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tv   Hallie Jackson Reports  MSNBC  July 16, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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right now on "msnbc reports" the two public health threats triggering new alarms from top officials on the pandemic, perhaps worse spike in hospitalizations, deaths cases up now in all 50 states and there's the siren now on the infodemic, with health misinformation online spreading. listen. >> there is so much more they have to do and they've got to do it. we're seeing people lose their lives because of misinformation. >> the covid clock rolling back it seems in l.a., where mask mandates are back, even for fully vaxed people. we'll ask our medical expert if you should do the same here on the east coast and around the country. plus our team just arriving in germany, on the scene of the deadly, devastating flooding, more than 100 people dead, hundreds more unaccounted for. we're live with that frantic search for survivors. and first right here to
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msnbc, an exclusive look at what happened when bill barr told then president donald trump he was going to lose the election. we're taking you inside that conversation with new excerpts from an upcoming book. a lot to get to on this friday morning. i'm hallie jackson in washington. alsan barber in jackson, mississippi, and brandi with her new reporting on social media and misinformation, along with nbc news senior medical correspondent dr. john torres. alison, new warnings about kids and covid and the time line or at least updated time line on when vaccinations could get to kids under 12. >> reporter: i just got new numbers from this hospital, the only children's hospital in the state of mississippi, the only one specifically designated for children. they have six children hospitalized with covid-19, three in intensive care, most of them are under the age of 12,
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which means that at this point they're not eligible to get vaccinated. the problem is the people around them, be it family members, adults or older siblings or members of their community are choosing not to get vaccinated. this state is one of the least vaccinated states in the country, they tend to rotate between alabama and mississippi for very last place, fully vaccinated adults, only 33.6% of mississippians have been fully vaccinated. right now, health officials here say that delta variant makes up about 80% of cases. the state's health officer, dr. thomas dobbs was warning residents earlier this week about severe cases of covid-19 in children. they said statewide, there were seven children who had covid-19 and were in intensive care at least two of them needing to be intubated. on the surface, that number might not seem like a lot but when you look at the total number of people hospitalized in intensive care units because of
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covid-19 in this state, those numbers mean that children currently make up 7% of people hospitalized in icu because of covid-19. that number is a lot higher than it was at the peak here last summer. we spoke to doctors at this hospital, this is part of a whole hospital system, one of the largest in mississippi, and they are literally begging people to get vaccinated, but they say what they are fighting against is facebook. listen here. >> it's not a cost issue. it is not an availability issue, and sometimes i feel like the voices of science and medicine are drowned out by the, you know, facebook experts. i know what it's not, and we're just trying very hard to combat the what it is that's causing the reluctance and the hesitancy. >> reporter: so on the surface, some of these numbers might not look overwhelming. there were about 557 new covid
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cases in this state yesterday. it's the rate that they are rising, that is really concerning officials here. hospitalizations, because of covid-19, has steadily increased in this state, since july 1st and the last week and a half, people hospitalized in intensive care because of this virus, that number has nearly doubled. when i spoke to the doctor you just heard from, dr. woodward, at the end of our conversation, i said, i can tell you seem so frustrated. she said there is a disconnect that she cannot understand, hallie, where people here all the time, they trust the doctors to treat cancer, to tell them what to do and every other aspect as it relates to their health but for some reason on this, they cannot break through to them in this state and they are running out of time. hallie? >> that's exactly actually what i want to talk about-to-brandi in a moment. guad, you're in l.a. county, now getting ready to go further even than what the cdc is recommending, masks are back indoors even for people fully vaccinated. what are you hearing from people
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out there right now? >> reporter: hallie, good morning. well, a lot of us in los angeles thought it was time to put the masks away and are now waking up looking for the boxes, because beginning sunday morning, the mask will be mandatory inside all businesses and everywhere indoors in los angeles. people were shocked yesterday when this was announced but a lot are learning the new rule that will kick off as i mentioned on sunday. health officials announced this yesterday and released some numbers to justify why they are now implementing this mask mandate, saying that it's largely the unvaccinated, almost 4 million unvaccinated residents in los angeles county are driving these new cases. they also said there's been an 83% increase in cases over the last week, and they just sort of wanted to justify why they think this is the best way to go at the moment. they want to stop the spread, especially with the delta variant being the main variant of concern in los angeles, just like other parts of the country. one of the things that they pointed out was that a lot of
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unvaccinated individuals would take off the mask in order to not be identified as someone who was unvaccinated in los angeles county and for this and many other reasons they decided the best thing was to just implement the mask mandate once again, so we will be going back to the way things were in california, it was like this in the whole state june 15th but of course this will only be l.a. county starting on sunday. meanwhile, health county authorities, health officials in the county are also still suggesting people that are unvaccinated to go to these sites. we have hundreds of sites open in l.a. county, with lots of incentives. they paired up with mcdonald's, also a gift card incentive and trying to do everything they can to get those almost 4 million individuals in l.a. county to get vaccinated. >> guad, thank you for that especially the epicenter, where the changes are happening. brandi, to you, you have a new report out, new piece out looking at how it only takes a few people to spread misinformation to millions of
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readers. you're looking specifically at tiktok as the surgeon general is escalating the whole thing, the siren basically, the formal advisory saying misinformation on the health front is actually a public health threat. talk about what might help, what you learn about specific communities being targeted by misinformation, and this nexus for you of the beat that you cover on the internet plus public health. >> yes. thanks for having me. this news reporting is about tiktok but really this is happening across all of the platforms, facebook, instagram, youtube, every single one, so this report shows that tiktok was struggling to moderate misinformation on the platform. specifically we looked at the new reporting from the institute of strategic dialogue and it showed how users were getting really creative with vaccine misinformation. they're spreading it through a specific feature called sounds and that's just the audios. people are uploading the audio separately, taking the audio from anti vaccination posts and using it as a soundtrack to new
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videos. it's spread thousands of times, a single post can spread thousands of times to millions of viewers. basically it allows misinformation to go viral twice, and what it highlights for me is just the creativity and how good people are at spreading this misinformation, and what a challenge it is for the platforms. we've been reporting stories like this across all the platforms for years now, between bill gates is implanting a chip in you or vaccinated people become magnetized. big one vaccinated women are infertile, there is no truth to that, no evidence for that. we can trace it back to a rumor on facebook or instagram and it's great that the surgeon general is coming forward and calling it an urgent health threat, but you know, just covering this for so long, i hate to say it, it's going to be very hard to prevent that at this point. it's an insurgency at this
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point, so that's what we're looking at. >> it is a scary way to think about it in that framing, brandy. dr. torres, facebook came out with a statement yesterday saying it's taking agresive action against misinformation about covid vaccines including removing more than 18 million pieces of covid misinformation. there's tons of stuff out there. there's clearly a disconnect between what facebook is doing and what the white house wants. you as a practicing physician, how do you see online misinformation impacting health decisions and do you think what the white house is doing goes far enough? >> it's a huge impact, hallie, because there's a saying? science and medicine. it's hard to disprove a negative. if they put something negative about the vaccine, it's hard to disprove that, because it takes years of study in order to say yes you're right, it does not do that but at the same time, this is what people listen to and what they bring to their doctors saying i'm not going to take it because i read on the internet this is happening. can you prove to me it's not happening, and at this point, it's really difficult to do, and
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so that misinformation is really causing a lot of driving of what's happening with the vaccination rates especially with the young people who mostly pay attention to social media. in the ideal world, i think moving forward even more than putting more information out there that's accurate and tamping down on inaccurate information is the way we need to go and i think the thing we need to understand as well, we're in the middle of a medical emergency here, in the middle of a pandemic. things aren't going to work like they do in a normal world where things aren't like this, or we're not in a dangerous situation. we might have to take steps we wouldn't normally to do that. what the steps to decide, this is getting worse and worse and up until now, the vaccine has been touted as something to protect you, the message is starting to change now, the vaccine is something to protect your community especially the can ids in the more vulnerable. >> right. >> without that protection, we'll be in this pandemic for a long time. >> quick, dr. torres, we talked about this at the top. l.a. is doing the indoor mask mandate for people fully
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vaccinated. should people who don't live in l.a. should we consider doing that, in your professional opinion? >> i don't think there's a blanket answer here. it depends where you are and your vaccination rate. if you're unvaccinated, wear a mass action. if you are fully vaccinated, depends where you're going. i'm starting to wear one here because our vaccination rate is low and case numbers are rising so if you're in a state like that, area like that, you might want to think about it. >> dr. john torres, thank you. eelison barber, guad villegas and brandy, thank you. in germany, more than 100 people killed, 1,000 unaccounted for. and new excerpts of the soon-to-be released trump book by "washington post" reporters, what bill barr reportedly said when he realized trump would lose and the surprising response from the former president, along with a whole lot more, coming up. of size to substance a delicious, salty, crunchy ratio.
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we are taking you to europe where at least 110 people are dead because of catastrophic
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flooding. a lot of it in germany, some in belgium. crews are looking for hundreds of people more who are still unaccounted for. german chancellor angela merkel at the white house yesterday saying the situation is marked by fear, despair and suffering. the pictures from the area are terrifying, houses reduced to nothing, whole communities destroyed, prompting flash flooding, sink holes. joining us on the ground claudio livonia. where does the search and rescue go from here? >> reporter: hey, hallie. we're standing in the most affected area which is very close to the city of cologne. this is where the villages have been reduced to rubble are. it started around here, the ones you were mentioning in the videos. many of these houses are built in the small villages, they are made of brick and timber and they could not withstand the sheer force of the water that was carrying with it a lot of
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debris, including of course trees. one of the villages is called erfstadt just three miles down the road. the police saying that this is the further we can do g because the flood is coming in, quickly receding, and then coming back in, and it is very, very dangerous indeed. so the point the local authority here in cologne especially erstadt warned on facebook there is a massive and rapid underwashing now of the houses and structures that could put the houses and structure at risk of collapsing and there are many, many people still stuck in those houses who are calling for help, and why? because the police says that many haven't left their houses yesterday, even though it was quite clear the flood was, the flooding was serious and others they say may have gone back this morning, because as you can see, finally it stopped raining since this morning, but of course
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there's more forecasted rain later in the day, and especially tomorrow. the death toll, as you mentioned, is now climbed rapidly to over 100, and it may climb even further, because there is at least 1,300 people that are missing. they are unaccounted for. the local authorities hope they say that this many of them may be missing or unaccounted for, because the telephone network of course has gone down in the area, because of the flooding, others may have not been home because they were on holiday or so forth. but certainly by the look of it, this is an ongoing catastrophe as angela merkel called it yesterday and it is what the german media are calling it, the flood of the century. in the meantime, of course, scientists are wondering whether this is the work of global warming, and climate change, to the point the environment minister here, in germany, said
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well, climate change has arrived in germany, hallie. >> claudio lavagna, thank you for being on the scene this morning. we appreciate it, considering the big news out of germany. thank you. federal charges in connection with a plot to attack the democratic party headquarters building in sacramento, all of that coming into our newsroom. we'll bring you the latest information coming up after the break. ♪ ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing to deliver our technology as-a-service.
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two men have been charged in what the fbi is calling a specific, detailed and serious plot to attack democratic party headquarters in sacramento. doj says the two started planning to attack democratic targets after the election, even look for support from a militia group in hopes to start a movement. pete williams is with us. what else can you tell us? >> what's new here, hallie, is not the plot. the plot became public in january, after one of the men named ian rogers, was arrested, police found five pipe bombs in his home. he told authorities at the time he never intended to do anything serious with them, he had them only for entertainment purposes but the fbi found conversations of him with another man in which they talked about attacking the democratic headquarters building in sacramento, and possibly the
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offices of facebook and twitter, for the fact that they had blocked president trump. now we know the second man with whom he has was communicating, that's what's new here, a man named jared copeland, and the government last night asked a federal judge in california to keep copeland in detention, while they're awaiting trial, while the court document says he and rogers were "animated by the kind of anger that will not be abated or deterred by a court order. all the political and social conditions that motivated the plan, what they planned to do as described as terrorist attacks remain." so now we have the second part of this puzzle, both of them now are awaiting trial on these charges that they had, what the government says a very serious plan, because unlike a lot of these cases where people were just talking, these men had acquired a large number of firearms, and the actual
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working, the pipe bombs the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms said would have been capable of exploding. >> pete williams live for us in our washington newsroom, thank you. to a brand new, exclusive exclusive excerpt to msnbc, the final year of donald trump's presidency, this one taking us inside one on one conversations mr. trump had with then attorney general bill barr. back in the spring of 2020, barr thought the president would lose and he was going to lose the upcoming election and told him that straight up in a private meeting in the oval office. saying "i feel you are going to lose the election." barr said "i feel like you are losing touch with your own base." barr was fed up watching the daily covid briefing, remember those free wheeling on discipline to say the least and president trump's frequent attack on political enemies. what's interesting here president trump's kind of uncharacteristic response. he was reportedly oddly silent, not interrupting or trying to
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regain the floor as he usually did. the president had listened without emoting for a long time. he did not ask any questions. he did not push back. now, the book says, as barr's spiel came to an end, trump nodded and said he appreciated the advice. barr left hopeful that the president had really taken his message to heart, but he couldn't be sure. we now know the answer to that. i should note msnbc has not verified this account. i bring in "new york times" justice reporter katie and chuck rosen, former u.s. attorney and senior fbi official. katie, as you were actively reporting, this would not be the first and only way the then attorney general seemed to be creating these links between the justice department and the white house. >> right, exactly. so you saw bill barr often creating links between the justice department and the white house as you say. what we saw publicly was the attorney general always supporting the president, we always saw him supporting the president's fears that there could be a lot of election
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fraud. we saw him coming out making public statements about voting by mail. we saw him really supporting the idea that something bad could happen. the fact that privately it shows bill barr was cognizant of what could happen and what the results could be, what the consequences could be, if trump did not accept the results of the election, if trump didn't take to heart the fact that he could lose. that's really important because you see this very distinct two faces of the justice department, the public face supporting of trump always, privately misgivings. it is unfortunate the public did not know more about that. think about how much that could have changed what we see today in terms of people believing that donald trump won the election. >> chuck, you know the doj. according to the excerpt, barr's conversation about politics in 2020 is similar to what he did with the first president bush in
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1992. is it an unusual conversation for the ag to have with the president or not? >> well, yes and no. let me try and explain that hallie. we've had other attorneys general who work in political ways. robert kennedy, attorney general, was a political adviser to his brother, president john kennedy and eric holder filled much of the same role for president barack obama. so the question isn't whether an attorney general has a legitimate political role. they do. they're a member of the president's cabinet. they can advice on policy or legislation or help in the selection of judges. the really important question is when that political role seeps into the criminal and civil enforcement mechanisms of the department of justice. if that happens, that's awful. that's really, really bad. we saw some of that with attorney general barr. we saw it both in the paul manafort prosecution and in the roger stone prosecution and the way we saw it is we saw the reaction from career assistant u.s. attorneys in the field, in this case in the district of
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columbia. so political role, okay. it's happened. it's okay. an attorney general is a part of the president's cabinet, allowing politics to seep into enforcement mechanisms of the department of justice, deeply, deeply dangerous. >> chuck rosenberg, kittie benner, great to have your perspective. thank you for being with us. the south african government requesting another 15,000 troops be deployed after weeks long demonstrations turned deadly. we're taking you live on the ground to south africa for the latest. plus, track and field mega star allyson felix announced grants for athletes to help pay for child care during competitions. joining us in a little bit one of the olympians who got a grant and how it has changed her life, ahead of tokyo. don't miss that conversation coming up. from treated air. so you can breathe easier, knowing that you and your family have added protection. ♪ ♪
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the aftermath of the deadly anti government protests there. more than 100 people killed in addition to millions of dollars in damage across the country. countless businesses destroyed, the streets littered with burned out cars, all of it sparked by the detention of former president jacob zuma, who refused to cooperate in his own corruption inquiry. the unrest happened in the former leader's home province and near the country's largest city, johannesburg you can see on the map. kelly cobiella joins us live. talk about deescalation. what is the government doing on this? >> reporter: first thing's first, hallie. the government is deploying 25,000 troops to the streets in these two provinces where johannesburg is located and also in durban and they already have about 10,000 on the streets, some 15,000 being added to that in the days and weeks to come. in terms of enforcement, they're
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really taking a less violent approach and have been over the past several days, and you can see in the pictures where police are at some of these sites of looting over the past several days and aren't moving in. some look overwhelmed and certainly outnumbered. this is happening over the past several days as i mentioned, hundreds of businesses have been destroyed. malls have been destroyed and these are not just retail malls where you buy clothing. these are really the centers of communities in places like soweto outside johannesburg, where we were today and we talk a walk inside and literally, every single storefront was smashed in, everything removed from inside. we talked to one pharmacy owner who said they took everything, all of the medicine, all of the computers, absolutely nothing was left, and that means that these communities are left with no resources. because of that, today we're
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seeing in parts of the country very long lines for food, and for fuel as well. it has created quite a bit of disturbance in this country, but today, the president ramaphosa said it will not be tolerated, anarchy and mayhem will not be tolerated and suggested some was deliberately organized. hallie? >> real quick, because the arrest of former president zuma was the catalyst for these demonstrations. there's other issues that south africans have, too, right? >> reporter: yes, there's a lot of pent up anger in this country for a variety of reasons, the pandemic has exacerbated issues that were already in place, poverty being one of them, a high unemployment rate, high unemployment rate among the youth, 33% unemployment, about 46% of those are young people, so you have this extreme poverty and then you add to it job losses and closures because of the pandemic, still under a form
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of lockdown here, and it's really caused a lot of angst in this country. >> kelly cobiella live in south africa. thank you for your reporting on this important issue. appreciate it. when we come back, why the arizona so-called "audit" is actually not over with this new gop push to question voters door to door. we're breaking it down next. ♪ breeze drifting on by you know how i feel ♪ [man: coughing] ♪ it's a new dawn, it's a new day... ♪ no matter how you got copd it's time to make a stand. ♪ ...and i'm feelin' good ♪ start a new day with trelegy. no once-daily copd medicine has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler, trelegy helps people breathe easier and improves lung function. it also helps prevent future flare-ups. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler
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new developments this morning in that republican "audit" in arizona. yes, it is still going on, more than six months after the last vote was cast and now it looks like it's not going to end any time soon. we have the republican state senate president saying she needs more material and the outside contractors running this thing, the cyber ninjas, is the name of the company recommending questioning voters door to door, that's right, going door to door to talk to voters. the doj said that tactic could be basically voter intimidation. some state republicans say this is just about to determine if they need new laws for the nex election. you might think tweets like these contradict that. one says recall the electors,
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decertify the election. goes back to donald trump insistence he did win an election that he lost. with me now is the man who wrote the book on that very subject, michael bender, "wall street journal" political reporter, author of the new book "frankly, we did win this election: the inside story of how trump lost." friend of the show. finally you're on. i've been jealous watching you everywhere. i'm glad to talk to you. >> looking forward to this, hallie. really glad to be here. >> tgif. election night, the title of this book. some statistics are relevant given right now, the decision to declare victory, spread misinformation was not planned out. this was not like a big strategic plan in the minutes leading up to the speech. you look in the aftermath in arizona that has taken hold of important sections of the party. we're not talking about an historical figure. donald trump is positioning
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himself to be a force in not just 2022 but 2024, regardless of whether he runs or not. how do you see the thread connecting these things? >> the thread plays out, trump has been promising exactly this, that he would dispute any results not for months or weeks but for years, from 2016 he was telling us the only way he could win was if there was fraud. he detailed years earlier, he disputed the results over an ending of "the apprentice" claiming election fraud and promised this for years saying what he was going to do and a real failure of imagination. this is somebody important details new in this book between november th when the election is called and january 6th and if people around him, they thought he needed to give him space but that created an opening for people like rudy giuliani and sidney powell to tell him what
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he wanted to hear. >> you report those folks, including sidney powell and rudy giuliani, mike lin del, janet ellis, forecast, mark meadows, the inner circle, you can see the graphic on screen, talk about your reporting now. how many people are still in his circle as he in all likelihood prepares to at least talk about running again maybe? >> yes, yes, yes. i think meadows is still an important player in there. giuliani has been, going to be on the outside looking in, as long as he faces legal trouble, trump is not going to want to associate himself with that. interesting exchange that's in the book in one of a couple of interviews i had with trump post election was after comes to sidney powell, after she raised eyebrows with some court filings saying that her claims about election fraud were not serious, that no kind of thinking person would have taken her claims seriously and when i asked trump about that, he kind of cycled through all of the emotions, and
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said he couldn't believe it and it must have been kind of boiler plate language from her lawyers and maybe it didn't come from her, so at the end, tells me that she never really represented me, you know that, right? so clearly distancing himself from her as well. >> general mark milley who has been in the news quite a bit over the last couple of days, as i know you know, and you report on some of these ways milley seemed to see warning signs from the former president's inclination to crack down on the protests about george floyd and the insurrection act, the urging advisers like steven milley, pointed to abraham lyndon's portrait and said that guy had an insurrection. what we have, mr. president, is a protest and to be clear, talking about the black lives matter protest.
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how many people were willing to push back. we see what more and more military commanders were reported to have said. trump claimed hitler did a lot of good things, something the former president denied, between milley and kelly, give me big picture context. something you think the former or current military commanders saw that others in donald trump's orbit missed about him? >> yes, i think they brought a different framework to the job for sure, and the people around trump at that point, what was striking, a lot of them thought they were the truth tellers and thought they were the guardrails, but when i reported those details out, there was a lot of hedging and reluctance to be direct and concise with trump when they thought he was wrong or needed to do something different. what was striking and the about igpicture in this book from start to finish is how many
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senior people around trump military or not, it wasn't the chaos they were concerned about. we know the story of chaos of these four years of trump. what is striking is laid out in some of these moments is that they were concerned that trump had become violent and unhinged in his desperation to hold onto power. whether it's, i mean kelly, he wanted to shoot protesters. he told his military and defense officials he wanted to shoot peaceful protesters. secretary of state was concerned he was leaning into, might lean into international conflict to strengthen his hold on the office. these are the things that are happening in the final days of the run-up to january 6th. >> yet this is somebody or and this is somebody who has a firm grip on the republican party as demonstrated by what happened just in the last 24 hours, kevin mccarthy traveling to meet with the former president. we have a read-out from that discussion. they had a good conversation about a variety of topics
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including the midterms as they try to take back the house. quickly, mike, what is your read on their relationship and how that progresses? >> it's a good question. the republicans definitely had a choice here headed into 2022 about whether they're going to try to redefine the party post-trump. this is their opportunity to do it. what this book does is lay out the details and stark relief in new ways that there is no excuse to go into that decision with other than their eyes wide open. >> michael bender, the man, the myth and the legend joining us. thank you very much. i'll send you an ifb so you can retire on this. >> thank you. couple of minutes dr. anthony fauci and the white house covid response team as the delta rips through unvaccinated communities especially in the south and midwest. next up, the most decorated track and field olympian in history stepping up to give grants to fellow women so they
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can pay for child care while they compete. it's an unbelievable story about one of the athletes who received one of those grants, next. ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing to deliver our technology as-a-service. ♪
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arriving for the games, which is why also this morning we're focusing on some other challenges that could threat ton keep some athletes from competing, specifically female athletes with kids. track star alice felix was saying she was still breast-feeding, mentally and physically exhausted and assigned a roommate at one of her competitions. she said, there was no way i could bring another athlete into her zone. she stepped up, she and athleta. some of these athletes have already got the grant, including paralympic volleyball along with mary beth lauten. thank you for being with us and good morning. >> good morning. thank you for having us. >> i'm psyched for this conversation. laura, let me start with you. you have three kids, 6, 8, 10. you are heading to tokyo soon.
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you call this grant life-changing and why you think it might give you a competitive advantage here. >> sure, absolutely. it's life changing because while we're athletes and our job is to focus on volleyball, for me, while we're at competition, 50% of my mind is always back homemaking sure that they're taking care of what they need. i'm a stay-at-home mom when i'm not playing volleyball so my mind is in both places. i manage my children's schedule and they are my life. it's very hard to separate your motherhood from your athletic self. this grant has given my family the opportunity to have that stability at home that we've never had before. we've been able to fly in family members from arizona and italy to take care of them while i'm in tokyo. the worry of what's going on at home is taken away and i can focus solely on tokyo and bringing home that gold. >> that's amazing. do you think you would have been able to compete if you hadn't had that grant or it sounds like
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it would have been much, much harder for you. >> we always figure out a way to do it, but especially with the time change and being on completely opposite schedules, it's just an added stress. i can admit my mind is not always on the game, even in the middle of it, because you're worried about something is going to happen or a catastrophe at home that you can't help with while you're completing. >> can you tell us why athleta decided to partner with allyson felix. this is big money given to these athletes. >> we partnered very closely with allyson on this. it's a passion of hers. our mission at athleta is to ignite a community of active, confident women. this grant program went right along with that. and we were right there with allyson to support it and just so happy to see the impact on athletes like lawyer lora, who
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going to feel supported as they head to tokyo. >> lora, i want to pull on a bit of a thread that you talked about before. it's the idea that as an athlete, separate being a mom and an athlete. i think a lot of women can understand that. my journalist life as mom life. it's difficult for you to pursue, a support, and you feel like you can't talk about it because it comes across as unfocused. i think this is so important because until women say, hey, i can't do x thing for my job today because i have a kid thing, there will continue to be that stigma around it, right? and i wonder how you talk about it and how you think about breaking through that. people can be moms, they can be, like you, the absolute top of their game, and still be able to be able to share their experience as a parent. >> sure. we always want to feel dedicated to what we're doing presently.
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i actually came a time where i had to work up the courage to talk to my coaching staff and say, listen, i might need a few more minutes and it might seem like i'm messing around on my phone, but i'm making sure everything is in order at home before i step on the court so my focus can be here. sometimes those conversations are hard to have because you don't want to feel like you're split between two places and you don't want the people you're supposed to be focusing on that they're not getting your 100% focus. admitting that sometimes you might need a little time to focus on the thing at home before you can really dial in is hard. but when you admit that is this the time you need to be able to come back in and focus, that is where the real conversations kind of happen and say, listen, if you want me to be here, then give me this time and i'll show up. >> and talking about it and being public about it and setting that example, lora, is super important. mary beth, when it comes to gender equality, nielsen says the olympics are the biggest
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platform for gender equality. the games are the closest we've gotten so far to having an equal number of men's and women's events. you can see the graph on screen. how do you think about in your role leading athltea, building on this momentum, keeping that push growing so that graph keeps going, right? >> that's right. we want it to keep going. a big part of what we think about is how do we still identify what does need to be addressed? in this case, lack of access and support for child care is still one that needs to have some work. so, how can we support that and continue to get things to get closer and closer together for women? >> that takes resources, right? you can't just snap your finger and wish for more access to child care and suddenly it's here. >> that's right. you know, our mission is to support women. it makes it, you know, really clear that this is something we have to support. you know, we put our mission at the center of everything we do. and when i meet athletes like
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lora, it's all worth it. what we're here to do is to inspire other women and girls through people like lora as well. >> lora, when do you get to tokyo? when do you leave? >> as of right now, we leave august 15th. >> good luck. you have an entire nation rooting for you. we're so appreciative to both of you for being with us to talk through this incredible new initiative. we're thrilled to have had the conversation. thank you. before we go, we want to say thank you to somebody else. our own kasie hunt whose last day on air on this network is today as she heads off to new adventures it. one of the og road warriors, one of those colleagues you're proud to have on your team. she's an incredible mom and friend to me and so many. we cheer you on. we can't wait to see what you do next. craig melvin picks up our coverage right now on "msnbc reports."
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a good friday morning. craig melvin. new covid cases are rising in all 50 states. yes, you heard me right. no, you are not the only one feeling a bit of deja vu. health officials sounding the alarm over crisis -- crises happening on both ends of this pandemic. the more contagious delta variant taking hold across the nation. vaccine misinformation spreading like the virus itself. meanwhile, on capitol hill, democrats are pushing ahead with their aggressive timeline to get both an infrastructure and spending deal done. there's a potential wrench in their plans. the bills have not even been written yet. ahead this hour, split screen of the effects of climate change. right now fires raging in a dozen western states and germany is seeing its worth flooding in more than a century. this hour we have reporters in germany and arizona

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