tv Meet the Press MSNBC July 12, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT
end of our 20-year war. >> how many more, how many thousands more america's daughters and sons are you willing to risk? >> with the taliban quickly gaining ground, renewed fears the country could again become a terrorist haven. li >> september 11, 2001. to risk that happening again which is very much what i think we're doing, is national security malpractice. >> even the president seems e uncertain of the outcome. >> the mission hasn't failed yet.
>> we'll get a report from nbc news chief correspondent richard engel in kabul. i'll speak with chairman of the senate armed services committee jack reed of rhode island. plus, whitewashing january 6th. >> if you didn't know it was video from january 6, you would think it's a normal tourist visit. >> as a growing number in the gop try to deny what happened at the capitol, one republican says the vast majority in his party know the truth but refuse to di admit it. my guest this morning, congressman adam kinzinger of illinois. also, eric adams beats out progressives in the democratic primary for new york city mayor. >> i am the face of the new n ig democratic party. >> what the non-woke former police captain's victory says about the kind of democrats that are actually winning elections. joining me are nbc news capitolr hill correspondent kasie hunt, mark leibovich from "the new york times," former obama white house senior adviser stephanie cutter and republican strategist al cardenas.
welcome to sunday, it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. operation enduring freedom in afghanistan began on october 7, 2001. it was less than one month after the attacks on the world trade center and the pentagon. by december of that year the en taliban, which had provided a ie safe haven for al qaeda, had collapsed. and then on may 11, 2011, u.s. forces killed osama bin laden. what was once thought of as the, quote, good war, as opposed to iraq at the time, afghanistan became a forever war and one that, for americans who did not have friends or relatives serving in the fight, eventually became the forgotten war. on thursday president biden said 20 years was enough. he announced that the united states would complete its withdrawal from average by the end of the month.y aw
later, actually, than former president trump planned.t left behind is a resurgent taliban, making sweeping gains against overwhelmed and uninspired afghan forces.ak also behind, the afghan translators and contractors, america's nation-building efforts along with the hopes of establishing a greater level of freedom and more independence for women in that country. in fact, even as he announced the withdrawal, president biden admitted the mission hasn't failed yet. still, even if most americans forgot about this war, as nbc news chief foreign correspondena nccoceonn richard engel reports from kabul, for those left behind, this war is still very real. >> reporter: the taliban are laughing it up in the video reposted by a kabul police spokesman.t and why not?wh the taliban have taken control of most of afghanistan in just weeks, often without firing a shot. afghan troops are surrendering, handing over posts and weapons.
the taliban give each soldier the equivalent of $80, pocket money for the trip home. the united states spent more than $80 billion to equip afghan security forces. the return on investment so far is low. >> corruption is the main reasoo for failure of some of our -- surrendering of some of our t ary areas of taliban. >> reporter: she's a member of parliament and a peace negotiator.or extremists have tried to kill her twice. >> i actually had a meeting yesterday with those people who run away. i said why did you leave the area? they were telling me stories, like they did not eat for four days because there was no food for them. >> reporter: when we visited bagram air base, it was so empty, i was able to bike down the runway. no one even asked what i was doing. i the soldiers seemed almost yeda r:ir wthrs unaware there's a war going on. two units are fighting. afghanistan's small air force and the commandos.
on a mission i saw them on the attack, advancing into gunfire. but there are just 30,000 commandos up against around three times as many taliban. the commandos are doing 90% of the fighting. so perhaps no one is holding afghanistan together more than the commando's general. >> everybody was so much relying on our american colleagues and friends here in afghanistan. we will learn how to alone fight -- run this fight. r >> reporter: what about foreign fighters, extremists, terrorists? we understand they are starting to come back in once again. are you seeing evidence of that? >> we are. you may have been tracking. just in the last month we have killed dozens of al qaeda in helmand and different parts of the country. >> reporter: do you think
afghanistan could once again with a springboard for international terrorism?na >> even worse than 9/11. i'm telling you.te because over the past 20 years, you have invested blood and treasure. you're the main enemy now. why do you think you will be safe? why do you think you will be protected? you have killed people in afghanistan. >> reporter: the threats afghans face are more immediate, especially women who flocked toy schools and to take up careers denied by the taliban.th no one is more at risk than the thousands of contractors and translators who worked for u.s. troops, men like tom, which is what the americans called him. he's now in hiding. >> if i stay here, i will be n t killed. >> reporter: tom worked for the u.s. military for two years and five months. he has numerous letters of er recommendation, including from his former commander. >> i trusted tom 100%. as things deteriorate, i think he has a legitimate reason to fear for his life. >> richard engel joins me live g
from kabul. before we get into the debate about should we stay or should we be going as we are, how we're leaving looks very haphazard. it looks rushed. we don't seem to have a plan in place yet for how we're going to deal with the translators. that's what it looks like from here. is that what it looks like to you?t >> reporter: very much so. the translator, tom, just as an example, it took us 45 minutes to connect with his former company commander, and he has been waiting for his visa for four years. so it's been very organized to get the troops out of here, to make sure they're evacuated safely, but in terms of a plan and dealing with all the people who worked with us, that seems very, as you said, haphazard and could be done better. w >> let's talk about the larger debate. we may not know the answer to this debate for 20 years, let alone 20 days or 20 months.
are we going to see history repeat itself as the taliban takes over afghanistan? will it be a safe haven for a reconstituted al qaeda or islamic state? >> reporter: many senior analysts, political figures, military officials in this country and beyond believe pod that's exactly what's going to happen because of the symbolic victory that the taliban has been given right here. they achieved what isis ve couldn't. they were able to achieve a victory over the united states and establish a new safe haven for islamic extremists. that is drawing in islamic extremists. just a few minutes ago, just before coming here, i was speaking to the former senior adviser -- the national securitn adviser to the ex-taliban leader mullah omar. he assured me it won't happen, that the taliban learned a lesson from hosting al qaeda, that keeping osama bin laden
here wasn't worth 20 years of fighting, and they will guarantee this country won't be a springboard for international enrsfoism. mhe they say they will bring islamic law here, afghan traditions, but they will focus on afghanistan not causing problems for the rest of the world. the question is do you believe that, and can they control it. >> let me ask this about bagram air base. what's the more likely future, that the taliban controls it, that the u.s. goes back and al occupies it, or that some day we're going to have to attack something we built pause our enemies are somehow using it?ur >> reporter: well, the big factor of bagram right now is there are thousands of taliban prisoners and other prisoners inside, some of them very top leaders from the tall pan.
military officials have told me they're concerned because the power is out, the base defenses are disrupted. if the taliban tried to liberate their prisoners -- and they've already in other towns and cities tried to liberate their prisoners. if they were able to free those -- it's anywhere between five and 10,000 prisoners inside, if they were able to free them, bagram is on the footsteps of kabul. and it could be the tipping point. i think it's possible, afghans think it's possible that bagram could become a target because of those prisoners. then will the u.s. have to attack it, watch it happen, come back? there will be some very tough decisions that will have to be made in realtime if that happens. >> richard engel on the ground in kabul for us, as he always is in these unsafe and unstable places. richard, thank you. 'sthbah e aan if thhard e joining me now is democratis senator jack reed of rhode island. he's the chair of the senate armed services committee.he i do want to make a note, by the way. we know many of you expected to see national security adviser jake sullivan to be here. the white house told us yesterday he would be unable to appear for personal reasons. senator reed, this is the he
current headline in the current issue of "the economist." "america's longest war is ending in crushing defeat." it's a pretty rough headline. do you agree with it? >> it's not accurate. the purpose that we went into ra afghanistan for was to degrade and disrupt al qaeda, to limit their ability to project attacks outside of afghanistan. to a great degree we've done that.ou the job is not over. this is not a closure. this is a transition. we have to maintain continual involvement both with the afghan government by supporting them financially, also providing the kind of technical assistance they need for their air force and other elements, but i think the president was presented with a bad series of choices. the trump administration had said we were leaving by may 1st. the taliban had no real responsibilities in that
agreement, none that they carried out that i can see, and yet that date i think would hav prompted an incredible increase of violence and directed against the united states. i think the president made a difficult but the best of many poor choices. >> you know, after your -- i believe it may have been your first trip to afghanistan in 2002,ta you said -- you reassur the leadership at the time, of afghanistan, that america was going to be involved in the long haul. there was this fear, constant fear among afghan reformists that whatever we did, we were going to leave. well, isn't that what's happening? aren't their greatest fears being realized? didn't you basically -- is that an amy ity promise that was enil made? we've now turned tail? >> no. i think some of the factors that we have to consider is that in 2002, we were prepared and we
had a permissive situation. we had destroyed the taliban. one of the critical strategic mistakes was the pivot to iraq which i opposed.e ond. one reason i opposed it is i thought it would eventually lead to compromising our resources and ourr attention to afghanistan, and it did. we tried to resuscitate that approach to afghanistan over several surges. they have not been successful.ea 20 years of effort and thousands of american lives i don't think represents a shallow promise in 2002. >> let me ask you this. had president biden decided that, you know -- because there was a debate, are we at war or not at war. there was some thought of a stabilizing force, not dissimilar to japan, korea, or germany. would there have been support in that for congress, for a
stabilizing force that was er basically at bagram air base, for an undetermined amount of time? >> perhaps, but i don't think there was an overwhelming sense in the congress that we should stay.s i think the reaction to the departure has been one of generally acceptance. i think the other factor that should be considered is that, as long as the taliban had a safe haven, which they do in th pakistan, they would continue to flow in, put pressure on. p we could hold them perhaps at h bay, but i think at this juncture, the president decided any type of increase in forces, increase in presence would be in the long term ineffective, and 2,500 personnel is not exactly a decisive force to have, particularly if the taliban continues to gain strength. >> i want to show the taliban strength here. it's this map here, courtesy of the foundation of defense of democracy, their long war journal.
here in the dark red are where taliban control things as of april 13th. watch how this part of afghanistan only gets redder as you see here. it gets redder and redder. the gray area is what is ddntrolled by afghan security en forces, and the pink, by the way, is contested. the point is, the taliban, senator, now have control over half the territory. do you think kabul will hold? >> i think kabul will hold. the question is can it hold long enough to create a political solution between the sides? what you've seen is the encroachment of the taliban. most of that had been without military action. most of that has ssentially been going in, persuading or paying off the local leadership, and they've been preparing for that for many, many months.e again, out the door in february of 2020 they saw a free -- >> you think dohar was a mistake. you keep pointing back to this.i you think the initial agreementh that the trump administration
made with the taliban was a mistake? >> i think it was because i i think it set a fixed date rather than imposing conditions that would have then let us depart afghanistan. it also -- most of the conditions on the taliban were unenforceable. they claimed they would disassociate themselves from al qaeda. clearly that's not the case. i think the sum of the agreement was, if you don't buy the rust -- >> i don't think we are.thk it ended any sort of conditionality, and it set a date. andit the most important thing that wasta -- people can grasp that. they can see, oh, may 1st, the americans didn't leave, they promised to leave.
the taliban was right, et cetera, et cetera. i think it was -- it did not helpit at all. >> all right. now, we're not going to be in afghanistan. we're noto going to be in iraq. what's thein future of gitmo? are we about to shut it down as awe prison facility? >> i don't think we are.s i think we're in a situation where -- again, i think this is both legal andth policy and political.ol there's still reluctance, particularly for many of my colleagues onof the other side,o bring these prisoners under the jurisdiction of a federal court. by the way, that's where we've convicted most of the terrorists we've captured. and then the legal situation has been so confused over the last t 20 years in terms of what's the proper procedure. that's another complicated factor.
one of the concerns we have and we're trying to address it in the next national defense bill, is that at least the health care of these individuals will be appropriately monitored. now they're getting into their 60s and 70s, and we have a ricee humanitarian and a legal d obligation to provide them adequate health care. >> very quickly, apparently the reason we're delaying the issue of afghan translators is there's a debate about whether they should get legal standing in a l u.s. territory. are we really debating whether to give these afghan translators due process rights? i mean, why shouldn't they get refugee status on an american territory like guam? >> i completely agree with you. we have been trying through the appropriations process, not onlt to clarify that or at least work with the administration to a clarify that, but we have about 18,000 visas that are still being processed. sam, the gentleman that you interviewed, is one of those. we probably need 20,000 more so that we can legally get them out. senator shaheen and others haveo
been leading that effort.ng we hope we can get that done quickly. i know the military is planning contingency operations to get them to a safe place where we can process them effectively. we have a moral obligation to help get out people who risked their lives helping us. >> that's for sure. senator jack read chairman of s the senate armed services committee, appreciate you comina on with the last-minute invite. thank you, sir. >> thanks, chuck. take care. c >> you got it. when we come back, whitewashing history. the many republicans trying to convince the public that somehot these scenes from january 6th you're looking at never really happened. i'll talk to congressman adam kinzinger who says his fellow republicans actually know better. o the esophagus. prilosec otc uses a unique delayed-release formula that helps it pass through the tough stomach acid. it then works to turn down acid production, blocking heartburn at the source.
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customers with no line-activation fees or term contract required. see if you can save by switching today. comcast business. powering possibilities. welcome back januar welcome back. january 6th, like september 11 or december 7 is a date that immediately communicates the horror of that single day. since then, many republican members of congress have tried to rewrite history, some by
denying there was a riots at the capitol, some denying the pro-trump insurrectionists, some say former president trump didn't incite the riot. adam kinzinger says the vast majority of republican colleagues do believe trump incited the riot. before i get to january 6th, you're a veteran of iraq and afghanistan, not just as a member of congress dealing with it. you were there. the headline in "the economist" calling it a crushing defeat. do you agree or disagree with that headline? >> i agree. it's a crushing defeat. the taliban said america has the watches, but we have the time. i'm proud of the american people for sticking by this mission for 20 years. we actually needed to do it longer. we still have troops in kosovo. unfortunately it worked. the taliban have outlasted the
will of the united states. it was basically a peacekeeping operation. we may have to go back now. it's a crushing defeat. i'm really sad about it, honestly. >> what do you think is going to end up -- look at bagram air base. do you think we're more likely to occupy bagram or have to somehow attack it because our enemies have taken it over? >> oh, i do think it's quite likely we're going to have to either, when we return to afghanistan, because of the existential threat to us or our allies, reoccupy bagram, or we may have to bomb it if there's some kind of an air mission. it's sad. i think the big thing is this -- i wish it would have been a lot shorter of a mission, shorter of a time. we set out so the afghan government could defend itself, and we only have 2,500 troops there, 5,000 nato groups. and the afghanistan government was doing 98% of the fighting against the taliban. it's no wonder they're collapsing when the u.s. says we're gone, but it was really a
small price to pay for, frankly, holding off the inevitable bad that unfortunately we're going to see. >> i want to turn to january 6. i think it's safe to say on january 7 that majority of congress, even republicans in congress said this is going to be the turning point, this is going to be the moment republicans realize trumpism is a virus inside the republican party that needs to be eradicated. here we are six months and five days later. let me read you this headline. this is a censure resolution in oklahoma, not for people who voted to impeach like you did. this is to censure james lankford and jim inhofe for failure to delay the certification of fraudulent electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election. that's the actual wording in this county of the republican party. the actual chair of the republican party endorsed a primary challenger to james lankford over this issue. senator lankford was standing up there to object to the electoral votes in arizona when vice president pence was taken off the senate floor.
senator lankford is a traitor now inside trump's republican party, congressman, seriously? oh, look. here's what's happened. it's just like donald trump's method, right? the biggest enemy to maga world right now is not even me or liz cheney. it's mike pence, one of the most faithful people to donald trump. if you ever turn an ounce against donald trump, you're out of the tribe. to all my colleagues in politics, let me say this to you. either have to be a zombie for the maga relief system, whether that is today or tomorrow -- it varies every day, based on donald trump's whims, or stand up and fell your constituents the truth. that's what we have to do, tell people the truth. we know what the truth is. the american people and your base deserve to hear it. that's the moment we're in. just this kind of chaotic, people scared to do anything, scared of their own shadow, absolutely desperate to get re-elected. meanwhile, the innocent people
of our base that in many cases had been led to believe that the election was stolen, is not hearing anything from any of the people they trust. >> actually, members of this base are so believing misinformation, they're getting themselves killed from the coronavirus. let me ask you this, congressman. you're running for re-election. you're running sort of unabashedly on this. if you lose your primary, what does that say? does it mean that misinformation is winning? does it mean our democracy is as fragile as it appears? >> yeah. i mean, look, i think that's a choice -- no matter how a primary comes out, i know i will put it all on the table and have done the right thing. that's a choice for the republican party to make because it's not going to be people like me or some oklahoma state committeemen. it's going to be the people that go and vote in these primaries. if our party decides that, you know, covid vaccine hesitancy or
covid denialism or january 6 was blm and antifa, but yet we don't want to investigate it because none of that makes sense, if we want to be that as a party, that's the choice the party can make. you will never be a national party again. the american people will find something different to replace you because this is unsustainable. i'm going to fight for the soul of this party. right now it's like being on a plane that's been hijacked, screaming toward the ground, and it may feel like a fun ride, but it doesn't end well. >> the house republican leader kevin mccarthy has a decision to make on the members, what republicans to appoint. i'm sure you're hearing scuttlebutt. i'm doubtful he's going to pick you as one of those five. but maybe it's possible. do you think he's going to appoint folks whose job is to
hijack this committee or at least not be unhelpful to this committee? where is he going to fall on this? >> i think he's going to find people not controversial, besides maybe jim jordan, and they're going to act to be really smart kind of scholars and all this, but their job is going to be to scuttle this. if i was kevin mccarthy, i would be very fearful of the january 6th committee. if i'm a democrat on the chit tee, i would be very intent this was by the books and doesn't turn political, because there's enough information that comes out. we want to know all these details, why didn't the president call the guard. what conversations did kevin have? what members were involved? i think we'll get to those answers. >> do you think a complete accounting can be found without subpoenaing former president trump? >> i do, because i think everybody around him knows what happened. i think if you subpoena trump, it should only be if you need to, because i think the bottom line is that can create a spectacle. i also think, look, in the future, whether it's a year or two, even through these fbi cases against these insurrectionists, all the information will come out. there's this narrative that it wasn't an armed insurrection.
well, it was. there was guns, there was arms. all that stuff will come out. if i'm a republican member of congress, i would be careful of the sides i'm taking because in the very near future people will know the truth. i want to be on the side of truth. >> what do you think of toyota and their decision to bow to a pressure campaign not to give money to those who voted to not certify the election? what do you make of this style of politics? is this something that is needed or do you think this is more polarizing? >> i personally don't like a lot of the -- i don't want to call it cancel culture, because that's been hijacked, too. the kind of forcing people to make decisions based on that. look, i also can understand why a company would not want to help smb, smb, and why a pac made up of employees of that company would not want to help somebody that didn't vote to carry out
their constitutional duty. i can fully understand that. i'm not critical of the decision to stop giving to those members. >> congressman adam kinzinger, thanks for coming on. the rise of the newly woke democratic, eric adams and the fear among many democrats that their party may be moving too far to the left too fast. the panel is next. r to the leftt the panel is next. its highly active peroxide droplets swipe on in seconds. and stays on ten times longer to continue whitening long after you apply. with virtually no sensitivity. no rinsing, no brushing off. just apply and go. try new crest whitening emulsions. better. faster. 100% whiter teeth. shop crestwhitesmile.com flowers are fighters. that's why the alzheimer's association walk to end alzheimer's is full of them. because flowers find a way to break through. just like we will. join the fight at alz.org/walk
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leibovich, "new york times" magazine, republican strategist al cardenas and obama white house adviser and longtime adviser stephanie cutter. i want to start with new york city mayor, focusing on the democrats here. we show you -- it's sort of what could have been. this was first round results. we would have had in the old rules, eric adams and maya wiley would have faced off in a runoff. we'd have been talking about, okaying it's the pragmatists versus the voting. katherine garcia after ranked-choice voting. there's sort of a pattern here. is the democratic party's electorate more moderate than some of its members these days? >> well, you know, i always hesitate to draw national conclusions out of a local race, and that's what that was.
eric adams won by one percentage point against some newbies to democratic politics. the one thing that is true is crime is rising all over the country and people are worried about it. eric adams has a unique resume to deal with it, more credibility on this issue than anybody. number one, he was brutalized by police when he was 15. number two, he joined the police force and made a name for himself for reforming the police force. he has credibility to go out there and say we need public safety, we need to protect people, but we also need accountability in the police force. we do need reform. that's a pretty authentic message that very few other people can say. now, the takeaway is that democrats -- you know, large majorities of the american people believe that we need safety and accountability. we need strong police forces to keep us safe, but we need police forces to protect all americans, including people of color. now, we need to find a better way to talk about it. defunding the police is not a winning message.
accountability and safety is a winning message. >> here is what eric adams says. he, i think, disagrees that what happened in new york stays in new york. here's what eric adams said. >> look and me, and you're seeing the future of the democratic party. if the democratic party fails to recognize what we did here in new york, they're going to have a problem in the midterm elections, and they're going to have a problem in the presidential elections. >> a member of leadership in the house democratic party is hakeem jeffries who, by the way, endorsed maya wiley, it's interesting to me. how many congressional democrats agree with eric adams? >> i think there are quite a few, to be perfectly honest. i think there's this growing sentiment, especially around these cultural issues that i hear privately from moderate democrats who are hoping to hold
onto their seats, just that sometimes it's a little bit too much. they don't necessarily disagree with progressive messaging around helping working people, that billionaires are too wealthy, wealth inequality is a problem, all these problems that alexandria ocasio-cortez and others say, but they believe in engaging in the culture wars the way it unfolded is risky and gives republicans too much ammunition to work with. >> it's interesting, when we're watching the democratic party here, mark, there's clearly a moderate coalition that wants to vote for democrats, but they're a bit uncomfortable with the wokeness. if you just follow social media and cable news shows, you would think kyrsten sinema is really unpopular. she's the most popular politician in arizona. more popular than joe biden, more popular than mike kelly. and she's someone who thinks the left is standing in the way of a bunch of progress. what should the national
democratic party take away from this? >> obviously every race is different. if you pay attention to social media, eric adams wasn't very popular in new york. >> right. >> you know, new york is a very liberal city, and, again, the coalition that eric adams won with is not unlike in new york what kerstin sinema would win with in arizona, what joe biden won with the national democratic party beginning in south carolina. i do think, obviously, some synthesis of national issues, but certainly very local, and the same mixes do apply here. >> miami-dade county. eric adams could win in miami-dade county, couldn't he? >> he could. as a republican, i looked at it from different perspectives, that race. you know, this city still matters, especially in our urban area politics, if you look at the background. i think there's a new wave of voters that want new faces. eric only got less than one-third of the vote, and he's been around for a long time. so, you know, more than
two-thirds of the people wanted to see new faces. and, three, the other thing that i thought is, you know, the candidates still matter. we forget about the kpaenl cand sometimes. he was the best networker of the group. in new york, you've got to network with interest groups in order to win. he did it better than anybody else. having said that, i think the democrats and republicans have the same problem. that is, both parties have gotten more to the extremes, and there's a whole voting in the middle of about 40% of the voters who feel like, hey, that's not me. >> stephanie, this seems to be both -- on one hand, democrats, if they run as biden democrats, that's a winning coalition. if the republicans successfully paint the democrats as the defund-the-police democrats, it's almost like the wokism versus trumpism, pick your poison here. does that make it a harder midterm? >> midterms are always difficult for the party who holds the
white house. that being said, democrats are not going to be running on defunding the police. they're going to be running on creating jobs, a strong economy, a competent government who can deploy vaccines and keep people safe, on passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill. all of this republicans voted against, the rescue package they're trying to campaign on. they voted against that. that's what this election is going to be about. it's not going to be about defunding the police or some other cultural issue that republicans will try to leverage. now, as long as trump stays on the map and as long as trump is dictating who is running in these local races, that's nationalizing this election in a way that democrats could never nationalize the election, and we welcome that. >> and, by the way, we're going to have a deep dive in this in a couple of minutes, on what donald trump is doing, snatching
victory from the jaws of defeat. she brought up congress, rescue package, infrastructure. i don't want to get bogged down into the weeds here, but this looks like a train wreck that is coming. >> no pun intended. >> this doesn't look like it's going to go swimmingly. this bipartisan deal, how fragile is it? >> it is still fragile, chuck. i spent the weekend talking with half a dozen senators and a bunch of aides to try to figure out where they are. they're actually in the process of writing things right now. that means it's at a fragile point. suddenly people, interest groups are finding out, hey, is my priority is this, is it not? so that's what i'm going to be watching in the next couple of days. >> afl-cio and the chamber will be on the same page? does that help? >> potentially. i think we'll have to see. the chamber of commerce is in a different spot than in the past. the bottom line is republican and democratic senators are looking to see what mitch mcconnell is going to do, whether he's going to say to his caucus, okay go, ahead -- or to
his conference, it's fine if you vote for that. mcconnell's people will dispute that. they say he'll just stand back and listen, the whole conference will decide. i think that's the underlying dynamic. the one thing that can save it, chuck, if republicans do decide politically the better thing to do is to let this go through, claim victory, and then just beat democrats up on the big reconciliation package when they get that far. >> i think as long as trump is playing the role he's playing, mcconnell has no choice but to let this deal go through. when we come back, why it's getting harder and harder to deny climate change wherever you live now. stay with us. for bathroom odors that linger try febreze small spaces. just press firmly and it continuously eliminates odors
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"data download" time. we're just over halfway through 2021. this has already been a record-breaking year in terms of extreme weather events. the costs, both human and economic continues to go up, meaning politicians in washington and stain capitols, they're going to be forced to start debating the existence of climate change. they're going to have to start dealing with it. it is here. let's start with hurricanes. this is the earliest we've ever hit the es in the atlantic side ever, okay? by the way, when we run out of letters of the alphabet on storms, we use the greek alphabet.
we're using the greek alphabets for covid variants, too. things could get very confusing by the end of this calendar year. heat wave in the northwest. look at the records in portsmouth, oregon, salem. it's not even hit august yet. it's turned deadly in these places, 30 deaths in washington state. a whopping 116 so far in oregon. this is not just confined to the united states. remember, it is winter down in new zealand. this is their hottest june ever. hong kong, hottest may ever. again, we're seeing this as a global issue. then, of course, let's not forget what happened in texas and what happened, that winter storm that basically almost shut down their power grid. led to 150 deaths, most expensive winter storms ever, over $155 billion. so as you can see, this issue of climate change, it's here, we're dealing with it. politicians have to deal with it, and this aftermath is something that we're only starting to see.
when we come back, author and senate candidate j.d. vance was against president trump. so many republicans like him have decided to suck it up and support this former president. it's time for sleep number's lowest prices of the season on the sleep number 360 smart bed. it's the most comfortable, body-sensing, automatically-responding, energy-building, dually-adjustable, dad-powering, wellness-boosting, foot-warming, temperature-balancing, recovery-assisting, effortlessly life-changing proven quality night sleep we've ever made. don't miss our weekend special. the new queen sleep number 360 c2 smart bed is only $899. plus, 0% interest for 48 months. ends monday. this... is what freedom sounds like. and this. this is what freedom smells like.
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♪ track and field, water polo, weightlifting and volleyball ♪ ♪ 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." ♪ live shows and exclusives on peacock all day ♪ ♪ and the best of the olympics streamed in 4k ♪ ♪ got work or got school, so you can't stay up late? ♪ ♪ just follow your favorite sports and get your updates ♪ ♪ 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. as we said, we want to focus on the republican side of things. al, this is fascinating.
j.d. vance, the author of "hillbillyology," a pretty high-profile trump critic. as he's wanting to be an ohio senate candidate, here is how he put it. trump is the leader of this movement. if i care about these people and the things i say i care about, i need to suck it up and support him. six months and five days after january 6th after lindsey graham said, enough is enough, i'm off this train, where has the republican party gone? at what point, that now you have to suck it up and deal with this trumpism? >> there's a winning at all costs commitment, i believe, to get through 2022. j.d. vance personifies it. when you watch something on tv, it hits you different ln than when you have a personal conversation. i've had personal conversations with j.d. vance along with mitt romney. so this is particularly shocking to me. after you talk personally to somebody about what their values are and how they feel about
something, and now this is it -- >> the j.d. vance you met personally is a different person than the one we're seeing? >> without a doubt. >> i mean if the j.d. vance, you could have heard talk two years ago, he went to yale law school. the second effort has been prevailing in the republican party for the last five years. what is the line? what's the hurtage in humoring him for a little bit longer? this is essentially cover your eyes and hope for the best in 2022. >> the big difference here, though, in making decisions now, is they've seen what happened for the four years of donald trump being in office and they saw what happened on january 6th. this has all unfolded after the riot on the capitol. in the beginning, yes, we had so many republicans who just essentially said, well, i'm going to keep my head down, try not to rock the boat so i can
continue to have some influence. we got that sort of in the beginning, maybe, let's see. we saw how it works. the answer is it didn't. >> the beast is growing. look what happened in oklahoma. >> oklahoma! >> look what's happening in texas. the beast is growing. the beast is not satisfied with just that premise. the beast wants more. and i, to this point, don't know where the beast is going. it's unheard of that an abbott would be challenged from the right, that a langford would be castigated by a party chairman. these things i'm seeing are just unheard of. >> we spent a segment debating the progressives and pragmatists in the democratic party. there should be a debate. there's not a debate on the republican side. he brought up greg abbott. yet, he's the moderate now compared to alan west. we've really moved this. >> he's hardly a moderate. look what he's doing in texas.
>> he thinks he has to do that. >> he has to, but i also don't think he has a problem with it. >> they are looking for the wedge issues which they think will drive out their base. the democratic party, we did just talk about progressives versus moderates, whether eric adams is the new face of the democratic party. i don't necessarily agree with that. but the democratic party is a big tent party. that's not true for republicans. al, as you said, that beast is growing. that beast has taken over the republican party. j.d. vance, although he is a complete phony, he is voicing -- giving voice to what every republican is thinking right now, that i do have to suck this up. there's not enough republicans who have the courage to stand up. >> the state party chair in alaska, mark leibovich, is against the republican incumbent. the state party today is challenging the challenger. donald trump has taken over these state parties.
the elected leadership has apparently no way to stop him. >> look, they are absolutely playing to that base. the question is are they going to lose a republican primary in their state? probably not. >> are you sure? >> no, i'm not. i'm not in oklahoma. but i also think you're right. these are very, very substantial voices in the party. i think, you know, what if you're lisa murkowski right now. you're up in two years. you have all this friction coming from the right, from trump himself who is going to probably campaign. i don't know how you do this. i think at some point this is not new york with eric adams. this is not suburban virginia where you actually have people voting for where you think the critical mass is. these are people who could not win elections because of it. >> there seems to be fear to call this out. mitch mcconnell, kasie hunt, when on tv and said he was, quote, perplexed by the reluctance of some to get vaccinated. totally perplexed, which
apparently a lot of people on social media said, apparently you haven't turned on fox lately. the amount of people on fox passing on misinformation, that's leading to the death of people. it's astonishing that this is happening. but i don't think we should be perplexed. >> no. i don't think we should be perplexed. however, i think mcconnell is speaking from a personal perspective when he said that because he suffered from polio as a child and has been, to his credit, one of the republicans out there the most saying you need to get vaccinated. he said it in washington, kentucky, the whole time. but you're right. the media ecosystem that travels through facebook -- pinterest has had a problem with anti-vax. it's another example of how the republican -- the trump ecosystem is talking to itself in a way that is separating it so far away from the big tent that is kind of the rest of america. that tent would include liz cheney, adam kinzinger, who you just spoke with.
these people really don't have a home. they don't have a place anymore. i think that's really where the danger lies going forward. >> al, this misinformation, this is in english and spanish in south florida now, isn't it? >> yeah, it sure is. it's caught on in south florida. i imagine it's going to catch up in other places. look, just to back up kasie, there's a direct relationship between the percentage of people voting for donald trump and the percentage of people vaccinated in those states throughout america, and now we have 90-some percent of people hospitalized with covid because they didn't vaccinate. it's bad for america. we need to do something about this. >> misinformers have blood on their hands. that's all we have for today. thank you for watching. enjoy the olympics. let's go team usa. remember, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
three, two, one, release, release, release. and that is a full duration burn, folks. we are headed to space. >> sir richard branson wins the heat of the first space race, beating jeff bezos, becoming the first person to blast off in his own spaceship. the question this morning, is this the launch of the space tourism industry? plus, a dudden guns seized from a hotel near the all-star game. four people have been arrested. the question is what they were