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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  July 14, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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it's 4:00 in the east. might the texas democrats who fled their state to block voter restriction laws there jump-start voting rights legislation in washington, d.c., simply by being there? that's the question this hour as jim clyburn wages a lonely public battle against the filibuster in cases of voting rights. >> we all know that the filibuster is not in the constitution. it's not a law. it's a tradition. and traditions means the past. in order to move to the future we must begin to look at what is necessary for this great country to continue its movement. the filibuster, i think, has its place but not when it comes to voting and other constitutional issues. >> now president biden's address yesterday on democracy and
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voting rights was designed to move the needle in terms of public opinion on the urgent need for voting rights legislation. that's according to one senior white house official who told me the topic doesn't show up in most polls of americans' concerns yet. here is a part of the case the president made to the american people. >> the 21st century jim crow assault is real. it's unrelenting. we're going to challenge it vigorously. it's no longer just about who gets to vote or making it easier for eligible voters to vote. it's about who gets to count the vote. who gets to count whether or not your vote counted at all. >> now notably texas democrats who were smack dab in the middle of the fight aren't calling for a sweeping and potentially polarizing piece of legislation. on this program in this hour yesterday, texas representative jasmine crockett said she would take anything that shielded
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voters from restrictions. >> what most people don't realize is that if we got just an inch, that would protect us in texas. texas is the hardest state to vote in as it is so we need some kind of oversight. we need just something. we don't necessarily need everything that's in hr-1. we would love to have it. if we don't get anything, i don't know what's going to happen to our democracy. >> now the texas democrats escaped to the nation's capital, many privately and publicly view as hopeless. "the washington post" describes it this way. a riveting exodus from texas as dozens of democratic lawmakers said good-bye to young children and aging parents, made arrangements to leave their homes and their jobs, potentially for weeks, and drew sharp rebukes for walking away from their responsibilities in the texas legislature. quote, they said they had no other recourse, and they
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admitted they have no end game. as abbott promised to keep calling special sessions over and over until the election legislation has its day. but they chose washington, a hideout in full view for a reason, to garner national attention and escalate the stakes. in a long-running effort to pressure congress and president biden to approve federal voting rights protections that would outlaw the kinds of restrictions texas republicans and dozens of other legislatures across the country are trying to enact. the members met with vice president harris and continue to lobby for federal legislation this week n. meet wgs a slate of democratic senators including joe manchin tomorrow. and anyone who tuned this to the all-star game last night might have noticed the all-star game took place in colorado. that was not supposed to be the case. the game was supposed to be played in atlanta but was moved after georgia passed voting restrictions in an appeal to the ex-president and his supporters even after three audits proved
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there was no fraud in georgia. today corporations are stepping back into the fray. more than 150 companies including pepsi, macy's, ikea and nestle's signed on to a letter, the letter obtained by nbc news says this. quote, despite decades of progress, impediments to exercising the right to vote persist. in many states, especially for communities of color. we need federal protections to safeguard this fundamental right for all americans. the fight to protect the right to vote in america is where we start once again this hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends. donna edwards is here, "washington post" contributing columnist and msnbc contributors. also joining us eugene daniels, white house reporter for politico, playbook co-author. lucky for us an msnbc contributor. and matt dowd is back, political strategist and founder of country over party. matt, straight to you on the texas democrats. we have a little bit of breaking news. eugene, as we were coming on the
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air we learned the house select committee investigating the january 6th insurrection has called its first hearing. it will be on july 27th, almost seven months after the insurrection, and the first hearing will feature the law enforcement officials, the police officers, whose bodies were mutilated by trump supporters. what else do we know? >> i mean, that's kind of what we know. we know they're going to be looking into exactly what happened that day to these police officers and these law enforcement officials. we've heard from them a little bit. we've seen them, some of them in some other hearings. we've also seen them on air with you guys here on msnbc and we will continue to hear and see some of these lawsuits go through is how bad it really was for police officers and capitol police that day. we've seen them be beaten as
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republicans continue to spread misinformation, disinformation and white washing what happened that day, it was a tourist event, it wasn't that scary. we saw megyn kelly say it wasn't an insurrection. on july 27th, the first time many of these officers are going to have their day and tell people just how scary it was that these people weren't there just to walk through the rotunda, that they were there to hurt people he and that it was a very scary situation and hopefully what we're hearing from people especially democrats on the select committee is they hope this starts to open the eyes of republicans. it seems difficult to see that as republicans have pushed so far against any kind of action on january 6th. >> donna edwards, something i asked on this program is whether they would consider letting these hearings sort of speak for
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themselves, that it is the coverage of the insurrection that has been siloed into eco-chambers, if you will, and people interested in the facts watch the actual camera footage. i don't know how you can deny what cameras recorded that day, but they do deny they do. i wonder how important it is this sort of unfiltered testimony from eyewitness participants is -- and, factually, even if no picks are made, this is a bipartisan committee investigating. liz cheney is on the committee. she is as committed as all the democrats picked to getting to the truth of january 6th. i wonder what you make of the public seeing and hearing in this new setting of congressional hearings. >> well, i think a presentation that just sort of walks step-by-step, the experience of those officers on the ground hearing that directly from them seeing the video it testimony or
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evidence that we will no doubt see, and i think that chairman thompson, bennie thompson, has made good on his call saying that he's going to proceed with hearings whether or not kevin mccarthy makes appointments, just a presentation of the facts. the truth is that republicans on capitol hill know exactly what happened that day. they may be trying to rewrite it or ignore it, but they know what happened that day. it's important to see step-by-step so they can understand how under threat our democracy was and is because of what happened on january 6. >> matt dowd, i think the idea of an ongoing threat makes this investigation not just urgently needed seven months out but urgently needed in the moment, in the threat environment in which we live. the ex-president by whatever the heck he uses to communicate is churning out, prompting out lie after lie after lie about the
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election. it is a fixture of his post presidency to continue to lie about the election results. there are brushfires in michigan, in pennsylvania, there's the ongoing faux audit. it is an ongoing delusion there was election fraud and i thought one of the most important things the president did yesterday was fight for voting rights and against the big lie. >> well, i think it's completely apropos we just heard this hearing is getting announced because there's a through line from january 6th where there was an attempt to nullify an election both by the protesters and insurrectionists and by people and republicans in congress and what's happening with voting rights. it's a line you can connect all the dots in this various way in this. i was very happy about the president's speech. to me i watched the president's speech and his actions.
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i had hoped more would have been done earlier. i'm glad more seems to be about to be done. but it's almost as if he's going through stages of grief about what he -- what the republican party fundamentally is. at first i think he was in denial that they weren't really an autocratic party that was trying to overthrow the democracy, and then he started bargaining, okay, i can figure this out and get this done, and then i think he became sad, like oh, my gosh, this is the republican party, and now he's angry. that will finally get to acceptance of what the republican party today is. it is sad for me to say, as i know it is for you, to identify the republican party as an autocratic party that doesn't care about democracy anymore. that's fundamentally where we're at today and that's why, to me, january 6 is an extension or is the beginning of this process of an attempt to take away people's voting rights and to nullify elections, and that's why we end up here in texas. to me it's a great thing to see
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texans -- i live here and have lived here for 35 years -- rise up and maybe push washington to go forward. the last time that we had something fundamental done on voting rights was done by a texan, lbj, in the '60s, the last time it was done where when he pushed the people in congress and the people in the senate to get it done. so i think joe biden's speech was good. i'm glad he's angry, and now i hope to see various actions take place including taking away the filibuster to protect voting rights. >> let me stay with you, matthew dowd, on the texas democrats. eugene has an ear to the ground, as does donna. and really what everyone is reporting and analysis amounts to is the senate democrats will not touch the filibuster. they value it too much. claire mccaskill said it is a bulwark against the republicans doing bad things when they have a slim majority. i am of the view that the republicans will do bad things that they have a slim majority
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if democrats are nice to them and the republicans will do bad things if democrats decide that voting rights are worth protecting in the same way that republicans decide judicial appointments were worth blowing up the filibuster. it is really on your spectrum of stages of accepting what this party is, and you have to get to that one. and i wonder what you make of the new variables. the filibuster decide is where it's been but you have these texas democrats who are in the state. they're used to -- there is a long history in that state of trying to work things out. not in this moment, but historically speaking. and i was surprised to hear representative crockett say we don't need the whole thing. i'd love the whole thing. i don't need the whole thing. i just need an inch. i just need something. and you've got manchin offering at least an inch. do you think those things shake things up a little bit? >> i think the texans were very
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smart flying to the capitol and doing this all in plain sight and flying up to washington. it wasn't just about what was in texas. they want to protect what's in texas. the texas democrats are like we have a five-alarm fire here in texas. all we want is a little water. we're trying to do the best we can, but texas has become so gop partisan in this time. it used to be, and you know this well, when then governor bush, before he became president, he worked with the democratic speaker and he worked with the democratic lieutenant governor, who was my boss, and was able to craft bipartisanship in texas. that's no longer the case. and all these texans want is a little help. i think it can move it forward. i love claire. claire was a fabulous senator, but i think claire is looking at this in a time gone by. and it's a time gone by where the filibuster is used for good. it's no longer being used for good. and i would bet anybody to go through all the uses of the
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filibuster in the last 150 years, and my guess there's mountain of times it was used for bad. more than it was used to stop bad. it was more used to stop good than it was to stop bad over the history of the filibuster. but the days of the filibuster being of use, of governing policy and bringing bipartisanship is long gone, and it's time for everybody just to admit that. the filibuster was great for a while. it no longer works in a time when you have an autocratic party across the aisle. >> well, eugene, i think that claire is speaking with a deep well of knowledge they are shared with lawmakers standing in the way. and i'm intrigued by some who feel defensive and say, yeah, the activists want that.
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it's a force for anti-democratic policies such as rolling back be a access to vote. it should scare democrats into doing none of the same things that they've always done. none of the norms should apply with that on the table. i want to put up the number of states that have passed laws that include both things, voter suppression and a change -- voter nullification, i think, confuses people. they are removing the officials who walk the line in november and they've targeted the states that were very, very close. the republican party is malevolent, no doubt. but they're not lacking in strategy in terms of rigging the kind of states where they're suffering. so these are the states that have already passed voter restrictions. nevada, arizona, florida, georgia, tennessee, michigan, iowa, oklahoma. some of these deep red states where there were no questions of fraud but they're just going along to get along.
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on this question of shaking up the debate, letters from companies after baseball moved the all-star game, there wasn't much noise coming from companies, but i wonder if you think there's something shifting underneath this debate, eugene? >> i think there is. there is a through line and everyone is so shocked by what happened on january 6th and they're looking in washington that the states took the big lie and these lawmakers started making laws because of that. you look in texas, texas people had no complaints about what actually happened in texas, how the election was actually run. georgia, the same thing. michigan, the same thing. the people who do the work. the secretaries of state, republican and democrat, have had no issues saying this was an election that was free and fair and the president in office right now is the rightful winner of that election.
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i think what you're start to go see, not just activists because it's very easy for lawmakers and for democrats and republicans to say it's the activists. they're supposed to push us, be yelling and screaming on the side. this is also everyday americans who are just as concerned and who don't know where to go. yesterday it was said the voters did their job -- when you talk to voters, they say we did our job. and now the lawmakers are going and saying you're going to have to keep doing your job, we're going to have to be creative how we get voting done, how you do voting. no, you do yours. that is what we're hearing. they want to see big businesses step up and do more because they feel like it's a five-alarm fire. president biden is making it clear it's an existential
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threat. and so what you hear from people is if it's an existential threat, you have to be creative in the way you operate. you can't do it in the ole ways when the senate was nice and cozy and 100 white men who were kind of hanging out and they were all on the same page. i think you will see president biden be a lot more forceful and that will continue to push and push and push. and quickly matt mentioned lbj. one of the reasons lbj signed the civil rights act was because of people like martin luther king jr. when you see the civil rights leaders meeting with the president, with the vice president, they know how to do this. how to get public support where there's no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel. you talk to our friend reverend al sharpton, the naacp president. they tell you we know how to go
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out to the streets and talk to people and get people to call senators and get onboard even though people like me may not see how it's going to happen. and so they watch this space. as the kids say that's something those leaders keep telling us. >> i don't think you're a cynical journalist. i think there's something structural in how we view biden and how biden and his closest advisers see their mission. i want to read this analysis, donna edwards, from "the atlantic" interest ron brounstein who i think we all know is pretty smart about these things. he writes this. the struggle conflicts with the broader political positioning that biden and his staff have pursued since he's taken office. biden has limited his personal engagement with cultural issues and focused on kitchen table items. voting rights starkly divides the parties and has become a symbol for the larger struggle
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for power between a racially diverse and a gop coalition on noncollege and nonurban white voters. it's dissonant for biden to acknowledge that the gop is radicalizing on voting. my thought when i read this is that that is the bigotry of low expectations. president biden, of everyone gunning to lead this country at this moment, is perfectly capable of putting needles in arms. it is an unbelievable accomplishment that we now have more vaccine than people are willing to take. we don't need to see our covid numbers spiking. this president produced and procured a vaccine for the whole country to be vaccinated. they're working on lowering the age so children can get vaccinated in the fall. they have done big and hard things. and reminding people democracy
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isn't a partisan question -- matthew and i spent as much time -- this is about fundamental fairness. we he call these policies autocratic. they're racist at their core. this seems to me to be the whole reason president biden became the nominee and ultimately the president. >> well, i think the president is uniquely positioned to get this task of voting rights over the senate hurdle. he demonstrated that throughout his career, being able to thread these needles and he can do that as president. let me just offer defensive activism. there's nothing wrong with activism to push the levers of power to do the right thing. that is what texas democrats and civil rights leaders are calling for is this is an existential
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threat to democracy when voters are being kept away from the polls in nefarious ways to undermine their participation in the democratic process. and so i think that beyond a speech, which was a really great speech, president biden really has to say, you know what, i've tried, i've tried, we've tried to get bipartisanship on a range of things. we cannot get it on this. we need every democrat onboard. get rid of that rule of a filibuster, which, frankly, to matt's point, over the last 150 years, it's actually been used for bad, especially when it comes to voting rights, to reinforcing jim crow laws. there's no magic to keeping the filibuster and it should go the side of all things old and
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useless. joe biden is an amazing leader uniquely positioned to be able to do this right now in this time. >> matt dowd, are final thoughts since this is a texas week. >> i was going to say one thing i think is really important. the framing on this issue for many has pushed it to this is an african-american issue. this is not an african-american issue. this is an american issue. this affects asian-americans. this affects latinos, small town voters, rural voters, suburban voters. this affects everybody. one of the most important lines in the declaration of independence is consent of the governed. and if people say this doesn't rise as an issue in polls, what rises are the other issues you want to deal with that you can't deal with if you don't have a democracy. you can't put gun reform in place. you can't protect roe vs. wade, expand health care for people around the country. you're not going to be able to do infrastructure if this
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bipartisan deal doesn't go through. you're not going to be able to do anything. and the idea somebody is going to stay away from cultural issues as the country is divided, when the majority of the country wants things done on all of those issues and the republicans know full well that if they do this, they no longer are accountable to the voters, all voters, not just african-americans, every single voter, they're no longer accountable to. >> i mean, ding, ding, ding, there's your motive, there's your case closed why they're doing it. for all the things they've failed at in the last generation sadly they've been wildly successful passing dozens of laws and having crafted 389 and not many speedbumps have been presented to them as of yet. thank you so much for starting us off today.
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donna isn't going anywhere. when we come back, one group of voters who may be hurt most by the republican voting restrictions, americans with disabilities. vice president kamala harris saying these voices must be heard. we'll talk with one advocate who was at the white house today. and a new book with deep reporting on the origins of the big lie taking shape last november still fueling events we're living today. how all the people letting the big lie go unquestioned should be treated as extremists threatening this country. later in the hour, new details on the final days of bill barr's reign at the united states department of justice. the hunt for reporters' emails and the stories that triggered that. no surprise were all about russia. all those stories and more after a quick break. ♪ you bring your best. we'll block the threats. cyberprotection for every one. malwarebytes
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the issue of voting rights in america is probably among the most serious and significant issues that we are facing. and voting rights for people with disabilities is one of our highest priorities in that context. let's see the people in terms of how people see their lives and how will these restrictions impact the people's right to have their voice reflected through their vote. that was vice president kamala harris meeting with advocates for disabled americans, a community disproportionately likely to depend on the kinds of voting methods like mail-in ballots that the gop led assault on voting rights is trying very hard to get rid of. from a "washington post" opinion
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column this week, quote, preventing people from being able to vote from home is a direct attack on the civil rights of people with disabilities. with more than 38 million people eligible to vote this is a formidable block with the power to influence election outcomes. intentional or not these bills threaten the movement that's been building for decades and puts the rights of americans with disabilities on the line. a michigan voter, a social justice and disability activist and the founding director of detroit disability power was in that meeting. donna is still with us. i wonder if you could tell us what you heard and they'll ask you to tell us what you shared. >> thank you so much for the opportunity. it was a heavy topic but it felt really good to be able to share our lived experiences as
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disabled voters. we were a diverse group coming in with stories of our own experiences, stories of those we know and love because of inaccessibility of the polls as well as because of some of these new voting restrictions. we're very nervous about this means to our community and to be in a meeting where we were able to share and be heard and strat egize for better outcomes felt good. >> what impact americans with disabilities the most? we talked about the mail-in voting. i know there are other measures that would criminally penalize anyone that aids anybody. can you take us through the parts of the law that concern you the most. >> sure. there are so many laws out there. it won't be a comprehensive list, but what i can tell you is
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the more options, disability is so incredibly diverse. i, myself, am a wheelchair user. my needs are different than my blind or deaf friends or my friends who need assistance filling out a ballot. so anything that restricts options, whether that's limiting drop boxes, drop box hours, limiting drive-through voting, anything that helps people vote, they are not just options, they are actually accommodations. we are entitled to accommodations in voting. we have a constitutional right to vote independently and privately. the ways we are able to do that include some of these very things that are now being taken away. we're concerned and prepared to
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fight them. >> what assurances, if any, were you given from the vice president about their optimism or commitment to federal voting rights legislation that would undo all of these laws? >> i felt like we had an ally in the meeting. the fact we were pulled together and listened to is not something that always happens for members of our community. as you said earlier, there's 38 million voting age disabled americans. we have the potential to be very powerful and influential. but, like other marginalized groups if we're not able to engage in the democratic process, it makes it very hard for us to use those democratic processes to improve our quality of life, which is desperately needed across the country. so to be in a meeting we were authentically engaged, asked questions, she was taking a lot of notes, she was acknowledging what she doesn't know about our limited experience and vowing to
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take what we say to heart and to continue the conversation, all of that was extremely heartening, and i do feel like we're going to be moving in the right direction with this administration. >> donna, this does feel like a more intense time, engaging the stakeholders, using the bully pulpit, a quicker pace of meetings. what do you think? >> i do and i think it was important to have this conversation with the disability community that is often not a part when it comes to things like voting rights. i know that in my own experience, i'm limited in my mobility because of my ms, that standing in a long line leaning on my cane and waiting to vote would have been horrific during covid and social distancing. and so the ability to fill out a mail-in ballot and send it in made all the difference in terms of accessibility to the polls.
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the range of disabilities and the 38 million people who live with disabilities is tremendous and is important for this white house to engage each one of these communities to make sure our voting laws don't hinder a huge community in their ability to participate in democracy. and so good on you for your participation also advocating for all of us. thank you. >> my only last thought would be it seems to represent one of the legal quagmires. talking about rights would be trampled by limits. so important and i'm glad you made time to talk to us. thank you so much for spending time with us. donna is sticking around. up next for us, lies about the election, lies about the
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some brand-new and deeply disturbing new details on the origin of the big lie. in an excerpt released by "the washington post" from a brand-new book "i alone can fix it."
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here is just a bit from a scene that unfolded at the white house on election night as joe biden began to close the gap with trump in the battleground states. quote, why are they still counting votes, trump asked? the election's closed. are they counting ballots that came in afterward? what the hell is going on? trump, through a spokesman, denied saying this. telling kellyanne conway he thought something nefarious was happening. i won in a landslide and they're taking it back. of course there's no such thing as closing. trump did not win in a landslide. no one stole it. he lost in the largest margin of the popular vote in history in the most secure election in history. the big lie spun by him and his team that might has done irreparable harm. a domestic terror threat. here is what happened when texas democrat who fled his state in order to stop voting
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restrictions from being passed there confronted a fox news host over his role in spreading the big lie. watch. >> you have made a lot of money personally and enriched a lot of corporations with advertising by getting on here and spewing lies and conspiracy theories to folks who trusted -- and so what i'm asking is for you to tell voters president trump lost the election. >> resolve the lie that is democrats are now for voter i.d.? >> did donald trump lose the election in 2020? >> real quick -- >> can you answer the question? >> i think i'm asking the questions. >> nothing. can't answer a simple question. wow. let's bring in tim miller, former rnc spokesman, writer at-large at the bulwark and msnbc contributor and donna edwards is still here. i don't know why it's still hard for me to watch. these are grown-assed men who
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can't answer a question truthfully. why not? >> i just have to say good for that state rep. i'm a little upset i'm not getting booked on fox over there. i would have a little bit of fun with that, too. good for him for doing that. i'm a little sour i didn't get brought on today but i'm happy to talk about this, too. >> we'll save time. you could be the official correspondent in that area. i need it. >> i'm ready for that. >> here is the thing. we know that the fox and friends folks are off the deep end. we know the newsmax crowd is. what's really alarming, steve mnuchin, the treasury secretary, is independently wealthy. has no political future. in an interview he wouldn't even admit donald trump had lost just yesterday.
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that is more telling about how deep this rot is going, this cult like mind-set has taken hold. everyone feels they have to dance around this. and people feel they're unable to say what is obviously true because they don't want to get the cult leader upset, they don't want the fans to shout them down after january 6th. and that is what's so disturbing. that it could capture not just people who are extreme, not just people who are the crazy edge of the party but the entire republican apparatus. >> i didn't know who that was. a fox and friends anchor, he's not too nuts to know who won the election. this is informative. i don't think he's confused about who won the election. i think it's something more
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sinister. and i think that, you know, the right-wing media is now anti-capital police, anti-vaccine and all childhood vaccines, anti-cruiseship industry, protecting their passengers from contracting covid. they're anti-truth, pro-insurrection, pro-trump, pro-lies. i think it's out there. they're radicalizing people this hour who represent a threat to the whole country. >> that's a fair equivalent. the point i was trying to make fox and friends is on the extreme edge of the hysteria and i think that what's interesting people all the way across the spectrum, you know, are echoing it. look, i think that there is this separation -- once you made the
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determination -- donald trump is the anti-truth. at his core he is anti-truth. once you've made the determination that you are going to shill for him, you are freed from all of the kind of old political constraints of hyperbole and shading the truth to help your side, and you can just completely inhabit this space of performative anti-truth, no matter how dangerous, how many people are dying, how many of your own fans and supporters died because they didn't get the vaccine or they were there that day at the insurrection, trampled by supporters, as happened to one trump supporters. so, i mean, i think that is really where this kind of separation hammed, and the fact that that anti-truth that's happening, it's turtles all the way down, not just at newsmax but on fox and friends and over to steve mnuchin is really alarming. >> yeah, and he's -- i mean, i
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believe his wife is an actress from the film industry. they try to straddle the real world from the delusional world. we'll see how that goes. there's some news that's broken, donna. the house oversight committee has announced an investigation into that faux audit in maricopa county, arizona. let me read what i have on this. the committee's deeply troubled by the lack of audit experience, reported mismanagement which may have compromised the audit. they may have undermined the credibility and impartiality of this effort. the committee is concerned your company's actions could undermine the integrity of federal elections and interfere with americans' constitutional right to cast their ballot freely and have their votes counted without partisan interference. this is the week, i guess, it's all happening. you've got the january 6th
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commission meeting announced, you have this first house oversight investigation into what is clearly a slow moving debacle. real accountability may be taking too long for some of us but definitely in motion this week. >> right. and i think one of the reasons this oversight committee hearing is important is because unless you really get to this question of, like, who really has the oversight of federal elections, and this is where it's important especially for democrats to point out that if congress can't pass legislation to get control over what happens in federal elections, then we just throw everything up for grabs. and so i think this oversight hearing, the january 6th commission, all of it is an effort to get to the truth of the big lie we've all been talking about and that donald
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trump continues to spew. there was no election fraud and all of these hearings are going to get to the bottom of that and really just lay it out bare for the american people to see. >> all right. no one is going anywhere. here is what we're going to do. i will come back and ask tim about his new piece and then we will turn over the floor and you can educate me on pop culture and olivia -- what's her last name? i googled her. she is amazing. she's actually might be one of the most important things this white house has done this week, engaging her to help encourage young people to get vaccinated. it's a serious story. i didn't mean to be glib.
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an asset more relevant than ever before. gold. your strategic advantage. we're back with tim miller and donna edwards. tim, i just want to read from your piece becauses so brilliant and then you want you to talk about it. throughout history demagogues have used societal changes to create resentment to amass power. the culture war is the creation of specific powerful people whose names we all know who cynically and intentionally view conflict as a means to increase their power. this was so smart and there's a lot of great reporting out about some of the culture warriors but i think your diagnosis of what it is, it isn't the culture, it's the war that the right is addicted to. how do you break that addiction? >> yeah, thanks.
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and just really quick, the back story is this liberator kevin drum is really smart and had written a story about how the left is pushing cultural change. as a political matter the left should be mindful of not pushing it in a way people in the center feels condescended to and out of their own country and that's a political challenge for the left. and then a bunch of cynical right-wing writers took that to say see, even this liberal says the left is responsible for the culture war. and so i really just want to lay out and break down the fact that that is not right. it's possible that people -- it is true actually that people on the left largely are pushing the cultural change. but the war part of the culture war, the part where people are using it to divide us for political ends is coming from donald trump, it's coming from the people we showed earlier on a rival cable network, it's coming from people who think that they can use this change as a way to try to push down marginalized groups, push down
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people of color and increase their own political power and standing. and so i laid out a bunch of examples of that. and i think that that difference is so important. and once we recognize who the perpetrators are, then hopefully we can talk to these people in the middle that kevin drum was worried about and say don't get sucked in by what they're selling. you might not like every single thing that's being pushed on the left, but don't be used by these culture warriors on the right who are trying to pit you against your fellow americans. and so that's what i tried to lay out. i think that's really important. >> i read it at the same time that i read into what's happening in tennessee around the vaccines. i think when you read it, then you recognize the pattern. you recognize the right has one play. and tragically for the people who are not vaccinated, who are the only people dying at this point, they have pushed vaccines through the same war construct. in that vein they have
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successfully, i think, convinced some people on the right there are young americans all over the ideological spectrum who are not certain of the importance of getting vaccinated. enter olivia rodrigo, take it away tim miller. >> okay. so just really quick, the vaccine is such a prime example, right, because they're creating a culture war out of nothing. saying that going door to door, they're going to take your bibles if you go door to door. this is a prime example of this is not -- the left was not pushing this culture war, the right made it out of whole cloth. and so there is -- there are people, young people in tennessee who are maybe of a conservative disposition that might get sucked up by this and decide they're not going to get vaccinated so that's why it's so great my girl is in the white house today because many of them are listening to olivia rodrigo. it's going to be a great weekend song for you. i also prefer brutal. and this is a smart strategy for the white house in order to try
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to break around this culture war and get to people who aren't, you know, maybe reading political news, who aren't watching cable news every day and who are only sort of exposed to these sort of political fights through the cynical culture war that's being pushed by actors on the right. >> olivia rodrigrodrigo. shes has the number one album and song in the country. >> i'm so jealous. >> this white house, they have reached out to brad paisley -- >> she beat me to the podium. she's 18. >> she's just amazing. donna, it says something also about this white house's commit meant to get all americans vaccinated. >> what a smart strategy. i mean i listened to olivia rodrigo today at the podium and i just thought she was such an eloquent messenger -- >> she's awesome. >> -- about the importance of being vaccinated. it really brought home the fact that this white house is going
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to leave no stone unturned when it comes to vaccinating every single american. >> god willing, right? tim miller, donna edwards. tim, you've got an additional beat here. you can be my grief-stricken person who sees what happened to the republican party and my top pop culture expert. i will turn to you for both. >> awesome. >> thank you both for spending some time with us. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a very short break. don't go anywhere, we're just getting started. t gett ing starte d. old customers. new customers. families. businesses. in-laws. law firms. every customer. new 5g phones when you trade in your old ones. and if you're not a customer, we'll help cover the cost to switch. just ask wanda. she's been with us since... (gasps)... now. upgrade your phone. upgrade your network.
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i did not have any private meetings nor do i recall any
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conversations with any russian officials at the mayflower hotel. i do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the russian ambassador or any other russian officials. i have never met with or had any conversation with any russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the united states. >> hi again, everyone. it's 5:00 in the east. that very old piece of testimony from the ex-president's first a.g., jeff sessions, lies at the center of a new chicken or the egg story. in question, whether it was sessions' lack of recollections around his contacts with russians or "the washington post" report that followed disputing his lack of recollections that ignited a maniacal pursuit by the trump justice. we're just learning that a "washington post" report in july of 2017 about u.s. intelligence finding that russian ambassador
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sergey kislyak that he did in fact discuss with sessions was another investigation pursued by bill barr. barr's justice department attempted to seize records of three journalists hoping to uncover their sources for that july 17th piece along with two others from around the same time. from "the new york times" reporting, quote, the justice department sought the email records of three "washington post" reporters the day before bill barr stepped down as a.g. the biden justice department had disclosed the effort which also included seizing the reporters' phone records last month, leading to the unceiling of the post docket. the file shed new light on what happened, including listing the day prosecutors applied for the email records order and identifying three "post" articles that were the subject of a leak investigation. the "post" piece on the russian ambassador's contact with sessions was one of those three articles. there was also reporting from
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may 2017 during the transition about how jared kushner discussed with kislyak the possibility of setting up a back channel to block communications between the transition team and the kremlin from being monitored, and one from a month after that. it was an extensive bit of reporting on the obama administration's struggle to combat russian interference in the 2016 election. this probe by barr in his final days in office went deep, as "the washington post" reveals. quote, the papers also revealed the service provider that was the recipient of the secret court order. proof point corporation, a firm that supplies data security services. using proof point as a means of trying to get the reporters' email records suggests prosecutors were thinking creatively about where they might be able to find reporters' data beyond just standard email providers like google or microsoft. representatives for proof point did not immediately respond to request for comment. in addition the documents indicate the extent to which federal investigators strongly
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expected the disclosures of confidential information was coming from congress. a push in bill barr's final days is where we start. katie benner who covers the justice department and whose byline is on this story is with us. she's also an msnbc contributor. clint watts is back, former consultant to the fbi counterterrorism division, now a distinguished research fellow at the foreign policy research institute. lucky for us an msnbc national security analyst. former congressman denver riggleman is back with us. katie benner, i have to start with the reporting. i have to have you take us through what was found in these documents and do you expect the docket for the times' reporters to be released as well by the biden justice department? >> we're still waiting to see whether or not the biden justice department will release information from that docket but we know from the documents so far that the request for
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information for email records from "the washington post" and from "the new york times" both occurred on december 22nd, bill barr's last day in office was december 23rd. this was literally one of his final acts as attorney general. and of course keep in mind he would have needed to know about this. he would have needed to be briefed and he would have needed to okay the kind of request that was made. typically if you're going to go after the media, the attorney general has to sign off. so this is literally the thing that he did going out the door. they were looking for emails for stories that had been published -- excuse me, they were looking for email communications to root up the sources of stories published in 2017. one of the most interesting things about the request is that the prosecutors under barr say to the judge that the entire proceeding, the entire request needs to be sealed, needs to be kept secret in order to protect national security because of knowledge of the very information that they sought were to be released to the public, it could harm u.s.
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interests. what they don't tell the judge is that these stories were already published and the information has been out in the public for years, so it's really difficult to square that kind of argument made to the court in late 2020 with the reality of the fact that the information had not only been in the public and been published and been out there for years but that no harm had yet been demonstrated to the national security. >> i want to get in, katie benner, to what the stories were about, but i want to read some more from your actual reporting and ask you about this. an order by a magistrate judge directing that "the washington post" related files be unsealed shows that the biden justice department initially objected to the unsealing of the application in that matter too. the judge pressed for its disclosure, noting that the public generally has a right to see such materials from closed investigations. and then i want to show you, if i have this, president biden's commitment to turning the page,
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to not using reporter communications to hunt out leaks. this is in questioning from cnn's kaitlin collins. >> should the government be seizing reporters' phone records and emails? and would you prevent your justice department from doing that? >> only yours. beyond yours -- no, it absolutely, positively is wrong. simply, simply wrong. >> so you won't let your justice department do that? >> i will never let that happen. >> so katie benner, talk about what has continued under the garland justice department in terms of these cases, these leak investigations. >> so the leak investigations, these sorts of document requests and sorts of information requests we saw happen at the tail end of the trump administration, the justice department continued to fight for the records and they also continued to fight to prevent companies like "the new york times" from talking about the fact there was a request made for records. and that did continue under the
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garland justice department. what we've seen that's so interesting is that merrick garland, he apologized for this in meetings, private meetings with media companies. we've reported this. you know, according to our sources, he decided to take responsibility for the fact that this persisted under him, that prosecutors did not immediately -- that they were not more responsive to requests, for example, to lift gag orders and the investigations themselves, the requests for reporter records continued under his tenure. he has reiterated biden's statement that he thinks that it's wrong to try to pursue reporter records, that it chills freedom of the press. you know, we know that it is illegal to share classified information. nobody is saying that the government should not try to pursue leaks and try to figure out who was leaking information. but biden and garland have said that they agree they should not pursue the records of the reporters themselves. so he's apologized for this. but to your point, this did still continue under him and there has been no explanation yet as to why that happened.
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>> katie, one more question about the reporting and then i want to bring clint and denver in. one thing at least two of the stories have in common, you could hypothesize that they were looking for leaks of intercepts. they involve sergey kislyak who may have been talking to jared kushner about this back channel. i remember when that story landed like a bomb going off during the trump transition. and the other almost thwarted jeff sessions' confirmation as attorney general, that he had indeed had contacts with kislyak that kislyak had reported up to his superiors that he'd spoken to sessions. and then the reporting about obama's efforts, it's a little more unclear to me as just a reader of those stories. but what is the theory of the investigation, that there was a leak of the most sensitive kind of intel, kind of intercepts? >> yeah, these leaks were not only extraordinarily embarrassing for the trump administration, the incoming administration, they showed that
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there were serious issues around trust and who could handle sensitive information. they also showed really difficult realities around the united states' relationship with russia. you could see why the government would be incentivized to try to figure out who had leaked the information. but again, by the time barr revived these investigations in 2020, we know from our reporting that inside of the u.s. attorney's office in d.c., many people thought they would never get to the bottom of the leak and these cases were all but closed, they were all but dead. barr revives them. and it might be coincidental, but he revives them and the information that was being leaked, there were suspicions it was coming out of the committee of adam schiff. adam schiff, head of the house intelligence committee and an enemy of then president trump. so you saw this really politically fraught situation where inside of the u.s. attorney's office, prosecutors are wondering why is this case being revived? why is so much attention being paid to it? why are we going to the mat for
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force that may never get us anywhere and we may not understand the source, but they also know this involves a really political intense set of players and they go along with it. >> denver riggleman, there is a, it appears concerted, it's not always the case, but there's some new books about the final months of the trump presidency where bill barr is depicted as someone who had a line. people like me asked for years whether he had a line. his line was overturning the election result. he looked for fraud, though, and didn't find any. i think it's still an open question and the evidence all points to real politicization of the department of justice. maybe it's a giant coincidence that all of the people who received notifications their emails and phone records were donald trump's public enemies list 1, 2, 3 and 4, "the new york times," cnn, "the washington post" and adam schiff. i guess it could be a
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coincidence, but what are your questions as you read this reporting about bill barr's final hours. >> first of all, katy stole my thunder on the timing. that was excellent. that was just fantastic reporting. i think what i would look at is the actual substance of how they did this and the timing of that, which was december 22nd. it's so funny, right, when i look at what's happening there, the timing, when you're looking at these subpoenas and journalists' records, any see fox or oan or newsmax anywhere when you're talking about classified information and who's leaking who to what. and the other thing was using proof point. i know clint will jump in on the technology side but were they giving access to one side of the network. when you're looking at proof point if they're using somebody else in the cybersecurity realm, that means they probably had to have access. i don't see them going all offensive for emails for the journalists, but you can get access to the other side of that communication and take a look at that. that's something that was very interesting to me, that they went to a contractor.
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i did a little research on proof point and they're related to a lot of other cybersecurity companies so they certainly have the chops and had the resources to do something like that. but that should be chilling to a few people when you look at that. we have an administration that's about to turn over. bill barr leaves the next day. they're going to outside contractors to look at the other side of the communications. and then i started looking at the cdrs. when you're looking at the call detail records. what they're looking at there, they're looking at the communications and will probably try to match those email communications on one side with the call detail records to see who they were talking to and who the possible leakers were. at that point you just do this some waiting and a social network analysis and look at where their centers of gravity are, the specific individuals that they're talking to the most. that to me is probably what was going on there. so looking at the timing of this and looking at what katie just brought up about how this happened, when it happened, what it showed, i think you had panic in the administration by that time. they were looking for something that they could go off on in order to get polling or turn it around. to do that they politicized
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something that had been far long gone when you're talking about three to four years since this has come down the pipe and then they used multiple outside sources in order to try to get both sides of that conversation. when you put all that together, this becomes completely political. i think that's the fear that i have is that we can't have an abuse of government resources like that. >> let me follow up with you on proof point because i know from katie's reporting about the way that "the times" learned that their records had been seized and don mcgahn learned the same way, they learned from apple and they learned from google. proof point to my knowledge has not been reported to have notified anybody. could they have turned to proof point and looked for more communications than had been disclosed. >> i don't know their capabilities exactly, but certainly -- how about i put it this way. if you have access to one side of a network and you can see the internals or what's coming in and out on that specific network, that's a very powerful device, nicolle.
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i don't know how much i want to go into the complete technology breakdown on sort of ciphering emails or parsing call detail records, but here's what i think they were doing. straight up what they were doing is trying to match names. when you look at the to and the from, then you go to the call detail records, you can start to winnow down people others are talking to the most and communicating with the most. you don't need the internals, that being the exact communication. you don't need the script from the emails or the exact language being used on the phone, which is very hard to get anyway, that's special types of equipment. but again it was really interesting to me to see how they were trying to combine technologies to find the touch points in the network and yoz that to further any type of investigation of where those leaks were. that's my best guess. i've done this a little bit in the past, but that's my best guess on it. >> clint, your thoughts on what was going on as well as the elephant in the room, i guess.
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they're always politicizing straining, sometimes corrupting the rule of law around questions of russia and contacts by trump advisers and russia. >> nicolle, there's two big takeaways from this. one, never talk to sergey kislyak. let's go back to this. remember, mike flynn makes a call. that starts this whole chain of events. now we're looking at kushner, then we're at sessions. that guy is like -- he's patience zero for getting russia into the trump administration. >> but explain why, because it's possible we listen to him, right? >> i never understood this. if you're mike flynn and you're claiming to be a big counterintel pro and head of the dia and you make a call from a third country to a russian diplomat on a connection, i don't know why you would do that. of course there's a good chance. if it wasn't intercepted, i
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don't know what our taxpayers are buying for billions of dollars. i'd be shocked if there wasn't. >> and the russians are listening too, right? >> oh, yeah. >> it's far from a private call. >> yeah. it's literally like -- it reminds in zoolander when he holds up the thing, where's the files in the computer. how do you not know the basics as the head of the dia about how call intercepts work. the second is kislyak obviously makes calls, you know, back to russia after he has every meeting with people in the trump campaign. i mean good lord, that tells you what a rookie jared was, jared kushner, when this was happening. and then when you look at jeff sessions, he probably was just doing diplomatic talks. i've always kind of thought that from the beginning. what's interesting is that barr would come to the defense of jeff sessions, like in pursuing that leak investigation is also super interesting. i think the second part is really what katie and everybody here has been talking about.
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this is about political warfare, not a leak investigation in the final month, it's about turning over names. if names come up in evidence or names come up in records, then that can be used later to go after somebody politically. it's not really about investigating a case. if you look back over the last four years, i am actually for leak investigations, particularly people in the services. they should honor their oath to protect america's secrets. but we have seen other leak investigations go through, you know, in '17, '18, '19, there were people charged and have gone to jail and since pled out. there have been things and wrongdoing, and you do not see that in this case. no one was really hauled in from one of the agencies as leaking, which makes me think that this is about politics. they had some sense of it. i think the last part is the irony that they're worried about leaks potentially from capitol hill when devin nunes was running back and forth to the white house repeatedly getting information, you know, during the entire mueller information. we would be on air how many times and you'd see nunes --
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devin nunes come sprinting out of the white house and peter strzok and this and that, all of this information from inside the investigation. so i see it as nothing more than kind of ruining trust with the department of justice over time and our trust that communications are private, are legally being pulled all for what is just political warfare i think in the end inside capitol hill and the white house. >> katie benner, we're grateful for your reporting on it. clint watts, denver riggleman, we're grateful to you. when we return, the far right's fight against vaccinations takes a dangerous new turn as republicans in tennessee stop adolescent vaccine outreach not just for covid vaccines but all vaccines. the right-wing war against science and the american lives that will be lost as a result is next. plus, possible signs of daylight between long-time trump money man allen weisselberg and the trump org he served for decades.
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we'll talk about what that could mean for the investigation and the chances that weisselberg could flip. and we'll tell you about president biden's newest efforts to confront a growing list of hot spots around the world. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. eak. don't go anywhere. i'm searching for info on options trading, and look, it feels like i'm just wasting time. that's why td ameritrade designed a first-of-its-kind, personalized education center. oh. their award-winning content is tailored to fit your investing goals and interests. and it learns with you, so as you become smarter, so do its recommendations. so it's like my streaming service. well except now you're binge learning. see how you can become a smarter investor with a personalized education from td ameritrade. visit ♪ i'm so glad you're ok, sgt. houston. this is sam with usaa. do you see the tow truck? yes, thank you, that was fast. sgt. houston never expected this to happen. or that her grandpa's dog tags would be left behind. but that one call got her a tow and rental...
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we now have our most resident population being male, white, who really do hang their hat on this political ideology that covid-19 isn't real, isn't a threat, or that getting the
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vaccine somehow props up the left-wing part of our political system. and so it's really that, that politicization of public health and people's choosing not to protect themselves that has been the biggest challenge for us to overcome. >> dr. michelle fiskus on how vaccine disinformation fueled by the gop and right-wing media is now the biggest challenge facing public health officials in this country right now. she was fired from her job. she's no longer in her job over a memo about covid vaccinations for teens that outraged republican lawmakers there. in a statement fiscus said, quote, i've been terminated for doing my job because some of our politicians have bought into the anti-vaccine misinformation campaign rather than taking the time to speak with the medical experts. they believe what they choose to believe rather than what is
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factual and evidence based. and it is the people of tennessee who will suffer the consequences of the actions of the very people they put into power. i am afraid for my state. just a day after her termination, the state of tennessee caved to vaccine skeptics even further, putting a halt to all outreach efforts for all vaccinations, not just covid. joining us now is aaron blake, "washington post" senior political reporter and kristin, who lost her father to the virus last year. kristin, we saw this story yesterday and i said i need to talk to you about this. i need to play what you said at the convention again. i'm sorry if it's hard to relive this, but i think it's so important. let me do that first. >> my dad was a healthy 65-year-old. his only pre-existing condition was trusting donald trump, and for that he paid with his life. i am not alone. once i told my story, a lot of
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people reached out to me to share theirs. they asked me to help them keep their communities safe, especially communities of color, which have been disproportionately affected. they asked me, a normal person, to help because donald trump won't. the coronavirus has made it clear that there are two americas. the america that donald trump lives in and the america that my father died in. >> kristin, there was a sense when you brought that out, it was so shocking and so upsetting, but that we would start to correct it, the vaccine came out. donald trump didn't tell people at the time but he and melania were vaccinated before they left. right now today as we sit here, the single greatest dividing line between who ends up in the hospital and ultimately dies and who doesn't is political affiliation. you and i have talked about having trump supporters in our
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families. how do we begin to heal the disinformation and the brainwashing? >> it's a great question. it's also a really big problem because i think this goes back farther than the trump administration. we also need to think about with the disinformation, there are some people that will never believe what we have to say. my dad, he believed the president whenever he said it was safe to return to normal activities back in early june despite knowing that i had a different opinion. and so that's why it's really important right now for us to also focus on making sure that people who want vaccinations can receive them. so one of the things i've been focusing on is access, in particular for the latino community, which has the lowest vaccination rate but also the lowest hesitancy rate. >> kristin, how are you doing? >> it's been a year and my dad's
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death anniversary was june 30th. that was really hard for me. but overall, i have been focused on the work with marked by covid, connecting with others who have been impacted, helping them raise their stories, and also getting real results on that issue of latino vaccination, we worked with local officials in arizona to get vaccination stations in my childhood neighborhood of maryville where my dad got sick, where there weren't any despite the community wanting them. >> kristin, you moved me to tears and you remind me of fred guttenberg who turned the grief over his daughter's death into this vital activism. i wonder if you've processed how you turned this great tragedy in your own life that you said was his pre-existing condition was trusting the ex-president into saving all these other lives.
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how does that feel? >> i'm really proud of myself. i'm also proud of the community of people around me who despite the challenges of misinformation, access, and this incredible pandemic that we've all been living through have come together to say our communities matter. so i am proud of myself for not being a victim in this situation and honoring my dad's memory by trying to save other lives, but also changing the system so whenever we do build back better, that the outcomes are not inequitable like we've been experiencing for future public health crises. >> you know, aaron, you write about this today. kristin's efforts are the most likely to succeed, someone in the community who has the trust of the community, increasing access to people who are maybe hesitant but not anti-vaxxers like the hard right has turned to. let me read some of what you're
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reporting today. until about a year ago, this was a much more bipartisan issue, vaccine skepticism. reservations about vaccinations from west coast liberals to more anti-government conservatives. what has transpired since then is the anti-vax movement blowing up more on the right than on the left despite trump claiming credit for the vaccine during his administration. the news in tennessee suggests this is indeed seeping well into actual government action. given the fervor on some portions of the right, you can bet some red states will soon emulate it now that tennessee has broken the seal. this is a line that has been crossed that i think you smartly point out here. this isn't just tucker carlson scream call the police if you see a kid in the mask, this is the state firing that state's vaccine outreach coordinator. >> yeah, and this has really been a long time coming, i think more than people even
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appreciate. what i -- about last month in ohio, we had that viral testimony from dr. sherri tenpenny. she talked about how people who showed up and got the coronavirus vaccine could stick keys to their forehead, put knives and forks and spoons on them because they were magnetized by this vaccine. i looked back at people like that who had been invited to be testifying in front of other state legislatures, louisiana, ohio, michigan, even the u.s. senate late last year invited at the request of senator ron johnson, the chairman of the homeland security committee, someone who was a vaccine concept particular but not just a vaccine skeptic as far as mandates go but also the impact of those vaccines. so what we've seen early this year is we've seen that growing vaccine skepticism in the
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republican party but it hasn't just been from the likes of tucker carlson and some of these provocateurs on the right. we've seen also the republican party as a whole, many of the leaders encouraging people to get vaccines but also kind of turning a blind eye to these more extreme elements. so these extreme elements have gotten traction and we've seen them be able to float by without questioning from the party's leaders. and so what happened in tennessee i think is the most pronounced example to date of those vaccine skeptics and anti-vaxxers getting traction but it's something that i would expect other states to look at when it comes to creating these new rules, which by the way go beyond just not promoting vaccines to young people but also preventing them from getting a second notice about their second dose and also, as you noted, involves all these other vaccines that haven't actually been as controversial in the past. >> i want to put some numbers
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behind what you're saying because they prove your point. the associated press is reporting that at least 181 state and local public health leaders in 38 states have resigned, retired or been fired since april 1st. that's according to an ongoing investigation by the associated press and khn. according to experts, this is the largest exodus of public health leaders in american history. an untold number of lower level staffers have also left. we've covered a lot of the attacks and threats against election workers. we've probably not done as good of a job covering the attacks and threats against health workers. but what is the sort of current state of not just brain drain but resources when we are still in the throes of this vaccination effort, aaron blake. >> i think that parallel you draw is an important one for this reason. the republican party treated the claims of a stolen election in
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much the same way that they're now treating these claims that vaccines are more dangerous than the evidence suggests or that health officials are saying. they basically kind of let this wing of the party speak up without questioning them, even while saying something very different about the subject at hand. and so part of that is because the republican party acknowledges that this is a very animated and very influential wing of their party. they don't want to create -- they don't want to rock the boat within the party. it also creates a situation where the party is moving towards the extreme on a very significant issue not just politically but of course when it comes to the future of the country. and so i think if you're -- if you're mitch mcconnell or kevin mccarthy or some of these republican leaders who have been saying very different things from tucker carlson and very different things from what tennessee is doing right now, you have to ask yourself do you want this to get to the point where the stolen election narrative is now? do you want to let this continue in that direction knowing that it could work against you and of
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course the very significant impact that that could have not just politically but also when it comes to our country. >> kristin, i want to give you the last word and ask you if you could share with us the case you make to people who are swayed by right-wing disinformation but that you want to make a run at to get vaccinated and protect themselves and their families. what do you say to them? >> for folks who are questioning the vaccine, i just tell them about my own personal experience and that my dad didn't have the opportunity to even choose. i said from day one that i would not wish a covid death upon my worst enemy. it's undignified. it is lonely, it is painful. and i think it's important to connect with people on that individual level. but i also think in the meantime, we need to do more than just vaccination efforts. we're at a point where we have not met the goal of 70% vaccinated. until then we have to be thinking about what can we be pushing to ensure that people,
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especially vulnerable folks and young children who can't get the vaccine are safe. so i'm also telling everyone i know, wear your mask. >> i love that. kristin, thank you so much for being part of this conversation. it's really nice to see you. aaron blake, thank you so much for your reporting on this. you've put all of those pieces together like nobody else. thank you both. when we return, new signs that trump's long-time money man, allen weisselberg, may be breaking from the trump org, at least legally. that story and what it could mean, next. story and what it cd mean, next ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ summer is a state of mind, you can visit anytime. savor your summer with lincoln. this may look like a regular movie night.
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there's some new insight today into whether former cfo of the trump organization, allen weisselberg, who was indicted on tax fraud earlier this month, could cooperate with federal prosecutors. two former prosecutors and friends of this show, andrew weissmann and joyce vance tell nbc news that weisselberg's choice of attorneys who have no record of ever representing the trump organization is noteworthy, as is the fact that weisselberg himself is paying them, not the trump organization. all of that could suggest that there is some daylight now between weisselberg and the trump organization and the diverging interests between them. it comes as "the washington post" is reporting that government filings appear to show weisselberg has resigned as a trustee from the trust that controls all of the trump organization's assets. let's bring in chuck rosenberg who worked on the staffs of robert mueller and jim comey at the fbi, is now an msnbc contributor, and harry litman, former deputy assistant attorney
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general and u.s. attorney. i said federal prosecutors, obviously this is the cy vance, tish james investigation. we are engaged in tea leaf reading but tell me if there is sort of a process of separating from a joint defense strategy and if this is one of them, having lawyers that don't overlap in any way. >> there is a process and i really wouldn't say -- you know, there are tea leaves here, but they're fairly weak. even if he gets his own counsel, you would expect him to have some choice there. he couldn't be spoon fed lawyers, it just wouldn't be ethical. and there is a real way of knowing if he's actually left the fold. that is because he'll have to notify -- there's almost certainly a joint defense agreement between the organization and weisselberg. that's not all that significant. we could talk about it. but it does mean that he would be duty bound to let them know
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were he withdrawing from it. and the trump lawyers would know that. that would be the real tell. other than that, that he has lawyers who are somewhat more professional and they surely are than the trump organization lawyers, i think is pretty mild evidence of any kind of incipient rift between them. >> and just to be clear, there is no reporting that they have dissolved any sort of joint defense agreement. that was, though, if you remember back to mike flynn's, we've talked about him earlier in the show, dramatic -- i don't know if you can call it flipping. he ended up being pardoned, but that was the step that proceeded his cooperation. there's nothing like that yet with allen weisselberg. >> right. and -- >> chuck rosenberg, i wonder what you make -- go ahead, harry. >> i just want to see if that happens, you would see the trump organization lawyers and the trump lawyers reacting and probably disparaging him and it would be pretty clear from their public presentation.
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sorry, go ahead. >> no, that's a question for you, chuck rosenberg. is this the kind of defense strategy that might never seek to do that? the trump organization would do exactly what harry said. what are the legal options facing allen weisselberg right now? >> well, sure. i mean he could have his day in court, nicolle. he's entitled to that as a constitutional prerogative. he could plead guilty and cooperate. he could plead guilty and not cooperate. he could go to trial and we aconvicted, he could go to trial and be convicted. most people end up cooperating primarily before they are charged. occasionally after they're charged. and rarely after they are convicted. so he still has options open to him. but prosecutors much prefer cooperation early rather than late. the sooner they get it, the better off they are. and so if weisselberg wants to help himself, my guess is that he pleads guilty, if in fact he is guilty, at least that's what he ought to do, and that he
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cooperates truthfully. if he doesn't want to, that's his call. if he wants to take valuable information inculpating others to jail with him, that's his call. i complete low agree with harry, by the way. i think the signals that we discussed earlier are in fact weak signals, not strong signals. there are strong signals of a split in a defense camp, but the fact that you have an independent lawyer is not one of them. >> chuck, what do you make of the disentangling from the trump organization? i believe earlier in the week we learned that his name had been taken off 40 trump entities, subsidiaries. today david farenthold reporting that he's been removed as a trustee. is that indicative of anything other than getting your ducks in a row to defend oneself? >> i don't think it's a big deal either in the following sense, nicolle.
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removing him from his fiduciary duties in the trump organization i think is obligatory in some instances. let's say a property has a liquor license, an alcohol license. they're regulated by the state in which they operate. somebody who is under indictment really cannot be the fiduciary for that company in that jurisdiction. and so it makes sense to me if you're a bank dealing with a trump organization or a state liquor board dealing with a trump organization or some other company dealing with the trump organization, you probably would prefer not to be dealing with a fiduciary of that company who's under indictment. so it strikes me as a wise get your house in order move by the trump organization to take -- to take weisselberg sort of out of that position. it's logical, it's sensible. i'm not the least bit surprised by it. >> so harry litman -- >> on a quick related point. >> let me just ask you, what would signal something more meaningful in this case? what are you watching for? >> the number one thing, of
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course, would be a departure from a joint defense agreement which would signal almost certainly that he has decided to cooperate. as chuck mentions, it normally happens before the prosecution made its big play. do it now or we'll bring charges and he said, you know, i'm not going to do it now. one other point on the regulators, if they need -- the trump organization wants him out because if he's in place, he's going to be questioned by a lot of folks and he could make statements bad for him and bad for the trump organization. so it's also prudent from their point of view. >> the liability. chuck rosenberg, harry litman, thank you for making sense of it all for us. i'm grateful to both of you. when we return, president biden moves to protect our allies in afghanistan as he confronts a growing list of hot spots all around this world. that story is next. at story is t
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is it a mistake, the withdrawal? >> you know, i think it is, yeah. because i think the consequences are going to be unbelievablyunb. i am sad. i spent a lot of time with afghan women and they're scared. i think about all the interpreters and people that helped and not only u.s. troops but nato troops and it seems like she could be left behind and slaughtered by these brutal people and it breaks my heart. >> former president george w.
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bush with his own honest and very sad opinion of the ongoing troop withdrawal in afghanistan. an update the president mentioned. the biden administration will begin offering evacuation flights to eligible afghan citizens who aided the u.s. and allies in the war at the end of the month. it is worth mentioning, new polling indicates 59% of registered voters in this country supports the withdraw. there is the ongoing and historic demonstrations and communist cuba. people protesting and worsening condition there. a member of president biden's transition team. rick, i thought about you when i went through the papers this morning and yesterday.
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this white house is focused on voting rights and other crisis, this president does not get to pick and choose. i want to talk about the one we started with, the withdrawal from afghanistan. do you have any concerns that president bush had about afghan women and girls? >> i thought what president bush said had a lot of residence. i am the guy that put out the afghan girl on the "time" magazine with her nose sliced off. >> i know. >> what terrible thing happened. i am not going to send another generation of american men and women to afghanistan without the hope of a different outcome. there is no other outcome than the one we have now insulated. he does not want to sacrifice
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america's blood anymore. after 20 years, we have been there and we achieved the goal. it is residence to what he said but do americans want to send young american men and women to afghanistan to do something where our hope of changing things is not very high. >> i am listening here. i want to move onto cuba. what is the president facing in terms of options to support this movement and it feels like there is a crack down and internet, a lot of people perhaps and a lot of danger. >> yes, these are demonstrations that we have not seen in generations and it is really important. just listen to it now. president biden said the right thing which was we stand with the cuban people and we do stand with the cuban people. we don't stand with the
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autocrats who are ruling cuba. who does the best for their people? look at cuba. they had an authoritarian government for 75 years and people can't get medicine and food, authoritarianism does not perform well for people, democracy does. we want to stick with the cuban people who want more freedom, who want more independence and choose their own leaders. that's the side that we are on. >> i want to ask you about another topic that you and i talked about at length over the last few years and especially the last few months. that's the aggressive ransomware, the russian hackers.
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what theory do you subscribe to? >> yes. in other words, i don't know, it is a good thing that we don't know. remember president biden said we will choose to answer the russian threat in the way and the manner and time of our own choosing. that means we won't necessa necessarily know. it is possible that we took some kind of reprisal. it is possible that president putin decides that i am going to do something. i just don't know. one of the things that most people don't understand about russia is the russian hackers and the troll farms, what scientists called a distributed network, it is not centralized. putin may give a tip of his hat
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to let people to do stuff but he does not control them. it is not easy to stop them but although i am sure he can and perhaps he did. the outcome was a good one whether something he did or we did is a desirable result. >> we'll stay on it and rick stengel, we should have more time. it is important to remember that a president deals with everything happening in the world every morning when he gets there. i know you play a role in that. a quick break for us, we'll be right back. don't go anywhere. 'll be right back. don't go anywhere. it's dignity. the freedom to go where you want, knowing your doctor can watch over your heart. ♪♪ ♪ ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance.
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thank you very much for letting
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us into your homes. big news now, "the beat" with ari melber is back in the chair. hi ari, welcome back. >> thank you, nicole. i will see you soon. >> have a good show. >> i want to thank everyone for joining me. i am energized to be back for work. i want to thank jason johnson for filling in. this is an interesting day coming back working here in the newsroom. just before we began, this news broke that weisselberg is out . for the first time he's exiting his influential position which runs the trust that controls the money which gave him that outside


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