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tv   Yasmin Vossoughian Reports  MSNBC  July 10, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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eastern. my friend yasmin vossoughian continues our coverage. good afternoon, everybody. i'm yasmin vossoughian. a lot we are covering this hour, an hour ahead. voting rights under attack and hearing going on right now in texas. with the sanctity of the ballot up for grabs, a sight some thought they would never see, the statue that lead to deadly right wing extremist violence in charlottesville, virginia, coming down. this as video is released of violence on the capitol hill. and reporter ali vitali one-on-one with caitlyn jenner. find out what happened. plus, covid confusion over whether people need a vaccine booster shot. later on this hour, race and sports. we're going to dig into a controversy involving two espn sideline reporters that puts the issue front and center.
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you don't want to miss that conversation. we do, in fact, want to begin with breaking news out of the state of texas. public hearings on republicans' latest efforts to overhaul the state's election procedures are underway. voters are flooding today's proceedings with their own testimonies after the house and senate unveiled their sweeping plans to limit voting access this week. both bills set to be debated over the coming days during the legislature's special session, largely resembling republicans' first attempt to pass a restrictive voting act back in may, which failed, of course, after democrats staged a last-minute walkout. the governor then vowing for the special legislative session, which is where we find ourselves now. want to bring in nbc's priscilla thompson at the texas state capital and nbc's jane forest to walk us through stuff. priscilla, i want to start with you. kind of give us the a-b-cs this
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hour and what you have seen take place so far. >> reporter: yasmin, hundreds were lined up outside of the doors you see behind me when they opened this morning because they wanted to give that public testimony, but we are now hours into those hearings and public testimony on these bills has not yet opened. so those people are still waiting. i did have an opportunity to speak with some of those people who want to make their voices heard today. i spoke with 71-year-old edward johns of colleen, texas, and also former congressman bet owe o'rourke who has signed up to give testimony today. i want to play a little bit of those conversations for you. take a listen. >> whatever you see on paper today is likely going to become much worse as it goes into conference committee and other provisions are added to it. so we need to stop this effort to change or tamper with our elections now before it goes any further. and, ultimately, we need the united states senate to act. the only way you stop voter suppression in texas, in
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georgia, in florida and so many other parts of the country is by having federal intervention to protect the right to vote. >> i'm going to vote, and there's too many people, white and black, died for this privilege to see that somebody is going to suppress it. you don't need no suppression. you need more easier voting. it should be going to -- voting should be more easier than you going to the big mac. >> reporter: and so i just want to reiterate, it is now 2:00 p.m. here, and that public testimony has not yet opened. here is why that is important. there are some people who have come here who have some medical issues, who are on oxygen and things like that and did not expect to be here all day or into the night. there are people who may not have had the means to get here on their own and so they came on buses with voting rights organizations or from lawmakers' districts. some of those buses are leaving at a certain time this afternoon, and so what we're seeing now is folks trying to submit testimony in writing in case they are not here when that public testimony does ultimately open up. but i will tell you one thing
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that we heard from the committee members when these hearings opened this morning, they do intend to pass these bills out of committee by the end of today. yasmin. >> wait, wait, priscilla. just quickly here though, was there a plan to have the public testimony portion happen earlier? is there a delay and do you know why? >> reporter: so on paper it doesn't appear that there is a delay. so in the house there were two bills ahead of the election bill, and so those bills are being worked through. on the senate side, what we saw is lawmakers discussing the bill and then invited testimony, and i believe the last thing my producer told me was happening was that guest senators were being asked to speak before the public testimony opens up. so there are some people here who are concerned that there may be some delay tactics at play here, but there are also people here who said they will wait all night if that's what it takes to have their voices heard. >> that important to them.
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jane tim, talk me through these bills. we currently have hb-3, sb-1. what is the substance of the bills and how do they differ from what we saw in may? >> so the bills are pretty similar to the final bill that was failed memorial day weekend in terms of the biggest part of them. things like blocking drive-through voting and overnight early voting, really popular early voting provisions in harris county, texas, particular. adding voter id for mail-in ballots. some of the basics, they're all still there, but i think what is really interesting is that we see the house bill being a little bit more narrow and a little bit more careful in how it has been written. a lot of the problems with these bills were, quite simply, some sloppy procedural issues. that's what hung up the gop last time. so i think what you are seeing is them trying to be much more careful and much more deliberate. but i will say advocates say the senate bill has a lot more provisions they take issue with than the house bill where it failed the last time.
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the political struggle between these two chambers and the various people who have really strong views on this is going to play out to have a big role in where the bills can get across the finish like. the republicans really need to pull it together and get the strategy together in what they want to pass before they get to the final lines, because that's where we saw democrats take advantage of the closing session and stage that dramatic walkout to end the bill. >> we will be talking to one of those democrats at the top of the 4:00 p.m. hour to see what the strategy is from the democratic party in texas with this new set of bills. thank you both, guys, very much appreciate it. by the way, that state representative i will be speaking to, eddie rodriguez joining us at the top of the 4:00 p.m. hour. you don't want to miss that conversation. we are following breaking news, everybody, out of virginia, where statue you honoring three controversial historic figures have come down.
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earlier today charlottesville maro nikia walker said the removal of the bronze statues depicting generals robert e. lee, stonewall jackson and lewis and clark is one small step closer to the goal of helping charlottesville, virginia, and america be able to grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy black people for economic gain. you will remember the robert e. lee statue was at the center of a deadly rally four years ago. deon hampton is in charlottesville covering this for us. thank you for joining us, really appreciate you covering this for us. talk about it for us, the mood on the ground so far with the statue coming down. >> reporter: sure. i would say it was a very joyous occasion, a lot of excitement for the more than 200 people who came out this morning and kind of lined the fence behind me. you can see where the monument of robert e. lee was standing before it was removed earlier
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today. but the sentiment was overall just joy and jubilant. people were just happy and elated to see it go. one thing that i would state is that i was kind of surprised that there was a lack of pushback. you have to remember, in august of 2017 just two blocks behind -- just two blocks in front of me was the site of a white supremacist protest that, like you just said, turned deadly. one person died, but also 19 people were injured. so when i came here this morning, i thought, okay, will we see anything like that again today? will there be any type of remnants from what happened four years ago today? i didn't see any of that. the 200 people who watched out here this morning were very much in support of removing these two statues. overall, the overall sentiment is people were just happy to see it go, to be put on a truck and leave. >> i think in anticipation of the statue coming down a lot of folks wondered the same thing as
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you, deon, as to whether there would be pushback. in fact, as you said, so far so good in that regard. talk to us quickly, deon, about where these statues are going. >> reporter: well, so i would say that moving forward these statues are going to be placed in a storage where they're probably going to be sold at one point to maybe like some type of historical institution, to maybe like a museum or something like that where people want to collect these things and then show them like moving forward, things of that nature. so i don't see them necessarily going away. there's still some value, there are still some people out there who want to see them and kind of having ownership of these type of monuments, but it just doesn't seem like it is going to be here anywhere in charlottesville. >> all right. deon hampton for us. thanks. great to see you this afternoon. by the way, in the next hour, in the 4:00 p.m. hour -- go ahead, deon, quickly. go ahead.
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okay. in our next hour, everybody, we will be speaking to zyahna bryant. she has been fighting for statues like the robert e. lee statue in charlottesville, virginia, to come down since she was a child. she is now seeing the fruits of her labor. she will be joining us in the 4:00 p.m. hour so don't miss that conversation. incredibly important one, a woman dedicated to this her entire life. a long-awaited sign of a return to normal on capitol hill this weekend more than six months after the january 6th insurrection coming down. the following video was released recently at the request of news organizations. like so much of the type of video coming out of january 6th, it is disturbing to watch.
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[ bleep ] >> you're going to die tonight. >> you're going to die tonight, if you didn't hear that. that's what was just said on that video. you heard it in that tape from one of the rioters aimed at the police officers protecting that building. this video you are watching now is another portion of the newly released evidence. it shows a police officer being dragged into the maga mob. images like this are expected to become part of a massive database, "politico" reporting the justice department has agreed to pay just over $6 million to a technology contractor to set up a database of videos, photographs, documents and social media posts as well. this scene of the insurrection will be front and center at hearings of the newly formed january 6th committee which chairman bennie thompson told my colleague tiffany cross will start its work soon. thompson says if it comes down to making donald trump testify, they are ready to do it whether
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he agrees or not. >> well, obviously, if the subpoena is refused then we will go to court. we will have our day in court. in america, even when donald trump is involved, there is a judicial system and we will not hesitate to apply that system. >> all right. house minority leader kevin mccarthy has still not made his recommendations for five members of that committee. potential retaliation against russia for the recent cyberattacks could come at any moment. meanwhile, we are learning more about president biden's phone call with the russian president. president biden says he gave vladimir putin another stark warning in a new phone call to the russian leader, telling him time was, in fact, running out and to rein in the russian groups. nbc's josh letterman is with us from wilmington, delaware, where the president is for the weekend. josh, good to see you on this one. what do we know about this phone call and what exactly was said?
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>> reporter: yasmin, the white house drawing an important distinction in the wake of the call between president biden and vladimir putin. they are not accusing the russian president of participating in the new sprawling ransomware attack by the group r evil, a group of russian language hackers believed to be operating in that country, but nonetheless it is the second time that president biden has warned russia's government that the u.s. will still hold russia accountable for attacks that originate from its territory. the first warning came less than a month ago when president biden met with vladimir putin in geneva, warning him that there were 16 areas of critical u.s. infrastructure that the president was considering off limits in the escalating cyber war between those two countries. now a senior administration official telling reporters after the call that president biden had with putin yesterday that in the weeks since president biden and the u.s. government have issued to russia specific
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multiple requests for assist abs going after cyber criminals operating in rush. president biden said he told this to vladimir putin on the call. take a listen. >> i made it very clear to him that -- that the united states expects when ransomware operation is coming from his soil, even though it is not, not sponsored by the state, we expect him to act if we give him enough information to act on who it is. >> you said weeks ago there would be consequences. will there be, sir? >> yes. >> reporter: president biden later saying he would consider u.s. cyberattacks on servers used by russian hackers as a way to pushback on those types of attacks originating in russia. that and other cyber issues between the two countries expected to come up when the
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cyber groups established between the u.s. and russia at that meeting last month in geneva meet in the coming week, yasmin. >> and we're going to be talking more about this with clint watts in the next hour. i think the big question here, josh, is america doing enough, is the president doing enough. josh letterman for us in wilmington. thank you. great to see you this afternoon, josh. still ahead, everybody, a new interview with the most famous candidate in the california recall race, but record heat radiating across the west with no relief in sight. why these waves of extreme weather could be the new normal for this entire country including where you live right now. plus, covid confusion. an announcement about a vaccine booster shot sets off a standoff between pfizer and the biden administration that has millions of americans asking a lot of questions. we are going to have some answers with dr. kavita patel just ahead. or floss can be a sign of early gum damage. new parodontax active gum repair kills plaque bacteria at the gum line
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welcome back, everybody. more than 31 million people across the west and southwest are enduring a brutal heat wave that could torch the region with record-breaking triple digit temperatures. excessive heat warning and advisories are in effect for a large swath of the west stretching from california to oregon and parts of utah as well. this sweltering heat is coming after what the national oceanic and atmospheric administration calls the hottest june, get this, in 127 years.
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nbc's erin mclaughlin is in los angeles sweating it out as she awaits us to come to her. erin, good to see you. it looks really hot there. but i want to kind of talk about the worries first before we really get into the weather, which is climate scientists and kind of the, you know, roller coaster ride this whole country has been taking with these heat waves for the last couple of weeks, how worried are they? could we see more? >> reporter: yeah, well, scientists and officials, yasmin, say this is extremely concerning. it is a stunning situation. keep in mind, this is the third major heat wave to strike the western portion of the united states this year alone, and we're not even halfway through summer yet. we are seeing triple digit temperatures across ten different states. here in california, they've declared a grade two power emergency, asking people to
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conserve energy. >> wow. >> that being provoked by wildfires that we're seeing up in oregon, which are threatening power lines, threatening the state of california's ability to import power, compounding this whole situation, a major drought. different reservoirs across the west at the lowest levels we have seen in years, and in all eyes on death valley this weekend. already hit 130 degrees farenheit. that is just four degrees short of the all-time record for the hottest temperature ever hit or recorded on earth. what we're hearing from government officials, what we're hearing from scientists -- >> wow. >> -- is that this is climate change. take a listen to what the governor of california had to say earlier this week. >> it is jaw dropping what is happening in the west coast of the united states, the heat dome in the pacific northwest, happened up in canada. 119-degree temperatures up in
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oregon, washington. record-breaking -- world record-breaking temperature here in the state of california, 130 degrees in death valley last august, projecting 128 this weekend. those are the effects of climate change. it is here. it is real. it is human induced and it is happening. the impacts, the acute impacts are happening decades before even the scientists had predicted. >> reporter: and it will be sometime before we know the impact of the current heat wave we're now expecting here out west. just to put in perspective, the heat wave that was experienced last june, some 200 people died, but also the impact on the environment, hundreds of millions of mussels literally cooked alive. they say it will be years before we understand the ecological impact of that heat wave alone. yasmin. >> loss of life, the environment, the food cycle. so much could be affected by this. erin mclaughlin for us. those are some crazy temperatures. stay safe, my friend. thank you.
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coming up, everybody, caitlyn jenner. learning politics can involve tough questions, in a new interview with nbc news we will have that coming up. plus, misinformation and vax hysteria. the right wing media campaign led by a certain fox news host that has undermined the vaccine efforts. we will show you the impact it is having on our recovery from covid. we will be right back. are waking up to what's possible with rybelsus®. ♪ you are my sunshine ♪ ♪ my only sunshine... ♪ rybelsus® works differently than any other diabetes pill to lower blood sugar in all 3 of these ways... increases insulin... decreases sugar... and slows food. the majority of people taking rybelsus® lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than 7. people taking rybelsus® lost up to 8 pounds. rybelsus® isn't for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.
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community. come on, jesse! one more! it's every workout. come on, you two! let's go! for everyone. so join in now. and see your best self. in the mirror. welcome back. masks are off, travel is booming and americans are finally enjoying their first taste of freedom since the onset of this pandemic. but despite the optimism, the delta variant is continuing to cast a long shadow over the united states. now the nation's dominant strain, delta has laid siege to america's unvaccinated communities in missouri, which carries one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. cases have ballooned by 46% in just the last two weeks. of those cases, 73% caused by
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the delta variant. it is not just missouri, others are suspensing dangerous surges amid low vaccination rates. i want to bring in lindsey reiser and medical contributor dr. kavita patel. lindsey, different parts of the nation are experiencing different realities within this pandemic. walk us through some of what you are seeing this afternoon. >> reporter: yeah. i mean, yasmin, good to be with you. take new york city for example. you see behind me tourists are back crowding this area. even the pigeons are back. restaurants are back at full capacity. there was a broadway show that returned last month, the rest returning in september. even though tourists and visitors are coming out, people are leaving their houses again, new york city is not seeing a huge uptick in cases. in fact, they're still registering record seven-day average lows not seen since march of last year. state officials are crediting the high vaccination rate here. i mean we have three-quarters of
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all adults with at least one shot. not the case everywhere, yasmin, as you were mentioning. we will show kind of a heat map of coronavirus in the country right now. states in the south, in the plains, the mid-west are struggling with the delta variant. it is now the dominant variant here in the u.s., and there's a correlation between the uptick in cases we are seeing and the states that have large unvaccinated clusters. we have another graphic we will show you of the ten least vaccinated states that are seeing the highest 14-day rolling averages. i will roll through some of them. alabama, mississippi, arkansas, louisiana, tennessee. they're all hovering in the 30% of total vaccination, but their 14-day cases range from 40% to 80%. the cdc said 90% of deaths recorded last month were among unvaccinated patients. so i did talk with some people who are out here today about how comfortable and confident they
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feel with where we are at in this pandemic. this is what they told me. >> i'm good. i'm comfortable. i'm sick of being home. >> i feel pretty good. i mean we're all vaccinated as a family, so i think that helps us feel better. i'm not so sure what the fall brings, but it seems okay now. >> reporter: so, yasmin, i'm sure you will get into this with dr. patel, but there are also some mixed messages on this booster shot. pfizer saying they're developing one, they're going to ask for authorization. the cdc and fda saying not so fast, we want to make sure the science backs up the need for a booster shot. yasmin. >> so, dr. patel, let's get into what lindsey just brought up, which is kind of this disconnect between pfizer, the cdc and the fda, talking about this booster shot. dr. fauci echoing what the cdc and the fda has said as well. let's take a listen to him. >> today the recommendation is that we do not need a booster at this point. the pharmaceutical companies don't make the determination.
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the fda and the cdc do. >> what's it going to be, dr. patel? are we going to need this booster shot? and if you are talking, by the way, six months, there are folks that got that pfizer vaccine six months ago, and guess where those folks are? on the front lines, doctors and nurses. >> right. i'm one of them, yasmin. so i am, of course, both selfishly and for other colleagues very interested in this. number one, we have to look at the data. so far the data, even six to eight months out, demonstrate that we do still have, not just some immunity, we still have more than enough immunity to protect us against not just the delta variant but other variants as well. so that's good news. number two, we do know that immunity decreases over time. so the fact that pfizer and other companies are working on boosters is no surprise. i think the problem is the confusing messaging. when pfizer puts in that application in august with data that we should be able to see,
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that means that they're starting that process, and dr. fauci is right. that does not mean americans should be running to the pharmacies and doctors' offices today to ask about a third booster. here is the confusing third data point. you have even more confusing public messaging. people like myself who are watching our own patients who have had organ transplants, even some elderly patients who might not mount as robust an immune response and we are talking about evidence-backed third shots for them. the bottom line, the majority of americans today do not need a booster shot, myself included, but it is a good idea to have these boosters available, yasmin, in case we do need them. i thing the bigger threat is if we didn't have them and we had a variant that developed that we would not develop immunity to and we would be demanding, just like we needed these vaccines and the rush we had in january, february an march to get them. so the messaging is confusing. for the american public, get your first shot and that's
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enough, more than enough to keep you safe. >> so here is what i'm worried about. the messaging is confusing, which is what i am hearing from you, and then talking about the graphs, the states that lindsey was mentioning a bit earlier, these record-low vaccination rates across the country. you think about that. folks are already hesitant to get one, two shots of this vaccine, and then subsequently we could be asking them to get a third shot when they are already hesitant. how do you even go about getting that done? >> yeah, there's no question. this is critical. we need to make sure that it is kind of one-on-one messaging. i need to tell the 29 year old who is nervous about something, need to show her the statistics how many 29-year-old women with covid had problems, complications, even hospitalizations. you are right, we need to get the first shot. i will get any shot into them. i want them to get two doses if they're getting pfizer or moderna or the one dose of j & j, but i want them to do as
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quickly as possible. in maryland, 100% of our deaths over the last several weeks were only in unvaccinated people and in younger people as well. >> wow. >> so we need to get this through. i think that, unfortunately, limiting these cases to the hot spots is not going to continue. with time it will percolate all over the country with unvaccinated people. that is the biggest threat right now. >> lindsey reiser, dr. kavita patel, thank you both, guys. appreciate it. i want to turn from the facts about this virus and the vaccine to the misinformation that's being spread about it. take a listen to just a little bit of what has been said about covid-19 and the vaccine this week on fox news. >> they're going to knock on your door. they're going to demand that you take it, and they're going to give you a third shot. it is unbelievable how offensive this administration is getting with a pandemic that is clearly on the run. >> the focus of this administration on vaccination is mind boggling. >> why not give people credit rather than try to berate them
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into doing something and claiming it is playing politics. >> we discovered something amazing. the data show that the median age of death for covid is often older than life expectancy. for real. every death is sad, but keep in mind we just stopped western civilization because of this virus. do you think they hyped covid a little bit? yeah, they did. >> okay. let's bring in the president and ceo of media matters, anglo carasone. that stuff is incredible, what we just heard, the disinformation, the diss service they're doing for the american public when it comes to the pane. we heard dr. patel saying 100 people getting covid and subsequently dying are folks that unvaccinated. walk us through why this misinformation is coming from these folks and how it is being received. >> sure. so thanks for having me. i would say, you know, one of
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the things that has happened since about the end of may is there's been a stark shift. it started with fox news and it has fully spread over to the rest of the right wing echo chamber, a very deliberate effort to not just undermine the vaccine to the anti-vax, but actually to give people active instructions to flout all public health measures. so it is worse in some ways than just being anti-vaccination. a big part of this, if you think about it, is political. it is always about how you organize power, and a large part of the calculus seems to be if you can identify a whole universe of individuals that are in that conspiracy mindset, the qanon crowd we saw active in the lead up to january 6th, then you can pull them into the political fold. maybe they haven't been as politically active, and the way you can do that is by organizing power on the fringe. that applies a lot to what you are hearing, because it is not just that the vaccine may be dangerous. that's not where they're ending it. this week they talked about the fact on fox news that the vaccine could lead to forced
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sterilization. that if you give into the public health measures that the next step is that joe biden is going to confiscate your children if you are a conservative. this is happening on fox and is this getting amplified in the fever swamps online. it is not the other way around. typically we see that kind of stuff sitting on the edges on the internet, but it is happening front and center in the crown jewel of the right wing media. >> i feel like people are going to kill me for this next question on twitter, but why do they continue to do this when they know people are subsequently dying because of it every single day still, especially with this new delta covid variant? >> i start at the top because it is hard to figure out why. i mean some of it i guess is that maybe they're just that malevolent. some i think is about political power and appealing to their base because that's where their audience is, but it has to go
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deeper than that. because, i mean, rupert murdoch was one of the first people in line to get the vaccine. at fox they're getting vaccinated. they're following public health measures. so they're all sort of lying to their audience, and it is one thing if they're not promoting the vaccine, but they're really going out of their way to get people to become hostile to the idea of it. i mean this week they did a whole special segment on how if you are under 30 years old, you are the worst person and the worst candidate for the vaccine because it is uniquely dangerous for you. so, as you notice, dr. patel was talking about how it is important for young people to get it. now they've shifted their efforts to respond to the current crisis, that young people need it the most. i don't know why, but i know that they know better. >> brian kilmeade saying this pandemic is on the run when thousands and thousands of people are still getting covid every single day. thank you so much. appreciate it. still ahead, everybody, fall-out over an espn reporter's
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scientist. coverage begins tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. eastern here on msnbc. we will be right back. okay, imagine this... your mover, rob, he's on the scene and needs a plan with a mobile hotspot. we cut to downtown, your sales rep lisa has to send some files, asap! so basically i can pick the right plan for each employee... yeah i should've just led with that... with at&t business... you can pick the best plan for each employee and only pay for the features they need. that delicious scramble was microwaved? get outta here. everybody's a skeptic. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg. i'm greg, i'm 68 years old. i do motivational speaking it's a scramble. in addition to the substitute teaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing
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because the network was under pressure to address its quote, as she put it, crappy long-time record on diversity. an espn spokesman says, quote, a diverse group of executives thoroughly and fairly considered all of the facts related to the incident and then addressed the situation appropriately. we are proud of the coverage we continue to produce, and our focus will remain on maria, rachel and the rest of the tal tented team collectively serving nba fans. meanwhile, nichols went on air earlier this week saying, quote, i don't want to let this moment pass without saying how deeply sorry i am for disappointing those i hurt, particularly maria taylor. joining me now, sports and culture writer for "the athletic" and co-author of "loving sports when they don't love you back." thank you for joining us. appreciate it. how is it perceived in regards to the way in which espn handled this considering nichols is still on air? >> i think that people are reacting against espn not really knowing how to handle this given
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that they've had a year to prepare for this story being dropped. this video was first leaked to "dead spin" a year ago and honestly espn was lucky at the time that "dead spin" didn't do very much reporting on this. now with the latest "new york times" report, it does seem that there should have been a better -- a better handling of this. we also have to mention the only person who has really been disciplined, rachel nichols was taken off sideline duty for the nba finals, but the only person truly disciplined was a young black producer who shared the video with -- who shared the audio with maria taylor in first place. she is no longer with the company after she saw her duties eaten into after this happened. it doesn't seem espn has handled it well given they've had so much time to prepare for it. >> i want to read maria taylor's tweet. i remember that i'm in a position to open doors and light
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the path that others walk down. i've taken some punches but that just means i'm still in the fight. remember to lift as you climb and always keep rising. in general we've had a lot of conversations surrounding race in sports. how does this narrative play into that? >> i think anybody who is a woman of color -- i'm not a black woman, but i think anybody who is a woman of color in the sports space knows that if it is not necessarily truly what rachel nichols believes or what everybody believes, there are a significant number of people who think that the only reason women and women of color get their positions are because of diversity hiring. honestly, that could be true some of the time. that does not mean that people who get hired because of a call to diversity are not qualified for their job. maria taylor has worked extremely hard and has been on this catastrophic rise in a fairly short amount of time because she is very good at what she does. i think that when we have the broader conversation about affirmative action or diversity hiring, it needs to come with
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the idea that there are people who still very much deserve to have their jobs even if they might be considered to add to the diversity of a company. >> let's talk sha'carri richardson while i have you. the usa's track and field decided not to offer her a spot saying, and i quote, they want to maintain fairness. in your belief do you think race played a card here? >> i have to be perfectly honest in this particular instance. i don't know if race actually played a card because i can't actually think of a white athlete who tested positive for marijuana who was then not allowed -- who was then allowed to go to the olympics. that's very specific to this instance, the reaction that i have. i will say absolutely race plays a huge role in the reason marijuana is on a banned substance list to begin with. we can have a conversation about the history of the war on drugs in this country and how it was adopted internationally and the fact that the world anti-doping
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agency has marijuana on the banned substance list, you can't talk about it without talking about race and how disproportionately it affects black americans and black athletes. going forward it will be really interesting. there's been a lot of conversation from the u.s. side about re-evaluating whether marijuana should continue to be a banned substance, and the biden administration has actually called for a meeting with them to talk about that. so as unfair as this all seems, and we are all at a loss for not being able to watch sha'carri richardson at the olympics, she may end up being revolutionary in her own way even before she actually steps on to an olympic track. >> yeah, i actually have been relating in a way to somewhat of the experience colin kaepernick has had in football. kavitha davidson, great to talk to you this afternoon. coming up in the next hour, the war on voting out in the open today in texas as the republican-controlled legislature tries to pass new voting restrictions. i will talk to texas state
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representative eddie rodriguez on the front lines of fighting this effort, plus the reverend al sharpton at a meeting with president biden. the action he wants to see from the president. first, trump and the gop. the former president is the main event at cpac, but there's plenty of big names. after the break we will hear from one-time reality star caitlyn jenner on covid, her famous kids and her bid for the california governor seat. we will be right back. right ba. d and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild. but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure. you get both. introducing the wildly civilized all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l at philadelphia, we know what makes introducing the wildly civilized the perfect schmear of cream cheese. the recipe we invented over 145 years ago
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♪ watch the olympic games on xfinity ♪ ♪ root for team usa and feel the energy ♪ ♪ 7000 plus hours of the olympics on display ♪ ♪ with xfinity you get every hour of every day ♪ ♪ different sports on different screens, ♪ ♪ you can watch it anywhere ♪ ♪ and with the voice remote ♪ ♪ you never have to leave your chair ♪ show me team usa. ♪ all of this innovation could lead to some inspiration ♪ ♪ and you might be the next one to represent our nation ♪ ♪ this summer on your tv, tablet, or any screen ♪ ♪ xfinity is here to inspire your biggest dreams ♪ welcome back. some 4,000 conservatives are
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expected to fill the hilton hotel in dallas for cpac's latest event, american uncancelled. among them with former president donald trump. nbc's ali vitali is in dallas with more on this for us. good to see you this afternoon. let's talk first about the former president and what we expect to hear. >> reporter: yasmin, this script hasn't really changed very much. we have seen the former president take a much more public posture over the course of the last few weeks. that's the plan for the rest of the summer and into the fall as he tries to continue to engage with the republican base ahead of the 2022 mid terms. but really the goal at conservative conferences like this for trump and his allies is to continue to cement his hold on the party as he then goes out and tries to effect what is happening on electoral ballots across the country in the coming mid-term elections. but, really, you come to conferences like this and you hear from other speakers kind of talking in the mold of trump, taking on the culture wars that he stoked, talking about things
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like critical race theory, banning that. so, really, this is an event that has been made in trump's image in many ways. back in february at the first cpac of 2021, people were joking that it should be called tpac. this is a place where he can come and say really whatever he wants and it is a crowd that is eager to hear from him. i do imagine though that that class action lawsuit that he announced earlier this week at bedminster against the social media platforms that banned him is probably likely to come up, but it is just a crowd that is eager to hear from him regardless if anything is new or not. >> ali, i know you talked to indicate rin jenner. how did that go? >> reporter: yeah, she is not a speaker here but she is trying to bolster her conservative credentials by talking with conservative pundits who are here, getting her name in the mix. at the same time she is also talking about what it means when she brands herself an inclusive republican. listen to what she said when i
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asked her about that. >> everybody is trying to put you in a box. you're in this box over here, you're in that box. if you are in this box, if you are in the republican box, you have to think this way. i don't think that way. obviously i think the republican party has to change. ali, i'm the poster child for change. it doesn't get any better than this. okay. >> reporter: now, it is unclear whether or not we will see that kind of change in california. she's, of course, running in the run-off against gavin newsom, the current governor there as well as other republicans who are trying to recall and replace him. but at the same time when you talk about change overall in the party, when you listen in rooms like this, and you and i have talked on many a saturday and sunday at these conservative gatherings and trump rallies, what is clear is that the national party is setting an agenda when you start looking at the states. it is a microcosm of where the republican party is at now
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because the ideas you hear in rooms like this when you talk about banning critical race theory and talking about a rigid election that wasn't rigged in 2020, that's what we're hearing in places like texas starting to enact bills. there is a bill there to ban critical race theory. there's a bill restricting voting rights, stemming from the big lie of 2020. the national ethos is trickling into the statewide impact. >> before i let you go, i know you asked caitlyn jenner her thoughts on the election lie. what did she say? >> reporter: i did. she was a little squishy on that. she talked about needing to have faith in a secure election system, but at the same time was not really full throated in backing, for example, the restrictions that are trying to be passed in places like texas. she said she thinks confidence is growing but didn't back anything up. i think squishy on that issue. i asked her, don't you think it
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is a slippery slope when you are in rooms like this one where people keep saying the election was stolen. i have talked to trump voters and supporters who believe that. it erodes confidence in the underpinnings of elections being free and fair. i think all politicians have to answer for that. >> reporter: ali vitali for us in dallas, texas. thank you. we are approaching the top of the house. this is msnbc "reports with yasmin vossoughian." ♪ ♪ welcome, everybody. i'm yasmin vossoughian. if you are still with me, thanks for sticking around. if you are just joining, welcome. coming up in the next hour, an assault on democracy in plain view right now in the texas legislature. the house and senate holding hearings on republican bills aimed at making it more difficult for those in the state to vote, but they may have gotten more than they bargained for. the gop effort met with a flood

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