tv Hallie Jackson Reports MSNBC July 9, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT
oulocal audi dealer. here in washington, the most symbolic change on capitol hill since that deadly attack six months ago, the rest of the fencing around the capitol coming down maybe as early as today and the people who protect that building, apparently running out of money. a source telling us that funding to pay capitol police officers might run out in just a few weeks. we are live on the hill and we're live with the chair of that january 6th select committee with what's happening behind the scenes as that investigation gears up, plus, on the covid front what you need to know about pfizer's announcement it's working on a third booster shot and why the fda and cdc are saying, not so fast. all of it as public health officials warn about concerning
trends here in the u.s. cases up where vaccinations are down. we're going inside the country's clashing covid realities and a new survey showing that red/blue divide growing. i'm hallie jackson on this friday morning with you here in washington. that's where we start with nbc news washington investigative reporter scott mcfarland and political contributor jake sherman co-founder of punch bowl news with us. scott, bring us up to speed on what you're hearing with the last of the security fencing set to come down today. a physically small gesture. >> i didn't see any workers, contractors or equipment being staged so the removal is not imminent. a capitol police union official tells me he expected to begin sometime today. capitol police aren't saying. here's what i can say for certain. the sergeant at airports sent a memo to members of the house saying the work would likely begin friday, weather permitting and the weather is fine, would
take about three days and feels like the soft deadline is when members return here monday or monday evening for next week's session. the sergeant at arms has assured the capitol police and assured that if there is a new security threat they can reerect fencing in short order but one virginia congressman told me he can't wait for it to come down because it makes the capitol look like a third world dictatorship. >> that says it all, scott. jake, i want to go to you. as this fencing comes down you have brand-new reporting in punch bowl that the capitol police department is essentially running out of money. this is an alarm bell sounded i know as early as last month, right, that funding could expire in august. there were real concerns but now there seems to be added urgency here. tell us about it. >> yeah, a bunch of sources, hallie, that they might have to furlough, dozens if not more if they don't get new funding.
remember, the democrats in the house of representatives have passed a security supplemental spending bill that would direct 30 something million dollars to capitol police salaries, that bill is stuck in the senate and, frankly, this is not a one-party issue. both parties are issues with that bill but we are hearing very, very loud alarm bells because of the cash crunch in the capitol police and i think most of the reason here hallie, is because these folks have been working a lot of overtime since january 6th in the capitol nonstop. there are more posts around the capitol. there are more officers working so, again, this is a dire situation which i assume we'll hear a lot more about in. next days. >> i want to ask more about january 6th but need to share capitol police have told our team that the u.s. capitol police continues to advise and work with our oversight committees so that the department can secure the capitol, members and staff within our funded level, supporting our workforce while carrying out our mission remains a high priority, a statement in
response to your report at punchbowl given to us at nbc news. when you talk about january 6th we're about to talk to the chair, congressman bennie thompson. i want to know what you're hearing, when, for example, kevin mccarthy might name his five picks. >> have to imagine it'll be this week -- this -- not next week, could be next week but it'll be in the next two weeks. the house doesn't return next week but the week after that. they had a call this wednesday afternoon, the democrats on the committee along with liz cheney so one republican to plot out their strategy to hire staff. that's the first priority here, hallie, they need to hire a stat, not easy. they can go internally inside the building to people who have expertise or externally outside but that's the first order of business, but there's no doubt as we reported i think a week and a half ago that kevin mccarthy knows he's going to have to name people to this panel and he will have to do so relatively expeditiously. >> let's talk more about that time line. jake sherman, scott, thanks to
the both of you. appreciate it. i want to talk more about it with the chair of the january 6th select committee, democratic congressman bennie thompson. congressman thompson, good morning, thank you for being with us this morning. >> thank you for having me, hallie. >> i want to ask questions about the select committee but first your reaction to this reporting the worst case scenario capitol police could end up furloughing potentially hundreds of people if it doesn't get more funding basically asap. does that concern you as it relates to you and your colleagues' safety, the people who protect and the other members in that building. >> well, absolutely. as you know, the house, we've already done our work toward making sure that the continuity of the capitol police funding is there. i hope the senate moves forward expeditiously and their job so i see it as a potential problem, but i'm hoping in the end, the senate will under stand that there's no way we can carry
forth government without the capitol police being there to secure government. >> obviously that was their job, that was their task, on january 6th, the day of the riots that you were not tasked with leading the investigation into, so let me ask you about that committee. i know there was that discussion wednesday that you had with your fellow democrats and congresswoman cheney. have you or speaker pelosi as of 10:06 friday morning heard from leader mccarthy about his picks? is he under any kind of deadline to do so? >> well, hallie, we have enough composition on the committee to do our work. we await the republican recommendations to fully -- if that happens we will continue but based on our meeting that we had wednesday, there's excitement about the task before us, we understand the gravity of it and so we are in the process of interviewing a staff director for the committee.
we're in the process of finding office space, all administrative things we need to do. we expect to have a hearing within ten days to talk to the rank and file of the capitol police, to talk to the support staff who had to hide in closets and other things and then had to be tasked with cleaning up the mess after the riot occurred, so we want to hear from them, you know, some of these people just want to come to work and go home. they should not have been threatened to the extent of losing their life just to come to work. so we think it's important that our committee hear from individuals like that because we want to set the tone as to exactly why we in business. >> i'd like to clarify something, congressman. you said within ten days you will hold that first hearing. within ten days of today meaning sometime in the next week and a
half? >> yes, either the 21st or 22nd of july. >> okay. >> we will have our first -- >> okay, that's news. i know that -- >> oh, absolutely. we take our work serious. we want to hear from any and all individuals who think they might have something to contribute to the investigation. we will have the best professionals and everything, hallie. that's clearly our charge. >> yeah. if kevin mccarthy has not named republicans to the committee by the 21st or the 22nd, the day you have just announced, will you move forward regardless? is that hearing happening whether he selects republicans on that panel or not? >> oh, absolutely. based on the legislation passed, we have a quarom and committed to doing our job and hope that
he gives us his five recommendations so we can fully populate the committee. but if he chooses not to, we will still do our work. >> when you talk about that work and let me just ask you, do you have any concerns if you were to poff forward with a committee that was just democrats named plus the lone republicans so far by the speaker, do you have any concerns of what the optics of that might be for some of the critics of this committee already concerned as you well know that this is -- if you will, partisan exercise or is your view you've given mccarthy more than enough time to come to the table with his selections? >> well, you know, we gave him time in the initial commission to come forward. i negotiated a reasonable commission activity for the house. he chose at the last minute to pull the plug on it and opposed it so now speaker pelosi and the
majority of the democrats, we still have to look at what happened on january 6th. why it happened and come back with a recommendation to the house as to how it cannot happen again based on our investigation. we gave six months of time for it to occur and so we have to move on and we are prepared with the select committee to move on. >> let me ask you then about this, a couple details that relate to that investigation and about the work that you're talking about the committee will do. i know that as of even just a few days ago, there was not a lot of clarity on whether you would be willing to subpoena fellow members of congress. are you any closer to a decision on that? do you believe that your committee should if necessary subpoena members of congress who could have information that is relevant to your investigation? >> well, i can tell you at this point there's no reluctance on the part of the committee to get
the facts. if the facts lead us to members of congress being complicit in what occurred on january 6th we'll go there but we'll have a professional investigation. we'll look at the information and we'll go from there. >> you have also, i know, not ruled out a subpoena potentially for former president trump. we know, you know that trump white house officials have ignored congressional subpoenas before. how would you plan to enforce that if it comes to that? >> well, there's some mechanisms enforce subpoenas. we plan to exercise. we might have to go to court but, again, the public deserves no less than a 100% complete investigation. not having access to all the information that we glean necessary for that 100% complete investigation would be disingenuous on our part. so we're going to do whatever it take to preserve this democracy, we'll do whatever it take to
meet the scope and services of the charge given us as a select committee. >> congressman, you mentioned in this first hearing that will be held in the next week and a half by the january 6th select committee you would want to talk with -- you mentioned rank and file folks and u.s. capitol police, et cetera. on that list of people for testimony in that first hearing, do you have any members of congress? do you have any current or former administration officials on that list? >> no, i don't, and we are making a concerted effort, hallie, you know, we've talked to the sergeant at arms. we've talked to the leadership of the capitol police. but we've not had a hearing in -- since january 6th to talk to just the policemen who were called names, the policemen who were sprayed with bear spray. we need to hear their story to help get us to a point where people will say, we need to fix
this. again, the custodial staff of the capitol, they're not trained to fight for their lives. they're just trying to keep the building open and functioning. we need to hear from them and so we want to make sure that people understand that for those who secure the capitol, those who work in the capitol, it's important that our first hearing show those individuals that this select committee cares about them. >> that is significant news, congressman, before i let you go, clarify one point for me here, if, in fact, you move forward as it sounds like you will on the 21st or 22nd and do not have those five gop selected members joining, could they at some point -- would they still join down the road, you know, for the second or third or fourth hearing if kevin mccarthy does appoint them to this commission? is that how you see that unfolding, just the logistical question. >> well, the legislation is
clear. there are five additional members who have to come, kevin mccarthy will appoint them subject to the approval of the speaker. whenever that process is complete, we welcome them to the committee and the committee will continue to do its work. >> is there anybody who you would not welcome on that committee of some of the names mentioned, jim jordan, rodney davis, et cetera. >> well, i don't -- it's above my pay grade. so, again, it's clear that it's mccarthy's call and the speaker's agreement and i agree with that. >> okay. congressman bennie thompson making a lot of news with us this morning on this friday on msnbc reports. mr. chairman, thank you very much for being with us. we appreciate your time and certainly hope to have you back. i know it will be a busy couple of weeks for you, appreciate it. we have a lot more ahead coming up on the show including president biden moving up the final date for u.s. withdrawal. our richard engel live on the ground in kabul as the taliban keeps making advances but next
up, whether you need a booster shot to protect against the delta variant. why some experts are saying hold off on that as first responders push for others to get vaccinated at all, period. >> i would equate what's happening in my community right now as a mass casualty event that's happening in very slow motion. 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. there's an america we build and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild. but freedom
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fully vaccinated against covid. that's after pfizer made it seem like you might and announcing they're working on a booster shot and will start a push for fda authorization in the next few weeks. let's go right to springfield, missouri, we're joined by medical contributor dr. natalie azar. walk us through the pfizer news. i think for some people in the last 24 hours it's felt a little confusing. >> exactly, hallie. yesterday pfizer announced they are close to requesting federal approval for a third shot of their vaccine, a booster shot. they're pointing to research, some initial research showing that if you received that third shot within 6 to 12 months after your initial vaccination it does provide additional immunity especially against the delta variant spreading across the country but then the cdc and the fda released a joint statement kind of slowing it down a little bit saying that the vaccines that are out there are effective. you see on the screen they say
americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. the agencies are engaged in science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary. and the rest of that statement they highlight the efficacy of the existing vaccinations that are already on the market and, hallie, i'll tell you, that is the priority for folks like who are here for officials here in places like missouri where you're seeing cases continue to rise. where hospitalizations continue to rise and where most of the people in the hospital, the vast majority, one hospital, 95% of the patients are unvaccinated and that's why there's an all hands on deck effort to get as many of the unvaccinated vaccinated as possible and, you know, that goes down to even fire officials, first responders who are opening up their firehouses to vaccination clinics. i want you to listen to what a few firefighters told me. >> keep in mind the virus is not a political issue. this is a dangerous emergency and our health department has
been going door to door providing opportunities for vaccine for years with tremendous success whether it's hepatitis-a. >> we have a huge problem in the community. the numbers on the rise, anything we can do as firefighters our job is to protect the community. this is another way we can help with that. >> their focus making sure trusted members of the community can go out and get more people getting that vaccine. hallie. >> shaq, thank you. dr. azar, let me pick up on this thread shaq is laying out now. pfizer says it's working on a booster. government agencies say you don't need one. clear this up. if you are fully vaccinated and got one of the shots, pfizer, moderna, j&j, do you need a booster to protect yourself the best way possible against the delta variant? >> hallie, at the moment if you are in this country and received any one of the three approved vaccines and you're fully vaccinated, it is not that you need a booster at this time. let's break down what the pfizer statement said and didn't say.
what it demonstrated if you give a booster your antibody titers will go up. if so, when and if so, whom. the populations likely going to be candidates for boosting before the general population are individuals over the age of 65. people who are immunocompromised, taking medications that can dampen the immune response to the vaccine. i think it's important to point out i as well as other experts have repeatedly said the tiers are not the whole story. the b cell, t cells ready and waiting and poised to respond to the coronavirus if you are exposed after vaccination, hallie. >> even the delta variant, right, dr. azar? >> even the delta variant and i think very importantly, you know, the decision and the timing about when we need to be boosted, the metrics are do we start seeing breakthrough
insfekzs especially with delta landing people in the hospital so severe infections, are we seeing breakthrough infections resulting in long covid and very importantly with the delta variant if you are vaccinated but exposed can you transmit? those are some unknowns still very important that will very, very much inform the decision and guidance on boosting. >> really quickly because i want to ask there, there have been experts that suggested two shots are better than one, right? whether it's two shots of the moderna, pfizer doses or whether you got j&j, do you then need perhaps a second shot like to mix and match to help boost your system? what would you recommend? what are you telling your patient. >> right, i am telling my patients are asking and i'm giving them the best evidence-based guidance i can. at the moment it does not appear that boosting any of the vaccines if you've been fully vaccinated with any of them and that includes the johnson & johnson, there's no evidence yet that you have experienced waning
immunity and so you don't necessarily need a booster. now, that said, mixing and matching studies are ongoing. we have excellent data from pfizer and astrazeneca from the uk reported on last week about their mixing and matching so it's fine. the whole point of boosting and vaccinating in general is to generate the most diverse immune repertoire so you can combat the coronavirus if and when exposed but, again, at the moment, it is not recommended. if we start to see breakthrough and things like that and we start to see real efficacy of the mix and match i guarantee you that will be something that will be recommended. >> monica. there is a huge question about people who have not gotten one single shot not vaccinated in the first place and this new survey out from the kaiser family foundation found the red/blue divide is getting worse. if you look at the graphic it shows vaccination rates in counties that voted for joe biden and donald trump and the gap is going in the wrong direction. it's wideninged just since
april. that is not the trajectory that white house officials would want to see, right? what are you hearing from the administration about this issue that the way that, you know, that the political piece of it relates to the health piece of it? >> they are tracking the partisan divide very carefully, hallie. and this is something where the white house, remember, they missed the last goal they set by the fourth of july they wanted 70% of american dulls with at least one dose and now they're at a point where they're not sure these kind of benchmarks are effective anymore. potentially they've done almost everything they can in terms of motivating those who would be interested in getting the shots. i'm told they won't set any additional goals because they're not quite sure what's left to do in this battle and absolutely we know some of the states that have hit that 70% mark are led by democratic governors and other state local officials and in terms of the challenge in some of these counties that former president trump won, there is a huge concern, especially as it relates to the
delta variant and yesterday the covid response team made a point of saying that almost all of the covid deaths we've seen recently happened in unvaccinated people and it is more urgent than ever so their message right now both dour and dire trying to get people to get off the sidelines but at this point many white house officials say it's more about trusting local people because their messaging has been all over this and feel they've almost done as much as they can as they even turn their efforts more to the global vaccination strategy and making those surplus doses available to other countries that need them too, hallie. >> monica alba live for us at the white house, shaq brewster, dr. natalie have saar, thanks for all of that. officials now working fast to try to figure out whether other buildings near that surfside condo that collapsed are also in danger of going dong. what they've already found, alarming. we'll have that coming up next.
just hours after president biden announced the end date for america's longest war, the taliban declared a significant new advance in afghanistan. saying its fighters seized another border town that's a key passageway for trade with iran. the guardian reporting an official saying their security forces are putting on an effort to retake the town. but the taliban claiming they now control 85% of afghanistan. that's a figure by the way that has not been independently verified. president biden making clear
these kinds of developments will not shift the date for the official end of the mission now set for august 31st. >> the united states did what we went to do in afghanistan, we did not go to afghanistan to nation build. and it's the right and the responsibility of afghan people alone to decide their future. >> nbc's richard engel is joining us live from kabul. what is the reaction you've seen from afghans in the 20 hours or so since president biden delivered that speech and where do things go from here? >> well, the situation is changing and i think we're already seeing the legacy of america's longest war playing out as american troops are leaving. the taliban are taking over and the region is already starting to accept that reality. there was a taliban delegation meeting with top officials in
iran. there was another delegation that went to moscow to assure russia that the taliban does not pose a threat to russia, nor russia's allies in central asia. so russia, iran, other countries in the region are starting to recognize that the taliban are either going to take over or have a dominant presence in this country. for the people here in kabul who have been living somewhat in a bubble because, yes, they have taken over large parts of the territory but the taliban still did not control kabul, more or less surrounded the city, president biden's speech was a wake-up call. the way that the withdrawal has taken place in secret, no big ceremonies, president biden said that speed is safety, the pullout has been very quick, but it has left a lot of afghans believing since they couldn't see it that maybe it's not taking place, maybe this is for show. maybe the americans will at the
last minute decide to stay, especially when they see the security situation deteriorating so much. but it was very clear last night from president biden that he has no intention of changing course at this stage. one of the groups that was listening closely was the thousands of afghan translators and they are fearing for their lives and we spoke to one translator and asked him, what he thought and he had done about 150 combat missions and he is still waiting for his visa. did you hear president biden's promise? he said the people who -- people like you have a home in the u.s. they can come and live in the u.s. the door is open. >> i got a lot of news. a lot of announcements but there is no action. >> you helped the u.s., now the u.s. needs to help you. >> yep. >> simple as that. >> yeah, yeah, right now we need help so u.s. army, the u.s. have to help us.
>> reporter: u.s. troops nickname that translator tom. we've spoken to one of his former american commanders who vouched for him. said he wrote him a letter, he showed us numerous letters of recommendation and certificates of appreciation. he has been waiting for four years for his visa and he is now in hiding. he wants to leave and he doesn't want to leave in weeks, he says he believes he's going to get killed unless he leaves very, very soon. he wants to get out with the americans on the planes now. >> yeah, for him it's incredibly urgent. richard, what about the embassy there, what is being done to protect that after, you know, august 31st, if anything? >> reporter: the government, frankly, and the embassy is not communicating at all about its security. most of the forces that remain in the country are focused on the airport and the embassy and that is why apparently they are staying here to try and make hour that the embassy and the
airport, these key facilities in and around kabul remain as secure as possible. >> richard engel live for us in kabul. thanks for being live for us there over the last couple of weeks. we appreciate your time. surfside, florida, the number of people confirmed dead after the condo tower collapsed has risen rather dramatically. they have found the remains of 64 people. 76 others are still missing but here's what's happening today. the area around this condo, more and more concerns about the safety of other buildings so now you have officials going literally structure by structure, they're finding what they're calling deficiencies in at least a dozen buildings by looking at them. let me bring in some brock in surfside. how serious are these concerns and this sort of red tagging process about the stability of buildings in the area now? >> reporter: hallie, good morning. good to be with you. just the mere fact it is a combination of factors that led to this collapse and folks
aren't going to have a clear picture of what those are exactly for months really does ratchet up the level of concern in general. what you were referring to is miami beach which is the neighboring jurisdiction, they told me yesterday that they have 5,000 commercial buildings in that area and that of them 500 are somewhere in that stage of reversion at 40 years so that's 10% of the total amount of buildings that would fit that categoriry says and within that subset you have roughly 15, hallie, that were red tagged. five vacant. ten occupied with residents inside them where there was a visual inspection before the deep dive engineering report, immediate inspection of all these buildings, ten with people inside were flagged. here is allina hudak explaining what they're doing right now. >> if there's something obvious to the eye, we've actually tagged those buildings. if we can't get a letter from a structural engineer assuring us the building is safe for occupancy, we will have to pull that trigger.
>> and, hallie, the people living in those ten buildings that were red flagged, they know they've been spotlighted for further inspection and would not disclose the city of miami beach where they are, which ones it is, they don't want to alarm people unnecessarily but if there is not a letter received from a structural engineer with an engineering report certifying those buildings are structurally sound, we could definitely be looking at more evacuations here, ham -- hallie. >> thank you very much. coming up, conservatives converging on texas starting today for a gathering of minds, if you will, with voter fraud high on the agenda. we'll tell you why and who from the gop will be there. plus, the billionaire race to space, richard branson set to blast off this weekend and win his race to space against jeff bezos. we've got come costello with his new interview with branson and exclusive right here on msnbc. that's coming up in just a couple of minutes.
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to workouts and new adventures you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis in the past they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b. although uncommon, up to 1 in 5 survivors of meningitis will have long term consequences. now as you're thinking about all the vaccines your teen might need make sure you ask your doctor if your teen is missing meningitis b vaccination.
cpac, that big cattle call if you will taking texas this weekend with speakers ranging from republican governors, lawmakerses, talking heads and, of course, the headliner, former president donald trump. the event's theme, america uncanceled. despite any of these conservatives looking to cancel things they don't agree with. unsurprisingly perhaps features things like culture war issues and critical race theory, grievances about the 2020 election and conspiracy theories that president biden is not the one in charge at the white house. with me now "the washington post" political reporter, josh. good to see you. >> nice to see you too. >> talk through your expectations of what we might see at cpac this weekend. interesting. normally it's annual, one time a year. this is the second time that we're seeing this conference in texas. apparently the organizers said
they thought it went so well in florida they're doing it again. >> the encapsulation of how much the party has been, you know, enthralled with president trump. if you look at the speakers on the list, so many of them are his former advisers, close allies in congress, people who, you know, were close to him personally and that's what the conference is. you don't see more established republicans, no mitch mcconnell. no number of other senators, marco rubio, others who with once key luminaries in the republican party. it shows how much this has transformed into a party which is de facto leader. he will be the headline speaker there as well and if you look at the agenda, so many of the things are things he pushed while in office and he continues to push while out of office from the election results and unsubstantiated claudes that they were fraudulent and a lot
of issues are things he championed so you'll see a group of grassroots activists no doubt for the former president and others but it's just a look at kind of where he's taking the party now. >> you talk about what's on the agenda, josh, you're right, voter fraud, for example, what they call voter fraud will be big on this, tied to the former president's lies about the 2020 election. it's coming just this week you have texas republicans, right, that are out looking to pass these more restrictive voting rules, pennsylvania republicans knew this week trying to do something similar in arizona with that so-called audit. how much do you see this being a push for republicans ahead of the midterms moving forward? >> oh, it's going to be a significant one. if you talk to any of the party committees or republican officials in washington they are trying to figure out what they can do on voting laws to try to convince, you know, the base that they're being tough on this, try and pass these before the midterms. if you look at the polls, they show a majority of republicans
believe the election was stolen. they say that their election integrity efforts, quote/unquote, should be what the party is pushing for and you're seeing that at all levels right now. in the republican party. >> i want to ask you too about some news coming out from somebody who you and i both know, "the wall street journal's" michael bender, the first official excerpt from his upcoming book and a couple things, he quotes mike pompeo warning to a colleague that the, quote, crazies have taken over and there's also getting some attention this 2018 argument between former president trump and mike pence over pence's hiring of corey lewandowski that devolved into two men throwing newspapers, you know, crumbling them up and throwing them at each other and the former president denying this stuff. he's calling bender a third rate reporter. we should note mike went down to mar-a-lago and spoke with him for a lengthy period of time. you know well the relationship that former president trump has with some of the people around
him. pompeo, pence, et cetera. i wonder what you make of the reporting here, josh. >> mike obviously has a lot of incredible scoops and pieces of reporting in his book. you look at a lot of his reporting that goes back all the way through the campaign and earlier and, you know, some of it i've confirmed since he reported. some of it is things that have been reported in the past like he added more and more details too but comments about mike pompeo at the end, i have not reported that independently but that certainly was a cinema that was coursing throughout the administration, in the final days he was getting rid of people viewed as more establishment figures who, you know, were trying to keep the train on the tracks and looking towards others, the cia, at the state department, at d.o.d., he was installing all sorts of loyalists and there was great concern among some trump officials, so i don't know the exact thoughts of mike pompeo but do know that sentiment was shared by many others in the administration.
the pence part of that book was also interesting. at the time it was as mike pence said or as mike bender reported, mike pence and his team were trying to put corey lewandowski on the payroll as essentially a favor to the former president. so i have also not independently confirmed that scene in the oval office but do know that what mike pence's reported in that book is what happened. >> josh dawsey, always great to have you on. appreciate your time. thank you. coming up, president biden met with leaders of national civil rights groups to talk about how to safeguard the right to vote. we're taking you inside that meeting with somebody who was there live after the break. [♪♪] if you have diabetes, it's important to have confidence in the nutritional drink you choose. try boost glucose control. it's clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels and contains high quality protein to help manage hunger and support muscle health.
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start about 13 minutes from now to get round two of their voting restrictions bills through the legislature after democrats blocked that first attempt in may. you have public hearings on these bills already set for tomorrow. this is going to get heated with opponents calling for voting right advocates to flood those hearings. it comes as the white house announces a new national strategy to combat voting rights crackdowns like the one happening in texas. the dnc committing $25 million to support voter outreach and legal fights basically money to boost grassroots level voting access effort, all of it as we get new reaction from the meeting president biden and vp harris held with leaders from top civil rights groups about voting rights issues and the need for police reform legislation. the leaders calling it a very constructive meeting. with me now is one of them. president of the national urban league. thanks for being on the show. >> thanks for having me. >> take us inside those talks. make us a fly on the wall about
breaking the logjam on some of these voting rights agos in congress. how big of a focal point was changing the filibuster rules during that conversation? >> let me just characterize our position as civil rights leaders, the national urban league and all of the organizations that were represented there in a frank, candid and intense meeting, because i do think that the president and the vice president share our sense that this is an emergency, that democracy is indeed under attack and our point of view is that by whatever means necessary, if it requires a modification to the filibuster in order to protect american democracy, so be it. mitch mcconnell got rid of it when he wanted to confirm conservative judges. why would it be a big deal to protect democracy?
if it is to convince a segment of the republican party or segment of republican senators to join together in a bipartisan voting rights very tekz bill, such an approach would be consistent, hallie, with what happened in 2005, what happened in 1982, consistent with what happened in 1985. it was always until this point it has always been a bipartisan enterprise. the american people are clear. what is partisan is what texas and georgia has done. what florida has done, the diabolical schemes to make it
more difficult for the vote after we had our highest turnout in america. after february 6th. this effort is democratic. so i think they are in agreement with that characterization. but we're all mindful that the pathway forward is not easy because of the politics of the united states senate. not with standing that there will be activations across the nation. some of our many partners and we're going to work as hard as we can. and we urge the president and the vice president -- >> mark, the protections for the right to vote that we need.
>> i think we lost you there for just a moment, mark. i have to ask you describe the meeting as intense that can sometimes be washington code for being confrontational. he needs to use the believe pulpit. as some people told me in these, the voting rights that they have been talking about for awhile now. >> i would not say it was confrontational. i think it was intense that our ire is focusing on texas and georgia. it is focusing on the inabout for the senate to even have a fruitful debate and discussion on this because of the way that the phil buster has become disabling. >> mark, it is always great to have you on the show. thank you for bringing us in that room and for your
perspective. >> turning to something different. that space race between two billionaires down to it's final days. richard branson and jeff bezos, two of the richest people, set to take flight. bezos in blue origin. tom, even with a ton of money, right, do billionaires get a little pre-flight nerves? what's your sense from talking with branson? >> if not he is not portraying that at all. he says he is ready to go. he is ready to take it to the edge of space in less than 48 hours. >> it's the last place you expect to find two billionaires. sir richard branson here. >> if you didn't know better you would think you in the middle of nowhere.
>> you are in the middle of nowhere. >> the brand new spaceport america. he is just 48 hours away from fulfilling a dream. to fly his own spaceship and to cross the line between the earth's atmosphere and space. nasa put that invisible boundary line at 50 miles above earth. they will go weightless through minutes before colliding back to earth making all of them officially civilian astronauts. >> this is your baby. you spent 17 years and now it's coming true. >> yeah, it's definitely a pinch yourself moment. >> earlier this month we got an exclusive look.
unity will rocket to the edge of space. also on board three virgin galactic employees. >> it's actually happening. >> the entire flight expected to last two hours, max, all of it live streamed. meanwhile in west texas, jeff bezos blue origin has been flying test flights. no pilots, all remote control from the ground. bezos is set to fly on tuesday july 30th. coming along, wally fonk. at 82 her first ride into space will make her the first at that age to do so.
both plan to soon carry paying passengers with just days to go, branson and team have been practicing in a simulator. >> you're not nervous? >> i'm not because we have incredible engineers. the best of the bunch. all right, and so there is drama here. nasa and the military say that boundary between space and the atmosphere is 50 miles up, but the international organization that registers these things says 62 miles up. the bezos folks are saying the branson company may not really make the to space, by we will. so we have dualing views on what counts as space.
>> it's a pass for me, would you get on one? >> i think it would depend on what my wife would agree to at this point. we'll have special extended coverage of this virgin galactic test flight on sunday. that is at 8:00 eastern time. that does it for us for this hour, we'll be right back. hour,. ? or could i have a different game plan? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot. almost 98 percent of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. and eliquis has significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away
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