this position of non-cooperation. >> one of the trump organization's attorneys said in my 50 years of practice i have never seen this office bring a case like this, and quite frankly, i am astonished. is he right? how often are charges like these brought? >> so i think these efforts by the trump attorneys to be very dismissive of this litigation, they're really suggesting it was selective prosecution of the former president. and they're off the mark a little bit, because what these indictments include is far more than trump's attorneys have suggested they include, but also less than the full scope of the investigation that many people believe the district in manhattan was engaging in. that investigation we thought involved bank fraud and insurance fraud, these complex fraud sorts of charges. this indictment is comprehensive. it covers 15 years of misconduct
by the corporation and weisselberg. so it's not as trump's lawyers would suggest, just sort of minimal de minimis fringe benefit claims that typically aren't brought to prosecution. this is more of a comprehensive pattern of conduct that is wide-ranging, that's extensive, that involved weisselberg getting about $1.7 million in untaxed payments from trump org. so the answer to your question is both more and less than expected, but not the sort of speculative prosecution that trump's attorneys have complained that this is. >> you just talked about that a lot of people are believing this is just the beginning or maybe just one part of a much larger investigation. also in your podcast you talk about how more charges are possible, but there might not be enough evidence right now for those charges. can you elaborate on that? >> sure. typically if you're prosecuting a case like this, you hold your charges until you're done with
the investigation, and you indict everyone together. that is not a hard and fast rule. there could be reasons to go sequentially. but based on what we see in this indictment and who is charged, it looks like prosecutors are at a place where they're indicting the people that they believe are culpable, and going further would depend upon new evidence or new cooperation. so while that's not impossible, that sometimes does happen in these cases. weisselberg could flip, there could be new cooperators from inside of the trump organization. but if we're thinking in terms of a future indictment of the president or his children, that would require someone with direct access to their knowledge and their thoughts. and so weisselberg is the likely person to have that sort of information, and if he doesn't cooperate, this could be the end of the road for this case. >> all right, joyce vance, always helping us make sense of these news items. thank you so much. it is a july 4th weekend
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celebrating our country's independence and our freedom from this pandemic. more than 47 million americans are expected to travel this weekend, potentially making this the second most traveled 4th of july ever. air travel is back in a big way. about 2 million passengers took to the skies every single day over this past week, despite concerns that are still out there about the delta variant. we're live at laguardia airport in new york city. corey, what are you seeing so far today? >> reporter: we have seen more people out here than the previous cool days we've
reported. this is the most frequented travel day so far. there is concern about the growing number of cases with the delta variant. the numbers, though, it doesn't seem to be keeping people away or at home. the tsa screened in just one day 2.2 million passengers per day. if you look at the numbers, we're going to pop them up on the screen, it also mirrors 2019 pre-pandemic levels. normally that would be a very good thing and we would be really happy about that starting to get back to normal and a potential rebound with the economy. the problem is, the cdc says that the delta variant which is highly transmissible now accounts for a quarter of new cases, and overall the u.s. is seeing a 10% rise in cases in the past week. so i talked to passengers out here if this is all concerning to them or if they'll change their travel habits. listen to what one woman told me. >> i'm vaccinated. i also -- you know, i take calculated risks. i don't really think it's a huge
risk to be traveling with a mask and fully vaccinated. so, yeah, i just feel like why not, as long as i'm being safe. >> reporter: and, honestly, lindsey, that is largely what we have heard from travelers, they want to take the calculated risk, but they still want to get out and travel despite the rise in cases. i want to let everyone at home now, if you're tracking this, the delta variant has been detected in all 50 states and the cdc says it is more transmissible than the dominant strain. it is a matter of time before it does become the dominant strain. the cdc emphasizes that is why we need another push for vaccinations at the country remains stagnant at about 56% vaccination rate. it does remind people masks are all required in all public travel spaces, as well as social distancing and just be aware, be safe if you're traveling this holiday. >> just a year ago we would not
surfside, florida. in the last hour, officials expressing growing concerns over the stability of what's left of the collapsed champlain tower, with plans to demolish it as early as this weekend. safety concerns are intensified by a powerful storm making its way toward the southeast and the latest numbers from surfside, 24 confirmed dead. 124 unaccounted for. officials are racing against time, battling the elements and managing covid protocols, after
six firefighters tested positive when elite teams from around the country joined search and rescue efforts. i feel like there have been so many developments since we last saw you this morning. what are you learning this hour? >> reporter: there's a lot going on here. you touched on covid-19 protocols. that's the situation that developed a couple days ago with a team that had come to assist from another part of florida, not from the miami area. we had six of their firefighters, rescuers, test positive for covid-19. that entire team was demobilized and since then they have not had any other rescuers test positive for covid-19. as for the building itself, rescue efforts are still under way, but now we are told that what remains of champlain tower south could be brought down within days. initially we were told that this is something that was being considered and would, in fact, happen at some point, but that it would likely take weeks.
we know that the building or what is left of it is not structurally sound. on thursday rescue workers were forced to stop their efforts for some 15 hours out of concerns that the building that's left could collapse because they noticed movement, not only in a column that was hanging from what remains of the structure, but also in the concrete slabs in the building or in the portion of the building that is still standing. so we know there were issues, and the mayor had been very clear that this building would need to come down and it would need to come down sooner rather than later. we were told that they didn't think that could happen before the storm comes, and they did not think that that could happen, best case scenario, for at least a couple of weeks. now we have been told that this could actually happen within days. both the mayor and governor addressing this just within the last hour. the mayor saying that they have a new team of structural engineers, a different company, that has the resources to do this in days instead of weeks.
listen to some of what the governor said earlier today. he says that as soon as they get the green light from engineers, things could potentially move within 46 hours. >> we have a building here in surfside that is tottering. it is structurally unsound. and although the eye of the storm is not likely to pass over this direction, you could feel gusts in this area. we don't know. it's definitely a possibility. if the building is taken down, this will protect our search and rescue teams because we don't know when it could fall over. and of course with these gusts potentially, that would create a really severe hazard. >> reporter: so, again, they say that once they have approval, the go ahead to begin this process from structural engineers that they could have the building down within 36 hours. the mayor of miami-dade count says the contract has been
signed and it's been signed with a company named cdi controlled diminuition, inc. we reached out to them to get information. what was said at the press conference is the way they would do this is with some sort of charge to have the building drop within a footprint, versus fall over onto the rubble where they are still trying to find people and recover bodies. all of it moving very quickly, and obviously the added stressor, the added factor here is that storm. we don't know right now if it will directly reach miami, but it's something that could happen. officials say that they really have to be prepared for this and that leaving this structure standing is a threat not only to rescuers, but to the lives, potentially still underneath the rubble or the bodies that are trapped there, as well as the rest of the community. >> these efforts are really complicated here by mother nature. we'll check back in with you
later this afternoon to see if you hear back from the company, cdi. joining us is an earthquake structural engineer and ceo of experts. you've been on the ground after devastating earthquakes. what do you expect is happening at the site today on day nine and what is the biggest concern for rescue teams? >> well, as you guys mentioned, the structural stability of the remaining structure is, how do i say it, it's extremely fragile. as we can see, the building is actually as a whole, when you engineer it, you make it stable. so if you take chunks of the building out, that part of it is still meant to be standing. and also what concerns me the most is the ground floor caved in, so the columns on the south side are exposed much longer,
actually, much longer. that concerns me a lot actually. so it's definitely in a fragile state and they're doing the right thing to try to demo this building as soon as possible, and i think that's really important, because otherwise it's a risk to the rescuers. these rescuers are taking an unbelievable amount of risk. there's no question about it. >> just the concrete slabs have been chewing through their boots and gloves. based on what allison was saying, is there a way they can demolish the remaining part of the south tower so it does fold onto itself and doesn't actually teeter onto the rubble that they're still going through? >> yeah, most definitely. they can implode the building, it's 90 degrees down so there's nothing coming out of it. it's definitely possible. but the challenge they're going
to face is the impact from the demolishment itself will cause the fragile condition of the debris itself. but there are means so that it does not change the direction. >> i want to ask you about the north tower, too. even though engineers say it's not showing any signs of distress right now, would you advise those people to evacuate? >> i don't think so. i mean, just reading through the visual accounts of the structural engineers, qualified structural engineers that went through the building, they discovered that no visual distress of cracks, no cracks, no reinforcement rusting, none of that. so i wasn't at the site, but based on their recommendations, the building itself is secure. now, that's actually the most
important thing the building's owner should do. if you see any cracks, have structural engineers walk through the building. they really can tell you if something is going wrong with it. but there's a stark difference between this so-called twin towers. one is completely rusted through, the other appears to be in good condition, from good maintenance from over the years. >> we are going to have to leave it there for right now. we really appreciate your time this morning in helping us figure out all of the latest developments there in surfside. we're going to get to breaking news right now. we were showing it to you in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. president joe biden has touched down in michigan. we see him on the tarmac at the steps of the plane. he is with michigan governor gretchen whitmer and senator debbie stabenow, senator gary peters. he's going to be touring a cherry farm there in michigan
while he's there today. this is part of the america's back together tour. first lady and the vice president, they're also making stops of their own. but the whole idea is to say, yes, the administration fell short of its goal of 70% of shots in adult arms by july 4th, but they've reached 67% so far. so not only are they talking about the progress that we've made as a country in trying to gain our independence from this pandemic, but also how far we still have left to go with, of course, the delta variant still spreading rapidly. while the president is there, he's going to be touting the infrastructure plan that congress is still negotiating. we are going to keep an eye here on this live shot as the president speaks with other leaders there on that tarmac. but for now, up next, new reporting on which republicans could join the panel investigating the capitol attack, and how that's putting gop leader kevin mccarthy in a difficult spot. we'll be right back.
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on capitol hill the investigation into the january 6th insurrection is moving full steam ahead. after speaker nancy pelosi appointed eight members to the select committee, including republican, liz cheney. the ball is now in gop leader kevin mccarthy's court. new reporting from punch bowl news says he will choose to appoint members from his own caucus to fill the five empty seats. joining me, nbc news think contributor and campaign committee adviser, and former aide in the george w. bush white house and former press secretary for the house democratic policy and communications committee. punch bowl news is out with a list of republicans that they're reporting are potential picks for this committee. you see names on your screen, jim jordan, mike johnson, elise
stefanik, rodney davis. keeping in mind that speaker pelosi can veto an appointment, do you think mccarthy will go with serious members who have credentials to investigate or do you think he'll nominate members to make it look like a circus. >> i think he's going to try to make this as much of a zoo as he possibly can to cast aspersions on what the democrats are going to try to unearth in this committee, and that's the truth behind what happened on january 6th. and if any trump administration officials or trump himself played any role, and what role they played, in that rally and in the insurrection. and if the answers are not to kevin mccarthy's liking, he needs to testify himself because he was reportedly called by donald trump during the riot, it's better for him, it's better for his political aspirations to have a circus. >> there was reporting that
mccarthy made veiled threats to strip any republicans of their committee assignments if they were to accept pelosi's appointment to this committee. this is the same person who voted not to strip marjorie taylor greene of her committees, but investigating january 6th, that's the line? >> i think what we're seeing happen, the gop has really turned into the p.o.t., the party of trump. and it's unfortunate that the people that were hurt during this riot, the officers, the people that died trying to defend our capitol, the foundation of our democracy, that their families are being denied answers. and this is all the develop is concerned about at this point, protecting trump, and not getting to the bottom of how people were able to enter into our capitol and cause such destruction and threaten lives at the same time. that's what this investigation is about. and mccarthy has flipped on this before. he said at first, you know, trump's rhetoric was the cause of the riot, and then i guess
when he got that phone call from trump, he changed his mind and said it wasn't. they have flip flopped over and over again. i think having jim jordan, oh, my gosh, seriously, no. i can't even -- that's like having matt gaetz. it's just ridiculous. i think it's going to be another political fallout over something that should be a bipartisan issue. >> curt, you wrote a piece this week for nbc news think and it was titled "house capitol riot committee can't worry about republican feelings". what do you mean by that? >> i think that we know and it's pretty obvious that the republican strategy is going to be to disrupt, to create chaos, to do anything that they can to distract away from the actual working substance of this committee to avoid the truth and the facts from coming out, to avoid actually having to deal with their role and the rhetoric of the republican party playing a major role in inciting the violence of january 6th. and so if i'm democrats on this committee, i am just focusing on
the hearings, the witnesses, the truth, the facts. let jim jordan, let the republicans do their antics, let them try to disrupt and interrupt and all of that. but structure everything in a way where you can tell your story, where you can put witnesses like officer michael fanone front and cente dare these law and order republicans to have to convict people who were there firsthand being attacked. we have the video, we have the body cams, photos, testimony. the story of january 6th tells itself. don't worry about the republicans. treat the republicans for what they are. they're accomplices in this effort. you cannot expect them to be helpful co-partners because they were a part of what happened in the first place. >> we'll have to see who the republicans are on that committee. thank you so much. we'll have to leave it there. next, new information on a breaking news story we've been
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